Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
8690 Yankee St. Dayton, OH 45458
MVUUF's Forum September, 2017
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Service Topics for September, 2017
Sunday, September 3rd
(guest speaker & topic not available at time of publication;
please check our website for updates)
Sunday, September 10th
with The Reverend Dr. Holly Horn
We will celebrate the beginning of a new Fellowship program year
with a Water Communion ceremony. If you have collected water
from your travels, bring some to pour into a communion bowl.
Water will also be available to represent waters near and far.
Sunday, September 17th
"Gestures of Balance"
with The Reverend Dr. Holly Horn
This morning's sermon will offer reflections on peer pressure, consumption and authenticity.
Sunday, September 24th
"Days of Awe"
with The Reverend Dr. Holly Horn
This morning's sermon will offer meditations on
the Jewish high holy days.
IN THE INTERIM
Beginning has been a busy thing. In the last few weeks I have been listening---careful, deliberate, listening---to your memories of this congregation in years past, to your impressions of the present---richly textured, and your hopes for what can happen, in both the coming year and with your next settled minister.
I have heard many stories about Rev. Greg Martin, about his "pause," drawing conversation partners deeper into reflection; about his gregariousness, his "being everywhere," inspiring others to do more, to work harder for justice. I have heard about many ideas being jointly gestated, projects only just begun. So many dreams and plans, some lost, some on hold, some moving forward, some in unexpected directions.
So many stories recounted, perspectives elaborated, issues parsed-this is the stuff of early interim days. Board members, Program Council members, staff members, committees, committee chairs-a kaleidoscope of opinions and facts, suggestions and warnings, cues and clues.
Listening...I will be listening intently for some time to come.
I will also be making a few changes. This, too, is the nature of early interim days. One of these changes is that, as of Sunday, September 10, I will make the announcements, and I will be limiting them to upcoming Fellowship events and activities. In order to submit an announcement, please send 25 words or fewer to
by the Wednesday prior. And, when possible, please indicate where one can find more information, or to whom one might speak.
Along with that, I would like to schedule a Living Fellowship segment once a month. This will be an opportunity during the service for a member of a committee or group in the Fellowship to inform the congregation about its activities, to share how this work is spiritually nourishing, to excite interest, and to invite participation. These will be scheduled at least a week in advance, and the text of 200-300 words will be submitted by the Tuesday prior. (Ministerial Search Committee, I'm looking forward to hearing from you!)
It is good to be working with you.
Yours in the faith,
AN INTERIM CONVERSATION
President Gail Cyan and I were talking recently about how the beginning of our Interim year might affect our life here at the Fellowship. She asked me to write this article about our thoughts.
Interim periods can be unsettling. They can be exciting as we discover new things about ourselves and wrestle with questions about our future. They can also be challenging as they can bring up old concerns.
One thing we observed is that Rev. Holly Horn's first service with us was a striking turning point. We both had eagerly anticipated her arrival and were surprised to find ourselves missing Rev. Greg Martin intensely that day. Her presence meant that Greg was really gone and not coming back, in ways that all the other ministers we have heard in these past months, even Rev. Bill Breeden, did not. Although Holly is only going to be with us for this year, she represents a major step toward our next settled minister.
Gail and I had been feeling like we were progressing well with our grief for Greg; hence our surprise that our sadness had returned so strongly. Of course, grief comes and goes and can be triggered in unanticipated ways. That is part of what this Interim year will be about---helping us with our grief however it appears.
At the same time, we realized that others in the Fellowship really have moved on and may be feeling "Enough with the grief already!" That too is a very normal place to be in our process of saying goodbye to Greg. It is important that we make room for all of us to be in different places with this emotional work.
Meanwhile, we have much to do to prepare to call our next settled minister. Rev. Holly and the Transition Team will lead us through this work. The Search Committee will seek our input as they fine tune our Congregational Packet to attract potential ministers and articulate our updated dreams for professional leadership moving forward. As many will recall from our search for Greg, this is a chance to look closely at who we are now and to recognize some of the ways we grew during his ministry and these months since his death.
With so much happening, there are bound to be some tensions. One thing that our congregation has talked about in the past is that groups of people, whether they are families or congregations, often revert back to old patterns of behavior in times of stress. That means this is a particularly important time to live by our Covenant of Right Relations. It is so easy to slip into less-healthy ways of communicating during times of anxiety. Let's all commit to doing our best to communicate in careful and care-filled ways as we go through this Interim period. Ask for help with this if you feel a need.
In doing so, we will find that we will continue to develop deepening relationships among ourselves and a stronger presence in the world that needs our witness. We will continue to grow into our best selves, and this can only help us find our best new settled minister a year from now.
May it be so.
Barb Weber, past Board President
WHAT'S GOING ON IN YRE THIS MONTH?
