The Forum 
monthly
Newsletter
DECEMBER 2020
TO CONNECT WITH US ON ZOOM

We provide Zoom links in The Forum so you can join
ALL of our events online (computer, tablet, smart phone).
Additionally, if you want/need to attend the meeting/event using a phone, you can use the following number for ANY of our events:

To join on your cell phone or land line,
please call 1-929-205-6099
and make sure to enter the Meeting ID when prompted.
OUR SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES
Please join us on Zoom!

Sundays at 11:00 AM
(Tech assistance available from 10:30 - 11 AM)

Join us online with this link:

(no passcode required)

Please note the following:
1. This service will be recorded and/or live-streamed to Facebook. If you do not want to be included in the recording, please turn off your camera, mute your microphone, and change your name to "MVUUF" (these are all Zoom options once you join the meeting).
2. If you would like to submit a joy or sorrow for the service, please email Rev. Kellie by 10:00 PM on the prior Saturday evening (minister @mvuuf.org).
WORSHIP FOR THE WEARY
Thursdays, 6:30 PM
We continue to offer this shorter, more reflective service as a way of providing a bit of peace and comfort during these trying times. We "gather" on Zoom for music, readings, and reflection.

Please note: we will NOT celebrate this service on the following dates this month---December 10th, 24th, and 31st.

We do hope you'll join us on Thursday, December 17th; to do so online, please use the link below:

Meeting ID: 958 9428 2191 (no passcode needed)
HOLIDAY WORSHIP SERVICE SCHEDULE

Worship For All Ages:
Wassail
Sunday, December 6th, 11:00 AM

Special "Holiday" Worship For The Weary
Wednesday, December 9th, 7:00 PM
(same Zoom link as usual Worship For The Weary)

New Member Ceremony
Sunday, December 13th, 11:00 AM

Child Dedication
Sunday, December 20th, 11:00 AM

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Thursday, December 24th, 7:00 PM

Pajama Worship For All Ages:
Fire Communion
Sunday, December 27th, 11:00 AM
A SPECIAL HOLIDAY
WORSHIP FOR THE WEARY
Wednesday, December 9th, 7:00 PM
Because the holidays can be difficult for so many of us, in a variety of different ways, we are offering a special "Holiday" Worship For The Weary, on Wednesday, December 9th, at 7:00 PM.

This service is for those who need a space of quiet and comfort during the winter holiday season---a place where we can take strength in the company of one another. Whether you are grieving the loss of a loved one or important relationship; experiencing the pain of physical or mental illness, addiction, unemployment, or financial strain; dealing with any type of situation that makes this time of year especially difficult.

To join us online please use the link below:

Meeting ID: 958 9428 2191 (no passcode is required)
STAFF NOTES
A MINUTE FOR MUSIC
Thinking about all we have to be thankful for, the hymn #404 “What Gift Can We Bring” has been playing in my head. The words by Jane Marshall read in part: “When grateful we come, remembering, rejoicing, what song can we offer in honor and praise? Give thanks for the past, for those who had vision, who planted and watered so dreams could come true. Give thanks for the now, for study, for worship, for mission that bids us turn prayer into deed.” 

We are fortunate to have volunteer choir members willing to step outside their comfort zones to make video recordings of themselves singing. I always tell them, their singing and our music-making is a treasured gift that we give to our community when we worship together.

Here’s a link if you’d like to hear the hymn!
Sara Davis
Director of Music
SOUL MATTERS LINK FOR DECEMBER
For the month of December, our Soul Matters' theme is Stillness.

The Soul Matters' packet includes spiritual exercises, questions that encourage reflection on daily living, and 5-7 pages of recommended resources that help participants explore the monthly themes in more depth.

Simply click HERE for this month's packet!
SHOWING UP FOR JUSTICE
GUEST AT YOUR TABLE
Throughout the Month of December
The UU Service Committee (UUSC) has a long history of working internationally - not doing "mission" work in the traditional sense, but rather supporting communities in dealing with oppression. Their mission is:  "UUSC advances human rights and social justice around the world, partnering with those who confront unjust power structures and mobilizing to challenge oppressive policies. Our work is grounded in the belief that all people have inherent power and dignity." 

