Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
8690 Yankee St. Dayton, OH 45458
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Service Topics for June, 2017
Sunday, June 4th
"Neither Victims Nor Executioners"---Rev. Bill Breeden
A spiritual practice for the absurd, and a tip of the hat to Camus.
We'll also be thanking our teachers for a year of service, and
celebrating the Age of Reason class.
Sunday, June 11th
"Reflections on the Summer Solstice"
Laura Vondenhuevel and members of CUUPS
The Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer or Litha, is a stop on the Wheel of the Year that many of our Pagan or Earth Centered spiritualist friends observe in different ways. Join Laura Vondenhuevel and several members of Chalice of the Willow (CUUPS) who will share some reflections on how they practice or celebrate this festival in their own lives. You might find some inspiration yourself to celebrate on the summer solstice which falls
on June 21 this year.
Sunday, June 18th
"The Mooning of Moses"---Rev. Bill Breeden
A Father's Day reflection.
Sunday, June 25th
"A Sermon in Song"---Rev. Bill Breeden
A musical celebration of our time together.
Don't miss Rev. Bill's final service with us!
REFLECTIONS FROM REV. BILL
(From May 23) Mea culpa! Mea culpa! I am not beating my breast nor am I into self-flagellation, but I am a bit embarrassed about missing an event on our calendar that I had announced in a previous newsletter, and then subsequently forgot that it was to happen on Sunday, May 21st. For those of you who are calendar-challenged, that was last Sunday. If anyone showed up for the scheduled "Healing Circle," I offer my apology. My only explanation is that living in one state and serving in another tends to result in a confused state of mind, and as my life partner, Glenda, will attest, I am no stranger to that habitat.
If no one showed up to discover my absence, it is pretty convincing evidence that few people read these columns, or at least those who might have been interested in attending did not do so. I am considering re-scheduling and if I do, I will make sure that an announcement is made regarding such an event.
As I look to the last several weeks of my time with this fellowship, I want to say that I have been enjoying the spirit of this place. I believe that your best days are yet to come, and I encourage you to celebrate who you are and who you may be in the future. MVUUF is a breath of fresh air in a world at times made stale by discord and fear. Be a blessing to all that you meet.
Finally, I was very pleased to welcome new members into the congregation on Sunday the 21st. I hope each one finds something in this fellowship that makes the heart sing. We need each other.
I remind you that I am available by phone 24/7 for pastoral emergencies, and during regular hours for any concerns you may have.
A FEW WORDS FROM THE PRESIDENT
This community is strong & vibrant. I want to take a brief moment to hold up a mirror and say-You are all awesome!
As we head into this final month with Rev. Bill Breeden, I want to challenge you to be present and forgiving if you feel overwhelmed with all of this transition work that we are doing together. So much has been accomplished in such a short time. We have now hired our full time Interim Minister, Rev. Dr. Holly Horn for the next year (starting August 1st!), we are about to elect a Ministerial Search Committee, we are finishing up our 9-month congregational leadership participation in the 360 Project, and of course we are still reeling from the ripple effects of Rev. Greg's death.
We deserve a break! My mother used to give us an option as a child to ask for a "day of grace" to stay home from school if we were overwhelmed and needed to regroup and do some self-care. It was an intentional way of saying that sometimes we just need to pause and be present with ourselves, honoring that we cannot serve others until our own spirit is nurtured. And then do it!
I would like to encourage us as a Fellowship to approach the month of July as a "Month of Grace." This means that if your committee can skip a month, or only do light business, then do it. We will still have Sunday worship and YRE classes each week, but talk to your group about how you could possibly take the month of July off, or just focus on fun or easy-going activities. If you see an active lay leader looking overwhelmed, maybe ask them how you could help them slow down, or if you can help wrap something up. This is not easy in our fast-paced culture, but I think we really need this.
So, the challenge is on the table. Can you pause and lean into July as a "Month of Grace?" I hope so. I will be trying to do this, and practice what I preach. (I might need reminding, though, lol!)
Yours on the journey,
Gail Cyan, Board President
PASTORAL CARE---360 PROJECT
How do we nurture each other as a community?
