Miami Valley 
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8690 Yankee St.  Dayton, OH  45458






MVUUF's Forum for November, 2018

  visit our website  HERE          visit the UUA's website    HERE


Service Topics for November, 2018

Sunday, November 4th - 11:00 AM      
Transgender Day of Remembrance
 with Rev. Kellie and Dan Miyake

Sunday, November 11th - 11:00 AM      
Rewriting Our Stories
with Rev. Kellie
Sunday, November 18th - 11:00 AM      
Creating History Together 
(new member service/Worship for All Ages )
with Rev. Kellie
Sunday, November 25th - 11:00 AM
     MVUUF's 60th Anniversary 
 with Joe Law and David Cobb 

November News

Oh my dear ones,

It feels like a year since I sent my October column to you. I keep praying that the news cycles will stop being filled with natural disasters, senseless horrific killings, and the unrelenting attacks on the civil rights of our most vulnerable family members. I feel exhausted and wonder if you do too.
It is at these times that our bodies try to lure us into the false safety of isolation. While we need to replenish ourselves to continue our liberation work, we must *not* allow ourselves to do so in isolation. We cannot hide, no matter how enticing it sounds. We must stay connected to our loved ones and our communities of support. We must stay connected to our best selves and to the love that surrounds us and will never let us go.
In this frightening time, we also must allow ourselves to find joy and hold onto our Memory of joy. In the past, I railed against joy, asking how people could be joyful when there is so much suffering in the world. What I now  believe---which of course is no more right or wrong than what I used to believe---is that joy becomes even more important as suffering increases. In order to sustain myself-in order to continue growing-I need to keep making time for joy.
Thankfully for me, this past has also held incredible joy. I was honored to participate in the celebrations of three of my dear friends and colleagues. I traveled to Richmond, VA to offer the community blessing (traditionally called the laying on of hands but changed to eliminate the expression's ableism) during Rev. Shelly Thompson's ordination. I traveled to Burlington, VT to offer the hug of fellowship (traditionally called the right hand of fellowship but changed to eliminate the expression's ableism) during Rev. Andre Mol's ordination. Finally, I       travelled to Cincinnati, OH to introduce the offering at Rev. Connie Simon's installation. All three ministers have sacrificed much to fulfill their calls to ministry. It was a huge blessing to be able to share their joy and hold it for times when joy is difficult to find.
This month's Soul Matters theme is Memory. In this month, we'll explore both the difficult and joyful parts of our histories, of our collective Memory. I invite you to hold onto each other with open hearts and abundant humor. Regardless of how the elections go next week, we will be wrestling with continuing hate rhetoric in our country and white fragility within our congregational walls.
As we enter into our first Congregational Read, White Fragility (see Forum write-up), we are going to make mistakes and harm each other. We are going to have to learn how to make genuine amends, assume good intentions, practice forgiveness and trust, listen deeply, and STAY in community.
As our fellowship becomes more racially diverse and our understanding of antiracism work continues to deepen, we have decided that we need to create a nourishing place for our self-identified people of color (POC: People of African Descent, Caribbean, Native/American Indian, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latina/o and Hispanic, Middle Eastern/Arab, and Multiracial). Shannon Harper and Ndidi Achebe have been dreaming about this idea for some time and I am thrilled to be able to actively support it.
Our POC group will have its first meeting Tuesday, November 13th at 6:30 PM. Shannon and Ndidi will host this first opportunity to have dinner, meet, and dream together. This is a POC-only event. The only thing that POC need to do is RSVP to  by Monday, November 12 so that Shannon and Ndidi can make the food order (this kickoff dinner is compliments of the Minister's Discretionary Fund). If you are not able to attend but are still interested in the group, please RSVP as well. Also, this group is not part of the congregational read and will continue after the Congregational Read ends in May.

