The Communicator
January 2021 Volume 38 Issue 1
Our Sunday Service

Please join us on Zoom this Sunday, January 3rd at 10:30 AM for our service titled The Four Agreements with Worship Associates, Gary Robbins and Holley Rauen.

Join Zoom Meeting Sunday at 10:30am

Meeting ID: 891 5048 2747
Password: chalice

Or, follow the link on our webpage for audio
Thank you to Sunday's Participants:

Suellen Kipp, Director of Music                 
Holley Rauen, Worship Associate
Gary Robbins, Worship Associate
Albie Johnson, Lay Minister
Peter Golbitz, Musician 
Lesley Peterson, Musician and Tech Team Member 
Walter Peterson, Tech Lead
Mark Brandon, Tech Team Member
Jill Carville, Tech Team Member
Suzanne Ziemer, UU Dialogues Host
Kathy Ford, UU Dialogues Host
UU Dialogues & Breakout Rooms 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!
Community Sharing Partner for January: The GRACE Project (The Guatemalan Rural Adult and Children's Education Project)

During the pandemic, GRACE volunteers continued to sew menstrual management kits and make fertility bracelets. GRACE sent six large boxes to rural Guatemalan teachers and midwives, who distribute the kits and bracelets with the education necessary for successful use.

Several groups and individuals have been incredibly generous in their donations, which are even more valuable to women in these times of isolation.

Ellen Erickson and Deloris Donnelly of the Inner Wheel group have made thousands of the bracelets and hundreds of kit components. Many women in the Pelican Preserve community in Fort Myers have been sewing and creating the kits for women and girls in rural Guatemala. Patricia Linhoff donated a sewing machine, and Diedre in Punta Gorda sewed 100 kits herself! So many volunteers have donated supplies, panties, lots of fabric, and a huge amount of time to help make this ongoing project a success!  

In July, the GRACE Project will sponsor a Cosmovision Maya camp for local Maya youth and a public presentation on the Maya culture with art, dance and music.

The UUCFM has supported the GRACE Project for over twenty years. Un millón de gracias for everything!

UUCFM Lay Ministers!
What is the difference between a lay and an ordained minister?
The biggest difference between lay and ordained ministry is not its scope, but the nature of its relationship to the community and permanence. And even then, no doubt there are many lay ministers who should be ordained, and not a few ordained ministers who would fit better as lay ministers. ~Viewpoint: Lay and Ordained Ministries-Pray tell Blog
Alberita (Albie) Johnson, Lay Minister

Mary Cline Golbitz, Lay Minister
Introducing Our New Lay Ministers

Dear Beloved Community,

Our Worship Associates, Music Director, Tech Team, Staff, and countless others have been crucial to our Sunday Services, the face of UUCFM. We are grateful to them and look forward to working collaboratively with all. We have been a well Lay Led church or congregation for almost a year just as many Lay Led Unitarian Universalist congregations here in the United States have been for many years. 

Some of you may have heard that we have accepted the honor to serve you more deeply as Lay Ministers. We are humbled and filled with gratitude to step into the responsibility of being lay ministers and possibly working with a settled minister in the future. During this time, we will also be studying to become Commissioned Lay Ministers under the UUA CLM program. Our knowledge and experience of our UU faith will become deeper and stronger and we look forward to sharing this with you. We are available for Rites of Passage such as weddings or celebrations of Life and will offer lay pastoral care and serve actively on many of the Congregation’s Committees. 

We chose to lean into our covenant to Love, Grow, and Serve with a vision to serve in unity together committed UUCFM. We commit to showing our love for the Congregation by serving you. We agree in word and deed to fulfill that middle word, Grow, in membership, outreach, and service. We have a vision of a multicultural, multigenerational, and diverse congregation, answering the call of love as a light in the community and a safe space for the least among us. 
We commit to you to bring all that we are capable of in service and look forward to serving you as UUA trained Commissioned Lay Ministers at UUCFM. 


Alberita (Albie) Johnson, UUCFM Co-Lay-Minister
Mary Cline Golbitz, UUCFM Co-Lay-Minister
UUCFM's Online Activities
Connection Circle

The Circle meets Mondays from 1:00 to 2:30 pm on January 4 & 18, February 1 & 15 and March 1 & 15.

Whether you are new to UU or a long timer, or whether you are in Florida or far away, you are invited to participate in a Connection Circle by Zoom. Now is your chance to experience this way to connect with others in a deep and meaningful level. Trained facilitators, Mary Cline Golbitz and Leslie Gatto, will co-lead this covenanted group where confidentiality is protected to promote compassionate dialogue. Participants are asked to attend all sessions. Please contact Leslie by phone or text at 239.850.9664 or email at to join or for more information.
The UUCFM Book Group

The Monday Book Group meets at 1:00 PM on Monday, January 4th, when it discusses the Epigraph through Part I, of Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. 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 meet Wednesdays from 10-11:30 AM on Zoom. For more info 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
Calling All Membership Committee Members

We will be having a meeting on Sunday, January 3rd, We are reorganizing our Membership Committee. Please plan to attend at 1pm on Sunday via zoom.

