Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
8690 Yankee St. Dayton, OH 45458
MVUUF's Forum March, 2017
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Service Topics for March, 2017
Love and Letting Go--Rev. Mary Reaman
from the Tree of Life Community (our UU neighbors downtown)
Maya Angelou tells us that love liberates. If that is so, it implies the capacity to let go. But letting go is one of the hardest lessons of life--
whether it's letting go of guilt, anger, love, loss, or betrayal. Change is never easy. We fight to hold on and we fight to let go. On March 5th we will honor letting go as part of what it means to live into love.
(topics for future dates were not available at the time of publication)
A FEW WORDS FROM THE PRESIDENT
On Sunday, February 12th, 2017, everything changed.
Rev. Greg chose us for his called ministry, because he saw in us strength, innovation, and a will to make this world a better place. He believed in our vision and mission and he pushed us to reach our full potential. He believed in US, this beloved MVUUF community.
So now, our strength and resiliency is being tested by his sudden departure. We are grieving his death and lifting up his legacy in memorial to his leadership, his ministry, and his friendship. This grieving process will be different for each one of us individually, and will affect how we grieve as a community. We will experience some frustration and discordance as we recover and heal at different rates, at different times, and in different ways. We each need to bring our best selves into community and lift up compassion and patience. We will get through this TOGETHER and with love.
So now we are on a NEW PATH. What that path will look like will be affected by how we work toward our future vision of ministry. Immediately, as a congregation, we have felt the loving embrace of our larger UU world. The support we have received from our MidAmerica Region staff and from the UUA have been invaluable. They will continue to support us as we move into the next stages of calling a new minister.
The Board has and will continue to move quickly to provide our Fellowship with the continuity of professional ministry over the coming year and a half, first by hiring a "transition" minister (Rev. Bill Breeden) through the end of June, 2017, then by hiring an Interim Minister for the 2017-2018 church year. We will simultaneously be assembling a Ministerial Search Committee, to be elected by the congregation at our June Congregational Meeting, tasked with updating our search packet from two years ago and going through the process of selecting a called minister. We will be meeting with our former Search Committee members to determine the most efficient and productive way forward. It is our intent to hire a new called minister to start in August of 2018, a year and a half from now.
As your Board President, I am committing to being as transparent as possible, setting clear expectations, and responding to concerns that come up along the way. I ask for your patience and support with all the leaders in this Fellowship. Mistakes will be made, but I am confident in our leadership team's ability to work together and address the challenges of this new journey we are on.
I personally feel very hopeful about our future. It will not be the same as where we were heading with Rev. Greg's leadership, but our community will be made stronger having shared this collective loss. The strength and wisdom that comes with experiencing the cycles of life, will put us in a powerful place to embrace our NEW PATH and call other phenomenal ministers into our community. May it be so.
Please be patient, kind, and compassionate with the grieving process. At the same time, give yourself permission to imagine new dreams about our bright future. We will hold Rev. Greg in our hearts and honor the gifts that he brought us. We will also honor the gifts we saw in ourselves when he held up the self-reflective mirror to our community.
Take good care and love one another.
Gail Cyan, Board President
MOURNING REV. GREG
We have all experienced a difficult couple of weeks as we deal with and process the unexpected death of our beloved minister, Rev. Greg Martin.
If you should need a listening ear due to grief or other concerns going on in your life, please feel free to contact one of our pastoral associates by calling Jennie Freiberger in the church office at 937-436-3628. If you don't reach Jennie please contact us directly:
Tina Musgrove (937-476-1456)
Alice Diebel (937-305-4694)
It's also important to remember that the UU Trauma Response Ministry is only a phone call away as well, at (888) 760-3332.
And in honor of Rev. Greg, Pat Megnin was moved to write a beautiful poem, which follows:
There's a peace that comes
When mourning's done
Tormenting the ifs, ands, buts or maybes...
Denial, anger, acceptance, bargaining
Slip into the folds of acceptance.
No one had time
To say their goodbyes
Each left with their last moment to savor
The presence he gave will remain to stay
To remember his soul forever.
He came into our hearts
A man rich in love
And he shared all his wealth of knowledge
Those who received were blessed indeed
To partake of the wisdom he offered.
For now his shield
Of his "fierce love"
Will keep us together in spirit
When we are ready, we'll pick up the sword
Of his dedication and his fury.
