The Communicator

December 2020 Volume 37 Issue 12
Sunday, December 6th

Please join us on Zoom this Sunday, December 6th, at 10:30 AM for our service titled, Illuminating Greater Resonance with Guest Speaker, Mr. Anthony Cruz.

Join Zoom Meeting Sunday at 10:30am

Meeting ID: 891 5048 2747
Password: chalice

Or, follow the link on our webpage for audio
Illuminating Greater Resonance  
Learning about yourself and how one is connected to a larger whole. An invitation for unearthing our stories for greater connection. 

 “We are never alone there is always a community which supports us both visible and invisible.” ~Gloria Anzaldúa

About Our Speaker
Anthony Cruz is a theologian and trans-religious scholar. Originally from Caguas, Puerto Rico, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences/Anthropology from the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, and a Master of Theological Studies degree from Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School. Anthony is currently completing his Master in Leadership and Humanist Studies degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School. He spent the first years of his career studying the intersections of ethics, constructive theologies, and decolonial thought to create spaces of renewed imagination and collective liberation. Anthony is currently serving as Council Member at the Latinx Humanist Alliance. He is a Humanist Celebrant and Associate Chaplain.
Thank you to Sunday's Participants:

Mr. Anthony Cruz, Guest Speaker
Suellen Kipp, Director of Music               
Mary Cline Golbitz, Worship Associate
Walter Peterson, Lead Tech
Lesley Peterson, Tech Team Member & Musician
Mark Brandon, Tech Team Member
Jill Carville, Tech Team Coordinator
Suzanne Ziemer, UU Dialogues Host
Kathy Ford, UU Dialogues Host
Community Sharing Partner for December: Quality Life Center

Quality Life Center’s (The "Q's") mission is to strengthen and instill pride in family and community through programs and services to cultivate self-discipline, self-development, build confidence and promote cultural awareness. The "Q" has served the Dunbar community since 1990. The center provides afterschool, teen leadership, and summer camp programs. Students also participate in daily meditation to promote focus and inner strength along with field trips that encourage children to expose themselves to their community. Please give generously. Thank you!
UU Dialogues After the Service

To participate in UU Dialogues, stay in the main zoom meeting after the service ends and do not accept the breakout room invitation that pops up.

We will greet newcomers, obtain contact information from guests and visitors, have a general Q&A session with guest speakers and musicians from the service, and most importantly, participate in intentional dialogue. All are welcome to attend this session.

If you'd rather join a breakout room for casual conversation, please accept the pop up invitation after the service. Thank you!
From the Music Director

Did you know that we often pay other UU congregations or individual musicians or groups for the use of their music video of UU hymns or songs for virtual worship? While some congregations and musicians offer their music and videos free of charge, others ask for monetary compensation and/or love offerings for the use of their work in virtual worship. As a congregation who supports fair wage compensation, I appreciate doing our part to support and fairly compensate as best we can the composers and musicians I can connect with via the internet.

I have tracked down musicians, directors of music, composers, and church office managers from Kitsap, Washington all the way to London, England asking permission to use their music or videos for online worship. Coming up in December we will be using a video created by a non-profit organization, BridgeMusik who is associated with the Tappan Reformed Church in Tappan, NY. Their office manager put me in touch with the organization director, who then shared her personal story with me along with her gratitude that our congregation was using Bridgemusik's video in virtual worship.  

The founder and director, Tanya Witek shared that she and her husband are both professional musicians, who play for the "Lion King" and the New York City Ballet and have been unemployed since the pandemic hit. She was thankful for the $20 monetary payment that will be coming from UUCFM for the use of their professional work with their BridgeMusik program in Tappan, NY.

If you are interested in specifically sponsoring music for virtual worship, please feel free to contact me or note that on the memo line of your check for the weekly offering.  

Suellen Kipp
New! We Have Captions on Zoom!

