The Communicator
August, 2018 Volume 35 Issue 8
Sunday Worship in August: Humanism
Service at 10:30 am Sundays in the Miller Sanctuary
Sunday, August 5th- Annual Pet Blessing
Bring your furry friends to church this Sunday, August 5th at 10:30 am for our Annual Blessing of the Animals service in Hobart Hall. Leashed or crated dogs as well as crated cats and caged small animals are welcome. Please remember to pick up after your pet! Water and treats will be given. If your pet is unruly, you can always bring a photo instead. Join us for singing, sharing, and barking- this service always has a great turnout!
Community Sharing in August: Literacy Council Gulf Coast
Literacy Council Gulf Coast is committed to improving English language and reading skills of adults and children throughout Southwest Florida. The Literacy Council Gulf Coast provides free instruction for adults in reading and writing, and in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). They offer Moms and Tots Family Literacy for mothers and their young children and Kids + Lifelong Learning for parents in Title I schools. Additionally, they offer work-site literacy programs at local golf/gated communities. Their program serves residents of Bonita Springs, San Carlos Park, Estero, Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Cape Coral, Sanibel & Naples.
Humanist Forum
There will be no Humanist Forum Sunday, August 5th due to the Blessing of the Animals service in Hobart Hall. The Humanist Forum will continue to meet every Sunday thereafter at 9:15 am in Hobart Hall. All are welcome.
Coffee Hour
Sunday's Coffee Hour happens after church every week and is provided by volunteers from the Women's Circle on the first Sunday, CUUPS on the second Sunday, Humanist Forum on the third Sunday, Men's Group on the fourth Sunday and if there is a fifth Sunday, it is All Church.  Any donations of food, snacks or cash are welcome. 

BURN, our High School Youth Group meets on Sundays at noon in Room 4. All youth, ages 14-18, are welcome! Contact Director of Religious Education, Jenn Blosser:
IGNITE , our junior youth group for ages 10-13, meets weekly from 12-1 pm in Room 3. Come join us for community, conversation, and finding your call to action! Questions about the group? Reach out to Stephanie Hoffman:
SPARK is now forming! Exclusively for children ages five to nine, Spark will meet weekly from 12-1 in Room 2 to explore Unitarian Universalism and learn more about our church and each other. 
Staff and Board News
Music Notes
The UUCFM Music Team is getting ready to place an order for large print teal hymnals for all musicians and choir members. We believe this will assist all in seeing and reading the musical score and will professionalize our delivery. If you are interested in financially supporting the music ministry and assisting with the purchase of the teal hymnals for the Music Team, please contact our acting director of music, Suellen Kipp at .. The cost of each hymnal will be $24. The goal is to purchase 24 hymnals for a total cost of $576. Thank you for your support!

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, Acting Director of Music
Religious Education News
It is with incredibly deep pride that I look back on last Sunday. Our high school youth group, Burn, led a powerful service in which they shared meaningful reflections on times they or others were "called in." It's not actually easy to call someone in when they slip up. When we hear someone we love say something we know is hurtful or wrong our gut instinct can be to "call out" the person's transgression and go on the attack to correct their choices. However, calling out tends to alienate people and cause more hurt. To lovingly call people back into the work of justice requires centering ourselves and becoming open to a deep conversation. It was a privilege to see our Burn members participate in those conversations in service and share the wisdom of youth.

As if that wasn't enough, our junior high youth, Ignite, hosted a candidate forum at 1:00 pm following the service. Twelve candidates for various positions came to speak on gun violence and youth in politics. The Ignite youth vetted and submitted questions which proved to spark some powerful responses. It was incredible to see the turnout of over 100 people to support Ignite in this project! Stephanie Hoffman, Ignite's lead adviser, put in  hours  of work to make this happen and I cannot applaud her enough!

