Miami Valley 
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458






MVUUF's Forum for January, 2020

  visit our website  HERE          visit the UUA's website    HERE


Service Topics for January, 2020
Sunday, January 5th   11:00 AM
Amazing Grace
with Lathe Snyder and Avery Hick

Sunday, January 12th   11:00 AM
Introduction to the Season of Nonviolence:
January 30th--April 4th, and the 
Miami Valley Peacebuilders Walk, May 16th
with Jerry Leggett  
Sunday, January 19th   11:00 AM
Grounding Our Dreams
with Rev. Kellie 

Sunday, January 26th   11:00 AM
I Will Not Be Quiet
with Rev. Kellie

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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,

I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season here at MVUUF and with your loved ones outside of MVUUF!
Because of the importance of our semi-annual congregational meetings, I am once again sharing my letter with you in place of my Forum column.
In addition to reading my congregational meeting letter, I hope you will take a few minutes to listen to our Soul Matters song of the month for our theme of Integrity, Quiet by MILCK. We'll be featuring this song in our January 26th worship service, I Will Not Be Quiet .

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.
  • Please do not text or call my mobile phone on other days unless you have a pastoral care emergency (Sundays are busy with our worship service, Tuesdays are my day off, and Fridays are my study day).
  • 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 Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat
  • Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
  • Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Mitra Rahnema (this year's Congregational Read, next discussion group Saturday January 18 at 10:30 AM)
  • Knightfall (Netflix)
  • The Witcher (Netflix)
  • Miranda (BBC; yes, again!)

Happy New Year, my Dear Ones!
We are halfway through our second year of shared ministry together. Together-as members, friends, and staff-we continue to honor the traditions of our collective history and create new traditions that celebrate who we are becoming. Most importantly, we are sharing a growing love for each other and our very special religious community.
Getting to Know and Love You
As a reminder, one of my first-year objectives was to get to know as many of you as I could and learn the fellowship's culture. In order to do this, I meet with fellowship leaders, members, and friends individually. I initiated a monthly session called Coffee with the Minister so that congregants can get to know me better as well, which still meets on the second Sunday of the month after service. I also am attempting to meet with every committee or group at least once, adding the children and youth religious education (CYRE) committee, the Castle team, St. Vincent's team, and Smart Choices group over these last 6 months. Before we close out the 2019-2020 program year, I still hope to visit our world religion study group (formerly bible study), women's group, choir, environmental reading group, and daytime reading group.
Since July 1st, our fellowship has welcomed 10 new members and dedicated 9 children. I hope you all will help me integrate our newest members and families into the life of our fellowship. One of the most important things I learned in seminary was that people visit a church because of the minister and stay because of the congregation. It is the connections that you all make with each other that make people feel like they have found their people-like they truly belong. In order to help get people connected and involved, our Board and Program Council hosted a fabulous Fall Fellowship Fair with over 20 MVUUF committees and groups participating. We included the fair in our Sunday service so that people had time to learn more about all the activities, committees, and groups MVUUF offers. We have a lot to share with our new members and gain from their addition to our religious community.
In August, the Repair & Healing Taskforce delivered its report on the listening sessions we held in January and February (sent to all MVUUF members electronically). As part of this reporting process, we explored the report highlights during a Sunday worship service and held a feedback session. Like the majority of our work, we are continuing what others have started and we will not finish it quickly. Repair and healing do not happen in a linear timeline and the outcomes rarely match our initial expectations.
This program year, our new pastoral care team has really blossomed (commissioned last spring). The pastoral care team consists of pastoral care associates who assist me in supporting our congregants through difficult times with acceptance, non-judgement, and compassion. Difficulties are part of life and no one is completely immune to them. Learning how to ask for support and give support helps deepen our love for ourselves and for one another. The pastoral care team also supports ride-sharing to help congregants without transportation attend services, meal trains after a surgery or significant life event, a small food pantry for our own congregants' use, and an annual giving-tree which gave Christmas gifts to seven of our families. Outside of our formal pastoral care program, five households have offered extended home hospitality to two of our families. I cannot put into words how proud I am to be part of this amazing community.
I must admit that the hardest part of getting to know and love you all is having to say goodbye. In the first half of our program year, three of our longtime and beloved members died: Harvey Scott, Laurel Herminghausen, and Ruth Scott. When I was a hospital chaplain, deaths affected me but I didn't love the deceased. As a congregational minister, I came to love Harvey, Laurel, and Ruth. While it is my honor and privilege to support their families during the grieving process, I am grieving their absence too and yet, I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel blessed to have loved and been loved by them. I will carry them with me throughout my ministry and life.
New Programming and Initiatives
In this second year together, we have continued many of the new programs we implemented last year: Soul Matters themed ministry (for worship, small groups, and religious education), antiracism congregational read, white ally group, trans ally group and UUA curriculum, ministers group (formerly seminarian group), coffee with the minister, and the pastoral care team. In addition to these continuing groups, we've started a young adults Soul Matter covenant circle, Starting Point small group for friends and new members, and an alternative worship service on the third Sunday evening of the month, called Circle Worship. We are also playing with the idea of merging our ally and identity groups into alliance groups (antiracism alliance and transgender alliance) and starting a parenting group (open to all ages but designed primarily for parents of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers). As you can see, there is a lot of new energy flowing into our fellowship. In fact, it is difficult to find a day when something isn't happening at MVUUF!
On the social action side, I joined the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio (UUJO) board in November for a 2-year term. In addition to attending the UUJO fall conference, I participated in two of the UUJO actions at our Ohio statehouse: End Gun Violence in Columbus and Educate a Legislator Day. I was excited to see MVUUF members and friends join me at both events. In addition to UUJO actions, I spoke at an interfaith prayer vigil after the Oregon District tragedy and the State of Emergency: End Trauma Hunger Strike at the statehouse. While rallies, protests, and vigils aren't enough on their own, they have proven to be an effective way to show lawmakers we are serious about specific issues.
I am thrilled to share that our new immigration transit support network for asylum seekers is running strong, thanks to the leadership and commitment of many MVUUF congregants (too many to name here). Working with our community partners, including Dayton Rapid Response Network and Leaders for Equality and Action in Dayton (LEAD), our network provides daily bus stop support to asylum seekers at the Dayton bus terminal. Our noncitizen neighbors are often on these bus trips for 4-7 days with no money and only the clothing they are wearing. If you are interested in joining this team (donating money or items, meeting the buses, or coordinating volunteers), please contact Jen Linck ( ).
Also in this second year together, we have initiated more community outreach in the local Dayton area. First of all, we celebrated the partnership between MVUUF and the 21st Century Peace Literacy Foundation at our exhibit reception at the main branch of the Dayton Metro Library. If you would like to learn more about the exhibit, you can find information in the Religious Education Hallway (look for the big U, hehe). We will be continuing this rewarding partnership at our Peacebuilder Walk, Saturday May 16th. Keep a lookout for information on how you can participate in this exciting new event!
In celebration of the International Day of Peace (September 21st), 5 Rivers Chautauqua held their 5th annual Peace Tree Planting at MVUUF. 5 Rivers Chautauqua is an organization that promotes peace throughout the Miami Valley area. Their two founders, Guy Jones (Miami Valley Council for Native Americans) and Tom Bensman, performed the ceremony using a white pine tree in honor of the Iroquois Great Law of Peace. As in the Iroquois ceremonies, we made a commitment to bury our weapons with the tree (hurtful words written on pieces of paper) and live harmoniously with one another. You can see our young peace tree in MVUUF's front yard, near the Labyrinth.

