The Communicator  May 2016
Volume 33, Issue 5
Worship in May: Mercy
I can hear him singing it: “Oh, Mercy, Mercy, Me...Things ain’t what they used to be.”

On his iconic album, What’s Goin’ On , Marvin Gaye laments a world that needs mercy; m ercy towards our selves, to lay down arms and stop the war with ourselves and with our earth; lay down the anger, the ego, the addictions, and simply be the agents of loving kindness we were meant to be.  And goodness knows, we still ask the same questions that he was asking in 1971.  Mercy, mercy, me.  What keeps us from this kindness and gentleness? This month, I want you to consider being more merciful. Think of what mercy means to you, and how to model it in your family, your church, your neighborhood, and all your relations.  Mercy me, we are in this together!  

Rev. Allison Farnum
Minister's Column
This weekend gave me an opportunity to more deeply understand that sacrificing some of our comforts for the freedom and equity on this planet is truly worth it.  As I preached about how we must change the story to change the future of our planet, I gave pause to think of how I may more fully practice what I preach.  I thank you for that opportunity! And thank you to our church folks who attended the Honoring Our Sacred Waters ceremony at Centennial Park  Sunday  afternoon.  

In addition, I wanted to share with you some of the resources from which I shared last Sunday about moving from Empire to Earth Community, from David Korten's  The Great Turning . You can find the handouts here:
or you can purchase Mr. Korten's book. 

Another great resource is the Center for a New American Dream, an online community that seeks to empower communities like ours to help our nation move from empire to earth community.   Ultimately, it is our creativity and the love that flows from within that will save us!

Rev. Allison Farnum
Community Sharing in May
Nancy Fisk Joyful Remembrance
Join in a joyful remembrance for our late member Nancy Fisk. We will swap stories of our love and memories of her on  Thursday April 28th at 2:00p  in Hobart Hall.

Light refreshments will be provided.
Newcomers Meeting
There will be a Newcomers Meeting  Sunday May 1st at 12:00 noon  in classroom 2. The meeting lasts about an hour.  The focus of the meeting is to give newcomers information about opportunities for spiritual growth and social interaction at UUCFM.
Christian Group
The 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!
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. 
Board of Trustees
One of the themes of our retreat this year was Leadership as a Spiritual Practice.  Rev. Allison  emphasized that in order to have a healthy congregation Board members need to model  healthy leadership.  To a person, everyone shared that serving something bigger than self is  transformative and that each expected to find that in Board service.   I do not think that it is a  coincidence that each member has a personal mission similar to that of our congregation:  

Inspired by love we transform ourselves and serve others. 

You have a very good Board that is deep in experience and expertise.  We are at work 
developing goals for this year and you will hear more about them as the year progresses.  You,  too, will be called upon to develop goals for your own committee or ministry.  By being focused  on goals that serve our Mission we can continue to grow the positive spirit that we find here.   We will continue to grow as a community and expand our service to the larger world.  And we  will do it with great rejoicing!

The Board of Trustees meets the second Tuesday evening of every month at 6:30 in the UUCFM C onference Room.  If you have an agenda item it must be submitted to the President one week  prior to the meeting.  If you have any questions contact us at

President:  Diane Buckley; President-elect: Steve Eisenberg; Vice-president of Operations: Bill  Petrarca;  Vice-president of Finance:  Bruce Marble; Vice-president of Programming: Beth  Sexton; Vice-president of Ministerial Services: Wayne Leaver; Treasurer: Jen Smith; Secretary: Kathy Heckler; Member-at-large: Judie Marble.
The Board of Trustees would like to thank the following for their volunteer work in April:

Jen Smith for countless hours spent organizing and updating quick books and the files, Judie Marble for three mornings per week or volunteer help in the office, Helen Dixon for Tuesday deposit volunteering, Alison Carville and Jen McFadden for  Wednesday  office help.  All who worked on Nehemiah Action for LIFE, Rachel Spiller and Joe Sexton for their work with the Youth on creating a youth action "committee", Matt Hoffman and Rachel Spiller for their work field-testing a course called "Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators."  Renée Savoia, Sima Robbins, Helen Leddy, Carol Barclay, and Mary Murray and the rest of the team for their great work on the Florida UUA Women's Retreat.
Save the Date!
CUUPs Beltane Celebration
When: Sunday, May 1, 2016 
Time: 6:30PM
Where: Amphitheater or Fire Pit

Welcome to Beltane, the May Day of youth, fertility, and fire. Join us as we celebrate the gifts of the earth and the importance of fire

We invite you to join us in Celebrating Beltane. Bring your drums, rattles, flowers for the altar and a covered dish to share.

