Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum         July, 2015

Service Topics for July 2015


July 5--Patriotism Goes Fizz Bang!--Ria Megnin.  

What to do when the phrase "God and Country" makes you cringe? Fellowship member Ria Megnin will share her advice with us.


July 12--Green Burial--Rev. Bill Gupton.  

Rev. Gupton is the Senior Minister at Heritage 

Universalist Unitarian Church in Cincinnati, and he will be sharing 

with us his work to promote "green burial" and other 

environmentally responsible end-of-life alternatives.


July 19--Re-Enchantment--Laura Vondenheuvel. 

From Fellowship member Laura Vondenhuevel:  We live in a modern society that, for the most part, is rational and scientific-based. Our analytical selves read books and research articles or talk with others to determine what is the best way to be the best self or how we should live our lives. But what happens when the books and the talking isn't enough for some individuals? One can experience a lack of something in life but are unsure of how to fill the void, especially when the void doesn't have a concrete definition. What are some ways we can step back from the mundane world and reconnect with the spirit or divine? As Unitarian Universalists we acknowledge six diverse sources for inspiration for our living tradition. This Sunday, I hope we can experience--together--some ways to re-enchant our lives from these diverse sources.


July 26--Growing Your Soul--Bob Lewis.    

Led by Fellowship member Bob Lewis, this service will be a time 

to  explore our personal faith formation and 

ways that we can nurture our spirit.  


Around the Fellowship...



Let us rejoice! For today, June 26, 2015, is a momentous, historic day!


The Supreme Court's affirmation of marriage for all brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. I am moved by hope for the future, by gratitude for the long struggle to bring our country to this place, and by awe for the strength of the human spirit. I rejoice with those who have waited so long for this fundamental right.


This whole week has been momentous. It helps me trust that we can make a difference in our world. The outpouring of support following the killings in Charleston, including the shift in attitudes about the Confederate flag, helps me hope that someday all will know that skin color does not define worth. And the declaration that, in this wealthy country of ours, every person deserves affordable health care affirms each one's dignity.


We can be proud that our Fellowship and our faith have been supporting LGBTQ people for decades. We can be proud of our Black Lives Matter stand. We can be proud that we try to Stand on the Side of Love. Many in our midst have fought long and hard to help move us to this point in time.


But the fact is that I needed this week. Too often, I am discouraged by the slow pace of change. I wonder what my own small voice can do.


Yet this week we found that, when enough small voices join together, change does come. We can move our world toward justice.


That is indeed reason to rejoice. Let us celebrate this momentous day and week.


And then let us remember that there is still much to do. Let us use this week of victory to strengthen us for the work of tomorrow. Let us join together as Unitarian Universalists to empower each other to continue the fight for justice. Let us be inspired to make our values reality. Let us, for as long as it takes, continue to Stand on the Side of Love.


And when the victory comes, let us rejoice.


-Barb Weber,

MVUUF Board President

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(if you'd like to take a look at the beautiful pictures Lew Hann took during the press conference at Harmony Creek Church on Friday, June 26, please click HERE )

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Thanks to all who came out to Stand With Charleston after our service on Sunday, June 21! More than 40 members and friends stood along Yankee Street with our Black Lives Matter banner and other signs. And there were more than a dozen MVUUF members and friends at the Greater Allen AME Church in Dayton for the prayer vigil of the Charleston murder victims on June 22!


If you would like to receive email notices of future    actions, you can join the Anti-Racism Task Force e-list Yahoo Group. All you need to do is email your request to one of the MVUUF-ART co-chairs:  

Ndidi Achebe at



Kathleen Pennington at






The Anti-Racism Task Force First Friday movie series is taking the
summer off...but don't despair! The Social Justice Movie series will begin on Friday, July 10, with
Trans-a documentary featuring a military transgender person's journey. Trans is an up-close and very personal journey into the transgender world through the memorable stories and the unusual lives of a remarkable cast of characters, telling the story of Lt. Commander Christopher McGinn, a Navy flight surgeon selected by NASA to serve on two space missions. Upon her discharge from the armed forces, Chris McGinn would set out on a different mission...from which she was never to return. For more about this film, please click HERE.


