The Communicator  July 2016
Volume 33 Issue 7
Worship in July
This I Believe
Based off of the popular radio series from National Public Radio, select members of our congregation share their sacred stories about what they hold most dear. You won't want to miss these powerful testimonies that reveal the variety of spiritual experience that is treasured in this pluralistic faith tradition.
Community Sharing in July
Early Learning Coalition of SWFL (ELCOSWFL)

Our mission is to enhance the quality of children's lives by providing families,  early childhood educators, care-givers and community partners in Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee Counties, with opportunities to positively impact the future.

Their vision is that all children in Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee communities will  be healthy, eager, and successful learners, supported by well-informed parents,  involved citizens, and collaborative community partners.

Literacy Council Gulf Coast believes that literacy is the key that unlocks an  individual’s ability to learn. Their vision is to be recognized as one of the nation’s  premier organizations for literacy services.

Literacy Council Gulf Coast (LCGC)

Literacy Council Gulf Coast’s (LCGC) mission is “to assist adults and children to  acquire the English literacy skills and education necessary to improve their  quality of life and enhance the entire community.”

As the largest literacy nonprofit in the United States, they are proud to serve  residents in Bonita Springs, San Carlos Park, Estero, Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres,  Cape Coral, Sanibel, LaBelle, and Naples. Together, we can make a difference.
More Sunday Happenings!
Christian Group
The UUCFM Christian Group meets at  9:00a   on Sundays  in Room 7.  This is a great time for interested UUs to come visit, take a look, ask questions, and see what we're about. We look forward to welcoming you. We have a Communion after the service every 4th Sunday in Room 7. 
Humanist Forum
The Humanist Forum meets every Sunday at 9:15a in Hobart Hall.  All are welcome to join us for a new and engaging topic each week.

Newcomers Meeting
There is a Newcomer's meeting this Sunday, July 3rd in Room 2 at 12:00p. This is a meeting led by Chris Rosa of Member Services for people who are new visitors and would like to learn more about UUCFM and Unitarian Universalism.  This is not the Pathways to Membership class for those seeking membership.  If you have questions on what we're all about, this is the meeting for you!  All welcome.
Minister's Column
Summer days are here! After Independence Day weekend, I will be taking much appreciated study leave and vacation time, returning to you after the first  Sunday  in August. Our music and worship teams will have beautiful experiences to offer, so rest assured that your soul will be well nourished. As for vacation, my family will be visiting extended family in Davenport, Iowa.  I also look forward to catching up on dreaming, filling blank pages of my journal, and reading the piles of books/ media I have yet to touch.  

I will greatly miss worshiping with you, and I have every confidence that I will come back to a continually vital, relevant, and loving congregational community.  Thank you, again, for the generous gift of time with my family and with continued study & professional development.

In love, growth, and service,
Rev. Allison 
From the President
By a majority vote of the Board of Trustees Joe Sexton has joined the Board as Vice President of  Ministerial Services. Because he is filling a vacancy the term will end on March 31, 2017.  Welcome, Joe.

Two members of our Endowment Committee resigned from the Committee. Following Board  votes Bruce Leddy and Don Burget graciously agreed to serve. They bring a depth of knowledge  and experience to these important positions. Both terms will end on March 31, 2017 leaving one  three-year term to be filled and one two-year term to be filled. Thank you Bruce and Don. The  Committee now consists of Jeff Letts, Stephanie Hoffman, Angela Melton, Bruce Leddy, and  Don Burget.

That is enough business news for the moment. The other important work of our congregation is  spiritual. Take a look around at all the many, many members who are fulfilling that Mission. It  may be July but our work continues—the band and choir rehearse and present musical programs, volunteers at the food pantry continue to serve, gardens are growing and children are being  incorporated in that growth, Worship Associates and AV technicians continue to organize  meaningful services, meditations continue whether it be while walking or sitting with a tree, coffee hour and it’s many volunteers continues to feed us, Committees are still meeting, the  Caring Network and Rev Allison continue to minister to the pastoral needs of our community, and our staff still quietly work behind the scenes to keep us running smoothly and looking  beautiful. Thank you one and all!

