Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum  December, 2015

Service Topics for December, 2015

Expectation is the theme for December Worship
December 6
High Expectations, Low Expectations
Rev. Greg Martin.  
High Expectations, Low Expectations is the title of Rev. Greg Martin's sermon for the first Sunday of December. The holiday season raises 
all kinds of expectations in our lives. As we begin this season, we are mindful that these expectations create a myriad of feelings for us, 
both joyful and painful. Today's service will also feature a 
Joining Ceremony for new members.
December 13
Wassail Sunday
Rev. Greg Martin and Sara Davis, Interim Choir Director, 
and the MVUUF Choir    
Sara Davis will be leading us all in holiday music. Get the holiday spirit and join in! We'll come together in the Gathering Space after the service for conversation and nibbling on goodies. Please help by bringing in your favorite savory finger food and/or delicious mini-dessert.

December 20
The Winter Solstice Celebration
Rev. Greg Martin
We're Expecting!: The Child of Promise will guide our celebration today as Rev. Greg weaves storytelling, reflection, and ritual into the morning service. What child of promise will you give birth to in the coming year?
December 24th
Christmas Eve Service
Rev. Greg Martin
  Please join us this evening for a musical celebration!
December 27th
Stay tuned for more information regarding this service, 
as complete info was not available at the time of printing.
A Few Words From Our Minister

All of us, ourselves and our gifts, woven together in love, is the theme of the weaving that was created for the Service of Installation. Many thanks to Kate Santucci and all those who contributed in some fashion to weave a symbol of their lives in with all the others to form such a beautiful creation. And it was a beautiful day for the service itself. Thank you to all who took part or who worked behind the scenes to make it all happen: the musicians, the readers and speakers, the marshals, the  reception organizers, the photographers, those who issued invitations and made dinner arrangements, those who arranged for hospitality and lodging, and all those who organized and coordinated the food justice dinner and events preceding and the spiritual fast accompanying Installation Week. Special thanks to the children for creating the beautiful and colorful stole. And thank you to the congregation for the gift certificate to a Buddhist retreat center. It will be used and   enjoyed!
It truly was all woven together in love! I definitely feel installed as your third settled minister.

As we enter into this first holiday season together, I am grateful for the growing relationship between us and the prospects before us. Whatever holiday and traditions you honor and celebrate, whether Yule, Solstice, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza or something else, may you be renewed and find the light in our midst and within
Rev. Greg

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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...
What a busy and exciting time it is here at the Fellowship! Rev. Greg's Installation on November 15th was a delight-enthusiastic, inspiring and energetic. It felt to me like a wonderful celebration of who we are as a community and of our relationship with our new minister. It was movingly fitting that the festivities took place on a weekend when events reminded us of the work needed to bring justice to our hurting world. It is our commitment with each other that will give us strength to continue our efforts toward healing the world.
An important part of the celebration that day was the music. We are grateful that Sara Davis has agreed to serve as our Interim Choir Director and we are already enjoying her creativity and skill with the choir. She will serve in this position until we hold a full search for an ongoing Choir Director. Come to our annual Wassail Service on Sunday, December 13th to experience her leadership (and to have a good time!).
Before we hold the Choir Director search, we are forming a Music Re-Visioning Committee, which will look at the data from the Ministerial Search Committee's findings, will assess our current state of music      ministry and develop a vision of where we want to go with music at the Fellowship. They will make recommendations, and then, with an eye toward the budget, we will decide how to proceed at this time as well as directions to move in the future. Thank you to Jason Snowden for chairing the committee.
Thank you as well to the Solar Panel Committee-Gary Courts, Jerry Jenkins, Mike Fanelli, and Steve Thompson (ex-officio). We have a signed contract to install solar panels on the roof of the Fellowship building that will provide up to 90% of our electricity. This will be good for the earth as well as saving us money. The panels should be installed by April.
We are also in the process of forming a Mission/Vision Team to begin exploring this important part of our Fellowship life. The Committee on Ministry is starting to plan Leadership Development opportunities. And there is so much more going on as well. We have a lot of new things starting up at the moment. That is typical with a new minister. It is, indeed, an exciting time. There will be lots of opportunity for active     involvement and input in these new initiatives. I am looking forward to seeing where they take us. Come along and enjoy the growth of newness.
Barb Weber, Board President
p.s.  Please note that the Board will change its regular December meeting to accommodate holiday schedules. We will meet on Tuesday, December 15th at 7:00 p.m., in the Founder's Room at the Fellowship. Also, beginning in January, we will change our regular monthly meetings to the SECOND Thursday of the month, 7:00 p.m. As always, all meetings are open to anyone interested. 