The YRE team is excited about the start of the new YRE year starting this month!. We have new ideas and activities for all of the classes.
Sunday, September 3rd:
Preschool and Kindergarten have their first class of the school year.
1st---5th Grade will have a Children's Worship
6th---12th Grade will remain in the service.
12:15-12:45 PM YRE Parent/Guardian Year Kick Off. There will be babysitting. Please bring a packed lunch for your children. They will eat their lunch while you are in the meeting.
Sunday, September 10th:
Multi-Generational Water Service. There won't be YRE classes.
The picnic and dedication of the playground will be held after service.
Sundays, September 17th
and September 24th:
Preschool-8th Grade will attend their regular YRE classes.
---Lori McClain, Director of Religious Education
REV. GREG MARTIN CENTER FOR CREATIVE PLAY DEDICATION, PICNIC, AND FUN!
On Sunday, September 10th, we will celebrate the start of our new Church Year together with Rev. Holly with our Water Communion ceremony during service. (Nudge: This is a reminder to bring water from the places you have been -- or pretend you remembered to collect water and just bring some from your tap.) That day will also be a celebration of the opening of our new play area: The Rev. Greg Martin Center for Creative Play. The space will be ready for playing that day, including the toddler area with climber and water/sand table and small picnic table, the bigger kids' area with large, fun SkyFort playset, beautiful top-quality sustainable, comfortable, maintenance-free benches and tables made from recycled plastic that will last longer than most of us will be alive, and game table.
We expect that the area will continue to evolve as we see what will be beneficial for the community. We intend to plant trees and native plantings around the outside of the enclosed pea gravel surface to provide shade and homes for native species of butterflies and pollinators. We may add more benches or play amenities as we find them useful. We will reserve some of the money donated in a play area fund balance in order to maintain the area as needs arise, such as re-staining the wood, adding and maintaining plantings, etc.
Most, if not all, of you have contributed to this project in some way (or many): with money, materials, ideas, and labor You have bought seeds, attended the restaurant takeover, contributed via Faithify, and given tangible items. You have painted, drilled, weeded, researched, debated, sweated, dug, jackhammered, transported, lifted, carried, and loved this thing into existence! I am not going to name everyone, for fear of leaving someone out. You know who you are and the good you have done! You may not know that we received a note of gratitude (which is on the bulletin board outside the Founder's Room) from Greg's parents with a generous contribution. Most of you don't know that one anonymous donor made a $5000 gift that allowed us to buy benches and tables, along with other needed materials. She did this to honor Greg, but also to honor a dear longtime friend, Ann Keleske Betchley, who was a big fan of play, and who recently passed away. The Weiss Family donated the SkyFort. Jennie Hardy and the Kehrin Family contributed the play pieces for the younger children. The Gromens provided a game table for older children and/or adults. The Tree of Life UU Community took a special collection and gave $500 to honor Greg in this way.
For the dedication celebration, we will have an outdoor potluck/picnic and play time directly after service. Please bring your food to share in a cooler to keep it at the right temperature. (We won't be heating things in the kitchen.) If you prefer to bring your lunch that day, instead of pot-lucking, that's great, too. You may want to even bring your own lawn chair and claim a shady spot before service starts. There are two picnic tables now, which we will reserve for those who have mobility issues or are visiting that day. If you bring your own serving utensils, plates, cups, etc., it will save on volunteer cleanup time. (There are three volunteers, so let me know if you can help!) Dawn Bellinger is *thinking about* doing something decadent for dessert.
Along with picnicking, we will hang out, tell stories, talk to new people and play outdoor games: bubbles, chalk, volleyball, etc. If you have a game to share (like cornhole, bocce ball, croquet), please do bring it! If you know someone who's life was touched by Greg who may enjoy this celebration, please invite them!
AUGUST UNSUNG HERO RECOGNITION
This August, David Dickey was the unanimous choice of the Program Council for our monthly Unsung Hero recognition. David has been (and still is!) hard at work improving our IT functions. He has installed a much improved wifi system in the YRE Wing (with more areas of the building to follow), and he has helped staff members get started with long overdue, more up-to-date computers & operating systems. In order to accomplish this, he has dedicated an enormous amount of time and thought into making MVUUF much more efficient.
Please, thank and congratulate David when you see him!
NEEDED: FLOWER ARRANGERS
We are currently looking for a few more volunteers who would be willing to pick up the flowers on a Saturday from the Kroger on Feedwire Road. After picking up the flowers, the volunteer brings them to MVUUF and arranges them in vases on the altar in the Sanctuary, and after the service they're placed on the "taking table" in the entry way of the building. It's an easy job, and it means a lot to many people. September 17th and Sundays in October still have slots that need to be filled...can we count on you?
