Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458

 

937-436-3628  www.mvuuf.org 

 

 

 

 

MVUUF's Forum  November, 2016



Service Topics for November, 2016

Worship for November:  Abundance & Generosity
 
November 6th  -- Samhain:  Generous Spirits . This annual celebration of the Celtic turning of the year, the time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest, is a time to focus on all of the "generous spirits" who have touched our lives.  Rev. Greg Martin will ask us to reflect on the ways these generous ones continue to inspire and live through us. This celebration will acquaint us with the Roman Goddess of Generosity, Acca Larentia , and one of the generous spirits of our Ohio heritage, John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. It will conclude with a generous sharing of apples and apple cider.
 
 
November 13th --  Brimming with Abundance is the focus of this day. Generous people usually begin from seeing the world as a place of abundance; miserly people see it as a place of scarcity. There is never enough for those who live from the perspective of scarcity. They often see protecting what they have as the most important effort of their lives, lest they lose it. In contrast, those who perceive abundance, always trust that there will be just enough, as well as plenty to share. Do you lean one way or the other? Rev. Greg Martin will encourage us toward a culture of abundance as a congregation with this sermon. We generally will become self-fulfilling prophets. If we see too little, that's what we'll get. If we see abundance, we'll find just enough and sometimes more.
 
 
November 20th --  Give Thanks:  Worship for All Ages . After sharing our MVUUF Thanksgiving Meal on Saturday evening, come out to this annual celebration of giving thanks for all ages.
 
 
November 27th --  Looking Out for Dementia is the theme of guest speaker, Rev. Pam Allen-Thompson. Pam retired earlier this year from Unitarian Universalist ministry and has settled in Oakwood with her partner, Diane.  Pam was diagnosed in the past year with a progressive form of dementia. She hopes to enlighten listeners with the feelings and challenges of one who is experiencing all of it firsthand. With so many individuals, families and caregivers facing some aspect of this illness today, it will be a timely subject for this morning's worship.
 
   
   
A Few Words  
From Our Minister
   
The journey of 360 degrees around the circle has begun. A compelling vision driven by our Unitarian Universalist identity is the point of departure. Compelling. One that stirs emotions as well as thoughts, ideas and actions. The Vision & Mission Task Force, co-led by Catherine "CQ" Queener and Yolanda Crooms, was charged by the MVUUF Board earlier this year with crafting a new vision and mission to present to the congregation by this fall. A compelling one, I might add. They sifted through the documents and materials assembled during the ministerial search process, sought additional feedback from Fellowship members and participants, and conducted an    effort to interview community leaders. The first parts of this helped us better understand who we are and what our gifts are. The second part gave us a better sense of the context in which we exist and seek to be in ministry. The result of their work is found at the end of this edition of The Forum. I encourage you to review it and consider the questions that they have posed in preparation for a couple of dialogues this month.
 
The vision points us to the greater goal that we seek. All Souls. No Exceptions . Imagine a world or a Miami Valley where that were true. Actually, imagine a congregation where that were true even. What if we committed ourselves to making it happen here? The mission gives us a game plan, a way to be, the actions to do that which we see as our unique calling:  We covenant to practice compassion, forge connections, and pursue justice . What would happen if we directed all of our efforts, weighed every decision, and channeled our resources to live by this dream and these actions? I am excited by the prospects. I'm deeply appreciative of the work of those who have brought this forward for our consideration. I'm feeling compelled.
 
This month we tilt 40 degrees more. If a compelling vision comes first, how do we fund and sustain it? Financial stewardship is the focus of 360 in November, the month of abundance and generosity. A vision and mission is the best motivation for generous support. If you have  something you have to do, can't shy away from, need to do, can't let go of until it happens, you have the means to support and sustain it. People want to be a part of something like that,   something larger than themselves, and they will invest their hearts and resources to make it  become reality.
 
