Miami Valley 
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458






MVUUF's Forum for December, 2018

  visit our website  HERE          visit the UUA's website    HERE


Service Topics for December, 2018

Sunday, December 2nd - 11:00 AM      
Chalica:  Celebrating Our Faith
 with Rev. Kellie

Sunday, December 9th - 11:00 AM      
Love the Questions
with Rev. Kellie
Sunday, December 16th - 11:00 AM      
with Sara Davis, Director of Music
Sunday, December 23rd - 11:00 AM
     Into the Mystic 
 with Rev. Kellie

Monday, December 24th - 7:00 PM
Carols & Stories: Candlelight Service
with Rev. Kellie

Sunday, December 30th - 11:00 AM
Fire Communion:  Worship for All Ages
with Rev. Kellie 

December News


Oh my dear ones,
December starts my fifth month being your minister and calling Dayton, OH home. I continue to feel great gratitude to be your minister and to get to know so many of you better. If I haven't had a chance to spend at least a few minutes with you yet, please talk to me during our coffee time after the service, join me and others for Coffee with the Minister (12:30 PM on the second Sunday of the month), purchase one of my events at the December 1st Gifts & Gatherings Silent Auction, or email me to schedule a time for us to visit ( ).

This month's Soul Matters theme is Mystery . In this month, we'll explore the practice of embracing life with humility and awe, celebrating both what we do know and what we have yet to discover. While the abundance of holidays this month will give us plenty of joyful opportunities to embrace the miracle of creation and the human spirit (Chalica, Hanukkah, Yule, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year's to name a few), I fear the news will continue to give us humbling challenges to our sense of Mystery and miracle. As I entreated you in the past, I encourage you to try to hold both the joy and the grief this month-to stay connected to your loved ones and your communities of support. Even in my bleakest moments, I believe that we are surrounded by a Love that will never let us go.

We had our first Congregational Read discussion group last month and it was a great success. We had about 35 members, friends, and staff attend. We will be having our December discussion group, Saturday December 1st from 10:30-12 PM in the sanctuary, discussing chapters 2 and 3. If you haven't had a chance to finish the reading (or do any of the reading for that matter), I still encourage you to attend. Something is always better than nothing. If you can't make this month, our monthly discussion groups are on the first Saturday morning of the month at the same time/location as this month. The January meeting will be Saturday, January 5th, covering chapters 4 and 5.

As we do this important antiracism work together, please know that we may make mistakes and harm each other. We are going to have to learn how to make genuine amends, assume good intentions, practice forgiveness, trust each other, listen deeply, and STAY in community. This is really difficult work. AND. It is part of our commitment to our own spiritual growth and the spiritual growth of our fellow congregants. It is the only way we can build Martin Luther King Jr.'s Beloved Community.

As our fellowship becomes more racially diverse and our understanding of antiracism work continues to deepen, we have decided that we need to create a nourishing place for our self-identified people of color (POC: People of African Descent, Caribbean, Native/American Indian, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latina/o and Hispanic, Middle Eastern/Arab, and Multi-racial). Shannon Harper and Ndidi Achebe have been dreaming about this idea for some time and I am thrilled to be able to actively support it. If you weren't able to attend the POC group's first meeting last month, please contact Ndidi at to find out when the group will meet again.

In talking with colleagues within ministry and religious education, we have also decided to offer a self-identified white identity caucus to dig deeper into the Congregational Read and work on the important transition from "not racist" to "anti-racist allies and accomplices." While this group *will* be attached to the Congregational Read , this group is also optional and may continue after the Read ends in May. If you identify as white and would like to participate in this group, please email me at so we can schedule our first meeting.

We are continuing to move forward with our follow-up work from the August 18th congregational workshop with MidAmerica. As I told you last month, I assembled a healing taskforce at the board's request. I am in conversation with an expert in the field of congregational healing, our MidAmerica staff, and the Dayton Mediation Center. I will continue to keep you posted on our progress. Please know that we will not let this fade into the background.

As I mentioned last month, I LOVE music and LOVE singing (singing is one of my spiritual practices). So for this month's theme of Mystery , I have named our December 23rd Sunday service after one of my favorite songs from the Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, Into the Mystic . I invite you to take a listen before we begin exploring the Mystery together. As always, I'll keep holding each of you in my heart and am here for you if you need extra support.

You can listen to  Into The Mystic online HERE

With gratitude and love,

Rev. Kellie
The Congregational Meetings have been scheduled as follows for 2019:
Sunday, January 27th
Sunday, June 30th
Meetings take place at 12:30 PM, in the Sanctuary at MVUUF. Attendance at Congregational Meetings is an important duty & privilege of MVUUF Voting Members; all Voting Members are encouraged to attend, and the meetings are open to all.

