The Communicator
December 2018 Volume 35 Issue 12
Sunday Worship Service
All Welcome to our Service at 10:30 am Sundays in the Miller Sanctuary
December Worship 2018 MYSTERY

This coming month our worship provides opportunity for rest, reflection and renewal, a much-needed way to close an emotionally & sociopolitically challenging calendar year. For those who seek merriment, worship will give opportunity. For those who seek solace from the bustle and the pressure to be merry, our Blue Holiday service on December 16th can offer comfort for those who feel removed from the joy of the season. Our candlelight Christmas Eve service will be at 5:00 pm on December 24th. Every Sunday we will kindle the holiday lights of the season, humbled by the Mystery of Life and open to its possibility in the coming year.

Rev. Allison Farnum
Community Sharing in December: Quality Life Center
Quality Life Center has been in the Dunbar community since 1990. The center provides early learning, afterschool, teen leadership and summer camp programs. Quality Life Center’s ACE Afterschool Program was named a 2017 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program finalist by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute of Museum and Library Services. This national recognition established ACE as one of the top arts and humanities-based programs in the country. Quality Life Center’s Arts, Character and Education (ACE) program provides afterschool, summer camp and teen leadership programs to help at-risk youth realize their potential and foster their abilities. Engaging educational projects help students become academically competitive, and include a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) initiative.
Alert! Christmas will be Here Soon!
We are now collecting Christmas gifts for the children and teens at the Quality Life Center or as it is commonly called, "the Q". That would be November 29th though December 16th. There are a total of 168 youths, 100 of them in the after school program and 46 being Leadership Teens; the remaining 22 are preschool and kindergarten. 

We are not asking for a specific number for each age group. Buy whatever you want and as many as you want.  Do not wrap the gifts. An open Holiday bag would be nice when possible and makes it easier for us to sort. The Q makes the following request. Please, NONE of the following: action figures, guns, Barbie dolls, or battery operated toys. Gifts may be left in the Narthex or at the Social Justice & Outreach Table in Hobart Hall until the Christmas trees go up in mid December. Then you may leave gifts under either tree. Thank you!
Humanist Forum
The Humanist Forum meets every Sunday at 9:15 am in Hobart Hall. All are welcome to attend. On December 2 & 9 the Humanist Forum will meet in Room 7 because of the Craft Fair set up in Hobart Hall.

On Sunday, December 9th, the guest speaker for the Humanist Forum will be Ms. Kelli Nielson, Development Officer for St. Matthew’s House in Naples. She will be discussing the services St.Matthews House offers to it’s clientele. Many in Lee and Collier counties, including single adults, couples and single mothers, know homelessness and financial distress. Kelli will describe the challenges they face, and the programs at St. Matthews House that address their needs, as well as training that leads to long-term independence.
Social Hour
Sunday's Social Hour happens after the service 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! Questions about the group? 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. (or 7) Come join us for community, conversation, and finding your call to action! Questions about the group? Reach out to Jenn Blosser:
SPARK is our newest youth group. 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.
Youth Theater Troupe
The UUCFM Youth Theater troupe will meet on the following Wednesdays at 6:30 pm following the community meal:

December 19
January 2
January 9
January 23
January 30

Please contact Sima Robins if you missed our information session and you are interested in participating.
Staff and Board News
Music Notes

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
UUCFM Special Events
Arts and Crafts Fair This Sunday and Next!
Sundays, December 2nd and 9th, from 11:30-1:30, we will be hosting Members & Friends for Arts & Crafts Booths and the All-Church Bake Sale. Mark your calendars to enjoy Christmas shopping, Christmas cookies to freeze, Next-to-New items, Joy's Chili lunch, and to see what our people create.
Looking for Items for the "Next-to-New" Booth, Donations for All Church Bake Sale ,and your Presence on Dec. 2 & 9.
Bring a Friend to enjoy Joy's Chili & Cornbread Lunch for $3 on December 2nd.
For Booth sign up contact Patricia Linhoff, 612-382-5927,

For Volunteering, Next-to-New items, and Baked Goods, contact Suzanne Ziemer, cell: 812-332-3450,
Covenant of UU Pagans Medieval Feast
Medieval Feast Update: The feast is CUUPs' big fundraiser and it falls on Winter Solstice. We now move towards Solstice with many different rejoicings that occur at this time. Entertainers have stepped up and for those that have paid or reserved space to our event we are very grateful. We have only so many tickets we can sell. The Royals do command quite an audience ... much to say it is not to be missed. We will be in the hall each Sunday to make sure entrance on December 21st is assured. Dress in all finery. Child care is provided for under age 6. If you are on the list and can not come please let us know because someone may want to attend and needs your place. Thank you,

Joy Purcell
Christmas Eve Dinner

Origami Japanese/Korean/Sushi
Monday, December 24, 2018
directly following the Christmas Eve Service.