Family Gardens Spring Fling

Spring Fling 2016 - A Celebration of all Plants Bright and Beautiful 

Our Garden Gala is scheduled for May 7th on the UUCFM campus, 9:00 am to 2 pm. Come hear featured speakers along with exhibitors, workshops, and tours of Bill Brewer Family Gardens. Family activities take place between 12:00 and 1:30. Raffles will be held for a rain barrel, gift-filled baskets, and a garden bed at the Bill Brewer Family Gardens. Join us for our first Annual Butterfly Release, adopt a butterfly, have fun with your fellow Congregants and neighbors. Volunteers welcomed,

Peggy Eisenberg

Differences That Make a Difference
Join us with leaders from the Unitarian Universalist Association's Southern Region for a leadership experience that invites us to deepen multicultural awareness in a pluralistic world that needs our love and ministry. Sponsored by our own congregation's "sacred conversations on race" group, all members serving in leadership  are strongly encouraged to attend, especially anyone who would one day like to serve on our board of trustees.

Differences That Make A Difference
May 21, 9:30a  to 4:30p at UUCFM

As Unitarian Universalists we have a history of being inclusive. We have a pluralistic faith that makes room for all kinds of god/gods or none at all. Many of us came from other faiths where we felt different, out of place, not really seen or counted. We know that differences matter. So as people who have a tradition of "giving them hope not hell," how do we live in today's world where differences divide us so often?  Let's explore together how we can be in relationships that matter. Learn more and register 
  May 23, 2016: There is a LIFE Celebration at Saint Columbkille Catholic Church, 12171 IonaRd with sign-in beginning at 6:30p and the event at 7:00p. The celebration is a time of Celebration of LIFE’s successes this past year and an opportunity to recognize outstanding Team Members and Congregations. The Celebration is also the official end of the Personal Investment Drive. 
Cape Coral UUCFMers!
LIFE needs you!  Cape Coral has yet to consider adopting fair chance hiring policies (aka Ban the Box), and we want residents of Cape Coral to come with other LIFE leaders (including our Rev) to the City Council meeting  Monday May 2nd .

If you wish to attend with other LIFE friends, we will meet at  3:15p  at the Perkins which is under 10 minutes away from the Cape Coral City Chambers.   The Council Chambers are located at 1015 Cultural Park Blvd. in Cape Coral.  

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, 1551 Del Prado Boulevard, Cape Coral, FL 33990.  We plan on arriving at Council Chambers before  4:15pm  to sit by the mic and sit together.
Staff Spotlight!
Jenn Blosser: Director of Religious Education

When we first came to a  Sunday  service here back in 2012, I remember asking my stepkids what they thought of the place and if they would like to come back. Jersey replied very mater-of-factly that she  had  to come  next Sunday  because she was going to be a part of the service. I was thrilled! The kids  liked  church - and our family never really considered ourselves to be "church folk." Being part of UUCFM's welcoming community has filled our lives with purpose and connection. Working as the DRE is a dream job for me, and my opportunity to give back to the community that has done so much for my family.

This job is also often an excuse to whip out my more theatrical side. I served as the Art Director for the Florida Repertory Theatre's summer camp program for 4 years, and in those long hours of working with kids of all ages on costumes, props, and backstage manners, I discovered something about myself. I thrive on the chaos that is collaborating with kids. It delights me... even when I'm pulling my hair out with stress, there is a glee in it. Sounds crazy, I know, but then by now most of you have figured out that I am just a tiny bit bonkers anyway.

What you may not know about me is that I have 3 birth certificates (German, English, and American), work at Medieval & Renaissance Faires, am completely addicted to British murder mystery shows (George Gently is my current favorite), and have been known through most of my life as "Director Jenn" due to my passion for making movies and forcing my friends to act in them whether they wanted to or not. How funny that now, I actually am a "director" ...of sorts.
Music Notes
Musical Calendar: 

May 1: The Choir sings  Nada te Turbe  to honor Cinco de Mayo and the National Day of Prayer, and Amy Laursen and the Band play Emerald Rose's  Merry May Folk  in honor of Beltane. 

May 8: For Mothers' Day, we'll enjoy the talents of Peter Golbitz, singer/guitarist, and the Choir sings the American folk tune,  Bright Morning Stars .

May 15: For our service on Lovingkindness, Haris Blackwood sings  Down 'n Outer  by Nanci Griffith, and the Choir performs  Blessing  by UU Composer Joan Szymko.

May 22: Becky Donlan, soprano, joins the Choir in singing Bobby McFerrin's  The 23rd Psalm,  and the Band plays Tommy Castro's rock hit,  Common Ground. 

May 29: Robin Frank, classical pianist of the Naples Opera, delights us with her music. 

