Miami Valley 
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458






MVUUF's Forum for April, 2019

  visit our website  HERE          visit the UUA's website    HERE


Service Topics for April, 2019

Sunday, April 7th   11:00 AM
Lovers of Leaving: New Member Recognition
with Rev. Kellie
Sunday, April 14th   11:00 AM
There's A Hole in My Wholeness
with Rev. Joan VanBecelaere
Sunday, April 21st   11:00 AM
Worship For All Ages
Loving Our Earth: Earth Day Celebration
with Rev. Kellie and Jerry Leggett, DRE
Sunday, April 28th   11:00 AM
Recognizing Each Other's Wholeness:
Pastoral Care Commissioning
with Rev. Kellie

Staff Notes

My Dear Ones,
April is here already! How did that happen? I guess I need more than 31 days in a month. Or as one of our great lay leaders frequently jokes, I guess I need more than 24 hours in a day, hehe.
In March, we had two huge events: our annual Pledge Drive kick-off March 17th and my Installation service March 24th. This year, our stewardship theme is "This is the place we have been waiting for" (based on the meditation by UU minister Rev. Stephen Shick). If you missed my marathon pledge sermon, please look for it on our sermon archive page next week (pack a snack for listening, hehe).
We are shooting for 100% friend and member participation in the pledge campaign. We need all friends and members to financially commit to MVUUF. We need and appreciate pledges of all amounts. When you turn in your pledge card to the stewardship team (Catherine Queener, Anne Snively, Bill Ross or me), you'll receive a bright purple sticker for your nametag saying, "I pledged." Those who pledge before the pledge drive ends April 28th will also receive a bright yellow sticker saying, "Rebel with a Cause."
In addition to our exciting sticker incentive, we have completely changed our pledging guidelines. Because of these changes, we're asking all friends and members to attend one of our Stewardship Café Conversations (Sunday, April 7th or Saturday, April 27th). Instead of focusing on income percentages and multiple large fundraising events, we're asking congregants to pledge a meaningful amount that is   mindful of our operation costs and makes them feel good. We need everyone to go "All In!"
Building on our stewardship theme, my Installation service was a beautiful and emotional celebration of the beginning of our shared ministry. The Search Committee and I selected the theme of rebirth and Spring: " Growing seeds of radical love, justice, and transformation ." For those of you who were unable to attend, Hitch Nelson and Jerry Leggett are working hard to edit the video recording so that it will be available for viewing.
While I was excited about our service beforehand, I must admit that I didn't expect it to be as meaningful as my ordination service, which was the culmination of 7 years of hard and heartbreaking work to become a UU minister and receive the title, " Reverend ." Whoa, was I wrong!
As soon as I entered our sanctuary and looked at your loving faces, I knew I was wrong. I felt tears spring up and my head started to swim (so dizzy). The love I have felt for you all has never been stronger-I could feel it in my chest and my throat, almost bursting. Although I am a crier (just ask my mom), I have worked hard to control my tears in my ministry and was surprised by my difficulty in managing them during our Act of Installation (I think I even stamped my foot to try to stop them, ha).
Thank you all for calling me as your minister, welcoming me and Matt with so much love, and trusting me to be your leader, companion, follower, confidante, teacher, and student. Thank you for sharing your ministry, your lives, and yourselves with me.
Back in our everyday church life, our New Member Recognition Ceremony is this Sunday, April 7th. We also will hold our Child Dedication Service for children of all ages Sunday, May 5th. The only requirement for our child dedication is that the parents are members. The congregation-wide child dedication is an important ritual for our children, our families, and our whole fellowship community. It allows us to bless the children and covenant with their families to support them on their journey as parents (see details later in this Forum).
Thanks to all of our wonderful Faithify donors, our UU-UNO Teen Trek to the UU United Nations Office Spring Symposium in New York City is April 10th. Whoo-hoo! While they are in New York, I'll be in Boston at our UUA headquarters for the First Year Ministers Seminar, receiving additional training and support in my first year of settled ministry. On Easter, Director of Religious Education (DRE) Jerry Leggett and I will lead a Worship for All Ages service to celebrate Earth Day. I will also be offering a Pastoral Care is for Everyone Workshop Saturday, April 20 (see write-up later in The Forum). To finish out the month, we'll do a Pastoral Associate Commissioning during our April 28th service.
Meanwhile, the Repair & Healing Taskforce (myself, Ria Megnin, Alysoun Taylor-Hall, Garlene Hamilton, Rachel Feltner, and Sky Stewart) are working on our summary report of our Listening Sessions with the Dayton Mediation Center. If you have any suggestions for future actions or events, please email me at We want this to be a congregational process and would love to learn your feedback.
As I have done each month, I share with you a song that holds our monthly Soul Matters theme. Music speaks to us emotionally (heart), kinesthetically (full body), and cognitively (mind). Music is also one of the last things we hold onto as we age and concrete memories slip away. With this month's theme of Wholeness , I selected Wonder from Emeli Sande and Naughty Boy. The song reminds us that we all are made of--full of--magic, wonder, and mystery.
As you will notice in the Soul Matters small group packet, people have many different ideas of what Wholeness means. Some people believe that Wholeness isn't possible individually, either because we all are broken or because we need others to achieve wholeness. As individuals, I do not believe we are   broken, only wounded. Systems can be broken; I do not believe that people can be. People do not need to be fixed.
Instead, I believe that we can find Wholeness both individually and in community. Individual Wholeness comes when we accept, love, and trust our WHOLE selves-when we stop trying to hide or fix parts of ourselves. As communities, Wholeness comes when we accept, love, and trust those in our communities and continually seek to expand who we include in our circle of love.
So please take a listen and then as Emeli tells us, " Go, go tell your neighbors. Just reach out and pass it on, ooh yeah ."
Holding you in my heart,
Rev. Kellie
What I'm Reading (aka- What I'm listening to in my Air Pods):
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo (Chapters 10 & 11) (Our Congregational Read)
The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor
Poldark 12-book series by Winston Graham (I'm on book 7, The Angry Tide )
Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society by Nicholas A. Christakis