UUCFM’s Tech Team wants you to know that our Zoom services now have automatic LIVE Closed Captions (CC)! When you log on to the Sunday Worship meeting, the captions should begin automatically at the bottom of your screen. 
If you would like to modify your settings, click on the CC icon to the right of the “Record” button in your lower menu. You can adjust font size by sliding the bar across from Normal to Medium to Large font.

If you are on a mobile device, phone or ipad, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to see your menu. Then, tap the CC button to confirm they are on. Please let us know if you have any questions by emailing .
UUCFM's Online Activities
The UUCFM Book Group

Monday, December 7, the UUCFM Book Group concludes its discussion of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. The discussion covers the section, Burning Sweetgrass. Zoom in at the usual time, 1:00 PM until 2:30 PM. If you’re joining for the first time, please email Mary Studer. She will send you the link to zoom. 
UUCFM, Caloosahatchee Book Study

The title of our current book is Real Change: Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and the World.

"A guidebook for how to use mindfulness to build our inner strength, find balance, and help create a better world."

We are now meeting on Wednesday from 10-11:30 AM on Zoom. For more information and to join, contact Helen Leddy
Social Issues Book Study

The Social Issues Study group meets via Zoom on Wednesdays from 1-2:30 PM. On December 2, we started reading "How To Be An Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi.  Contact
UU Holiday Parade of Gift Giving

Join our UU Holiday Parade of Gift Giving! Bring a gift or two to our UU campus between 1 and 3pm on Sunday, December 6th. The Quality Life Center has students from infancy to teenagers.

If you cannot attend our Drive By Parade, please drop off gifts at the bench in front of the Administrative Office between 8:30 and noon Tuesdays through Fridays.

When gift shopping please remember that we prefer no battery-operated toys, no Barbie dolls, no combat figures and no weapons.

The deadline for bringing toys to our campus is Tuesday, December 15
as volunteers will deliver the gifts to The Q on Wednesday, December 16.

Contact Helen Dixon with questions: 239-633-4989 or
Face Mask 1
Coping with Covid at Home

Your Caring Team is offering a Zoom workshop for you to share strategies for coping due to the covid threat. Tune in to learn creative ways to face isolation at home. Let's share ideas and help each other through this time.

Join us for a choice of two Zoom Workshop dates: Monday, December 14 or Monday, December 21, both at 1-2:30 pm.

The Workshop is open to anyone. To register and get the Zoom link, contact Mary Tracy Sigman, 239-313-5993, email,

Also, If you or another member of the Congregation needs some extra attention during this time, your Pastoral Care Committee is here to help as much as we can while keeping us all safe and protected. We can connect with you individually by phone if you are feeling isolated and offer other assistance. Please contact Mary Golbitz  207-479-4082 (phone or text) or Holley Rauen 239-464-6556.
Member to Member Fundraiser

Let's buy and sell from Church Members! Nothing is too large to list- house, car, or boat; and nothing is too small- household item or piece of art. Because of Covid and not being able to meet for a large fundraiser- this is one of the only ways we can raise money for the church this year.

How it works:
In the newsletter you'll see listed items offered by Donor/Seller with total price, percentage of sale to UUCFM, and contact information. Donors/Sellers determine their own percentage of the sale to UUCFM. Delivery/pickup of item is between Buyer & Seller. Buyers write two checks, one to the seller and the other to UUCFM for the percentage of sale going to the church, with fundraiser in the memo line.

Oil print of Woodland scene, 100% to UUCFM, $25. Contact Suzanne at, 239-463-9020. (include photo if you want)

How to Participate:
Send email to with item description, photo (if possible), price, percentage going to UUCFM, and contact information. Your offer will run for a month or until sold.

We hope to have creative fun with this Fundraiser. You could offer services, vacation homes, restaurant coupons...