May 25 at 3:00p : Music Committee Meeting

The UUCFM Choir  rehearses most Wednesday nights from  6:45-8:00p , 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 RE team has a mission for you!  Would you please begin collecting newspapers and toilet paper rolls (just the middle tubes!) for use in our summer project with the Bill Brewer Family Gardens?  We will have collection boxes set out in the Narthex for you to deposit your collected papers and tubes - just drop them off whenever you come to church! 

If you're wondering what the heck newspaper and toilet paper rolls have to do with garden projects, then wonder no further, dear reader, as I shall share our secrets! This summer, our kids will be creating bee hotels from your toilet paper rolls (bees need safe places to rest when traveling long distances from the hive!) and using your newspapers with compost to plant new greenery in the garden and get mucky with some wormy friends.  The more supplies we have, the more good we can do for our garden! So start collecting this week!  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              Coping & Optimal Living (1st & 3rd Wed)
6:00-6:45              Community Meal
6:45-8:00              Music Team in Sanctuary
6:45-8:30              The Village (starting March 23)
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
Coping & Optimal Living
The Coping and Optimal Living group is open to all and does not require attending every session.  We meet in the Sanctuary 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 call Wayne Leaver at 275-3097.
CUUPs Learning Circle
The CUUPS Learning Circle Series has two tracks about Earth-based Religions at this time:   an introductory track called CUUPS 101 and a more advanced track called Earthways Shamanic Path. These are offered on Wednesday evenings and are conducted by Whale Maiden, a member of CUUPS here at UUCFM

CUUPS 101:  What is Paganism?  What is CUUPS?  How does CUUPS fit into Unitarian Universalism’s Seven Principles? What does CUUPS do at this UU Church?  Join Whale Maiden for this informative class. This is an interactive class with a mixture of lecture/history/story telling, and Q & A from the class, so no two classes will be alike. (Tentative dates for next class:May 11th)

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. 
Women's Circle
  Monday, May 9th  the UUCFM Women's Circle will host an evening "Dine-Out" at Senor Tequila's near Barnes and Noble on Cleveland Ave and the corner of Daniels.

Happy Hour begins at  5:00p and we will start to order dinner at  6:15p .

We have invited the women of All Faiths to join us.  We are exploring the idea of having 3 or 4 of our monthly meetings in the evening each year.  Hobart Hall is booked for evenings at this time, so if we gather for an evening meal, it will be at a local restaurant.

Please bring your good ideas for lively conversation or we will discuss Mother's Day and summer plans.

For questions or rsvps, please contact:  Susan Forsyth   (239) 424-8442 . Or Jane Richey   (239) 939-7738 .
Weekly Activities
Join us for Tai Chi every Thursday morning in the Sanctuary from 10:00-11:00a.  It is a free class and all are welcome.
Play Mah Jongg every Friday afternoon in the Narthex from 1:30-3:30p. There is no charge and all are welcome!
Social Justice
The Social Justice Committee meets Sunday, May 1st at noon
in the Screen Room. All welcome to attend.
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 heading into the off season, the need is greater as many people lose 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 .
Holton Eco Preserve Happenings
Hi Everyone! This is a general call for folks who are interested in being a part of the
exciting adventures taking place on the Holton Eco-Preserve!  We are working on getting  a database together of those of you who might be interested in finding out what we are  doing now, and will be doing in the future, on the beautiful HEP grounds. If you are  interested in being involved as a committee member, a worker bee, an idea generator,  an educator, a contributor to a newsletter, or in any capacity you might enjoy… please  let us know by emailing me at If you are just interested in  hearing about what is happening on the grounds… that is perfectly fine, as well! Please  include your name (I know, pretty obvious!), your email address and/or other contact  information, and your area of interest or expertise. You will promptly be added to the  contact list! 

Just a quick note… Did you know we have a mating pair of  bluebirds on the Holton Eco-Preserve? It is almost surreal to see  the color of the male bluebird as he flies to and from the nesting  box. Don and Judy Burget donated the bluebird box, and the Boy 
Scouts helped put it up. The nesting box is on left of t he walking/shell path leading to the Bill Brewer Family Gardens. Take a walk to the gardens, sit or stand quietly under the 
pine trees, and you may just see these amazing birds as they flit, and feed and fly. 


Peg Eisenberg
Your UUCFM Library is Alive and Well
Have you attended a meeting in the library, but you were unsure whether you could check out the books on the shelves? Do you have a secret dream to be a librarian, and would like to be involved in the maintenance and expansion of the library? Perhaps you have amazing ideas for fundraising, so we can upgrade the shelving and storage in the library? Have you read a book that relates to the principles of our faith, and would like to share your “book review” with other UU members? These are just a few ways you can be involved in the exciting revitalization of our UUCFM library!