Did you know that in the healthiest of congregations, one third of the people give two thirds of the money to support it?   And do you know why? They are not necessarily the people with the most money in the congregation, although some of them may be. They are the people who understand that generosity is one of the most important qualities for a full and joyous life. And therefore, giving and sharing are simply what they do. It brings its own rewards. Perhaps surprisingly, or perhaps not, they are usually the people who feel the need to respond even more to a compelling  vision.  They also have much to teach by their example to those who still haven't caught a generous spirit in their lives. That is the ministry of stewardship:  to inspire the generous and to guide others to learn the way of generosity. Come and participate in the 360 events this month. You'll be glad you did!
 
 
In Community,
 
Rev. Greg
     
October News

 
FROM THE BOARD PRESIDENT
NOVEMBER
This is our year of COURAGEOUS ENGAGEMENT!

The 360 Project is off to a great start , with over 50 people actively participating in the two sessions that we have had so far.

WE NEED YOU to step up when you feel INSPIRED ! Only you know what would feed your spirit as we go through this time of dynamic change. I encourage you to be a part of this exciting program that is clearly going to take us to the next level of reaching our Vision.

FEARLESS GIVING
November's focus area for the 360 Project is Financial Stewardship . On Sunday, October 30 from 1-4:00 PM, we will have met to ground ourselves in the purpose and empowerment that our collective budget inspires. We will identify the areas that we need to improve, view our failures as opportunities for growth, and name and claim a new way forward. The culture of abundance will guide us into our future.

Please plan on attending the November 360 Project sessions:
  • 360 Project--Session 2-- Financial Stewardship on Sunday, November 13 from 3:30 - 6:30 PM. There will be a potluck to follow this session.
  • 360 Project--Cross Congregational session on Sunday, November 20, time TBA

WHAT 360 GEMS HAVE BEEN UNCOVERED?
Session 1 on Mission and Vision lifted up the powerful notion that it is possible and extremely important for Unitarian Universalists to come together behind a shared Vision of what we want the world to be, and to have a Mission that guides us with purpose toward achieving our Vision. We ARE so much more than a social club or a social service agency. We have real PURPOSE for existing! This needs to be at the center of all that we do, from worship, to social justice, to writing policy, to community building. The timing of the Mission and Vision Taskforce unveiling our new powerful Mission/Vision statements is perfect to start us off on this 360 Journey!

Another profound take away from the first month of 360 Project work was the revealing Lifecycle Assessment . Wow. This puts so much in perspective! It has helped us separate some of our past "problems" from the personalities that they were attached to, and see that what has happened in the past was normal and predictable as a growing congregation. You can see that we have partially entered into the "ageing" side of the lifecycle curve. The Lifecycle Assessment gives us some very concrete actions to reverse those effects. Powerful and healing stuff!

The last nugget that I would like to lift up, was the concept of "experi-fail." This is the notion that the experience of failure is good, in that it helps move us closer to revealing what works best for us as a congregation. Think of this like a scientific experiment. "Failure" is an expected result in trying to prove a hypothesis. Risks must be taken to try different ways of doing things. There is no negative judgement attached to failure. The risky creative process that may lead to failure is actually critical for growth and innovation. So... We need to celebrate our "failures" - name them, own them, give credit for effort, and figure out what lessons we learned. This means letting go of somethings, or at the very least, being open to new possibilities!

Yours in Courageous Engagement,


Gail Cyan, Board President


  
JOINING SESSION ON NOVEMBER 6th!
Attention all friends and visitors! There will be a Joining Session on Sunday, November 6th, after the 11:00 AM  service. We'll meet in the Founders' Room with Rev. Greg Martin and Board members who will help you understand what it means to become an official Member of this amazing UU Fellowship. MVUUF leaders believe we are at a crucial time in the growth and development of this church, and we need YOU to become a committed member who participates fully in the Mission and Vision we claim as ours.
 
The Joining Session will begin at 12:30 PM in The Founders' Room. You will receive information and paperwork to help you make your decision.   Reception of new Members, which includes "singing the book," will take place on Sunday, December 11th, during the morning service.
 
If you have questions, or want to join but are unavailable on November 6th, please contact Diane Colvin , MVUUF's Membership Representative, at drcolvin6740@yahoo.com or 937-433-0969 .



