Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum  November, 2015

Service Topics for November, 2015

November 1
Shannon Heather Hansen and members of CUUPS.  
As one part of the year comes to an end, another one begins. Join us as Shannon Heather leads us through our annual Samhain service.
November 8
Covenanting Together: Grace
Rev. Greg Martin.  
We begin the exploration of the theme Covenant this month. We all owe more to others and this world than we can ever repay. Grace is the       theological word that we can use to describe all that we have freely received. It is the basis for covenant which is at the heart of our Unitarian Universalist faith. As we celebrate the Installation of our new minister on the 15th, it is fitting to contemplate the role covenant plays in our relationship.
Plan to participate in the communal art weaving this morning in the Gathering Space either before or after worship. Artist Kate Santucci is coordinating this project for ALL ages in preparation for the Installation.
November 15
Covenanting Together: Practice
Rev. Greg Martin.  
Today we continue with the theme of Covenant. Rev. Greg's sermon will remind us that covenant is not about words but actions. And the act of forgiveness and beginning again is central to that practice.
November 15
A Service of Installation. 
Join in the act of covenanting with our new minister as we officially install him as our third settled minister. Service begins at 3:00 p.m., with a reception following.
November 22
Multi-Generational Thanksgiving Celebration
Covenanting Together: Bread & Salt
Rev. Greg Martin and 
Shannon Harper, Director of Religious Education.  Covenanting Together: Bread & Salt is the theme for today's celebration for all ages. Everyone is invited to bring a "bread" from their     family or ethnic tradition to share with the whole congregation. We'll also explore the symbols of salt and bread and how they relate to covenant or promise making and keeping. And because part of our covenant as Unitarian Universalists is with the larger world, we'll launch our annual Guest at Your Table special collection this morning. 
November 29
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Margaret Michal and Dan Miyake.  
A service commemorating the occasion of Transgender Remembrance Day (Nov. 20). Margaret and Dan will lead the service, sharing their experiences and insights. Join us as we gather to pause and reflect on the struggles and challenges faced by transgender people, and to honor those who have been murdered this year.
A Few Words From Our Minister

"We covenant to walk together..." So begins one of the earliest congregational covenants on American soil. The Puritans (yes, those Puritans), to whom we trace our religious roots, often get bad press. Some of it, of course, is well deserved. But much of it is not. As far back as the 1630s, they recognized room for plurality of religious belief. They organized their life together as congregations around a covenant, not  a creed. You did not have to ascribe to a certain set of beliefs. You had to make a promise to "walk together" to be a part of congregational life. Unitarian Universalist theologian Rebecca Parker calls this way of being in relationship "freely chosen and life-sustaining interdependence." And as UU minister Victoria Safford has said, "The central question for us is not, 'What do we believe?' but more, 'What do we believe in? To what larger love, to what people, principles, values, and dreams shall we be committed? To whom, to what, are we accountable?'" This approach calls for a lot from each of us. It can be challenging work to covenant with one another because it will change us and shape us in new ways that we could never imagine on our own.
This month, you will install me as your third settled minister. (I find it intriguing that we both were born in the same year of 1958.) An installation service is, in effect, an act of covenant making. We will make promises to each other this month to be bound together as minister and people. Back in the spring when you elected me to become your minister we signed a contract. A contract is a     legally binding document to which we are also pledged, but a covenant is different. It acknowledges the relational and spiritual nature of being bound together to dream and act for that larger love. I look forward to exchanging our promises together then and trust you do, too. Together, we will become one for a greater good.
You'll be hearing more about covenanting this month as it is our theme in worship as well. Please explore ways of being engaged more fully in Installation Week; you'll find a list of opportunities in this newsletter. And I'll see you at the Installation Service on November 15. I promise!
Rev. Greg

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
Rev. Greg is in the office on Monday afternoons and during the day on Tuesday and Wednesday. It's always a good idea to call for an appointment as the time can fill up! He is available by appointment at other times of the week. Thursday is his day to focus on sermon writing and other presentations, and Friday is his day off. 

Life Around the Fellowship...
You may be wondering what happened at Rev. Greg's Start-Up Workshop held on October 9 and 10. We found much enthusiasm and excitement about where we are and where we want to go, and we were able to begin making plans to get us there.
About 40 congregation members and friends gathered to talk on Friday evening, and Fellowship leaders continued the discussion on Saturday. We were led by Nancy Hegee from the MidAmerica Region of the UUA in our deliberations. Several people commented that they were impressed with the knowledge and resourcefulness Nancy brought us. (Her services were provided to us at no charge by the MidAmerica   Region of the UUA; this is just one of the services we receive through our Fair Share contribution to the Region.)
As we anticipated, there was lively discussion as members came together on Friday to talk about what we love about the Fellowship. Among our loves are things inherent to our Unitarian Universalism, such as our common sense and use of our minds (including the freedom to change them), our focus on deeds not creeds and our Seven Principles. More locally, we appreciate our sense of community and the importance of our relationships with each other, including intergenerational ones, our welcoming and acceptance of difference, our opportunities for growth for all ages through Religious Education, mentorship, our engagement with the world and social action, our traditions and the aesthetics of our space. There is a lot to love here!
We also have lots of hopes for the future. Among those are hopes for stimulating intellectual and experiential Sunday morning services and possible expansion outside Sunday morning, expanded RE and other group offerings and more musical opportunities, a focus on mission that leads to greater involvement and deepening commitment, and growth in the number of members and families. There were also hopes for possible building expansion and financial stability with more hours and compensation for staff. We also want to increase our interfaith participation and lift up the promise of UUism in the broader community.