I am really looking forward to celebrating our annual tradition of an (almost) all-music, Worship for All Ages Wassail Service on Sunday, December 16th! Afterwards, we'll enjoy snacks and drinks and sing Christmas carols around the piano.
I hope that you will consider inviting a friend, neighbors or even just acquaintances to come to MVUUF during this festive but for some, lonely or difficult holiday season. It really resonated with me once when a Christian friend told me that for her, hospitality is a spiritual practice. I know from past years that we often welcome more visitors than members at our Christmas Eve service!
May this season of giving remind us that sometimes the best gift we can share with another person might be a kind word, an embrace, our thoughtful presence, and a warm welcome into the light and hope our Fellowship can offer to them.
---Sara Davis, Director of Music

Don't forget! Rev. Kellie is leading 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, December 1st, 10:30 AM, in the Sanctuary at MVUUF; please read chapters 2 and 3. Because of the continued importance of antiracism 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.

The Soul Matters Covenant Groups have been formed, and meetings are well underway. The topic for December is Mystery and you can access the packet for December HERE 
If you have been having any difficulties with access to the info in the packet (i.e.,   learning differences, technology trouble), please contact our Fellowship Administrator, Jennie Freiberger, at (or the phone number above) so that she can send you another version. And you don't need to be a member of a covenant group in order to download or receive the packet; they are available for all MVUUF members & friends.

In November, the Program Council recognized Laura Vondenhuevel as our Unsung Hero. Laura has contributed her amazing leadership, organizational and communication skills to some of the most challenging lay-led tasks at MVUUF, chairing the MVUUF Ministerial Search Team that brought us the wonderful Rev. Kellie and chairing the Sexual Offender Response Team (SORT). Laura was a co-founder of Chalice of the Willow which is the   local chapter of CUUPS (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans). Laura has long served MVUUF as a Worship Associate, most likely gleaning a few insights from her UU minister sister. In addition, Laura was MVUUF Communications Representative to the Program Council, and we further benefited from her talents when she created, on short     notice, a 21 page information packet as a resource for congregational decision making on offering physical sanctuary to an individual facing possible deportation.

As the holiday season approaches, and the Fellowship is all decked out in holiday finery, you may have noticed the Holiday Tree in the Gathering Space. It's not merely there to get us ready to celebrate the holidays; it's the Holiday Giving Tree, and it has a very important job this time of year!
Pastoral Associate Part of Holiday Giving Tree
The Holiday Giving Tree will be set up in the Gathering Space until Sunday, December 16th. There are tags that   correspond to gifts that are needed by members/friends of our community. Please take as many tags as you are willing to provide for, wrap your gift, attach the tag, and place under the Holiday Giving Tree. There will also be   envelopes for gift cards and/cash donations. Questions? Contact any Pastoral Associate after service or email Adrienne Clark at .
Food Pantry Part of the Holiday Giving Tree
This year, restocking the food pantry in the Fellowship kitchen comes into focus as part of the Giving Tree project. The pantry is open to all in need and is used year-round, not just during the holidays. After a quick check to ensure that there are no expired items and looking over what is present and what is missing, the following list of needs has been compiled. Donations can simply be placed in the cabinet or nearby with a label to indicate that it is for the pantry. Thank you to everyone who has helped to keep this pantry stocked!
Canned vegetables (no corn, please)
Canned pasta
Canned meats
Tea/coffee/drink mix packs
Canned fruit
Fruit spreads/jelly/jam
Feminine hygiene products (especially tampons)
Dish Soap (unscented preferred but not required)
Laundry detergent (unscented preferred but not required)
Small packages of pet food
Social Action Part of Holiday Giving Tree
This year, Social Action will be collecting socks for St. Vincent's Men's Gateway Shelter, from December 2nd to   December 24th.   You are invited to bring pairs of new men's socks to place on or under the Gathering Space       Holiday Giving Tree. No need to gift wrap; just bring in socks before or on Sunday, December 24th. Thanks to   the Pastoral Care for putting up the Holiday Giving Tree at Chalica on November 30th!   Contact Lynn Buffington ( ) for more information.

Have you been hoping to get to know Rev. Kellie better? Dying to discuss one of her services? Wondering what she envisions for our future together?
Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of water and join Rev. Kellie in the Sanctuary for conversation on Sunday, December 9th, 12:30 PM. ALL are invited, whether you are an MVUUF first-time visitor, friend, or longtime member.