If you're interested, please sign up on the sheet in the Gathering Space, or contact Iris Carter at 937-433-9828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVENANT GROUPS COMING SOON!
Plans are underway for a new round of Covenant Groups at MVUUF. Groups with a focus that appeals to our wide variety of members and friends requires leaders to help plan and facilitate. If you have an idea for a meaningful group experience, or if you'd like to help get this started by October, please contact our Membership Rep., Diane Colvin:
BELOVED COMMUNITY NIGHT WITH
THE ANTI-RACISM TEAM
Activities and Social Action have come together to present this event on Friday, September 22nd, at the Fellowship. Beloved Community Nights are a community effort, so please consider pitching in! Contact Ndidi Achebe at
to let us know if you can help set-up at 5:00 PM, bring an extra large potluck item to share, clean-up, or lead a simple children's activity on our theme to run throughout the potluck or donate materials for such an activity.
Potluck-Arrive with or without a dish to share, and arrive when you can, whether that's 5:30 or 6:15 PM
Listening To Each Other: Conversations on Race, Ethnicity, Influence & Decisions in Our
We expect child care to be provided from 6:30-7:30 PM; please RSVP for childcare to Lynn Buffington at
, or text/call
Last month, long-time member Iris Carter, lost her beloved husband, George to pancreatic cancer. A Memorial Service for him is tentatively scheduled for December 30.
Also, long-time member, Ruby Powell, passed away on August 19th at the age of 90. Ruby did not want a service, but asked that people make donations to Planned Parenthood of Maine (where she had moved to be near family).
INTRODUCTION TO UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISM CLASS
Without trying to be too presumptuousness, here is an opportunity for you to learn more about what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist.
Introduction to Unitarian Universalism
is a series of eight 75-minute sessions addressing important themes in Unitarian Universalist congregational life, including worship and theology, UU history, covenant and polity, spiritual growth and faith development, social justice and membership. Led by Bob Lewis, the course begins at 9:30 AM on Sunday, September 10th in classroom 6 and will meet every Sunday morning for eight weeks. Each class session will last from 9:30 - 10:45 AM. There is no charge for this class. Childcare is available along with good coffee and goodies.
Each session provides an opportunity for you to interact and share your own experiences with others. There will be lots of time to raise questions, dialogue with others, and explore more deeply. Even if you have been around UUism for a while, even a long while, it's a chance for you to learn more about our liberal religious faith that is seriously committed to nurturing your faith and helping to heal the world.
You may sign up for the course by contacting Bob Lewis at
. There is also a sign-up sheet in the Gathering Space. Please sign up.
ANNUAL BABY SHOWER AT WESLEY COMMUNITY CENTER
Our West Dayton Action Group has begun planning this year's Baby Shower to be held Saturday, October 14th at the Wesley Community Center. The baby shower is a key component of the Wesley Center's "Baby Ready" program, which provides a support system for new moms, enabling them to raise a healthy child and help break the cycle of poverty. To make the shower a success we will be seeking 3 types of donations in the coming weeks:
1. Baby items such as clothing, blankets and stuffed animals to fill 12 large gift baskets. New, gently used and hand made items are all appreciated. Our partners from St. Andrews Methodist Church in Beavercreek will also provide 12 baskets.
2. New or gently used larger items such as strollers and cribs that will be distributed on an as needed basis.
3. Monetary donations for the purchase of needed items.
We will soon have lists available in the gathering space of the specific requested items along with baskets to collect the items. Bea Walther will be leading our efforts to collect the donations. She, Bob Lewis or I can help answer any questions regarding the shower. Thank you in advance for supporting this important action.
---Steve Steel for the West Dayton Action Group
YRE BABY BOOK DRIVE FOR
THE WESLEY COMMUNITY CENTER
We are kicking off our YRE school year in true UU style-with a social action project!
Our West Dayton Action Group has requested the help of our YRE kids in selecting and donating a special picture book to be given to new mommies at their Baby Shower on Saturday, October 14th, at the Wesley Community Center!
Books should be in new condition and, if they depict people, they should feature people of color. To help kids develop a healthy sense of self, it is very important for them to see themselves positively reflected in the books that they read.
Need ideas? We have put together a Wish List on Amazon.com:
Of course, you can purchase books from the store of your choice. If you do shop on Amazon.com, please make sure to use AmazonSmile and designate "Miami Valley Unitarian Fellowship" as your charity.
Please deposit the books in a specially-marked box in the Gathering Space...
the final day of the book drive will be Sunday, October 8th.
DAYTIME BOOK CLUB
The next gathering of this well-read group will take place on Wednesday, September 20th, 10:30 AM in the Library, and they'll discuss
by Shanthi Sekaran. All are invited to attend.
Future dates that have been scheduled are:
Anything is Possible
by Elizabeth Strout
by Jane Mayer
A/V HELP NEEDED!
