MVUUF Building and Grounds
In 2003, MVUUF moved to our current location, 8690 Yankee Street. A wetland on a portion of the lot has been preserved as a natural area.
Architect Annette Miller created a space that is uplifting, inspiring, and uniquely Unitarian Universalist. The exterior of the building is suited to its wetland setting, and the windows on the east side of the sanctuary look out over the wetland.
The Yankee Street building is fully handicap accessible. It is also expandable in three directions: to the west, additional classrooms can be added to the RE wing; to the east, a fellowship hall can be added off the kitchen; and to the south, there is room to expand the sanctuary.
Moving a congregation is a major undertaking and an experience worthy of commemoration. The sanctuary features an art quilt as a backdrop to the pulpit. MVUUF member Gail Cyan’s creation incorporates the four directions, the four seasons, and symbols of many of the world’s religious traditions. Along the outside border, the quilt lists the names of all those who donated to our capital campaign.
Looking forward, we still hope to expand one day. The building has served us well so far and continues to offer possibilities for a bright future.
The Rose Window
The Rose Window was part of the First Unitarian Church of Dayton, established in 1910. Miami Valley Unitarian Fellowship (MVUF) split off from the First Unitarian Church of Dayton in 1958.
First Unitarian Church of Dayton merged with MVUF in 1998 and sold the building. When the building was sold, the rose window was removed and placed in storage.
In 2003 when the new building on Yankee Street was constructed, the name was changed to Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (MVUUF).
After construction, the 7.5-foot diameter Rose Window was removed from storage and restored at no small expense. It now holds a prominent place in the MVUUF sanctuary.
The walls of the sanctuary of MVUUF offer space to display two-dimensional and small three-dimensional art by local artists, both members of the Fellowship and from the community at large.
There are approximately ten exhibits each year, rotating among photography, paintings in various media, and fabric art. The art provides a colorful and dynamic addition to the worship experience. The Fellowship receives a small commission on any work sold. We are always looking for artists to display their work.
MVUUF has an asset that is unique. We have a two acres of wetlands meadow just a few steps from the back of our church. Our wetlands is part of a larger system in Washington Township that was drained many years ago for agriculture and more recently converted to subdivisions.
Sedge meadow wetlands are dependent on groundwater being present at the surface for most of the year and are an uncommon wetland type in southwest Ohio.
We did a plant inventory in 2007 and found that 67% of the species (50) were wetland plants, mostly grasses and sedges. These plants thrive on a dense clay soil that may have standing water present several times during the season.
It’s technically an “emergent sedge meadow wetland” and the term “Wet Meadow” is an official type of wetlands recognized by the U. S. Government and the Ohio EPA.
The MVUUF Women’s Group has some exciting ideas to enhance the use and preservation of the wetlands:
- Recruit volunteers to control invasive species
- Enhance biodiversity by planting other wetlands species
- Engage in art, writing, and other educational projects for YRE
- Create Powerpoint presentations, slide shows, and videos
- Display art shows, photographs, and drawings
- Craft a stewardship plan
In 2005, MVUUF member Gail Cyan was instrumental in carving a labyrinth into the sloping grassy hillside next to our building. The original design is uniquely UU, incorporating spirals and a yin-yang center.