Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum  August, 2016

Service Topics for August, 2016

Worship Service topics for the month of August are not currently available; please make sure to keep reading the Friday E-Blasts 
to keep up-to-date with topics as they become available. After 
some time off this summer, you can be sure that Rev. Greg 
will have some wonderful topics in store!
   A Few Words  
From Our Minister
Rev. Greg's column will return in September...look for it then!
Life Around the Fellowship...
The Anti-Racism Task Force (ART) has been in existence since May of 2014. We have had the goal of involving all of congregational life. While we haven't completely accomplished that, we have made progress. We'd like to let you know what we've been doing since we started.
We've shown movies with themes of racism once a month in the fall,
winter and spring. We have presented Examining Whiteness to about 25% of the congregation. The congregation overwhelmingly approved hanging a
Black Lives Matter banner on the building, and the Board approved a public statement about the significance of that statement. In response to a Blue Lives Matter campaign, we sent letters from members of the congregation to Lamar Advertising educating them and asking them to take it down. We presented a workshop on Racial Justice at the UUJO Justice Assembly held at First Unitarian Church in Columbus, OH that was well attended and well received. We held vigils in front of MVUUF in response to the church burnings in the south and the shooting at Emmanuel Church in Charleston, SC. The vigils were well attended and we were on the evening news. We sent letters to the editor of the Dayton Daily News concerning that shooting, two of which were published. There has been good participation at the John Crawford III vigils. We have created two worship services at MVUUF that were well received. In collaboration with the West Dayton Action Group, we supported a Book Offertory for Westwood Elementary School (collecting enough books for one entire second grade class) that was part of one of those worship services. We have  partnership with the Dayton chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and offer space for their meetings. Two partnership events with SURJ at MVUUF invited many participants from outside the Fellowship; the first was on Implicit Bias (with Carmen Culotta), and the second was on Anti-Racist Parenting (with Kimberly Barrett). Finally, we are considering a Big Read for the Fellowship this fall, followed up with a Fellowship-wide discussion.

We hope you have participated in some of these activities, and will participate more in the future. Care to get involved? We welcome new members to ART! Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 17th, 7:00 p.m., at the Fellowship. Everyone is welcome! If you have any questions, please contact:
Ndidi Achebe at
Kathleen Pennington at

To mark the second anniversary of his death, MVUUF's Anti-Racism Task Force (ART) and Social   Action Committee invite you to attend this vigil, on Friday, August 5th, beginning at 8:00 p.m., on the public sidewalk in front of the Beavercreek Walmart, 3360 Pentagon Boulevard, 45431. Rachel Feltner will bring signs for those from MVUUF.
On August 5th, 2014, John Crawford III, a young black man, was shopping at the Beavercreek Walmart. He was talking on his cell phone, holding an air gun sold by Walmart, when he was shot virtually on sight by a Beavercreek police officer. Even the special prosecutor in the case stated, "Mr. Crawford did not do anything wrong that day." After two years, there is still no justice for John Crawford III. The Department of Justice says it is still investigating. A civil suit brought by the family will be heard in 2017, though the police officers have been granted three successive delays in giving depositions. A link to a Facebook event page is  HERE.
Guidelines for organizers:  this is not a protest, demonstration, rally, or march. Please do not encroach on Walmart property. Bring your own candle and wear Black Lives Matter t-shirts, especially those with John's image on them.

During the General Assembly in June, many of us learned about a new PBS documentary by Ken Burns that has been developed in collaboration with the UUA. It's called Defying the Nazis, and tells about the Rev. Waitsill Sharp and his wife, Martha, WWII Unitarians who secretly worked in Nazi-occupied Europe to rescue Jews, dissidents, and refugee children. It will air on Tuesday, September 20th, 9:00 p.m., on PBS.
I would be willing to host a watch party at my home, but we don't have a lot of space. Do you have space and would like to host an event? If so,
please contact me at so that we can coordinate plans.
For more info regarding this documentary, please click HERE

During the next few weeks, you will have the chance to sign up to be part of an MVUUF Covenant Group. The groups of 8-10 people meet every two weeks, for a total of 12-14 sessions. These small groups allow us to explore our thoughts and to share them with others in a "deep listening" format. The groups don't focus on discussion; they make us better listeners and through this listening, we learn to know each other better.
There will be sign-up sheets available by mid-month, as well as an opportunity to register online. Two facilitators will be needed for each group, and if you believe you are ready to be a facilitator, you will be able to indicate that when signing up.
Joining a Covenant Group is a commitment that you will do your best to be in attendance when it meets, and participate according to the "covenants" arrived at by your group. It is important that when you sign up you indicate which days and times are convenient for you. 
Small group ministry has proven to be one way to deepen the spiritual lives of participants and the relationships between members and friends in the Fellowship. By sharing our beliefs and thoughts, and by working together on a service project, we learn, we grow, and we thrive. You won't want to miss out!

Can you help us spread the word? MVUUF is seeking caring, compassionate individuals to assist as Childcare providers!

Do you know individuals who enjoy working with children that are interested in making some additional income and that have availability on nights and weekends? Please encourage them to check out the posting and application on our website; click HERE for more details!