Do you ever feel invisible when you are going through something difficult?
Who would you feel comfortable reaching out to when you are in need?
These are all questions that we will be asking as we intentionally look at how pastoral care is an important keystone to building our Beloved Community.
The FINAL 360 Project unit is on the topic of PASTORAL CARE. This is a topic that we all play a role in and I would love to see a large turnout for this final main session on Sunday, June 4th, 4:30-7:30 PM. Since this straddles suppertime, attendees are invited to bring along finger foods to share.
UPCOMING YRE EVENTS
Appreciating our YRE Volunteers
YRE Potluck Dinner & Information Session
Each week, volunteer teachers and assistant teachers in our YRE program give their time to help our children and youth learn about and grow in their UU faith. We also rely on volunteers to teach special classes like OWL, staff the YRE Committee, and plan fun family events throughout the year. Sunday, June 4th is the last day in the YRE school year, and on that day you'll have the opportunity to show those volunteers how much you appreciate their hard work! Stop by the Gathering Space that morning at 10:30 AM to enjoy coffee, donuts, cookies, coffee cake, and fresh fruit and take the time to offer some words of gratitude for all that these volunteers do!
And speaking of the YRE Committee...have you ever wondered what it is that they do? All of their monthly meetings are open to everyone, but there will be a special Potluck Dinner & Informational Session on Friday, June 23rd, beginning at 6:00 PM in the Gathering Space. Bring a dish to share and enjoy a meal while we explain all things YRE! And child care is provided, too!
INTRODUCING OUR INTERIM MINISTER, REV. HOLLY HORN!
It is my great pleasure to announce
that Rev. Holly Horn has agreed to serve our congregation as our Interim Minister for a one year term, beginning August 1, 2017!
Six very qualified Interim Ministry candidates applied for this position, the Interim Task Force interviewed four people, and Rev. Holly rose to the top! We are confident that she brings the skills and understanding of what we need to keep our forward momentum, especially as it pertains to a strong Sunday morning pulpit presence, a keen understanding of the characteristics unique to a growing program-style church, and a grounding in compassionate pastoral care.
Rev. Holly recently moved to Centerville to help care for her parents. Although she is new to the area now, she actually grew up attending Youth Religious Education at our very own MVUUF as a child and teen in the 60s and early 70s! She has served as an ordained UU minister for over 21 years. Most recently, she has completed two atypical interim positions, as she describes in this excerpt from her cover letter:
My first interim ministry was not a straightforward interim ministry. The congregation had lost its minister when he resigned unexpectedly, after only four years, to accept another settled ministry position. So, the standard tasks of interim ministry had been accomplished within memory of most members of the congregation. In addition to providing basic ministerial services, I worked with the Board, Transition Team, and the Ministerial Search Committee to help the congregation process the loss of their minister, to maintain programmatic momentum, and to support the ministerial search.
Neither was my second interim ministry a typical one. The congregation's minister had been called to active duty in Afghanistan as a chaplain in the United States Army. Again, the usual tasks of interim ministry were not appropriate in this situation. Within the limitations of quarter-time, I focused on preaching and work with the committee responsible for worship, supporting the President of the Board and Pastoral Care Associates, prioritizing pastoral care as necessary. I also worked to ensure a smooth transition when the congregation's called minister returned unexpectedly early from Afghanistan.
Rev. Holly has sent me a welcome letter to send to you with this announcement, copied and attached after this article. She has also given us permission to share with you a captivating sermon titled,
Beyond the River
. It will give you a taste of the masterful way in which she takes the listener on a journey, using stories and personal insight to weave a tale that connects us to our principles. (You can request this sermon in MP3 format by sending Gail an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Interim Search process is a very intense couple of weeks. Please share your gratitude with the Interim Task Force---Joe Law, Bonnie Thompson, Trudy Krisher, and Gail Cyan---for a job well done and a mission accomplished! Also, feel free to ask us any questions you may have about this process and the positive outcome.
Joe Law has summarized a short biography (you'll find it after Rev. Holly's letter) to give you a better idea of what life experiences Rev. Holly brings with her to her UU ministry.