He embodied our principles
Practiced what he preached
And showed us how we, too, could do it
He guided our ship toward justice and truth
So our own paths could secure it.
Our journey is long
But we will stay strong
He demonstrated how we each could contribute
With respect, curiosity, and love for all
It will settle "like glitter in the moonlight."
Rest in peace, Rev. Greg Martin. We've got this.
INTRODUCING OUR TRANSITION MINISTER
Please join us in welcoming Rev. Bill Breeden into our loving community. He has graciously offered to serve as our part-time "Transition" minister from March-June of this year. He comes to us with a lifetime of experience and wisdom that he will share with us as he weaves his stories from the pulpit and reaches out to us for pastoral care.
Rev. Bill Breeden is a recently "retired" minister who spent many years as co-minister at Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington in Indiana (a congregation of about 500 members). He is a passionate preacher, excellent at being with congregations during crisis times, and is a strong social justice advocate.
We are truly blessed to be sharing this time in our lives with Rev. Bill and his ministry. We will be having a Meet & Greet with Rev. Bill this Sunday, March 5th, after the 11:00 AM worship service.
SHARING OUR OFFERING
At the last Board Meeting on Tuesday, February 14th, it was decided that beginning immediately, the designated non-profit recipients who receive a portion of the non-pledge collection every Sunday will now be receiving 100% of that non-pledge amount, instead of the former 50%. May our increased generosity in stewardship make an even larger impact!
Our recipients will be:
March - May/UUJO
June - August/The Foodbank
September - November/Wesley Community Center
December - February/Miami Valley Pet Therapy
BUILDING THE WORLD WE DREAM ABOUT
HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED
This important adult religious education experience
has been rescheduled to begin on Sunday, March 12, 2-4:00 PM, in the Founders' Room at the Fellowship, and will continue every Sunday afternoon through May 21 (there will not be a gathering on Easter Sunday, April 16th). If you have wondered what multicultural competency is or why it's important...or have a longing for an intentional experience that will transform your life, deepen your faith, and enrich your soul...then you should seriously consider attending. Reservations are also being taken for childcare, so don't let your little ones keep you from the experience!
You can sign up in the Gathering Space, or on the Beloved Community Facebook event page; and you can contact Alice Diebel (
) or Rachel Feltner (
) for more information.
SAVE THE DATE!
MVUUF Youth (grades 6-12) will enjoy dinner and games with Arab-Israeli student visitors on Thursday, April 13th, 4:30-7:30 PM, at the Fellowship! This event is part of the D-D English Education program, and everyone had a blast when we did this in 2015! Come for the whole time, come for just a little bit...just make sure to attend and meet these wonderful students. Look for more information in the April edition of
FIRST FRIDAY MOVIE NIGHT
The Anti-Racism Team will present
Defying the Nazis: The Sharp's War
for it's next First Friday Movie Night, which will take place on Friday, March 3rd, 7:00 PM, in the Sanctuary at the Fellowship. The film was directed by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky, who also wrote the book of the same title. Joukowsky was also a grandson of Waitstill & Martha Sharp, the Unitarian minister and his wife whom the movie follows as they lead the desperate job of getting Jews and others out of areas occupied by the Nazis during World War II.
Refreshments will be served, and there will be a discussion after the movie. We hope to see many of you there!
SEEKING JUSTICE FOR ALL IN A CHANGING AMERICA
In this time of stepped hate speech, hate crimes, profiling, and the drastic lessening of due process for those suspected of undocumented status, our Social Action Committee encourages you to attend this event, which will take place on Saturday, March 11, 3-5:00 PM, at Wright State University's Oelman Hall, Room 109. Free parking passes will be provided for those parking in lots 8, 9, or 10; there will also be carpooling from the MVUUF parking lot (meet there at 2:00 PM).
This event is presented by members of the Ohio Islamic Council, and Wright State University, with support from local inter-faith and educational organizations. Expected speakers are: Dr. Anthony Whitmore, Civil & Human Rights Leader; Dr. B. S. Foad, Physician and Scholar, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati; and Rev. Dr. Crystal Walker, Greater Dayton Christian Connection.
BYSTANDER TRAINING: A "HOW-TO" ON
CONFRONTING RACIST STRANGER VIOLENCE
This event, presented jointly by our Social Action Committee and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), will take place in the Sanctuary at the Fellowship on Sunday, March 12, 12:30- 3:15 PM. Learn about intervention, de-escalation, and documentation. Child care will also be available.
