Unitarian Universalist Congregation

of Fort Myers

The Communicator

July 2021 Volume 39 Issue 7


Our Sunday Service on Zoom - Independence for Indigenous Peoples

Please join us for a very special Sunday service opening the Maya Culture Week at UUCFM. We are delighted to host special guests Maya Indigenous Scholars, Marta Matias, Gabriela Bravo, and Grace Project founder, Dr Genelle Grant.

Marta Matias has worked with the GRACE Project since 2006, and besides leading workshops in Guatemala and SW Florida, she has talked about human trafficking at the UN in New York. Gabriela Bravo has finished all six years of the legal studies program at San Carlos University in Guatemala City and will soon take the Bar exam there.

Following the service, we will have our weekly UU Dialogues Discussion and Breakout Rooms on Zoom. Here is the Zoom link for our service on July 4th at 10:30AM:



Community Sharing in July:

Early Learning Coalition of SW Florida

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.


Maya Culture Week

Since 1996, UUCFM has provided educational programs for migrant farmworker high school students and local farmworker women. In 2006, the Guatemala Rural Adult and Children’s Education (GRACE) Project developed to provide human trafficking prevention education in SW Florida and in Guatemala. The workshops have expanded to include reproductive health, natural family planning, and violence prevention education for teachers, midwives and teenagers. Even during COVID, GRACE teachers brought Fertility Bracelets and sustainable menstrual kits to rural Guatemalan women.

The Maya Culture Week will bring together twenty local teenagers, whose families are mostly Maya, at UUCFM to learn about the history, art, folk dances, and cosmovision of the Maya people. Classes will be in Spanish, and the teachers will be Marta Matias and Gabriela Bravo. Marta has worked with GRACE since 2006, and besides leading workshops in Guatemala and SW Florida, she has talked about human trafficking at the UN in New York. Gabriela Bravo has finished all six years of the legal studies program at San Carlos University in Guatemala City and will soon take the Bar exam there. The GRACE Project supported Gabriela for seven years as she successfully completed her studies to become a lawyer and advocate for indigenous people in Guatemala.

Marta and Gabriela will be Lay Indigenous Scholars for the two Sunday Services, July 4 and 11, they will teach in the Maya Culture Camp, and they will perform in the July 10 Maya Cosmovision Concert in the Sanctuary, at 7pm. Tickets to the Concert are available at the door and cost $20. If you arrive wearing Maya clothing, entrance is $15. Children 16 and under are free.

The GRACE Project is part of the UUCFM Social Justice Ministry. Support for the Maya Culture Week, free for teen participants, comes from the Ellen Peterson Environmental and Social Justice Education Fund and from generous UUCFM donors. As always, Muchísimas gracias!

Genelle Grant


SWFL RESET Center presents:

Right to Clean Water - Rights of Nature in SWFL

Saturday, July 3rd, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

UUCFM Sanctuary

Speakers :

John Cassani, Calusa Waterkeeper

Gary Robbins, Vice-President, SWFL RESET Center

Karl Deigert and Joseph Bonasia, Regional Directors of the Florida Rights of Nature Network

Part of the presentation will feature the work of Naples artist Paul Arsenault.

Come learn about Orange County’s historic new law, its groundbreaking rights of nature enforcement case to stop the destruction of wetlands, and efforts to amend the state constitution. 

Register here

Seating is limited to 100 people in the UUCFM Sanctuary to allow for social distancing. If attendees exceed 50 people, we are asked to wear a mask. This event is free, and your donations will help us cover the cost of this event and future work. 

Donate to the SWFL RESET Center here.

Dreamwork Group 

“Our dreams regularly invite us to greater self-awareness and psycho-spiritual consciousness by remembering them more fully and inquiring more deeply into their multiple meanings. By increasing our capacity to remember and explore our dreams, we come progressively closer to (our) evolutionary potential.”- Jeremy Taylor

Come discover the wisdom of your dreams. Participate in the safety and support of a caring group.

To RSVP for a space, contact Debra Leigh, Certified Dream Work Facilitator. Phone/Text: (831) 818-1418 or email to dreamrookery7@gmail.com. Please include your contact information.