Meeting ID: 936 8209 2655
Passcode: 061167

If you are unable to attend please email me at
Stay Safe & Healthy.

Carole Latino, Co-Chair Membership Committee 
UUCFM Generosity+ Campaign

The Stewardship Committee is working on our Generosity+ Campaign for next year. We'd like to highlight people/families (no names please) within our SWFL community whose lives are better because UUCFM exists. Respond via email to Happy New Year!
Community Sharing Changes

The Social Justice Committee met by zoom on Sunday, December 20th and agreed on these suggestions. The SJC discussed which organizations would remain on our shortened list to receive the Community Sharing proceeds of our Sunday collection. The reason for doing this is twofold. First, our funds have been reduced during the Covid period. Second, we wish to deepen our commitment by getting involved/volunteering our time and talents as a congregation in solidarity with these fewer organizations. 

Our guiding principles are: 1) that the organization is active in SWFL ; 2) the organization’s mission aligns with our UU Principles; 3) the organization has tax exempt status; 4) a member of our congregation is currently involved with the organization.

The six organizations that we suggest for 2021-2022 for 2 months each ( this decision is not immutable in future years) are: 

  • Planned Parenthood of SW and Central Florida
  • SalusCare
  • Pachamama Alliance of SWFL
  • Visuality, Inc. 
  • Quality Life Center
  • GRACE Project
  • Gulf Coast Humane Society(1st Sunday in August) 
  • Christmas Eve - an organization other than Minister's Discretionary Fund.

We are committed to asking each of these organizations how our members might get involved in their efforts. Please let us know if you have suggestions for our Community Sharing program.

Helen Dixon, Chair SJC
Important! When you reach the bottom of this newsletter, please click [Message clipped]  View entire message to see the complete newsletter!
My UU Story
Joy F. Sokeitous on
The History of Prevention
Note: I have been writing or editing our monthly UU Story since 2014. This will be my last story since my husband, Jim Stout, and I will be moving to Village on the Green in Longwood, north of Orlando, this spring.
In 2018, Rev. Farnum asked me to head the UUCFM Security Committee and prepare guidelines for protecting UUCFM from possible threats. I created various documents along with tips on how to spot and report suspicious people and activities—all on file in the church office. The following is my training document introduction on the history of prevention.
We all know those old clichés: “A stitch in time saves nine” or “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Those ounces of prevention are sprinkled throughout our lives.

When this country first started, we had no traffic lights nor crossing guards. But, as technology improved cars for our benefit, the increased speed could cause accidents. Now, we just follow the rules of the road to help avoid problems.
Our ancestors did not get annual check-ups. Now that medicine and medical testing has vastly improved, we get those physicals and now tend to have healthier and longer lives.

Airplanes now fly around the world. But, some people in our world may want to do us harm. Air marshals now step in to limit such problems. We may complain about taking our shoes off at the airport, but we’re glad that TSA is there to help protect us.

Back in first grade, we all learned about fire drills. Those drills continued in every grade and then at our places of work. Most likely, we never experienced a fire, but we knew what exit to take and where to go.

But schools are not so safe these days. We all remember what happened in Parkland, Florida. At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 17 people were shot on Valentine’s Day in 2018. Students around the country continue to participate in crisis drills, as well as fire and tornado drills.

We also remember the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue, in Pittsburgh, on October 27, 2018. A man with semiautomatic assault-style rifle entered and attacked. The synagogue only had security for high holy days. The Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville had a politically motivated fatal shooting on July 27, 2008. Dozens of people were injured or killed at two mosques in Christchurch, NZ on March 15, 2019.

Our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has created guidelines to help our congregations develop safety plans for violent situations involving active shooters, noting “These drills work to reduce the disorganization, confusion, fear, panic, and potential injuries that may occur during a live event.”

“The most well written and carefully crafted policies and procedure are useless if they remain unknown and/or if the congregation does not know how to enact them. Lockdown and evacuation drills are now standard practice for most public and private schools in the United States. Our children and youth may be more accustomed to them than our adults”, notes the UUA.

Our ounce of prevention will include knowing how to spot suspicious activity, how to report it, and what to do and where to go should someone wish to do us harm. According to the Lee County Sheriff’s office, the vast majority of churches in our area already have plans in place, along with training and drills.
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.

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. Limit of 2 items per week per person, thank you.