One of the major programs the UUSC offers every year is the Guest At Your Table (GAYT). It is a long-standing, educational program intended for families to have conversations around the dinner table about the lived situations of UUSC partners around the world. GAYT is symbolized by a box to collect the money you might spend to have a guest at your table every day. 

We have stories to tell about the work UUSC is doing that we will feature throughout the month in every Friday's eBlast. We encourage everyone, with children or not, to consider giving to this program to keep the work going. If you would like a box for your table, please contact Alice Diebel at diebelalice@gmail.com or (937) 350-7763.  

Please go HERE for information and to donate; if there is a space, please mention that you are from MVUUF. Thank you for your generous contributions.
TRANSGENDER INCLUSION IN CONGREGATIONS
Saturday, December 5th, 1:00 PM
Our Transgender Alliance Group's offer of the Transgender Inclusion in Congregations course by Transforming Hearts Collective draws to a close this month. 

For more information, please contact René Hick rene@hickfamily.net

To learn more about Transforming Hearts Collective, click HERE
To join the session online click below:

Meeting ID: 839 5305 5151 Passcode: 536237
TRANSGENDER ALLIANCE GROUP
Thursday, December 10th, 7:00 PM
MVUUF's Transgender Alliance Group meets each month on the second Thursday; this month, they'll gather (on Zoom!) on Thursday, December 10th from 7-8:30 PM. Our Transgender Alliance Group is a supportive place of community for transgender folx and their allies. 

For more information, please email René Hick,  rene@hickfamily.net. 

To join the Zoom meeting online, click below

Passcode: 774615 Meeting ID: 841 0786 6724
ST. VINCENT de PAUL LUNCH
Saturday, December 12th 10:30 AM
Thanks to all those who have donated funds and all those who have been willing to provide extra large batches of menu items as we continue with the COVID-19 plan we began in April.   We ask MVUUF members and friends to provide beef or ground turkey sloppy joe sandwich filling,  salad and fresh fruit, and to deliver or arrange with Lynn Buffington for pick up.  For COVID safety we deliver to the outside door at St. Vincent's and the hard working St. Vincent's staff will serve the meal. Please check the signup genius for how you might help and please pay careful attention to the labeling instructions.  Note we drop off the main dish cold on Fridays and other items by 10:15 am on Saturday morning. To access SignUpGenius click HERE.
 
Because of the expense of large “batches,” we are reimbursing cooks and shoppers for ingredients.  We accept financial donations for this purpose.  You may donate by sending a check made out to MVUUF with memo line "St. Vincent's." Please mail to 8690 Yankee St, Dayton 45458. Because MVUUF still needs our funds for operating expenses, more than ever, please only donate for St. Vincent's if you are able to also continue to contribute to MVUUF operating expenses. You can contact Lynn with questions, including about reimbursement process, and suggestions:  ABUFFLG@Gmail.com cell: 937-657-0426.
SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE
Monday, December 21st, 6:30 PM
Our Social Action Committee offers many different ways for you to "be the change" you'd like to see in the world: immigration action, St. Vincent lunches, improving conditions in west Dayton, literacy & tutoring projects, and the list goes on.

If you would like to join them, feel free to join their next meeting, on Monday, December 21st, beginning at 6:30 PM on Zoom.

To join the Zoom Meeting online, click below:

Passcode: 613674 Meeting ID: 850 2242 9356
ANTI-RACISM ALLY GROUP
No Meeting for December
Please Note: Our Anti-Racism Ally Group, a group where people with questions, ideas, concerns or a need for a place to have discussions about racism, will be taking a brief break for the month of December. 

You can join them on Thursday, January 28th, 7:00 PM, with the following link:

Meeting ID: 810 0062 5437 Passcode: 306008
AROUND THE FELLOWSHIP
UNSUNG HERO

At its November meeting, the Program Council was happy to recognize David Nolin as an Unsung Hero. While most of us are staying at home cleaning our yards and closets, David has been diligently caring for the MVUUF property in addition to other sites around the Miami Valley. Since retiring from Five Rivers MetroParks and with the help of friends, David has been putting his in-depth knowledge of wetlands to care for and improve the wetlands and labyrinth at MVUUF.

