The Communicator
January 2018 Volume 35 Issue 1
Sundays in January
Staff & Board News
From the Minister
As we focus on the theme of Grace in worship this month I am reminded of all the ways that we can make room in our lives for Grace. And even though moments of Grace are often outside of our control, there is work to be done to be agents of Grace in the world.

In the month of January, we prepare ourselves for the Martin Luther King jr. Day March and vigil that begins at the Dunbar public library and ends at Centennial Park in MLK Day. We begin the weekend with a LIFE MLK Justice pizza night on Friday January 12th at 6 p.m. in Hobart Hall. There you will have the opportunity to commit to be a Justice Ministry Network member with our Interfaith Justice Ministry LIFE (Lee Interfaith for Empowerment) and learn about how our LIFE work is part of ongoing civil rights work. More details will be in the newsletter about meeting up on Monday for the March. The following Thursday the 18th join in a 4:00 pm interfaith vigil at our local Wendy's (14890 Six Mile Cypress) to show our solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. 

All of this good work is part of revealing Grace and bending the arc. So mark your calendars and join in the good works this January.

Rev. Allison Farnum
Religious Education News
Happy New Year!

Thank you to all our families who participated in the UU ADVENTure this year! You'll be pleased to know that UU congregations across the country have decided to make this an annual tradition and an official UU ADVENTure Facebook Group has been started so religious educators can share inspiration and ideas throughout the year. (It's Facebook-Official so you know it's legit!) It is my dearest hope that your ADVENTure Bags brought some meaningful spiritual practice to your families. I'd love to hear what worked well or what didn't work at all for your family, so please shoot me an email if you can!

Looking ahead to 2018, I hear so many people proclaiming that this will be a year for positive change - that it  must  be a year for positive change. I share those sentiments that I have seen plastered all over Facebook and as I look at my work in the new year, I see there's joyfully room for positive changes at UUCFM too! One of the most needed changes is to get a UUA approved Youth Group up and running, so that's what we'll be doing this month! 

Jenn Blosser, DRE
Music Notes
Musical Calendar

December-March: Please welcome Suellen Kipp as Director of Music during Amy Laursen's maternity leave. Suellen is a talented pianist, singer, and conductor who currently serves as the Director of Music at Temple Beth El here in Fort Myers, and previously served in the same role at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fort Wayne, Indiana for 11 years. She has also taught vocal music and dance in schools for 17 years and holds a degree in Vocal Education.

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. Please email me in advance so that a music folder can be prepared for you. Come join us in singing! 

The UUCFM Band  rehearses most Wednesday nights from 6:00-6:45 pm, and on Sunday mornings from 9:00-10:00a 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
Special Events
Pachamama Alliance of SW Florida
Join us on Thursday, January 4th at 6:30 pm for our next Pachamama Game Changer Gathering hosted by the UUCFM Social Justice Committee in  Hobart Hall. Coffee and teas will be served. Desserts welcome! 

We will be introducing a new 4 week session exploring Climate Change and DRAWDOWN- 100 solutions for Climate Change We Can Work on Right Now!

Join core group members Holley Rauen, Gary and Sima Robbins, James Reho and Mary Cline-Golbitz for this Game Changer Gathering and find out about the DRAWDOWN as well as the next Pachamama Alliance  Game Changer Intensive, which starts on January 23. There is still time to register! Come Thursday night, January 4th, and find out more from many of us who have taken this awesome 8 week online course.
Mike Durall Visit
We’ll have a special visitor on the weekend of January 20-21 of next year. Mike Durall, a parish consultant and author of nine books about church life, will be helping us figure out what the future might have in store for UUCFM.

Mike was here four years ago, and among his recommendations was to urge UUCFM to become, in the words of one of our own members, “A church that is respected and valued in this community.”

We’ll provide more details as the date approaches, including how church members can participate in the overall process of looking ahead. If you’d like more information about Mike and his work, his website is
Rummage Sale
Save your gently used items for our UUCFM Rummage Sale! The sale will happen over 3 days January 19th-21st. Contact Deb Lewis for details
Join the Fuun Buunch for dinner Saturday, January 27th at 6:30 pm for an exotic or traditional dinner at the world famous ISLAMORADA FISH COMPANY RESTAURANT in the BASS PRO SHOPS at Gulf Coast Town Center.

Please RSVP John by Tuesday, 01/23/2018. The restaurant requires firm numbers by this date.