SPECIAL VESPERS SERVICE ON NOVEMBER 9th
Did the rancor and polarization of the election cause you pain or anguish? Were you energized and hopeful? Whatever the result, this election has caused many of us worry, anger, and hurt. Come to a vespers-style worship service on Wednesday, November 9 at 6:30 PM. We will sing, meditate, reflect and share.
 


THE SAME, BUT DIFFERENT:  TWO ARTISTS, SAME MEDIA, DIFFERENT PATHS OF EXPRESSION
Beginning this month, we have new artwork hanging in the Chalicelight Gallery...beautiful textile arts created by Cathy Jeffers and Linda Kramer. Both Cathy and Linda began their art quilting journey in 2003. Each would take a different path of artistic expression while using the same media. As you will see by this show, they have their own artistic style of expression, inspired by people, animals, nature, meaningful events, and even the sheer joy of geometrics and symmetry. They've now come together in our Gallery to showcase some of their best work.
 
Cathy Jeffers has always been interested in the textile arts. As a teenager, she learned batik, stitchery, macrame' and weaving. She also enjoyed sculpture and ceramics. In 2003 she began quilting on her own and took her first class two years later. Her teacher, Jane Burch Cochran, supported her and encouraged her to enter exhibitions at the International Quilt Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.
 
Several year later she juried into Quilt National '09 , considered to be one of the most significant and prestigious  international contemporary art quilt shows. Bathy has been in numerous shows across the U.S., and has even had seven solo exhibitions. Cathy currently lives in Centerville, OH and has a B.S. in Art Education and a M.A. in Art      Education, both from Miami University (Oxford, OH), and has taught art for 35 years in a variety of class room   settings.
 
Linda Kramer has worked in various art media, including:  stained glass, pottery, bead work, photography, graphic arts, jewelry making, and silversmithing. She was introduced to art quilting in 2003, and now primarily works with fabrics and fibers, specifically:  quilting and hand-dyeing fabric and garments. She enjoys taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary, especially in her quilts, which have been included in regional, national, and international juried shows and invitational exhibits.
 
Linda currently lives in Oxford, OH  where she converted her potting shed into a quilting studio, and converted her basement into a wet studio for fabric dyeing and surface design. She has a B.S. in Art Education and a M.A. in Art, both from Miami University (Oxford, OH). She recently retired from Miami as the Director of Communications in the College of Engineering and Computing. Prior to this, she was an art teacher in the public school system. To find out more about Linda and her work, please visit:  www.lindakramerart.com.
 
 
 
FIRST FRIDAY MOVIE NIGHT
The Anti-Racism Team will present the PBS documentary,  In Whose Honor? for it's next First Friday Movie Night, scheduled for Friday, November 4th, 7:00 PM, at the Fellowship.
 
Following is a description of the film:
 
From cartoonish Indian caricatures to the tomahawk chop, the imagery of hugely popular sports teams like the Washington Redskins, the Cleveland Indians, and the Atlanta Braves have played a pivotal role in the symbolic depiction of Native American culture. In In Whose Honor?, filmmaker Jay Rosenstein focuses on the story of Charlene Teters, a Spokane Indian whose campaign against Chief Illiniwek, the University of Illinois' beloved team mascot, turned a college town upside down and made many people rethink the larger issue of culture and identity.
 
"It was a story that needed to be told," says Rosenstein, who began the film when he was a graduate student in broadcast journalism at the University of Illinois. "The whole controversy of getting rid of the Chief was front page news, but the other side was never reported. When Charlene first spoke up, it was like she was from Mars. Now some people call her the Native American Rosa Parks."
 
Teters moved with her family from Santa Fe, NM to Champaign-Urbana, IL to enroll as a graduate student in the University of Illinois' Department of Art. In 1988, she took her two children to the school's Fighting Illini basketball game.
 
