Miami Valley 

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458







MVUUF's Forum  January, 2017

Service Topics for January, 2017

Worship Theme for January:  Courage
Courage leads off the new year as our theme for the month of January. Courage is the ability to act bravely even in the midst of fear. It's origins as a word come from the Latin word cur for heart which was understood to be the seat of emotions in the ancient world. Courage is to act with heart in other words, from the center of our being. It is to act on our deeply held principles and convictions. And as always it is of great relevance for the year 2017.
January 1st-- Fellowship member, Bob Lewis, will be speaking and Alice Diebel will be the worship leader.  The theme of the service is
The Courage of Gratitude .  Where do we find for what we can be grateful and where does gratitude take us?  Good questions for our disturbing time and the beginning of a new year.  We will begin the monthly theme of courage
January 8th-- Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?  Rev. Greg Martin's initial sermon for the new year draws from the biography of a truly courageous human being, Dalton Trumbo. Trumbo was a prominent Hollywood screenwriter during the McCarthy era of post-WW2 America who was blacklisted and even spent a year in prison for contempt of Congress. His story is both sobering and inspiring

January 15th-- Martin Luther King, Jr. Worship for All Ages . So many participants in the struggle for civil rights were children and teenagers. Their stories are stories of profound courage. Think of 5-year old Ruby Bridges in  Louisiana, or The Children of Birmingham, Alabama, or the Little Rock nine, the children and youth who integrated the Little Rock, Arkansas public schools 60 years ago in 1957. Martin King was often lead and inspired by their   example. This morning we celebrate their lives and legacy.
January 22nd-- The Courage of a King . Rev. Greg Martin continues the emphasis on courageous Americans this morning with some reflections on Martin Luther King, Jr. Fifty years ago on April 4, 1967, one year to the day of his murder, King delivered a speech at Riverside Church in New York City, connecting the Vietnam War with racism in the United States. Many see it as the speech that actually got him killed. His closest advisers pleaded with him not to give it. But King always had to be true to an inner voice of courage that kept him voicing his convictions. As he   always said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." We still sit at his feet to learn.
January 29th-- The Courage of a Survivor . Speaking out as a survivor of sexual abuse or assault takes great courage. Such voices are needed though to end the scourge of abuse and the violence of assault. More information about this service will be available soon.
January News

Don't forget! Our January Congregational Meeting will take place on Sunday, January 15, beginning at 12:30 PM in the Sanctuary. ALL Voting Members are strongly encouraged to attend; if you are not a Voting Member, you are also welcome to attend. You may want to in order to see how a Congregational Meeting happens, and to get more informed about what's happening at MVUUF.

The Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI) process is designed to engage UU congregations in an ongoing process of study, action, and reflection on pressing social issues, so that we can be effective prophetic voices in the public sphere. The process is congregationally driven, and facilitated by the Commission on Social Witness (CSW) with support from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).

We are now in the third year of the CSAI on Escalating Inequality, and now it is time for congregations to comment on the Statement of Conscience (SOC) drafted by the Commission on Social Witness. The deadline for comments is Wednesday, February 1st. There will be a meeting on Sunday, January 22nd (after the 11:00 AM service) in the sanctuary to discuss this SOC, and we'll gather your comments during the meeting. If you'd like to make a comment but will be unable to attend, please email your comments to Kathleen Pennington at: 

Here's a link where you can view the Commission's SOC.

Sunday, January 1st is the first Sunday of the new calendar year, and the preschool thru 5th Grade children of YRE will be enjoying a Pajama Day during the service this day. They can wear their cutest pajamas, bring a blanket or sleeping bag, small pillow, and/or stuffed animal to hang out with during all the fun! We'll enjoy a movie, snacks, and some sleep-over themed activities, such as: cereal necklace stringing, teddy bear toss, and maybe even a pillow-case relay race. If you have any old pillow-cases we could hop around in, please let us know! We'll also see how legitimately sleepy we are; if we are worn out, we may just curl up in a puppy pile and snooze!
What is the religious concept we are addressing? That sometimes it's okay to just have fun and relax in our search for truth, feeling cozy and safe with our friends. Rest is vital!
As always, parents and other volunteers are welcome to join us. On this day, though, we hope you'll wear your   jammies if you plan to hang with us. If anyone (child or grown-up) is not comfortable wearing pajamas to MVUUF, they can come in whatever feels comfortable.
--Genevieve Harvey, Carol Narigon, and Sheila Adams

The Anti-Racism Team will present the Netflix documentary, 13th , as its next offering for First Friday Movie Night, on Friday, January 6th, beginning at 7:00 PM in the Sanctuary. Refreshments will be served, with a discussion to follow. The following is a review of the film from Rotten Tomatoes:
"The title of Ava DuVernay's extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the  Constitution, which reads 'Neither  slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.' The progression from that    second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by  DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.'
We hope to see you all there!