I feel fortunate to be part of such a generous community. It adds meaning to my life.

In gratitude,
Diane Buckley
Music Notes
Musical Calendar: 

July 3:  For our patriotic service on Independence Day, Rebecca Donlan sings Celine Dion's ballad  The Power of the Dream  and the Choir harmonizes  This is My Song , based on Jean Sibelius' masterwork  Finlandia. 

July 10: The Choir shares the joyful anthem  Now Let Us Sing , and the Band covers Lady Gaga's pop hit  Born This Way  for Arlene Goldberg's service on LGBT+ topics.
July 17: When Mr. Muhammed visits to speak on Islam, the Choir sings the stirring ballad  Let This Be a House of Peace  and the Band plays an uplifting offertory. 

July 24:  Classical pianist Abbey Allison of the Wild Coffee Duo returns to serenade us, this time as a soloist.

July 31: The Choir sings the mysterious  Where Do We Come From?  and special guests join the Band for a rousing rendition of the Gospel tune,  When the Saints Go Marching In. 

On  Wednesday, July 27th the  Music Committee  will exchange email updates in lieu of a meeting. 

Calling all basses! Do you love to sing the really low  notes ? We need you in the Choir! Ability to read  music  is a plus but not necessary. Singers of all voice parts are always welcome to come and try out a rehearsal and see if the Choir is for you. 

The UUCFM Choir  rehearses most Wed. nights from  6:45-8:15p, and on Sunday mornings from 9:00-10:00a  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  6:00-6:45p , 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!

Amy Laursen, Director of Music
RE News
The School of Wizardry summer camp has been running smoothly this week thanks to the enthusiasm and involvement of a team of fantastic volunteers! Our campers have learned to defend themselves against the Dark Arts, to sing incantations of joy and love, to create rockets, and so much more! They have witnessed massive bubbles that stretched out almost the whole length of Hobart Hall, ahem, I mean "The Great Hall" and have even tried their hands at the crowd favorite game of Quidditch! Truly, this has been a terrific week with lots of exciting lessons and activities for all.

One of the most beloved classes our campers have each year is their cloak-decorating class. They use hot glue guns and gems, colorful duct tape, and more to turn their school cloaks into a masterpiece of their own personality. This year, our campers were delighted to decorate not the usual improvised cloaks made of old sheets, but rather beautifully sewn cloaks of uniform black fabric! For this, they have the generous and talented Susan Forsyth, Jane and Mary Richey, and Brianne Meyer to thank. Susan donated all the fabric (and even sewed matching hats for each student!) and with the help of Jane, Mary, and Brianne, stitched together all the cloaks for our campers! The kids were all very proud to wear their lovely cloaks all around camp... and I'm pretty sure some won't be taking them off once camp is over either!

I cannot express enough how grateful I am for all the volunteers who help to make this camp a reality. From the professors, to the ghosts (camp counselors), to the hard-working congregants and family members who help to prepare the rooms and supplies - truly all of you are rock stars in my eyes. Thank you!

Jenn Blosser, Director of Religious Education

Office Hours:
Wednesday  10am - 6pm  (remaining on campus for Community Dinner  6pm - 8pm )
Sunday  9am - 12pm  and by appointment

Community Wednesday
Join members and friends of our UUCFM community each Wednesday for a delicious vegetarian meal prepared by Chef Joy for a donation of $5.00. After the fellowship and fine fare from 6:00- 6:45p, join your favorite programming event, committee meeting, or social activity.  A place will be provided for any informal gatherings of your choosing. Child care is provided until 8:30p.
Activitie s

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
Save the Date
Memory Screenings
In follow up to the seminar at UUCFM led by representatives from the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, we are pleased to announce they will be  returning to provide free memory screening. This service is being  coordinated by our Pastoral Care team. The date of the screenings will be July  12th from 9:00a-1:00p and will be done by specific appointment times.  We  have had a good response to the initial announcement but we have plenty of  space for more individuals.
Once  the private screening is completed (approximately 20 minutes per individual)  you will be given the results and given the opportunity of taking them to your  own choice of physician or having them interpreted by a neuropsychologist with the  Dubin Center.