In talking with colleagues within ministry and religious education, we have also decided to offer a self-identified white identity caucus to dig deeper into the Congregational Read and work on the important transition from "not racist" to "anti-racist allies and accomplices." While this group *will* be attached to the Congregational Read , this group is also optional and may continue after the Read ends in May. If you identify as white and would like to participate in this group, please email me at so we can schedule our first meeting.
We are continuing to move forward with our follow-up work from the August 18th congregational workshop with MidAmerica. As requested by the board, I have assembled a healing taskforce with the following individuals representing the most pertinent committees. The members are as follows: Garlene Hamilton (Board), Alysoun Taylor-Hall (Right Relations), Ria Megnin (Right Relations), Sky Stewart (Pastoral Care), Rachel Feltner (Search). We will continue to keep you posted on our progress. Please know that we will not let this fade into the background.
As some of you might have figured out from my bio and my choice to use music last month, I LOVE music and LOVE singing. One of my most dear spiritual practices is turning up the volume on my favorite songs and singing my heart out (harder to hear when I am off-key with loud music,ha).
So for this month's theme of Memory, I keep hearing a song from the historical musical Hamilton on my internal soundtrack. It is even more appropriate given the horrible events unfolding in our country. Please take a moment if you can to listen to Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story  HERE . We'll talk more about our stories during the November 11th service, Rewriting Our Stories . In the meantime, I'll keep holding each of you in my heart---please reach out if you need a little extra support this month!

With gratitude and love,
Rev. Kellie
Office hours available by appointment 
(please contact me via my mobile phone 847-804-4614).


I want to let you know about Dad's memorial service at Ohio University on Friday, September 21st. This is where we donated Jim Wyckoff's body last year after his death. The service was a profound, respectful recap of why it matters when people donate their bodies to medical research. The program started with some religious homilies, but mainly focused on the appreciation by the school and the medical students of the people's bodies that were entrusted to them.
The gathering included many families, and many of the medical students from the School of Osteopathic Medicine. I sat next to a bunch of first- year med students (who already had undergrad degrees). Representatives of that school, and from the physical therapy and sports medicine curriculums spoke about what an incredible gift the donations were. The students were given the person's first names, and background info that we'd provided, such as where they'd lived and what kind of work they did. They spoke of these bodies as being their first patients. They learned how to identify things, and what made one person   different than another, i.e. the physiology of an office worker compared to a mine worker. They learned what a calcified heart valve really looked like.
I was so impressed with all of that, and then the audience was allowed to share their thoughts and stories about those whose bodies were donated, why the choice was made, and a bit about that person. I shared how Dad would have appreciated the continued scientific learning he contributed to, as well as sharing my appreciation for how professionally and courteously the school had been on accepting his donation, and also put in a plug for Atul Gwande's book, Being Mortal , and how that helped us deal with the difficult situations around end of life issues.
After the service there was a reception, and we got to interact more with the students and faculty. I spoke with the dean about what a difference it must be exploring a real body compared to diagrams and models with clearly distinguished innards. He said it was like working in a fog. At first you can only make out rough images, but the closer you get to what you are looking for the clearer it becomes. Other students also answered my questions without hesitation, and I was able to share some pictures of Dad, and other stories about who he was. They seemed to learn from the memorial service as well, more about the real people who had given this final gift of themselves, and were very appreciative.
I left feeling very good about the decision we made, and am considering that option myself when I no longer need my body. By the way, they did not return cremains at that time. Our agreement with the school is they will return the   cremains anywhere from one to three years after he was donated. That was   actually a relief because I was a little uneasy about driving home with them. Dad is in good hands. I wanted you to know.
Maury Wyckoff, MVUUF Board President

Our Soul Matters theme has inspired me to remember my personal history with this Fellowship.

I first served as accompanist in 1989 when Kathy Brown was our Choir Director and I was a newly single mom named Sara Miller. I specifically remember playing for a performance of the Vivaldi Gloria

My husband Tom and I were married at MVUUF on Far Hills in 1991 by the Rev. Chuck Thomas. We soon drifted away, spiritually and physically, when we moved to Loveland, Ohio. But in 2004, largely at our daughter Laura's urging, we found our way back to this beautiful new building in Centerville.

In our library there are wonderful scrapbook history albums, lovingly made by past member Sylvia Wince. It is amazing to see how many people still here today are in those photos! And it fills me with gratitude to remember all those who came before us. Without their vision, energy, sacrifice and commitment to MVUUF we would not be here today.
--Sara Davis, Director of Music

What are you waiting for? Now is a great time for long-time friends to become members of MVUUF. So many positive things are happening at the fellowship with Rev. Kelly as our new settled minister and Maury Wyckoff as our board president. Your regular attendance and participation is truly appreciated, but why not take the next step and become a voting member?
A Joining Session will be held on Saturday, November 3rd from 1-3:00 PM. Attendance at this session is required if you wish to become a member now. You will learn something about UUism, the joys and responsibilities of   membership, and more. New members will sign The Red Book during worship on Sunday, November 18th.
Take action. Trade in your friend name tag for a permanent wooden one that shows you are committed to this fellowship and its future.   Sign up at the greeter's table or email Diane at . And plan to attend the Joining Session on Saturday, November 3rd. We look forward to seeing you!