Around the Fellowship
Sunday, May 12th, 12:30 PM, in the Sanctuary at MVUUF
This fun gathering will NOT be taking place this month as Rev. Kellie will be in Boston at UUA headquarters for her First Year Ministers' Seminar. But don't worry...she's looking forward to chatting & enjoying coffee with everyone next month, on Sunday, May 12th, following the Worship Service.

2019-2020 Annual Pledge Campaign
  Join Rev. Kellie and the Stewardship Team for a  Caf é Conversation!
Rev. Kellie and our inspiring Stewardship Team (Catherine Queener, Bill Ross, and Ann Snively) have 3 important goals for this year's pledge drive:
  1. De-mystify the annual pledge drive
  2. 100% participation in the annual pledge drive
  3. 100% of our pledge goal (you know we had to include that one, hehe)
With everyone's busy schedules, we know that most of us don't have time for 1-on-1 conversations with the Stewardship Team. So in order to use everyone's time as efficiently as possible, we have scheduled three 75-minute Café Conversation events to share our information with you, answer your questions, and celebrate all that MVUUF gives us each week.

These casual events are for everyone:  new pledgers who don't know what pledging is, experienced pledgers who don't think they can learn anything new about pledging, people who hate pledging, people who love pledging, and anyone who cares about MVUUF. We need everyone to keep MVUUF alive and to help us grow. (Yes, that means even you.)

There will be plenty of food and fellowship. If you would like childcare, email your request to at least 8 days before your selected Café Conversation.

We've already held our first conversation,and if you missed it (or are interested in catching it again!), please plan to attend one of the remaining Café Conversations at MVUUF:

Sunday, April 7th from 12:30 PM 
Saturday, April 27th from 10 to 11:15 AM 
We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, April 11th, 11:30 AM, at MCL Cafeteria
Members & Friends of MVUUF (that identify as women) are invited to join this fun-loving group as they celebrate birthdays on Thursday, April 11th, 11:30 AM, at MCL Cafeteria in Kettering. Please RSVP to Allie Petersen at:                         

