Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum         May, 2015

A View From the 'Rim


"If it has been a long time since you heard, really heard, 

a call to adventure-look around right now! All about you 

are the seeds of new, richly adventurous experiences. 

What is required of you, in order for these seeds to grow, 

are eyes willing to see them."


Somehow, these words by UU Kathy Fuson Hart spoke to me as I thought about MVUUF folks at the launch of your Candidating Week with Rev. Greg Martin. You have done some hard work during this Interim Period and I feel that the congregation may be on the brink of an exciting chapter in your life together going forward.


I hope that each and every one of you will take advantage of the many opportunities to explore together with Rev. Martin "the Direction of Your Dreams" which your Ministerial Search Committee is providing for your during Candidating Week.


For I believe that your Transcendentalist-loving Candidate might agree with Henry David Thoreau's words, "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."



With the warmest regards as always,

Your interim minister,





p.s.  I will be away in San Antonio, Texas from Monday, April 27 through Friday, May 1 attending the mandatory week-long Continuing Education Seminar for UUA Accredited Interim Ministers. Lathe Snyder will be providing pastoral coverage during this week. You can reach Lathe at: 

(513) 237-3420 or


     During Candidating Week I will be working from home (and some of the time remotely from   Illinois) as this is the time when the congregation will have the chance to experience fully Rev. Martin's ministry with you. 



Service Topics for May


May 3--On The Path to Oneness:  Making Meaning Together--Rev. Greg Martin.  This is  Rev. Greg Martin's candidating sermon for MVUUF. Life comes at us fast! We can't always discern whether something is good or bad in the moment because we lack a larger perspective. As Unitarian Universalists who embrace life in all of its dimensions, we bring meaning to our situation and seek to shape our experiences for the greater good.   Today, we begin the journey to commit ourselves to this new path together.



May 10--The Direction of Your Dreams--Rev. Greg Martin.  This is the second sermon of candidating week. Today we "clasp the hands of those that go before us," the Transcendentalists, figures like Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, and their common mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Rev. Greg Martin invites us to consider these voices as we face the challenges and opportunities of being Unitarian Universalists for the 21st century. As we advance confidently in the direction of our dreams, we dance within "the larger circle of all creatures," as poet Wendell Berry notes, and reach for "the hands of those who come after us."



May 17--Find A Stillness--Rev. Mary Moore. Following an exciting time such as a Candidating Week for a new settled minister or amidst all the bustle of school year and church year activities in the springtime-this Sunday might be a good time to pause intentionally and, with the help of the MVUUF Choir, to reflect upon the place of stillness and the restorative role that centeredness might have in our lives.



May 24--Celebrating Memorial Day and Question Box Sunday--Rev. Mary Moore. As this Interim Period at MVUUF draws to a close, it seems as if this might be the time to have a Question Box Sunday.


Please write down your questions about theology, church history or polity, ethics, UUism in general, this Interim Period, etc., and email them to me ( or place them in the labeled box in the Gathering Space BY MONDAY, MAY 18.


During the service, I will answer as many of your questions as possible. Come on this Sunday to hear what's on other people's minds!



May 31--YRE Sunday--Shannon Harper and Rev. Mary Moore. A service celebrating Youth  Religious Education at MVUUF! 


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Candidating Week

May 3-10, 2015





Candidating Week begins with the very first Sunday of the month, as our Ministerial Candidate, Rev. Greg Martin, will be with us for his first of two services:  On The Path to Oneness:  Making Meaning Together.  


Monday through Saturday of Candidating Week will be FULL of many opportunities for you to take a bit of time and get to know Rev. Greg a little better. You can keep up-to-date with ALL of the events by clicking  HERE  for a calendar!


And then on Sunday, May 10, the week culminates in Rev. Greg's second sermon, The Direction of Your Dreams. Immediately after that service, the Voting Members will cast their votes...plan to stick around and celebrate if Rev. Greg is called to be our New Settled Minister!


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Around the Fellowship...



I am feeling so very grateful these days. Grateful for the shining sun and brilliant sky and for the green sprouts of my returning perennial flowers. It is finally spring and all around me is renewal and new life.


Here at the Fellowship it also feels like spring. The excitement is palpable as we wait these last few days until we finally meet our Ministerial Candidate, the Reverend Greg Martin. At the MidAmerica Regional meeting last weekend, I heard great things from members of churches he has served. I am so grateful to the Search Committee for their diligent, intense work to find him for us and to all who participated in the search process through surveys and cottage meetings.