Just as it had been occurring for over 63 years, a student dressed as the team's mascot, the fictitious Chief lliniwek , leapt and twirled in what was billed at the time as an authentic dance, as fans in mock war paint yelled war chants from the stands. Teters and her children cringed in their seats. "I saw my daughter try to become invisible. My son tried to laugh," she says in the film, her voice cracking with emotion. "It still makes me angry because I know they are hurting other people when they do that. And I knew that I couldn't be here and not address that issue." Teters began picketing outside the stadium, despite harassment from jeering students and unsympathetic  administration officials.
 
Many of the University's trustees, alumni, and students see the Chief in another light. "I can't imagine that the Chief , who deports himself with such dignity, and such solemnity...can be perceived as a racial insult or slur," says Susan Gravenhorst, a University trustee. Jeff Beckham, a student who actually performed as the Chief says, "The purpose of Chief Illiniwek , I pretty much see as two-fold. The first I that it helps us remember the people who lived on this land long before the University was even dreamed of, and the second reason is to really honor those people."
 
In Whose Honor traces the history of Chief Illiniwek at the University of Illinois, and other popular depictions of Native Americans in school athletics and professional sports franchises across the country.  The film follows Teters' evolution from mother and student into a leading national voice against the merchandising of native American   symbols and shows the lengths fans will go to preserve their mascots. It also draws connections to other historical examples of stereotyped imagery such as Little Black Sambo and Frito Bandito.
 
In 1994, University alumnus Rick Winkel, while a candidate for the Illinois state legislature, announced that he would introduce a state law guaranteeing Chief Illiniwek as the official symbol of the University of Illinois. Winkel, who was elected by a solid majority, says, "Chief Illiniwek has become a revered symbol for the vast majority of current students and alumni." In 1995 the Chief Illiniwek Bill passed by an overwhelming majority. Governor Jim Edgar later vetoed the bill and while Rick Winkel's attempt to override the veto failed, today Chief Illiniwek is still the University's symbol.
 
"Our people paid with their very lives to keep what little we have left...and that is what I am protecting. At home, we are taught to respect eagle feathers, respect the Chiefs, respect that paint is sacred, that dance is something sacred to us," Teters explains. "If you've never been taught to respect these things, it might not bother you...but if  you've grown up in the community, where those things have meaning, it's going to have that impact on you."
 
  As usual, refreshments will be served during the film, and there will be a discussion following. Please join us...we hope to see you all there.



SOCIAL ACTION FOCUSES ON PUBLIC EDUCATION
The Social Action Committee is focusing on policy issues related to public education under the leadership of Donna Wilson. Donna gives us the following update on the issue:
 
Our public education system is under the biggest threat since it was enacted into the Ohio Constitution in 1851, which included a provision requiring a "thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the State." Last year the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Committee tried to strike this provision from the Constitution and legislators have diligently worked to privatize public education through the voucher system and school "choice" with the start-ups of charter schools, often called "community schools." The result has been the proliferation of poorly achieving charter schools, 87% of which perform worse than the public schools and extract approximately $1 billion from the public schools' budgets, causing districts to cut art, music, and phys ed classes, staff and other services. This method of treating public schools like businesses works only for the sponsors who make millions while providing mostly sub-standard educations that is devastating to the majority of their students.
 
The Social Action Committee's goal is to inform the congregation of ongoing efforts to further damage the public school system by the legislators and present political action opportunities to fight back. We will have short meetings periodically (whenever an issue arises) after a Sunday service, explain the problem, and present sample emails, scripts to read when calling legislators, providing their addresses and telephone numbers, and inform of any other efforts in the area which relate to this problem. Occasional emails will also alert members on the MVUUF Bulletin Board.
 
The effort to strike "thorough and efficient" from the Constitution was killed by citizens writing letters and emails, making telephone calls and testifying during hearings. One of the happiest days of my life was when Andy and I attended the hearing and the chair of the committee announced that the public did not support this effort and it would be struck from the agenda!



FUND RAISER FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The Social Action Group is calling on all "lovers of pie" and "bakers of pie" to participate in our first (annual?) Pie Sale, to raise money for those in our Fellowship who needed financial assistance to attend General Assembly this past summer.
 
