Miami Valley 
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458






MVUUF's Forum for March, 2019

  visit our website  HERE          visit the UUA's website    HERE


Service Topics for March, 2019

Sunday, March 3rd - 11:00 AM      
We're Going On A ...
(a Worship for All Ages )
 with  Jerry Douglas Leggett, Director of Religious Education
and Rev. Kellie

Sunday, March 10th - 11:00 AM      
Beloved Community Is A Verb
with Rev. Kellie
Sunday, March 17th - 11:00 AM      
This Is The Place We've Been Waiting For
with Rev. Kellie
Sunday, March 24th - 11:00 AM
   The Season for Non-Violence Draws to A Close 
 with Bob Lewis, MVUUF Member and LEAD President

Sunday, March 31st - 11:00 AM
The Perpetual Journey
with Laura Vondenhuevel, MVUUF & CUUPS Member

Staff Notes

My Dear Ones,

First of all, please accept my apology for the delay in our March Forum newsletter. Jennie had it ready to go on Friday, March 1st but I needed a few extra days for my column and event write-ups.
As most of you know, we have had a series of break-ins that have become increasingly more stressful and time-consuming to manage. Starting in December, our shed was broken into and several items were stolen. At the end of January, someone broke into our building and stole our 2 TVs and some small items. Then in February, we had another 2 burglaries with the final one resulting in significant damage and loss to the main office and our staff offices.
As you can imagine, this has been very unsettling for the staff.  Staff members have worked closely with the Montgomery Sherriff department, Board, Safety Committee, and our Operations Rep to protect our building, staff, and congregants. We have changed the outdoor locks and installed an integrated alarm and key fob/card access system. By next week, we hope to be contacting fellowship leaders to exchange their building keys for new key fobs. With these safety precautions, we are also making changes to our door and building procedures. We have had a few hiccups in the communications of these changes to our fellowship leaders. I imagine we will have a few more hiccups before we are all set up in the new system. Thank you for your continued patience, support, and understanding!
And all the while, we still have been doing church: services, choir practices, eBlasts, committee meetings, events, and all the many things that transform our building into a community.
Now that March has begun, we are clearly in the beginning of Spring (regardless of what the wind chill factor says, hehe). On Sunday March 3rd, we finished our fifth Repair & Healing Listening Session with Dayton Mediation Center. The Repair & Healing Taskforce (myself, Ria Megnin, Alysoun Taylor-Hall, Garlene Hamilton, Rachel Feltner, and Sky Stewart) will be working on our summary report over the next 6-8 weeks. If you have any suggestions for future actions or events, please email me at . We want this to be a congregational process and would love to learn your feedback.
As I have stated before, these sessions are not the start or the end of this healing process. My hope is that through these listening sessions we can create a collective story which will hold all of our truths tenderly. My deep hope for our fellowship is that we can slowly shed light on these hurts, work to understand each other's truths, continue the vulnerable process of rebuilding trust, and learn how to love each other while still holding each other accountable. This will not be fast work. This will not be easy work. This will not be work that instantly adds new members. Yet, I think it is among the most important work we can do as individuals and as a community. I am honored to lead you in this work, to learn with you, and to learn from you. We are in this together.
Our Soul Matters theme for March is Journey. While this is only the start of our journey together, I am mindful that we are joining together much longer journeys: our country's, Unitarian Universalism's, First Dayton's, Miami Valley Fellowship's, each congregant's, our children's and youth's, and my own.
On Sunday, March 24th at 4:00 PM, my Installation Service will serve as the official celebration and beginning of our shared journey--our shared ministry. For this reason, the Search Committee and I selected the theme of rebirth and Spring. In the past, I had described my ministry and leadership style as either "dropping" or "planting" seeds. What I have learned here is that I am also nurturing seeds that you and previous congregants and ministers had placed in the soil years ago. Our installation theme must hold the work gone before and the work that calls us to the future. With this in mind, we will use the following words for our installation theme: "Growing seeds of radical love, justice, and transformation."
Back in our everyday church life, the Stewardship Committee (myself, Catherine Queener, Ann Snively, and Bill Ross) will be launching our annual pledge drive, Sunday March 17th. Building on the idea of journey and history, our stewardship theme is "This is the place we have been waiting for" (based on the meditation by UU minister Rev. Stephen Shick). We are shooting for 100% member and friend participation in the pledge campaign (making a meaningful pledge that makes you feel good). In order to de-mystify the budget and pledge process, we'll be offering three 75-minute Café Conversations at the fellowship (please see write-up later in newsletter). I know, 100% may seem unrealistic to many AND I know we can do it! Just as "this is the place we have been waiting for," "we are the people we've been waiting for."
If you are a friend of the fellowship, I encourage you to officially join MVUUF's journey by attending our Joining Session Saturday, March 30th from 10:00 AM-Noon (see details later in this Forum). We will hold our New Member Recognition Ceremony during our Sunday service April 7th. We also will hold our Child Dedication Service for children of all ages Sunday, May 5th. The only requirement for our child dedication is that the parents are members. The congregation-wide child dedication is an important ritual for our children, our families, and our whole fellowship community. It allows us to bless the children and covenant with their families to support them on their journey as parents (see details later in this Forum).
As I have done each month, I share with you a song that holds our theme. Music is a powerful method of delivery, one very different from our conscious mind's intellectual analyses. This month's song is from Journey, Don't Stop Believin'. This time, I must admit that I went for the cheese (meaning cheesy or sappy). The band's name is the same as our Soul Matters theme and the chorus offers a message that we frequently need to be reminded of in our personal lives, communities, and social justice work. So please disregard the story ("just a small town girl") and sing the words of the chorus with me:

         Don't stop believin'
         Hold on to the feelin'.
Holding you in my heart,
Rev. Kellie
What I'm Reading (aka- What I'm listening to in my Air Pods)
  • White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo (Chapters 10 & 11)--Our Congregational Read
  • The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor
  • Poldark 12-book series by Winston Graham
  • Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji & Anthony G. Greenwald 

In the Foreword of the teal hymnal Singing the Living Tradition, our past UUA President, Rev William Sinkford recalls the joy of seeing congregations spontaneously singing hymns like "Spirit of Life" and "Come, Come, Whoever You Are" without looking at the hymnal. He goes on to explain that "Singing in community...allows us to name the Holy, to give thanks, and commit ourselves to making justice through song. Singing helps our very 'heady' faith find its loving heart."

It is my hope that our congregation will continue to grow in confidence and the ability to raise our voices together in celebration and shared community. So to facilitate that- I would like to start a Sunday morning sing-along at 10:45 AM in the Sanctuary. Not only will this be a great "warm-up" before the worship service, it will help us learn some of the less-familiar songs in the teal hymnal. No need to sign up or commit- just show up! I look forward to singing with you at the front of the Sanctuary at 10:45 Sunday mornings!
Sara Davis,  Director of Music

Don't forget!

We NEED your help to provide funding for our teens and sponsors to attend the 2019 UU-UNO Spring Seminar! Miami Valley UU Fellowship teens will learn how to be global activists and gain practical leadership skills rooted in UU core principles/practices. (Oh, and they'll also have a blast with other UU teens!)
Here's the  link to our donation page through Faithify...the deadline is March 15th!
--Jerry Leggett, Director of Religious Education

Due to the recent break-ins at the Fellowship that resulted in the loss of several pieces of office equipment (computers, printers, monitors, etc.), we have been unable to send out any Contribution Statements for Calendar Year 2018.

We do realize that this is important information many need in preparing their tax returns, and the good news is that by the time this newsletter is published we should be able to accomplish this necessary task.

If you would like to request your Contribution Statement for 2018, please contact our Fellowship Administrator, Jennie Freiberger, at or  937-436-3628 to do so. And thank you for your care & concern (and patience!) as we begin to get back to doing the business of the Fellowship!
--Jennie Freiberger, Fellowship Administrator
Around the Fellowship
Sunday, March 10th, 12:30 PM, in the Sanctuary at MVUUF
That's right...Coffee with the Minister continues! What's her favorite color? Why did she become a Minister? Come and learn the answer to questions like these, and others, all about the lovely Rev. Kellie C. Kelly on Sunday, March 10th, 12:30 PM. Grab a cup of coffee (or your beverage of choice) and have a seat in the Sanctuary, and find out more!

Saturday, March 30th, 10:00 AM, in the Founders' Room
Membership at MVUUF is an opportunity to declare what you already know. This fellowship is your spiritual home, your community of friends, your challenge to action, your open forum for a free expression of your search for truth and your opportunity to live what you hold dear. If all or some of these things fit your niche at MVUUF and you are not a member already, we are presenting an opportunity for you to spring into action.

