The Forum, MAY 2020

 

 

 

 

                                 Miami Valley                              
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458

 

 937-436-3628


 

 

________________________
Worship Services on Zoom

To join us for our Worship Services on Zoom, 
simply click HERE!


Important COVID-19 Update

May 4th, 2020
 
Dear MVUUF friends and members,
 
Thank you all for your understanding, support, and trust as our congregation's leadership and staff navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic. On Saturday, May 2nd, Rev. Kellie and the MVUUF Board met to re-evaluate our suspension of in-person gatherings through May 3rd.
 
Both Rev. Kellie and the Board feel an incredible responsibility for the health and safety of our entire congregation, including our staff. Based on this responsibility and the science available, the Board has made the difficult decision to suspend in-person gatherings through June 2021, with reassessments during the September 2020, December 2020, and March 2021 Board meetings.
 
The vast majority of medical experts and scientists agree that we should not resume normal life and in-person gathering until a vaccine or cure/treatment can be developed, tested, mass produced, and mass distributed. In April alone, amidst a national lock-down, 58,000 Americans lost their lives to COVID-19 (4000 Americans died from the flu). Historically, the fastest vaccine request-delivery cycle was four years; however, with medical advancements, experts are hopeful that our time frame will only take 12-18 months.
 
So far, the UUA has canceled, rescheduled, or moved online all in-person gatherings through September 1st, 2020 (including our annual denominational meeting, General Assembly). The Canadian Unitarian Council has canceled, rescheduled or moved online all in-person gatherings through December 31st, 2020. The state of Ohio has mandated that schools remain closed through the end of the current academic year and has extended the stay-at-home order through the end of May 2020. In Ohio's Responsible Restart Business plan, MVUUF is most similar to the businesses that have not been cleared to reopen in May: schools, adult vocational centers, and theaters.
 
While we remain hopeful that we may be able to lift the suspension earlier, we understand that this is still a great shock and disappointment to many of you. As with our initial gathering suspension in March, we realize that we are projecting our suspension farther ahead than our state government and other institutions. In Ohio's April 30th stay-at-home order, Dr. Amy Acton said, "While the government can set the baseline, it should be understood that these orders set forth the minimum acts that must be taken and if people do more than the minimum to act safely, it will benefit everyone." MVUUF's actions will benefit all and are an expression of our faith, a faith that calls us to respect science, recognize our interdependence, and hold all people within our circle of care.
 
Let us emphasize that we are NOT closing MVUUF or canceling our meetings, groups, events, or worship services during this time. We still need each other and, as we have shown over the last 2 months, we still have each other. Physical distance cannot separate us. We are going to get through this. We are going to get through this together. Together.
 
Rev. Kellie and the Board will be hosting three town hall meetings to answer your questions, address your fears or concerns, and reimagine our new world (information on the town halls can be found below our signatures) . These meetings will be a time of togetherness---a time when we can hold both our grief and hope. We invite all to attend and share with us your fears, concerns, ideas, hopes, and dreams. Together, we can hold what is and envision a future in which our community thrives and no one is left behind.
 
Thank you for your continued understanding, support, and trust. We couldn't do this without each one of you!
 
With gratitude, love, and faith,
 
Rev. Kellie Kelly
MVUUF Minister
 
Rachel Feltner
MVUUF Board President
 
Townhall Meetings

Friday, May 8th at 7:00PM
Join Zoom Meeting HERE 
To use your cell phone, call:
+19292056099,,82406002081# US (New York) +13017158592,,82406002081# US (Germantown) 
To use a flip phone or land line, call:
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York) 
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown) 
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) 
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) 
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) 
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) 
(make sure to use the Meeting ID: 824 0600 2081 at the prompt)

Saturday, May 9th at 1:30PM
Join Zoom Meeting HERE 
To use your cell phone, call:
+13126266799,,85443705089# US (Chicago) +19292056099,,85443705089# US (New York) 
To use a flip phone or land line, call:
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) 
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York) 
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown) 
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) 
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) 
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) 
(make sure to use the Meeting ID: 854 4370 5089 at the prompt)

Thursday, May 14th at 10:00AM
Join Zoom Meeting  HERE 
To use your cell phone, call:
+13017158592,,88468073616# US (Germantown) +13126266799,,88468073616# US (Chicago) 
To use a flip phone or land line, call:
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown) 
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) 
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York) 
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) 
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) 
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) 
(make sure to use the Meeting ID: 884 6807 3616 at the prompt)

Sources (organized by date)
May 1st, 2020 - CNN
 
April 24th, 2020 - TIME
 
April 23rd, 2020 - Wisconsin Council of Churches
Offers a wealth of resources that they used to create their recommendations (articles and videos).
 