Friday, November 16th--Chalice Night-Board Game Night
6-9:00 PM
Bring a board game or a card game to share, or play one that someone else brought. Feel free to bring a snack or beverage to share.
Thursday, November 22nd--
Thanksgiving Potluck Meal
2-6:00 PM
If you don't have family to hang out with on this day, come join us for a potluck meal. Setup will begin at 2:00 PM with plans to start serving around 3:00 PM. Turkey will be provided (if someone rsvp's to carve it!. Please bring a dish that will serve approximately 12-20                                                                      people.
Questions? Please contact Adrienne Clark at
Friday, November 30th - 6-9pm Chalica event
More details coming soon!

Any questions? Please contact Adrienne Clark, Activities Rep., at

Pastoral Care Team Holiday Giving Tree
We are now accepting nominations for families in need of some help this winter season. We will be accepting this information until Sunday, November 25th. The Giving Tree will be set up at the Chalica gathering on Friday, November 3oth. Questions? Contact any Pastoral Associate after service or email Adrienne Clark at

Don't forget! The Congregational Read of White Fragility:   Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism  by Robin DiAngelo--and led by Rev. Kellie--begins Saturday, November 3rd, 10:30 AM at MVUUF. In order to prepare for this first meeting, please read the Foreword, the Author's Note, the Introduction, and Chapter 1. 

And while Rev. Kellie would love it if everyone could do their "homework" before each session and/or commit to all 7 sessions (November 3rd - May 4th), she understands that many of us do not have the time necessary and encourages congregants to attend as many discussions as they can, whether they have done the reading or not. Something done with love and humility is always better than nothing done while trying to be perfect. Perfectionism is part of white supremacy culture. We don't have to be bad people to have internalized parts of white supremacy culture.

In October, the Program Council was pleased to recognize Tina Porter as an MVUUF unsung hero! Tina is in her final year of study for a Master's of Divinity with emphasis on Pastoral Care and thus brings a special expertise and perspective to her many MVUUF activities. She has long been a Pastoral Care Associate and has been one of the leaders of the holiday gift assistance program and of the food pantry for members and friends. She has served on the Stewardship Team, as Board Vice President, as Board Trustee, and, currently serves on the Finance   Committee and as a greeter.   She is a long-time active member of CUUPS. Given all that, and as a mother of two, it's hard to imagine how she finds time for her hobbies of home-canning and crocheting!

The Soul Matters Covenant Groups have been formed, and have already participated in their first meeting! The topic for November is Memory. You can access the packet for November HERE 
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. And you don't need to be a member of a covenant group in order to download or receive the packet; they are available for all MVUUF members & friends.

The Ohio Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment and 
Rehabilitation Amendment
On Sunday, October 28th, 2018, Rev. Kellie proposed that the congregation endorse the Ohio Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Amendment (Ohio Issue 1). The Board voted unanimously to endorse Issue 1.
Here is the formal statement:
Guided by our Unitarian Universalist Principles, Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship strongly endorses the passing of Issue 1, the Ohio Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Amendment. While no one can predict all of the outcomes of its passing, Issue 1 offers a significant reduction in the harm drug addiction and the mass incarceration complex cause our most vulnerable siblings and our entire community. We are all connected.
Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship's members and friends collected signatures and signed the petition to add Issue 1, the Ohio Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Amendment, to the Ohio election this year. In fact, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative brought over 7000,000 Ohioan signatures, the second largest number ever brought for an Ohio Constitution Amendment.
Two of the organizations that Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship supports and partners with have   publicly endorsed Issue 1 and are advocating for its passing: Leaders for Equality and Action in Dayton (LEAD) and UU Justice Ohio (UUJO). The UUA President, Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, will be coming to Cleveland to canvass for Issue 1 on Sunday, November 4th, and has issued a call to all Unitarian Universalists to support it.

