Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum  June, 2016

Service Topics for June, 2016
June 5th
Multi-Generational Celebration of 
Lifespan Faith Development
Rev. Greg Martin and Shannon Harper, DRE
This annual celebration of our Religious Education programs
and volunteers will feature participation by all ages.
June 12th
Holding Space
Ria Megnin, Fellowship Member 
What are the most helpful things people do for each other 
when the great joys and deep griefs of our lives come along? 
We call these caring actions "holding space." In this service, 
we'll explore the brave ways we create safety, listen deeply, and 
remain fully present with each other as we go through the 
highs and lows of life. We'll look at ways to avoid burnout 
and emotional exhaustion from all that space holding! 
Finally, we'll celebrate the many ways we at MVUUF 
have dedicated our lives to holding space for others.

June 19th
Juneteenth Celebration
Rev. Greg Martin
150 years ago on June 19th, 1866, former African-American slaves, 
now freed, held the first Juneteenth celebration.  A year earlier at the end of the Civil War, Federal troops reached Galveston, TX, where the last enclave of slaves learned of their freedom. Today, we join in the celebration as Rev. Greg relates the history and spirit of this milestone.
A special offering will be received this morning to support the MVUUF Black members who will be attending the General Assembly in Columbus, OH, June 22-26.
June 26th
General Assembly Worship
10:30 a.m.
Many people will be traveling to General Assembly to participate in worship this morning. Car pooling is available. For those not making the trip, we will be live-streaming the entire worship service, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd of the River Road UU
Congregation in Bethesda, MD will be the featured speaker. It will be a service with dynamic music, and one of the highlights of GA.
   A Few Words  
From Our Minister
With summer fast approaching, I want to provide a few updates on several efforts currently underway. 

First, we have many people who will be participating in the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in Columbus from June 22-26. We have committed to significant funding for our Black members as well as support for others to attend. Please offer your generous support to the fundraiser on June 10 and the special offering on Juneteenth Sunday, June 19. We'll also be LIVE STREAMING THE MORNING WORSHIP ON JUNE 26 BEGINNING AT 10:30 A.M. for those unable to travel to Columbus. Thursday afternoon features a public witness for justice at the State House and is open to the public. I'm sure you'll be hearing much about all of this throughout the summer as we absorb the energy and learning of those who participate.

Second, the Vision and Mission Taskforce, being co-lead by Catherine Queener and Yolanda Crooms Cobb, is working away at crafting some statements for the congregation to review later in the summer. They are also organizing teams to conduct interviews with community leaders in the near future. Training for these teams will occur this month. Look for a special congregational meeting in early fall to hear their recommendations.

Third, the Committee on Ministry has been focusing on leadership and leadership development at MVUUF. They recently submitted recommendations to the Board. A new group is being constituted by the Board to implement these changes in structure and approach over the next few years. I am hopeful that these steps will ensure better trained and supported leaders as we move into the future along with clear measures to cultivate new leaders among us. Kudos to Scott Leonard, Alysoun Taylor-Hall, Margaret Michal, and Alice Diebel for a job well done!

Finally, please attend the Congregational Meeting on June 19 to vote on our annual budget. The Finance Committee and Board have put together a realistic budget that will help us address several key concerns. Most areas of the budget toe the line from the previous year. Increases represent a commitment to fund a Music Director to enhance our worship life together, devoting more hours to improved cleaning of the building, and providing adequate funding for childcare so that parents can participate more easily and fully in all aspects of our Fellowship. These have all been identified as priorities and require our full support. Also, you will notice a new feature of our meetings. A representative from the Right Relations team will be on hand to observe and comment on our process of living by our Right Relations Covenant. 

June is busting out all over! Take part in the many good opportunities to enhance and live our faith.


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...

Sunday, June 5th, in the Sanctuary
Please join Gail Cyan, our Board President, and other leaders of MVUUF on Sunday, June 5th, for a chance to ask any questions you may have about the 2016-2017 Budget; we'll be voting on whether or not to approve this budget at the Congregational Meeting on Sunday, June 19th. Brianna Kempe, our Treasurer, will not be available on June 5th, but as always, she is open to discussing any aspect of the budget you may have. You can contact her at:, or (513) 484-4496.
Our budget is our best forecasting of what income and expenses will be, working to integrate as much of our community's desires as possible. This means we are acting on faith that pledges made will be honored, additional gifts and pledges will come in throughout the year, and we will have the leadership necessary to run successful fundraisers to help meet our goals.
We are presenting a budget that does not include cuts, but rather growth. Come and find out what we are looking to achieve with your support dollars...a strong foundation (through building expenses), strong  programming (through payroll and program costs), and strong community (through our memberships). Ask questions. Get invested in our success!