April 21st, 2020 - NPR
 
April 20th, 2020 - PBS
The author of the NY Times article (April 18th) talks about the fastest developed vaccine taking 4 years; therefore he believes that 12-18 most is highly optimistic. He also states that the hope for a summer break from the virus is unrealistic since the virus is sweeping through the heat of Brazil and India. At the end of the interview, he compares this to both World Wars and says his hope is that we'll flourish once the war is over.
 
April 18th, 2020 - New York Times (updated April 25th)
"Surges are inevitable, the models predict, even when stadiums, churches, theaters, bars and restaurants remain closed, all travelers from abroad are quarantined for 14 days, and domestic travel is tightly restricted to prevent high-intensity areas from reinfecting low-intensity ones."
 
March 3rd, 2020 - History Channel (updated April 29th)
Close to 200,000 Americans died in October 1918 from the Spanish Flu

Staff Notes

                                      MINUTE FOR MUSIC
Since the stay-at-home order started in March, our choir members have continued to meet on Wednesday evenings via Zoom. We've all felt the sadness of not being able to hear our voices together, simultaneously since Zoom technology enables only one person's audio at a time to be transmitted. (You've probably experienced the dreadful feedback sound of everyone's audio overlapping during our greeting time on Sunday mornings!) 

Something so simple as singing with others is just one example of the numerous experiences of which we are deprived while social distancing: like hugs, handshakes, shared tables, libraries, family gatherings. A wise member of my covenant group talked about "silver linings" from these difficult times. One of the brightest might be that in the future, we find rejuvenated value in face-to-face relationship and in-person interaction. Computer video technology is definitely better than nothing. But like the old Coca-cola ad said: "There's nothing like the real thing!"     
 ---Sara Davis, Director of Music


DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION,
SOMAYA BERNARD

Virtual CYRE has been going great so far, but we really want to know how we can make it better for everyone! With this next program year looking a little unconventional we want to talk a little bit about what that might look like. We also need YOUR feedback and ideas on what is going to work best for you and your family. 

On Saturday, May 16th, beginning at 11:00 AM we will have a virtual meeting to discuss possible plans for next year. You'll receive an email with some things to think about before we meet. 

I hope to see you all there so we can move through this together! 
--- Somaya Bernard,  Director of Religious Education
    she/her/hers


IMPORTANT NOTES FROM OUR ADMINISTRATOR
Even though I'm not answering the phone or door at the MVUUF building, you can rest assured I'm doing all that I can for MVUUF while safely situated in my "office" at home (really, it's a corner in my kitchen, but it works!).

I'm still making regular trips to MVUUF to pick up the mail, check the phone for messages, and make bank deposits. So please know that you can still safely make those pledge payments as we wind up the current fiscal year (through June 30th) as well as get those outstanding debts regarding Service Auction purchases taken care of, too. You can mail your payment by check to MVUUF at 8690 Yankee Street, Dayton, OH 45458; or you can make your contribution online by clicking  HERE

I do miss those in-person visits by members & friends, and look forward to enjoying them again at some point in the future! Until then, I am very grateful I can continue to be connected to you all through the magic of the internet. Please take care and stay safe & healthy!
---Jennie Freiberger, Fellowship Administrator
    she/her/hers


SOUL MATTERS LINK FOR MAY'S THEME & MORE!
The Soul Matters theme for the month May is Thresholds, and here's the  packet.

Additionally, we're also including the link to February's Resilience packet in order to help you get through these difficult days.

And we're also offering Soul Matters' Spotify playlists for last year ( 2018-2019) and this year ( 2019-2020) for comfort & inspiration.