Homemade pies will be available for sale on Sunday, November 20th, or, if you prefer, will be delivered to your home on Wednesday, November 23rd (the day before Thanksgiving)! We have already received an enthusiastic commitment of SIX pies from those willing to bake...but we are dreaming of at least SIX more! Each of our pies, because of their deliciousness and the enormous amount of LOVE baked into each one, will cost $20.
 
So, if you have volunteered to bake pies already, or would be willing to make a pie (or pies!), or have a special request...please contact Shirley Gezinski at 937-434-2267 or gracie141@yahoo.com.




GUEST AT YOUR TABLE
Guest At Your Table is an annual fund raising and education program that supports the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee's (UUSC) human rights work. Over the decades, Guest At Your Table has raised millions of  dollars for human rights projects that have made a real difference in people's lives.
 
This year, GAYT highlights the empowerment of refugees and displaced people. One of the UUSC's major focuses is serving the people who are most overlooked or discriminated against in the midst of humanitarian crises such as forced migration, large-scale conflicts, genocide, and natural disasters. As UUSC celebrates its 75th  anniversary this year, we'll look back to our origin:  Martha and Rev. Waitstill Sharp helping European refugees escape persecution during World War II. We are excited to share several inspiring stories this year!
 
GAYT is designed to help participants learn about human rights issues and UUSC's unique approach to solving them. UUSC provides information and materials to help individuals, families, small groups, and congregations guide their own discussion and engagement with the innovative practices that protect and empower the most vulnerable populations in the world.
 
GAYT also has a fund raising and movement-building component:  once you've held a worship service, class, or   discussion about this year's most pressing human rights issues and solutions, you are encouraged to make a gift to UUSC in order to uphold human rights values and our ability to continue this vital work. All GAYT gifts earn UUSC membership, so you'll continue to be part of our shared vision of a world free from oppression and injustice.
 
Check out the following to learn more about how your donations make an impact:
  • Stories of Hope, featuring people around the world who UUSC works with to turn human rights into realities;
  • Videos of the human rights work made possible by your contributions;
  • UUSC annual reports, financial statements, and other publications;
  • Charity Navigator, which has given UUSC the highest possible rating.
 
UUSC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Cambridge, MA, that advances human rights in more than a dozen countries around the world through grassroots collaboration. While grounded in Unitarian Universalist values, UUSC is nonsectarian and open to all.
 
Our program introduces you to grassroots leaders around the world who are advancing human rights. As you gather together with your family and friends to take part in GAYT , we ask you to figuratively invite those leaders into your community--to your table--through sharing their stories. We think of these leaders as our "guests." We look    forward to introducing them to you!
 
The UUSC prefers contributions ne made directly online, but if you prefer, you can send a check in the envelope  provided, or turn in your box filled with coins and bills to Kathleen Pennington, who will count it out and make the donation to the UUSC. Families should take a box home and encourage their children to donate part of their allowance or birthday money to help children around the world. Please take home the Stories of Hope booklet, and discuss the stories with your family.
 
The GAYT campaign will kick off on Sunday, November 20th with our intergenerational service for that month, and conclude on Sunday, January 8th. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Kathleen Pennington at pennkath@gmail.com .



EVENING BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP
This group will next meet on Tuesday, November 8th, 7:00PM in the library at the Fellowship; the book for discussion will be Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf. New participants are welcome! The group meets in the library at 7:00PM the second Tuesday of every month; please contact Ann Snively if you would like more information.
 
Upcoming titles are:
December 13th-- Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
January 10th-- Escape From New York by Zadie                                              Smith (short story)
                                   February 14th-- Neverhome by Laird Hunt



ENVIRONMENTAL BOOK CLUB
This group now meets every other month, on the third Monday of that scheduled month, 7-8:30 PM, in the Founder's Room at MVUUF.
 
December 19th-- The Quest of the Simple Life by William J. Dawson



DAYTIME BOOK CLUB
The next meeting for the Daytime Book Club will be Wednesday, November 16th, beginning at 10:30 AM in the Founders' Room at the Fellowship. They will be discussing Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf. All are welcome!
 


