Chalice                   Miami Valley 
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458










MVUUF's Forum  February, 2017


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Service Topics for February, 2017

Worship Theme for January: 
February 5th---Belonging or Fitting In?---Rev. Greg Martin
Rev. Greg Martin leads off the theme of Belonging with a 
sermon  to help us explore what real belonging
feels and looks like and the mindset that can get us there.
February 12th---The Courage of a Survivor---Dawn Bellinger
Member Dawn Bellinger shares what it means to be a 
survivor  of sexual abuse and violence.
February 19th---Understanding Micro-Aggressions---
The Anti-Racism Team
This Sunday's worship is presented by the Anti-Racism Team, 
and will help us understand micro-aggressions  and how they 
can affect our relationships with each other. 
Micro-aggressions frequently inhibit a sense
of true belonging; this service will also teach us strategies 
for better communication.
February 26th---The VUU---led by the youth of MVUUF
Our annual youth-led worship will draw us into a morning talk show, The VUU, as our youth help us explore  the experiences of some strong Black women, those who live with mental illness, and the disabled.

The right to vote, as important as it is, does not guarantee a free, civil, or particularly just society. One of our principles as Unitarian Universalists is upholding "the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large." Democracy requires an active, engaged and caring citizenry, though if goals like freedom, civility and justice are to be attained. Without our active participation as citizens, another one of our UU principles, "the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all" becomes a mere dream.
Being an active citizen is about building community. It is about claiming our power, personally and collectively, to shape the world in the ways that we desire and aspire to. Citizens are needed now more than ever. Peter Block in his book Community: The Structure of Belonging identifies several characteristics that citizens exemplify. They hold themselves accountable for the well-being of the larger whole. They choose to own and exercise their power rather than deferring or delegating it to others, including to elected officials. They acknowledge that community comes about and grows because great citizens share their gifts, capacities, and possibilities with one another. They also understand that the gifts and capacities of others, especially those on the margin, need to be brought to the center.
In the midst of the swirl of fears and concerns in our nation today, I am both grateful and heartened to be part of a tradition that encourages us all to claim our power as activist citizens in the pursuit of a larger community that holds peace, liberty, and justice for all at its center. I'm also grateful for the signs that Unitarian Universalists are exercising our power and leading others to claim their own as well. I look forward to engaging with you in the weeks and months ahead, as we once again exert the power of citizens and transform our society to one that     embraces rather than excludes, exudes compassion rather than retribution, and lifts up instead of beating down.

Rev. Greg Martin
February News

It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of our new Director of Religious Education, Lori McClain.
Lori comes to us with extensive experience in religious education through her work with children and youth. She understands children's developmental needs, has a talent for organizing curriculum, and is passionate about helping young people develop their spirituality. She has been a youth educator at Tree of Life Community in Dayton, a science and religion teacher in Greenville, and a substitute teacher at the Dayton Regional STEM School in Kettering. She holds an Elementary Education Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Natural Sciences from Wright State University.
Lori's welcoming spirit will do much to help us recruit volunteers, and her creativity in the classroom will help develop an exciting program. One of her professional references, Rev. Dr. Mary Reaman, of Tree of Life Community, said that anyone who hired Lori would be "lucky to have her." Another reference, for whom Lori worked as a religious education volunteer, cited her strong communication skills that included her ability to connect with parents. This professional reference described her as "incredible," adding that we should "hire her in an instant."
Many will remember Lori as a former chair of our own Youth Religious Education Committee, an engaged and enthusiastic team member working on curriculum, organizing monthly meetings, and serving as both teacher and youth group leader. A committed Unitarian familiar with our principles and purposes, Lori will help enhance the spiritual growth of our youth.
Hiring Lori McClain was the result of many months of hard work from the Personnel Committee, whose members deserve our thanks. This committee was served by Genevieve Harvey, Trudy Krisher, Greg Martin, Tina Porter, and Robin Shampton. They worked to help set goals, clarify Religious Education program needs, develop a more        focused job description, and consult with area RE professionals. The Personnel Committee worked closely with the Board on program goals and financial support for this vital staff position. Thanks are also due to our Administrator, Jennie Freiberger, who helped support these efforts.
Lori McClain was selected from a competitive field of highly qualified applicants. We congratulate her and look   forward to working with her for many years to come.  Lori's first day on the job will be Wednesday, February 1st.