This month, our Soul Matters theme is Wholeness; you'll find this theme used throughout the Fellowship this month, from Worship Service topics to what the kids are learning in their classrooms! To connect to the Soul Matters packet for this month, please click HERE.
And remember, if you have any difficulties with access to the info in the packet (i.e., learning differences, technology trouble), please contact our Fellowship Administrator, Jennie Freiberger, at 937-436-3628 or so that she can send you another version. And you don't need to be a member of a covenant group to download or receive the packet; they are available for ALL MVUUF members & friends.
At its March meeting, the Program Council (PC) was happy to recognize Gary Courts as an Unsung Hero. Most of you will know that Gary serves as the Parliamentarian at every congregational meeting. Gary has also put his strong science knowledge to use in a variety of environmental and ecological activities around the Fellowship. Gary was the original chair of the Environmental Action group. He instituted and organizes the stream team (evaluating stream habitat quality at Wolf Creek), coordinates our participation in Five Rivers MetroPark's Adopt-A-Park; and chaired our quest to be designated as a Green Sanctuary church. As part of our Green Sanctuary application, he arranged for an energy audit through the University of Dayton. Although we were not awarded the coveted designation from the UUA, through his efforts we were certified a Green Business by the Dayton Regional Green 3 Task Force.
If you've ever participated in the Environmental Book group, you can thank Gary for getting that started as well. For years Gary has also made time to make MVUUF's weekly bank deposit. Gary has been a member since 1991 so we could list many more ways he has helped the community and our Fellowship. For example, he has served as the Chair of the Worship Committee, served on the Nominating Committee, and assisted many pledge drives by bravely making follow-up phone calls. Take time to thank him for all he continues to do and talk with him about his travels. He may be the only person in the congregation who's traveled to all 7 continents!

Home Is Where The Heart Is
Saturday, May 11th, 5:00 PM at MVUUF
Please plan to join us for fellowship, food, fun and yes, fundraising! This is our biggest fund raising event of the year, but it is much more than raising money. Events offered by members of MVUUF are great opportunities to gather in groups large and small in homes, outdoors and in locations other than our building. UU Bucks will be available; they can be used the same as cash during the event.
Members of the Service Auction team will be on hand after Sunday worship services to register your event, take suggestions for items you would like to see offered and answer questions. Look for us!
---Andy Wilson, Service Auction Lead
Saturday, April 20th, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM
Open to all MVUUF friends and members 14 years and older
Have you ever wondered what "pastoral care" is, especially within a Unitarian Universalist congregation where many congregants are humanist, atheist, or agnostic?
Rev. Kellie will lead an interactive workshop to help us learn the basics of pastoral care so that we can ask for it when we need it, offer it to fellow congregants in our small groups (whether choir or a social justice action team), and refer a congregant to Rev. Kellie and the pastoral associates if needed. Many of us are already offering each other pastoral care without even realizing it. Pastoral care is the companioning of another person while they handle a difficult situation or illness. It is deep listening and reflecting without fixing, advising, or judging. If you are interested in attending the workshop, please contact Rev. Kellie at

Sunday, May 5th, during the 11:00 AM Service
We will hold our Child Dedication Service for children of all ages Sunday, May 5th. The congregation-wide child dedication is an important ritual for our children, our families, and our whole fellowship community. It allows us to bless the children and covenant with their families to support them on their journey as parents. For more information, please review the following UUA page.
The only requirement for our child dedication is that the child's parents are members (next Joining Session is Saturday, March 30th). If you would like your child(ren) to participate in the dedication, please contact Rev. Kellie to begin planning, at

Now that our pledge campaign is underway, it's a good time to remember the following:
  • MVUUF is supported solely by its members. There is no outside support from other sources such as the Unitarian Universalist Association.
  • Pledging is important because it enables us to take care of our committed staff and keep the lights on in our beautiful building. The majority of our annual budget goes to our staff and building (89%).
  • The UUA offers suggestions for staffing based on church size and goals. This year's and next year's staffing budgets will allow us to serve the membership size we have now. If we would like membership growth, we will need to invest in more hours for our part-time staff members and therefore a larger staff budget.
  • Although our building and grounds were last appraised at $1.2 million, our mortgage is only $300,000. This is because of the hard work of our ancestors who worked to purchase our two previous locations and the careful stewardship of our contemporary leaders.
  • Everyone can give something. We value and need pledges of all sizes. We are stronger together.
Don't forget: This year's pledge campaign is shooting for 100% participation. Please do all that you are able to do to help us make MVUUF truly the place we've been waiting for .

Monday, April 22nd, 7:00 PM, in the Library
Our newly-formed Transgender Ally Group will be meeting this month on Monday, April 22nd, 7:00 PM in the Library at MVUUF. This group offers a supportive place where cisgender congregants can work on reducing and eliminating their own internalized transphobia and heterosexism, without harming our transgender siblings. We're also starting a new UU program to support transgender folks inside and outside of our congregations.

