Miami Valley 
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458






MVUUF's Forum for December, 2019

  visit our website  HERE          visit the UUA's website    HERE


Service Topics for December, 2019

Saturday, December 14th  4:00 PM
Holding Each Other in the Darkness
with Rev. Kellie
Sunday, December 15th   11:00 AM
New Member Ceremony
with Rev. Kellie

Sunday, December 22nd   11:00 AM
Child Dedication
with Rev. Kellie  
Tuesday, December 24th   7:00 PM
Worship for All Ages:  Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
with Rev. Kellie 

Sunday, December 29th   11:00 AM
Worship For All Ages:  Fire Communion
with Rev. Kellie
(attendees are asked to wear their pajamas to this morning's service!)

---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---

Our Nursery is available for all children during 
before-service programming (starting at 9:30 AM)
and children younger than our preschool* class 
during the Worship Service.

Our Worship for All Ages services are intentionally multi-generational 
so that young people preschool-aged* and older may happily participate
in the entire Worship Service.

For our other Worship Services, all young people preschool-aged* 
and older will begin in the service and exit for their 
religious education classes after the Story for All Ages.
Please pick up children at 12:15 PM.

*Preschool students are 3 years old 
by September 30th of the current school year.

Staff Notes

                                      FROM REV. KELLIE
My Dear Ones,

Happy winter holidays! I am writing to you on my first day back from a week of vacation and a week of study leave. It is good to be back with you all. During the holidays, I will only be away from the fellowship December 30th through January 5th.
Because of my time away, we are sending out our December Forum mid-month. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused you. As a reminder, our Friday E-Blast is the best way to stay informed and our fellowship administrator, Jennie Freiberger, does a great job of keeping our website calendar up-to-date (the link is on the bottom of our website, as well as at the end of every issue of The Forum).
This month, we still have a lot of incredible stuff going on around the fellowship. So please check out our list of Holiday events and services. Here are a few special shout-outs:
  1. We are introducing a new holiday service this Saturday at 4:00 PM, Holding Each Other in the Darkness. This special service is for those who have lost a loved one or significant relationship or are experiencing illness (physical or mental), unemployment, financial difficulties, or despair over the state of our world. I hope you will join me for this time-we need each other.
  2. At our regular service this Sunday, we'll be recognizing a bunch of our newest members. Please join us to welcome them into our religious family.
  3. At our December 22nd service, we'll have our semi-annual child dedication (each December and May). This is a special service when we dedicate ourselves to the nurturing of our youngest, individually and as a congregation. If your child hasn't participated in one before, please contact me by December 15th.
  4. Sunday, December 29th, we're making Fire Communion an annual New Year tradition. Like last year, this will be a Worship for All Ages. Unlike last year, we'll ALL be wearing our pajamas (if you don't feel comfortable being out in public in your PJs, please feel free to wear your comfy house-clothes).
This month's Soul Matters theme is Awe (we explore this in our children and youth religious education program, adult covenant circles, and weekly worship). At this time of year, I must admit that the cold and ever-expanding darkness each day make it difficult for me to feel awe. I just want to curl up in my warm bed and sleep. Sometimes, rest is what we need, whether we are a dormant tree or an over-scheduled human being. If I allow them, the winter holidays remind me to look for awe, mystery, and joy. I wonder if that is why some of our ancestors decided to put them at this time of year. When it is darkest and coldest, it can be difficult to look for the magic of our world---to have faith that we are part of something larger than ourselves.
Personally, I have received many reminders to look for awe, mystery, and joy. My son, Matt, turned 14 on Thanksgiving and is now more than 5 inches taller than me. I look back at pictures of our first Christmas together and I am amazed that this young man is that same baby. I never could have imagined who he would become all those years ago. Another reminder to look for awe, I have met a man who I truly love after a year of too many hilarious and horrific online dating adventures. Ivers is the first and only romantic partner that I have introduced to Matt and my mom since my divorce. AND the first and only person I have introduced to you, my dear religious family. If you haven't met Ivers yet, please feel free to introduce yourself on a Sunday morning. He talks more than I do, so don't worry about overwhelming him, hehe.
As usual, I have selected a song to guide us through our monthly Soul Matters theme: What A Wonderful World as sung by much-loved Hawaiian musician and sovereignty activist, Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo`ole. This month, I pray we make time and space for awe, mystery, and joy. As we wait for the light to return, may we remember that darkness brings us these gifts as well. May we have faith that the future holds joys that we cannot yet imagine. May we have faith that what we find in the darkness will restore our hearts and our world.