On Tuesday, February 28 at 6:00 PM,  please join us to share a casual dinner and welcome Lori McClain to her new job with our congregation.

All are welcome- children and youth, adults with or without children, visitors, friends, and members. 
Please bring a dish to share, including the ingredient listings to help those who are avoiding allergens. If you are available to help with set up or clean-up, please tell Genevieve Harvey.

The Anti-Racism Team will present Selma for its next First Friday Movie Night, scheduled for Friday, February 3rd, 7:00 PM at the Fellowship. Refreshments will be served, and there will be a discussion following the movie. We hope to see many of you there!
What follows is a summary and review from Roger Ebert's website:
"In a perfect world, 'Selma' would exist solely as a depiction of darker days long since past, an American history lesson that concludes with reassurances that its horrors will no longer be perpetrated, tolerated nor celebrated. Alas, perfection eludes us on this mortal, earthly plane; 'Selma' shows the evolution of change while beaming a spotlight on the stunted growth of that which has not changed. Its timeliness is a spine-chilling reminder that those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it. Its story provides a blueprint not only of the past, but of the way forward.

There's a reason why Ava DuVernay 's film is called 'Selma' and not 'King.' Like Spielberg's ' Lincoln ,' 'Selma' is as much about the procedures of political maneuvering, in-fighting and bargaining as it is about the chief orchestrator of the resulting deals. 'Selma' affords Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the same human characteristics of humor, frustration and exhaustion that 'Lincoln' provided its President. This relatable humanity elevates King's actions and his efforts. It inspires by suggesting that the reverence for Dr. King was bestowed on a person no different than any of us. If he can provoke change, we have no excuse not to as well.

As King, David Oyelowo is a revelation. Like Anthony Hopkins in ' Nixon ,' he channels the essence of his character rather than a dead-on visual interpretation. In recreating King's speaking voice, Oyelowo resists the preacherly  curlicues one might be inclined to use based on hearing King's speeches. Like any good pastor, Oyelowo saves those cadences for his speech scenes, the last of which is so stirring and powerful it knocks the air out of your lungs. Oyelowo channels a conflicted King, a tired man with the weight of the movement on his shoulders, then merges that with defiance, humor, strength and strategic expertise. In Oyelowo's excellent performance, King    becomes a complex, flawed man whose faith in God kept him from utter despair.

Known for her superb indie dramas ' I Will Follow ' and ' Middle of Nowhere ,' DuVernay has proven herself a master of small, intimate moments. 'Selma' never loses focus on the interpersonal dynamics between King and his followers, his detractors and his family. While touching base with details on SNCC, the SCLC and the organization of the Selma to Montgomery Marches, DuVernay gives memorable scenes to a wide variety of character actors in real-life roles. Andre Holland 's Andrew Young, Stephan James' John Lewis, Colman Domingo 's Rev. Abernathy and Common's James Bevel stand out, but eagle-eyed viewers will also notice ' Dear White People 's' Tessa Thompson , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Martin Sheen and Wendell Pierce . Even comedian Niecy Nash shows up as a gracious, funny host who invites King and his cohorts into her home.

'Selma' continues DuVernay's exploration of female empowerment by devoting time to King's marriage to Coretta Scott King (a powerful Carmen Ejogo ). We're reminded that the movement is as hard on her as it is for her husband, especially since she is home with the kids and the constant victim of harassment from citizens and the government. In one of the film's best scenes, King is asked a very hard question by his wife. The actors and the director take their time here, with Oyelowo and Ejogo silently and masterfully working the uncomfortable pause between question and answer. In another very good scene, Coretta Scott King meets with Malcolm X (a convincing Nigel Thatch), and their dialogue is an informative piece of strategizing.

In addition to reminding us how good she is with drama, DuVernay puts Hollywood on notice by mastering huge sequences heretofore unseen in her work. Her staging of "Bloody Sunday" on the Edmund Pettis bridge is a spectacular mini-movie that could stand on its own as a short. Narrated by a journalist calling in the story, the scene takes on documentarian proportions. With this scene, and her horrific staging of the 16 th Street Baptist Church bombing, DuVernay and her editor Spencer Averick make you feel the intensity and chaotic terror of the violence.
Dozens of kneeling, peaceful protests fill the screen end to end, and the juxtaposition between the historical depiction on the movie screen and the current images on today's TV screens does not go unnoticed.
During the fight for voter rights, King has several meetings with President Johnson (a jarring but effective Tom   Wilkinson ). Their scenes, and Johnson's scenes with J. Edgar Hoover ( Dylan Baker ) focus on the political gamesmanship required to bring about change. 'Selma' points out the media's role in influencing the hearts and minds of the American people, and how easily that can be manipulated. King knows about this media power, and how his team handles it is a precursor to today's social media shenanigans.