Space is limited. Please contact: Mary Nies at; 239- 466-7933 to schedule an appointment time.
Paying the Price for Peace
UUCFM Social Justice Committee presents:
Paying the Price for Peace
A full length documentary about S. Brian Willson
Saturday July 2, 2016
6:00 pm in the MIller Sanctuary
$5.00- $10.00 donation  

Note from Holley Rauen: 

This is really important to me and should be to us all.  Please come and support me as part of my story is revealed in this powerful and moving documentary.

The film is narrated by Peter Coyote. Alice Walker, Martin Sheen, Phil Donahue, Cindy Sheen, Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Col. Ann Wright, Medea Benjamin, and Pres Daniel Ortega.

S. Brian Willson lost both of his legs protesting against arm shipments to Central America in 1987. Holley Rauen, member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers, co-organized this blockade with him. “Paying the Price for Peace,” a full-length documentary that includes stories about Brian Willson’s life, premiered in Hanoi, Vietnam, about a month ago. It is making it's way through the film festival circuit and is also being shown in Unitarian Universalist congregations and Veterans for Peace Centers around the country.  This documentary is an integral chapter in Holley Rauen’s story. She has been assisting with working on this film for four years.  The film features many veterans of foreign wars, including her former husband, Vietnam Veteran, S. Brian Willson.  Holley married Brian in 1987, only 10 days before he was run over by a weapons train.  It is part of her story and what brought her to UUCFM as a peace and social justice activist. 

Vietnam Veteran S. Brian Willson paid the price for peace by nearly being killed by a military train during a non-violent protest. Since then, he has not stopped calling attention to the United States government’s defiance of international law through waging endless illegal wars. Paying the Price for Peace exposes the truth about our country’s addiction to war, and the lies it perpetuates in order to wage ongoing violence, through the life and times of Air Force veteran S. Brian Willson and others.

Love to all,
Holley Rauen
Office Closed 4th of July Week
The UUCFM Office will be closed July 4-July 8 for Staff vacations and carpet cleaning.  All volunteers may access the office with door code during this time. Thank you!
Our Classes & Groups
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
Optimal Living Group
The Optimal Living Group is open to all and does not require attending every session.  We meet in the Sanctuary on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 4:00-5:30p.  We discuss how to live optimally, including practical ways to cope with life's challenges and issues.  Helping others and developing maturity in ourselves is part of our quest.  We explore many paths and techniques for enriching our lives and making a difference for others.  For more information fill out a blue card found in the pews or email Neil at
Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Group
The Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Group meets every Sunday in Room 1 from  1:45-3:45p.  All are welcome to attend!   Join Mary Tracy Sigman and others for this well loved and well attended group. 
CUUPs Learning Circle
Earthways Shamanic Path Class  is conducted on the 1st Tuesdays of the month, from  7:00 PM to 8:30  PM.  Next class is July 5th .   We meet in classroom 4.  Whale Maiden conducts this class with a co-facilitator.  In these classes, we presents a topic about the Earthways Shamanic Path, and conduct a Shamanic Journey. We journey with drums and rattles.  Remember to bring a bandana or scarf to cover your eyes.  Water and a snack are a good idea, as is a notebook & pen.    Also bring a yoga mat and a blanket if you like to journey while laying down. The requested sliding scale donation for this class is  $7.00 to $25.00  per class.    This class is open to anyone over the age of 18. This class is sponsored by CUUPS of Fort Myers.

Earthways Journey with the Trees is a monthly class on the  2 nd  Saturday of each month from  9:30 AM to 11:30 AM .   The next class is July 9th.   This class is conducted outside.    We gather at the Pond by the Amphitheater of the UUCFM.  In this class, we work with one tree per month to learn what it is and what it’s spiritual gifts are for us.  We conduct a shamanic journey with the tree.  We do our journeys with drums and rattles. Remember to bring a bandana or scarf to cover your eyes.  Bring a folding chair, water bottle and snack. Also, bring a tree identification book if you have one.  Since we will be outside, you may want to bring bug repellent, sun hat, sun block (even a light-weight long sleeve shirt is a good idea).  Also, we will be near pollen and bees, so please take whatever personal precautions are right for you.  The requested sliding scale donation for this class, is $7.00 to $25.00 per class.  This class is open to anyone over the age of 18. This class is sponsored by CUUPS of Fort Myers.

