The Communicator
July 2018 Volume 35 Issue 7
Sunday Worship in July: Ethics
Service at 10:30 am Sundays in the Miller Sanctuary
Community Sharing in July: Pachamama Alliance, Inc.
For two years, as part of our Social justice Ministry, we have been carrying out our mission to create an environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling human presence on our planet. More than 100 people and eight organizations have joined us by participating in our programs and presentations like the Awakening the Dreamer Changing the Dream Symposia, monthly Game Changer Gatherings and special programs, like our Florida Going Solar luncheon last winter. We encourage deeper learning and interacting through our online Game Changer Intensive, and getting involved in the exciting new Drawdown programming that, when acted upon, promises to create the cleaner more beautiful world we know is possible. The Diving into Drawdown study/action group has galvanized much cooperation and collaboration with many groups working for clean water and social justice in SW Florida. We also attend and support monthly meetings of the All Faiths Congregation CAT (Climate Change Action Team) and are working on grants with them on Water awareness and hurricane resilience starting with eco-summer camps at the Quality Life Center. We continue to grow and move forward and are most grateful for the support of UUCFM.
Humanist Forum
The Humanist Forum meets every Sunday at 9:15 am in Hobart Hall. All are welcome to attend.
Coffee Hour
Sunday's Coffee Hour happens after church 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 & IGNITE Youth Groups
BURN meets on Sundays at noon, usually in Room 4. All youth ages 14-18 are welcome!

IGNITE, our junior youth group for ages 10 - 13, meets weekly from 12-1 pm in the Narthex. Come join us for community, conversation, and finding your call to action! Questions about the group? Reach out to Stephanie Hoffman:
Staff and Board News
From the Minister
Siding with Love

So many positive social justice movements are afoot even in the midst of the despair of hearing about children separated from their parents at the borders of our nation. For me, many of these positive movements are not only in response to the current realities, but the past realities of oppression in our nation. The current administration simply shines a light on systems of patriarchy and racism and xenophobia that have existed within this nation, before and during the founding of this nation. I have found myself in the past few weeks saying, "This is not the American way!" to "Separating children from their parents?" Then I think of those who were enslaved in Africa who were separated from their children, those who were enslaved and had children from whom they were separated while working as the backbone of the economic engine of America. Those indigenous children whisked away from their families to forcibly attend white missionary schools. Though these times may feel acutely fascist or oppressive, if you talk to people who have been historically marginalized for generations, much of this may feel like nothing new. So we are called to respond, while embracing the intersectionality of the experiences of those who are historically marginalized and oppressed. And we might choose to continue to side with love, embracing that liberation theology that reminds us that God, the spirit of love that moves in and through all things, sides with those who are oppressed. In this way, I am reminded once again to examine all the ways in which I am complacent and all the ways that I am called to change how I participate in systems of Injustice. I must find a personal responsibility within these huge systems of unjust power. 

And all of this must happen amidst the Glorious grind of life as usual. Kids with colds, running errands, putting food on the table, Etc. Life is a balancing act, and as Unitarian Universalists we are being called upon in these challenging times. In the days ahead, find ways to publicly embrace our mission to love, grow, and serve. Blessings!

Rev. Allison Farnum
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, Acting Director of Music
Help Needed
Your help is needed for the first two weeks in July (July 1-July 15). Our Building Supervisor, Mickey Kellam, will be on vacation and our loving community will need to fill in for him. Please see Mary Alice Pierce at coffee hour or call or email: 239-267-4429.
Office Closing
The UUCFM Office will be closed July 4th for Independence Day. Have a great and safe holiday! The Office Manager will be on vacation July 12-18 and the office will be closed on Thursday, July 12, Friday, July 13th, Tuesday, July 17th, and Wednesday, July 18th.
UUs Dying to Make a Difference
You may have heard a fellow church member talk about the new UUA Collaborative Campaign called “Wake Now Our Vision” which challenges us to make a legacy gift to make a difference both now and in the future. Please read on to better understand how this is such a rare and profound opportunity for UUCFM today and for our future congregations.

I wanted to share my experience with this Campaign because, like me, you may be having a reaction to it that is based on a few misunderstandings, causing you and UUCFM to miss-out on a truly congregation-changing, community-changing opportunity for making a difference.

At first, I felt that this was all about leaving a chunk of money to the UUA; not that that is unimportant,but our priorities right now are a little closer to home. After talking with Jen Smith, our UUCFM Treasurer, she pointed out to me that (1) UUCFM gets a matching donation of 10% (up to $10,000) RIGHT NOW!, and (2) you don’t have to gift to the UUA for your legacy gift to qualify. (The matching donation actually comes from the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock.)