8911 Daniels Parkway, Ste 5
Fort Myers, FL 33912


Turn left onto Shire La from the Church parking lot.
Turn right-west onto Daniels Parkway.
Get into extreme left lane and make first “U” turn onto E. Daniels Parkway.
Proceed east on Daniels 0.7 miles in left lane to Appaloosa La.
(Appaloosa La. is only on N side of Daniels. Look for Powers Ct. on south, right side of Daniels
but turn LEFT onto Appaloosa La.)
Turn left through center median onto Appaloosa La.
Turn right, east onto Jobe Rd (first right turn).
Turn first left into parking lot.
ORIGAMI is directly ahead of you. We will be in the back of the dining room.

Please call John E. Fischer, 1-267-992 -6566 or E-Mail by Friday, December 21, 2018 to reserve your place. Management needs exact numbers to schedule staff.
Dinner Go Round 2019

Dinners-Go-Round are now forming for January through April 2019!
Denis and Linda Jensen are organizing Dinners Go Round. These monthly potluck dinners offer you a chance to get to know your fellow UUCFM Members on an informal basis. One dinner is held each month at a host UUCFM member’s home on a date determined by the host and participants.  If you didn’t participate last year and would like to do so this year, please Email Denis Jensen by December 15th at   and let him know.  Please include your names, telephone numbers, addresses and email addresses in your email to Denis and also let him know if you would consider being a host for one of the four monthly dinners or if there is one or more of the four months where you would not be able to participate.  Also advise Denis if you will require wheelchair accessible dinner sites.
UU Women's Retreat

Celebrating Sacred Places
9th Annual Florida Unitarian Universalist Women’s Retreat
April 5-7, 2019
DaySpring Episcopal Conference Center Ellenton, FL

A weekend for Exploring, Enriching, Expressing our Spirits in a Gathering of UU Women

 Friday evening we will get to know one another and create
 Saturday, 4 one-hour workshops offer choices: Awakening our
Spirits, Sacred Dance, Meditation, Expressive Art, Book and Topical
Discussion Groups, Personal Time, Relaxation.
 Sunday we share a UU Service bringing it all together
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.

A non-refundable deposit of $20 for a semi-private room or $30 for a
private room will reserve your place. Final payment is due January
15, 2019. Come join us for an enriching and memorable weekend.
To register or for more information contact Helen Leddy:
UUCFM Classes & Groups
UUCFM 15+ Group Meeting
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 Narthex on Sunday, January 13, 2019. If you would like to have an item put on the agenda, please contact Ellen Erickson or at 239-694-6833.
Adult OWL
Adult OWL begins Wednesdays 6:30-8:00 pm January 9, 2019 in Room 7.
Honest and accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives. For these reasons and more, we are proud to offer Our Whole Lives (OWL), a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education.
Contact  to sign up 
Book Club
The UUCFM Book Club meets Wednesdays at 1:00 pm. Our new book title is Tribe, On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger.  Please come having read the first 60 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 .
Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Group
The Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist group meets Sundays in Room 1. All are welcome to join us. We have a new meeting time- 2:00-4:00 pm.
UUCFM Weekly Activities
Community Wednesday  
Please join us for Chef Joy's Community Wednesday Dinners at 6:00 pm each Wednesday. We 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 December:

6:00-6:45        Band Rehearsal in Sanctuary
6:45-8:00        Choir Rehearsal in Sanctuary
6:45-8:00 Spiritual Discussion group Nov. 28 thru Dec. 19th, 2018 in Room 7 and January 9th thru May 2019 in Room 2.
Social Justice
Pachamama Alliance SW Florida

DECEMBER 6, 2018
6:30-8:00 P.M.

“What Can  I  Do?” 
THAT'S THE QUESTION SO MANY OF US ASK OURSELVES. What can I do to make a difference in the health of this planet? It is a question that brings people to Pachamama’s  Awakening the Dreamer  symposiums, online Game Changer Intensive, and  Drawdown  workshops. And to our First Thursday Game Changer this one!

Led by Joe Bonasia , this gathering will focus on the many things that an individual  can  do, emphasizing high impact actions, identifying their connections to  Drawdown  solutions, and, in many cases, quantifying how these steps can significantly reduce or mitigate Green House Gas emissions.