Contact Ways & Means Chair, Suzanne Ziemer, 239-463-9020,
Daybed Cover -- Camden Russet Quilted Hollywood
Price: $50.00 for Complete Set
Cover features the lavishly soft, smooth feel of polyester faux suede & a timeless box-quilted design. Use the fitted Hollywood daybed cover for extra seating or bedding. Cover has gusseted, split-inset corners in the three-sided, 21" drop; a cap on back keeps it in place. Backing is color-matched cotton. Fill is polyester. Washable. 3 Pillows with Covers in Tan, Brown, Green, Russet Color Combo (in Front of Bolsters) & Russet Twin Day Bed Cover. 2 Foam Bolsters & Russet Covers

Originally purchased from Touch

$50.00 -- 20% to UUCFM
Contact: Joy Sokeitous
Breakfast Table & Chairs
Price: $150.00 for Set
Oak, with separate leaf extender & 2 oak & leather swivel chairs. 20% to UUCFM Contact: Joy Sokeitous
Price: $40.00
18"x18" x 29” Wicker Large Storage Trunk Dark Global Brown
New Price: $75.99
20% to UUCFM
Contact: Joy Sokeitous
Yamaha PSR-320 Keyboard (Portable)
  • Music Stand
  • Keyboard Cover
  • Keyboard Stand
  • Carrying Case
$100.00 20% to UUCFM
Contact: Joy Sokeitous
Like New Twin mattresses for floor use for undiscriminating guests! $25. 100% to Church,, 239-463-9020
Dresser- Wood
Price: $25.00
  • 4 Full Drawers & 2 Half Drawers
  • 19” D x 37.75” W x 47” H

-- 20% to UUCFM
Contact: Joy Sokeitous
Cooler – Igloo Polar Roller with Handle & Wheels -- 24” x 14” & 19.5” Deep.
  • Price $15.00 
-- 20% to UUCFM
Contact: Joy Sokeitous
Electric grill with folding side shelves, with cover.
$45.00 -- 20% to UUCFM
Contact: Joy Sokeitous

Oil print of Monet, 32: x 38", $30.,100% to the Church,, 239-463-9020
Matching floral prints, green borders, 28" x 28", $40.,100% to the Church,, 239-463-9020
Area Rug, bright red & white, 40" x 56", $20., 100% to Church,, 239-463-9020
Rather funky sturdy shell decorated blue chair, comfortable seat, $20., 100% to church, 239-463-9020
Antique Johnson Bros. English gold rimmed china, 6 pieces, 4 10" plates, oval platter, covered serving bowl, from 2019 Art Fair, $25.,
100% to Church,, 239-463-9020
100% of this bundle of baby/ toddler items will go to the congregation. 

Crib (with sheets) $35; bouncing chair $15; high chair $15; changing mats (2) $15; bath tub $8; booster seat $7; potty $5. Total package $ 100
Contact Kathy Ford
Cooler - Coleman -- 21” X 13” & 12.5” Deep
Price $10.00
-- 20% to UUCFM
Contact: Joy Sokeitous
Living Room Group
Price: $145.00 for 3 pieces
Floral 3-seat sofa with complimentary Lamp & Art (tables not included)
– 20% to UUCFM
Contact: Joy Sokeitous
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.

Living Room Art
Price: $35.00
Painting of orange & white flowers
20% to UUCFM
Contact: Joy Sokeitous
"Coffee Table" glass top with lattice wood, 60" L x 26" W x 16" H, $50., 100% to Church, Suzanne Z., 239-463-9020,
Quilt hanging, Open Star design, 29" x 29", $25., 100% to Church, S.Ziemer, 239-463-9020,
"Comfy" Fabric covered footstool, 20" W x 16" H, $20., 100% to Church,, 239-463-9020

Oster Extra Large Digital Countertop Oven
·  Stainless Steel housing & finish 
·  2 rack positions & Removable crumb tray
·  Digital Controls: toast, bake, broil, pizza, warm, defrost.
·  Outside Dimensions: Width: 21.65", Height: 12.91", Depth: 19.2" 
·  New $129.99
$50.00 -- 20% to UUCFM
Contact: Joy Sokeitous

Maple Marble End table, 27" W x 21"L x 17" H, $25. 100% 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
Recliner Chairs
Price: $65.00 each
2 beige ultra suede Electric Recliner
-- 20% to UUCFM
Contact: Joy Sokeitous
Lightly used Knee Scooter. Includes memory foam pad and front basket. Handle folds down for transport or storage. $100. 50% to UUCFM. Richard Barnes
Recumbent trike project available. At 250lbs I’m too heavy for the frame. Rear frame is bent. I was going to cut the rear off and replace with rear triangle from a mountain bike. 20” wheels. Fabric seat. 

$100.00. 50% for UUCFM. Contact Richard Barnes at
January Birthdays

January 2  Roy Green
January 3  Marshall Hoffman is 9!
January 3 Julie Clark Ireland
January 4  Bruce Leddy 
January 4 Neil Yesu
January 6  Elyana Hutson is 18!
January 8  Margie Kolde
January 10  Ellen Erickson   
January 10 James Kolde
January 15  Torben Snow is 15!
January 19  Declan Ireland is 16!
January 26  Emily Hutchinson 
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
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.