Congratulations to everyone at the Fellowship who contributed books or money for books for the summer reading program at Dayton Public Schools.  The week of May 15-21, over 250 children's books were donated to the second grade classes at Westwood Elementary School; these books were part of the READ ON! CAMPAIGN to supply all of the kindergarten-third grade classes in the Dayton Public Schools system with books to read over the summer. This is just one way in which the children can continue to learn during the summer months and not fall back. Ms. Rollins, one of the second grade teachers, was ecstatic, so pleased that we were able to secure so many books, almost all of which had black faces on the pages of the books.
Additionally, we delivered 90 children's books to the Wesley Community Center for the children in their after-school program.
This is a job well done! It is an INVESTMENT in the future of our children. Thanks to everyone who made it possible.
-Bob Lewis, for the West Dayton Action Group

With the beginning of a new month, we also begin with a new non-profit organization to receive 50% of our non-pledge offering every Sunday, June through August:
PFLAG Dayton.
The mission of PFLAG Dayton is "to promote the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, their families and friends through support, education, and advocacy." The group has monthly meetings, publishes a bimonthly newsletter, has a transgender support/discussion group, and weekly meetings for youth in a sexual minority (Youth First). It has a speakers' bureau and a Reading Rainbow program to allow children to see themselves and their families in books, and it offers scholarships.
PLFAG Dayton is one of the smaller non-profits in our area with an annual budget of about $25,000 and an all-volunteer staff, so a contribution from MVUUF will have a significant impact! 50% of our non-pledge offerings from June 1 through August 31st will go to this worthwhile organization. But what happens to our contributions beginning in September? Read on to find out...

Looking For Non-Profit Recipients!
The Social Action Committee and the Humanitarian Giving Action Group is requesting YOUR help in selecting the non-profit recipients for the 2016-2017 fiscal year!
Recipients for 2015-2016 have included:  the Minister's Discretionary Fund (December-February), the Dayton Family Law Center (March-May) and PFLAG Dayton (June-August). Here's how you can help decide the next group of recipients:
Step 1:  Submit nominations by Sunday, June 5th to the box in the Gathering Space or to Alice Diebel at Please provide a short description of the organization and its clients, and a website address if available. Nominees should be registered non-profits with low administrative costs and focused on the under-served. They may include previous reciopients. In the past, we have restricted organizations to those in the greater Dayton area, but exceptions may be considered.
Step 2:  Watch for information about the nominees in our Friday E-Blast, or on paper in the Gathering Space.
Step 3:  Attend the Congregational Meeting on Sunday, June 19th to vote on your top choice! The two groups receiving the most votes will be our recipients for the next two quarters of the year.

On Friday, June 10th, beginning at 6:30 p.m., our Beloved Community will celebrate a GA Carnival! Please join us for fun and frivolity...a carnival atmosphere! Experience foods from various regions of the country where General Assembly has been held, sing karaoke, and watch film clips from past General Assemblies. We'll have contests and prizes, and plenty to eat!
This event is a fundraiser to send Black MVUUF members to GA, as well as supplement the expenses of others. Our goal is to raise at least $3500! All contributions count! You can sign-up in the Gathering Space to contribute food, set-up, and/or clean-up. Thanks!

It's going to be a great weekend...the weekend of June 18-20, that is! We'll be celebrating Juneteenth and the Wesley Center's 50th anniversary, as well as a victory celebration for LEAD! The Social Action Committee hopes you will be able to participate in some way in each of these celebrations.
Wesley Center's 5K Red Velvet Cupcake Run:  
Saturday, June 18th.  Celebrate the Wesley Center's 50th anniversary by participating in the festivities and/or volunteering your time! You can run the race (cost is $30, registration begins at 7:00 a.m., and the race starts at 9:00 a.m.) or volunteer to help out at the race (giving out water and cupcakes, setting up tables, collecting trash, running errands. Sign up with a buddy for even more fun--we'd love to see lots of MVUUF folks volunteer!).
You can sign-up to run HERE
And you can sign-up to help HERE   (search via the link in the upper right hand corner for the Wesley Center events by
And why the red velvet cupcakes? Because Juneteenth is ALL about red stuff...especially strawberry soda pop! Find out more about Juneteenth by clicking HERE
Wesley Center's Stage Play Blame It On The Funk:  
 Sunday, June 19th, 5:00 p.m. Another event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wesley Center! This will take place at the Masonic Temple, and the play is a tribute to "old school" Dayton Funk music that put Dayton on the map! Ticket prices range from $10-$40; you can buy one/get one free through the end of May! You can order your tickets   
You can also access any of the Wesley Center's events by clicking HERE

LEAD's Victory Celebration & Fundraiser at MVUUF:  
Monday, June 20th, 6:30 p.m. at MVUUF. LEAD will hold this gathering at MVUUF, celebrating their victories! And a new documentary film created by the Kirwin Institute regarding the Beavercreek bus stops will be featured at this celebration. Come and learn more and celebrate communities organizing for Leadership for Equality and Action in Dayton!

