The Communicator April 2019 Volume 36 Issue 4
Sundays in April
Community Sharing in April- Pachamama Alliance of SW Florida
The Pachamama Alliance is a not-for-profit organization that was born out of a relationship developed between a group of people from the modern world and the leaders of remote indigenous groups in the Amazon region of Ecuador for the preservation of life itself. Their mission is to empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world.   Please give generously this month for our Community Sharing collection.
First Responders Appreciation Sunday April 7th
As an expression of our gratitude, we set aside the morning of April 7th to show our appreciation for the men and women who have served our community by responding to critical situations with skill, dedication, and uncommon bravery. All First Responders and their families are cordially invited to join us at the Unitarian Universalist Church. Coffee and good fellowship afterwards.
The Humanist Forum
The Humanist Forum meets every Sunday at 9:15 am in Hobart Hall. All are welcome to attend. This week's forum will feature an interview with Danielle Sared, on  Democracy Now . She is the the founding director of Common Justice, and Author of “Until we Reckon”, a book that deals with mass incarceration, violence and the radical possibilities of restorative justice. Sared argues that reformers must reckon with violent crime and come up with radically new ways to address it. She lays out a path for this transformation in her new unflinching book, “Until We Reckon”
Sunday Social Hour
Sunday's Social Hour happens after the service every week. It is volunteer run- by the Women's Circle on the first Sunday, Humanist Forum on the second, CUUPs on the third, Men's Group on the fourth, and if there is a fifth Sunday, it is All Church.  Any donations of food, snacks or cash are welcome.
April Worship: Wholeness
"Let’s just say that we’re skeptical about rushing in to fix things.
We Unitarian Universalists understand the urge to restore what once was. Nothing is more human. Who doesn’t want to reverse the damage? Who doesn’t hold on to the humpty dumpty hope that all can be put back together again? But our faith teaches us that this is just not how the world works. Transition and change rule the flow of life. There is no going back. The current of time is just too strong.
And so the wholeness offered us is not that returning our lives to their original state but working with what remains to make something new. The shards are not pieces of a puzzle that needs put perfectly back together, but building blocks waiting to be molded into a yet to be imagined form. To be made whole again is to be reorganized, not restored.
Another way to put this is to say that there is freedom in the breaking. The cracks make room for creativity. That’s not to minimize the pain. And it’s certainly not a way of justifying tragedy as “part of God’s plan.” Rather, it’s a call for us to perceive the broken pieces of our lives as more than just a pile of worthless and ruined rubble. “Look closer,” says our faith, “that ash, if worked with, can give birth to a Phoenix.”
So, what piles of rubble in your life need revisited? What longing for what was needs let go so a new wholeness can emerge?
And how might you break open even further? Because that’s part of this too, isn’t it? “Your broken pieces are more than rubble” is not the only counterintuitive thing our faith tells us about wholeness. It also urges us to “Crack wider!” 
As odd as it sounds, we were meant to be broken, broken open to be exact. Over and over again, our faith reminds us that protecting our personal wholeness is only half the game. The equally important part of life’s journey is about letting in the wholeness of world!
It’s about cultivating cracks on purpose. It’s about becoming intentionally exposed. As  Leonard Cohen  famously put it “Cracks are how the light gets in.”
Broken hearts hurt but they also let in and allow us to connect with the pain of others. Protected hearts may seem safe, but our armor only ends up being a prison. It’s one of the most important but paradoxical spiritual truths there is: Broken people end up bigger people.
So, in the end, maybe that’s our most important “wholeness question”: How are your cracks inviting you to become larger? What cracks do you need to cultivate on purpose?"

-From  Soul Matters
From the Minister- Office Updates

Dear ones,

As Supervisor of Staff I want to commend our staff, especially our Office Manager and Building Supervisor who are dealing with quite a bit of disarray in our Office after water damage due to a flood from a faulty toilet.  