Meetings: Sundays in Rm. 2 at 11:50 am. Dates: Aug. 1, Aug 15, Aug 29, Sept. 12, Sept. 26, and Oct. 10. Bring a snack.

Monday UUCFM Book Group

The UUCFM Monday Book Club will reconvene via Zoom on July 12th to begin discussion of our new book, Owls of the Eastern Ice: A Quest to Find and Save the World’s Largest Owl by Jonathan C. Slaght. There will be no meeting next week July 5th.

Social Issues Book Group

Wednesdays 1:00-2:30 PM


The Social Issues Book Group will be starting a new book when we reconvene on July 21st. Please join us as we read Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lesson for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. 

"Mixing biography with history, memoir, and analysis of our current moment, the author endeavors to follow Baldwin, and to bear witness to the difficult truth of race in America."

We meet online on Wednesday from 1-2:30 p.m. Contact Helen Leddy for details on the book group or CTTT: helen.leddy@gmail.com


60th Anniversary Pave the Way Fundraiser

Our goal is 100 commemorative bricks at $100 per brick for $10,000 for our General Budget. Our Endowment Fund will pay production costs so each $100 goes right to the Budget.

59 bricks have been donated. 39 other bricks have been moved from the Eco-Preserve that were the 2011 50th Anniversary Fundraisers. Thus, 98 engraved bricks grace the pathways into our Sanctuary. They are a blessing to read.

Each 4" X 8" brick can be engraved with up to 3 lines of 13 characters/spaces on each line. Examples of donated bricks are UU quotes, memorials, names & sayings, such as:

She loved and was loved. Nancy Letts

Service is our Law. Go Forth!

Remembering (name, birth-death)

Albie & Mary, Lay Ministers, Thank You

To donate a brick: Contact suzanneziemer@gmail.com, 812-332-3450 or

helendixon9@gmail.com, 239-633-4989.


Pachamama Alliance of SW Florida Presents

The Right to Clean Water

On Tuesday, July 6th at 4:00pm ET, community members Gary Robbins and Joseph Bonasia will share important information on the current efforts to amend the Florida State Constitution to include the Right to Clean Water, including how you can get involved. 


Gary Robbins is the Vice-President of the Southwest Florida Reset Center and Joseph Bonasia is the Vice-Chair of the Florida Rights of Nature Network. Both Gary and Joseph have been deeply involved in the Rights of Nature efforts in Florida, both locally and on a statewide level. 

There is now an earnest effort to get Florida citizens involved in a statewide petition to amend the Florida State Constitution to include the Right to Clean Water, using the Orange County victory as a model. Join this event to learn about how the Rights of Nature movement in Florida has grown, and how you can be in action to be a part of it. 

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Joseph by emailing him at jbonasia@hotmail.com or by replying to this email.  

Join this important Zoom Event and Call to Action being put out by the SWFL Pachamama Alliance Community. Register on zoom in advance for this meeting:

Register here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


July Birthdays


July 4 Helen Leddy

July 10 Barbara Mannix

July 14 Bill Petrarca


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 


Board of Trustees

Email: board@uucfm.org

President Lane Cook

President Elect Mary Studer

Secretary Ruth King Fotovat

Treasurer Pati Maier

VP Worship Lesley Peterson

VP Operations Genelle Grant

VP Programming Karen J. Brown

VP Membership Toni Latino

VP Stewardship Nancy Hutchins


Lay Minister Albie Johnson albiej@uucfm.org

Lay Minister Mary Cline Golbitz mary@uucfm.org

Director of Music Suellen Kipp music@uucfm.org

Office Manager Jill Carville officemanager@uucfm.org

Building Supervisor  Mickey Kellam buildingsupervisor@uucfm.org

Teacher  Liza Kellam lhiz_sierra@yahoo.com

Please send all newsletter articles by Wednesday at noon for publication in Thursday's newsletter. Send articles to newsletter@uucfm.org.


13411 Shire Lane

Fort Myers, FL 33912




Office Hours: 9a-2p Tu-Fr

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