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Walk will take place on Monday, January 16th. To join the walk in solidarity, meet at the Drew Health Center (1323 West Third Street) at 10:00 AM that morning. Some people also join the march by parking at the RTA hub and waiting for the walkers to come by that location. The walk leads to the Convention Center, for programming. Shuttle buses are available to return you to your car if you need them.
MVUUF could use two people to carry our Black Lives Matter banner; please contact Alice Diebel if you are available and willing, at .

Most UUs would roll their eyes at that question. But, in fact, it is true. There is life after death, and you can help  assure that MVUUF will live long on after your death, guaranteeing that liberal religion will live on in our area for those like us, and those who seek it. Remember to include the MVUUF Endowment Fund in your estate plan. Remember, MVUUF is your Fellowship family.

During our Congregational Meeting on Sunday, January 15th, we will be selecting non-profit organizations to receive 50% of our non-pledge offering for the remainder of 2017 and early 2018; March-May, June-August, September-November, and one for January-February 2018. We'll hold a silent paper ballot to select the recipients, but in order to make these selections, we need to know the organizations you care deeply about. What organizations are making a difference in the lives of our community? To nominate an organization, please complete a form that you can find on the Social Action table in the Gathering Space, and place it in the box there. Or, you can send an email to Alice Diebel at . It would be helpful to provide some information about the organization, or their web site address.
We recommend that the organizations have the following characteristics:  target the underserved, are non-profit, are in the greater Dayton area (with some exceptions), and have low administrative costs. Previous recipients are also eligible. Please submit nominations on or before Friday, January 6th .

As UUs, the holiday season brings us much hope:  hope for peace in the world, justice and equality for everyone, and a cleaner, safer planet. We are called to work for these things in our own communities in Dayton, Ohio, and around the world.
Therefore, for those around us who are without, our congregation has consistently stepped up to help in any way that we can. As humanitarians, we have not turned away but consistently helped by donating part of our non-pledged giving.
For our homeless brothers and sisters (and children!) at St. Vincent de Paul, we have continued to serve lunch once a month and for most years, provide warm clothing during the winter months. This year, our holiday tree was a symbol of hope to those without a permanent home, by providing warm clothing for them. Because of our generous Fellowship, we were able to deliver the following to the St. Vincent de Paul shelter:
45 pairs of socks, 17 hats, 25 pairs of gloves, 6 pairs of ladies underwear, 3 adult sweatshirts, 1 jogging coat, (and the bonus of 1 puzzle!).
This is how we continue to spread hope in our hometown, and around the world!
Remaining hopeful,
Shirley & Nick Gezinski

MVUUF has been awarded a matching grant from the UUA Fund for UU Social Responsibility, in the amount of $1, 280 to cover half of our first full year of dues for our membership in Leaders for Equality and Action in Dayton (LEAD). The UUA gives strong support to congregations participating in interfaith community organizing, including matching grants for both dues and training in community organizing. This is one of the benefits of the congregation paying its Fair Share dues to the UUA.
The congregation joined LEAD at the end of January, 2016. Bob Lewis and Rev. Greg Martin both serve on the LEAD board, and bob also serve's as LEAD's treasurer. A number of members of our congregation have been participating on LEAD's research teams, including early childhood education, economic development, mental health, and transportation, and 48 members & friends attended LEAD's Nehemiah Assembly last April where active support from local officials was requested to address some significant issues facing the Dayton/Montgomery County region. Thank you, UUA, for your help!

