Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum  July, 2016

Service Topics for July, 2016
All of the Worship Services for the month of July will be lay-led 
in Rev. Greg's absence. As most are currently in different stages 
in the planning process (at the time of newsletter publication), 
we are only able to provide you with this brief teaser 
for our upcoming Sunday services:

Sunday, July 3rd
Inherent Worth and Dignity:
Living Our First Principle in Divisive Times
Joe Zimmerman, Worship Committee Chair
Sunday, July 10th
The Effect of Privatization on Public Education in Ohio 
and How It Relates to our UU Values
A. J. Wagner, Member of the State of Ohio's Board of Education
   A Few Words  
From Our Minister
What follows is the text of Rev. Greg Martin's remarks at the vigil for the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL, held at Courthouse Square in   Dayton on Thursday, June 16th. 49 people lost their lives and 53 people were injured in the attack, the majority of victims being LGBTQ and Latino/Latina.
We are here to keep our hearts beating and our spirits alive.
My 90 year old mother asked me not too long ago, "Did you ever feel in danger [as a very publicly out man]?" At the time, I brushed the question aside, not really wanting to go there. I reassured her that I was fine, and that I had no need to be afraid.
The truth is more complicated, of course. Like many gathered in this square tonight, I know what it is like to be looking over your shoulder much of the time. Always being vigilant about your surroundings, paying attention to who is around you, planning to protect and defend yourself if need be, anticipating where the first blow might come from. Not that you think about it consciously all the time. You bury it in the back of your mind. You assert who you are. You go about your life. And you say you don't give a damn. And yet, it's there. It's part of our lives as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. We know what it's like to look over our shoulders.
But we are not the only ones who know that experience. Many straight people know what it's like to look over their shoulders, too. I suspect every female knows that experience. Walking alone late at night, every woman is on the alert, knowing her safety, her very life, may depend upon it. People of color, like so many of the victims in Orlando, know what it's like to look over their shoulders, too. They know they are not always safe. I suspect that many immigrants to our country are feeling that now, too, given the current state of affairs. Religious minorities like Muslims, especially now, with so much hatred rampant, must know what it is like to look over their shoulders. So many of us share this experience. It is how we survive, whether LGBTQ, or female, or people of color, or immigrants or Muslims, or mixtures of all of the above. The truth is that America is a dangerous place for so many of us.
And that is why we need each other now more than ever. Our support and friendship and solidarity across these lines is so critical. None of us should have to change who we are to count as human!
Singers Eli Lieb and Brandon Skeie penned a song in the hours after the tragedy, Pulse. They sing,

Feel my pulse.
With your hand on my heart
You know it beats just as hard as yours. 
Our hearts beat all the same. We are all human. We are one! We need one another. Now that the unspeakable has happened in Orlando, and we know it could have happened at any club in the country, we must not be separated. We cannot allow hate and suspicion to creep into our lives at a time like this. We need each other more than ever.
It is so good to be together this evening. Look at you. Look around you. You are all beautiful! We are one!
Put your hand on your heart. Feel your pulse. Put your hand on your neighbor's heart and feel their pulse. Our hearts beat the same. LGBTQ, female, people of color, immigrants, Muslims, all.
Feel my pulse.
Feel my pulse.
May we keep our hearts beating and our spirits alive.

Brad Mattingly will assume the duties of our new Music Director on Monday, August 15th. Brad has a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Wright State University and is known as one of the region's finest baritones. He has 10+ years experience with leading music in several religious settings, including choral and orchestral conducting. He is also a guitarist. Known for his excellent people and communication skills, Brad is a motivator of people and is excited about the challenges of this new position with our Fellowship. We are fortunate to have him.

Also, I will be taking a Study Leave July 1-11 preparing for the 2016-17 year.  And I will be on vacation July 12-31. In my absence, for pastoral concerns please contact Jennie Freiberger in the office, or Barb Weber (July 1-15).


Rev. Greg
Life Around the Fellowship...

More than two dozen members and friends of MVUUF gathered on Thursday evening, June 16th, at Courthouse Square for Dayton's vigil for the victims of the Orlando shooting. Rev. Greg Martin was one of the speakers calling for solidarity and action to protect our LGBTQ+ and Latino communities from the forces of ignorance, fear, hatred, and violence. 

A small excerpt from Rev. Greg's speech:  "We shouldn't have to change who we are to count as are all beautiful. Let us treasure one another. Put your hand on your pulse. Feel the pulse of the person next to you. All our hearts beat in the same way...we will not let hate separate us."