John E. Fischer, 267 992 6566 or

Take Rte 75 to Exit 128, Alico Rd.
Casino Night
Saturday, January 27th, our church sponsored Scouts present a Casino Night for UUCFM. There is limited seating. Get tickets for friends and neighbors for a fabulous evening on January 27, 2018 from 6-10 pm,at $20 per person. Make checks payable to UUCFM, memo line Casino fundraiser. Send to/ contact Suzanne Ziemer, 4753 Estero Blvd, #303, Fort Myers Beach, 33931 or reserve  239-463-9020

Dinner Buffet includes: Caesar Salad, Artichoke & Parm Decadence,Baguette slices w/spread, Mushroom Melange, Greek marinated veggies w/feta, Pork loin spiral, Caribbean Chicken, Fruit and Assorted Pastries. Casino tables, Roulette, and Wheel of Fortune will be serviced by our Boy Scout Troop as a thank you for using our facilities. All proceeds go to the UUCFM Budget.
Soul Collage
A SoulCollage® Workshop is being offered on Saturday, February 3rd from 1:00-4:00 pm in Room 7. All are welcome, including those who are new or experienced with this practice. Originated by Seena Frost, SoulCollage® is an art medium for collaging a deck of cards that represent aspects of each individual’s personal energies. They can then be used for journaling, personal readings, or group readings.  SoulCollage® can be a deeply meaningful individual or community spiritual practice.
What to bring:

 Images (photos, magazines) that call to you. (optional)
 Journal and pen
 $20 per person for materials

Class is limited to 10 participants. Please sign up in Hobart Hall after service on Sundays or RSVP to by Wednesday, January 31st with your name, email, and phone number.
2018 Service Auction
UUCFM's largest fundraiser, the Service Auction, will be held Saturday, February 7th at 5:00 pm. Our theme this year is Alice in Wonderland. Please help us by getting your donations ready, asking nearby businesses for donations, and getting your costume ready! We have donation sheets in the office if you'd like to pick some up! Any questions? Contact Stephanie Hoffman at
Classes & Groups
Women's Circle & Potluck
Monday – January 8th at noon

Happy New Year to everyone! Reverend Allison recently gave a sermon celebrating the Winter Solstice. It is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Traditionally, it is a time of both foreboding and expectancy as the longest night leads to the return of the sun. Reverend Allison gave a demonstration using the turning of the wheel and its meaning. It reminded me of the cycle of life and the seasons and about how I “resolve” to start afresh as the new year approaches to make a commitment to myself, family and our planet using our UU principles as my guide. What are your thoughts? Do you make New Years Resolutions? Do you have other ways of bringing in the new year? At our next Women's Circle we will share stories about how we celebrate the new year. There will be a potluck lunch before the discussion! For additional information, contact chair Rose Klein 810-358-8312.
UUCFM Book Group
Join the book study group starting Wednesday January 10th, meeting from 1:00 to 2:30 pm in the Library.

January 10th: Part I pgs 6-39
January 17th: Part I pgs 39-71
(skip a week)
January 31st: Part II pgs 71-99
February 7th: Part II pgs 99-132

Email Rev. Allison with any questions:
The Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist group meets Sundays at 1:45p in Room 1.
Weekly Activities
Community Wednesday  
Community Wednesday is held in Hobart Hall. All are invited. Bring friends and neighbors, too. Join us each Wednesday for a delicious meal prepared by Chef Joy for a small donation. After the fellowship and fine fare from 6:00- 6:45p, join your favorite programming event, committee meeting, or social activity. Child care is provided until 8:30p.
Community Wednesday Activities for January:

4:00-5:30        Optimal Living Group (1st & 3rd Wed)

6:00-6:45        Community Meal
6:00-6:45        Band Rehearsal in Sanctuary

6:45-8:00        Choir Rehearsal in Sanctuary
Social Justice
The Children and Families Committee of the Interfaith Justice Ministry (LIFE) is ready to announce that in 2018 we will be tackling the frightening issue of children who are not able to get basic medical care in our community. 

We have heard from parents involved in LIFE that their children have gone without needed medications for asthma because the cost was too high. Parents who have waited for over a month to get their child in to see a primary care physician because wait times are too long. Parents who have had to drive close to an hour to get their child to an Emergency Room supported by their insurance. 

So, in 2018 we take on the unique challenges of childhood access to healthcare. Please mark your calendar for the Rally when we'll announce a solution (Monday, February 26th 7:00 PM at Iona Hope) and the Nehemiah Action where we'll have our public officials commit to that solution (Tuesday, March 20th at St. Collumbkille) and the Celebration where we'll lift up our victories (Tuesday, May 1st St. Collumbkille). 
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. Email

For Sale By Owner: Garden home 2 Bdrm. 2 Ba. den, garage in beautiful Legends CC access to pools, spa, fitness center, clay tennis courts, Bocce, Pickleball courts, pub and restaurant-style dining. Great location close to UUCFM! Contact Don or Judy Burget:  or  239-277-0203 .