I am delighted that Rev. Holly Horn will be joining us for the upcoming year as we prepare to call a new settled minister in August of 2018. Call it what you will, but I personally had faith that, through all the challenges that the past few months have brought, the universe would guide us to a creative place of new beginnings. I am relieved to see the next year come into focus and look forward to discovering the ways in which we will grow in spirit and community.
Gail Cyan, Board President
LETTER FROM REV. HOLLY
Dear Members and Friends of the Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship,
I am honored to serve as your Interim Minister for the coming year!
I appreciate that you have suffered a great loss, with the death of your minister, the Rev. Greg Martin, and I am very sorry for it. I, too, had looked forward to a future with Greg, getting to know him better as a colleague. And I understand that much of our work together will involve grieving-remembering and celebrating your ministry with him, and also beginning to think about what you might like to be different in a new ministerial relationship.
I know that you accomplished a great deal in your time with Rev. Greg---new vision, new programs, a lot of new beginnings. And I look forward to working with your Board of Trustees and other congregational leaders to help maintain the momentum you've generated, as well as supporting the Ministerial Search Committee in its very important assignment.
When I join you in August, I expect to meet with many groups in the congregation, and I look forward to getting to know you-as a congregation, and as individuals and families. I look forward to a good year together.
Yours in faith,
REV. HOLLY'S BIOGRAPHY
Rev. Dr. Holly Horn brings a life-long commitment to Unitarian Universalism and its values. From 1958 until 1972, she attended the Miami Valley Unitarian Fellowship in Dayton, OH, and was active in the local Liberal Religious Youth (LRY) group. When she graduated from high school, she was elected Social Action Director of the Continental Executive Committee of Liberal Religious Youth, an experience that connected her to the larger UU movement and eventually led her toward full-time ministry.
She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Sonoma State University, then worked for several years with Contra Costa County mental Health Services (Berkeley, CA) before entering Starr King School for the Ministry, where she completed the M.Div. She continued working at the outpatient clinic after graduation until called to serve as Assistant Minister at the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley (now the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley). After serving in a number of capacities there and in other area congregations, she entered a Ph.D. program in a joint program of the Graduate Theological Union and the University of California, Berkeley. While completing that degree, she continued to serve in part-time ministry in a variety of area congregations.
In June, 1993, she moved to Philadelphia, PA and married the Reverend Benjamin Maucere, then serving the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. There she began a series of consulting ministries, followed by co-ministries with her husband. Individually and together, they have served congregations in Pennsylvania, Mexico, Nova Scotia, Iowa, Texas, New York, Florida, Kansas, and now Ohio, where he is an Interim Minister at the First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati.
In addition to her work with individual congregations, Rev. Holly has continued to conduct research, teach, and write. Her interests in those areas include Unitarian Universalist history and polity, and feminist theologies, and (more recently) developing a theology of food.
DID YOU KNOW...?
...that Jim Poltrone is hard at work at his first permanent job in 18 months? Congrats, Jim!
...that Shirley Gezinski and Pam Gromen are both recovering well after recent surgery? Keep healing & stay strong, ladies!
...that Laura Vondenhuevel's sister, Jo Von Rue, is now an ordained UU minister? Many congrats to Jo, and the whole family!
THE REV. GREG MARTIN CENTER FOR CREATIVE PLAY A.K.A.
THE PLAYGROUND PROJECT
We have long held a dream of having an outdoor play area that is fun for children, easy to supervise, has good visibility, and is a sort of "outdoor gathering space" for all ages. Several years ago, the teens raised about $600 for the project, which has been reserved in a line item in the budget, and last fall, we started the planning in earnest!
The Weiss family had a beautiful "Sky Fort" that they were selling and we could afford it, so the momentum started to build. We involved the congregation, including the children, in the democratic decision as to where to install it and decided that outside the YRE was best. Due to safety and usage concerns, desire for proximity to the Children's and Youth Religious Education class rooms, and our commitment to stewardship of the wetlands in the backyard, putting the area behind the building was not a good option. Then we hit an obstacle: we learned that we needed special permission to build it in front of our building. We applied to the Township for a waiver to allow us to build our area outside the YRE wing, between the doors and the parking lot. This required an application, several meetings, and a hearing before the Zoning Board, and most of the money we had available for the project ($500). The Zoning Board approved our request unanimously!