And as a final note, I would like to share that a dear colleague of mine came to visit last Sunday as well. The Director of Children's Ministry in Phoenix, AZ, Kaite Perez, attended our service with her partner, mother, and three kids. She was overwhelmed with the multigen work we are doing at UUCFM and exclaimed that we were one of the most progressive churches she had attended. How marvelous to be the kind of church where a family with three kids of various ages and needs felt welcomed, supported, and loved upon arrival. I hope you are reading this with pride, because you are a part of a truly marvelous congregation. Thank you for the love and support you share with everyone, of all ages, in our beloved community.

Jenn Blosser, Director of Religious Education
Music Director Search Is Underway!
The search for our congregation’s settled Director of Music has begun. We will be seeking candidates through August 15th. After reviewing applicants, we hope to welcome a well-qualified, settled director to our midst by October 1st. We anticipate that our congregation’s music program will continue to grow in a positive direction and remain an enriching part of our worship services.

The following members have agreed to serve on the Search Team:

Rev. Allison Farnum
Mary Cline-Golbitz
Jeffrey Letts
Lesley Peterson
Elise Sexton
Community Sharing
Here are the ways the congregation can volunteer with or support our
Community Sharing Sunday (CSS) partners:
GRACE ( Guatemalan Rural Adult and Children’s Education Project) website here .

If you would like to volunteer or participate in anyway, please contact Dr. Genelle Grant-

1.This coming week is the second week of the Happe Summer EcoCamp for farmworker children at the Happehatchee Center, of which GRACE is a sponsor. There are 30 Guatemalan children learning about the environment, canoe safety and stewardship of the Earth. If anyone would like to visit the camp this week, please let me know.
2. The Women’s Health Class at the New Image Tabernacle in North Fort Myers is on summer break. It will begin again in September.
3. We always need people to make Fertility Bracelets. Helen Dixon puts Kits of the beads together, or people could purchase the beads on their own (very helpful). Beads are red, purple, and green pony beads.
4.In July, we will begin meeting on Wednesdays to sew and assemble the menstrual Kits. People can contact Dr. Grant if they want to participate.
5. There is a Trip planned for Guatemala for the first week in December, if anyone wants to volunteer and contribute to the workshops in Guatemala.

2018 GRACE Project
Work-study Trip

Dec. 1 – 9, 2018 $900 Land only
GRACE Volunteers will travel
to El Petén, Guatemala

 Assist in the Reproductive Health Workshops with women from
local cooperatives, (Spanish not essential)
 Support the workshop with public school teachers, in
collaboration with the Guatemala Ministry of Education,
 Deliver menstrual management Kits and Fertility Bracelets,
 Visit the Tikal National Park,
 Travel in safe, private vans,
 Enjoy the Breakfast or dinner provided daily,
 Shop in Flores and Santa Elena.
Land Transportation is included. Airfares from USA
to Guatemala City and to Flores, El Petén are not included.
$120 additional fee for single room. To save your space, please send
$100 deposit in a check, by September 1, 2018, to: The GRACE Project, UUCFM 13411 Shire Lane Fort Myers, Fl 33912. And please contact
Helen Dixon at or 239.543.2959.

Here's a link to Jessica Meszaro's new story about Vilma and Rita's business in San Lucas, which she broadcast through NPR Tampa:
South Fort Myers Food Pantry:
Volunteers are needed during the summer season as snowbirds have gone home. There is still a great need during the summer for local families when children are not being fed in school. Please contact the food pantry at (239) 628-3191 if you would like to participate on Mondays for food distribution.
Cypress Lake Presbyterian Church

Special Events
Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans Event
Blessings and love to all! CUUPs will be holding our Lughnasadh ritual August 4th, gathering at 6:30 pm in Hobart Hall. We celebrate solar blessing. It is the festival of Lugh or Llew, aspect of the sun. Come join us as we tell the story of Lugh and celebrate your own seeds of harvest. Bring drums- we will be chanting. Bring a dish to share as we will be feasting. Join us for a bit of story, song and honoring that which Great mother has given us with nourishment of our sun. 

Oh, but that's not all! Sunday, August 5th at 10:30 am is Blessing of our Animals, also in Hobart Hall. Bring your fur friends, swimming ones, flying ones to be honored in sacred space. Please use discretion as some of our loved animals can not tolerate all the hype. Looking forward to seeing you all for these time honoring traditions.