Dear congregation, please use forbearance and graciousness in this time when our office is getting repaired. As we deal with the logistics, emails/calls may be answered slower than usual, but please know we are doing our very best to continue to allow UUCFM lay folks to do what you do: Love, Grow and Serve!

In love, growth, and service,
Rev. Allison Farnum
Music News
The UUCFM Choir rehearses most Wednesday nights from 6:45-8:15 pm, and on Sunday mornings from 9-10 am in the sanctuary. It's free and there are no auditions. Come join us in singing!

The UUCFM Band rehearses most Wednesday nights from 6:00-6:45 pm, and on Sunday mornings from 9-10 am in the Sanctuary. If you would like to play your instrument during a Sunday service, please email me to coordinate the details.
Come join us in making music together!

Suellen Kipp, Director of Music
Religious Education News
We have had two town hall meetings on the state of our faith formation programming (formerly religious education). Ten people attended the first and about sixteen attended the second. The meeting was to discuss the current state of our program and the proposal for change should we be unable to find enough congregants to serve. A handout about this is available in the Narthex on the Faith Formation table on the far right. If anyone would like a copy of the Q&A session from the town hall, please email me so I can send you one. Thank you!

Please bring in lots of donations of canned food for our first Canned Food Hunt this Easter! We want to center community service this year, instead of candy and treats. Drop off your canned foods in the basket in the Narthex. Let's make this one of the most amazing canned food collections ever donated!

Registering for RE:
Parents and Guardians, we are using a new online registration system for infants, toddlers, children, and youth! Please click here to get your child registered for our faith formation programming, whatever their age!

Youth Groups
There will be no classes during the second hour of church for the month of April except for OWL . Spark, Ignite, and Burn members will be offered access to various activities in Hobart Hall during coffee hour. An email blast has gone out to the congregation discussing this matter. In the meantime, please get your child/youth registered for our Chalice Faith Formation program which will resume on the first weekend of May. Click here to register: 

If you have questions about our youth groups or Children's Religious Education program, please contact Jenn Blosser .
If you or a friend has been thinking about joining our faith community, you are cordially invited to pick up a Membership Enrollment Kit at our “Welcome Tables” in the Narthex and Hobart Hall on Sunday, or come by the Office and grab a Kit. (Or I can email you an Enrollment Kit .) Complete the forms in the kit and drop in the mail or bring the completed forms with you Sunday morning. It’s that simple! Wherever you are on your journey, we bid you Welcome!

The Membership team needs a few more Ambassador Volunteers
This past fall the Membership Team began the process of helping newcomers on the pathway to membership by assigning volunteers (we call them Ambassadors) to the newcomer once they submit a Connection Card. Six volunteers have formed our current Ambassador Corps but we need a few more. In the past 3 months we are averaging 16 newcomers/month, that’s a healthy increase over previous months. That’s the good news! To help our newcomers with the journey to membership, we need a few more Ambassadors, representing a cross-section of our membership. 
If you’re interested, please let the Membership team know by emailing  or just corner one of us and let us know of your interest. The time involved is not significant, no more than an hour a week.

Get to Know Our Members

MARK BRANDON (In his own words)

*Born in Wayzata (pronounced Wi-zetta) MN, a small town just west of Minneapolis MN Nov. 21st, 1959.
*Resident of Lee County since 1966.
*Major interest in fishing in his youth living on Ten Mile Canal in South Ft. Myers.
*Graduated from Bishop Verot High School in 1978.
*Computer geek since 1980.
*Computer tech since 1987.
*BFFL of Walter and Lesley Peterson since 1980 when Mark met them while attending Edison Community College.
*Business partner with Walter and Lesley in CyberStreet Inc., a Wireless Internet Service Provider in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral.
*Avid fan of computer role playing games.
*Member of the UUCFM choir since 2013.

Welcome to UUCFM Membership, Mark!