And a few photos from the vigil...


The 2015-2016 fiscal year was one of new beginnings, as we welcomed a new minister and began working to establish our mission and vision. We have shown how much we care for MVUUF through payments on pledges, additional gifts, and the beginning payments toward our Calling Capital Campaign commitments. We have been fortunate to have gifts of service that have helped to keep our expenses under control, as well as to lift up the beauty of the Fellowship grounds and during Sunday Service. At this point, we are on our way to a positive year, thanks to each of you and your gifts to the community.
Our expense budget for 2016-2017 is one focused on Growth. We are looking to find the right Director of Music for MVUUF. We want to cover childcare costs in as many events as we need, so that all people can take part in all of our offerings that they want to. We are keeping the cleaning service we have had for the past few months in order to keep the building as welcoming as possible. We want our employees to feel secure in their jobs, and are working toward a goal of fair living wages for all staff. We are adding LEAD dues to our budget, to help carry our values to the greater community. We are maintaining other expense lines, so as not to hinder growth potential in any program.
Our revenue budget for 2016-2017 is one based on Faith. We believe that all will work to care for our community, that all will do what we can to watch expenses and encourage giving. We trust that when a call is put out for help in a fundraiser, or a committee, or  a project, that call will be answered with a resounding positive reply. We have faith that pledges made will be honored, pledges unmade will be gifted, and that commitments to the CCC will be paid forward as quickly as possible. And we will work to ensure that gratitude for each gift will be our community strengthens and our outreach grows.
I have faith that our time, talent and treasure revenue will grow to the point that all of our programs will see operational funding in the coming years. Some of my wishes are things like full-time staffing in administration, YRE, and the music department; a full landscaping crew to come do the spring and fall clean-ups; a new sign to welcome the passing cars on Yankee. I would love to see all of our fundraising money be put to special projects or to support outside causes, rather than cushioning our landings at a bottom dollar. Think about your wishes for the growth and well-being of MVUUF. I hope we have an abundance of desires for just how much we can grow, together and out into the community.
Together and with patience, we can make each of our wishes a reality. May it be so.
In perfect love and in perfect trust,
Brianna Kempe, MVUUF Treasurer

Dozens of our Miami Valley family made the trip to Columbus for the full week, or for a few hours of GA this year, and our Sunday Service featured the live broadcast of the morning worship at the Convention Center! For a little "taste" of the worship service, in case you missed it or would like to enjoy it again, please click HERE

Highlights of our community included the powerful music and worship experiences (available online!), the inspirational and difficult work of challenging ourselves to live our values of full inclusion for all people, the opportunity to surround and overwhelm the Westboro "Baptist" bullies with love and song and angels' wings, and the joyous empowerment of being surrounded by 4,000 people committed to Standing on the Side of Love!

Below are a few photos of the event. We're looking forward to next year's service-oriented justice Assembly in New Orleans!

Rev. William Barber III addresses the crowd

UUs overwhelm the Westboro "Baptist" bullies 
with love & song & angels' wings

MVUUF members & friends gather for a group picture

Please join me, Dawn Bellinger and Mike Fanelli , if you can, to give our church grounds some love and attention. We'll get to work early, before the heat, on Wednesday, July 6th; 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. is the plan. Please bring gloves, water, sun protection, and tools, if you have favorites. (We have some, but they are not the best.) 

Tasks to be accomplished include:
  • Digging/pulling/killing weeds--always an opportunity!
  • Weed-whacking some areas that our lawn care company has not cut, due to debris in the way
  • Trimming bushes near the building (with electric trimmers)]
  • Cutting down smallish dead trees in our parking lot
  • Moving stacked wood away from outside the sanctuary wall (attracting wood-eating creatures to our building) 
  • Moving the aged mulch pile away from the recycling dumpster
If you are coming, it will help me to know that. Kids can help too, so let me know and I'll plan accordingly if you are bringing younger folks. 
-Genevieve Harvey

We are currently looking for people who would enjoy picking up and arranging flowers for our  Worship Services for the months of September thru December. It's a great way to mark a special memory, celebration or event in your life! And it's pretty easy, as well. You can sign up to do so on the sheet in the Gathering Space (look for the clipboard with the sunflower!) or by sending an email to Iris Carter at Then Iris will contact you and explain what needs to be done (and many thanks to Iris for overseeing this volunteer opportunity) And then we will get to enjoy those beautiful flowers on your special day, too! It doesn't need to be a special occasion, either; you can volunteer on a date that simply fits into your schedule, as well. Whatever works for you!
Whatever the reason--or lack of one--we hope you will step up and sign up to bring the flowers for a certain Sunday (or two!) in the future, because every Sunday needs some flowers...and those flowers need a volunteer to get them to the Sanctuary!