Have you noticed there is new artwork on display in the sanctuary? Our Chalicelight Gallery is currently featuring works from many different artists, and they all have a couple things in common:  first, all have been professionally matted and framed at Patterson Chase Company, a local frame shop located on Patterson Road in Kettering. And second? They are all available for purchase (unless marked NFS)!
Mark Steinke and his associates did a beautiful job with the matting and framing of the art, and the collection Mark installed at MVUUF covers various mediums and themes-there's something for everyone's taste!
So take some time to check out the beautiful  artwork filling our sanctuary...and if you see something you'd like for your own home or office (or as a wonderful gift!) check out the contact  information in 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 of the Daytime Book Club will take place on Wednesday, August 24th, 10:30 a.m., at  the new Panera in Englewood (9194 N. Main Street). Holding the meeting in Englewood will allow Jan Beers to join us as she is still recuperating. Members may want to make carpool arrangements. Our book choice for August is:  Before You Know Kindness, by Chris Bohjalian.
Our September meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 21, 10:30 a.m.; we are currently planning on meeting at MVUUF. Our book choice for September is:  Zealot, by Reza Aslan.
The October meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26, 10:30 a.m., at MVUUF; our book choice for that month is:  Miller's Valley, by Anna Quindlen.

This month, the Smart Choice group will be gathering to celebrate birthdays on THURSDAY, August 11th,  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: 

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:
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 need more info, or would prefer not to sign-up online, please give me a call at (937) 469-4815.
-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 August 13th 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 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 July meal; you can see some of July's volunteers in the photo to the left! Once again, diners were appreciative of our fresh, nourishing and abundant food. Many second helpings were enjoyed, especially on sandwich fillings and bananas, oranges and watermelon! We served 21 women at 11:00 a.m. and 34 in the noon family group, including about 15 children. Lately we've been providing orange juice instead of apple or grape; at the July lunch, I heard one dad enthusiastically  exclaim to his kids, "Look, it's orange juice! We haven't had that for a long time!"
August 13th 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.

The Book Fair  Foundation will be holding a Book Drop event at MVUUF, on Saturday, August 20th, 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. ; this is the foundation that replaced Planned Parenthood as the host for the huge November book fair that we collect books for throughout the year. Tell your friends,   family, neighbors, and everyone else:  you simply drive into the MVUUF parking lot on August 20th between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.; you won't even have to get out of your car, as volunteers will be on hand to help out if you need them!

We are working to create an outdoor kid and family-friendly social space for moving, playing,  learning, and hanging out with people we love.
Our goals for this area are for it to be:
  • Fun and useful for kids and grown-ups, with spaces for all ages, including benches and shade, where people like to spend time together;
  • Visible, accessible, and welcoming to families with children;
  • A place for families with children to go spend some physical energy, be noisy, and get fresh air and nature;
  • Outdoor space to hold class and nature studies (picnic tables?);
  • Safe, with ample fall surfaces (wood mulch/rubber mats/pea gravel) and meeting or exceeding our insurance requirements. Easy to supervise for adults, using visual borders, such as          landscaping or railroad ties, so children know boundaries (without requiring the maintenance of a fence);
  • Easily accessible to the YRE Wing and/or the labyrinth;
  • A way of demonstrating that children are welcomed and valued.
We had a playground structure in our former Fellowship location.  When we moved to our current location in August, 2003, we built two play areas with donated play equipment, one for younger children and one for older. They were in the back of the Fellowship's kitchen, and near the     dumpster.  They were not well-used, because of the location, away from the activities of the congregation, and not so easy to supervise. There was difficulty maintaining the mulched surface, which became over-run with tall thistles and could not be moved due to fences and gates. The plastic Little Tykes pieces became cracked and damaged, held water, and bees nested in them. The large wooden structure lost parts and became unsafe. It was not the type of playground we were proud of, and not what we wanted to offer our children.
Seeing the need, and wanting to make a difference, a group of MVUUF youth held fundraisers and raised $500 which was contributed by members of the congregation, and which has been held in the bank for the purpose of creating a play space again. (Those teens are now around 20 years old!)  Unfortunately, we got bogged down in details and there was not a cohesive group of people who were interested in heading up that project.  We were busy with so many other things around the place, and it's just never become the priority... until NOW.
This summer, an opportunity to buy a gently used top-quality play set from MVUUF members,  the Weiss Family at about a quarter of the price it sells for, which happens to be $500. Parents, children, staff, and others have gathered momentum and are moving forward to make the dream a reality, starting with that $500! Both the Program Council and MVUUF Board have supported the movement.

Your Part
In the quite near future, we will also be asking for your help. We are thinking about a "Playground Raising" MVUUF community event. We will require additional funds in order to buy the safety surfaces, benches, and shade sails. We are investigating prices, discounts, and outside donations. If you are interested in helping with this planning or contributing NOW, please see Genevieve Harvey. If you know of semi-skilled (or very skilled) people who may be able to help with the take-down and/or building of the playset, we would love to know who they are! If you have access to a truck that can carry large items from their current home to MVUUF (not far), that would be awesome!
Finally, we are seeking INPUT on where to locate our outdoor play area.  Our Committee has evaluated placement all around the building and narrowed it to two spots. The options will be illustrated in the Gathering Space for you to consider, debate, and vote on in the coming 2-3 weeks. We want each person to vote (once!). EACH PERSON-not just our adult Voting Members. We really want the input of children, youth, and teens who will be using the space, as well as parents, teachers, and other adults who sometimes like to sit outside and enjoy hanging out with people of all ages.
The options are 1)  outside the YRE Wing between the west wall with the Black Lives Matter banner and the parking lot, and 2)  the far end of our front lawn nearest to the labyrinth. (Please note: for option 1, we would need to relocate or replace the memorial tree dedicated to Ross Legue that is currently in that space.)
We want to accomplish this in the next two months, acting on the sale offer and establishing our new play area before the fall. We would love to honor the people who first raised the starter funds for this project and honor our current children, youth and teens and all of the adults by providing a beautiful outdoor space for play and relaxation.
To see the details and specifications of the play set, please click  HERE

Remember to place your order for Fair Trade coffee on the first Sunday of the month--this month it falls on August 7th!--in the Gathering Space after service, to be picked up on or after the third Sunday of the month--this month, August 21st. 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!