Many years ago, Jane and I had our legal counsel prepare our wills documenting our gift intentions for our beneficiaries. Since our joining the church, I had intended to provide for a legacy gift in our wills but had not done so yet. After understanding what the UUA Collaborative Campaign was offering and how UUCFM could benefit NOW by our doing so, we contacted our lawyers and asked them what it would cost to add this amendment to our trust declarations. It was clear that for a small legal expense, we could deliver a significant sum to the church now, as well as upon our deaths. This was a “no brainer.”

We filled out the “Wake Now Our Vision” form and mailed it in along with a copy of our new trustamendments. (We chose to gift only to UUCFM, and no other UUA institutions. You may choose otherwise.) Shortly, UUCFM will get its 10% matching donation from the Campaign. I encourage all members to consider participating in this Campaign (after checking with your legal advisor) at your earliest convenience before the Campaign is over. It’s a great way to make a personal difference in our community by amplifying our UU values through our current congregation as well as future congregations.

For more information, ask our Treasurer Jen Smith and see the WNOV website at

Bill Petrarca
Village News
The New Village Council

The Village Council cordially invites any and all interested people to our first official retreat, Sunday, July 15th, from 2 - 5 PM in Room 7. The purpose of the retreat is to build cohesiveness in this new team by creating a vision, developing a road map on how to work together effectively, and discussing upcoming yearly events. Child care will be provided. We welcome your input and insight and kindly request that interested attendees arrive no later than 2 PM so that we are able to honor time commitments. Please RSVP to if you plan to attend.

This is the last call for signing up to be an OWL facilitator. We would like to hold OWL classes for middle school through adult in the upcoming months but we are falling short on interest in facilitator training for young adult and adult age groups. Please contact Stephanie Hoffman at  if you are interested in facilitator training. 

Ignite, the youth group for ages 10-13, has chosen to study gun violence in schools this season. As part of their exploration, Katie Ireland, Louvi Grimes, Lily Hoffman, and Kate Jones (not pictured) attended the March for Our Lives, Road to Change town hall at FGCU on Monday, June 25th. Many questions were raised by the information presented at the town hall and by our earlier discussions. We are working towards putting together a UUCFM panel discussion on gun violence in schools. Please keep an eye out in your weekly news for more information. If this looks like fun (and it is!) contact Jenn Blosser ( ) or Stephanie Hoffman ( ) for more information on how to get involved. 

Stephanie Hoffman, Communications
Community Sharing
Here are the ways the congregation can volunteer or support our Community Sharing Sunday (CSS) partners:

If you would like to volunteer or participate in anyway, please contact Dr. Genelle Grant-  

1.This coming week is the second week of the Happe Summer EcoCamp for farmworker children at the Happehatchee Center, of which GRACE is a sponsor. There are 30 Guatemalan children learning about the environment, canoe safety and stewardship of the Earth. If anyone would like to visit the camp this week, please let me know.
2. The Women’s Health Class at the New Image Tabernacle in North Fort Myers is on summer break. It will begin again in September.
3. We always need people to make Fertility Bracelets. Helen Dixon puts Kits of the beads together, or people could purchase the beads on their own (very helpful). Beads are red, purple, and green pony beads. 
4.In July, we will begin meeting on Wednesdays to sew and assemble the menstrual Kits. People can contact Dr. Grant if they want to participate.
5. There is a Trip planned for Guatemala for the first week in December, if anyone wants to volunteer and contribute to the workshops in Guatemala.

South Fort Myers Food Pantry:
Volunteers are needed during the summer season as snowbirds have gone home. There is still a great need during the summer for local families when children are not being fed in school. Please contact the food pantry at (239) 628-3191 if you would like to participate on Mondays for food distribution. Cypress Lake Presbyterian Church  8260 C y press Lake Dr.   Fort Myers, FL        

Planned Parenthood:
If you know anyone in need of services offered by Planned Parenthood, please direct them to a local center. 
Planned Parenthood Fort Myers Center   8595 College Pkwy     Fort Myers, FL     (239 ) 481-9999
Special Events
Families Belong Together
Let's join others as people of faith and conscience!
I'm attending an event as part of the Families Belong Together events on June 30th to protest Donald Trump's policy of separating families at the border. Here's the information for the event I'm attending, hosted by 2120 Main St (Old Fort Myers County Court House) Fort Myers, FL Saturday, June 30th at 11:00 am.

RSVP here to join me:

Rev. Allison
Classes & Groups
Dream Work Group
A new Dream work group is forming. We will meet the five Sundays in July (July 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29). We meet in Room 2 from 12:00-2:00 pm. Bring a snack or lunch. This dream work group follows Jeremy Taylor's "Projective dream work" techniques and philosophy, which is mainly Jungian, and is open to other schools of interpretation.

Please RSVP to: Debra Leigh at
Book Study
Book study takes a break and is off July 4th.