Sunday Mornings, 9:30 AM, Class Room #5 at MVUUF
This group, open to everyone who identifies as female, meets every Sunday morning, 9:30 AM, in class room #5 at MVUUF. The group discusses issues that affect women, and participants agree to confidentiality. In the event that the group would be cancelled (weather, illness, etc.) notifications can be received through the Yahoo Group MVUUF Women's Group. Please consider joining us!

For the next three months--April thru June--all of the non-pledge offering each Sunday will be given to Westwood Elementary School, in west Dayton. Westwood is located in one of Dayton's most impoverished neighborhoods with almost all of their students living in poverty. We've been building a relationship with Westwood for several years with a book drive, providing volunteer tutors, and helping parents organize. Our financial assistance will go to Westwood's Principal's Fund to promote a positive school environment and add extra programming for students: educational field trips, student rewards for positive behavior, honor roll and graduation celebrations, and teacher appreciation activities.
If you wish to donate by check, please make the check payable to MVUUF and write Westwood in the memo line. All donations are tax deductible.

Remember, due to allergies, asthma, and other sensitivities of our members & friends, we ask that you please refrain from wearing scent at MVUUF (perfume, aftershave, scented hair products, lotions, etc.).

Thank you for helping us to be a safe as well as welcoming congregation!

You can order fair trade coffee after the Sunday Worship Service at MVUUF! Orders are placed on the first Sunday of the month (this month that's
April 7th!), and then your order should be ready to be picked up on the third Sunday of the month (this month that's
April 21st!).

There are many varieties and bean grinds to choose from...some are even organic! For more information, feel free to contact Lynn Buffington at or 937-657-0426.

Did you know we have a lost & found box at the Fellowship? It's located in the Office area, on the floor under the long table holding all the plants! 

If you think you may have lost something while at MVUUF, it's the FIRST place you'll want to look!
Fun Things To Do This Month
Friday, April 12th, 6:30 PM, in the Sanctuary
As your Music Director, I am always thinking of new ways to get more folks involved in music-making. My thanks to everyone who has come up front before the worship service to join our hymn sing-along at 10:45 AM on Sundays! And on Friday, April 12th, I hope many more will participate in what will be our 2nd Annual Open Mic Night Gathering! (Actually, last year we called the event a Chalice Night Coffee House .) But it can officially be called a tradition as it was also held on the second Friday in April last year! All ages are invited to come at 6:30 PM for snacks, fellowship and to share your talents. I will be happy to accompany willing singers, or bring your guitar (or trumpet, autoharp, recorder, etc.) Spoken word, poetry, dance, comedy---whatever talent or experience you are willing to share in a supportive environment---bring it! Hope to see you there.
---Sara Davis, Director of Music

Wednesdays, April 10th and 24th, 1:00 PM, in the Sanctuary
Learn how to play Mexican train dominoes, or bring a board or card game of your choice...whatever you'd like! We'll spend a pleasant afternoon sharing snacks and each other's company. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 17th, 10:30 AM, in the Library
Why not plan to join this well-read group? They'll be meeting this month on Wednesday, April 17th, 10:30 AM, in the Library at MVUUF. The book for discussion will be My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One by Elena Ferrante. All are welcome to join them.

Saturday, April 20th, 6:30 PM, at MVUUF
Come hang out with us! We'll be spending some time working on some springtime crafts while we share food and fellowship. Should be a fun evening...why not join us?

Sunday, April 21st, 12:15 PM
On Easter Sunday, April 21st, after the service, children through 5th grade are invited to hunt for eggs on the lawn and then exchange them for (nonfood) prizes. The eggs will be hidden during service and   hunted at 12:15 PM, with younger children getting a head-start. Children (and their adults!) may bring a basket or bag and meet in the back of sanctuary by 12:15 PM. In case of rain, the hunt will be moved indoors.
If you (or an older kid you know) would like to hide eggs or staff the egg trade-in, please contact Genevieve Harvey at 937-477-2385 .
---The YRE Committee

Sunday, April 21st, 12:30 PM
Celebrate Easter with your Fellowship family by sharing food, fun and fellowship together...and welcoming spring! Please bring a covered dish to share; if you can help set-up and/or clean-up, that would be wonderful, too!