Fun Things To Do This Month
 

COFFEE WITH THE MINISTER 
Wednesdays, 10:30 AM, on Zoom
Since we cannot enjoy Coffee With the Minister at the Fellowship currently, you'll be pleased to know that you CAN enjoy it every Wednesday morning, 10:30 AM, on Zoom! 

Simply click  HERE to join the conversation!



DAYTIME BOOK CLUB
Wednesday, May 20th, 10:30 AM, on Zoom
This well-read group continues to meet virtually in a Zoom room to discuss their monthly selection.

On Wednesday, May 20th, beginning at 10:30 AM, they'll be meeting to discuss My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. T he group is open to all, please click HERE if you'd like to join the discussion.

 
WOMEN'S GROUP
Sunday M ornings, 9:30 AM, on Zoom
The group has also moved to Zoom! Open to all who identify as female, they gather online every Sunday morning beginning at 9:00 AM.

You can click HERE if you'd like to join them!



VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR
Saturday Afternoons, 12:30 PM, on Zoom
Are you missing the fellowship and social connection of our Coffee Hour gatherings after service on Sundays?

Then you'll be pleased to know that our "virtual" Coffee Hour continues...Saturday afternoons, 12:30 PM, on Zoom!

And all you need to do is click  HERE to join; see you Saturday!

Around the Fellowship


JUNE CONGREGATIONAL MEETING 
Please mark your calendar for our annual June Congregational Meeting, which will take place on Zoom on Sunday, June 14th, 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. Our Congregational Meetings are open to everyone, and we're looking forward to seeing you (on Zoom!) on June 14th!


WORSHIP FOR THE WEARY
Wednesdays, 6:00 PM, on Zoom
We've been offering this shorter, more reflective service as a way of providing a bit of peace and comfort during these trying times. We "gather" online using Zoom (click  HERE to join us!) for music, readings & reflection; the services are held on Wednesdays, 6:00 PM, and will continue every Wednesday at the same time, for as long as needed.

We hope you'll plan on joining us!


A PLEDGE CAMPAIGN TO REMEMBER
Our Stewardship Team planned a conventional yet spectacular pledge campaign, with six MVUUF members sharing their faith journeys from the pulpit: Steve Steel, Shannon Harper, Ria Megnin, Gary Courts, Jerry Jenkins, and Somaya Bernard. Thank you all, you were splendid!

Little did the Stewardship Team know that most of the faith journeys, as well as our Café Conversation, would be presented online! Thank you to all who attended the zoom café conversation, read pledge materials at https://mvuuf.org/giving/pledging/ and completed pledge cards online or with a pen. MVUUF has truly been pulling together toward the goal of funding a realistic 2020-2021 operating budget.         

As of Monday, May 4th, 82 members and friends have pledged $166,430. We haven't reached our goal of $311,000, yet we want to pay the mortgage on our beautiful building, compensate our wonderful staff fairly, and pay MVUUF's other bills without touching the endowment fund.

It has not been easy to pivot to a new normal, especially for those experiencing financial uncertainty, but we are asking everyone to pledge something, even if the amount that fits your current budget is lower than the amount you want to pledge. We are asking the 96 members and friends who have not yet pledged to commit to an amount that fits your budget now. We need every member and friend to pledge now so we can move forward with a 2020-2021 budget. We are truly grateful for every pledge.

Please see https://mvuuf.org/giving/pledging/ and click (fill it online here) on that page. If you prefer a paper form or need assistance, please contact cqofdayton@gmail.com or 937-219-8924. Thank you!
---Catherine Queener, Stewardship Co-Chair


LABYRINTH & GROUNDS
Even though we're not there physically, the flowers are blooming, the grass is growing, and our MVUUF at home is sitting pretty, waiting for the day we return to it.  We do need to do some grounds upkeep in the time that we are away, though.

Gail Cyan has lovingly restored the labyrinth, so it is ready for a solitary meditation walk.  She is seeking assistance to maintain the path and the literal growing edges around it. There are some immediate needs while we are early in the season, and some ongoing needs. Please contact her or me to find out more. You would be doing the work on your own (or  alongside   people with whom you are sheltering), due to social distancing.   