Come back and join in reading Ram Dass'  Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart.  Wednesdays in the Library from 1pm until noon, beginning July 11th.

"Sometimes illumination occurs spontaneously or, as Ram Dass experienced, in a cosmic moment of the heart opening. More commonly, it happens when we remove the dust from the mirror of our spiritual heart with daily practice - to see beyond the illusion of our transient thoughts and emotions to the vast and luminous landscape of our true nature.
For five decades, Ram Dass has explored the depths of consciousness and love, and brought back insights as his service to others. With  Polishing the Mirror , he gathers together his essential teachings for being and loving, here and now, in the eternal present. For those just starting on the path, this is a primer for living from the spiritual heart. For those already practicing it, is a reference point for daily life in the spirit.
In this book, readers will discover perennial wisdom, humor, teaching stories, and guidance into Ram Dass's own spiritual practices, including:

  • Bhakti Yoga - devotion, opening our hearts to unconditional love
  • Practices for living, aging, dying, and embracing the natural flow of life
  • Karma Yoga - transformation through selfless service
  • Working with fear and suffering as a path to grace and freedom
  • Step-by-step guidance in devotional chant, meditation, mantra, and more

Polishing the Mirror  is Ram Dass' invitation to experience who we are and why we are here, and how to become beacons of unconditional love."

July 11 Introduction and Chapters 1&2
July 18th Chapters 3 & 4
July 25th Chapter 5 & 6
August 1 Chapter 7 & 8

For Book study beginning August 8th, we read  Play  by Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughan.

"From a leading expert, a groundbreaking book on the science of play, and its essential role in fueling our happiness and intelligence throughout our lives 

We've all seen the happiness on the face of a child while playing in the school yard. Or the blissful abandon of a golden retriever racing across a lawn. This is the joy of play. By definition, play is purposeless, all-consuming, and fun. But as Dr. Stuart Brown illustrates, play is anything but trivial. It is a biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition. We are designed by nature to flourish through play. 

Dr. Brown has spent his career studying animal behavior and conducting more than six-thousand "play histories" of humans from all walks of life-from serial murderers to Nobel Prize winners. Backed by the latest research,  Play  (20,000 copies in print) explains why play is essential to our social skills, adaptability, intelligence, creativity, ability to problem solve and more. Particularly in tough times, we need to play more than ever, as it's the very means by which we prepare for the unexpected, search out new solutions, and remain optimistic. A fascinating blend of cutting-edge neuroscience, biology, psychology, social science, and inspiring human stories of the transformative power of play, this book proves why play just might be the most important work we can ever do.

Come having read Part One (first 47 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 .
Optimal Living Group
The Optimal Living Meeting scheduled for July 4th has been cancelled. Happy 4th USA. the next meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 19th. 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 4:00-5:30 pm. 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 Yesu: .  
UUCFM Gaming Group
The UUCFM Gaming Group is the club for you. We do our best to meet in Room 7 on Sundays after church from 1:00-4:00 pm. Those of us with children can't always make it so please check the Facebook group page ( UUCFM Gaming Group ) to see if games are scheduled.
Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Group
The Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist group meets Sundays at 1:45p in Room 1. All are welcome to join us.
Weekly Activities
Community Wednesday  
Activities for July:

4:00-5:30        Optimal Living Group (1st & 3rd Wed) off 4th of July
6:00-6:45        Band Rehearsal in Sanctuary (off 1st two weeks in June)
6:45-8:00        Choir Rehearsal in Sanctuary (off 1st two weeks in June)

Community Dinners are on hiatus until September. Enjoy your summer! Rehearsals and Events will continue through summer.
Social Justice
Pachamama Alliance of Southwest Florida
The Pachamama Alliance of Southwest Florida continues to work to nurture a community of conscious pro-activists and Game Changers working for a socially just, environmentally sustainable and spiritually fulfilling world. Our Diving into Drawdown Series was very successful and participants have committed to one of the 100 Drawdown Solutions to global warming we have explored, and are collaborating with individuals and organizations in SWFL that are working on Solutions in SWFL. We will continue to meet on the first Thursday of each month in Hobart Hall to keep the momentum going. We will be offering two Awakening the Dreamer Symposiums in the fall. One at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples and at Florida Gulf Coast University in October. 

We are also delighted to host John Cassani, Director of Calusa Waterkeeper on Thursday, July 5th.  Please mark your calendars now. This will be a great discussion about how we can help keep our waterways and drinking water protected. 

Many thanks and appreciation,
Holley Rauen
Big things are happening! We asked the commission to form a children's service council and while they are still refusing to even allow it on the ballot- they have increased the budget for children's services by $1.7 million. Should this budget pass we will be able to celebrate dental care for thousands of more children as well as hundreds of children getting access to full day preschool. It is still not a victory but it is a sign that work for justice is never done in vain. 