Last but not least, the Board and I started an appreciative inquiry process with the congregation to revisit our previous ministry goals and decide what we want our new shared ministry to be -who we want to become together-how we want to change the world from our small corner of it. Everyone will have an opportunity to see the results of these Dreaming Together sessions and help us refine the results at our January congregational meeting. We need each one of us to shape our future!
I already know how you and your love have transformed me. I hope you also have discovered how our love has transformed you. Are you ready for more? I know I am.
With MUCH gratitude and love,
Rev, Kellie 

Feel free to click  HERE to get the Soul Matters packet on Integrity 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.

Currently, our Fellowship Administrator, Jennie Freiberger, is diligently working to make sure that our contributors receive an annual Contribution Statement by the end of January; this is the statement that can be used when you are doing your 2019 taxes. We will keep you updated as to when they will be available.

Fun Things To Do This Month
                                    DAYTIME BOOK CLUB
Wednesday, January 15th, 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, January 15th, to discuss The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.

B ooks to be discussed in the coming months will be:

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!

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, January 26th, 12:15 PM, in class room #5
Usually, our Welcome Sessions take place on the third Sunday of the month, but as the Congregational Meeting will be taking place on Sunday, January 19th, we've moved the Welcome Session to Sunday, January 26th, 12:15 PM, in class room #5 in the RE Hallway. 

Attending a Welcome Session is a great way to find out more about MVUUF and all we have to offer, and is especially helpful for those who are new to the Fellowship. Rev. Kellie and other leaders of the congregational will be on hand to provide more information and answer any questions you may have. We hope to see you there!

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.  

Saturday, February 8th, 2:00 PM, at Rev. Kellie's home
T his year, Rev. Kellie, Ivers, and Matt will be opening up their home to MVUUF members & friends for a Valentine Open House, on Saturday, February 8th, 2-4:00 PM, at 6141 Park Ridge Drive, Dayton OH 45458.