ANNUAL THANKSGIVING MEAL
Be sure to mark your calendar for Saturday, November 19th, as that is the date of our annual Thanksgiving Fellowship Dinner!
 
We'll set up on Friday evening, November 18th, and soon I will post the SignUpGenius information on our Facebook pages and our Yahoo Groups News List...so stay tuned!
--Dawn Bellinger, Activities Rep.
 

 
AND SPEAKING OF THE HOLIDAYS...
It's that time of year again! This year's Handmade Holiday Crafternoon is scheduled for Saturday, December 17, 1-4:00 PM, at the Fellowship. This fun afternoon will feature a selection of free craft projects that are perfect for  gift-giving! Want a sneak peek? How about cookie mix, air-dry clay sculptures, decorative (and highly functional) magnets, and even a new toy for your favorite dog or cat! We'll also have opportunities to support local animal  shelters and SICSA and the Human Society of Dayton by making toys and donating items on their wish lists.
 
All materials, instructions, and even some helping hand will be provided. We'll also have a gift-wrapping station to complete the process (or skip the wrap and treat yourself to a gift!). Be sure to visit the Gathering Space for some light refreshments & holiday treats, too...after all, crafting is hard work! This is a family-friendly event, and open to all.
 
Watch for details on the MVUUF Facebook page, the MVUUF Yahoo Groups News List, and the Friday E-Blasts to find out how you can make this event a wonderful success. We'll be needing volunteers to help with set up and clean up in the Founders' Room, food set up and clean up, and crafty helpers (all skill levels welcome). While we do try our best to base projects on the supplies we already have on hand, sometime we need additional materials; a list of specific materials needed is in the works.
 
This event is free of charge; however, donations to help offset the cost of food and materials is ALWAYS welcome.
 
 
 
NEWS OF NOTE
Long-time member, Ellen Beck, passed away on Monday evening, October 24th. Her visitation and funeral were held on Saturday morning, October 29th. Ellen and her family remain in our hearts, thoughts & prayers.


INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW...
What are the give-and-take shelves?
The shelves under the mailboxes in the hallway (by the RE Wing) are for people to leave good-quality-but-unwanted possessions. You may freely take anything you can use from the shelves and do not have to donate       something to take something. These shelves are maintained by the Aesthetics Committee, and once a month Karen Evans donates the items that have been there longer than three weeks to a charity.
 
How can I get more involved with the Fellowship?
Feeling like you'd like to be more involved but aren't sure with what...or how to do it? Then please contact Kate Jacobs , our Congregational Coordinator, at cc.mvuuf@gmail.com . Kate can then help you explore the possibilities!
 
If you're wondering how to do something related to the Fellowship,
please contact Bonnie Thompson , our Communications Rep., at thompsons@woh.rr.com .
 


ST. VINCENT de PAUL LUNCH
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 first month of our hearty chili fall menu. You can sign up for food donations and/or serving on the clipboard in the Gathering Space, or you can text/call Lynn Buffington at   937-657-0426 , or via email at abufflg@gmail.com . If you would like more information on volunteering, please take one of the half-sheets near the clipboard in the Gathering Space. Thanks to all who donated food and helped serve in October; we served 54 of St. Vincent's guests, including 15 children, and we were happy to be able to offer seconds on most items!
 
November 12th fall menu :  hearty chili, chili fixings (shredded cheese, chopped   onions, sour cream, etc.), green salad or other dish made with fresh vegetables (salad should be dressed or with bottle of dressing), fresh fruit/fruit salad, 100% orange juice and reduced fat milk. We need several donations of each item, with each donation serving 15-20. Please bring all items - heated if applicable - to 120 West Apple Street in Dayton (St. Vincent de Paul Hotel) by 10:45AM.    Serving ends about 12:45PM, with women eating at 11:00AM and families at noon. You can contact Lynn, Shirley Gezinski, or Gail Saugstad if you would like to help with the menu planning or organizing a Friday evening intergenerational cooking activity for St. Vincent's.