Sure...changing government and corporate culture is critical, but we must also recognize that individual action is equally important and deeply satisfying.

Consider this : “ However destructive may be the policies of the government and methods and products of the corporation ,” Wendell Berry writes (and is quoted by Paul Hawken) “the root of the problem is always to be found in private life. We must learn to see that every problem that concerns us…leads straight to the question of how we live."

Because we love the planet and because the stakes are so high, let's put our determination to work by learning more about how to take immediate and meaningful actions to reduce our carbon footprint and overall environmental impact upon the earth. 

(And feel free to bring a munchie or dessert to share...we'll have coffee and tea.)
Changes to the Food Pantry re: Donations
The support that UUCFM has shown to our pantry over the years is greatly appreciated and along with other coalition members' support it has helped the South Fort Myers Food Pantry (FMFP) to feed 23,000 people in need during 2017. The Harry Chapin Food Bank is vital to our mission, to feed the needy of South Fort Myers, at a very modest cost. They are however, making some changes at Harry Chapin.

In the past, members of our congregation have financially supported the pantry by donating directly to the pantry or by sending checks to the Harry Chapin Food Bank with the stipulation the funds were to support the SFMFP. The Food Bank would then place the funds in a "Designated Grant" account for our use to purchase food. They are eliminating these accounts. As of August 1, 2018 any checks they receive in support of one particular pantry will be returned to the sender. Therefore, our pantry is requesting that any monetary donations be sent directly to and made out to:

   The South Fort Myers Food Pantry

If you feel strongly about your donation being only for food and not for operating expenses, write "for food only" on the memo line. The pantry relies on the support of the coalition churches for the funds and the volunteers needed. There are no paid positions and it takes hundreds of volunteer hours and thousands of dollars each month to accomplish our mission. If you have questions call Fran Rose and leave a message at 617-750-0470 and Fran will return your call.  
Caring News
If you have any caring concerns, please contact our Caring Network coordinator, Neil Yesu at
Our UU Story

Unitarians’ Influence on Christmas
In the 1800s, the Unitarians were trendsetters. Christmas, the Unitarians believed, could be a holiday to promote their values of generosity and charity and social good.
The following Unitarians helped create modern Christmas traditions, centering on children, gift exchange and charitable giving.

The ”…chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,” image of Santa came from “The Night Before Christmas” poem written by Clement Clark More in 1823. Prior to Moore’s poem, St. Nick was always portrayed as a medieval bishop known for acts of charity. Moore’s Santa Claus believed in the worth and dignity of every child, and that all deserved some kindness and pleasure.
Santa was placed at the North Pole by Cartoonist Thomas Nast, as a message that he existed for all children of the world.

Thoughts about society, human nature, and forgiveness were captured in “A Christmas Carol”, written by Charles Dickens in 1843. This depicts a Christmas that is more than just a holiday. This poem brought the idea that Christmas was a time to gather family and friends around overflowing dinner tables and Christmas trees filled with lights, decorations, and toys.

The Christmas Tree was brought to Boston by Charles Follen, the first German professor at Harvard. He invited several friends to his home for a Christmas party where he had put up a tree lit with candles and covered with ornaments as he remembered from his childhood in Germany. Two of his guests (both Unitarian woman) were influential popular magazine writers who gushed about the tree’s loveliness. The tradition of setting up a Christmas tree soon spread to many American homes.

“Christmas Bells” was a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It was later set to music and renamed “I Head the Bells On Christmas Day” -- just months before the end of the Civil War. The poem captures the despair felt by the nation after years of war. Before this time there had been little attempt to align Christmas with a peace theme.

“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” was written by Rev. Edmond Hamilton Sears, an avowed pacifist, in 1849, in response to the Mexican American war. In it, he says that the call to peace and goodwill to all is as loud on any other day as it was on that midnight of old, if we would but listen “in solemn stillness.”

“Jingle Bells” was written by James Pierpont, the homesick son of Unitarian minister, when he was stuck in Savannah, Georgia, during the holiday.