Each year, hundreds of transgender and/or gender-variant people are murdered around the world for no other reason than for being their authentic selves. The International Transgender Day of Remembrance was established in 1999 to honor Rita Hester, who was brutally murdered in 1998. Rita's murder, like most transgender murder cases, has remained unsolved and largely ignored. These senseless acts of violence and hatred speak volumes about the need to raise public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, and the more critical need to remove the myths and mystique about transgender people through education and advocacy.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves multiple purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn't perform. It publicly mourns and honors the lives of transgender people who might otherwise be forgotten, and it offers an opportunity for us to express love and     respect for transgender. It  gives  allies a chance to step forward and stand in vigil, memorializing those who have died by anti-transgender violence.
This year's Transgender Day of Remembrance falls on November 20th. On Sunday, November 4th, we will commemorate the occasion with our own remembrance service. Rev. Kellie and Dan Miyake will lead the service and offer a Q&A discussion afterward in the sanctuary (12:30 PM). Please join us as we gather to pause and reflect on the struggles and challenges faced by transgender people, and to honor those who have been murdered this year.
Rev. Kellie also invites MVUUF members and friends to join her for a peaceful rally supporting transgender rights on Saturday, November 10th at Courthouse Square in Dayton from 1-2:00 PM. This #WONTBEERASED rally is hosted by Greater Dayton LGBT Center, Have a Gay Day, and Gatlyn Dame Group. Given the escalating legal attacks on trans civil rights, we must show up for our transgender siblings-now more than ever.

Last to Leave the Building ? To help all of us, the PC now maintains lock-up instructions; they can be found on the "flower" table in the entryway. Please consult the list when you are the last to leave MVUUF.   After Sunday services, our various program area representatives take turns making sure we leave our building secure and energy efficient. They lock doors, turn off lights and more. When an area is still in use, the Program Representative delegates tasks for that area to those remaining in the building.
Donating Snacks : Everyone loves a snack! When you generously and spontaneously donate a snack such as for coffee hour refreshments, please also take responsibility for cleaning up afterwards: dispose of any unconsumed snack or place it in the refrigerator labeled with the date, wash any serving items or place them in the dishwasher or delegate those tasks. Thank you!

Join us on Sunday, November 18th, at 9:30 AM when our MVUUF Bible Study group will begin discussing the Old Testament's Book of Ecclesiastes. Long considered the most pessimistic, cynical or humanist book in the Bible due to its view of life ("Vanity, vanity, all is vanity"), Ecclesiastes is open to many interpretations. Does it show the   futility of hard work? Is it a cold bath of realism? Does it teach anything important? Why is it in the Bible anyway?
Every two weeks we meet to sequentially read sections aloud and talk about what the passages mean for us. There are no right answers as our group includes UU, Theist, Humanist & Pagan views and we welcome new members. Bring a Bible to read or share one here. Call John Bierman at 937-438-0211 with any questions.

Donate throughout November, Celebrate December 1st
Watch for envelopes at service during November and mark your calendars for Saturday, December 1st for the first  Gifts & Gatherings  event! November's  Close the Gap  initiative to address the budget deficit will culminate with a silent auction and celebration event on Saturday, December 1st at the Fellowship.  
Envelopes will be distributed at the Fellowship every Sunday in November with information on how you can donate to the Fellowship in multiple ways. The same information will be shared online, too, for people who may not be able to attend on Sundays. 
Donate directly to address the deficit...
Online in the Gifts & Gatherings Close the Gap section.
Check with Gifts & Gatherings Close the Gap in the memo line.
Cash in an envelope labeled Gifts & Gatherings Close the Gap.
Donate a gift or gathering event for the silent auction  at the Gifts & Gatherings event on Saturday, December 1st at the Fellowship. Let's get creative!
Gifts: With the holidays approaching, many of us will be shopping for our friends and family. What gift worthy items might you donate to be auctioned? Wouldn't it be fun to bid on silent auction items that align with our Principles? Ideas include items purchased from a local business, handmade art or creations, UU specific or spiritual gifts, new books on topics related to our principles and sources. And, of course, our ever popular homemade food items, drives to/from the airport, and offers to help prepare or cleanup after parties. We also hope to have a gift basket raffle. If you are part of a group at the Fellowship, consider what basket you might offer. Individuals and families can also donate baskets for the raffle.  
Gatherings: Think about winter and spring themed gatherings you might host. Perhaps you want to host a tea and caroling party in your home. Or maybe a bonfire with s'mores and hot cocoa? Do you have a creative talent that could be an inspiration for a Make-and-Take craft night? Popcorn and movie night? Would anyone among us host a gathering to honor peace in January or Valentine's Day in February? Maybe a wild flower walk at a local metro park in the spring?  
Please volunteer to help make this event special. And email  if you can help in the following areas:
  • Donation collection - at least 1 more person
  • Table stewards - at least 3 people
  • Cleanup - at least 1 more person
  • Raffle organizers - at least 2 people
  • Food (simple - soups, beverages, simple snacks) - at least 1 more person
  • Child care - at least 2 people
  • Data entry - 1 person

