Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum  October, 2015

Service Topics for October, 2015

October 4
A People So Bold:  Poetic Partners
Rev. Greg Martin
The third and final sermon in the series focuses on equipping our Fellowship to engage in ministry for our time and place. Stories, especially those that need telling, poetry, music, and the visual arts, move us beyond mere knowledge to embodied action. Yet, by ourselves these actions often don't amount to much. Let's face it, Unitarian Universalists delude themselves if we think we're going to change the world all by ourselves. Partnerships with other people and organizations of faith and concern are needed for effective social change in today's world. Rev. Greg urges us to come alongside others for this morning.

October 11
Escalating Inequality
     Rev. Greg Martin 
Escalating Inequality is a four-year Congregational Study Action Issue of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Our Social Action Committee is helping the congregation explore the ways deepening social and economic divides are harming our society and what we can do about it.  Today, Rev. Greg Martin's sermon helps us reflect on our moral imperative to challenge this dangerous trend. We also honor long-time member and social justice advocate Pete Davis this morning on the eve of his move to a retirement community in another region of the country.

October 18
Doing Justice
Rev. Tracy Johannes, 
Community Organizer, LEAD
LEAD (Leaders for Equality and Action in Dayton) provides an interracial and interfaith way for congregations in Montgomery  County to work together to address injustice and create long-term changes in our community and institutions. Through shared listening, shared research, and shared action, LEAD has been successful, for example, in bringing the living wage to Dayton and getting bus stops at the Fairfield Mall. Rev. Johannes is a Lutheran minister who recently arrived in Dayton after spending 8 years as the pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Muncie.

October 25
Changing the Story
Rev. Greg Martin
  Using the work of David Korten as a guide, Rev. Greg explores how stories shape our lives, especially the stories we tell ourselves around money. In fact, these stories can take on a sacred and powerful life of their own that we often fail to recognize. With human and planetary well-being at stake, it is time to change the story we tell. A new story has the potential to shape a Living Economy for a Living Earth.
A Few Words From Our Minister
 Even though it is only October, it is time to get the word out! A Service of Installation will be held on Sunday afternoon, November 15, 3:00 p.m., to officially install me as your third settled minister. Fellowship members and friends, UUA leaders, clergy colleagues, local officials, and others will be on hand to mark this important occasion. So please plan to be a part of the festivities! Thanks to Alice Diebel and members of the Ministerial Search Committee for planning this wonderful event.

However, our celebration will be an extended one, stretching out over several weeks. I wanted this to be a special time in the life of our congregation, and not just a one-time event. Since I believe strongly in working for social justice and fostering and supporting the arts, I wanted to incorporate both of these into the celebration. And since justice issues around food security have long been a focus of my ministry over the years, it seemed appropriate to highlight these efforts in Dayton. Ohio is one of the hungriest states in the nation, and Dayton ranks as one of the hungriest in the state. The Social Action Committee embraced the idea immediately and has been working to provide ways for all ages to participate in some act of service during the installation week. Please see the list of opportunities elsewhere in this edition of The Forum, and pick a place to become  involved.

A few of the highlights will be a fundraising dinner called Coops, No Coops, and Co-Ops to benefit a proposed new food co-op. The title highlights many of our ethical commitments to eating, whether it be a passion for locally-grown and raised food, a commitment to vegan or vegetarian eating, or more cooperative ventures in sourcing food for the community. You'll be hearing more about it in the weeks that follow, but please mark your calendars for Saturday, November 7, 6:00 p.m., to attend at the Fellowship. Thanks to Jay & Bill Brock for coordinating. There will also be opportunities to be engaged in the many food ministries of the Fellowship, including lunch at The Castle, the bread run, St. Vincent's, and others. An all-ages gathering on Friday evening, November 13, will prepare food for St. Vincent's the following morning.

And then there is the collaborative art creation that will take place on Sunday morning, November 8. Artist Kate Santucci will be helping us fashion a new creation together. Again, this will be for all ages, and our work will be proudly displayed at the Installation Service, and throughout the month of November.
As you can see, Installation is a community happening and not just a one-time event. Hopefully, it will also give everyone a "taste" of what we're in for as our collaboration in ministry unfolds over many years.
Rev. Greg
Life Around the Fellowship...