I am also grateful to those who have been doing steady work to keep the Fellowship strong and healthy during the search. Like a garden, it takes lots of effort to bring our programs and services to bloom.


Some programs, like my daffodils, are already flowering. Some are far enough along to get a good idea of what their flowers will look like. Some are barely poking their heads through the ground, and I am curious to see what their blooms will be.


It is the on-going care that keeps our Fellowship garden flourishing. You have stepped up in so many ways. Meeting the Calling Capital Campaign goal is one big way you are tending it, and I am immensely thankful. Meeting this goal will allow us to call Rev. Greg if we find him as good a match for us as I think we will.


We also want to ensure that the Fellowship soil Greg finds here is fertile and deep. It is important that our Annual Budgeting process for next year reflects our dedication and high hopes. We want to nurture future growth in quality programming rather than stunting it.


Given our expected pledges as of this writing, my excitement is challenged by concerns about our coming budgeting decisions. If you share my excitement, please consider adding to your pledge or giving a one-time gift for the next fiscal year. If lots of us add even a little, it will help a lot.


The gifts we all bring, of whatever kind, enrich our Fellowship soil and bring our garden to even more beautiful bloom. For that, for all of you, I am so very grateful.


-Barb Weber,

MVUUF Board President




Happy spring! With all of the raining, and growing, and candidating that has been going on, there is another event that takes place this time of year:  graduating!


We are pleased to let you know that Mr. Jacob Robert Queener Nolin, son of Catherine Queener and Dave Nolin (and also our Fellowship!), will graduate from Wright State University on Saturday, May 2. Following his graduation, Jacob plans to complete a certificate program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language this summer at Wright State University.


Congratulations to Jacob, and the Queener/Nolin clan!




There are two events in early May that I'd like for you to plan on attending, and both of them take place during Candidating Week (May 3-May 10). The Ministerial Search Committee has inaugurated the week with the wonderful title, "Candidating Week:  The Direction of Our Dreams."


The first event is Sunday, May 3, our first in-person peek at our Ministerial Candidate, Rev. Greg Martin. After the service that morning, we'll have a reception in the Gathering Space featuring light appetizers and desserts. This will be a potluck event, so put on your thinking caps and visualize the delectable edible you will contribute. Please let me know what you'll be bringing so that I can make sure we'll have enough contributions.


The second event is Friday, May 8, a Beloved Community Night. This will be a wonderful chance for Rev. Greg and us to get to know each other in a ore intimate environment. It'll be a "brown bagger," but dessert and drinks will be provided. (Remember, Activities has no budget!) There will be a creative activity that will enable Rev. Greg to get to know us better. Please put this on your  calendar!


Any questions or comments, please email me at: or call me at (937) 427-1980.

-Dawn Bellinger, MVUUF Activities Representative




Our gallery is currently displaying the photography of two MVUUF members, Dane Mutter and Lew Hann.


Dane's exhibit, titled Nature Always Wins, displays photographs taken in the River Ridge Conservation Area, one of the newest and smallest of Five Rivers Metroparks. The photographs progress beautifully through the seasons-spring, summer, autumn and winter, culminating in the Winter Solstice. These photos may be purchased. A price list is on the table in front of the A/V booth.


Lew's exhibit features photographs from some of his travels including Croatia, Poland, Greece, Michigan, New York City, and Glacier National Park. Lew believes that "a fine art photograph should be more (than a sharp, colorful picture); it should cause an emotional response in the viewer." I think you will find that Lew's photographs reveal and enhance the subjects they capture.


Please take time to enjoy these displays in our sanctuary through mid-June, and join us to thank and celebrate Dane and Lew at an Artists' reception after the service on Sunday, June 7th.




Do you have a will? If you answered "yes," then congratulations-you are ahead of the many    people who do not. Now you are set for the rest of your life, right? Not necessarily. Preparing and signing a will is only the first step toward ensuring that your wishes are carried out after you are gone. Your estate plan should include:

  •  A current will.
  •  A living will and a health care power of attorney. These documents will protct you should you become unable to make medical decisions.
  •  A durable power of attorney. This document will allow someone you appoint to act on your behalf, when necessary, for financial purposes.
  •  Possibly a trust.