The prescient timing of 'Selma' could not have been planned. Its opening scene is a casual reminder of what life was like before the Voting Rights Act, with poll taxes and absurd literacy tests suppressing the Black vote. Miss   Sofia herself, producer Oprah Winfrey , shows up in the opening scene as a woman on her fourth journey to the voting bureau to take the test that will give her a right she already had. Winfrey disappears into an ordinary person's countenance, and her gradual disappointment as she realizes once again she will be denied is both heartbreaking and a warning.

'Selma' works as both an epic and a small scale drama, and credit must be extended to DuVernay's longtime cinematographer, Bradford Young . Young's camera loves Black skin, and he lights it in beautiful, fearless, shadowy Gordon Willis flourishes the likes of which I have not seen in Hollywood cinema. His stylistic touches during the  action scenes are startling and original. That there hasn't been more talk about his work (he also shot 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints') is something of a travesty that 'Selma' should correct.

This is an emotional movie that aims to anger, sadden and inspire viewers, sometimes in the same scene. 'Selma' takes no prisoners and, while it welcomes moviegoers of all hues, it has no intention of sugarcoating its horrors for politically correct comforting. This film-one of the year's best-is an announcement of a major talent in Ms.     DuVernay, but its core message will not be lost nor hidden by the accolades it receives. Through the noise, 'Selma' speaks to us: From the top of the hill of progress, it is just as easy to slide down backwards as it is to move forward. Attention must be paid.

The Playground Task Force is working with our YRE kids to raise money for our outdoor play and gathering space. Beginning on Sunday, February 5th, the kids will be selling an assortment of high-quality vegetable, herb and flower seeds from High Mowing Organic Seed Company. 50% of each sale will help fund playground equipment and installation. This will be a "green" online fundraiser (click HERE), and we will also have a table in the Gathering Space each Sunday during the month of February.
Seeds will be delivered to MVUUF and ready for pick-up in mid-March. Questions? Please contact Pam Gromen at: or 240-405-6931  

Thanks for your support!

Our congregation has been through tremendous change recently, and not only are we weathering it well, we seem to be thriving! In only about a year and a half, we have gained a new Minister and a new Music Director. Their talents are clearly reflected in the strength of our worship services. And now, we have a new Director of Religious Education. Our Mission/Vision Team has floated a new statement of who we are. It's an exciting time to be at MVUUF, and an important time to be a UU. Our mission and values couldn't be more needed in our world today. As one of your members in seminary, I want to take this opportunity to talk about a vision for Religious Education.
What? Me? RE? I know I rarely set foot in our children's class rooms, but it isn't because I don't hold religious education as a critical part of our congregation's ministry. I focus my energy elsewhere. But I need to rethink that casual opinion about my role in RE.
I recently completed a class titled, Religious Education for a Changing World . Somewhere along the way I heard this phrase:  Faith formation is all we do. Unitarian Universalism is all we teach. The congregation is the curriculum . Wow. Think about it, faith formation? This class brought this statement to life. So what? You may ask. I don't come to church to be formed. I'm pretty well-done. Give me my spiritual sanctuary and leave me alone! Sure, I get that. The world is too much with us; late and soon, getting and spending, we lay waste our powers ...said William Wordsworth at the turn of the 19th century! Just give me a break from all of this pain.
But isn't that what a UU religion is supposed to do-to help us find meaning in all we face in life? Especially in this changing world of ours? And in that search for truth and meaning we develop, we form, we become more UU all the time. As a nation, we face challenges that cry out for our UU vision. How do we live into this faith? And more importantly, how do we get both the nurturance we need and continuously grow as adults as we encourage this same important formation among our children and youth?
I think we get there by taking seriously what UU Religious Educators have known for a while now when they put together a vision for RE in the Tapestry of Faith curriculum series. It applies to children and adults and has four main interdependent interactive outcomes in mind:  ethical development, spiritual development, Unitarian Universalist identity, and faith development. Imagine these four outcomes woven together in all we do at MVUUF:  spiritual development as part of our social justice work, UU identity woven into our committee meetings, ethical development in our worship services, and faith development built into our internal fellowship work.
While you may not see me working with our most precious children, I believe that a vision of the congregation as curriculum will help us all grow into these troubled times. Welcome and embrace our internal changes as they ready us to face the changing world!
-Alice Diebel