Enjoy some snacks & refreshments while chatting with friends new and old...what a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon during the cold, bleak winter!
Around the Fellowship
           UNSUNG HERO
Jeff Bohrer, brand new member, has been highly engaged in many aspects of the fellowship and making a positive impact for the past year.  He has a deep commitment to the environment and has put this into action by devoting countless hours over the past six months into converting our lighting to efficient LED technology. This is not as simple as changing a bulb!   He has studied our building plans, worked with suppliers, rewired fixtures, and stood on tall ladders for many hours (as you can see from the picture!).  

Jeff's generosity in sharing his professional and volunteer experience  has been a huge benefit to us in other ways, too.  He has recruited volunteers at our Fall Fair, scheduled and met with contractors to help solve a variety of building-related issues, and consulted on many other building-related needs.

He has been part of the New UU class,  White Fragility study group, a range of meetings and efforts big and small throughout the community. Jeff and his son, Gavin, have provided support for tornado victims, done MVUUF yard care, and provided music for our worship services. Jeff is currently volunteering with the children in religious education and has joined in the acoustic jam sessions. He has been a dynamic positive force and we are fortunate to have him in our community. 

Sunday, January 19th, 12:30 PM, in the Sanctuary
Please make sure you're planning to attend our annual January Congregational Meeting, on Sunday, January 19th, 12:30 PM, in the Sanctuary. Attending Congregational Meetings is important for our members, as being a member is both a privilege and a responsibility regarding our Fellowship. 

At the meeting, voting will take place for several positions of the Board and Program Council, as well as the Nominating Committee, and the new position of Affiliated Community Minister. We will also be voting on which nominees will receive the Sharing Our Offering funds for the coming year. 

While it is strongly recommended that voting members attend, the meeting is open to our friends, as well.

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.

Our monthly Circle Worship was created to help build community and bring us a little closer. For January I'd like to try something a little different than what we've done in the past. I invite anyone interested, to come early and help us pick out readings, cook, set up, and enjoy each other's company. We would love to share the fun of putting together this event and get to know each other. We will be there by 5:00 PM to start setting up so feel free to come when ever you can. If you'd like to bring food for after the service let me know so we know what else we'll need. As always come as you are and all are welcome.

Please contact Somaya Bernard,, to find out more.

Saturday, February 29th, at MVUUF
More details will be available soon...but PLEASE make sure you have the date saved for our annual Service Auction:  Saturday, February 29th! We'll enjoy food & drinks and conversation, while bidding on some great auction items...

And speaking of auction items, now is a great time to contact Andy & Donna Wilson to let them know what sort of item you'd like to donate this year; you can reach them at

Sunday mornings, 9:30 AM, in class room #7
Join us on Sunday, January 12th, at 9:30 AM as our MVUUF Scripture Study Group (formerly Bible Study Group) continues the Epistle to the Romans. We will finish this famous letter near the start of February and then begin study of the Hindu Bhagavad Gita.  We recommend the text "God Is Not One" by Stephen Prothero as an overview of Hinduism & seven other world religions, as well as the translation of the Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran.  Both books are available online & in libraries.
We now meet weekly to read sections and talk about what they mean to us. There are no right answers as our group includes UU Theist, Humanist & Pagan views and all are welcome. Bring a Bible to read or share one with the group. For info call John Bierman at (937) 438-0211.

                  January Congregational Meeting                        
Sunday, January 19th

Rev. Kellie's 2nd Annual Valentine Open House     
Saturday, February 8th

                                              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 January 5th!), and then your order should be ready to be picked up on the third Sunday of the month (this month that's January 19th!).

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

Please join us on the afternoon of January 12th, 4:00 PM, when we'll gather as a virtual community of Unitarian Universalists across the country, joined by the fierce urgency of our times, to UU the Vote! 

Together we'll explore how we are called to wear the mantle of our shared legacies, principles, and values as we move boldly together, making our faith relevant and effective in bending the arc of the universe toward justice in this political moment.  

UU the Vote will support congregations to form volunteer teams (or empower current justice leaders) to lead the work in ways that make sense for MVUUF. For example, we might engage in electoral engagement work, such as mobilizing voters or challenging voter suppression. We might also learn to hold values-based conversations to persuade our neighbors on the issues that matter.

Join us in the sanctuary!

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 .

Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry
edited by Mitra Rahnema
Saturday, January 18th, 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 this month on Saturday, January 18th, 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, January 20th, 7:00 PM, in the Founders' Room
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, January 11th, 10:45 AM, 120 West Apple Street, in Dayton
Please join us on Saturday, January 11th, 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), vegetable dishes (such as cooked fresh vegetables or medley), green salad, fresh fruit/fruit salads,  shredded cheese 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, January 11th 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 Genius). 
We expect St. Vincent's to  continue to be very full with about 120 in house, typical for this time of year.  In December we fed 70 in the women's group at 11 am and 33 in the family group at noon for a total of  103!


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!