Even if you have prepared and signed all of these documents, it's easy to overlook details that may result in your wishes not being fulfilled. Simple changes can be amended with a codicil, a legal instrument made to modify an earlier will, while significant alterations may require a newly created will.


Here are seven easy actions to take to make sure your estate plan is the best it can be:


1. Review your will every few years to make sure it is still current

2. Consider leaving highly appreciated assets (stocks, real estate) 

to your heirs.

3. Decide if you'd like to avoid probate by putting assets into a revocable

 living trust.

4. Be especially careful in your decision-making if you and/or your

 spouse have children from a prior marriage.

5. Think carefully about distributions from your retirement plan, taking

 into account minimum distributions and withdrawal requirements.

6. Make sure your will is properly signed according to your state's laws

 and that the executor knows where documents are kept.

7. Finally, a difficult but essential step is to discuss your intentions with

 your loved ones.


The Trustees of the MVUUF Endowment Fund hope this basic information is useful to you.




The annual MVUUF Bazaar is not only a great event for finding unique handcrafts and delicious food and baked goods, it's also an important fundraiser, helping to provide much needed support for MVUUF programs and services. Making the event a success takes the dedication of many volunteers, including volunteers willing to lead the coordination of the individual parts that make the entire bazaar come together. Some of these individual parts include the raffle, bake sale, blood drive, set-up, and clean-up.


Last year, Brianna Kempe worked tirelessly behind the scenes to put together a fabulous bazaar! Brianna is now putting her energy and talents to work as MVUUF's Treasurer, and it is no surprise that filling her role as Bazaar Coordinator will require a team of people. The tentative date for the 2015 Bazaar is Saturday, November 14...but that date depends upon the availability of volunteers!


Please sign up to help! Visit our SignUpGenius site to view a description of leadership roles and sign up. Or, for more information, please contact:


Pam Gromen at,  or            

Brianna Kempe at





May 3---Traveling:  Pros and Cons, Likes and Dislikes---Jennie Hardy

May 10---At What Age Do You Perceive Yourself?---Julie Bragg

May 17---TBA

May 24---Medical Insurance: Why and How---Will Brooks

May 31---Embarrassing Moments: Amusing Stories About 

                 Myself---Jennie Hardy



The Evening Book Discussion Group will next meet on Tuesday, May 12, 7:00 p.m. at Christopher's Restaurant (2318 East Dorothy Lane in Kettering) to discuss How To Be a Victorian:  A Dawn to Dusk Guide to Victorian Life, by Ruth Goodman. Plan now to join us in June for something special:


June 9--Fanny Seward:  A Life, by Trudy Krisher


The Evening Book Discussion Group holds monthly meetings on the second Tuesday evening at Christopher's. New participants are welcome;  contact Ann Snively if you'd like more information.




We meet for discussions one Wednesday a month, 10:30 a.m., at the Fellowship. Upcoming dates and selections are:

May 20--The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry:  A Novel, by Gabrielle Zevin

June 17--The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce

July 22--Fanny Seward: A Life (New York State Series) by MVUUF's own Trudy Krisher. Thanks to Trudy who accepted our invitation to come and take part in our discussion. She will be happy to  receive questions and comments!

August 19--Small Blessings:  A Novel, by Martha Woodroof


All are welcome to join us!





You can keep up-to-date with all the happenings at MVUUF by viewing the Fellowship's calendar online, from a link on our website:

The calendar is updated daily, so it's always the best place to check and see what's going on!




Smart Choices will be having a birthday party lunch on Thursday, May 28. We'll be meeting at 11:30 a.m. in a private room at MCL Cafeteria. Everyone is invited! Please RSVP to Allie Petersen at:



Please join us in our long-standing 2nd Saturday ministry of serving lunches to homeless and/or low income women and families. Sign-up sheets are on the table by the windows in the Gathering Space. With the cold weather, the numbers continue to be up at St. V's.  Thanks to all who donated food and helped serve in April, the last month of our winter lasagna menu! If you are thinking of helping but would like more  information, please pick up one of the informational half-sheets on the same table where you sign-up.   