CUUPS introductory class, "What is CUUPS, What is an earth-centered belief -- what is Paganism"   is conducted on the 3rd Wednesdays, from  7:00 PM to 8:30 PM  in classroom 4.    Our next class is July 20th  CUUPS is a group of people within the UU Church, who have Earth-Centered beliefs, or for people who might be interested in Pagan and Earth-Centered practices, rituals and beliefs. We are open to al l . Whale Maiden and other members of CUUPS facilitate this monthly class, where we cover : What is the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans?  What is paganism?  How was our CUUPS of Fort Myers chapter established?  What are some of the important contributions that CUUPS of Fort Myers members have made to the UUCFM?  What does CUUPS do? What's coming up in the CUUPS calendar?  Donations are appreciated.

Contact Whale Maiden for information on these 3 classes.   
Weekly Activities
 Tai Chi has finished for the season.  All are welcome to join us again in the fall on Thursdays at 10:00a in the Sanctuary.
Mah Jongg will resume in September.  We play on Friday afternoons. There is no charge and all are welcome!
Social Justice
The South Fort Myers Food Pantry Coalition
Imagine being hungry and not being able to buy groceries to feed your family.  Many of our neighbors are forced to make decisions every week: food or rent, food or utilities, food or medical attention.  This is why the South Fort Myers Food Pantry is one of our social justice ministries.  Now that we are into the off season, the need is greater as many people have lost their seasonal jobs.  The pantry too, loses many of its seasonal volunteers.  This is why I ask our year round residents to please remember to bring a donation of nonperishable food every Sunday.  Also, if you are used to the heat and can tolerate our summer months, you are especially needed at this time of year.  Consider volunteering on Mondays.  Want more information?  Email Fran Rose .
Thank You Volunteers!
Our Volunteers of the Month are our fabulous Kitchen Cleaning Team consisting of:

Peggy Eisenberg
Dorothy Van Howe
Joy Purcell
John Worster
Jane Richey
Kathy Heckler
Walt and Simone Ittenbach
Bob Nies
Neil Yesu
Bruce Leddy
Don and Judy Burget
Tom Sizemore
Barbara Mannix
Mickey Kellam

Other thank yous:

Walter Peterson and Andy Crossen for getting internet up and running again after a week, Theresa Bahre and Prita Lal for the Differences workshop  Scouts, part of our family, for support of campus,  Alison Carville, for NAMI speaker  Joe Sexton and Bill Petrarca, tech support  Joy Sokeitous and Jim Stout for the gift of a TV for the sound system.
UU Cat Sitter Wanted!
I am looking f or a cat sitter among my UU friends!

I'm going out of town from  July 6th  till  July 27th , dates are tentative. I have friends that will come to my house and check on my cat while I'm gone but don't want to leave her home alone for that long. She is a rescue cat, very low maintenance about two years old. I would pay the person to keep her at their home or make a donation to the church!

Tom Sizemore
Staff Spotlight
Jill Carville, Office Manager

Where I was born:  Clinton, Massachusetts

States I've lived in:  Massachusetts, South Carolina, California, Florida

Where I'd like to travel:  Asia

How long have I been employed at UUCFM?: 8 years; 3 as assistant, one as publications manager, 2 as part time Office Manager, and 2 as Office Manager/Bookkeeper

Hobbies: Playing music, exercising

Favorite food: Pizza!

Favorite Movies: Young Frankenstein, The Gods Must be Crazy

Favorite Books:  David Copperfield, Jane Eyre, Roots, IT

Something few know about me: I've had 22 foster children, as well as my 2 bio kids

Ability I wish I had: Invisibility

Favorite thing about UUCFM:  The People!
Caring News

Pat Hatfield of The Manor House, 1333 Santa Barbara Boulevard, #167 Cape Coral  FL  33991 would appreciate a ride to UUCFM to attend Sunday services.   If you are able to assist, please contact Neil Yesu at or 239-768-0130.