Rev. Kellie and I will be offering a JOINING SESSION on Saturday, March 30th from 10:00 AM-noon in the Founders' Room. You will receive basic information about UUism, the opportunities afforded to members, and the joys and responsibilities of sharing your time, talents and treasure as a member of the fellowship. Those wishing to become members will sign the Red Book during the worship service on Sunday, April 7th.

Spring into action! Trade in your friend name tag for a permanent wooden one that shows you are committed to this fellowship and its future. If you will need child care, please sign up at the greeter's table or email Diane Colvin, Membership Rep., at And plan to attend the JOINING SESSION on Saturday, March 30 from 10:00 AM-noon.
--Diane Colvin, Membership Representative

2019-2020 Annual Pledge Campaign
  Join Rev. Kellie and the Stewardship Team for a  Caf é Conversation!
Rev. Kellie and our inspiring Stewardship Team (Catherine Queener, Bill Ross, and Ann Snively) have 3 important goals for this year's pledge drive:
  1. De-mystify the annual pledge drive
  2. 100% participation in the annual pledge drive
  3. 100% of our pledge goal (you know we had to include that one, hehe)
With everyone's busy schedules, we know that most of us don't have time for 1-on-1 conversations with the Stewardship Team. So in order to use everyone's time as efficiently as possible, we have scheduled three 75-minute Café Conversation events to share our information with you, answer your questions, and celebrate all that MVUUF gives us each week.

These casual events are for everyone:  new pledgers who don't know what pledging is, experienced pledgers who don't think they can learn anything new about pledging, people who hate pledging, people who love pledging, and anyone who cares about MVUUF. We need everyone to keep MVUUF alive and to help us grow. (Yes, that means even you.)

There will be plenty of food and fellowship. If you would like childcare, email your request to at least 8 days before your selected Café Conversation.

Please plan to attend one of the following Café Conversations at MVUUF:
Monday, March 25 from 7 to 8:15 pm
Sunday, April 7 from 12:30 to 1:45 pm
Saturday, April 27 from 10 to 11:15 am
We look forward to seeing you there!

Well, it's not too late! Our Soul Matters Covenant Groups are accepting new members in March. 

As a reminder, the Soul Matters Covenant Groups meet monthly from October through June. While Soul Matters offers a distinctive small group curriculum tied to the Sunday worship and religious education themes, its central goal is to foster circles of trust and deep listening. These groups allow you to go deep with each theme and with a small group of the fellowship's members and friends.

We have the following sessions this program year:
  3rd Thursday afternoon
  3rd Friday afternoon
  3rd Friday evening
  4th Monday evening

If you would like to join one of these groups, please email Rev. Kellie at with your 1st choice and 2nd choice of session. 

In the meantime, Kellie invites us all to enjoy the inspiration of March's small group packet on JOURNEY, whether we're enrolled in a covenant group or not.

If you have been having any difficulties with access to the info in the packet (i.e., learning differences, technology trouble), please contact our Fellowship Administrator, Jennie Freiberger, at or 937-436-3628 so that she can send you another version.

Thursday, March 14th, 11:30 AM, at MCL Cafeteria
Members & Friends of MVUUF (that identify as women) are invited to join this fun-loving group as they celebrate birthdays on Thursday, March 14th, 11:30 AM, at MCL Cafeteria in Kettering. Please RSVP to Allie Petersen at:                

Workshops Offered by Our Right Relations Committee
The Right Relations Committee has been offering two workshops for the congregation this winter, and you still have a chance to experience each of them!
Workshop A: The Covenant of Right Relations: What We're Striving For
This living document emerged about 10 years ago. What do we really mean by its language of "welcoming environment," "respect and nurture others," and speaking with directness and empathy? How can we strive to live up to our ideals while still allowing ourselves to be imperfect and human together? We'll explore the role, history and content of our Covenant as well as how we can apply its principles at MVUUF today.
Monday, March 18, 6-7:30 PM, Founders' Room
Workshop B : Living Right Relations: The ABCs of Navigating Conflict
When someone at MVUUF does something that upsets you, can you:
A: slow down and stay curious,
B: choose what you'll take in and what you'll share, and
C: do so with directness, kindness and empathy?
This class offers universal life skills with a focus on applying them within our relationships at MVUUF. We'll learn some tools for putting our Covenant of Right Relations to use: the ABCs (Awareness, Boundaries, and Communication) of Navigating Conflict.