During our Congregational Meeting on Sunday, January 15th, we selected the following non-profit organizations to receive 50% of our non-pledge plate offering:
March - May/UUJO
June - August/The Foodbank
September - November/Wesley Community Center
December - February/Miami Valley Pet Therapy
If the Social Action Committee decides that individual and family needs within the congregation warrant that the December offering be given to the Minister's Discretionary Fund, the schedule could change every two months instead of the current three months.

The Season of Nonviolence is a national 64-day educational, media, and grassroots campaign dedicated to  demonstrating that nonviolence is a powerful way to heal, transform, and empower our lives and our communities. Inspired in 1998 by the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this international event honors their vision for an empowered, nonviolent world.
MVUUF is once again participating in this campaign, both visually and with the written word. You may notice there are several posters hanging along the west wall of the Sanctuary that reflect the subject of nonviolence.  Additionally, the February 5th Orders of Service will have inserted in them An Individual's Journey: A Guide for Daily Practice which provides affirmations for each of the 64 days; extra inserts are available at the Welcome table in the Gathering Space, as well.

It's time to start thinking about all of the wonderful items, parties, events and services you either want to offer         (or want to bid on!) at MVUUF's Annual Service Auction!
Hard to believe, but it's just around the corner in it's time to "go to bat" for the Fellowship and "hit one out of the park" with all of your wonderful ideas!
As we're just getting to "first base," stay tuned for more details coming at a later date!
---Dawn Bellinger, Chairperson, Service Auction 2017

The Youth Group will be holding a Bake Sale on Sunday, February 5th; their intention is to raise funds so that they can go to see Allegiance, a filmed version of George Takei's play based on his youth in a Japanese internment camp. So if you'd like to enjoy a delicious baked item, and help these kids get to see the film, please stop by their table in the Gathering Space on Sunday, February 5th!

Many people have mentioned that they really enjoy this spot in The Forum , where milestones reached, travel experiences, and other personal highlights are mentioned.
Is there something you would like to share? If so, please let us know! Simply send your info in an email to:
Or if you prefer, give Jennie a call at:   


The Evening Book Discussion Group will meet again
on Tuesday, February 14th, at 7:00 PM in the Library at MVUUF for a discussion of Neverhome by Laird Hunt. New participants are welcome! The group meets on the second Tuesday of every month, 7:00 PM, in the Library at MVUUF. Contact Ann Snively if you'd like more information.
On March 14th, the discussion will be about Defying the Nazis:  The Sharp's War by Artemis Jouowsky, and on April 11th we'll discuss Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.

Our Environmental Learning Forum Book Club now meets at 7:00 PM every other month, on the third Monday. In the months ahead, meetings are scheduled on the following dates to discuss the selected reading:
February 20th--- Censoring Science:  Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming , by Mark Bowen. Hansen is the world's preeminent climatologist. In Censoring Science, Bowen reveals how Hansen first sounded the alarm on the perils of climate change, yet the news was met with politically-motivated denial and resistance.
April 17th--- How The Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty in the World , by Paul Hawken. In this book, Hawken traces the history of the environmental movement from its beginning to its    present global impact.
June 19th--- Half-Earth:  Our Planet's Fight for Life , by renowned Harvard biologist and author Edward O. Wilson. In Half-Earth , Wilson proposes a plan, though controversial, for saving our endangered planet:  devote half of the earth's surface to nature. He argues that failure to do so could result in a massive extinction of species, including our own.
Each of these books may be available at local libraries or book stores, and they can also be purchased at All MVUUF members and friends interested in environmental, conservation, and natural history issues are encouraged to join us for what should be provocative discussions on these publications.

The next meeting for the Daytime Book Club is scheduled for Wednesday, February 15th, beginning at 10:30 AM at the Fellowship.  We'll be discussing Tribe , by Sebastian Junger. 

And on Wednesday, March 15th, we'll be discussing Homegoing , by Yaa Gyasi. All are welcome to join us!