Wanted: Guitarist for band in Cape Coral. Do you like to play 80s rock- for fun and sometimes at gigs? We are a band of 4 women, all over 50, who love to play. Not looking for pros, just someone who loves to play and have a good time. Contact Jill Carville at

Looking for Class C or B Camper. Under 50k miles. Virginia Duffy  <

Roommate Wanted: I am in search of a good person that could be the right fit for a roommate. I live in a very nice duplex in Cape Coral. I am asking $650/mo., private bedroom and bathroom. Use of the entire house with the exception of my bedroom and bathroom. Must pass background and credit check. For more details please email me at  or text  239-940-2947  (do not call).
Art in the Narthex
Three Generations of Family Photography
You have all seen me running around with one of my favorite toys, a high end digital camera. I have been doing photography since high school back in the late 70's. Contrary to what I expected I became the most passionate about photographing one thing in particular, people. I'm never more happy than when photographing my own family. I am not the first in my family to find this type of photography so rewarding. My grandfather (Walter Raschdorf) took a similar liking to photographing family nearly 100 years ago. My mother took this up as well. I am fortunate to have many of their photographs. This month (January) I have on display in the Narthex photographs of family taken over three lifetimes .

Walter Peterson
Our UU Story
2018 New Year’s Resolutions
by FUUn BUUnchers
The idea of making A New Year's resolution is a tradition going back many centuries and is most common in the Western Hemisphere, according to Wikipedia, but occurred all around the world. For example:

  • In the Eastern Hemisphere, people would resolve to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their lives.
  • Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.
  • The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
  • Medieval era knights took the "peacock vow" at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.
  • At a recent Fuun Buunch dinner, several Unitarian Universalists offered their 2018 New Year’s Resolutions:

“We wish to become more immersed in our community and be active within UU”, expresses Kristina and Gus Santos.
“I wish to be positive about our move to a new house and joining a new church in Spring Hill, FL”, notes Susan Forsyth. “To explore new ideas – a UU thing”, adds Alice Forsyth.
“I’d like to spend more time in meditation”, stresses Robert Nies.
“I want to develop a sense of place” is the goal of Debra Leigh: “I’m going to garden and landscape on my 100-year-old grandparents’ land where I was born. I’ll be putting down roots literally and figuratively.”
“As per Social Justice, I hope to get enough signatures for a ballot question to elect county commissioners on a non-partisan basis. Last time, only 8% of the voters chose the county commissioners”, explains Anonymous.
“I hope to raise issues that are important to the average person by writing letters to the editor and to my political representatives”, adds Joy F. Sokeitous.
“I want to get lots of our neighbors to attend UUCFM fundraisers”, says Jen Smith. “I’d like to see a fundraiser with another church or community partner.” She adds another goal, “to eliminate the UUCFM pledge campaign while encouraging all members to become sustaining pledgers and to start a sustainable legacy society.”
Of course, several people said that they do not make Resolutions. “That way I don’t get stressed when I break I”, explains Peg Clayton.

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.
Bed & Breakfast Volunteer Opportunity
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? No! They will have their own transportation. If you have favorite restaurants to recommend, or other local travel tips, they are always appreciated. 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.) You choose when and for how long you can host and then your requirements are matched with those of the guests. Even if you can only host for two nights in March, for example, that is a big help. February and March tend to have the biggest demand.

All money received from the guests as they stay in your home goes directly to the UUCFM operating budget. 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
239-466- 7933
Sydney Stewart
Shop at  and Amazon donates to Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers.
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 each Wednesday for publication in the Thursday
The 1 st  Amendment vs. Anti-Discrimination Law
The Collier County chapter of the ACLU is hosting this 1 st Amendment debate on January 13, 2018, at the Naples UU church from 2:00-4:00 pm.
January 2  Roy Green
January 3  Marshall Hoffman is 6! 
January 3 Julie Clark Ireland
January 4  Bruce Leddy  
January 4 Adam Trummel   
January 4 Neil Yesu
January 6  Elyana Hutson is 15!
January 8  Margie Kolde
January 10  Ellen Erickson   
January 10 James Kolde
January 15 Torben Snow is 12!
January 19  Declan Ireland is 13!
January 20 Rod Miller
January 23  Mel Cooper
January 26 Emily Hutchinson
January 27  Matthew Stark
  Please send all news articles for the Weekly E-news to
All Communicator articles may be emailed to
Newsletter Editor: Jill Carville 
(239) 561-2700 
Board of Trustees

President              Steve Eisenberg        239-634-7367
President Elect     Matt Hoffman          239-222-4836
Secretary Theresa Bahre 843-472-0386
Treasurer              Jen Smith             630-881-0000
VP Finance             Deb Lewis            239-313-5618
VP Programming Julie Ireland 786-348-5544
VP Ministerial Services Harvey Heckes 
VP Operations           Bill Petrarca           239-454-2438
Member at Large Bruce Marble 239-596-2703
Youth Representative Madeline Wellman

Minister            Rev. Allison Farnum  239-561-2700x204
Director of Music   Amy Laursen        941-932-2353
Director of RE       Jenn Blosser       239-561-2700x208
Office Manager      Jill Carville          239-561-2700x202
Building Supervisor  Mickey Kellam       239-738-3473
Nursery Supervisor  Liza Kellam          239-314-6316