Holding you in my heart, 

Rev. Kellie

How and When to Reach Me:
  • The best way to reach me is to text or call my mobile phone on my office days (847.804.4614): Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
  • Sundays are my main fellowship day, Tuesdays are my day off, and Fridays are my study day. On these days, please do not text or call my mobile phone unless you have a pastoral care emergency. 
  • I will be away from the fellowship Monday, December 30th through Sunday, January 5th. Please do not text or call my mobile phone unless you have a pastoral care emergency. 
  • Thank you for helping me take the time I need to stay healthy and happy as your minister!
What I'm Reading (and/or What I'm Listening To):
  • The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehesi Coates
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West
  • Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Mitra Rahnema (this year's Congregational Read, next discussion group Saturday, December 21st at 10:30 AM)
  • Single Parents (ABC)
  • Perfect Harmony (NBC)
  • Sunnyside (NBC)
  • The Last Kingdom (Netflix and BBC collaboration)

Feel free to click  HERE to get the Soul Matters packet on Awe for this month. You do not have to be a member of a Covenant Group in order to have it; the packets are available to all our Members & Friends. If you prefer a hard copy of the packet, please contact our Fellowship Administrator, Jennie Freiberger, at 937-436-3628 or and she'll make sure to get one to you.

It's the time of year for traditions. And for as long as I can remember, we've kept the tradition of a December music service called "Wassail" but it's somewhat inaccurately named. True wassailing was an ancient pagan ritual from western England that took place on Twelfth Night (January 5th or 6th) to ensure a good cider apple harvest in the autumn. Revelers would go from orchard to orchard to awaken the spirits of the trees. While singing and drinking, they would hang toast in the tree branches and pour cider on the roots as a blessing. 

Our "Wassail" worship service is more a modern adaptation of general merriment and what we would call Christmas caroling to spread cheer to our neighbors. And what a wonderful celebration we enjoyed this year!
--Sara Davis, Director of Music

(Jerry Leggett, our Director of Religious Education, has been spending extra time with his wife, Patsy, in Tubac, AZ at their home as she recovers from a couple recent surgeries. Let's continue to send Patsy & Jerry our very best wishes for healing & recovery...and look forward to hearing more from Jerry VERY soon!) 
Fun Things To Do This Month
As we've done in the past, we are looking for volunteers to bring in some beautiful poinsettia plants to brighten the Sanctuary & Gathering Space over the holidays. 

Simply bring one (or more!) with you the next time you're at the Fellowship, and leave them in the Sanctuary or Gathering Space.

Many groups have fundraisers at this time of year that involving purchasing these beautiful plants; if you know of someone doing that you could help their group as well as making MVUUF merry & bright!

                     DAYTIME BOOK CLUB
Wednesday, December 18th, 10:30 AM, 
in the Founders' Room
This well-read group meets on the third Wednesday of every month, 10:30 AM, in the Founders' Room at MVUUF. This month, they'll gather on Wednesday, December 18th, to discuss Dinner With Edward by Isabel Vincent.

They've also selected several books for the coming months:

January 15th - The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
February 19th - The Sun Does Shine 
by Anthony Ray Hinton
March 18th - The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri
The group is open to all, and they'd love to have you join them!

Friday, December 20th, 6:30 PM, at MVUUF
Join us for a family-friendly game night, usually held on the third Friday of the month; this month's Game Night is scheduled for Friday, December 20th, 6:30 PM at MVUUF.  Bring a favorite game (or play games that others bring), and bring a snack to share if you can.  We look forward to your company!