On Saturday, Nancy met with Rev. Greg, members of the Board, the Program Council, and the Committee on Ministry to begin making concrete plans for those hopes and dreams. We identified six areas of focus for our work in these next couple of years. These are :
 Engaging people in the congregation
  • Leadership development
  • Improved communication
  • Making sure that the systems and structures of the Fellowship fit who we are now and what we want to become
  • Nurturing healthy decision-making
  • Religious education
Obviously, this is an ambitious list of initiatives, with no easy "fix" for any of them. Some of these areas were an outgrowth of the Leadership Exploration Groups we held last fall; others resulted from Greg's early observations among us. We felt confident, though, that with Greg's guidance, we will make improvements in these areas over time. We are hoping that you will engage with us in making this so. We
will be keeping you informed of steps in these areas as time goes on.
We also developed specific plans to revisit our Mission and Vision statements that are now more than 10 years old. Many of us have felt that we needed to undertake this work for some time, but it seemed appropriate to wait for our new settled minister to be part of the process. Now that Greg is here, the work can begin. We will be using a different approach from what we did in the past, and it will involve several months, so watch for more information as we progress.
In the afternoon, the Board and Greg worked to clarify responsibilities and ways to work together. All in all, we felt that the weekend was a useful and inspiring time that will inform our work for some time to come.
I want to thank all those who participated in the Start-Up Workshop. I know that we will bring our excitement to the celebration and social action surrounding Greg's Installation later this month. I recognize that most of us have other things to do on our weekends. It speaks to the importance of this Fellowship in our lives that so many of you give of your time and energy to ensure that Greg's ministry with us begins in this focused and meaningful way.
In appreciation,
Barb Weber
Board President

Each year, hundreds of transgender and/or gender-variant people are murdered around the world for no other reason than for being their authentic selves. The International Transgender Day of Remembrance was established in 1999 to honor Rita Hester, who was brutally murdered in 1998. Rita's murder, like most transgender murder cases, has remained unsolved and largely ignored. These senseless acts of violence and hatred speak volumes about the need to raise public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, and the more critical need to remove the myths and mystique about transgender people through education and advocacy.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves multiple purposes: raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action current media does not perform; publicly mourns and honors the lives of transgender people who may otherwise be forgotten; offers an opportunity for us to express love and respect for transgender. It gives allies a chance to step forward and stand in vigil, memorializing those who have died by anti-transgender violence.
This year's Remembrance falls on November 20, and we will commemorate the occasion with our Sunday service on November 29. Margaret Michal and Dan Miyake will lead the service, sharing their experiences and insights. Please join us as we gather to pause and reflect on the struggles and challenges faced by transgender people, and to honor those who have been murdered this year.
-Dan Miyake

Please visit the table in the Gathering Space to sign-up for and participate in one of the many activities leading up to Rev. Greg's Installation on Sunday, November 15, 3:00 p.m., at the Fellowship. Issues regarding hunger and food scarcity have been life-long concerns of Rev. Greg; what an opportunity we have to join together as a Fellowship and do something related to hunger! We are serving, learning, advocating and organizing...together!
We will also sell tickets for Coops, No Coops, And Co-Ops, a fundraising dinner for the proposed food co-op in Dayton. It tales place on Saturday, November 7, 6:00 p.m., at the Fellowship; tickets are $25, and all proceeds go to the local effort to address food scarcity. Sign-up to prepare a dish, set-up, or clean-up. If you can, buy a scholarship ticket for someone else! Dishes can be any of your favorites (more info HERE), and we will also be having a raffle (more info HERE).
Here's the list of all the events:
Friday, Nov. 6, 7:00 p.m.-Anti-Racism Task Force movie, A Place at the Table (Founder's Room)
Saturday, Nov. 7, 6:00 p.m.-Coops, No Coops, and Co-Ops fundraising dinner
Sunday, Nov. 8, before and after the 11:00 a.m. service-Collaborative Art Project (more info HERE)
Monday, Nov. 9, 10:30 a.m.-lunch at The Castle
Wednesday, Nov. 11, 9:00 a.m.-lunch at The House of Bread
Thursday, Nov. 12, 9:00 a.m.-bread run (from Dorothy Lane Market to The Wesley Center and St. Paul's)
Thursday, Nov. 12, 7:00 p.m.-Class Consciousness session (part 2) at the Fellowship
Friday, Nov. 13, 6:00 p.m.-prepare food for St. Vincent de Paul lunch, at the Fellowship
Saturday, Nov. 14, 10:30 a.m.-serve lunch at St. Vincent de Paul Hotel
Saturday, Nov. 14, all day-UUJO Justice Assembly in Columbus
Sunday, Nov. 15, 3:00 p.m.-Installation Service for Rev. Greg
Sunday, Nov. 22, 11:00 a.m.-Guest At Your Table kick-off during service