Do you know who makes sure our AV requirements are met at every service? Our wonderful AV volunteers - Pat Santucci, Eugenio Durand, John Crockford and Chris Gooley. Among other tasks, this team keeps our microphones working and makes sure our slides and video presentations are functioning. We all benefit from their efforts. Please thank them and consider joining them. They need more help! If you are somewhat tech savvy and willing to learn, please contact Anwyl Scott at:
and we'll get you connected so you can see if this volunteer opportunity is right for you.
TUTORING AT WESTWOOD SCHOOL IN WEST DAYTON
One of the service activities supported by MVUUF's West Dayton Action Group is volunteer tutoring at Westwood Pre K-6 School. I started tutoring at Westwood last October and I wanted to share some information about my experience in case there are others who are interested in volunteering.
The tutoring I'm currently doing at Westwood is very basic. The kindergarteners have a list of 25 words they are supposed to know, words like "go" and "see," and I'm helping them learn to read those words. I'm also helping first graders learn their list of 80 words. I tried more challenging tutoring, working with reading groups of 4-6 third graders. These groups often descended into chaos as the third graders distracted each other, so I decided that for now I'm sticking to one-on-one tutoring with the kindergarteners and first graders.
These kids are a pleasure to work with, especially the kindergarteners. At this age they are still very enthusiastic and they are eager for the one-on-one attention from an adult. For them, working with a tutor is a treat and not a chore, so when I arrive at their classroom typically a dozen hands shoot into the air as the students let their teacher know that they want to work with the tutor.
Many of these kids are in need of the extra help. There are a few who can read all 25 words, but most only know about 6 and they are struggling with the early stages of reading. So I feel like I'm where I need to be-this is important, necessary and rewarding work. If you are interested in more information about tutoring at Westwood contact me, Steve Steel, at email@example.com, or the lead for our West Dayton Acton Group, Bob Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are ready to sign up for tutoring, there is a sign up sheet in the gathering space. Training will be provided at Westwood School in early September; more information to follow.
SMART CHOICES BIRTHDAY LUNCH
Members & friends of MVUUF (that identify as women) are invited to join this fun-loving group as they celebrate birthdays on Thursday, August 10th, 11:30 AM, at MCL Cafeteria, in Kettering. Please RSVP to Allie Petersen at:
The Women's Group is open to anyone identifying as female. Meetings are held on most Sunday mornings, 9:30-10:45 AM in classroom #5, unless otherwise determined. Each session is led by a member of the group. If you enjoy wide-ranging and thought-provoking discussions, they would love to have you join them!
If you need more info, contact their new moderator, Deb Whitecar, at
MVUUF'S ENDOWMENT FUND
This October we will be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the MVUUF Endowment Fund's Creation! One Sunday's special basket collection in October will be used to strengthen the fund, and we will have a celebration to mark the 25th Anniversary.
MVUUF officially chartered the Endowment Fund on June 14, 1992 and began with an investment of $1,195 in 1993. Monies were initially in Invesco Funds, but were thereafter in T Rowe Price, Vanguard and finally with the UUA. The UUA fund is primarily invested in socially responsible funds and has a little over 1% fee.
There are 3 Trustees, elected by the congregation. The purpose of the Fund is to augment principles, objectives, program and purposes by providing a suitable distribution of gifts (memorial or other) by which the donor wants to make a lasting contribution to the Fellowship. Once a year, the Board of Trustees may request a portion of the net income increase to be withdrawn for specific budgeted items.
The Fund has benefited from numerous memorial gifts as well as bequests from members ($10,000 came from the estate of Alice Keck). When 1st Church folded, some of their funds went into the Endowment Fund-a major increase (about $60,000). By 1998, it increased to $91,995. In 2007, the value was $101,845. As of April 30, 2017, it stands at $144,554.98. (Reports are approximately 2 months behind the actual date). About $43,000 has been added since April, 2016 in gifts to the fund. The current Trustees are Sharon Harmer, Larry Stone and Bill Ross.
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, September 9th 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 the almost a dozen MVUUF volunteers who pitched in providing food and/or serving the August meal! The number of guests at St. Vincent's continue to be variable (June---78, July---43, August---63). In August, there were 45 in the women's group at 11:00 AM and 18 in the family group at noon.
September 9th menu
: Our needs include sandwich filling (hot, such as BBQ pulled pork/chicken/beef/sloppy joe, or cold, such chicken salad/egg salad/tuna salad), vegetable dishes (pasta salad with LOTS of veggies, cole slaw, or other vegetable-steamed broccoli with Italian salad dressing has been popular!), green salads, fresh fruit/fruit salads, 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.
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 November 10-13 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!
Remember to place your order for Fair Trade coffee on the first Sunday of the month (this month it's on
Coffee will be ready 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!
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
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!