Sunday, January 12th, following the 11:00 AM Worship Service
It's coming back!

Once again you'll have the chance to hang out with the lovely Rev. Kellie after the 11:00 AM service, on Sunday, January 12th, in the Sanctuary.

Grab the beverage of your choice, find a seat, and get ready for a nice'll be glad that you did!

Sunday mornings, 9:30 AM, in classroom #5
The group is open to ALL who identify as women, and they love to have you join them!  

The discussions are confidential with topics of general interest and those with a women's viewpoint. They meet on Sunday mornings, 9:30 AM, in class room #5 in the RE hallway.  
Around the Fellowship
At our November meeting, the Program Council (PC) was pleased to select long-time members Ruth Scott and Jerry Jenkins as Unsung Heroes for December! 

Ruth and Jerry are environmental activists and have participated in a variety of ecological activities at the Fellowship including the Environmental Book Group, the Stream Team (evaluating stream habitat quality at Wolf Creek), our efforts toward Green Sanctuary designation and Fellowship recycling. These are the people who frequently search through the trash for recyclables and take home what we've collected to assure it's properly recycled. In addition, Jerry has served on the nominating committee, and you might have noticed both of these people hefting the books the Fellowship collects for the Dayton area book drive. These two have made consistent and frequent efforts for the Fellowship in many ways. Be sure to ask them about their personal efforts at tapping maple sugar trees!

Saturday, December 14th at 4:00 PM in the Sanctuary
Holding One Another in the Darkness is a holiday service 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. This service is for those  grieving the loss of a loved one or important relationship; those experiencing the pain of physical or mental illness, addiction, unemployment, or financial strain; and for those despairing over the state of our country and our planet. 

Sunday, December 22nd, during the 11:00 AM Worship Service
At this special service (held twice a year, May and December) we'll dedicate ourselves to the nurturing of our youngest, individually and as a congregation. If your child has not yet participated in one before, you should contact Rev. Kellie, or 847-804-4614, by Sunday, December 15th.

Nominees Due by Sunday, December 15th
Who would you like to receive the Social Action portion of your Sunday "Sharing the Offering"?  Half of the Sunday basket  collection  is donated to our Social Action recipients (excluding checks or cash designated for MVUUF operating expenses) .  Here's how you can help us choose.

Step 1:  Submit nominations by Sunday, December 15th to Lynn Buffington at or in the Social Action mailbox (in the hallway near the YRE wing).  It is extremely helpful, but not required, to include a link to the organization's web site as well as a short description of the organization. Nominees should be registered non-profits with low administrative costs that benefit and are accountable to marginalized people.  Nominees may include previous recipients. In the past, we have restricted organizations to those in the greater Dayton area, but exceptions may be considered. The Social Action Committee recommends choosing organizations with modest annual budgets,  as the MVUUF contributions are most impactful for them.

 Step 2:  Join in the discussion of nominees prior to the vote at the January congregational meeting (discussion date to be announced).

 Step 3:  Stay tuned for details about the vote, which will take place at the January 19, 2020 congregational meeting!

 You can see the wonderful organizations the congregation selected to support in 2019-2020  HERE.

Sunday, January 19th, 7:00 PM, in the Sanctuary
Our new monthly Circle Worship will now be meeting on the third Sunday evening of the month, 7:00 PM, in the Sanctuary.

Circle Worship offers a shorter and more intimate alternative to our Sunday morning service, providing another way for us to find deep connection. This service welcomes children, youth, and adults of all ages. The service is about 30 minutes, with time afterward for sharing food, drinks and conversation.

Please contact Somaya Bernard,, to find out more.