As mentioned in the list above, this year's Guest at Your Table campaign will kick-off with an inter-generational Thanksgiving celebration worship service on Sunday, November 22!
Invite a "guest" to your table by reading Stories of Hope, featuring people around the world who the UUSC works with to turn human rights into realities. Our program introduces you to grassroots leaders around the world who are advancing human rights.  As you gather together with family and friends to take part in Guest at Your Table, figuratively invite these leaders as "guests" to your table by sharing their stories. And this year the boxes are back, which will help get the children involved! After your family has collected your spare cash, make an online donation or send a check to the UUSC. You can also give your check to Kathleen Pennington (or any member of the Social Action Committee); the UUSC encourages you to make your donation online at their website.
-Kathleen Pennington

Do any of the following statements describe you?
  • You've been visiting or attending MVUUF for several weeks, months, or even years.
  • Your children are enrolled in the MVUUF YRE Program.
  • You participate in one or more of the many specialty groups offered by MVUUF.
  • You help out with music, coffee, ushering, audio, etc., on Sundays.
  • You've been thinking about becoming a member but were waiting for the new minister.
  • You've been attending the Intro to UUism class with Bob Lewis the past few weeks.
  • You enjoy coming to MVUUF and feel at home with the people you've met.
 If any of these (or other descriptive sentences) fit your situation, it may be the right time for you to "trade in" your friend name tag for one of the official wooden name in, become a member of MVUUF!  Membership will help you to deepen your relationship and commitment to this Fellowship. The wooden name tag is the outward symbol of this commitment.
To learn more about the privileges and responsibilities of membership, you are invited to attend a Joining Session on Sunday, November 22, 12:30 p.m., in the Founder's Room at the Fellowship. We'll have several Board members on hand, and Rev. Greg, to provide information and answer your questions. Then you will have time to complete the paperwork and be ready for the reception of new members on Sunday, December 6 during the 11:00 a.m. worship service.  You will sign the book and receive your wooden name tag at that time. You will then be a Voting Member in time for our January Congregational Meeting.
For more information, or questions regarding membership at MVUUF, please contact Membership Representative, Diane Colvin, at (937) 433-0969 or

The next gathering of this fun group will take place on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 11:30 a.m., at the MCL Cafeteria (private room). Please note the day of the week is different this month, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Everyone is invited to attend! Please RSVP to Allie Petersen at:

Two of our members are celebrating milestone birthdays this month: 
Dane & Priscilla Mutter will be celebrating their 
80th and 85th birthdays!
In honor of this wonderful occasion, they'll be celebrating with a party on Saturday, November 28, 4-7:00 p.m., at the Fellowship. 
Everyone is invited; 
please RSVP to Priscilla at:
(937) 898-3495
by Friday, November 13.
If you'd like to mark this festive occasion with a gift, please donate to the MVUUF Endowment Fund, the Humane Society, or a philanthropic organization of your choice.
Please plan to attend and help them celebrate this momentous occasion!

Make sure to plan on attending the November offering from our Anti-Racism Task Force! On Friday,  November 6, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Founder's Room at the Fellowship, they'll be showing A Place At The Table, an examination of the issue of hunger in America focusing on the plight of three individuals from different parts of the country who struggle with finding adequate nutrition.  This event is being highlighted as one of several activities offered this month in support of causes near to Rev. Greg's heart-hunger and food scarcity.   Please plan to join us!

Our next lunch for women and families staying at St. Vincent de Paul's shelter is on Saturday, November 14. In addition to the usual ways of volunteering by serving on Saturday morning and/or donating food, we will also be preparing some of the food items together at the Fellowship on Friday, November 13. To help on Friday and/or Saturday, please sign-up in the Gathering Place, or contact Lynn Buffington:  (937) 657-0426 or

If you would like more information regarding volunteering, please take one of the info half-sheets near the sign-up sheet. Thanks to all who donated food and helped serve in October; we were again happy to be able to offer seconds.
November 14th 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 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:
November 10---Clara and Mr. Tiffany
 by Susan Vreeland
December 8---Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Vissionary Leader, by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
January 12---God Help the Child, by Toni Morrison
February 9---Just Mercy, by Bryan Stephenson (this is the UUA Common Read title)
March 8---All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

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:
  • 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:
  •  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 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!

*****   *****   *****   *****   *****   *****   *****   *****   *****   *****   


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!