This winter, we are pleased to offer OWL - "Our Whole Lives" Sexuality Education program, for students in Grades 4 & 5, for eight weeks in January through March. The class is taught by trained facilitators Genevieve Harvey and Joe Zimmerman.
For more information about the OWL program, please click HERE
A parents' information meeting is scheduled for Sunday, January 6th, 9:45-10:45 AM in Classroom 7. The information meeting is optional, however, the Parent-Child Orientation is required for           participation and will take place on January 13th at 9:30 AM in Classroom 1. After that, the class (sans parents) will meet for eight weeks at 9:45 AM.
When a child is enrolled in OWL, regular attendance is required for continued participation. This means, if they miss more than one class, they cannot re-join the class. OWL is the only program that requires such a commitment for families. It is due to the importance and sensitivity of the content, and the need for building a community of trust in which we can talk about topics we don't usually discuss outside of the family. Because sporadic attendance makes this impossible, the requirement is built into the OWL program for the benefit of the children. However, if you know that some dates will be a problem, please talk to us NOW about that. Sometimes multiple families have   conflicts on the same date and adjustments can be made. Or, if the class is not going to work for your family, speak to us about alternative formats that exist for providing this important information to your children.
We will limit the class size to 12 children, fellowship members getting first priority. Families from outside of the   fellowship are welcome to attend OWL, provided there is room in the class; so if you know someone who may be interested, please feel free to share this information. There are a limited number of spaces remaining.
Donations in any amount to help cover the significant cost of training OWL facilitators are always appreciated. You can just make a note on your check or envelope for cash to designate that it's intended to defray OWL costs.

Please consult these Program Council one pagers when hosting a meeting/event at MVUUF:

In addition to the links above, the documents can be found on the window in the entryway and in the Program Council Chair mailbox. Some areas that Program Council has recently identified as needing greater attention:
  •  Please clean up all spills and debris.
  •  If trash cans are full, please empty them in the dumpster behind the kitchen and replace the bags with new from the pantry.
  •  Soiled linens should be washed in unscented detergent and returned as soon as possible.
  •  Please wash and put away any dishes you use. If you run the dishwasher, turn the magnet to "clean" so it's clear that the dishes are ready to put away. Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink! Clean food/drink spills from surfaces and floors to deter pests, but it is not necessary to mop. Mark the date on food or open beverages you are leaving with intent to donate to MVUUF. If you wish to save for a specific upcoming MVUUF group or use, please label with that group or use. Any food not in a sealed container should be placed in fridge.

Members & friends of MVUUF (that identify as women) are invited to join this fun-loving group as they celebrate birthdays on Thursday, December 13th, 11:30 AM, at MCL Cafeteria, in Kettering. Please RSVP to Allie Petersen at: .

The next gathering of this well-read group will take place on Wednesday, December 12th, 10:30 AM in the Library at MVUUF, where they'll be discussing Pretty Paper by Willie Nelson.
Upcoming choices for discussion are:
January 16th          
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
February 20th       
The Trouble With Goats and Sheep: A Novel 
                                  by Joanna Cannon    
All are welcome to join them!

Join us on Sunday, December 2nd, at 9:30 AM when our MVUUF Bible Study group will begin discussing the Old Testament's Book of Ecclesiastes. Long considered the most pessimistic, cynical or humanist book in the Bible due to its view of life ("Vanity, vanity, all is vanity"), Ecclesiastes is open to many interpretations. Does it show the   futility of hard work? Is it a cold bath of realism? Does it teach anything important? Why is it in the Bible anyway?
Every two weeks we meet to sequentially read sections aloud and talk about what the passages mean for us. There are no right answers as our group includes UU, Theist, Humanist & Pagan views and we welcome new   members. Bring a Bible to read or share one here. Call John Bierman at 937-438-0211 with any questions.

The next meeting of the Environmental Book Club will be held on Monday, December 17th, 7:00 PM, in the Founders' Room at MVUUF. We will be discussing The Wizard and The Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World, by Charles C. Mann. ALL are welcome to attend.

I am looking for a replacement beginning in January to tutor with Bill Ross two middle school students from a Congolese family. We assist them with homework in subjects including math, English, language arts, social studies, and science. We have been tutoring these students for the past five years. Both students use English as their primary language. We work at the Kettering-Moraine library on Far Hills Avenue from 6:15 to 8:15 PM on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. A special math tutor frequently works with us on Tuesday.   

Please contact Maureen O'Meara at 937-438-0211 for more information if you are interested in helping.

Please join us in providing our long-standing second Saturday lunch ministry for women and families staying at the St. Vincent de Paul Shelter.   In November we provided lunch for 66 in the women's group at 11 and 57 in the family group at noon, totaling 123, close to our record of 128 in September. We are told to expect a similar large number for December, so your help is appreciated. We especially need donations of hearty chili, but all our server slots are already filled!
You can sign up for Saturday, December 8, for food donations and/or serving 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 at SignUpGenius  (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 ALL who pitched in by providing food and/or serving in November! Below is a photo of our November servers with the super hard-working St. Vincent staff member Wayne at lower right.  

December 8th  chili menu :   Our needs this month include hearty chili, fixings of shredded cheese and sour cream, vegetable dishes (any dish made with fresh vegetables such as green beans, vegetable medley), 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.
Remember...due to allergies, asthma, and other sensitivities, we ask you to please refrain from wearing scent when at the Fellowship (perfume, aftershave, scented hair products, lotions, etc.). Thank you for helping us to be a safe as well as welcoming congregation!

Remember to place your order for Fair Trade coffee on the first Sunday of the month (this month it's on December 2nd ) !

Coffee will be ready to be picked up on or after the third Sunday of the month (this month, December 16th )

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, 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!