                  January Congregational Meeting                        
Sunday, January 19th

Rev. Kellie's 2nd Annual Valentine Open House     
Saturday, February 15th

                                              Service Auction 2020                                               Saturday, February 29th

                   2020-2021 Pledge Drive Kick-Off                        
Sunday, March 8th

Peacebuilders' Walk     
Saturday, May 16th

June Congregational Meeting     
Sunday, June 14th

Have you heard? The monthly meetings of MVUUF's Board of  Trustees are open to all, and the first 10-15 minutes are provided for members & friends to ask any  questions they may have of the Board members.
The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for Sunday, December 15th, 1:30 PM, in the Founders' Room.
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 December 1st!), and then your order should be ready to be picked up on the third Sunday of the month (this month that's December 15th!).

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!
Showing Up for Justice
Monday, January 13th, 7:00 PM, in the Founders' Room
This 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. 

This group now meets on the second Monday of the month, 7:00 PM, in the Founders' Room. Questions, concerns or suggestions? Please email Rev. Kellie at .

Currently through January 5th, 2020
Guest at Your Table (GAYT) is the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee's (UUSC) annual intergenerational program to raise support for and awareness about key human rights issues. Since UUSC works in more than 20 countries, with over 60 grassroots partners, there are thousands of individuals involved in and who benefit from the work that our members make possible. The program is an opportunity to celebrate grassroots partnership, support human rights, and learn about just four of these individuals - the "guests" in Guest at Your Table.

We invite families to place a GAYT box on their table so children might contribute the cost of a meal into the box every day, or every week, whatever works for you. At the end of the collection period (Sunday, January 5th) please count up your donation and then make your donation (by check or online). 

Guest at Your Table gifts of $125 or more are eligible to be matched dollar for dollar by the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock. Take advantage of this special matching gift today! You can give directly--by Sunday, January 5th-- by picking up a donation envelope or go to

This year, Guest at Your Table donations are helping to advance woman-led human rights initiatives around the world! Whether strengthening women's farming cooperatives in Nicaragua, helping girls and women attend leadership trainings in Burma, or supporting legal aid for mothers with young children seeking asylum at the U.S.--Mexico border, YOUR contributions will help to bolster women's rights and women's leadership.

Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry
edited by Mitra Rahnema
Saturday, December 21st, 10:30 AM, in the Sanctuary
  Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry has been chosen by Rev. Kellie as our Congregational Read for this programming year. The book includes nine essays by different authors, each one a Unitarian Universalist religious professional of color. Each essay is followed by a response, also from a religious professional of color. This book centers the stories, analyses, and insight of Unitarian Universalists of color who are offering their professional religious leadership, and is a joint project of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association's Committee for Antiracism, Anti-oppression, and Multiculturalism and Skinner House Books (and it's  available through the UUA Bookstore, on Kindle, and Google eBooks).

We'll gather in December on Saturday, December 21st, 10:30 AM, in the Sanctuary. 

If you have any questions, please contact Rev. Kellie at

Monday, January 16th, 7:00 PM, in the Founders' Room
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. 

Beginning in January, meetings will take place on the third Thursday of the month , at 7:00 PM, in the Founders' Room.

Contact Rev. Kellie at with any questions or concerns.

Monday, December 16th, 7:00 PM, in the Library
The Social Action Committee meets on the third Monday of the month, 7:00 PM, at the Fellowship. On even-numbered months they gather in the Library, and on odd-numbered months they meet in the Founders' Room.
If social action issues are something you feel strongly about, why not consider joining them? The meetings are open to ALL.

Saturday, December 14th, 10:45 AM, 120 West Apple Street, in Dayton
Please join us on December 14, in providing our long-standing second Saturday lunch for women and families staying at the St. Vincent de Paul Shelter. Our needs for this fall/winter menu include servers, hearty chili (at least one batch vegetarian), shredded cheese, vegetable dishes (such as cooked fresh vegetables or medley), green salad, fresh fruit/fruit salads, and 100% orange juice. 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, December 14th 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 at SignUp Genius  (no need to log in unless you also want to sign up through SignUp Genius).

We expect St. Vincent's to continue to be very full with about 120 in house, typical for this time of year. In November we fed 105!

Thanks to the many who served (in the photo below) and/or provided food in November! We were joined by volunteers from Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church!


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!