Contact Ways & Means Chair, Suzanne Ziemer, 239-463-9020,

Now, on to the items!
Maple sculptured "Hall" table, 50"L x 28"H x 18"W, $30. 100% to church, Suzanne Z. 239-463- 9020
Oil print woodland scene, 30"x38", $25, 100% to church, Suzanne Z.
FL birds print, 20" x 24", $10, 100% to Church, Suzanne Ziemer, 239-463-9020,
"Coffee Table" glass top with lattice wood, 60" L x 26" W x !6" H, $50., !00% to Church, Suzanne Z., 239-463-9020,
Quilt hanging, Open Star design, 29" x 29", $25., !00% to Church, S.
Ziemer, 239-463-9020,
"Comfy" Fabric covered footstool, 20" W x 16" H, $20.,100% to Church,, 239-463-9020
LazyBoy leather high back rolling desk chair, 42' H X 30" W, $50.100%
to the church, 239-463-9020
Exercise 5# barbells, Judo belt, 120" by Proforce, navy 60' woven
belt, $10.,!00% to the Church,,239-463-9020
Maple Marble End table, 27" W x 21"L x 17" H, $25. !00% to Church,, 239-463-9020
All purpose Holiday Seasons year round glass bowl, 14", $20.,100% to
Church,, 239-463-9020
Three stalk bamboo artificial plant, 4 feet High, good to display
different holiday things, $15. 100% to the Church,, 239-463-9020
Many Christmas decorations from 2019 Art Fair, free, come look, many
more,, 239-463-9020
Social Justice
South Fort Myers Food Pantry

The board and volunteers at the Food Pantry say thank you for the food that you have dropped off during these very difficult months. 

The best times to drop off food are 9 AM or 4 PM on Monday at the pantry itself, located at 8260 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers in the back of the Cypress Lake Presbyterian Church. Any size donation will be accepted. Most needed foods are peanut butter & jelly, cereal, breakfast bars, canned fruits and vegetables, pasta and tomato sauce, protein-rich soups and beans. Please, no glass containers.
Our UU Story

UU and Pagan Christmas
Christmas Eve is frequently celebrated during evening services. This includes carols and stories to convey the spirit of Christmas. Some Unitarian Universalist include a candle lighting ritual in the service, in which the church lights are dimmed and people pass a flame from candle to candle until everyone is holding a lit candle.

Many traditional elements of Christmas pre-date Christianity. The real meaning of Christmas is sun worship; a reminder to all life on Earth that we owe everything to the Sun.

December 25
The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1908 states that "Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts" - those authors lived into the 3rd century. To facilitate the acceptance of the faith by the pagan masses, the Church of Rome found it convenient to institute December 25 as the feast of the birth of Christ, to divert them from the pagan feast.

Practically all the known Sun-deities were born on December 25: Crishna (Vishnu), Mithra (Mithras), Osiris, Horus, Hercules, Dionysus (Bacchus), Tammuz, Indra, Buddha. The Mithraists observed Sun-day and kept sacred  December 25 as the birthday of the Sun.

Holiday Wreaths and Trees
Pagan cultures brought evergreen trees, plants, and leaves into their homes upon the arrival of the winter solstice. Christmas wreaths marked the winter solstice, which was celebrated by ancient Germanic and Scandinavian peoples. The wreaths were meant to symbolize nature and the promise of spring.

Mistletoe was revered as a sacred plant by the Celts, the Norse, and the North American Native Americans. Druids believed that mistletoe could protect against thunder and lightning. Mistletoe was also recognized as a Druidic symbol of joy and peace. If enemies met each other underneath the woodland mistletoe, they were obliged to put down their weapons and form a truce until the following day.

Pagan songs were sung at the Winter Solstice festival. The word 'carol' actually means a song or dance of joy and praise!

Throughout history, candles have been used to ward off darkness and evil. For Pagans candlelight and bonfires were used to welcome the nights beginning to get lighter.  

Giving presents at Christmas originated from Saturnalia, the Roman feast of Saturn. The gifts that the Romans gave to each other were small and given for luck. Charity towards those who were less fortunate was also very popular at this time of year.

