Chalice                    Miami Valley 
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458





MVUUF's Forum December, 2017

  visit our website  HERE          visit the UUA's website    HERE


Service Topics for December, 2017

Sunday, December 3rd (11:00 AM)
Wassail Service
Brad Mattingly & The MVUUF Choir
Come and join us in songs & celebration as we gather for our 
annual Wassail Service. Come with a toast in mind,
as we will toast to our past, present and future! 
Sunday, December 10th (11:00 AM)
Beyond Categorical Thinking
The Ministerial Search Committee 
 Today's service will focus on the Beyond Categorical Workshop that members & friends will be participating in  later this afternoon, as we move forward in the search for our next settled minister! 

Sunday, December 17th (11:00 AM)
How The Unitarians Saved Christmas
The Rev. Dr. Holly Horn
Today's sermon will tell stories of how our 19th century forebears 
helped to shape what we know as  an American Christmas.

Sunday, December 24th (11:00 AM)
Pressure Cookers and the Freedom Land
Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen 
Living up to our deepest values is hard enough on most days. Under pressure - when the holidays or our kids or the political moment or the weather is stressing us out - it can feel impossible. Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen reflects on embodying our values under pressure. And on pressure cookers, with which she has very little experience. 
Sunday, December 24th (5:00 PM)
Star of Wonder
The Rev. Dr. Holly Horn
Please join us for this Christmas Eve Family Celebration 
of carols & stories; the choir will be singing, too!
Sunday, December 31st (11:00 AM)
Reflections of Joy
Laura Vondenhuevel and Rachel Feltner
 As we begin the new year, come join MVUUF members Laura Vondenhuevel and Rachel Feltner for worship as we reflect on sources and expressions of joy.

November News

Arrival: A Prayer for This Season
Arrival: the One comes for whom we have been waiting.
O Thou, who are the very breath that animates our deepest silence;
             Roaming glad spirit that binds                   this universe in one glowing whole;
             Still voice of comfort in the cold, in the broken soul;
             We listen,
             We listen for the singing . . .
Arrival: the One comes for whom we have prepared a place.
O Thou, who are the firmness of faith, dancing
            The transforming rhythms of earth and season;
            Whose truth is like a stone worn smooth
            In touching among the generations;
            Gracious ground of our being:
            We hold fast,
            We hold our hands open.
Arrival: the One comes whose name has been called.
O Thou, who are the knowledge of our hearts,
            Bright spark of intelligence, generous -
            You who kindle the flames of prophecy
            And make us burn for something beyond us: justice.
            We make an offering of these burning hearts;
            We light the advent candle.
Arrival: the One comes whose time it is to be reborn.
O Thou, who are the tears of labor,
            The miracle of deliverance,
            The tears of mercy,
            The mystery of birth;
            There is so much within us which is waiting to be born.
            We know the Messiah lives among us.
            We offer a prayer for his coming.
            We offer a prayer for her coming.
            In joyful anticipation, we offer a prayer for this season.
May all of you find warmth and joy during these holidays.
Yours in the faith,

This Saturday, December 2nd, two memorial services will be held at MVUUF, each for a parent of a MVUUF member. Former MVUUF Minister, Rev. Amy Russell, will officiate both.

The 10:00 AM service will remember Carol Kahler, mother of Dan Miyake, who passed away on Wednesday, November 22nd.

The 3:00 PM service will remember Jim Wyckoff, father of Maury Wyckoff, who passed away on Friday, October 20th.

May we hold Dan and Maury and their families & friends in our hearts during this difficult time.

A new season of Covenant Groups is being offered at the Fellowship. These are small groups which offer a unique way of strengthening our relationships within the Fellowship. The groups of 8-12 people gather to share personal thoughts and listen to each other, deepening how we "know" one another. Covenant Groups have been shown to encourage respect for our differences and celebrate our relationships. They usually meet every other week for a set number of sessions. A service project by the group is encouraged.
More details about these groups will be found on the sign-up sheets available in the Gathering Space, but please do so ASAP, as the deadline for registrations is Sunday, December 3rd . If you have immediate questions, please call our Membership Representative, Diane Colvin, at 937-433-0969.
" Well, they're both gay so they probably agree on that topic."

"What if she only wants to talk about women's issues?"

"I know he told us that he has ADHD, but can't he just try harder to sit still during meetings?"

"Shouldn't the minister be a little bit younger?"

Some of these statements probably make you cringe. They might make you angry. But it's also possible at least one of them is secretly something that's crossed your mind. Maybe the context was race instead of gender or physical appearance instead of age, but most of us at one time or another have thought categorically about other people. And our new minister will be no exception.

We're human, and putting people, places and things into categories is one way we make sense of our world. What's more, we probably don't intend to show bias or belittle people if we sometimes rely on categories to guide our actions. But to the person on the receiving end of statements like these, our good intentions don't always sound so good.