Knowing that we were going to need more money, we held several fundraisers: our Archer's Take-Over ($123.00), our High Mowing seed sale ($406.51) and cash gifts ($529.51). The Weiss family decided to generously donate their play structure to the Fellowship, as well. Now that we are able to move forward with our project, we also need to increase our available funds in order to be certain it is safe and useful for all ages. The most expensive part of the project is going to be preparing the ground (requiring an excavator) and installing a "fall surface." We have learned from experience that wood mulch is a great medium for growing thistles, so we will be using pea gravel for the ground; the Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations require it to be installed at a depth of 9 inches, commensurate with the height of the structure.
Rev. Greg, as you remember, was playful, caring, thoughtful, and adventurous, encouraging exploration (and minor mischief, perhaps) with a twinkle in his eye. He was a lover of the outdoors and he adored the children of our congregation. He was also very supportive and encouraging of the "playground project" as it had begun. We have decided to dedicate this play and social area in memory and tribute to Rev. Greg, believing he would be
honored by this.
We are launching a Faithify Campaign (the UUA's crowd funding) for the remaining funds required to make this project come to fruition this summer. This campaign is a way for members and friends to donate to the creation of this fun and safe space for all generations. Perhaps you have a grandparent who would like to contribute for the benefit of their grandchildren? We believe family and friends of Greg will also appreciate that this will created in his memory, and may want to honor him by making a contribution, as well.
Our basic desire is to provide a comfortable and safe space. The donated "Sky Fort" will need minor cleaning and staining, and we also have a climber, sand table, and small picnic table for toddlers. We will need to rent an excavator for clearing the ground, and we'll need to install 27.5 cubic yards of pea gravel (the most expensive part of the project). We'll add landscaped borders for visual boundaries for safety, and a plaque honoring Rev. Greg. We will also be able to move a couple of existing benches to the area for seating. We believe that our goal of $1100.00 will allow us to accomplish this.
We would also like to buy up to four benches that can convert to picnic tables, a tree for shade, and lumber and good soil to create raised beds for children to be able to plant and maintain their own gardens for food or habitat. This second "reach" goal would cost about $740.00.
The link for you to donate to the campaign is HERE.
Your money will only be collected if we meet our goal by June 22nd.
If you would enjoy helping with some of the prep work to bring this project to fruition (cleaning & staining wood, preparing the ground, landscaping, building, designing a plaque, planning the dedication celebration) please let
In the Spirit of PLAY,
The Play Area Taskforce:
ICE CREAM SOCIAL & CONTEST-RESCHEDULED FOR JUNE 4th!
Yes, it's back on!!! We're bringing back the Ice Cream Social--yippee! What kind of delectable, creamy ice product will you make? Don't have an ice cream maker? No problem. There are a multitude of recipes to be found on the internet that don't require an ice cream maker/machine. How does vanilla bean with carmelized pecans sound? Or mango sorbet with pistachio bits? Or double-chocolate ice cream with toffee bits? They all sound wonderful to me-just wish someone would make them so I can taste them!
The Ice Cream Social will be held after Service on Sunday, June 4th, so dust off your ice cream recipes, and be ready to indulge your taste buds! There will be two winners this year--one in the "Kid" category and one in the "Adult" category. There's also going to be something else special going on, but I'm not going to tell!!!
---Dawn Bellinger, Activities Rep.
PROGRAM COUNCIL INVITATION
If you're relatively new to MVUUF, you've undoubtedly wondered, "What the heck is Program Council, anyway?"
If you've been part of our MVUUF tribe for a while now, you may be wondering, "So what's Program Council up to now?"
Okay, you probably haven't thought about any of that.
In any case, the Program Council invites you to attend any of our meetings-7:00 PM on the first Monday of the month-in the Founders' Room. At our meetings, program area representatives meet to share plans and ideas and find ways to collaborate on events such as the Service Auction, worship services, the proposed playground, and other important MVUUF activities.
Come join us! You'll always be welcome.
--Anwyl Scott, Program Council Chair
DO I NEED A WILL?