In addition to this current project, you might have seen him provide music for our services, seen or read his book about Huffman Prairie or run into him quietly doing various little projects. David is a humble guy with a big heart and welcoming smile. We appreciate his stewardship of our property.
PEACE HEROES TRAIL
If all goes well with our local sign maker’s supply chain, a small group of socially-distanced MVUUF folk will start installing our peace hero signs along the sidewalk in front of MVUUF -- by our building, not the road -- on Saturday December 5th!

We will set up a time for each peace hero team captain to be photographed with their sign once signs are in place. Saturday December 12 is our tentative date for Rev. Kellie to bless the Peace Heroes Trail and officially open this beautiful new addition to our MVUUF campus.

MVUUF members and friends, you are welcome to check on our progress at any point. We plan to post photos regularly through regular fellowship communications. You are also welcome to visit MVUUF in person, maintaining social distance and wearing masks, to see the beautiful Peace Heroes Trail in person.

While you are visiting MVUUF’s campus, take a few moments to enjoy the newly-trimmed labyrinth on the hillside south of the sanctuary. You can learn more about our unique meditative pathway, designed and created for MVUUF by member Gail Cyan, HERE. It takes about 15 minutes to walk it.

If you are wearing waterproof hiking boots and up for extremely uneven terrain, you are also invited to wander the short loop that was just mowed through our MVUUF wetland behind the building. It might someday become the site of a smooth boardwalk. In the meantime, it is a pathway in progress, so non-mountain climbers please admire from a distance.
MVUUF's WORSHIP CHOIR
Wednesdays, 7:00 PM
Did you know that our Worship Choir continues to meet--on Zoom--and participates in our Worship Services? Their love of singing won't let the pandemic stop them!

They "gather" on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM, and you are always welcome to join them. You can contact our Director of Music, Sara Davis, with any questions, and join rehearsals online by clicking the link below:

Meeting ID: 149 540 739 Passcode: 115053
PROGRAM COUNCIL
Monday, December 7th, 6:30 PM
Our Program Council (PC) is responsible for : Leading and implementing a variety of programs that bring MVUUF closer to realizing its purpose, vision and mission; Facilitating cooperation among program areas; Approving the appointment or removal of committee chairs nominated by individual program council representatives; Appointing interim members to fill mid-term vacancies on the nominating committee; Nominating one qualified candidate for election to the nominating committee each year; and Recommending policies and procedures to the board for approval and incorporation into the MVUUF policy manual. 

PC meets once a month, usually on the first Monday, and their meetings are open to ALL. For December, they'll be meeting on Monday, December 7th, at 6:30 PM (on Zoom).

To join the meeting online, click below

Passcode: 395986 Meeting ID: 845 4628 1330
BOARD MEETING
Sunday, December 12th, 1:30 PM
Our monthly Board Meetings are usually held on the third Saturday of each month; this month, they'll gather a week earlier, on Saturday, December 12th, beginning at 1:30 PM. Our Board meetings are open to EVERYONE, and at each meeting time is set aside to answer any questions our members and friends may have for Board members.

To join the Zoom meeting, click below

Passcode: 033710 Meeting ID: 976 9504 0775
CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
Sunday, January 24th, 12:30 PM
Our annual Congregational Meetings are held in January and June of every year, and our January 2021 Congregational Meeting will take place on Sunday, January 24th, beginning at 12:30 PM. For our Voting Members, attending Congregational Meetings are both a privilege and a commitment; please try to make sure you can attend. You can join the meeting by clicking on the link below:

Meeting ID: 896 1041 4366 Passcode: 502542

Our Congregational Meetings are open to everyone, and we're looking forward to seeing you (on Zoom!) on January 24th!
CHALICE OF THE WILLOW (CUUPS)
DISCUSSION GROUP
Sunday, December 13th, 12:30 PM
Our pagan group, Chalice of the Willow (CUUPS) has a discussion group on the second Sunday of each month, beginning at 12:30 PM. It's a great way to find out a little bit more about pagan beliefs & traditions, and to converse with others in a comfortable, non-judgmental atmosphere.

