Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum         June, 2015

A View From the 'Rim



By now, probably most of you have heard that as of August 1, I will be the Interim Minister at the UU Congregation of Columbus, Indiana. I look forward to walking with another   congregation as they go through their Interim Period, as I have done with you here at MVUUF.


I shall miss you, but it is never the plan for a UU Interim Minister to stay with a congregation more than two years.


My last Sunday in the pulpit at MVUUF will be June 14. During the week of June 16-21, I will be attending the annual Conference of my national professional organization, Interim Ministry Network, in Baltimore, Maryland. From June 23-28, I will be at the UUA General Assembly in Portland, Oregon, representing MVUUF; I'll be back in Dayton on Moday, June 29.


I will be taking the month of July as my month of vacation, but most of that time, I suspect I will be packing boxes here in Dayton and unpacking them over in Coulmbus!


The Code of Ethics that I follow as a UU Minister is very clear:  as of Saturday, August 1, I should have no more contact with MVUUF and its members and friends--no notes, email messages, or being Facebook friends.


If you have the impulse to send me a note or an email after August 1, I have a suggestion as to what you may do instead! How about your following up on such impulses by contacting an MVUUF person whom you've not seen around for a while?


I hope you'll try this. It will work toward strengthening this congregation.




With the warmest regards as always,




Service Topics for June 2015


June 7--Where You've Been--Rev. Mary Moore.  

On this Sunday, we'll be taking a quick look back at where the congregation has been during this Interim Period, with the help of members of the Transition Team. We will also be recognizing new members of MVUUF at this service.


June 14--Where You Might Go--Rev. Mary Moore.  

MVUUF's Interim Minister, on her last Sunday in the pulpit, will offer reflections on what great things might be in store for the congregation in the future. Please bring a flower with you on this morning, as we will also be taking part in the UU Flower Communion ceremony, created by Czech Unitarian Minister, Rev. Norbert Capek, who died in a Nazi concentration camp.


June 21--(Information for this service was not available at the time of publishing...please check our website,, for updates)


June 28--(Information for this service was not available at the time of publishing...please check our website,, for updates)



Around the Fellowship...



What a wonderful day we had on May 10th, when we called Rev. Greg Martin as our new Settled Minister! The excitement and enthusiasm were terrific as we held our vote and applauded his arrival. It certainly appears that Greg will bring many skills that will help move our Fellowship in positive directions as we go forward.


I want to express my deep appreciation once more to our Ministerial Search Committee members:  Alice Diebel, Yolanda Crooms, Karen Evans, Edwin Fuller, Iris Mirelez, Catherine Queener, and Jay Snively. You have changed the future of our Fellowship and of Unitarian Universalism in the Miami Valley. We are grateful for the countless hours you gave to the process. You have done excellent work in helping us discern what we wanted in our next minister, and also in finding such a strong match to those wants. We are in your debt.


As the Ministerial Search Committee takes some much deserved rest, it is up to all of us, though, to continue to work toward our congregation's health. There was so much energy in the room on the 10th; let's use that to keep our forward momentum.


Let your ideas be known. Talk with committee chairs and Board and Program Council members about what you would like to see happening.


Contact some of the friends we saw that day who have been absent lately and let them know how much you have missed them. Invite them back!


Yet another important way to move the Fellowship forward is to participate in our democratic   process. Come to the annual June Congregational Meeting on Sunday, June 14 at 12:30 p.m., where we will be voting on proposed bylaw changes and next year's budget. Come and be a part of our decision-making.


The more actively involved we all are when Greg arrives, the more we will be able to do together. We need your input, your energy, and your passion. We need YOU.


-Barb Weber,

MVUUF Board President




We are planning to celebrate Rev. Mary Moore's ministry to MVUUF, thanking her for her service to our congregation.



When can you do all of that? On Sunday, June 14, immediately following our worship service and preceding our annual June 

Congregational Meeting.


Please bring cards and gratitude. We have not always been an easy bunch.


And we'll have cake!


-Margaret Michal, Transition Team Chair





Escalating inequality was chosen by delegates at the 2014 General Assembly for the 2014-2018 Congregational Study/Action Issue of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The issue of the greater gap between those with greater income, assets and wealth and the rest of us is a topic which our Social Actions Committee has undertaken.


Ableism is the attitude that people who do not have disabilities are preferable to people who do. It is the perception that rather than being part of human diversity, disability is a mistake. It is prejudice and discrimination based on body function or structure or ability to function emotionally or mentally.


While this type of discrimination is not new, the attitude toward disabled people seems to be deteriorating. They are seen by some as people who fleece the Social Security system. Disabled people are part of the group that has been demonized as dishonest and lazy. Being faced with our own human vulnerability, many people choose to turn away.


Gaps in employment, inability to receive adequate health care, perception of incompetence, continued lack of accommodation, fear of liability are some of the factors affecting employment. Co-workers or customers may be made uncomfortable by the presence of someone with a disability. Health insurance costs could be higher. Being out of the workforce could lead to lack of knowledge and experience with current technology and trends. Employers are looking for employees who are current in knowledge and skills. People with psychiatric disability are much less likely to find employment.