~ Edited by Joy F. Sokeitous
December Birthdays

Dec 3 Carol Ungerleider
Dec 11 Dawn Lienhardt
Dec 12 Karen J. Brown
Dec 13 John Pittman 
Dec 14 Lucy Wistreich
Dec 15 Lesley Peterson  
Dec 15 Sydney Stewart
Dec 16 Matt Halstead
Dec 17 Jack Ulman
Dec 21 Harvey Heckes
Dec 30 Joy Sokeitous  
Amazon Smile donates to UUCFM when you do your online shopping by following this special link
Want to Become a Member?
If you are interested in becoming a new member of UUCFM, please email
Our Greater Community
The SWFL Reset Center is delighted to have been granted our 501c3 status and establish an office and presence on the UUCFM Campus. Members of the UUCFM congregation are invited to attend one of two informational ZOOMs to learn more about our mission, vision and initiatives.  We look forward to answering your questions and for you to meet some of our Board of Trustees and Advisors. 

Friday, December  11 at 2:00pm
Tuesday, December 15 at 6:00pm

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 758 727 0224
Passcode: RESET
Gulf Coast Symphony

Here are some upcoming GCS shows! The Screen Pavilion is our own Screen Porch! The other shows are at Barbara B. Mann. Please call 239-481-4849 for tickets. UUCFM Members receive a discount.

Upcoming performances:

December 5th at 7pm Barbara B Mann Highlights from The Nutcracker
From the UUA Southern Region

Save the Date: New Day Rising Conference
February 27
Is your congregation ready to take a new step in racial justice work? Want to learn what your fellow congregations are working on, and how you might apply it at home? Join a continent of UUs as we explore next steps in creating Beloved UU Communities.
On Your Own: Watch compelling video TED-talk style testimonials from selected congregations around the continent sharing their learnings, hopes, and next steps in their quest for racial equity in their congregations.
Together, via Zoom: Worship·Workshops·Caucusing. With plenty of breaks! Saturday, February 27th, 9a-6p PT/10a-7p MT/11a-8p CT/12n-9p ET. This event is brought to you by your Unitarian Universalist Association. To register, go to

UUA General Assembly 2021 WILL BE VIRTUAL!
The UUA Board of Trustees passed a resolution making the 2021 UUA General Assembly a 100% virtual event. Let’s reach record-breaking attendance on June 23-27, 2021.
Why Virtual General Assembly? General Assembly is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists, where we conduct business of the Association, explore the theological underpinnings of our faith, and lean fully into our mission and principles. That remains true even when we cannot gather physically. Last year, GA had more than 4,900 registered attendees participate from remote locations around the world. Although we give up the face-to-face interaction and hugs that are prevalent when we meet in-person, we retain our dedication to community and make our experience more accessible and more environmentally sustainable.
“Circle 'Round for Justice ● Healing ● Courage” is the theme for GA 2021. General Assembly is a time to circle ‘round in community. We circle ‘round in care and healing; for liberation and justice; and for love and courage.
Registration opens December 1st. Registration for virtual GA 2021 is $200 per person. Financial aid for registration as well as a payment plan are available. General Assembly registrants receive access to the 2021 Online Participation Portal, including live, simulive, and on-demand video content, the virtual exhibit hall, chat features, support, and a (new!) GA mobile app. To register, go to

For more news from the UUA Southern Region, please go to
Contact Us
Board of Trustees

President Lesley Peterson
President Elect Lane Cook
Secretary Ruth King Fotovat
Treasurer Pati Maier
VP Ministerial Services Keith Hamlin
VP Operations Dorothy Van Howe
VP Programming Toni Latino
Member at Large Genelle Grant

Director of Music Suellen Kipp
Office Manager Jill Carville
Building Supervisor  Mickey Kellam
Assistant  Liza Kellam
Please send all newsletter articles by Wednesday at noon for publication in Thursday's newsletter. Send articles to
13411 Shire Lane
Fort Myers, FL 33912 239-561-2700
Office Hours:
Tues-Fri 9-2

Please wear a mask and call
or email for appointment so
we can social distance.