If you would like to order a LIFE t-shirt you can do so at .  Shirts can be worn out and about and at community events.

2018-2019 Dates. See below for the newly announced dates for the upcoming year.

Annual Assembly
Monday, October 29

Tuesday, March 26

Nehemiah Action
Tuesday, April 9

Tuesday, May 14Community Forum

LIFE members were invited to a community forum to help the county health department decide on a focus for the upcoming few years. If you wish to participate see below:

What: Department of Health in Lee County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Town Hall Meeting
When: July 2, 2018
Time: 6:30p – 8:30p
Where: Department of Health Lee County
Address:  83 Pondella Road

South Fort Myers Food Pantry
 The response for food donations has been consistently good over the last year. The need is still there and UUCFM has been a strong supporter of the pantry. I have not been able to post the pantry newsletter but there is one at the Social Justice table listing the number of people fed by the pantry for the last year. Easter is early this year which means many people will be heading north earlier too. Consequently, many people will lose seasonal jobs and the need for food donations and volunteers will be just as great as it is now. Keep that in mind. Remember to bring at least one can each week and consider volunteering during the summer months. 
Questions? Email Fran Rose:
Our UU Story
Universal Salvation to Universalism
Universal salvation, or universalism, is the belief that, through the goodness, mercy and love of God, all people will be saved --all people will be forgiven their sins and granted eternal life.
This idea can be seen as early as the works of Origen (c.185-250 CE), and surfaces in Christian history in the thought of theologians and faiths from the Roman Catholic Church to the radical arm of the Protestant Reformation.

This doctrine stood as contrary to the teachings of most Christian churches. That is, until universalist ideas came to America, where universalism developed into a formal institution.
There are different stories as to how this came about. The often-recounted story is about John Murray (1741-1815), a Methodist lay preacher from England where he became converted to the idea of universal salvation.  Following the death of his wife and infant son, Murray gave up preaching and, in 1770, immigrated to the United States. On the way to New York, Murray's ship became stuck on a sandbar off the coast of New Jersey.

While waiting for the wind to shift the ship off the bar, Murray went ashore where he met a farmer, Thomas Potter. Potter asked if Murray was the preacher sent by God to preach universal salvation in the meetinghouse he had built for that purpose. Murray declined, but Potter persisted. If, he said, the winds did not change by Sunday, it was a sign from God that Murray was meant to preach. The winds stayed quiet, and so on Sunday, Murray returned to the pulpit to preach universal salvation in Thomas Potter's meetinghouse.

In the following years, Murray preached universalism along the east coast of the United States, and in 1779, founded the Independent Church of Christ (now known as the Independent Christian Church, Unitarian Universalist) in Gloucester, Mass., which is recognized as the first Universalist church in America. Finally, an institution dedicated to universalist ideas was founded.

Universalism grew rapidly in numbers as individuals left their former religious traditions, particularly the Baptist and Congregational faiths. By the time of the Civil War, there were estimated to be more than 600,000 Universalists in the United States. 
Universalism developed theologically as well, and by the late 19th century promoted higher criticism of the Bible, the need for Universalism to establish a universal Beloved Community through social engagement, and reconciliation between religion and science, particularly in light of the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species.

In the 20th century, as Universalism moved further from its Trinitarian Christian roots, the term "universalism" took on the meaning of a religion for all people, rather than its original reference to the doctrine of universal salvation.

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.
Shop at  and Amazon donates to
Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers.
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
Looking Back... The New Miller Sanctuary in 1997
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.
Lee County Election Deadlines
The following deadlines apply to the Primary on August 28:
  • Register to vote – Monday July 30, 2018
  • Request Vote-By-Mail Ballot – Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018
The following deadlines apply for the General Election on Nov. 6, 2018:
  • Register to vote – Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018
  • Request Vote-By-Mail Ballot – Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018
Early voting will occur as follows:
  • Primary – Aug. 18 thru 25, 2018
  • General – Oct. 22 thru Nov. 3, 2018
If you are voting by mail and you will not be at the address provided, contact Lee County Elections. Your ballot will not be forwarded to a different address. For more information call 239-533-8683 or on-line at  www.Lee.Vote .
The following camp is for Home School Rocks, a renter of UUCFM. This camp is not run by or sponsored by UUCFM.
July 4 Helen Leddy 
July 5 Teri Cooper
July 8 Penny Hutchinson is 3!
July 10 Barbara Mannix 
July 10 Diane Sweeney
July 14 Bill Petrarca
July 16 Rose Klein
July 28 Deborah Lewis
July 30 Don Klein
July 31 Kevin Carr
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
Acting Director of Music   
Suellen Kipp
Director of RE        
Office Manager       
Building Supervisor   
Nursery Supervisor