Our nation and our world are plagued by violence in the form of mass shootings or by the shooting of black men by police-one at a time. We also face changes in our political landscape that promote misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, and homophobia. With discrimination on the rise and the risk of violence against these groups,  non-violent tactics are needed by UUs more than ever, and could be at the heart of significant change.
At MVUUF, we have honored the Season for Non-Violence in many of the past 10 years. The Social Action    Committee has led the effort in simple ways, inviting the congregation into contemplation with daily meditations or weekly reflections to bring non-violence into our hearts and our lives to calm the fears that lead us to violence. We have also hung posters that remind us of the great change that can occur through the persistent, steady, non-violent civil disobedience throughout the centuries.
Two faces are ever present in those posters, those of Gandhi and of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Season for Non-Violence begins on the memorial anniversary of Gandhi's assassination on January 30th, and ends on the memorial anniversary of King's assassination, April 4th. We have also added the faces of other people who represent the courage and conviction of non-violent change:  Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harvey Milk, and Nelson Mandela.
There is no better time than now to pause and admire the courage and conviction of these historic figures and present-day, non-violent organizers. Violence will not win the change.
--Alice Diebel
Violence breeds violence...
Pure goals can never justify impure or violent action...
They say the means are after all just means. I would say means are after all everything.
As the means, so the end...
If we take care of the means we are bound to reach the end sooner or later.
~ Mahatma Gandhi


Make sure to mark your calendar for Saturday evening, January 28th, 6:30-8:30 PM, for the 10th Annual
Men Who Cook event, here at the Fellowship!
This fundraiser, which supports the Operating Fund, always gets rave reviews, so please consider bringing a friend along with you! As many as 30 men of the Fellowship will be preparing a smorgasbord of dinner delights: appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, breads, and desserts in splendid variety, including something for the carnivore, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free                                                                       palate! Wine will be served, as well!
Sign-up sheets and tickets will be available in the coming weeks, in all of our different publications, so stay tuned. And for more information, feel free to contact Jim Poltrone, at .

The Evening Book Discussion Group will meet again on Tuesday, January 10th, at 7:00 PM in the Library at MVUUF for a discussion of Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, and also the short story Escape From New York by  Zadie Smith. 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 February 14th, the discussion will be about Neverhome by Laird Hunt.
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, January 18th, beginning at 10:30 AM at the Fellowship. We'll be discussing The Underground Railroad , by Colton Whitehead. All are welcome!
Upcoming dates in early 2017 are:
February 15th--- Tribe , by Sebastian Junger
March 15th--- Homegoing , by Yaa Gyasi

Join this fun group on Thursday, January 12th, beginning at 11:30 AM at MCL Cafeteria, in Kettering. Our luncheons are open to everyone; why not plan on joining us?

Intro To UUism
Sundays, January 22 thru March 12, 9:30-10:45 AM, class room #6   (class on February 12th will be in the Library)
Is there a creed that Unitarian Universalists follow? What are the requirements for becoming a UU? Why do UUs do what they do?
If you have questions about Unitarian Universalism, please plan to attend these classes, to have your questions     answered by Fellowship member and class facilitator, Bob Lewis. It's a great way to find out more about Unitarian Universalism in an inviting, comfortable atmosphere. For more details, and to sign-up, please contact Bob at:

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, 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. Watch for more details in the February edition of The Forum!

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 , .
Our greatest needs are usually hearty chili, fresh fruit/fruit salad, chili toppings (shredded cheese, sour cream). Each sign-up slot is for 15-20 servings, and we need to fill several slots for each item. We also need salads, vegetable side dishes, and oyster crackers. If you would like more info about volunteering, please take an info sheet (near the sign-up clip board). Since St. Vincent's requires servers to be 14 years or older, a good way to involve younger children is to have them help you   prepare your food donation.
Thanks to ALL who donated food and helped to serve in December; we served 89 guests, including 45 in the family group (children with parents/guardians). We  expect to see these high numbers throughout the winter, so please   consider helping out!

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:   937-436-3628.
Last month, we mourned the passing of Maureen McCarthy Magill's brother, as well as long-time member Bruce Baker.
May their friends and families enjoy the memories these men left behind, and find strength and comfort in the days ahead.

Remember to place your order for Fair Trade coffee on the first Sunday of the month--this month it falls on  January 1st!--in the Gathering Space after service, to be picked up on or after the third Sunday of the month--this month, January 22nd. 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!