As much as we may like to think the Americans With Disabilities Act solved this problem, it hasn't. The consequences of ableism are subtle and profound.


So as we examine our hearts and minds when thinking of disabled people, what do we find? How can we support people with disabilities?


There is not adequate room in this article to explore this issue fully; please see: 



for more information.


-Margaret Michal




The Social Action Committee coordinates the work of six Action Groups, as well as other social action through committee projects and elsewhere in the congregation.


The Committee is seeking volunteers or nominees for the following positions:  Secretary, and one Member at Large. The positions are two-year renewable terms, and nominees need not be prior members of the Social Action Committee.


The Social Action Committee meets every other month, usually on the last Monday of the month. Each member commits to attend at least four of the six meetings each year. According to its Charter, the Social Action Committee will fill these positions by consensus at its September Committee Meeting. These terms will run from September, 2015-September, 2017.


Please send nominations to Maureen O'Meara at: 


or Lynn Buffington at:


by Saturday, August 15, 2015.  Additionally, a person who has attended and commits to attend four meetings a year may become a Member at Large at any time through a consensus decision of the Committee.


Our next meeting is Wednesday, August 5, 7:00 p.m., in the Founder's Room at the Fellowship. All are  welcome! Check the calendar at for subsequent meetings at the end of September, end of November, etc.

--Maureen O'Meara, Social Action Program Council Representative

   and Lynn Buffington, Social Action Committee Chair




Two-for-one is a bargain that is hard to resist. The newly-energized Aesthetics' Committee has created just such an opportunity!


First, you provide fresh flowers for the sanctuary (by 10:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning) to beautify and   enhance the experience for all of us; second, you may honor, celebrate or remember someone or something special to you. Your wish--a birthday, graduation, new job, death anniversary, wedding, engagement, etc.-will be recognized in The Announcement Sheet for that week. Your information for The Announcement Sheet must be in to our Administrator, Jennie Freiberger, by the Monday preceding your selected date, if not sooner. Also, you will need to sign up on the sheet in the Gathering Space for your choice of significant date(s). Your flowers need to be removed after the Sunday service.


If you have questions, or would like to have your flowers given to one of our members currently residing in a nursing/rehab center or hospital, or confined at home, please check with Iris Carter, at (937) 433-9828 or





Where do you want the Social Action portion of your Sunday Offering to go? Half of the Sunday basket  collection (excluding checks designated for pledges, etc.) is donated to our Social Action recipients. Last January, the congregation chose the Wesley Community Center for March--May, and The House of Bread for June--August. Please help us choose the next recipients!


Step 1:  Submit nominations by Tuesday, July 7, to Shirley Gezinski either in person, in the suggestion box in the Gathering Space, or via email at It is helpful, but not required, to include a short description of the organization and its clients. Nominees should be registered non-profits with low administrative costs and focused on the under-served. They may include previous recipients. In the past, we have restricted organizations to those in the greater Dayton area, but exceptions may be considered.


Step 2:  Join in the discussion of nominees held following the Sunday service on July 12.


Step 3:  Check the July edition of The Forum for details about the vote, which will take place at the end of July!





The Evening Book Discussion Group regularly meets on the second Tuesday of the month, 7:00 p.m., at Christopher's Restaurant (2318 E. Dorothy Lane). New participants are always welcome! Please contact Ann Snively if you would like more information about this group. Upcoming dates have been scheduled for:  

  •  Tuesday, June 9, to discuss Fanny Seward: A Life, by Trudy Krisher.
  •  Tuesday, July 14. This meeting will be a Book Fest, and we'll talk about what we have been reading, and books we have on our reading lists for the future. Everyone will suggest titles for future discussions.
  •  Tuesday, August 11, to discuss Keep The Ends Loose, by Molly D. Campbell; Ms. Campbell will be joining us for this discussion.





Can't make it to Portland, Oregon for the Annual UUA General Assembly (or GA) June 24-28? You can stream online as much or as little as you'd like, OR you can request to serve as a Virtual Delegate. Virtual delegates participate in voting and discussion. You can read about both types of virtual participation at:


Serving as an official Virtual Delegate requires certification by the MVUUF Board, registration as directed in the link, and a fee of $160 (which is still a lot cheaper than travel and lodging to Portland!). MVUUF can certify one or two virtual delegates; if you are interested, please contact our Administrator, Jennie Freiberger, by Wednesday, June 10. The Board has already certified two onsite member delegates, Alice Diebel and Bob Lewis. Rev. Mary Moore and Shannon Harper, our Director of Religious Education will also be attending.






The Anti-Racism Task Force (ART) will present the movie White Like Me for its next First Friday Movie Night, scheduled to take place on June 5, 7:00 p.m., in the Founder's Room, at the Fellowship. Refreshments will be served during the movie, and there will be a discussion following. We hope to see many of you there! The following is a description of the film from


Do you become annoyed any time a person of color writes, tweets, sings, or speaks about racial  inequality? Have you ever wondered why it's culturally acceptable for black people to use the n-word, while no one else is supposed to use it? Have you ever used the word post-racial without a trace of irony? Do you believe the sole purpose of affirmative action is to allow less-qualified minorities to take jobs and positions from the smarter and more qualified?