UUA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Early Bird registration for this year's GA opens on March 1st! This year's big event will take place in the Big Easy, New Orleans, from June 21-25! If you were energized by Columbus last summer, consider attending this year. Although there will be more cost involved as it's further away, this GA will be a "Justice GA", with less business and more action! Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy, will give the Ware lecture, and live-streaming of many events will be available.
Scholarships are also available for people of color and people of financial need. Deadline for applications is March 31, and a letter of sponsorship is required. If you plan to apply for a scholarship, please contact Alice Diebel at
so that she can help you.
ENJOY LUNCH WITH SMART CHOICES!
The Smart Choice group will be holding their next Birthday Luncheon on Thursday, March 9, 11:30 AM, at MCL Cafeteria, in Kettering. This gathering is open to all...why not plan to join them?
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL LUNCH
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 menu. To sign-up to donate food and/or to serve, please use the clipboard in the Gathering Space on the Social Action table, or contact Lynn Buffington at 937-657-0426 or email@example.com.
Our needs for March 11th are: chili, fresh fruit salad or fresh fruit, chili toppings (shredded cheese, sour cream), green salad, orange juice, dishes made with fresh vegetables or carrot & celery sticks (last month we had broccoli and Waldorf salads!). Each sign-up slot is for 15-20 servings, and we need to fill several slots for each item. More info is available on the sheets near the clipboard.
Since St. Vincent's requires servers to be at least 14 years of age, a good way to involve your children is to have them help in the preparation of your donation. Thanks to all who donated food and helped serve in February when we served 58, and the family group at noon enjoyed the beautiful Valentine's Day cookies made by Shirley Gezinski!
SERVICE AUCTION 2017:
SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW
Plans have been changing regarding this year's Service Auction. We have pushed back the date a bit, and it will now be held on Saturday, May 6th. And in honor of Rev. Greg and his last service at MVUUF, the theme has now been changed to Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
More details will be available in the April edition of The Forum.
---Dawn Bellinger, Chairperson, Service Auction 2017
BRINGING BACK THE ICE CREAM SOCIAL!
We're bringing back the Ice Cream Social-yippee! Start thinking about what kind of delectable, creamy ice product you'll 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, April 23, so put the date on your calendar, dust off your ice cream recipes, and be ready to indulge your taste buds.
-Dawn Bellinger, Activities Rep
MARCH FOR ADOPTABLE PETS!
Who doesn't love animals, especially the helpless and the homeless?
During the month of March, please join our Wednesday Afternoon Covenant Group in gifting SICSA Pet Adoption Center with items they greatly need! Some of the things they need the most are office supplies and cleaning agents, as well as some "fun" items for the pets. There are hand-outs available in the Gathering Space with a specific list. If you are able, please purchase some items from the list, bring them to the Gathering Space on the Sundays throughout March, and place them in one of the two bins.
Every year, SICSA adopts over 1,600 dogs and cats into loving homes (over 4 every day) and spay/neuter 2,700 animals each year for the community. Over 700 junior and adult volunteers provide more than 23,000 hours of service to SICSA each year. They also provide quality humane education to more than 4,300 children annually.
We are excited about this project, and we hope you are, too! So remember...Sundays in March...SICSA Wish List in the Gathering Space...donation bins in the Gathering Space. Thanks!
---Bev Miner Edwards, Wednesday Afternoon Covenant Group member
HAVE YOU HEARD?
Fellowship member Tammy Phillipson, recently lost her father. We hold Tammy & Darrell, and Jack, Cary and E.V. in our hearts during this difficult time.
Lara Elena Donnelly, daughter of member Richard Donnelly, has recently had her first novel published,
Amberlough. Congratulations, Lara (and Richard, too!)
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:
EVENING BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP
The Evening Book Discussion Group will meet again
March 14th, the discussion will be about
Defying the Nazis: The Sharp's War
by Artemis Jouowsky, and on April 11th we'll discuss
by Margot Lee Shetterly.
ENVIRONMENTAL BOOK CLUB
Our Environmental Learning Forum Book Club now meets at 7:00 PM every other month, on the third Monday. Here's info for the next meeting:
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.
DAYTIME BOOK CLUB
The next meeting for the Daytime Book Club is scheduled for Wednesday,
March 15th, and we'll be discussing
, by Yaa Gyasi. All are welcome to join us!
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,
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!