Members & friends of MVUUF (that identify as women) are invited to join this fun-loving group as they celebrate birthdays on Thursday, November 8th, 11:30 AM, at MCL Cafeteria, in Kettering. Please RSVP to Allie Petersen at: .

The next gathering of this well-read group will take place on Wednesday, November 14th, 10:30 AM in the Library at MVUUF, where they'll be discussing Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover.
Upcoming choices for discussion are:
December 19th           Pretty Paper 
                                      by Willie Nelson
January 16th              A Gentleman in Moscow 
                                      by Amor Towles
All are welcome to join them!

My daughter, Julia Inserro, recently had her first book published (and I'm thrilled!).  It's called Nonni's Moon and is suitable for children from about 3 to 7 years of age.
No one knows more than Beanie how hard it is to live far away from loved ones. She lives across the world from her grandma and misses her every day. But then she figures out a way she and Nonni can send messages back and forth--through the moon!  The book is a heart-warming reminder of how important it is to keep family and friends close to our hearts, even if there are great distances or circumstances separating us. It can help explain absence of a loved to children, or even bereavement, and help them learning how to make sense of an adult world. 
It's a sweet story and of course, there may be a slight resemblance to some people I know!   It's available on Amazon and I'll leave a copy in the MVUUF office for anyone to look at.  
--Jennie Hardy

---Editor's comment:  If you'd enjoy reading a review of this sweet book, as well as an interview with the author, please click HERE

Book Fair time is just around the corner: November 9th-12th, at the Montgomery County Fair's new location, 5661 Dayton Liberty Road, 45417 (off Infirmary Road). This year's non-profit recipients are:
Rebuilding Together Dayton
The Victory Project
We Care Arts
We thank you for your generous contributions of books, as well as the help in getting them to the foundation. Don't forget to stop by the Book Fair and show your support!

Please join us in providing  our long-standing second Saturday lunch ministry for women and families staying at the St. Vincent de Paul Gateway Shelter.   In October we provided lunch for 82--down from 128 in September but still a large group!
You can sign up for the Saturday, November 10th event,  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   (no need to log in unless you also want to sign up through Genius). 
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 in October!  A photo of our October servers is shown below.  
November 10th  menu :  This is the first month of our "fall/winter" chili menu.   Our needs this month include hearty chili, fixings of shredded cheese and sour cream, vegetable dishes (any dish made with fresh vegetables such as green beans, vegetable medley), 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 St. Vincent de Paul Gateway Shelter) by 10:45 am.
Remember...due to allergies, asthma, and other sensitivities, we ask you to please refrain from wearing scent when at the Fellowship (perfume, aftershave, scented hair products, lotions, etc.). Thank you for helping us to be a safe as well as welcoming congregation!

Remember to place your order for Fair Trade coffee on the first Sunday of the month (this month it's on November 4th ) !

Coffee will be ready to be picked up on or after the third Sunday of the month (this month, November 18th )

There are many varieties and bean grinds to choose from, including several that are organic!  Contact  Lynn Buffington  at:    (937) 657-0426  or
Y ou can keep up-to-date with all the happenings at MVUUF by viewing the Fellowship's calendar online, from a link to our website  HERE  
The calendar is updated daily, so it's always the place to check and see what's going on!

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We are a liberal religious community that embraces diversity and respects the inherent worth and dignity of every person.  ALL are welcome here, no matter their race, sex, sexual/affectional orientation, gender expression, or ability.


Please visit us on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. for our worship service---

we'd love to see you!