What are Gratitude Gatherings?
Last year, the Board of Trustees, at the recommendation of the Finance Council, chose to re-invent the way we manage our traditional pledge campaigns. Recent years’ experiences, although successful in terms of contributions pledged, became overburdensome on just a few volunteers and somewhat intrusive for many members, cramming all solicitation meetings within a short amount of time in order to complete the grueling budgeting process for the church. Furthermore, the weeks-long, energy-
draining effort necessarily put an unbalanced focus and stress on financial expectations with very little focus on the overall sense of the mutual appreciation for the connectedness between the church and each member. Furthermore, we understand that many of our members have busy lives, filled with urgent demands on their time.

Our new stewardship approach is a year-round series of hour-long Gratitude Gatherings where a twelfth of our members voluntarily come together each month in small groups with the minister and church leaders. In these sessions, members learn about the “state of the Church,” share our proudest moments of being a member of UUCFM, express concerns and satisfactions about our progress toward our Vision,
and celebrate our commitments to our faith community. The goal is that members will leave feeling uplifted and more engaged as a member of our congregation!
So, when you receive an invitation to attend a future Gratitude Gathering, you now know a little bit more about why you are being invited and what you can expect.
Note from the Board Secretary
Thank you to the members who voted in our 2019-20 Board of Trustees at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 31, 2019.

With the Nehemiah Action scheduled for our usual meeting date & time, the Board is making space for people to attend this important event. The Board will have its inaugural meeting on Tuesday, April 16th at 6:30 PM in the library conference room.

As Board Secretary, I would like to remind members of the proper procedure for requesting agenda items for our board meetings. It is written in our bylaws:

" 3.9 Article IX Board of Trustees, 3.9.5 Section 5. Trustees Meetings
Regular meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be held once each month during the Church year at a time to be specified by the Board of Trustees. Special meetings of the Board of Trustees may be called by the President at any time or shall be called by the President or the Secretary upon the written request of (4) Trustees. Trustees meetings must be held in Lee, Charlotte or Collier County.

Any voting member may attend the meeting of the Board of Trustees. Any voting member wishing to discuss a matter before the Board may request the President, in advance of the meeting, that the matter be placed on the agenda. "

It is most helpful to the Board of Trustees for the Board President to receive agenda items a week or more in advance to allot time needed to address matters to the greatest extent possible.

I look forward to serving the congregation with the rest of our Board of Trustees this year.
Let us go forward, in good faith, together!

Allie Carville
2019-20 Board Secretary
Photo Sessions in April for the UUCFM Online Photo Directory
Denis Jensen will be taking photos in April of old and new members who do not yet have their photos in the UUCFM Photo Directory (The Photo Directory can be accessed through the UUCFM website).  Photo taking dates are Sunday April 7 th  and Sunday April 28 th  right after church. Photos will be taken after church on the lawn in back of the screened in porch at Hobart Hall---If the weather is bad, photo taking will move to the screened in porch. Many of you whose photos are not in the Directory will receive emails in advance about these photo sessions. Be sure to come to either session if your photo is not currently in the UUCFM Photo Directory and you would like to have it there.
Social Justice
Pachamama Alliance
Today! April 4, 2019
6:30-8:00 P.M.
UUCFM - Sanctuary

The Pachamama Alliance Alliance of SWFL holds Game Changer Gatherings the first Thursday of every month at our UUCFM. We always host an awesome speaker.  This next first Thursday we will have  Ray Judah!  

What Florida's Inland Bays and Land Use Tell Us About Global Warming

Ray Judah , former environmental land planner with the Lee County Department of Community Development and Lee County Commissioner (1988-2012), remains a strong advocate for providing a balance between management of growth and responsible stewardship of our precious natural resources. 
He has shared decades-long experience, and will let us know what he thinks we need to focus on right now to make the biggest impact on global warming, right here in SW Florida.
South Fort Myers Food Pantry
The support that UUCFM has shown to our pantry over the years is appreciated. Along with other coalition members, the combined effort fed 26,646 people from the South Fort Myers area in 2018. There is still a tremendous need in Southwest Florida and consequently the Harry Chapin Food Bank sometimes runs low on food. When this happens, your donations of food each Sunday become so important, even if it’s just one item. Remember “Fran’s plan, just one can”? Look around church this Sunday and just imagine the amount of food, if everyone brought just one can. Protein items are always a good choice, canned ham, chicken , tuna or hearty prepared meals or soups.  