If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then you should check out White Like Me: Race, Racism, and White Privilege in America, anti-racism activist Tom Wise's educational film about racism and white privilege. Especially if you're white. 

The film, created by Scott Morris, begins with Wise's personal story, revealing how he came to view the world as he does. "I've been trying to better understand for myself and to raise awareness among others about the centrality of race and racism to the history of this country," Wise says in the film, "and how dangerous and damaging it is when white people, like me, are blind to racial  inequality and our own privileges."


What follows is an informative, convincing narrative tracing America's fraught history with race. Wise explains how Depression-era social programs for job insurance, housing assistance, and the G.I. Bill deliberately excluded non-whites from benefits, laying the foundation for disparities that exist between whites and non-whites today. The educator also discusses the issue of "reverse discrimination" and affirmative action, and the idea that a post-racial society was born after the election of Barack Obama.






Congratulations, Fellowship! On Monday, April 20, MVUUF was honored at a special press release at Cox Arboretum for becoming a newly-certified green organization through The Dayton  Regional Green (DRG) program. (Please note:  this is a local   certification, and different from the Green Sanctuary Certification that we are also working on through the UUA.) We were required to respond to over 200 questions about how we    manage trash, energy, water, purchasing of products, and     pollution control. Most of the things we were required to start doing are things we are ALREADY doing! Here are a few of the items we need continuous improvement on to maintain our  certification: 

  1. Encourage the entire congregation to actively participate in a sustainable lifestyle. (Hey, isn't that kind of our 7th Principle, anyway?)
  2. Talk to other organizations and businesses to encourage them to get DRG certified.
  3. Reduce our print paper usage, print on both sides, buy soy-based inks for printers.
  4. Get off of bulk-mailing lists and refuse first class mail that is advertising.
  5. Try to purchase from local green suppliers.
  6. Monitor our water bill/meter for leakage. Reduce our usage of water.
  7. Convert to LED light bulbs as replacements are needed.
  8. Continue to find ways to reduce our gas and electricity usage.
  9. Consider occupancy sensors for some rooms/rest rooms.
  10. Consider rain barrels to capture water for watering plants.
  11. Purchase only green cleaning products, eliminate the use of caustic and petroleum-based chemicals.

Because the Fellowship has achieved DRG certification, we can now get discounts from other certified businesses, increased rebates from DP&L, reduced costs of electricity for our employees, and finally, promotion and marketing from DRG.


A special thanks goes to Gary Courts, Jennie Freiberger, Shannon Hansen, and Steve Thompson for their hard work on this project. Now let's focus on getting our Green Sanctuary Certification!

-Mike Fanelli





The June gathering of this fun group will take place on Thursday, June 25, 11:30 a.m., at the MCL Cafeteria (private room). Everyone is invited to join them! Please RSVP to Allie Petersen at:





The Daytime Book Club meets monthly on Wednesday mornings, 10:30 a.m., at the Fellowship. Here's an update on the Daytime Book Club's coming selections for the next eight months. Please note that the book chosen for August has CHANGED.

  • June 17  The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce
  • July 22 Fanny Seward:  A Life (New York State Series), by Trudy Krisher. Thanks to Trudy who accepted our invitation to come and take part in our discussion. She will be happy to receive questions & comments!
  • August 19 All The Light We Cannot See:  A Novel, by Anthony Doerr
  • September tba Deep Down Dark:  The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free, by Hector Tobar
  • October tba  The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher
  • November tba Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, by Steven Drucker
  • December tba A Child's Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas. This book is very short, for our annual party.
  • January tba The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. This book has 784 pages in paperback; we chose it for January so we could begin reading it in December or earlier.



Please join us in our long-standing 2nd Saturday ministry of serving lunch to the homeless and/or low-income women and families. Sign-up sheets are on the counter by the windows in the Gathering Space. Thanks to all who donated food and helped serve in May, the first month of our new menu. It was great to see Rev. Greg Martin as part of our crew, and we served more than 70! If you would like a bit more information on volunteering, please pick up one of the information half-sheets near the sign-up sheet.


June 13th menu:  (This is the second month of our spring/summer menu) hot sandwich filling (pulled BBQ chicken/pork, or sloppy joes),  vegetable dish (pasta salad with LOTS of vegetables, cole slaw, or other vegetable), green salad, fresh fruit/fruit salad, 100% juice and reduced fat milk (we will use buns from     St. V pantry for the sandwiches). We need several donations of each item, with each donation serving 15-20. Please bring all items-heated if applicable-to 120 West Apple Street in Dayton (St. Vincent de Paul Hotel) by 10:30 a.m. Sign up to serve or donate menu items on the sign-up sheet, or contact Lynn Buffington at (937) 657-0426 or You can also contact Lynn, Shirley Gezinski, or Iris Mirelez if you would like to help with menu planning and organizing.





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!


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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!