The second offering from Social Justice takes place on Friday, July 24, with Anne Braden:  Southern Patriot, a movie about a white civil rights activist who worked in the South during the 1960s. The film provides an in-depth biography of an organizer and journalist who for a remarkable 60 years participated in the most significant movements for racial and economic justice in this country's most conservative region-the South. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. praised her steadfast activism in support of civil rights and civil liberties, but she was threatened, attacked, indicted, and labeled a "Communist agitator" and "race traitor" by white supremacists. Her conservative background gave her special insight into white racism, why it poses such a great obstacle to social change in this country, and what progressive white people can do to end it. For more about this movie, please click HERE  


Other dates are August 7, August 21, and possibly September 11. Movies will begin at 7:00 p.m., in the Founder's Room. Refreshments will be available and a good discussion will follow the films. Please join us!





Do you own a piece of artwork created by a MVUUF member or friend? Would you be interested in sharing it with others at the Fellowship? We're going to try something a little different for the Chalicelight Gallery during the months of September and October. Everyone who owns a piece of artwork made by an MVUUF member or friend is invited to hang their piece in a Special Members Art Exhibit. These works of art could have been created at any point in MVUUF's history-over 50 years ago, or quite recently. The identification tags will state the title of the piece, the artist's name, and the name of the owner who is loaning it for exhibition. We are mainly limited to wall-hung artwork, but may be able to accommodate a few small sculptural pieces or ceramic items.


If you would like to participate in this special show, please send an email to Kathleen Pennington at; include a description of the piece in the email, including its dimensions. A photo would also be great.




As some of you may have noticed, there is an HP Pavilion laptop computer in the Library at the Fellowship. It is available for use by Fellowship members & friends, and can connect to the wireless network in the building. Furnishing this laptop was a team effort. I acquired the laptop from Ndidi Achebe, and refurbished it by adding more memory and replacing the hard drive. I thought it was too nice to sell, so I donated it to the Fellowship. David Dickey then installed LXLE-similar to Ubuntu, a flavor of Linux, that has a lightweight user interface that is similar to Windows.  LXLE is an ideal operating system for computers that no longer meet the minimum processor or memory requirements to run the most recent versions of Windows (i.e., Windows 7 and later).


We didn't have a line item in the budget for a laptop or software, so we did not install Windows on it. But there is plenty of open-source software that is available to download and install for free. It has LibreOffice, which can read and write Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and Powerpoint presentations. It has VLC media player, which can play media files and DVDs.


For those tech geeks who want the specs, here they are:

Make and Model:  HP Pavilion zx5040us; CPU:  Intel Pentium-4 2.80 GHz; Memory:  1284 Mb (1.25 Gb); Hard Drive: Fujitsu MHT2060A (60 Gb) IDE; Operating System:  LXLE (based on Ubuntu 12.04.5) 32-bit


And for those of you concerned about security and theft, the laptop is secured with a cable lock, so it cannot leave the Library.


If there is any software that you'd like to use on it, please contact myself or David Dickey; either of us can download and install it, or suggest an open-source counterpart.

-Jim Poltrone  





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's how!


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:  Stay tuned for details about the vote, which will take place at the end of this month!





The Evening Book Discussion Group will meet on Tuesday, July 14, 7:00 p.m., at Christopher's Restaurant on East Dorothy Lane. At this meeting, we will be having a BookFest:  we'll talk about what we have been reading and books on our reading lists for the future. Everyone will also have the opportunity to suggest titles for our upcoming Book Group meetings.


Regular meetings of the Evening Book Discussion Group take place the second Tuesday of the month, 7:00 p.m., at Christopher's. New participants are welcome! Please contact Ann Snively if you would like more information.




The Environmental Book Club meets monthly on the third Monday, from 7-8:30 p.m., in the  Founder's Room at the Fellowship. Upcoming selections are:

  • July 20 - The Control of Nature, by John McPhee
  • August 17 - The Twenty-Ninth Day, by Lester Brown
  • September 21 - Walden, by Henry David Thoreau
  • October 19 - Moral Ground:  Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, by Kathleen Dean Moore
  • November 16 - Earth in The Balance, by Al Gore
  • December 21 - Pope Francis' Encyclical, On The Care of Our Common Home (you can read the Encyclical on the Vatican's website)




The Daytime Book Club meets monthly on Wednesday mornings, 10:30 a.m., in the Founder's Room 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.

  •  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.)




The June gathering of this fun group will take place on Thursday, 

July 23, 11:30 a.m., at the MCL Cafeteria (private room). Everyone is invited to join them! Please RSVP to Allie Petersen at:





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 June, the second month of our new menu. It was great to have so much food with fresh fruit and vegetables! One diner asked when we would be cooking again! If you would like a bit more information on volunteering, please pick up one of the information half-sheets near the sign-up sheet.


July 11th menu:  This is the third 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 abufflg@gmail.comYou 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!