GENERAL ASSEMBLY BEGINS THIS WEEK!
June 23rd–June 27th
Every year, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), our national governing body, has an association-wide assembly, known as General Assembly (GA). It is open to everyone! Due to the pandemic, this year’s GA will be virtual. If you are interested in hearing great speakers, listening to amazing music, and connecting with thousands of UUs, the virtual GA can be an affordable experience. GA will be held from Wednesday evening, June 23rd through Sunday afternoon, June 27th. Registration is open and is $200 per person:
New this year: financial aid for General Assembly will be distributed via self-selection. If you need to take advantage of financial support, please use one of the cost reduction options available during registration. Quantities available will increase as donations are received. Financial Support is available for those experiencing financial hardship, Youth (high school), Emerging Adults (18-24), and for those who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). Funds collected via voluntary contribution during GA registration are distributed in the same year they are donated. You can find more information at https://www.uua.org/ga/registration/financialaid/scholarships
For a schedule of events, follow this link:
You can find out more about the specially featured Ware lecture on Saturday evening at the link below (Stacey Abrams and Desmond Meade are the speakers!):
And did you know? Some parts of GA are free and open to the public. Get to know our association and all it brings to our congregation. Please feel free to contact our community minister Alice Diebel for information at community.minister @ mvuuf.org.
Our Sunday Service
Sunday, June 20th, 11:00 AM – Noon
Sunday Morning Worship – UUA General Assembly
on Zoom, with the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis
For our worship service this Sunday, we are sharing a full service from the UUA General Assembly, via Zoom.
Recognizing the importance of shared ministry and the many innovative approaches to worship created by congregations during the pandemic, UUA President, Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick Gray, selected the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis to serve as worship leaders for this year’s General Assembly Sunday Morning Service.
First Universalist has been a model of shared ministry and what it means to put the work of dismantling white supremacy and building anti-racist, anti-oppressive practices at the center of their ministry. They have been on the front lines in support of the Movement for Black Lives in Minneapolis, bringing spiritual care and moral leadership in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by police and the important uprisings for justice that followed. Children and families are a vital part of their ministry, and they have been using creative approaches to engage all ages in worship during the pandemic.
Please be aware that today’s service is NOT being recorded or live streamed to Facebook. We are showing a video of the General Assembly service. We hope you can watch with us in Zoom so we can participate together and share chats throughout and during joys and sorrows. However, a link is provided in the chat and on Facebook in case you experience difficulty with the Zoom meeting today.
Closed Caption subtitles are available via Zoom’s Live Transcription feature, which automatically translates the spoken word to text. To view captions, click Live Transcription on the bottom of the Zoom window and then click Show Subtitle. For Android/iOS devices, tap the Settings icon, tap Meeting, and then slide Closed Captioning to on.
We will disable everyone’s video cameras and microphones to improve the quality of the video on everyone’s devices. Thank you for your understanding!
Zoom meeting details:
If you are on a computer you may simply use the button at the top of this page. Otherwise, see below for a link or a phone number, depending on your device.
11:00 AM – Noon Worship Service
(Tech assistance available from 10:30 – 11 AM if needed)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 852 938 388
To join online (using a computer, tablet, or smart phone) click below:
No passcode required
To join on your cell phone or land line,
please call 1-929-205-6099
and make sure to enter the Meeting ID, 852 938 388, when prompted.
Please note the following:
- This service will be recorded and/or live-streamed to Facebook. If you do not want to be included in the recording, please turn off your camera, mute your microphone, and change your name to “MVUUF” (these are all Zoom options once you join the meeting).
- If you would like to submit a joy or sorrow for the service, please email Rev. Kellie by 10:00 PM on the prior Saturday evening (minister @ mvuuf.org).
What is the Miami Valley Peace Heroes Trail?
The Peace Heroes Trail is a family-friendly, educational series of signs on MVUUF’s campus that promote peace literacy through the inspiring stories of peace heroes and the exploration of the ideals that guide these individuals. Our 2020 campaign resulted in a welcome sign and 18 peace hero signs, and we are adding more signs THIS year! As of this moment we have 20 peace heroes for 2021. As a member or friend, you can champion the peace hero of your choice by leading a team, donating, and/or spreading the word about MVUUF’s good work in peace literacy education.
The peace heroes fundraiser supports the trail itself, as well as many MVUUF programs in social action, children and youth programs, adult religious education, and teaching conflict resolution. We will also be sharing our peace literacy education resources with local schools and peace partners.
See our list of peace heroes at https://ssl.charityweb.net/21cplf/miamivalleypeaceheroeswalk/
Click on a peace hero’s name to read about how that person has taken risks to make the world a better place.
UPDATE as of 06/17/2021:
The beautiful green progress bar on the Peace Heroes CharityWeb page shows we have raised $27,910 as of this afternoon.