By Robin Pugh, Director of Lifespan Religious Education, UU Church at Washington Crossing

Edited by Joy F. Sokeitous

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.
Only a Few Beds Available in the Family Gardens!
Our 4 th  Bill Brewer Family Gardens season has been our most successful to date. We are about 6 weeks into the season and we are almost fully rented—just about 4 garden beds left! If you’re interested in renting one for the season, pick up and complete a Family Gardens flyer from the Narthex and Hobart Hall “Welcome” tables. (They will be processed on a first-come basis.) Or go to the  website and complete an application online. This year we have dedicated 10 garden beds’ harvests for the Food Pantry. You may also enjoy the Family Gardens by spending some quiet time there with our Eco-Preserve pollinators: the bluebirds and the bees. Take a look at the new Pavilion donated by the collaborative efforts of our resident Scout Troop 3300 Love. GROW. Serve.
UUCFM Announcing: Youth Violence Prevention Project
The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers (UUCFM) have begun a partnership designed to reduce youth violence. This initiative is a United Way Collaborative entitled the Youth Violence Prevention Project (YVPP) . The YVPP is a community funding initiative to encourage the development of programs that will reduce youth violence and the risk factors that contribute to it.
YVPP focuses on giving grants to local youth centered organizations or communities who propose youth violence prevention programs with clear and measurable objectives. The project will offer a total of $25,000 in grants to fund  student-driven programs  that address youth violence prevention and awareness. Grants will be awarded in increments of $500 - $2,500.
Proposals will be accepted beginning on  December 3 rd , 2018 through January 18, 2019 . A student committee will then review submitted grant applications and select projects to be the recipients of the funding. Selected projects will be required to match the funding with money or in-kind donations.
YVPP will foster strategies that work in combination to prevent youth violence in a long-term way such as:

·         Promoting family environments that support healthy development
·         Providing quality education early in life
·         Strengthening youth’s skills
·         Connecting youth to caring adults and activities
·         Creating protective community environments
·         Intervening to lessen harms and prevent future risk.
UUCFM will have 4 seats on the Review Committee. It will entail one or two short meetings a year. If anyone is interested in serving on the Review Committee, please let me know  
We Need YOU to Keep our Bed & Breakfast Program Going
We are preparing for another year of UUCFM’s Bed and Breakfast program. Through the generosity of host families within our congregation, we have raised $3000 to $5000 a year for the church operating budget for many years. We provide this service to UUs and/or their friends from around the country. This program cannot happen without volunteers and we need your help!

What’s needed to be a host? The host provides one bedroom and bathroom and a basic breakfast each morning of the guests’ stay. The guests are usually one or two people. The breakfast can even be a “do it yourself” if your guests are early risers or you have to go to work and they want to sleep.

Do I have to entertain the guests or take them places? You are not expected to provide entertainment, transportation or extra food. For the most part, guests are off doing their own thing most of the day and evening.

When and for how long? Guests stay from one to seven nights during the months of January through April. (Most stay only two or three nights.) guests. I usually send out an email to all potential hosts when a request is received and the hosts respond as to their availability. Even if you can only host for two nights in March, for example, that is a big help. February and March tend to be in the biggest demand.

All money received from the guests as they stay in your home goes directly to UUCFM operating funds. I haven’t even mentioned how interesting and fun this experience can be for the hosts. We have met so many great UUs through this experience!

Please consider being a host. Before you say no, talk to me! Just try it once…

Mary Nies, Program Coordinator
Did you know your purchases can make a difference? AmazonSmile donates to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers when you do your holiday shopping at .
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
  • Laura Snow is returning to the area the week after Thanksgiving. She is looking for a short term place to stay, and can pay rent. If you can help, please call Laura at 239-244-6485. Thank you!
  • A set of car keys (Toyota) were lost on church property on Sunday, November 11th.
Contact Mary Nies at  or 239-466-7933 if you find them.
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.
Interfaith Holocaust Program
At our Joint Thanksgiving service Temple Beth El invited us to their Interfaith Holocaust Program, Monday, December 10, 2018 at 16225 Winkler Rd. (off Summerlin Rd), It includes a viewing of an authentic German boxcar from the Holocaust years from 6-7 pm with a 7pm Holocaust survivor speaker, Cesare Frustaci sharing his amazing story as a child from Hungary with Jewish/Catholic parents.
Dec 3 Carol Ungerleider
Dec 11 Dawn Lienhardt
Dec 12 Karen J. Brown
Dec 13 John Pittman
Dec 13 Kimberly Littleton
Dec 14 Lucy Wistreich
Dec 15 Lesley Peterson 
Dec 15 Sydney Stewart
Dec 16 Matt Halstead
Dec 17 Kay Flatten
Dec 21 Harvey Heckes
Dec 26 Melinda Machones
Dec 30 Joy Sokeitous
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
Director of Music   
Suellen Kipp
Director of RE        
Office Manager       
Building Supervisor   
Nursery Supervisor