May 9th Menu:   (This is the first month of our spring/summer menu) hot sandwich filling (pulled BBQ chicken or pork or sloppy joes) vegetable dish (pasta salad with lots of vegetables, steamed broccoli, cole slaw, or other vegetable) fresh fruit or fruit salad, 100% juice and reduced fat milk (we will use buns from the St. Vincent pantry for the sandwiches). We need four to five donations of each item, with each donation serving 15-20. Please bring all items, heated if applicable, to 120 W. Apple Street in Dayton (the St. Vincent de Paul Hotel) by 10:30 a.m. Sign up to serve or donate menu items in the Gathering Space. Feel free to call Lynn Buffington at (937) 657-0426 if you have any questions. Contact Lynn  or Shirley Gezinski if you would like to help with menu   planning and organizing.




Many of you are familiar with the UUA Congregational Study Action Issues, but many of you are not. The congregations of the UUA study an issue for four years, submit feedback, and then the UUA issues a Statement of Conscience about the issue. The current CSAI being studied is Escalating Inequality, chosen for 2014 through 2018. We are publishing this CSAI info in The Forum to introduce you to the issue. Later on, in a few months we plan to offer a class and opportunities to discuss the issue. Look for more news in future editions of The Forum and elsewhere.


CSAI: Escalating Inequality

Issue   Upward mobility-the American dream-has become a myth. Concentration of wealth and power has skyrocketed. Dr. King's dream of justice and equality has fractured. Half of all Americans are impoverished or struggling, as the middle class shrinks and billionaires take the profits. Where's our commitment to the Common Good?


Grounding in Unitarian Universalism   Our Unitarian Universalist (UU) tradition places its faith in people to create a more loving community for all, guided by "justice, equity, and compassion in  human relations." Challenging extreme inequality has now become a moral imperative, just as    prior generations have led movements from abolition to civil rights and marriage equality.


Topics for Congregational Study

  • What do the numbers show about the expansion of extreme wealth and increase in struggling households? 
  • What are the lessons to be learned from the history of movements for economic justice, here and abroad, dating back to the last Gilded Age?How are social classes formed and what practices will help us transcend class barriers in our congregations and communities?
  • What do studies say about the indirect social outcomes of growing economic inequality? These include hidden effects on hierarchy, discrimination, segregation, minorities, physical and mental health, education, violence, punishment, political polarization, and public services.
  • Study root causes of inequality, such as corporate globalization, "free trade," outsourcing,      privatization, tax shifting and evasion, subsidies and bailouts, monopoly, suppression of labor, money in politics, "externalizing" social and environmental costs, "free market"/libertarian   ideologies, deregulation, unlimited income/wealth.
  • Where to begin:  Money out of politics, minimum/living wages, debt servitude/predatory   lending. Justice and fairness in taxes and trade. Re-regulate Wall Street and empower workers. Grow opportunity through better healthcare, education, public services, cooperatives, media, democracy. Develop a deeper understanding of classism.
  • Distinguishing among the moral, social, economic, political, and sustainability implications of inequality, imagine a new strategy for the Common Good-"caring and sharing" on a social   level

 Possible Congregational/District Actions

Collect current and historical resources on inequality, written and online, from here and abroad.

Enlighten yourselves via discussion/film/study groups on the effects, causes, and history of     inequality.

Develop a variety of spiritual experiences to inspire UUs to transcend barriers of class.

Organize action agendas on select issues, networking with other congregations and allied      secular and interfaith groups. Collaborate, as feasible, with UU organizations like state           Legislative Networks, UUJEC, and UUSC.

Join to develop a vision of the common good that animates a movement toward sustainable well-being for all, to reduce demands on the earth's resources, and to nourish the soul by    sharing life's essentials.


Related Prior Social Witness Statements

  • Amend the Constitution:  Corporations are Not persons and Money is Not Speech (2013)
  • Raise the Federal Minimum Wage to $10 in 2010 (2008)
  • Single-Payer health Care (2008)
  • End Present-Day Slavery in the Fields (2008)
  • Support Immigrant Justice (2006)
  • Support for the Millenium Development Goal One: Ending Extreme Poverty (2005)
  • Economic Globalization (2003)
  • Economic Injustice, Poverty, and Racism:  We Can Make a Difference (2000)
  • Working for a Just Economic Community (1997)
  • A Job, A Home, A Hope (1995)


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We are a liberal religious community that embraces diversity and respects the inherent worth and dignity of every person.  ALL are welcome here, no matter their race, sex, sexual/affectional orientation, gender expression, or ability.


Please visit us on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. for our worship service - we'd love to see you!