The official donor deadline was June 13th, but the deadline for Peace Hero team captains is June 20th.
If you did not get a chance to captain or co-captain a peace heroes team this year, you may still go to
and donate some money to the MVUUF Default Team.
General donations to the Peace Heroes campaign created the MVUUF Default Team, and it has become the little engine that could still get us to our goal of raising $35,000 for MVUUF and peace literacy.
Thank you to everyone who has donated!
If you would still like to contribute by mail, you may send a note and a check by USPS to:
MVUUF, 8690 Yankee Street,
Washington Township OH 45458
Kudos to MVUUF folx who have assisted other captains by lifting up their peace hero.
Let’s keep sharing the good news about peace heroes on social media and email – our world needs peace literacy!
Questions? Contact Catherine Queener at peace.heroes @ mvuuf.com
LONG STRANGE TRIP:
UU HISTORY REDUX
2nd Saturdays,10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
January through September
Note: This Saturday, June 12th, 10:00 AM on Zoom has Been POSTPONED
Are you a history geek? Maybe you’re a story lover? Maybe you just want to learn the history of Unitarian Universalism (UU)? Or maybe you want to revisit the UU history you learned through an anti-racism and anti-oppression lens?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, please join Rev. Kellie and Lifespan Religious Education Rep., René Hick, as they share Ron Cordes’ 6-part UU history film series, Long Strange Trip. Sessions will be monthly on the second Saturday, January through September. We will watch each film together for the first half of the 2-hour session (each film is approximately 60 minutes). During the second half, Rev. Kellie will start our group discussion by providing an anti-oppression perspective, adding context and additional histories. No prep work or homework will be assigned (Rev. Kellie’s favorite type of class). While we would love for you to be able to attend all 6 monthly classes, there also is no attendance policy (attend as often as you like/can).
To join us on Zoom please use the info below:
Meeting ID: 880 0486 8864
3rd Saturdays, 10:30 AM
January through June
Rev. Kellie and several congregation members have completed her 3rd Congregational Read, Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism by Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin. The UUA Bookstore states that the book, “Shares how five diverse congregations encounter frustrations and disappointments, as well as hope and wonder, once they commit to the journey to create multicultural, antiracist Beloved Community.”
Rev. Kellie’s Congregational Reads provide a learning path for the deep soul work of transformation: personal, interpersonal, organizational, cultural, and societal. In her first year, Rev. Kellie shared White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and, in her second year, Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, written by Unitarian Universalist religious professionals and edited by Rev. Mitra Rahnema.
The group met on the third Saturday of each month on Zoom. In June the group decided that the June session would be the last one due to summer traveling. In the coming year Rev. Kellie is considering leading us through one of the most important reports issued by the Unitarian Universalist Association, Widening the Circle of Concern: The Commission on Institutional Change’s 2020 Report.
If you are still interested in the Mistakes and Miracles book, the Kindle version is available at Amazon, print versions are available at the UUA Bookstore, and our Fellowship library owns a copy.
Other Events and Activities
(Unless specified otherwise, these activities are on Zoom.)
Please note: The entire MVUUF staff will be enjoying a mini-sabbatical June 28th through July 5th, in order to rest, reset and recharge. This will allow them to come back with more energy to plan for the upcoming busy autumn season. The information below refers to each week or month other than this particular week specified.
On Sundays, in addition to our service and youth religious education, we have Women’s Group at 9:30 AM and also a Scripture Study at 9:30 AM.
We hold a virtual Coffee Hour after the Sunday service one week a month, at approximately 12:00 noon, the first Sunday of each month, with the exception of the first week of July.
MUSIC: Choir Rehearsal is at 7:00 PM each Wednesday, online. Our monthly Acoustic Jam is usually the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM. For the acoustic jam only, we have met outside the last two months when the weather was nice. Contact our Music Director, Sara Davis, at music @ mvuuf.org for more information about participating in music activities.
We have a Death Cafe, normally the fourth Monday of the month at 7:00 PM.
Other montly meetings include our Social Action Committee, the West Dayton Action Group, the Transgender Alliance Group, and the Chalice of the Willow (Covenant of UU Pagans). You will find more specifics about our programming around Anti-Racism toward the bottom of this page.
Our Facebook page is listed as “Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship”. You will find various announcements there.
For specific questions or to be put in touch with a group you may also send an email to info @ mvuuf.org.
Children and Youth Religious Education (CYRE)
General Information about How it is Organized
For the past year we have been meeting on Zoom as we present our classes for children and youth. Currently our young children’s programming is combined, with PreK-1st grade and 2nd – 5th grade meeting together. These classes follow the Soul Matters curriculum which has been adapted specifically this year to teaching in the online learning environment. PreK-5th grade has rotated themes each Sunday of the month, rotating between art, games and Disney short videos. Our middle school youth are exploring different religions in the Neighboring Faiths curriculum and the high schoolers continue with their youth-led discussion group format.