On Friday, December 4th, the Anti-Racism Taskforce (ART) will present Flag Wars as their First Friday of the Month movie. Flag Wars is an independent documentary shown on PBS' Point of View, and described as "a cinema verite documentary that follows the conflicts that arise when gay white professionals move  into a black working-class neighborhood. Filmed over a four-year period in Columbus, Ohio, Flag Wars leads viewers on an eye-opening journey into a divided community."  The movie will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in the Founder's Room at the Fellowship.
Additionally, there will be a special event planned to take place immediately preceding the movie. Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) will hold a potluck dinner gathering beginning at 6:00 p.m. SURJ has been approved and encouraged by ART and the Program Council to hold its meetings at MVUUF. SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice; you can find out more by visiting:
This national organization is starting a Miami Valley chapter, and many of MVUUF's members have been participating. The meeting is open to everyone! Why not plan on attending, and learn more about and join in Fellowship and Action?

Are you concerned about our environment? Would you like to explore ways to become better stewards of our planet? Do you enjoy working with other UUs? If so, please plan to attend a meeting of the Environmental Action Group on Thursday, December 17th, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Library at the Fellowship. We will identify the next steps for our work together to make our 7th Principle a reality. Contact Alice Diebel with questions at or (937) 350-7763. Everyone is welcome!

Ever have a question about how MVUUF is operating on a financial level? What are our primary bills? How many checks get written on a weekly basis?  What does our savings account look like? Are we even close to meeting our budget this year?
Our Treasurer, Brianna Kempe, will be available in person after the service on Sunday, December 6th, to answer any questions she can, to make note of those that she doesn't know off the top of her head, and to make sure our congregation has all the information they possibly want about our financial state.
If you are not able to catch her-she's ready for a long line and will have a blue mug in hand!-please feel free to reach out to her at your convenience. She is most easily reached at: or (513) 484-4496.

Please make a note that we will be having a discussion after the Worship Service on Sunday, January 24th, regarding the bylaw changes that we will be voting on at our January Congregational Meeting. Also, please note that the January Congregational Meeting will take place on Sunday, January 31st, in the Sanctuary, following the Worship Service. All members are encouraged to attend both these important events!

This fun event returns this year, and will take place on Friday, December 11th, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Fellowship.  Whether you're looking for gift ideas for family & friends, you need a break from traffic and crowds, or you simply enjoy getting crafty...please join us! We'll be working on something for everyone on your list (and maybe even yourself!). We'll even have a gift-wrapping station, so your creations will be all ready for giving when you leave! Also, a mac-and-cheese bar with assorted toppings, salad, and fruit will also be provided!
Please let us know if you'll be attending by making an RSVP on the MVUUF Parent Group Facebook Page, by clicking  HERE!
Events like this are even more fun with help from awesome volunteers like you! If you are interested in helping out, please look for the sign-up sheet in the Gathering Space this Sunday, as well as an online Sign-Up Genius link in the MVUUF News and YRE parents Yahoo Groups coming soon!

Come and welcome in the Winter Solstice/Yule with us! A night of community, ritual, and discussion/workshops as we spend the night awake, tending the fire until the light returns in the morning. We begin on Saturday, December 19th at 6:00 p.m., and will wrap up on Sunday, December 20th at 8:00 a.m. Cost is $15 per individual, and $25 per family/couple/group.
New this year, we are asking you to complete a short pre-registration form by Tuesday, December 15th if you are planning to attend. This will help us plan meals and childcare in advance of the event. Walk-in registrations will also be accepted. For the pre-registration form, please click HERE!
Details will be posted as they become available on our Facebook event page, including the workshop schedule; to see that please click  HERE
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at:

A note of thanks to the Fellowship for that wonderful send-off!
Thank you so very much for your warm and loving send-off on Sunday, October 11th. I will never forget that day and the four years I got to be with you. I am missing my MVUUF family, but I am building a new life here in Richmond. My wishes to you are for your continued success in Social Action and in the building the Beloved Community.
Love and best wishes,
Pete Davis

Thanks to all the people who made the Dine and Give:  Coops, No Coops, and Co-Ops Fundraising Dinner on Saturday, November 7th such a success!
It raised $1462 from tickets, scholarship donations, and raffle tickets. These funds will be held for the current Dayton Union Co-Op Project if implemented; otherwise, they will be devoted to other projects to address food insecurity in Dayton.
The planning committee for the event included:  Mary Ellen Beardmore, Jay and Bill Brock, Lynn Buffington, Alice Diebel, Maureen O'Meara, and Rev. Greg Martin.
It was Rev. Greg who first proposed to Social Action that we have a week of community projects preceding his Installation. His work in Michigan to address food insecurity provided the inspiration for the theme of our week of service, and the dinner.
Jay and Bill Brock masterminded designing the dinner and getting the talented cooks who participated. Together, with Rachel Feltner, they did an incredible job of the set-up which transformed our sanctuary.
Our talented chefs-too numerous to name-provided eight entrees, in addition to appetizers, salads and desserts.  We also received a generous donation of wine from Adrienne Clark.
Without our diners, there would have been no event or funds. $1205 was contributed for tickets, including $280 in scholarship funds. The remaining $257 of income came from raffle tickets.
To help us better understand the issue, Alice Diebel presented local efforts are our part within them; Rev. Greg filled us in on his past efforts; panel members Ndidi Achebe and Mary Ellen Beardmore, moderated by Maureen O'Meara, provided information and answered questions on the local food desert and the Miami Valley Organizing Committee's co-op project.
Raffle baskets were donated and contributed to by a number of individuals and programs within the Fellowship. Thanks to these donors, to Mary Ellen Beardmore and Lynn Buffington who led the raffle basket effort, to Diane Dover who made the baskets beautiful, and to Bonnie and Steve Thompson for selling tickets and running the raffle the night of the dinner.
Many people remain unnamed, but greatly appreciated; their tasks included serving in the kitchen, taking down the tables, cleaning up after the feast, washing dishes and tablecloths, and readying our space for Sunday worship.
It took a community for a successful fundraiser! Thank you to everyone.
-Maureen O'Meara

Because we have many members interested in many different things, and because different people process information in different ways, we try to get information out to members and friends in several different ways. This is with the hope that there's liable to be one method-or several-that appeals to the way you process information. We don't want ANYONE to feel left out or missed when it comes to finding out about all the great things we have going on at MVUUF! With that being said, here are a few important reminders about the ways in which we use communication throughout the Fellowship.
The Forum (the newsletter that you're currently reading) is our monthly newsletter, sent electronically or in paper form to our members, to our friends, and to anyone who requests it. It's full of great  information concerning coming events, and is generally what is used for those in-depth type of articles. The Friday E-Blast is sent out via email every Friday morning, again, to anyone who requests it, and it is generally geared to what's happening for the coming weekend. At the bottom of each E-Blast is an electronic copy of The Announcement Sheet, which is also available on Sundays at the Fellowship.
We also have several Yahoo Group Email Lists that many subscribe to for receiving the most recent news and updates. Especially valuable are the lists for the Board and Program Council, as they also publish the meeting minutes and agendas of each meeting. All MVUUF members are welcome to join these lists; to do so, simply send an email with your full name to either: 
In fact, you can sign up for both, if you'd like to!