The Endowment Fund is going to celebrate its 25th anniversary this fall. The Trustees want to provide information to our congregation that is pertinent in making bequests.
Do I need a will? When a person needs a will, it's too late to make one. For one reason or another, the majority of Americans die without wills. When a person dies without a will, a tax collector is perhaps the only one to benefit. In some cases, federal estate taxes and state death taxes can erode an estate considerably.
Do I really need a will if my estate is small? Yes, the smaller the estate, the more important that it be settled quickly; delays usually mean more expense.
Does everyone have an "estate"? Yes, if they own anything at all. The term applies not just to real estate but to cash, cars, furniture, books...any property at all.
Aren't charitable bequests made mainly by people who have no close relatives, or whose estates are so large there is plenty left over for charities? No, even modest estates today are larger than the average estates of past generations, and people are finding it more and more convenient to make charitable bequests.
How do people usually make charitable bequests? Many simply designate a percentage of the estate to go to one or more charitable organizations. Others name specific property, a specific dollar amount, or the remainder of the estate after other heirs are taken care of.
The Trustees encourage our members to include the Fellowship in their wills!
DAYTIME BOOK CLUB
The next gathering of this well-read group will take place on Wednesday, June 21st, 10:30 AM in the Library at MVUUF. Those attending will be discussing One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus. All are welcome to join them!
In July, they will be meeting on the 19th, again at 10:30 AM in the Library, and they'll discuss
by Dayton's own J. D. Vance.
SMART CHOICES BIRTHDAY LUNCHEON
The next meeting of this fun-loving group will take place on Thursday, June 8th, 11:30 AM, at MCL Cafeteria in Kettering. This group is also open to EVERYONE, and they'd love to have you join them!
ENVIRONMENTAL BOOK CLUB CHANGING THEIR FORMAT
The Environmental Discussion Group (formerly called the Environmental Book Club) will now be focused upon the discussion around the topic of a book, instead of just the book itself. They will continue to meet on the third Monday evening of the month (bi-monthly), 7:00 PM, in the Founders' Room at the Fellowship. Their next meeting, on June 19th, will feature a short presentation on the book,
Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life
, by Edward D. Wilson. This is another group that is open to ALL, and they welcome your suggestions for future topics of discussion.
BOOK FAIR FOUNDATION ANNUAL SALE
Thanks to the many of you who have generously donated to the Book Fair Foundation by placing unwanted books in the collection box (located under the MVUUF mailboxes in the hallway). The next Book Fair Sale is scheduled for September 8-11th at the Montgomery County Fairground's Coliseum. Recipients of the funds from this year's sale are: The Artemis Center, Dayton Public Radio, and the Cesar's Ford Theater.
Please continue to drop your unwanted books into the collection box under the mailboxes, to help support these worthy groups!
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL LUNCH
Please join us in providing food and/or serving for our long-standing second Saturday lunch ministry for women and families staying at the St. Vincent de Paul Shelter. You can sign up for the Saturday, June 10th lunch for food donations and/or serving on the clipboard in the Gathering Space, or you can contact
(call or text) or
(email). If you would like more information regarding volunteering, please take one of the info flyers near the sign up sheet.
Thanks to ALL who pitched in by providing food and/or serving the May meal! Once again, diners were appreciative of our fresh, nourishing and abundant food. We served about 60 people: 37 in the women's group, and 22 or more in the families group.
June 10th menu
sandwich filling (bbq pulled pork/chicken/beef, sloppy joes, or chicken/egg salad), vegetable dish (pasta salad with LOTS of veggies, cole slaw, or other vegetable-steamed broccoli with Italian salad dressing has been popular!), green salad, fresh fruit/fruit salad, 100% orange juice and reduced-fat milk (we use buns from St. Vincent's pantry for the sandwiches). 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 Hotel) by 10:45 AM on Saturday, June 10th.
Remember to place your order for Fair Trade coffee on the first Sunday of the month (this month it's on
in the Gathering Space after service, to be picked up on or after the third Sunday of the month (this month, June 18th
There are many varieties and bean grinds to choose from, including several that are organic!
You can also contact
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
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!