You can find out more by contacting Tina Porter at ladyosun@yahoo.com; you can join the discussion online by clicking the link below:

Meeting ID: 860 0484 4655 Passcode: 757543
ACOUSTIC FOLK JAM SESSION
Tuesday, December 15th 6:30 PM
If you're looking for a fun way to share your love of music, may we suggest attending our Acoustic Folk Jam Session? You can play an instrument...or use your voice...or just listen and enjoy to everyone else. It's a low-key way to enjoy some human connection (virtually, of course) and relax!

If you'd like to join them online, please click the link below:

Passcode: 639360 Meeting ID: 876 8968 9805
WELCOME SESSION
Sunday, December 20th 12:15 PM
Are you new to MVUUF? Would you like to know more about the Fellowship and what we have to offer?

We offer a Welcome Session on the 3rd Sunday of each month, hosted by our Membership Rep., Lathe Snyder, where you'll have the opportunity to meet MVUUF members & friends and find out more about our Fellowship. Please join us!

To join the meeting on Zoom, click on the link below:


Passcode: 567024 Meeting ID: 815 9880 6017
DEATH CAFE
Monday, December 28th, 7:00 PM
At a Death Café people, often strangers, gather in an accessible, respectful and confidential space to enjoy refreshments and to discuss death. Our Death Café conversations are participant-directed; there is no agenda. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session. Groups such as this gather around the globe with a purpose: "to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives."

MVUUF holds a Death Café on the fourth Monday of each month from 7-8:30 p.m. You are welcome to join us to listen and share and/or invite a friend who you think may be interested in exploring the topic.  


To join the meeting online, click below

Passcode: 900106 Meeting ID: 851 4870 0547
DA' GROUP
2nd Tuesday of the month, 6:30 PM
A space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to gather and share their stories, receive and provide support, and share their joys, sorrows and celebrations with each other.

Contact Ndidi Achebe for Zoom access information at nachebepublic@gmail.com.
YOUNG ADULTS GROUP
Now Forming
Connect and build bonds with other UU young adults at MVUUF (ages 18-35). If you are interested in participating, please contact Somaya Bernard, Director of Religious Education, at re@mvuuf.org or 937-694-0594 to let her know what meeting dates/times work best for you.
WOMEN'S GROUP
Every Sunday Morning, 9:30 AM
This weekly group is open to all who identify as female, and they would love to have you join them for one of their interesting & thought-provoking discussions!

To join the gathering online, click on the link below---

Passcode: 042027 Meeting ID: 339 923 301
SCRIPTURE STUDY
Sunday Mornings, 9:30 AM
If you are interested in learning about different religions, and especially in the writings from those different religions, then you should consider attending our Scripture Study. They meet every Sunday morning, beginning at 9:30 AM on Zoom. You can contact John Bierman if you have any questions at john_bierman@att.net or 937-438-0211.

To join their Zoom meeting, use the information posted below:

To join the gathering online, click the link below---

Passcode: 720015 Meeting ID: 424 304 843
DAYTIME BOOK CLUB
Wednesday, December 16th, 10:30 AM
Our Daytime Book Club continues to meet monthly to discuss a featured book; this month, they'll be gathering at 10:30 AM(on Zoom) on Wednesday, December 16th to discuss The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes.

Future selection for discussion:

January 20th: Lilac Girls: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly
February 17th: The Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz

If you'd like to join them online, please click the link below:

Passcode: 284687 Meeting ID: 814 1095 6674
CONGREGATIONAL READ
3rd Saturdays, 10:30 AM
Begins January 16th
Join Rev. Kellie for her 3rd Congregational Read, Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism by Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin. The UUA Bookstore states that the book, “Shares how five diverse congregations encounter frustrations and disappointments, as well as hope and wonder, once they commit to the journey to create multicultural, antiracist Beloved Community.” 

Rev. Kellie’s Congregational Reads provide a learning path for or the deep soul work of transformation: personal, interpersonal, organizational, cultural, and societal. In her first year, Rev. Kellie shared White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and, in her second year, Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, written by Unitarian Universalist religious professionals and edited by Rev. Mitra Rahnema. After we complete this year’s read, Mistakes and Miracles, Rev. Kellie will lead us through one of the most important reports issued by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Widening the Circle of Concern: The Commission on Institutional Change’s 2020 Report

Regardless of whether you have read all of the previous Congregational Reads with Rev. Kellie or you are new to Unitarian Universalism— regardless of whether you are committed to antiracism and anti-oppression justice or you want to grow your mind, heart, and soul— regardless of whether you can attend all 8 monthly sessions or only a few, please join Rev. Kellie on Saturday, January 16th at 10:30 AM on Zoom. We will be discussing the Foreword, Introduction, and Words about Language.