In his role as Director of the UUA's Transitions Office, Keith Kron has seen many examples of categorical thinking, oppression, bias and power imbalance in UU congregations. In a Youtube video on this subject, he explains how even well-meaning people tend to reduce individuals to a single aspect of their identity and then define them by it. He gives several examples of how we tend to get frustrated when we cannot immediately guess a person's gender, how we assume that two people of the same sexual orientation will react the same way to a given situation, and how we doubt the skill and resilience of people with disabilities (especially so-called invisible disabilities like sensory disorders or dyslexia). He also warns us about trying to bolster a desired image through the minister we select: he reminds us to focus on a minister's skills and competence more than their category.

To illustrate his point, Kron talks about what has often happened when a congregation calls a person of color to settled ministry, though this example could apply to many other categories too.  Statistically, about one-third are happy because they assume the minister will want to address issues of race, another third are happy because they feel there is now proof that there is no racism in their congregation, and the final third are fearful because they assume the minister will want to discuss nothing but race. In all three cases, the congregation has reduced their new minister to a single aspect of him or herself: they are a person of color, nothing more. The assumption is that his or her race will dominate their ministry, when in reality, race may or may not be a key matter for this minister. But how can we know unless we get to know the whole person?

Citing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 2009 TED talk, "The danger of a single story," Kron cautions us not to reduce a person to a single story. Doing so excludes everything else that makes a person whole. Our assumptions about people because of a single factor (and what we don't assume because of other factors) serve only to devalue potentially great ministers. Watch Kron's full video HERE  (and don't miss the purple shirt story!).
---Eileen Simon, Secretary, Ministerial Search Committee

Help spread winter holiday joy within and without our MVUUF community by providing gifts and urgently needed items to those in need, beginning Sunday, December 3rd.  You can also come to Chalica for a potluck and  tree decorating on Saturday, December 2nd at 6:30 PM

GIFT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM , Pastoral Care Team - You are invited to choose a tag or tags from the Gathering Space Holiday Giving Tree.  Please purchase and gift wrap the item(s), firmly attach the tag(s), and place wrapped, tagged items under the tree before or on Sunday, December 17th.  If you cannot make it  to the Fellowship to pick up gift tags, please contact Jennie in the Office or one of us in Pastoral Care to make arrangements. We can even pick up your gift(s) if delivering them yourself will be a hardship.

DAYTON'S  ST. VINCENT'S  SHELTER URGENT NEEDS , Social Action Committee - You are invited to bring one or more of the following to place on or under the Gathering Space Holiday Giving Tree: children's socks, undershirts, underpants (all children's sizes are needed), blankets. No need to gift wrap, just bring items before or on Sunday, December 24th. Contact Steve Steel or Lynn Buffington for more information.

REQUESTS  FOR  GIFT ASSISTANCE , The Pastoral Care Team is seeking referrals for families and individuals (yes, adults deserve to feel loved during the holidays too!) who could benefit from our holiday gift assistance program this year. Please contact  Tina Marie Musgrove Adrienne Clark Tina Porter  or  Sky Stewart  if you or someone you know could use a little help this year. Self-Referrals are encouraged, and your participation is confidential, so please don't be embarrassed. We all struggle sometimes.

FINANCIAL  DONATIONS   No time to shop?  No problem! Make a financial donation and we'll do the shopping.  Near the tree, there will be separate envelopes for the Pastoral Care Gift Assistance Program and the Social Action St. Vincent's collection. Please make checks to MVUUF  and in the memo line write either Pastoral Care Gift or Social Action St. Vincent's.  You may also place cash in one of the envelopes (if you include your name, your donation will be included in your MVUUF giving statement). You may also mail a check (if mailed, checks should arrive by December 15th for Pastoral Care Gifts and December 22nd for Social Action St. Vincent's).

Showing a little love to someone in need - regardless of which holiday you celebrate this time of year - is a great way to ring out 2017!

Come one and all to our traditional December 25th pot-luck dinner starting at 2:00 PM, right here at the Fellowship! Turkey, stuffing and soft drinks will be provided; please bring a side dish or dessert to share. All ages are welcome to join us for table games, singing and fun but do plan to stay 'til at least 4:00 PM to help clean up. Invite your friends or even acquaintances to share our abundance!

For the month of December, the Anti-Racism Team will present Stanley Nelson's 2015 documentary  Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution , on Friday, December 1st, 7:00 PM, in the Sanctuary at MVUUF. 

This film, seen through the eyes of the leaders of this organization, can be seen as a case study for effective political repression and an object  lesson in the vulnerability of political resistance. The New York Times' review can be seen HERE.

As always, refreshments will be served during the film, and a discussion will be held afterwards. We look forward to seeing you there!