Love and Peace
"Reflections on Hurricane Irma" - Art Quilters Unlimited Exhibit

Miller Sanctuary Narthex
August 6-September 29, 2018
Open Reception Thursday, August 9, 2018 5-7 pm

Art quilters create fine art wall hangings based on their experiences, imagery and ideas, rather than on traditional patterns. Art Quilters Unlimited is a group of fiber artists interested in expanding their knowledge and pushing the boundaries of their creativity. Our very own, Rev. Margaret L. Beard is a member of this group!

For more information, please contact Pam Richardson, Exhibition Committee Chair at .
To confirm access to the exhibit, please call the Church Office at (239) 561-2700. For more info, check out the public event page here .
UU Women's Retreat
Celebrating Sacred Places

9th Annual Florida Unitarian Universalist
Women’s Retreat
April 5-7, 2019

DaySpring Episcopal Conference Center Ellenton Flo The retreat begins Friday at 5:00pm and ends Sunday.
DaySpring Conference Center is conveniently located off I-75 just north of Sarasota on Florida’s West Coast. The beautiful campus nestled under ancient oaks and located on a cove of the Manatee River offers a serene setting for our annual retreat. Take a look.

$220 per person covers expenses for a semi-private room and meals. 8 women share a cozy cottage with 4 bedrooms and 4 baths, a screened porch and common area. A limited number of single rooms are available at $292 each.

$5 Discounts Available for Registration before September 15, 2018.

A non-refundable deposit of $15 for a semi-private room or $25 for a private room will reserve your place. Final payment is due January 15, 2019. Come join us for an enriching and memorable weekend. Any questions? Contact Helen Leddy
Classes & Groups
Book Study
For the Book Study beginning August 8th at 1:00 pm, we will read  Play  by Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughan.

"From a leading expert, a groundbreaking book on the science of play, and its essential role in fueling our happiness and intelligence throughout our lives 

We've all seen the happiness on the face of a child while playing in the school yard. Or the blissful abandon of a golden retriever racing across a lawn. This is the joy of play. By definition, play is purposeless, all-consuming, and fun. But as Dr. Stuart Brown illustrates, play is anything but trivial. It is a biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition. We are designed by nature to flourish through play. 

Dr. Brown has spent his career studying animal behavior and conducting more than six-thousand "play histories" of humans from all walks of life-from serial murderers to Nobel Prize winners. Backed by the latest research,  Play  (20,000 copies in print) explains why play is essential to our social skills, adaptability, intelligence, creativity, ability to problem solve and more. Particularly in tough times, we need to play more than ever, as it's the very means by which we prepare for the unexpected, search out new solutions, and remain optimistic. A fascinating blend of cutting-edge neuroscience, biology, psychology, social science, and inspiring human stories of the transformative power of play, this book proves why play just might be the most important work we can ever do.

Come having read Part One (first 47 pages)
Mindfulness Meditation
Join us on Monday evenings to explore the very simple and satisfying practices of mindfulness and meditation. You don’t need experience with meditation, nor do you have to be a Buddhist. Do please bring an intention to quiet the mind and the 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 contact Gary Robbins at .
UUCFM Gaming Group
The UUCFM Gaming Group is the club for you. We do our best to meet in Room 7 on Sundays after church from 2:00-4:00 pm. Those of us with children can't always make it so please check the Facebook group page ( UUCFM Gaming Group ) to see if games are scheduled.
Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Group
The Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist group meets Sundays at 1:45p in Room 1. All are welcome to join us.
Weekly Activities
Community Wednesday  
Activities for August:

4:00-5:30        Optimal Living Group (1st & 3rd Wed)
6:00-6:45        Band Rehearsal in Sanctuary (off 1st two weeks in June)
6:45-8:00        Choir Rehearsal in Sanctuary (off 1st two weeks in June)

Community Dinners are on hiatus until September. Enjoy your summer! Rehearsals and Events will continue through summer.
Social Justice
Pachamama Alliance of Southwest Florida
Game Changer Gathering August 2 at 6:30pm Hobart Hall

Biophilia - Can You Feel It?
with  Joseph Bonasia,  Pachamama Alliance trained leadership facilitator, retired teacher and former Scoutmaster who is also a Pachamama trained facilitator. He is editor of the Sierra Club Calusa Group newsletter, moderates the website of the Cape Coral Freecycle Group, and is President of Cape Coral Toastmasters, a public speaking organization. 