Kindle version available at Amazon and print version available at the UUA Bookstore. If the purchase cost would make it difficult to participate, please email Rev. Kellie directly to arrange the best way to get a copy to you at no cost (minister@mvuuf.org).
LONG STRANGE TRIP:
UU HISTORY REDUX
2nd Saturdays,10:00 AM--12:00 PM,
Beginning January 9th
Are you a history geek? Maybe you’re a story lover? Maybe you just want to learn the history of Unitarian Universalism (UU)? Or maybe you want to revisit the UU history you learned through an anti-racism and anti-oppression lens?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, please join Rev. Kellie and Lifespan Religious Education Rep., René Hick, as they share Ron Cordes’ 6-part UU history film series, Long Strange Trip. Sessions will be monthly on the second Saturday, January through June. We will watch each film together for the first half of the 2-hour session (each film is aprox. 60 minutes). During the second half, Rev. Kellie will start our group discussion by providing an anti-oppression perspective, adding context and additional histories. No prep work or homework will be assigned (Rev. Kellie’s favorite type of class). While we would love for you to be able to attend all 6 monthly classes, there also is no attendance policy (attend as often as you like/can). Look for the Zoom access info in the January Forum.
NEW! ADULT RELIGIOUS
EDUCATION NIGHT & CLASS
2nd Mondays, 7-8:30 PM
First Class: Our Sources
Starting Monday, January 11th
(January through June)

While we talk a lot about our 7 Principles, our 6 Sources are not named as often. Can you list them? Don’t worry— there will be no quiz at any time during our class, hehe. How about this quiz question (I know, I know— I said that we wouldn’t have a quiz): how long have we had our current Sources? Once again, the answer is a part of our religious movement’s framework that many Unitarian Universalists do not know or even consider. 

Because we believe in the progress of human understanding, the practice of democratic governance, and the continued unfolding of Truth, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) bylaws require that we review our Principles, Purposes, and Sources every 15 years and revise or reaffirm them at General Assembly. If you would like to learn more about this process (we’re 6 months into a review right now) and its history, read the Article II Study Commission’s first blog (dated November 23rd, 2020), What Brings Us Together.

Please join Rev. Kellie and Lifespan Religious Education Rep., René Hick, as they explore each of our current 6 Sources. No prep work or homework will be assigned (Rev. Kellie’s favorite type of class). While we would love for you to be able to attend all 6 monthly classes, there also is no attendance policy (attend as often as you like/can). 
A HOLIDAY GIFT FROM KEN SCHORY

To my friends at MVUUF:
 
Considering the state of the world these days, I imagine you could use something that soothes your soul – like images of the beauty of nature, for instance. You may not know me, but some of you may recall the exhibit of my landscape photographs in the MVUUF sanctuary several years ago and the service I led one Sunday in which I referred to those images under the topic of “relationships.” I have also led MVUUF’s Community Discussion Group for several years. 
In any event, as we head into what is likely to be a long, challenging winter, I think you’ll agree that it is especially important to have hobbies or other diversions to pursue. With that in mind, I’d like to share with you, free of charge, some digital (online) jigsaw puzzles I’ve made from my landscape photographs. Here’s an example: this one has just 60 pieces, to give you a feel for how this works. Typically, the puzzles have more pieces than that, but you can easily increase or decrease the number of pieces to suit your preferences and the device you’re working on.
 
The reason I’m sharing these puzzles with you is to foster the sense of community at MVUUF and offer you a pleasurable, relaxing activity that celebrates the joy and peacefulness of nature. If you’re interested, and would like me to send you more puzzles, just shoot me an email at ken@kenschory.com. I’ll send you one set at a time, each set containing some twenty puzzles; there are six sets altogether. At least the first set will include a few tips for playing.
 
Ken Schory
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