The Evening Book Discussion Group is taking a summer vacation during the months of July and August! That means that the next meeting of this group will be held on Tuesday, September 13th, 7:00 p.m., at the Library in the Fellowship building. We will discuss I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (postponed from our June meeting), and we will also select titles for the next several meetings. New participants are welcome! Please contact Ann Snively if you would like more information.

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

This month, the Smart Choice group will be gathering to celebrate birthdays on FRIDAY, July 15th,  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:

Did you ever wish you could volunteer at St. Vincent's at a time other than our monthly lunch on the second Saturday at St. Vincent's Shelter? Have you ever wondered about volunteering at the men's shelter on Gettysburg in west Dayton?
St. Vincent's has opportunities for groups of 4-6 people to sign up and serve meals (without providing the food) at both shelters on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings...and some Wednesday and Friday   lunches at the men's shelter.
If there are 4 or more people who would like to try this out, we can give it a whirl! Beginning on Sunday, July 3rd, look for a new clipboard in the Gathering Space; you can state your interest there, or contact Lynn Buffington at or (937) 657-0426.

The Social Action Committee invites you to a sneak preview of the documentary Dream On! The showing will take place on Friday, July 8th, 6:30 p.m. at the Fellowship. And there will be refreshments, too!
This 99-minute film has been described as sparking discussion about how to revitalize the American Dream, and will be shown on PBS this coming October. "In an epic road trip, political comedian John Fugelsang retraces the 1831 journey of Alexis de Tocqueville" and explores whether the "optimistic spirit of the American Dream that Tocqueville popularized is alive and well."
The film and refreshments will be free, and donations will be accepted toward the fundraising goal of supporting Black UU leadership by sending all of our Black members (and some additional  members) to General Assembly last month.

One of my duties as coffee coordinator is to ensure that we have coverage for the important tasks of making coffee for the after-service Coffee & Conversation time in the Gathering Space, and for the clean-up afterwards. While it's easier for me to remain quiet and make the coffee myself, I also realize that I can't always do this job by myself every Sunday.
At the suggestion of a couple of members, I have set up a page on SignUpGenius for the Sunday Coffee & Conversation duties:   one person to make the coffee (10:30-11:00 a.m.), and one person to clean up afterward (12:30-1:00 p.m.). I'm hopeful that this will facilitate the signing-up of volunteers for this important task.  The link to sign up is HERE
You can click on the links for the shifts you'd like to work, and you'll receive an email reminder the day before the event.
If you have not made coffee for us before, or have not done the clean-up task, I can give you a quick training session.
I also realize moving to an online method may exclude a few members who either do not use or have access to email; for those people, I encourage them to contact me in person or by phone if they wish to volunteer.
--Jim Poltrone

Please join us in providing food and/or serving for our long-standing second Saturday lunch ministry for women and families staying at the St. Vincent Shelter. You can sign-up for the July 9th lunch for food donations and/or serving on the clipboard in the  Gathering Space, or you can contact Lynn Buffington at or by calling or texting her at (937) 657-0426. 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 June meal! What a wonderful variety and quantity of food, from the greatly-appreciated fresh fruit to three kinds of sandwich filling-the children favored the sloppy joes while the adults enjoyed those as well as the pulled pork and ham salad. The only item we ran out of was pasta salad with veggies. We served 28 women at 11:00 a.m., and 25 in the family group at noon, including about 15 children and two infants.
July 9th menu:  sandwich filling (such as BBQ pulled pork/chicken/beef, or sloppy joes, or chicken or egg salad), vegetable dish (such as pasta salad with LOTS of veggies, cole slaw, or other vegetable), green salad, fresh fruit/fruit salad, 100% orange juice and reduced-fat milk (we use buns from St. Vincent'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 in Dayton (St. Vincent de Paul Hotel) by 10:45 a.m.

Remember to place your order for Fair Trade coffee on the first Sunday of the month--this month it falls on July 3rd!--in the Gathering Space after service, to be picked up on or after the third Sunday of the month--this month, July 17th. 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!