Biophilia is the scientific hypothesis that humans have an innate love of nature, that it is in our DNA because it has provided human beings with evolutionary advantages. This presentation provides a stimulating and surprising overview of the critical impact biophilia has on our physical, cognitive, psychological, and spiritual well-being—indeed, how central it is to our very humanity—and therefore how critical it is in efforts and educational approaches to saving life as we know it on this planet. 
Big things are happening! We asked the commission to form a children's service council and while they are still refusing to even allow it on the ballot- they have increased the budget for children's services by $1.7 million. Should this budget pass we will be able to celebrate dental care for thousands of more children as well as hundreds of children getting access to full day preschool. It is still not a victory but it is a sign that work for justice is never done in vain. 

If you would like to order a LIFE t-shirt you can do so at .  Shirts can be worn out and about and at community events.

2018-2019 Dates. See below for the newly announced dates for the upcoming year.

Annual Assembly
Monday, October 29, 2018

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Nehemiah Action
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 Community Forum

LIFE members were invited to a community forum to help the county health department decide on a focus for the upcoming few years. If you wish to participate see below:

What: Department of Health in Lee County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Town Hall Meeting
When: July 2, 2018
Time: 6:30p – 8:30p
Where: Department of Health Lee County
Address:  83 Pondella Road

OUR UU Story
A Dog and a Cat Comment on Blessing of the Animals
On the first Sunday in August our pets are invited to a special Blessing of the Animals service held in Hobart Hall. Here are enthusiastic reactions from a dog and a cat.
Here's how it happened. I was adopted by the Carville Family when I was 12 weeks old. I'm a Yorkie-Russell. They are Human-UUs. We get along great. I like the UU church. I've tagged along with my mom a lot of times and hung out in the office and the courtyard. There are lots of squirrels, bunnies, and birds to chase. I never catch them.

One day my mom and sister and brother brought me to the UU Church on a Sunday. I was so excited to run around in my courtyard. But, what was this?  Other  dogs were in my courtyard! Other dogs were in the social hall! This could not be tolerated. I barked. Then I barked some more. Then I peed on the rug! To top it off, my sister put me on a plastic chair next to a girl Dachshund across the room from my mom. I wanted to sit with Mom! I barked. The other dogs barked. Then everyone was quiet. Here was my opportunity. I barked and whined and wriggled so much I pulled out of my collar. I ran across the room and jumped on mom's lap. She was drumming, but I'm sure she was glad I was close by. She was surrounded by three Afghans and needed my protection.
Everyone was quiet on the way home. My mom said "That's it. Never again." But I don't know what she meant. Maybe she would stop those other dogs from coming ever again. That must be it. I can't wait till the next Pet Blessing when it's just me!

Scottie Carville

At the other end of the vocal spectrum is the cat called Tori.
I’m officially Victoria, as named by my parents, Glenn Siebert & Paloma Blanca-Sieber. I call myself a PUURRR: Peaceful Unitarian Universalist Rational Reflective Romantic. Let me explain.
PEACEFUL because I believe in our 6 th  principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. It all begins with inner peace. The more peaceful I feel the more I pUUrrr. I live a peaceful life with my brother Arlee and my Mami Paloma and my Deh-dee Glenn.
I am a very RATIONAL kitty and arrive to many logical conclusions about my life in the Siebert residence. Our 4 th  principle says that we embrace free and responsible search for truth and meaning – which means logic and facts are important to arrive at conclusions such as “my parents love me”. Here are a few facts:

  • They feed me and brush me every day.
  • They whisper in my ear how special I am.
  • They have an automatic water fountain for me to drink from.
  • (4) They have an automatic crunchies machine that goes off at 5 am
I am also very REFLECTIVE as I study our 3 rd  principle: acceptance of one another and encouragement of spiritual growth. I’m always making sure I accept my brother Arlee, who sometimes doesn’t let me sleep on a chair in my mami’s office. That chair brings him spiritual joy, so I encourage him to relax on that chair.
The third R is for ROMANTIC as I constantly dream about the 8 th  principle and how we’re journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse community, with loving actions that dismantle racism and other oppressions. It’s so beautiful to dream of it, embrace it and act on it. I live in a diverse home: I’m black and white, and so is my Mami. My brother is light beige/reddish and my Dad is white (although his white skin is not really white like the parts of my fur that are white). Our fur color doesn’t make a difference in how we’re treated. In our household, as we embrace our 8 th  principle, we continue to ponder on how we behave in unconscious ways that promote white privilege… oh and there are many that surprise us.

Tori Siebert
About My UU Story
Each month, the Membership Committee would like to publish your UU story- either converted or born UUs. How did you become a UU, or how did our religion affect your life? Alternatively, do you have a one paragraph remembrance of your first reaction to being in a UU church and/or learning about the religion? To share your story, please contact Joy Sokeitous at   Joy will help you edit and she will provide questions to help you develop your story.
Shop at  and Amazon donates to
Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers.
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

*ACER 23" Computer Monitor. Like New. FREE! Contact Mary Richey 239.939.7738
Our Greater Community
If you are a UUCFM Community Sharing Partner, a regular Facility User, or have UU related news to share, you are welcome to submit announcements for publication in our Greater Community section of the newsletter. Please send announcements in by Wednesday for publication in the Thursday E-news.
Lee County Election Deadlines
The following deadlines apply for the General Election on Nov. 6, 2018:
  • Register to vote – Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018
  • Request Vote-By-Mail Ballot – Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018
Early voting will occur as follows:
  • Primary – Aug. 18 thru 25, 2018
  • General – Oct. 22 thru Nov. 3, 2018
If you are voting by mail and you will not be at the address provided, contact Lee County Elections. Your ballot will not be forwarded to a different address. For more information call 239-533-8683 or on-line at  www.Lee.Vote .
Workshop by Dr. David Campt

Why Racism Skeptics Should Be Empathetically Listened to, and This Should Be the Work of White Allies


Engaging white folks who are skeptical of racism, in an empathetic way, so they can examine and potentially revisit their views should be the a primary task of white allies and not a key task for people of color. 
As one journalist titled his review of new research on empathy based methods of dialogue aimed at de-biasing: “Research says there are ways to reduce racial bias. Calling people racist is not one of them.”
**Childcare Provided - please request it at the bottom of the ticket form**
Please contact us with accessibility requests at .

Aug 1 Jennifer Grant
Aug 2 Barbara Boynton 
Aug 2 Dan Laliberte
Aug 3 Ian Ireland
Aug 4 Margot White
Aug 5 Susan Schmitt
Aug 9  Hilary Matheson
Aug 12 Peg Lancioni
 Aug 12 Carole Latino
Aug 13 Shirley Blumenfeld
Aug 14 Paula Copestick
Aug 21 Suzanne Fast
Aug 22  Marge Gonzalez
Aug 24 Patricia Vivier-Naidl
Aug 25 John Swank
Aug 28 Kathy Ford
Aug 28  Ellen Kelly   
Board of Trustees

Matt Hoffman 239-222-4836
President Elect
Alison Carville 239-634-0487
Jen Smith 630-881-0000             
VP Finance
Bruce Marble 239-596-2703     
VP Programming
Cathy Snow 239-896-3693 cm
VP Ministerial Services
Lesley Peterson 239-839-4434
VP Operations
Mary Alice Pierce 239-267-4429           
Member at Large
Don Ehat 239-947-8143

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