Have you ever wondered if Fellowship leaders know what you want us to become? Here is your chance to have your voice heard! Now that Rev. Greg is getting to know us at least a little, it is time for us to work together to set beginning goals for his ministry with us. And we want your input.
The UUA will help facilitate our goal setting, in what is known as a Start-Up Workshop, which will take place on Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10. Nancy Hegee, a member of the MidAmerica Regional staff, will help us dream, goal set, and covenant with Greg.
The entire congregation is invited on Friday evening to come talk about our hopes for the Fellowship. This will be a chance to dream together as we did in our Cottage Meetings during the Ministerial Search. Remember how inspiring those were? Please plan to come share in the excitement of this opportunity. Even if you didn't have the opportunity to participate in those meetings, you do have this chance to let us know what YOU want the Fellowship to become. From new-comers to long-timers, ALL are welcome!
After we hear your dreams on Friday evening, the Board, Program Council and Committee on Ministry will be meeting with Nancy on Saturday morning, 9:00 a.m. until noon, to turn those ideas into goals.

Additionally, the entire congregation is invited to share a lasagna dinner on Friday evening, beginning at 6:00 p.m. A free will offering will be collected to help cover the cost of the meal. The program will take place 7-8:30 p.m., and child care will be provided.
We need you to sign up so that we can plan on how many chairs, how much food, and how many child care providers we'll need to arrange. There is a sign-up sheet in the Gathering Space, or you can feel free to send me an email at to let me know that you are coming. And if you are able to help with set-up and clean-up, I'd love to know that, as well.
I am excited about this next step in our Fellowship's life and health. And I hope to see you there!
--Barb Weber, Board President

Happy Autumn Everyone!
We are now several weeks into our new YRE school year and with all the excitement around Rev. Greg beginning his ministry with us we missed celebrating what a fun and magical summer we had in YRE! I want to thank all of our summer volunteers who donned a robe and a pointed hat, read lyrical rhyme with silly characters or popped popcorn and watched Imax movies.
Specifically, these people (in no particular order) are:
Pam Gromen
Robin Shampton
Brianna Kempe
Caroline Dickey
Iris Mirelez
Colleen Saxen
Joe Kerhin
Ellie Kerhin
Eileen Simon
Genevieve Harvey
Sheila Adams
Kathleen Pennington
Dawn Bellinger
Yolanda Crooms-Cobb
Anwyl Scott
Garlene Hamilton
Adrienne Clark
Jim Poltrone
Catherine Queener
Jacob Nolin
David Cobb

And anyone else who stepped up at the last minute to lead or assist in a class!
Here are some highlights of our summer, in pictures...
(above...students on their trip to the Cincinnati Museum Center to see the Imax movie Jerusalem)

(above...Hogwarts students ready for action!)

( time in preschool)

(above...our hands-on Magical Creatures lesson, because all creatures are magical, really)

Our Intergenerational Water Communion and following Open House was a huge success in September, too. In October, I hope to meet with teachers and parents of each class being offered this fall, to answer questions about lesson plans, safety issues, and future programming. This will also be a perfect time for parents to meet their children's teachers and connect with other parents. Parents, check your email for when these sessions will happen.
And please remember:  we are still looking for volunteers in YRE! We need more teachers in every class. Please contact me if you are interested and we can discuss where you might best fit in our YRE family.
Peace & blessings, 
Shannon Harper, Director of Religious Education

On Monday, Sept. 28, members & friends of MVUUF joined with community members and fellow progressive people of faith to rally for women's rights. About two dozen of us gathered from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. in front of the Women's Medical Center in Kettering, which is facing shutdown thanks to draconian Republican-passed laws meant to destroy women's access to safe abortions.

With half of Ohio's abortion clinics already lost, this latest action would
 leave the entire southwest of Ohio without abortion access. It's time to speak up, speak out and vote to protect women's rights! 

Join us for a Beloved Community Potluck and Women's Rights Prayer Vigil from 4:30 to 6 pm on Saturday, October 3 at MVUUF!

As you read in Rev. Greg's column in this edition of The Forum, there will be many opportunities for you to contribute something toward food justice in Dayton during the month of November. Please watch for more details and information regarding signing up for these events. Could you do at least one thing on the list? Be the change! What a great way to honor Rev. Greg's installation and the  issues he has supported throughout his previous ministry and those that will continue with MVUUF!