AN UPDATE FROM THE VISION/MISSION TASK FORCE
Since January, the Vision/Mission Task Force has been working to discern new vision and mission statements for MVUUF. Current vision and mission statements, written in 2008, are posted HERE
 
On Sunday, October 23rd, members of the Vision Mission Task Force proposed new vision and mission statements, asking the congregation to consider and live with the statements through the following questions:
 
  • What do these words and phrases make you feel? What do they make you think?
  • What would it look like if we sought to live these out as a congregation?
  • What part of this would challenge us?
 
We ask MVUUF to consider the statements deeply, and then provide feedback to a member of the Vision/Mission Task Force or at one of the small group meetings for congregational feedback. The meetings are scheduled for: 
 
Sunday, November 6th, at 12:30 PM
or  
Wednesday, November 9th, at 7:00 PM
 
 
The proposed new statements are:
 
Vision: All souls. No exceptions. 

Mission: We covenant to practice compassion, 
forge connections, and pursue justice.
 
 
 (For our full report, please see the following information.) 
 
Thank you.

Yolanda Crooms and Catherine Queener, 
Co-chairs of Vision Mission Task Force


Vision Mission Task Force  
Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Report to Congregation                
October 23, 2016

Co-chairs: Yolanda Crooms and Catherine Queener, with Mike Fanelli, Mary Hamilton, Darrell Phillipson, Edwin Fuller, Ann Snively, Gary Courts, Arik Henderson, Eileen Simon, and Greg Martin

Information gathering and discernment work has included:
  • Points from Ministerial Search Committee's recent work on understanding MVUUF
  • Congregation's ideas about vision from post-it notes collected during service
  • MVUUF's community -a 30-mile radius circle with MVUUF in the center
  • Community interviews (summary to be released)

Eighteen community partners have been interviewed by MVUUF teams:
Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services
Artemis Center
Centerville Police Department
City of Dayton Human Relations Council
Daybreak
Dayton LGBT Center
Dayton Police
Greater Dayton Christian Connections
Greene County Library
Montgomery County Sheriff's Office
Project READ
River's Edge Montessori
St. Vincent de Paul
United Rehabilitation Services of Greater Dayton
United Way of the Greater Dayton Area
Washington Township Board of Trustees
Wesley Center
Wright State University


Significant Issues in the Community
The leaders interviewed were each asked questions about the needs and problems they see in the community and what could be changed to make things better.

  • "Is there one concern or issue that needs special attention?"
  • "In five years, what small issue might become a big problem           if not addressed soon?"
  • "What would you change, enhance, or add to this community        to make it better?"
The answers to these questions took two forms. Some were about very specific needs and problems such as the opioid drug addiction epidemic or the need for improvements in public education. Others addressed underlying causes and how working on the underlying causes would help remedy and prevent these problems.

Drug abuse was the most frequently cited specific problem in the community. The lack of connection among people was the most frequently discussed root cause of such major problems as drug abuse and racial inequality. The common thread in the broad view of what would make our community better was improved connection and understanding. Poverty, mental illness, and family dysfunction were also acknowledged as sources behind specific concerns.


Next Steps for Vision Mission Task Force:
  • Announce vision & mission statements; ask congregation to consider them deeply:
  • Vision: All souls. No exceptions.
  • Mission: We covenant to practice compassion, forge connections, and pursue justice.
What do these words and phrases make you feel? What do they make you think?
What would it look like if we sought to live these out as a congregation?
What part of this would challenge us?
  • Public thank you to interviewers
  • Public release of Community Interview Summary
  • Small group meetings with congregational feedback on:
November 6 at 12:30 and
November 9 at 7 pm
  • Present statements to board well before January 2017 Congregational Meeting



FAIR TRADE COFFEE SALE!
Remember to place your order for Fair Trade coffee on the first Sunday of the month--this month it falls on November 6th!--in the Gathering Space after service, to be picked up on or after the third Sunday of the month--this month, November 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 abufflg@gmail.com .
 
 
     
DON'T FORGET!
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!