Monday, April 15, 6-7:30 PM, Founders' Room
Workshop sessions will run for 90 minutes and include a brief lecture, some practical demonstrations and small group activities, and opportunities for questions and discussions. Our focus is not to rehash past conflicts but to build the skills for navigating the normal, natural, gonna-happen rough patches of being in relationship with fellow humans.
If these dates are'nt possible for you, reach out to a member of the Right Relations Committee---Alysoun   Taylor-Hall, Ria Megnin, and Laura Vondenheuvel---and we'll strive to work something out. Need more information?  Please contact Ria Megnin at or 831-236-0361 .
At its February meeting, the Program Council was very pleased to choose...drum roll...our awesome MVUUF administrator, Jennie Freiberger! Jennie is known for her cheerful, friendly, approachable manner within the MVUUF community and also when representing  MVUUF to the outside world. In fact, she has been overheard speaking calmly and pleasantly with the occasional critical or difficult phone call from members of the public who are not happy with us. She is very thorough in record keeping, a great gift to us and to  future administrators.  She is a good steward of our financial resources, always on the watch for any wasteful use of utilities.  She has a knack for  taking our disparate submissions and weaving them into attractive and cohesive communications.  Perhaps, most notable is what one person said:  "it's one thing to have customers, co-workers, or employers, but congregants are really all three to staff members, and Jennie has navigated these sometimes challenging waters with patience and love!"
Sunday, March 24th, 4-6:00 PM, at MVUUF
Later this month, our congregation will be marking an important milestone: celebrating the Installation of the Rev. Kellie C. Kelly as our Minister at Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. We made the call for her to join us this past summer (which she accepted!), she joined us this past fall, and now near the end of winter (finally?) we will mark this very special occasion as our eyes look to the spring.
An Installation Service is a time for a Unitarian Universalist congregation to celebrate the joining of our community and the minister; I've heard someone say it's a wedding of sorts. We hope you will recognize parts of the service that relate to Rev. Kellie (and her fabulous self) and parts of the service that relate to our MVUUF community. We'll be sharing a moment in time to slow down, appreciate one another for the gifts we share, and the possibilities ahead for us as we grow         together.
Currently the former members of the Ministerial Search Committee are hard at work with Rev. Kellie planning this event. Out of town guests will be joining us as well to help us celebrate!
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me: or 937-308-3266. I look forward to sharing more in the near future!
---Laura Vondenhuevel, Former Chair, Ministerial Search Committee  

Saturday, April 20th, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM
Open to all MVUUF friends and members 14 years and older
Have you ever wondered what "pastoral care" is, especially within a Unitarian Universalist congregation where many congregants are humanist, atheist, or agnostic?
Rev. Kellie will lead an interactive workshop to help us learn the basics of pastoral care so that we can ask for it when we need it, offer it to fellow congregants in our small groups (whether choir or a social justice action team), and refer a congregant to Rev. Kellie and the pastoral associates if needed. Many of us are already offering each other pastoral care without even realizing it. Pastoral care is the companioning of another person while they handle a difficult situation or illness. It is deep listening and reflecting without fixing, advising, or judging. If you are interested in attending the workshop, please contact Rev. Kellie at

Sunday, May 5th, during the 11:00 AM Service
We will hold our Child Dedication Service for children of all ages Sunday, May 5th. The congregation-wide child dedication is an important ritual for our children, our families, and our whole fellowship community. It allows us to bless the children and covenant with their families to support them on their journey as parents. For more information, please review the following UUA page.
The only requirement for our child dedication is that the child's parents are members (next Joining Session is Saturday, March 30th). If you would like your child(ren) to participate in the dedication, please contact Rev. Kellie to begin planning, at

Discussing money makes many of us uncomfortable. I think I have at least six different ways to personally be anxious about money that include everything from attitudes I learned from my parents to worries about having enough money in my old age. And those are just the uncomplicated ones.

This year's Stewardship Team (Rev. Kellie, Catherine Queener, Bill Ross, and I) would like to demystify MVUUF's finances and annual pledge campaign.