Other Group Email Lists are:

Did you know that you can do your holiday shopping online using, and help MVUUF at the same time? It's true!
Simply click HERE  and click on the link under "Shop at". Then you can begin your shopping, and a percentage of what you spend with Amazon will be given to MVUUF!
Just be sure to complete your shopping session before closing your browser, or, if you do close your browser, click on the affiliate link again before checking out. You can simplify the process by saving the affiliate link to your bookmarks or favorites, too!
If you have any questions, please contact Chris Gooley at

To supplement the Fellowship's very meager store of soup bowls, the Social Action Committee recently purchased 72 ironstone bowls from its funds for everyone's use; we will be conducting a fundraiser to  cover the cost, $120.98. If you wish to donate towards this purchase, please contact Alice Diebel (Social Action Committee Chair) or Maureen O'Meara (Social Action Representative). All checks should be marked "bowls" in the memo line so that they will be deposited into the correct account. Thanks!

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 fourth month of our hearty fall chili 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 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 November and to the merry cooking party that made chili and cornbread together the evening before!
December 12th fall menu:  hearty chili, chili    fixings (shredded cheese, chopped onions, etc.), green salad or other side dish made with fresh vegetables (salad should be dressed or with a bottle of dressing), fresh fruit/fruit salad, 100% juice and reduced fat milk. We need several   donations of most items, with each donation serving 15-20 people. Please bring all items-heated if applicable-to 120 West Apple Street in 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. You can contact Lynn Buffington, Shirley Gezinski, or Iris Mirelez if you would like to help with menu planning.

We will be meeting for December birthdays on Thursday, December 3rd.Please come and join us in holiday celebration, 11:30 a.m., at MCL Cafeteria. And please RSVP to Allie Petersen at:

The Environmental Book Club meets monthly on the third Monday, from 7-8:30 p.m., in the  Founder's Room at the Fellowship. December's offering is:
              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:
  • 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.

The Evening Book Discussion Group meets on the second Tuesday of the month, at 7:00 p.m. at Christopher's Restaurant on East Dorothy Lane. New participants are welcome! Contact Ann Snively if you'd like more information. Titles that have been selected for the coming months are:
  • 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

After careful consideration, The Humanitarian Social Action Group has designated MVUUF's Holiday Tree for Simwatachela Sustainable Agriculture and Arts Program (SSAAP). SSAAP serves some of the most poverty-stricken people in the world. Donations to SSAAP can go a long way, especially in comparison to other programs.
  •  $8 = one year of schooling for a child in Sierra Leone, 1-6 grade, w/uniform & shoes
  •  $20 = one year of schooling for a child in Zambia, 1-7 grades, w/uniform & shoes
  •  $28 = one year of schooling for a teenage mother to return to school in Sierra Leone, w/uniform & shoes
  •  $3 = one chicken in Zambia
  •  $35 = one pig in Sierra Leone
  •  $500 = one cow in Zambia
  •  $1000 = one hand-dug well in Sierra Leone
  •  $5000 = one machine-drilled well in Zambia
Cards will be provided on our Holiday Tree throughout the month of December for those who wish to give this wonderful gift from someone on your list. ANY amount will be greatly appreciated!   Additionally, some unique hand-made gifts will also be available for purchase through SSAAP. SSAAP is a 501C3 not-for-profit organization; you can find out more about them by clicking  HERE

We have numerous members who give so generously of their time to our Fellowship, and we have two specific awards for such dedication:  The Wince Award, and the Unsung UU Award.
Wince Award--The Wince Award is for dedication to the UU faith through service to the MVUUF. The award recognizes tireless leadership over decades to strengthen the life of this congregation, and our relationship with one another. Recipients have served in a variety of roles within the Fellowship, demonstrating their love of this community and its value to the world.
Unsung UU Award--MVUUF has a tradition of honoring an "unsung UU" every year.  An unsung UU is someone who tirelessly shows their commitment to the Fellowship behind the scenes. It's not typically a person in a formal position; rather, it's someone who sees something that needs to be done and gets it done.
Let's honor those who share their time and energy with our congregation! Nominations should be received by Sunday, December 13th, by Barb Weber, Board President. Please email nominations to: or send by regular mail to the Fellowship; please include why you feel the person deserves the award.

Remember to place your order for Fair Trade coffee on the first Sunday of the month--this month it falls on December 6th--in the Gathering Space after service, to be picked up on or after the third Sunday of the month--this month, December 20th. There are many varieties and bean grinds to choose from, including several that are organic!
You can also contact Lynn Buffington at (937) 657-0426 or
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!