Each of us inhabit a world created by our own experiences and relationships. Our world is colored by the emotions of our own particular history. In many ways, we live in our own unique world.
Yet, we can come together and affirm common values.
The value of the dignity of every person.
The values of justice and equality.
The value of compassion towards every person.
We can affirm the existence of human rights.
We can work towards a world community based on these values.
We can share these values which are made explicit by the Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
But how can we best inject these values into the human world community?
One of the ways we can do this is by supporting the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. The mission of the UUSC is to advance human rights and social justice around the world. The UUSC has a special strategy for doing this. They partner with those who confront unjust power structures and who mobilize to challenge oppressive   policies. The UUSC has over 75 grassroots partners in over 25 countries.
Our Fellowship is participating in the UUSC's annual Guest At Your Table program, an annual intergenerational  program to raise awareness and support for their partnerships to advance human rights. This year, the UUSC       figuratively invites four of their partners to your table to share with you their work. The guests that are invited this year are:
Ursula Rakova founded Tulele Peisa ("sailing in the wind on your own" in the local Halia language), one of the UUSC's seven climate-forced displacement partners in the south Pacific. Tulele Peisa supports Carteret Islanders through all stages of the move to finding a new home and new employment.
Rosemary Dodd , a Spanish and Political Science student at Wellesley College wanted to help support detained  families who were facing a convoluted asylum system without legal assistance. Rosemary applied to the UU College of Social Justice's summer internship at the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a UUSC migrant justice partner based in San Antonio, Texas. As a result of RAICES' support, interviews at Karnes County Residential Center, one of three for-profit detention centers for families in the U.S.  Rose from about 30% to over 90%.
Aung Kyaw Moe founded the Center for Social Integrity, one of UUSC's nine partners working to promote human rights in Burma.
Ali Dawodu is a gay man from Nigeria whose partner was murdered in front of him because he was gay. Ali scrambled to get his visa in order and fled to the U.S.  To seek asylum. Upon arrival, U.S. officials attempted to charge him with visa fraud. He was helped by the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP), a UUSC partner organization based in New York City.
To make a donation to Guest At Your Table , fill out the form at the end of the Guest At Your Table booklet (you can find extras on the Social Action table in the Gathering Space) and send the form and your check to the UUSC; you can also  can also give it to Kathleen Pennington or Dennis Kay; and if you prefer, you can make your donation online from the UUSC's website (click HERE). If you plan to collect coins in one of the cardboard boxes, we ask that you make sure to convert that to a check before making your donation. Our Guest At Your Table campaign will continue through Saturday, January 6th, 2018.

The next gathering of this well-read group will take place on Wednesday, December 13th, 10:30 AM in the Library, and they'll discuss A Man Called Ove , by Fredrik Backman. All are welcome to join them. Choices for future meetings are:

 January 17th..... News of the World , by Paulette Jiles
February 21st..... Road to Jonestown , by Jeff Guinn
March 21st..... The Kite Runner , by Khaled Hosseini
Members & friends of MVUUF (that identify as women) are invited to join this fun-loving group as they celebrate birthdays on Thursday, December 14th, 11:30 AM, at MCL Cafeteria, in Kettering. Please RSVP to Allie Petersen at:

Do I need a will?   When a person needs a will, it's too late to make one. For one reason or another, the majority of Americans die without wills. When a person dies without a will, a tax collector is perhaps the only one to benefit. In some cases, federal estate taxes and state death taxes can erode an estate considerably.
Do I really need a will if my estate is small?   Yes, the smaller the estate, the more important that it be settled quickly; delays usually mean more expense.
Does everyone have an "estate"?   Yes, if they own anything at all. The term applies not just to real estate but to cash, cars, furniture, books...any property at all.
Aren't charitable bequests made mainly by people who have no close relatives, or whose estates are so large there is plenty left over for charities?   No, even modest estates today are larger than the average estates of past generations, and people are finding it more and more convenient to make charitable bequests.
How do people usually make charitable bequests?   Many simply designate a percentage of the estate to go to one or more charitable organizations. Others name specific property, a specific dollar amount, or the remainder of the estate after other heirs are taken care of.
The Trustees encourage our members to include the Fellowship in their wills!

Please join us in providing food and/or serving for our long-standing second Saturday lunch ministry for women and families staying at Dayton's St. Vincent Shelter.  For the December 9 lunch we will continue our fall/winter chili menu.  You can sign-up for food donations and/or serving on the clipboard in the  Gathering Space,  or you can contact Lynn Buffington at  or  call or text   (937) 657-0426 .  You can also check on what is  needed  at  Sign Up Genius  (no need to log in unless you also want to sign up through Genius).  
If you would like more  information regarding volunteering, please take one of the info flyers near the sign-up sheet. Thanks to everyone who pitched in providing food and/or serving the November meal!  We served a grand total of 93:   50 in the women's group at 11:00 AM and 43 in the family group at noon, with 28 of those children. 
December 9th  menu:   Our needs include  hearty chili,  fresh fruit salad or fresh fruit, chili toppings (shredded cheese and sour cream), green salad, orange juice, and dishes made with fresh vegetables (anything from a hot vegetable dish to carrots & celery sticks).   We need several donations of most items, with each donation serving 15-20 people. Please bring all items-heated if applicable-to the side "donation" entrance at   120 West Apple Street  in Dayton (St. Vincent de Paul Gateway Shelter for Women and Families) by 10:45 a.m. Thanks to the many who have already signed up for December!

Remember to place your order for Fair Trade coffee on the first Sunday of the month (this month it's on Dec ember 3rd ) !   Coffee will be ready to be picked up on or after the third Sunday of the month (this month, Dec ember  17th )

There are many varieties and bean grinds to choose from, including several that are organic!  Contact  Lynn Buffington  at:

(937) 657-0426  or
Y ou 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!