The Evening Book Discussion Group meets on the second Tuesday of the month, 7:00 p.m. The new meeting location is the MVUUF Library. On Tuesday, June 14th, we will discuss I Am Malala by Malala Yousafai. New participants are welcome; please contact Ann Snively if you would like more information.
Please feel free to "drop in" and join us if you have read the book, even if you don't want to attend every month. We'd love to talk with you and get to know you better!

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 15th, 10:30 a.m., at the Fellowship. The featured book will be  I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai. Upcoming books will be:
July 20th--Orphan Train, by Cristina Baker Kline (this was the novel chosen for The Dayton Big Read for 2016)
August (date TBA)--Before You Know Kindness, by Chris Bohjalian
September (date TBA)--Zealot, by Reza Aslan

This month, the Smart Choices group will be gathering to celebrate birthdays on Thursday, June 9th,  11:30 a.m., at the MCL Cafeteria (corner of Far Hills and David Road, in Kettering). Why not have some fun and join them? To RSVP, please contact Allie Petersen at:

Please join us in providing food and/or serving for our long-standing 2nd Saturday lunch ministry for  women and families at St. Vincent's Shelter. You can sign up for the June 11th lunch for food donations and/or serving on the clipboard 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 pitched in providing food and/or serving the May meal! We served about 65 and everyone was pleased that, unlike in April, we had plenty of food for seconds. And MVUUF  volunteer Shirley Gezinski shared her happiness that one little boy who would not eat anything in April ate two sandwiches in May (read this story following the menu for June)!
June 11th menu-hot sandwich filling (pulled BBQ chicken/pork, sloppy joes, chicken or egg salad),      vegetable dish (pasta   salad with LOTS of vegetables, cole slaw, or other vegetable), green salad, fresh fruit/fruit salad, 100%  orange juice and reduced fat milk (we will use buns from St. V's pantry for the sandwiches). 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 (St. Vincent de Paul Hotel) by 10:45 a.m. For June only, you may drop off items on Friday evening, June 10th, during the GA Carnival event.  Serving at St. Vincent ends about 12:45 p.m.; women eat at 11:00 a.m., and families at noon.

The second Saturday of each month is a special time for me, as I have the privilege to volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul by serving lunch to their guests. Those we serve are without shelter or food, and include many women and children. Just imagine what it must be like to be without your basic needs...especially if you are a child.
As I was serving chili last month (April), I looked up to find a tearful boy in line who let us know that he didn't want anything to eat. He explained that he didn't want to eat with his sister, so I    invited him to eat in the kitchen (against the rules but I didn't know at the time). I thought maybe he just didn't like what we were serving, so I offered him a PB & J sandwich, which he also refused. I looked into his eyes, talked with him, and realized he was in a great deal of emotional pain. As he went back to his father, I told him that life would get better for him and his family (was I giving him false hope???).
This month as we were serving, I looked further down the line to see my young friend dressed in a warm hat and coat (it was very cold that day!) with a smile on his face! He took everything we offered and later asked for seconds (if we have enough, seconds are offered). After everyone was served, I walked into the dining room and was greeted with a very big hug from Elijah. We looked into one another's eyes and didn't say a word. We didn't need to.
--Shirley Gezinski

Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio (UUJO) is a 501  (c) 3 statewide action network for the 38 Unitarian Universalist congregations in Ohio, with a part-time Executive Director and a part-time Administrator. Its mission is:  to organize justice seekers statewide; to promote education, service, and advocacy consistent with UU principles; and to witness with and on behalf of marginalized groups and individuals.

Currently, the UUJO is searching for a part-time (15-20 hours/week) Executive Director, for an  hourly paid position to begin no earlier than August 1, 2016 and no later than December 1, 2016. The Director may work from anywhere in Ohio and travel for meetings in Columbus several times a year.

UUJO is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Resume and cover letter, including three references and their contact information, should be sent to:
Dan Schneider
Chair of the UUJO Executive Search Committee
3847 Meadowlark Lane
Cincinnati, OH  45227
or emailed to:
For more information on qualifications and responsibilities, as well as a downloadable flyer, visit the UUJO's website HERE

If you are someone who would love to attend an event at MVUUF, but cannot quite afford the    ticket price, please remember there are often scholarship tickets available. An email address has now been set up so that members and friends can discretely ask for these tickets:

Remember to place your order for Fair Trade coffee on the first Sunday of the month--this month it falls on May 1st!--in the Gathering Space after service, to be picked up on or after the third Sunday of the month--this month, May 15th. 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!

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


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!