Prefer to donate money? You can make out checks and send to the South Fort Myers Food Pantry. 8260 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, FL. 33919.  Be sure to write Food Pantry in the memo line. Looking for a satisfying volunteer experience? See Fran Rose or email
Special Events at UUCFM
UUCFM Classes & Groups
15+ Group
The UUCFM 15+ Group is comprised of UUCFM members who have belonged to UUCFM for at least 15 years. Some churches call this type of group Church Elders -- but this group of "elders" chose to be called the 15+ Group! We will be meeting at noon in the Conference Room on Sunday, April 28th. If you would like to have an item put on the agenda, please contact Ellen Erickson or 239-694-6833.
CUUPs Healing Drum Circle
Cuups is now hosting a monthly healing drumming circle. We'll meet by the fire circle at 6:30pm every 2nd Saturday. It is open to all. We will have a facilitator who is accomplished in healing sound and drumming. We welcome our larger community as well as our diverse church community. May healing begin with drums of passion. Love and blessings, Joy Purcell
Women's Sharing Circle
Every 4th Tuesday there will be a noon potluck in Hobart Hall. Bring a dish to share and your own beverage.

April Meeting:
Tuesday, April 23rd, noon Potluck in Hobart Hall
Program: Story of your Ancestry, your roots, bring photos, heirlooms, memories

For contact information: Dorothy Van Howe, 239-560-7238,
Men's Social Group
We want you to join the  UUCFM Men's Social Group.  We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 11:45 am at the Cross Creek Country Club Clubhouse/Restaurant off Daniel's Parkway. For 2019, we are planning fun social activities as well as action sessions on what the Men's Group can do to help UUCFM. For information, contact Denis Jensen at 215-436-5748 or email Denis .
Spirituality Discussion Group
The Spirituality Discussion Group meets Wednesdays at 6:45 pm in Room 2 after the Community Dinner. Our Spirituality has to do with the way one connects to ourselves, others, nature, and the unknowns. Contact Suzanne Ziemer at with any questions.
Book Club
On Wednesdays the Book Group will meet and continue reading our book, Michael Pollan's How to Change your Mind - What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying , Addiction, Depression and Transcendence.  
Mindfulness Meditation
Join us on Monday evenings to explore the simple and satisfying practices of mindfulness and meditation. You don’t need experience with meditation, nor do you have to be a Buddhist. Please bring intention to quiet the mind and body in a supportive group of UU members and friends with a similar intention - people who want to carry mindfulness into their daily lives. We meet Mondays from 6:30-8:00p in the Sanctuary. If you have any questions, please call or text Gary Robbins at 302-540-5899.
UUCFM Weekly Activities
Community Wednesday
Please join us for Chef Joy's Community Wednesday Dinners at 6:00 pm each Wednesday. She will be serving salad, soup and entree. The price is $5.00. The meal is vegetarian, but every other week will feature a meat item alternate.

Community Activities for April:

6:00-6:45  Band Rehearsal in Sanctuary
6:45-8:00  Choir Rehearsal in Sanctuary
6:45-8:00  Spiritual Discussion group thru May 2019 in Room 2.
Caring News
Caring Network
If you have any caring concerns, please contact our Caring Network coordinator, Neil Yesu at
Our UU Story
Easter: Life and Rebirth
For many Unitarian Universalists, the resurrection narrative is often more metaphorical than literal. Many kinds of resurrection can be emphasized: rebirth of nature; resurrecting dreams and hopes; resurrecting dead relationships. In a general sense, the ultimate triumph of life over death.

Easter Name
The name “Easter” is derived from the name of an ancient, pagan goddess,  Eastre  (or  Eostre ). She was the goddess of the east (from where the sun rises). Her symbol was the hare (for fertility), and a festival called Eastre was held during the spring equinox by the Saxons to honor her.