Here's a Calendar of Events:
  •  Sunday, 11/1--Fair Trade coffee and chocolate sales after the service
  •  Friday, 11/6-7:00 p.m., at the Fellowship--Anti-Racism Task Force movie on food justice
  •  Saturday, 11/7-6:00 p.m., at the Fellowship--Coops, No Coops, and Co-Ops fundraising dinner. Share your ethical food passion! Proceeds will benefit the Dayton Food Co-Op that is being planned and developed. Let's get in at the beginning.
  •  Sunday, 11/8-11:00 a.m., at the Fellowship--collaborative, all-ages art project
  •  Sunday, 11/8--Fair Trade coffee and chocolate sales after the service
  •  Monday, 11/9--lunch at The Castle
  •  Wednesday, 11/11-9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.--helping serve lunch at The House of Bread
  •  Thursday, 11/12--bread run...ride along with someone!
  •  Thursday, 11/12-7:00 p.m., at the Fellowship--Class Conscious (Part 2) adult religious education
  •  Friday, 11/13--at the Fellowship-preparing food for St. Vincent de Paul lunch the next day
  •  Saturday, 11/14--10:30 a.m., at St. Vincent de Paul, 120 W. Apple St. in Dayton-serving a hot, nutritious lunch to the hungry
  •  Saturday, 11/14--all day-UUJO Justice Assembly in Columbus, OH
  •  Sunday, 11/15--Fair Trade coffee and chocolate sales after the service
  •  Sunday, 11/15--3:00 p.m., at the Fellowship-Rev. Greg's Installation Service!
  •  Sunday, 11/22--kick-off for Guest At Your Table

The UUA's current Congregational Study Action Issue (CSAI) is Escalating Inequality; you read about it in The Forum a couple months ago.  We'll be offering a class from the Escalating Inequality Study Guide, called Class Conscious: Class and Class Consciousness in UU Life, by Suzanne Zilber. As Suzanne explains, "We need new language to better discuss the dynamics of class and classism. We need to learn how to work more effectively in cross-class alliances to create systems-level change. When Unitarian Universalists are equipped with class and classism awareness, we can be more effective in selecting and implementing social justice action. Because all oppressions intersect,  dealing with class connects us with issues of race, disability access, democracy, and the environment."
The first class takes place on October 29, in the library at the Fellowship; second class November 12, in the Founder's room; both on Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. More sessions may be offered in January, as well. Contact Alice Diebel or Kathleen Pennington with questions or to sign up; look for a sign-up sheet in the Gathering Space, as well.

Inequality in Dayton is most easily seen on the city's west side, where poverty has a dramatic impact on the everyday lives of thousands, particularly among blacks, and especially among children.
The Fellowship's West Dayton Action Group was formed years ago to focus on providing service, education, and advocacy around poverty and inequality in west Dayton.
Picking up on the earlier work of LIFT Greater Dayton, our interfaith community organization, the West Dayton Action Group has targeted early childhood development (health and education) as a critical issue for its attention. The infant mortality rate in Dayton's west side is one of the highest in the nation and in Ohio. It stands currently at 14/1000.  This means that for every 1000 births, fourteen will die before the end of their first year. This is just one example of the many ways in which poverty and race have a negative and long-lasting impact on infants and children on the west side of Dayton.
MVUUF has partnered with the Wesley Community Center in west Dayton to help address the    issues of early childhood development, with attention particularly to ages prenatal to age three. The congregation's support for the Wesley Community Center's bi-annual baby showers for pregnant women living in poverty has been a major expression of our involvement. Thank you everyone who contributed clothes and money for this great cause! Another baby shower is coming up--October 10--and we hope you can help; please see the announcement following this article.
We have learned a lot about the vulnerabilities of infants through three years of age and want to share it with you. The ability to change the early-life's circumstances that actually affect brain development in those early years is something worth our energy and investment. It will pay        dividends for our whole area.
On Friday, October 2, and Friday, October 16, we are showing parts of a new, highly acclaimed documentary, The Raising of America, which calls for national attention to the question, "Why are so many children in America faring so poorly?" In different segments, the documentary looks at the scientific evidence pointing to the enduring importance of early life experience on the brain and body, on the difficulties of parenting while living in poverty, and the failure of our health and       education-related institutions to overcome the disparities in service delivery.
Come and learn more! We would like 50 people to show up for these showings; the film will be preceded by spiritual grounding and followed by discussion, and provide practical steps for west Dayton, where the problems are most pronounced. Y'all come!
-Bob Lewis

This event takes place on Saturday, October 10! Thank you to everyone who contributed baby clothes, supplies, and/or money. And there are still other ways to give! First, we want volunteers to set-up and serve during the shower. This is the fun part-interacting with the mothers and others at the Wesley Community Center! We also need help preparing the sandwiches for the luncheon. Could you donate a loaf of bread, a couple pounds of lunch meat, sandwich cheeses, tuna or egg salad, lettuce, or sliced tomatoes? We will make the sandwiches on Friday, October 9 at 4:00 p.m. (before the all-congregation Start-Up Workshop). If you can donate food, please leave it in the     refrigerator prior to that time, marked "Baby Shower." If you can help make the sandwiches, please let me know. There is a sign-up sheet in the Gathering Space, or you can contact me at (937) 350-7763 or Thank you for your generosity and your support of these mothers!
---Alice Diebel