My UU Story
UU My Whole Life and Didn't Know It!

by Leslie Gatto

I have been a member of the Unitarian Universalist (UU) church since joining a congregation in  Indianapolis in 1979. Like many of you, I was a UU my whole life and didn't know it!

My journey  as a UU has informed my entire being.  I found UU through a psychology of religion course in college. I must admit, it had me at “blue  jeans and pillows on the floor”, which I was told, was how worship was done at the congregation  in Atlanta. I was hooked when I first attended at Indianapolis and heard mostly humanist ideas  preached. I identified as a natural humanist for many years.

When I moved to Florida and found my UU home here, I truly began to grow. Here, I've felt free  to push myself out of my comfort zone; to question my own ideas; to learn from my ministers and  other members; to take soul searching courses. Here, as my religious journey has progressed, I  see divinity in everything. I am most at peace in nature, but I have no broad name to describe  my path. I am simply a UU. Period.

The most recent course I took was “Articulating your UU Faith”. Having been a UU for 37 years  didn't really help me know how to talk to others about this wonderful faith. I realized that some of  the things I'd been saying, such as “We believe in the 7 principles,” explaining them, or saying  that we have common values, wasn't really true. I found that there truly is no test of what a UU  believes or values. What really brings us together is not what we believe, but how we covenant  to be with one another.

We want to be together, each on our own journeys, supporting, teaching, learning, having fun  together. We encourage each other, celebrate our differences and respect one another.

Because we know that none of us are without flaws, we're reminded to “forgive ourselves and  others and begin again in love.” Every interaction with another is an opportunity to grow, and I  find that to be more true here than anywhere else I go.
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.   
My UU Summer
Show us your summer in pictures! Send pictures of you on your vacation or staycation between June 1 and August 31 to  Your pictures will be shown during the preservice slide show each week.  Please don't write a long description about each place- this is photos only- a one word caption is fine. 1-3 photos per person, please.
Happening In 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 E-news.  

The Happehatchee Center is pleased to announce the Happe Campers Summer Camp featuring the wonderful Super Science and Amazing Art folks!  The camp is open to children in grades 1 through 5.

For registration and questions please contact Allison at or give her a call at 239-682-2780.  If you haven’t been to the Happehatchee Center before, we invite you to stop by the on Fridays or Saturdays between 10 – 4 pm for a free tour and to check out the park!

Happehatchee offers a unique summer camp location and programming where students will learn in the Happehatchee Historic House and the breezy Peace Pavilion.We also boast five acres of nature with bamboo stands, a butterfly garden and plant nursery all on the Estero River.  Kids love exploring nature in this safe space.  Don’t miss out on this wonderful summer experience! Space is limited.Click here to view weekly schedule along with more details and information.

Register today! or visit  Call  239-682-2780

National CUUPs Convocation
Join UU Pagans from across the country this  August 26-28  in Salem, MA for the first CUUPS Convocation in a decade!  Titled Awakening Our Tribe, there will be ritual and music and special guest speakers Shirley Ranck, John Beckett, Byron Ballard, CUUPS President Amy Beltaine, and Gypsy Ravish.  Organizers are working hard with local businesses to provide special deals for convocation-goers.  For more information and to catch the early bird special, register at .

If you have any questions, please reach out to convocation organizer and CUUPS Board of Trustees member Jerrie Hildebrand at .

July 4  Helen Leddy

July 4  Harri Wisser

July 5  Teri Cooper

July 8  Penny Hutchinson is 1!

July 10  Barbara Mannix

July 14  Richard Calkins

July 14  Bill Petrarca

July 17  Alice Brunner 

July 26  Katie Romano Griffin

July 28  Deborah Lewis

July 30  Don Klein

July 31  Kevin Carr

 Please send all news articles for the Weekly E-news to
Jill Carville 
(239) 561-2700 
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