Join this fun group on Thursday, February 9th, beginning at 11:30 AM at MCL Cafeteria, in Kettering. Our luncheons are open to everyone; why not plan on joining us?

Non-Violent Communication:
Where the Rubber Meets the Road-Practical Tools for Living Nonviolence in Everyday Life
Saturdays, February 4th thru March 11th, 10:00 AM, 
Founders' Room
This class will be taught by Diane Diller, a Nonviolent Communication trainer certified by the Global Center for Nonviolent Communication, and a member of the Dayton Peace Museum. She will share how this practice helps us find our common humanity with anyone; foster conversations rather than arguments; address difficult situations effectively and compassionately; find win-win solutions collaboratively; and strengthen already-close relationships.
The first class if free; the remaining five sessions are on a sliding scale ($50-$100) with no one turned away for lack of funds. The following book is suggested, but not required:  Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life , by Marshall B. Rosenberg, 3rd edition, Puddledancer Press.
For more info and to sign up, please contact Diane Diller at: , or 937-824-0421 .
MVUUF's Covenant of Right Relations Class
Sunday, February 12th, 12:30 PM, class room #6
MVUUF's Covenant of Right Relations calls us to respect, honor and nurture one another, and is a testament to how we live and act our UU principles. This session will be an opportunity to learn more about how the covenant came to be, examine and discuss its components, and reflect on how the covenant guides our relationships within the Fellowship, and the larger world. Facilitated by Alice Diebel and Alysoun Taylor-Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend...simply sign-up in the Gathering Space!
Building the World We Dream About
Sundays, February 26-May 7th, 2:00 PM, Founders' Room 
(no class on Easter Sunday, April 16th)
Mark your calendars for a meaningful adult religious education program, sponsored by our Anti-Racism Team, called Building The World We Dream About . It's designed to help promote multi-cultural dialogue, and is open to everyone! It seeks to interrupt the workings of racism, and transform how people from different racial/ethnic groups understand and relate to one another.

Please join us in providing food and/or serving for our long-standing 2nd Saturday lunch ministry for women and families staying at St. Vincent's shelter. We continue with our hearty chili fall/winter menu. To sign-up to donate food and/or serve, please use the clipboard in the Gathering Space (on counter by the windows or, on Sunday   mornings, on the Social Action table) or you can text or call Lynn Buffington at:

937-657-0426 or
Our needs for February are fresh fruit/fruit salad, chili toppings (shredded cheese, sour cream), green salad, orange juice, carrot & celery sticks or a cooked vegetable. Wonderfully, we are set for chili, thanks to a few extra generous January donations (which we froze) along with a dip in the number of diners (a little over 50, down from 89 in    January!). Each sign-up slot is for 15-20 servings, and we need to fill several slots for each item. If you would like more info, please take one of the info sheets near the sign-up sheet. Since St. Vincent's requires servers to be 14 or older, a good way to involve your children is to have them help you in the preparation of your food donation. Thanks to ALL who helped serve in January!

In addition to the second Saturday of the month at St. Vincent de Paul, members & friends of MVUUF also serve lunches once a month at The Castle , 133 N. Main Street, in Centerville. Serving adults who experience mental    disorders, programs at The Castle are designed to foster friendships while teaching living and social skills. Bus service is provided Monday-Friday by two paid drivers whose complete route is 125-150 miles a day. Members pay $12 a year to  receive the services; and a daily lunch is provided for $2 (unless the volunteers    provide it for free).
Funds to operate The Castle come from:  private donations, memorial donations, Montgomery County Mental Health Board, and volunteer-run fund raising activities. You can become a Friend of The Castle for $50 per year (less than $1 a week!).
Volunteers are always welcome to help with: Lunch Program, Bookkeeping, Office Work, Grant Writing, Driving the Van, Maintenance, Fund Raising, Mentoring Members, Teaching Special Skills, and Public Relations. For more info about how you can help, please contact:  

Bea Walther at 937-307-5903  or  Mary Lou Heitkamp at 937-657-2873 .

Remember to place your order for Fair Trade coffee on the first Sunday of the month--this month it falls on Febr uary 5th  !--in the Gathering Space after service, to be picked up on or after the third Sunday of the month--this month,
February 19th . There are many varieties and bean grinds to choose from, including several that are organic!
You can also contact  Lynn Buffington  at:

(937) 657-0426  or
You 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!