Some of our members and friends join us for our Sunday morning gatherings from time to time and that is the extent of their involvement. If that is what they need to nourish their spirits, we're glad to be here for them when they need us, and we love them for what they can offer when they're here.
It is much more common, though, for our members to be involved in other dimensions of our community. Simply put, we like each other and like doing things together. Whether it's socializing together at cookouts or kayaking trips ... or raising money making candy or participating in a neighborhood yard sale ... or making a difference marching together in the Dayton Pride Parade or gathering infant supplies for young mothers, Tree People are involved with the TLC community and with the greater Dayton community.
In this section of our website you can learn about the Circles that spearhead many of our activities, and find out who to contact to get involved. We hope you'll join us as we explore spirituality together, party together, meditate together, make a difference together, and just enjoy being ... together.
Circle Leader: Mari Aaraujo
In a sense, every member of TLCUU is a member of our Beautification Circle, because when there’s work to do, almost everybody pitches in. But the Circle itself is usually the group doing the planning. Big projects, like painting our Tree House in the green and purple TLC colors when we bought the building (a vast improvement, everyone agreed, over the dingy battleship gray we inherited), or sanding and painting the floor take a lot of effort from the whole community. Smaller, more regular jobs like a periodic grounds and alley pickup or deep kitchen cleaning are just as necessary but require fewer people and can be passed around. Those just take a few people to coordinate them and gather volunteers.
If you’re good at creating homey, welcoming spaces, get satisfaction from making someplace look its best, or are good at planning and organizing, you might want to talk with the Circle Leader. We can use you!
Circle Leader: Barbara Moreda
You’re looking at TLC’s website right now. Know who created and maintains it? The Communications Circle. Can you guess who wrote all the material on it? Right – the Communications Circle. Who produces the newsletter The Leaflet, takes photos, creates brochures, publicizes TLC activities and events to membership and the Dayton community at large? Right again! You’re getting the idea.
If any of these activities – writing, editing, design, photography, podcasting, public relations and so on – appeals to you, stop reading and get in touch immediately with the Circle Leader above. We can use your talents.
Circle Leader: Kyley Vest
What a wonderful time we have together! We like to eat, so there are cookouts and carry-ins. We’ve organized movie nights, kayak trips, meditation, house concerts, holiday parties, speakers, pub nights, art parties, drum circles, game nights and more. And we’re always looking for more ideas. Some of our activities appeal to almost everyone in the community and some to just a few. But we enjoy spending more than just Sunday mornings together.
So join us for some of our social activities. In fact, join this Circle by emailing the Circle Leader above and help us plan even more!
Circle Leader: Alex Moreda
Our Tree House is more than 140 years old. You’re probably not that old but you don’t have to be much past 30 before you start to feel a little creaky. So imagine how our building must feel! Fortunately we have some able members who are able to soothe its aches and fix up the things that don’t work as well as they did when our building was a mere youth of only 50 or so.
You don’t have to climb on the roof (Actually we’d rather you didn’t) or be a master carpenter to be a part of this circle. Anybody who has ever owned or rented a home probably has an assortment of skills we can use. Drop a note to the Circle Leader above so we can put that skill set – no matter how modest or how extensive it is – to good use to keep our space healthy for another century or so.
Circle Leader: Jonna Blommel Wilson; Candy Coordinator: Lori Malko
Member contributions account for only about three-quarters of what it takes to operate TLCUU. The rest comes from fund-raising activities. Don’t be surprised, though, if you hear members refer to it as fun-raising, because we have a great time working together. Candy-making weekend is one of our year’s highlights and we have a ball together, even while we’re producing what is absolutely the finest toffee available anywhere on Planet Earth. Our participation in the Trash & Treasure community yard sale sponsored by our very own St. Anne’s Hill historic neighborhood has become an important part of our year, and we’re always on the lookout for new and profitable ideas that will help us top off our budget and provide another reason to hang out with each other.
Whether you’re an idea person who can bring energy and creativity to our fund-raising process, or the kind of sturdy volunteer who can help things run smoothly, we need your help. A good start would be to drop a note right now to the Circle Leader at the top of this page.
Circle Leader: Lori McClain (temp)
When you walk in the door at TLCUU, it won’t matter whether it’s your first time or your hundredth – someone is sure to say Hi, welcome you warmly and sincerely, and maybe give you a hug. The greeter might be a member of the official Hospitality Circle, but might not be: We’re all glad you’ve decided to spend some time with us! Oh, somebody from the Hospitality Circle is probably buzzing around somewhere, maybe making that elixir of the gods (coffee!), moving chairs into place, making sure bathrooms are well stocked with supplies. Greeting is only part of what they do. But if you are new to us, people will introduce themselves to you, show you the table for nametags and other material, and introduce you to some other folks. Most of our members wear permanent nametags (when we remember to put them on), not to set us apart, but so you know who we are and can get to know us or ask us questions.
If you’re sociable and cheerful, like meet people or giving hugs, or you make good coffee, this might be an area you’d like to help with. Just let the Circle Leader above know you’re on board.
Circle Leader: Bristen Wells
TLCUU is a growing community, and we’d like to continue to be. We also have a need to keep track of our members and friends so we can communicate with them about what’s going with TLC. The Membership Circle, often working with other circles, develops plans to get the word out to the wider Dayton-area community about what a special place TLCUU is, and inviting visitors it thinks could find a spiritual home among us. This Circle also keeps and makes available a comprehensive list of TLC members and friends. In many important ways, our community is a family (one that has a family reunion every Sunday, which would be a scary thought applied to most of our biological families!) and we want to be able to keep track of our TLC family.
If you’re social, well-organized, or both, maybe you should offer to give this Circle Leader a hand. It would be appreciated.
Circle Leader: Mike O’Brien
Can you play an instrument? Sing? Tap your foot? Perfect! You can be part of the Music Circle. Music is an important and fun part of what we do. On Sundays, Mike O’Brien plays piano and sometimes guitar (occasionally at the same time), but we have other talented people who join him or fill in for him. Once a month or so, he’s joined for a special number by the TLC Singers, which consists of whoever feels like learning a new song. Can’t carry a tune? That’s OK, too. Just sing louder!
For more information, click the link above and remember that when it comes to music you can B sharp and B flat at the same time at TLCUU!
Circle Leader: Karen Kronenberger
Do you need a little extra TLC? Do you know a member who needs a little extra TLC, even if it is just a card to cheer them up? Do you want to help someone with household chores after an illness? Do you like to prepare meals for those who may need an extra hand? Do you time to visit someone in the hospital? These are all things our pastoral care circle commits to ... and more! Please contact our chair for more information.
Circle Leader: Lori McClain (10 and up); Barb Lain (9 and under)
We treasure our kids! They are the future of our families, of our TLCUU Community, and of our world, and we never forget that for a moment. No matter how old or young your children are, they are welcome with us. This sums it up: Two of our members were overheard in conversation not long ago. One, a new mom, said, “I’m so sorry. Did you mind very much when my baby was crying during the service?” The other person just looked at her and smiled. “I didn’t hear any crying,” he said. “I just heard singing.”
A formal education program is tough to plan in a small community. Sometimes we have six or seven kids in the house, and occasionally none at all. But our youth leaders (both experienced teachers) have age-appropriate activities, play and projects available that reinforce the ideas central to our community, and involvement by other TLC members – perhaps you! – is always welcome, and one of the people listed above would love to talk with you about it.