Here are a few facts to get us started:
  • MVUUF is supported solely by its members. There is no outside support from other sources such as the Unitarian Universalist Association.
  • Pledging is important because it enables us to take care of our committed staff and keep the lights on in our beautiful building. The majority of our annual budget goes to our staff and building (89%).
  • The UUA offers suggestions for staffing based on church size and goals. This year's and next year's staffing budgets will allow us to serve the membership size we have now. If we would like membership growth, we will need to invest in more hours for our part-time staff members and therefore a larger staff budget.
  • Although our building and grounds were last appraised at $1.2 million, our mortgage is only $300,000. This is because of the hard work of our ancestors who worked to purchase our two previous locations and the careful stewardship of our contemporary leaders.
  • Everyone can give something. We value and need pledges of all sizes. We are stronger together.
  • This year's pledge campaign is shooting for 100% participation.
Please join us for Rev. Kellie's kick-off sermon Sunday, March 17 and look for information on our upcoming Café Conversations. This is the place we've been waiting for!
--Ann Snively, Stewardship Team member

Sunday Mornings, 9:30 AM, Class Room #5 at MVUUF
This group, open to everyone who identifies as female, meets every Sunday morning, 9:30 AM, in class room #5 at MVUUF. The group discusses issues that affect women, and participants agree to confidentiality. In the event that the group would be cancelled (weather, illness, etc.) notifications can be received through the Yahoo Group MVUUF Women's Group. Please consider joining us!

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 March 3rd!), and then your order should be ready to be picked up on the third Sunday of the month (this month that's  March 17th!).

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!
Social Action Opportunities
Friday, March 8th, 7:00 PM, in the Sanctuary at MVUUF
This is the final Second Friday Night Movie sponsored by the Anti-Racism Team, so make sure you don't miss it!

Please be sure to join us for the movie  BlackkKlansman (which recently won an Academy Award for it's Director, Spike Lee!) followed by a brief discussion afterwards.

And check out the movie's  trailer!

First Thursdays of the Month, 7-9:00 PM, at MVUUF
This newly-formed 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. Rev. Kellie is also looking for individuals who are interested in assisting her to lead this ongoing group.
For the month of March, we'll gather on Thursday, March 7th, 7:00 PM, in the Founders' Room. Participation in the Congregational Read ( White Fragility ) is not required. Questions, concerns  or suggestions? Please email Rev. Kellie at .

Saturday, March 9th, 10:45 AM, 
120 West Apple Street, Dayton
Please join us on Saturday, March 9th, in providing  our long-standing second Saturday lunch for women and families staying at the StVincent de Paul Shelter.   

Our needs this month include: hearty chili, fixings of shredded cheese,  vegetable dishes (any dish made with fresh vegetables such as green beans, vegetable medley, carrots & celery sticks, - potato salad has been popular), green salads, fresh fruit/fruit salads, 100% orange juice and 1% milk.   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 StVincent de Paul Gateway Shelter) by 10:45 am. 
You can sign up for food donations and/or serving 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.  
St. Vincent's was still very full in February with about 120 in house,  but a few folks took advantage of the sunny, dry weather on February 9th, to go elsewhere.  We fed 89, with 57 in the women's group at 11:00 AM and 32 in the family group at noon.   Thanks to the many who served  (in the photo below) and/or provided food!  
If you would like more information regarding volunteering, please take one of the info flyers near the sign up sheet in the Social Action area in the Gathering Space.
Enlightened by Education

Friday, March 1st thru Monday, March 18th
  Attention gardeners, and food growing enthusiasts!

The YRE Committee is excited to be kicking off our Spring Seed Fundraiser on Friday, March 1st. We've chosen to sell seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds using the Farmraiser platform. 

Our sale lasts through Monday, March 18th, and products should be available on Monday, April 1st for pick up at MVUUF. Check out our fundraiser, and make your purchases, by following this  link.

All sales will help us enhance the safety and security of our beautiful YRE wing!

Monday, March 25th 7-9:00 PM
Our newly-formed Transgender Ally Group will be meeting this month on Monday, March 25th from 7-9:00 PM (4th Monday evening each month). This group is a supportive place where cisgender congregants can work on reducing and eliminating their own internalized transphobia and heterosexism without harming our transgender siblings. We'll be starting a new UU program to support transgender folks inside and outside of our congregations.
Questions, concerns, or suggestions? Please email Rev. Kellie at .
Wednesday, March 20th, 10:30 AM, in the Library
The next meeting of this well-read group is scheduled for Wednesday, March 20th, 10:30 AM in the Library at MVUUF; ALL are welcome to attend! 

The group will be discussing The Overstory  by Richard Powers.

And plan to join them next month when they'll be discussing  My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One by Elena Ferrante  on Wednesday, April 17th!


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!