Also, we have some tall grasses that need to be cut back, bushes to prune, and weeds to pull. If you need some "garden therapy," please let me know that you can go over and help. Any amount of time is appreciated!
---Genevieve Harvey, Operations Rep.,  937-477-2385


OUR CHOIR IS USING ZOOM!
Wednesdays, 7-8:00 PM, on Zoom
Our Director of Music, Sara Davis, wants to make sure you know that the Choir is continuing to use Zoom every Wednesday evening!

If you are currently a Choir member (past, present, or future) make sure to join them! All you need to do is click  HERE on Wednesday evening, beginning at 7:00 PM and you're all set!

Showing Up for Justice
   
GROUPS CURRENTLY ON HIATUS
Please note that two of our Social Justice groups, Transgender Alliance Group and Anti-Racism Ally Group, are experiencing a hiatus currently. Stay tuned to The Forum and E-Blasts as to when they will begin meeting again.


CONGREGATIONAL READ
Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Mitra Rahnema
Saturday, May 16th, 10:30 AM, in a Zoom room
Our Congregational Read continues for the month of May, using a Zoom room!

You can join Rev. Kellie and other participants as they discuss Centering:  Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry (edited by Mitra Rahnema) by clicking  HERE to join the conversation. Your assignment for the May gathering is to d iscuss "Faithful Stubbornness" by Rev. Peter Morales and the response essays. 


SOCIAL ACTION EFFORTS IN LIGHT OF COVID-19
Social Action is coordinating  with Rev. Kellie, Pastoral Care and the MVUUF Disaster Recovery Team to respond to covid 19 needs.  MVUUF members are invited to make financial  donations to the MVUUF Disaster Fund. You will find the MVUUF Disaster Fund listed under "Other Fundraising" on our website's Giving Page or you may mail a check to MVUUF with "Disaster Fund" in the memo line.  Because MVUUF still needs our funds for operating expenses, now more than ever, please  donate to the Disaster Fund only if you are able to also continue to contribute to MVUUF operating expenses. The Disaster Fund will be used for economic assistance for those affected financially by covid 19 and for assistance to specific covid 19 relief needs in the greater Dayton area.  Requests for financial assistance for individuals will be confidential and  should be made to Rev. Kellie.  Contact Kristen Beireis at kristen@beireis.com or Tina Porter for more information or with suggestions.  Volunteer opportunities and suggestions for them can be shared  via the MVUUF Disaster Recovery Team on Facebook.

If you would like to help with  or  request assistance for the food pantry contact Steve Steel at  steel.steven@yahoo.com . Several MVUUF members are collaborating with greater community members to organize assistance to our newest immigrant neighbors who do not have as much access to covid 19 relief as others.  For more information on that, please contact Social Action leaders Bill Ross ( rossviva@hotmail.com)  or  Lynn Buffington ( abufflg@gmail.com  or 937-657-0426) or Immigration Action group leader Jen Linck at  daytonimmigration@gmail.com.


ST. VINCENT De PAUL LUNCH
Saturday, May 9th, 10:45 AM, 120 West Apple Street, in Dayton
In this age of coronavirus we  will be accepting financial donations to purchase some or all of items for the May 9th lunch.  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, now more than ever, please only donate for St. Vincent's if you are able to also continue to contribute to MVUUF operating expenses.  St. Vincent's was very grateful for the chili and salad lunch we provided in April.  Some of it was sent to the offsite location where those vulnerable to COVID-19 are staying.

For May, we will follow a COVID-19 plan similar to what we followed in April. We will need a few people  from MVUUF to prepare larger-than-normal quantities of sandwich fillings and salad and  deliver those to the outside door at St. Vincent's.  St. Vincent's staff will serve the meal. 

Please check the  SignUpGenius starting about  May 2, for how you might help. 
  
And click  HERE to read about measures St. Vincent's is taking in this challenging time. 

______________

One Last Thing... 

 

CHECK OUT THE MVUUF CALENDAR!

You can keep up-to-date with all the happenings at MVUUF by viewing the Fellowship's online calendar right HERE.


It's especially helpful during these days of Zoom meetings, as you will be able to find the links to those meetings in the details of the event on the calendar, too. 

 

 

 

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, class background, sex, sexual/affectional orientation, gender expression, or ability.

 

Please visit us on Sunday mornings at 11:00 AM for our worship service---

we'd love to see you! Simply click HERE to enter the Zoom room.