All children and youth attending CYRE classes must register. Registration helps us learn names, track attendance, plan for activities, and accommodate any special needs. Please complete the registration form here.
We welcome adult volunteers to assist on our teaching teams. All classes are held on Sundays (PreK-1st and 2nd-5th grade from 1:00-2:00 PM, and MS/HS from 2:30-3:30 PM). PreK-5th grade were meeting weekly, but will meet once a month this summer. The middle school and high school classes meet alternate weeks. The High School RE Group will meet on the 1st & 3rd Sundays at 2:30 PM, and the Middle School RE Group will meet on the 2nd & 4th Sundays, also at 2:30 PM. Both groups will be building more bonds and strengthening their connections.
A Letter with Updates from our Director of Religious Education, Somaya Bernard:
I cannot believe it’s already June. Time has felt like it’s simultaneously flown by and stood still this year. We are so thankful that you have chosen this community. I know that this year has been so hard; it has been hard to build community and to nourish the community that already exists. The work that we have all done this year to stay connected is amazing. You are amazing.
In our last Worship for All Ages, we talked a little about how we are going to keep going. We will keep learning, changing, and growing. This summer we have to do a lot of all three. As we look to re-open, the CYRE committee and re-opening task force have a lot to cover. We will be working to find the best possible course for CYRE and the entire congregation. Due to this we are going to reduce our preK-5th grade class to one class a month for June, July and August. As for now we will plan to meet on the fourth Sunday of the month in June and July on zoom at 1:00 PM. We will have a check-in and play some games. This will give the CYRE committee time and energy to put into re-opening. The high school and middle school group will continue to meet as usual until further notice.
We are always still looking for new members for the CYRE committee. The committee meets on the second Wednesday of every month. All that are interested are welcome! We are also looking for parents that would be willing to be part of a re-opening discussion. We are trying to be as inclusive as possible with our re-opening decisions. We would love to hear thoughts and opinions from families in the congregation on re-opening.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at re @ mvuuf.org.
Somaya Bernard, Director of Religious Education
YOUNG ADULTS GROUP Now Forming
Connect and build bonds with other UU young adults at MVUUF (ages 18-35). If you are interested in participating, please contact Somaya Bernard, Director of Religious Education, at re @ mvuuf.org to let her know what meeting dates/times work best for you.
Public Statement, and Programming Around Anti-Racism
In light of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police on May 25, Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is issuing a public statement to the community, and we offer resources to assist us in the processes of mourning, learning, and action.
As Unitarian Universalists, we believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every human being. We believe that we are all connected to one another: what affects one of us, affects all of us. Our Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to commit our time, resources, and hearts to the important work of ending police violence and all other parts of our country’s systemic anti-Blackness. Our faith calls us to do this today—not tomorrow or some distant someday.
- As people of faith, Unitarian Universalists affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all persons and work for social justice to embody that dignity.
- We condemn racist police practices that deny Black people in this country human rights and, in the case of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and so many before them, the very breath of life.
- It has gone on far too long.
- We side with the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in love and we side with all impacted by murder and other violence as a tool of oppression by people of power.
- We urge the greater Dayton community to reflect deeply on our criminal justice system and how to transform it into one of restorative justice that is safer for everyone.
- This is the time to join with others to raise our voices and stop this oppression by police and by white vigilantes.
- Holding police accountable is an essential step.
- Recognizing that racist police practices are a symptom of pervasive and systemic racism in our national culture and institutions, we re-commit ourselves to anti-racism work.
Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Rachel Feltner, Board President
Rev. Kellie C. Kelly, Called Minister
Alice Diebel, Affiliated Community Minister
Anti-Racism Ally Group
Thursday, June 24th 7:00 pm
Are you a white person with questions, ideas, concerns or just want a place to have discussions about what is going on? Then please join our Anti-Racism Ally group, newly revamped. Each meeting will allow for learning, actively practicing being allies, open discussion, and creating actions we can take to follow and support Black, Indigenous and all People of Color (BIPOC) in our congregation as well as residents in the larger community.
This group typically meets on the 4th Thursday evening of the month (except when there is a holiday). The meeting this June is a “Bring Your Own Topic” meeting, so bring something you would like to share and/or discuss. Our tentative plans are to have no meeting in July. Then in August, instead of our usual meeting on August 26th, we are hoping to screen a relevant film and then have a discussion afterward. In September we would return to our usual meeting structure.
If you have questions, would like meeting access information, or would like to provide input before a meeting, you are welcome to contact the group Co-Leaders, Kristen at KristenBeireis @ gmail.com or Bill at rossviva @ hotmail.com