Here are two intergenerational events sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio (UUJO) coming up soon:
Walk To Stop Executions in Columbus, OH on Saturday, October 10
A week-long UUJO-sponsored walk from Lucasville to Columbus culminates in this final 2.5 mile leg on Saturday, October 10, in honor of World Day Against The Death Penalty. UUJO encourages youth-and perhaps some RE families-to participate in the Saturday walk and rally. Transportation to Columbus may be available for interested participants. This final leg leads walkers to the Ohio Statehouse and a noon rally at Trinity Episcopal Church. For more info, please click HERE
Justice Assembly Youth-Led Lunch
The Annual UUJO Assembly this year features Rev. Susan Ritchie as the keynote speaker, with workshops on racial, economic, reproductive, and environmental justice and an interest group lunch for youth and others interested in school discipline. For more info and to register click HERE

After a summer hiatus, it's back! Make sure to plan on attending the October offering from our Anti-Racism Task Force! On Friday, October 2nd, they'll be showing The Raising of America, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Founder's Room. This film calls for national attention to the question, "Why are so many children in America faring so poorly?" and more info regarding the film can be found in this edition of The Forum. Snacks will be available during the movie, and a great discussion will follow. Please plan to join us!

Volunteers are needed for our Hogwarts Harvest,
a family-friendly fall celebration!
The fun will take place on Friday, October 30,
6-9:00 p.m., at the Fellowship.
So we're calling all Hogwarts Professors, Quidditch Referees, and Honeydukes Chefs! We need YOU to make sure our Hogwarts Harvest celebration is a great success! We are planning activities for the whole family, including muggle quidditch, caramel apple making, pumpkin decorating, campfire tales from Beedle the Bard, pumpkin juice, and more!
Please sign-up so we'll know you want to help! You can do so on the sheet in the Gathering Space, on online using SignUpGenius to donate your time, food, or materials. For more information, you can contact Pam Gromen at And thanks for all you do for MVUUF!

Please join us in providing food and/or serving for our long-standing 2nd Saturday lunch ministry for women and families staying at St. Vincent's shelter. This is the second month of our hearty chili fall menu! You can sign-up for food donations and/or serving on the clipboard on the counter by the windows in the gathering Space, or you can contact Lynn Buffington at (937) 657-0426, or If you would like more info on volunteering, please pick up one of the half-sheets near the sign-up sheet. Thanks to all who donated food and helped serve in September; we were once again able to offer seconds, this time to 27 women at 11:00 a.m. and to 33 people during the noon family meal!
October 10th fall menu:  hearty chili, chili fixings (shredded cheese, chopped onions, etc.), green salad (dressed with dressing) or other fresh vegetable dish, fresh fruit/fruit salad, 100% juice, reduced fat milk. We need several donations of each item, each to serve 15-20. Please bring all items-heated if applicable-to 120 West Apple Street, Dayton (St. Vincent de Paul Hotel) by 10:45 a.m. Serving ends about 12:45 p.m., with women eating at 11:00 a.m. and families at noon. Contact Lynn, Shirley Gezinski, or Iris Mirelez if you would like to help with menu planning or organizing the Friday, November 13th evening intergenerational cooking activity for St. V's. 
The next gathering of this fun group will take place on Thursday, October 22nd, 11:30 a.m., at the MCL Cafeteria (private room). Everyone is invited to join them! Please RSVP to Allie Petersen at:

The Evening Book Discussion Group meets on the second Tuesday of the month, 7:00 p.m. at Christopher's Restaurant on East Dorothy Lane. New participants are welcome! Please contact Ann Snively for more information. The titles that have been selected for the next few months are:
October 13 -- Still Life with Bread Crumbsby Anna Quindlen 
November 10 -- Clara and Mr. Tiffanyby Susan Vreeland

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:
  • 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 few months:
  •  October 21   The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher 
  •  November 18  Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, by Steven Drucker
  •  December 16  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.

You are warmly invited to participate in the Interfaith Reading Group, just starting up in our area. We are a group of spiritually-minded people who will be reading and discussing The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, by Michael A. Singer, and we will be meeting on the first and third Thursdays of each month, 2:30-4:00 p.m. at the Center for Spiritual Living Greater Dayton, 4100 Benefield Drive, in Kettering. You can contact Nancy Sayeedi at (937) 912-5821, or Fellowship member Lynn Haven, at (937) 426-1434. We look forward to reading with you!

You can keep up-to-date with all the happenings at MVUUF by viewing the Fellowship's calendar online, from a link to our website HERE  
The calendar is updated daily, so it's always the 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!