Easter Bunny
Rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life.  The Easter bunny may have first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.”

Easter Eggs
The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring.  In ancient Egypt and the early cultures of Mesopotamia and Crete, decorated  eggs  of the ostrich and symbols of the ostrich  egg in silver and gold were put in the graves of Egyptians and the Sumerians. 

Easter Candy
Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America, after Halloween. Among the most popular sweet treats are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe. Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus’ resurrection.
The jelly bean, another egg-shaped candy, became associated with Easter in the 1930s. It’s origins may date all the way back to a Biblical-era concoction called a Turkish Delight. According to the National Confectioners Assn., over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year for Easter.
For the past decade, the top-selling non-chocolate Easter candy has been the marshmallow Peep, a sugary, pastel-colored confection. The Bethlehem, PA-based candy manufacturer, Russian immigrant, Just Born, began selling Peeps in the 1950s. The original Peeps were handmade, marshmallow-flavored yellow chicks.

Compiled by Joy F. Sokeitous
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Member to Member
Do you have something to offer, trade, or sell? Are you looking for something? Free ad space here for personal items only. Will run ad for 4 weeks. Email .
Our Greater Community
Our Scouts
Congratulations to all the newly elected Scout Youth Leaders of Troop 3300! We wish you the best, and look forward to watching you all grow in Scouting. ⚜

Troop 3300 Positions: ⚜
Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) - Jose Martinez 
Asst. Sr. Patrol Leader (ASPL) - Jaevin Muirhead.
Quartermaster (QM) - Robbie Stewart
Scribe - Jake Frank
Chaplain Aide - Sam Clere
Librarian - Connor Duff 
Historian - Cody George

Patrol Leaders/Asst. Patrol Leaders: ⚜
Shalligators - Brandon B./Robbie S.
Gamers - Brent P./Luke K.
Those Guys - Zachary L./Johnny Mac
Flaming Cobras - Colin P./ Jacob T.

●       Visakha Puja  - Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Death (Buddhist) - April 8
●       Palm Sunday  (Christian) - April 14
●       Lent  (Christian) - March 6 - April 18
●       Maundy Thursday /Holy Thursday (Christian) - April 18
●       Good Friday  - (Christian) April 19
●       Easter  (Christian) - April 21
●       Passover  (Jewish) - April 19 - 27
Unitarian Universalist:
●       William Ellery Channing ’s Birthday - April 7 (1780)
●      Death of  Sophia Lyon Fahs  - April 14 (1978)
●       Hosea Ballou ’s Birthday - April 30 (1771)
●       Climate Justice Month  - March 22 to April 22
National & Cultural:
●       Jazz Appreciation Month  
●       National Poetry Month  
●      Martin Luther King Jr Assassinated - April 4 (1968)
●       U.S. declares war on Germany  - April 6 (1917)
●       Vimy Ridge Day  (Canada) - April 9
●       Fair Housing Act passed  - April 11 (1968)
●       Freddie Gray is arrested in Baltimore and dies  after sustaining injuries in police custody - April 12 (2015)
●       Earth Day  - April 22
●       Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day  - April 26
●       Day of Silence  (LGBTQ) - April 27 
Happy Birthday!

April 2 Evan Carville is 15!
April 11  Cindy Gustafson
April 20   Shirley Fox
April 27  Jeff Letts  Nancy Letts
April 28  Mickey Kellam
April 30  Audrey Brown
Contact Us
Board of Trustees
Board Email

Theresa Bahre
President Elect
Lesley Peterson
Alison Carville
Eddie Grimes       
VP Finance
Alanis Garcia
VP Programming
Cathy Snow
VP Ministerial Services
Karen J. Brown
VP Operations
Dorothy Van Howe         
Member at Large
Helen Leddy

Rev. Allison Farnum  239-561-2700x204
Director of Music   
Suellen Kipp
Director of RE        
Jenn Blosser  239-561-2700x208
Office Manager       
Building Supervisor   
Nursery Supervisor