Friday, April 26th, 6:30 PM, in the Sanctuary
Come out and have some fun! Play games, share snacks, make some new friends. It should be a great   evening, but we need YOU to make it so!
Social Action Opportunities
Do you have room in your car for a congregant or visitor? Do you need a ride to MVUUF to join us? If you would be willing to share a ride or need a ride, please contact Kathleen Werning at 937-825-4314 or I will need your name, contact information, your area of town and   whether you can provide a ride or need a ride. This is a way to care for each other and increase participation at MVUUF.

The Social Action Committee invites nominations for the 2019 Emily Upham Social Justice Award. This award is given to a member of the congregation who exemplifies commitment and service for world peace and social justice, and is involved in on-going activities that support a vision of a better world.
Past awardees include Anwyl Scott (2018), Ndidi Achebe (2017), Gary Courts (2016), Phil Wise (2015), Alice Diebel (2013-2014), Pete Davis (2012), Maureen O'Meara (2011), Bob Lewis (2010), Bill Ross (2009), Joe Law (2008), Lynn Buffington (2007), Diane Dover (2006), Gail Cyan (2005), and Kate Santucci (2003-2004).
Please send your nominations by Wednesday, May 1st, to Maury Wyckoff (at ) or Garlene Hamilton (at ); you may also give it to our Fellowship Administrator, Jennie Freiberger. Please tell us about the person and why you think they should be selected. The award will be presented in June, most likely at the Sunday Worship Service preceeding the June Congregational Meeting on Sunday, June 30th.

Thursday, April 4th, 7:00 PM, in the Founders' Room
This newly-formed group is a supportive place where white congregants can work on reducing and eliminating their own white fragility and internalized racism without harming our siblings of color. Rev. Kellie is also looking for individuals who are interested in assisting her to lead this ongoing group.
For the month of April, we'll gather on Thursday, April 4th, 7:00 PM, in the Founders' Room. Participation in the Congregational Read ( White Fragility ) is not required. Questions, concerns or suggestions? Please email Rev. Kellie at .
Saturday, April 6th, 10:30 AM, in the Sanctuary
Don't forget! Rev. Kellie continues to lead a monthly discussion group for MVUUF friends and members on Beacon Press's new release, White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. This month's gathering will take place on Saturday, April 6th , 10:30 AM, in the   Sanctuary at MVUUF; please read chapters 10 and 11. Because of the continued importance of anti-racism work in our denomination and in our country overall, Rev. Kellie encourages everyone to read the book with her and join our monthly discussions. Staff will also be participating as                                   time allows.
Monday, April 15th, 7:00 PM, in the Library
The Social Action Committee will be meeting this month on Monday, April 15th, 7:00 PM, in the Library at MVUUF. If social action issues are something you feel strongly about, why not consider joining them? The meetings are open to ALL.

Saturday, April 13th, 10:45 AM, 120 W. Apple Street in Dayton
Please join us on Saturday, April 13th, in providing our long-standing second Saturday lunch for women and families staying at the St. Vincent de Paul Shelter.  
Our needs this month include:
hearty chili, fixings of shredded cheese & sour cream, vegetable dishes (any dish made with fresh vegetables such as green beans, vegetable medley, carrots & celery sticks), green salads, fresh fruit/fruit salads, 100% orange juice and 1% milk.  
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 (the St. Vincent de Paul Gateway Shelter) by 10:45 am.   You can sign up for Saturday, April 13 lunch on the clipboard in the Gathering Space, or you can contact Lynn Buffington at 937-657-0426 (call or text) or You can also check on what is needed on SignUp Genius (no need to log in unless you also want to sign up through Genius).

St. Vincent's continues to be very full with about 120 in house, but the number of Saturday lunch diners is unpredictable as some residents take advantage of warmer weather to go elsewhere. In March, we fed 84, with 48 in the women's group at 11 and 36 in the family group at noon.   Thanks to the many who served (in the photo above) and/or provided food!     

If you would like more information regarding volunteering, please take one of the info flyers near the sign-up sheet in the Social Action area in the Gathering Space.  


One Last Thing... 



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


The calendar is updated throughout the week, so it's ALWAYS the place to check & see what's going on at MVUUF; usually, it's quite A LOT!



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 a.m. for our worship service---

we'd love to see you!