General Information:
Our current adult collection is primarily in print form and provides resources associated with our faith tradition. Topics available include:
  • Unitarian Universalism and liberal religion theology, philosophy, spirituality, history, and church organization
  • Materials relating to human liberty, equality, peace, and justice, and environmental stewardship
  • Materials relating to western and eastern religions, and philosophies which foster life
  • Information on the special interests and ministries of this congregation – liturgical, pastoral, educational, social justice, CUUPS, humanism, the environment, meditation, etc…

We also have an amazing collection of material on the history of our church.  Some of this material is in plastic bins below the shelving… other scrapbooks, articles, and pictures are on the top shelves.

A little housekeeping information
  • So… you can come on in and browse the shelves, or, if you are a “techie” you can check out the UUCFM online catalog by connecting at Search our catalog by author, title, or subjects called tags, to identify and locate items.
  • There is a bright pink Dewey call number reference guide hanging on the right side of the library shelves. The subject matter is set up according to the Dewey call number system, so you should be familiar with how our library works. We do have a catalog, as well.
  • CHECKOUTS – We ask that you keep material you have checked out for a maximum of four weeks. There are instructions in the library explaining the check-out process.

In the Future:
  • Children’s Section
  • Addiction Ministry Section
  • Revamp/upgrade shelving and storage
  • Monthly book reviews
  • Library hours identified/set
  • Any thoughts???? Let us know…                     

Peg Eisenberg……
Pat Linhoff………
Book Review
Our theme for April, Freedom, is  focused on in the book Freethinking  Mystics with Hands, by Tom Owen-Towle.  It is a book of “Inspiring essays  that balance Unitarian Universalism's rational, mystical and activist  traditions.”

Here’s an excerpt from the book;   “A wit once brooded that “the distinction  between freedom and liberty is not accurately known, since naturalists  have never been able to find a living specimen of either”.  

Fellow UU Terry Sweetser puts it this way in “Free for What?”  The word freedom comes from an ancient Norse root verb that means to  become loving.  Freedom is not properly a state of being then, but more  accurately a choice for becoming.   So, in our religion, freedom is about  becoming, never about being.
My UU Story
Historic Approach To Christianity
by Mike Machones

My background is steeped in Christian faith.  I was born and raised by a devoted Catholic family.  I attend 14 years of Catholic education including grad school.  As I grew older and became more  independent I often wondered about the ironies and inconsistencies I read and heard about  Christianity.  I pretty much stopped participating with the church until we had children and then  became a regular church-going Episcopalian.  

I wondered often about what would happen to all those other people in the world that weren't  Christians and had their own faith and beliefs.  I found it hard to believe they would be damned. 

So over the years I started reading about other religions and beliefs.  I realized that they were  alike in so many ways.  The questions kept coming without good answers.  

A few years back we had a long car trip planned and wanted to hear a story via audiobook.  We  decided to listen to a book that talked about New Testament from a historical rather than a  theological perspective.  Wow, was that eye opening!  Soon after we found other books on both  the New and Old Testament to explore.  This historic approach to Christianity really opened my  eyes and helped me answer some of my troubling questions.  

I have faith in a higher power but now needed to find a way to explore this faith in a  different way.  So back to the Internet I went and there I discovered UU.  UUs principles, values  and approach resonated with me.  I tried a UU service in Minnesota and enjoyed what I  experienced.  When we moved to Florida full-time I researched and found UUCFM.  We tried it,  like it and have been here ever since!
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.   

Rummage Sale: May 14th

Several people have asked about the Rummage Sale this season.  We are working with a local firm to help us with the sale this year; they will be handling the advertising, the logistics with the items and the actual sale scheduled for May 14th.  They will come to your house and pick up any items you would like to donate for the Rummage Sale.  We have scheduled 2 pick-up days: May 2nd and May 9th.  If you have any items, please call the Church office where we’ll put your name and address and phone number on the pick-up lists.

if you want to bring your treasure for the Rummage Sale directly to the church, the Screened Room will hold donations AFTER May 2nd. So plan on waiting until after May 2nd to bring any contributions if you decide against a pickup.

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.  

Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida is proud to announce the special movie presentation of


on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, at the Alliance for the Arts,  10091 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers.  

A reception begins at 5:30, and movie will begin at 6:30.  Tickets are $25.00 per person ($10.00 for FGCU/FSW Students or Attendees under 25 years of age)

TRAPPED is an award winning documentary highlighting the medically unnecessary restrictions that abortion providers face in our work of ensuring that all people have access to a full range of reproductive health care options. You can view the trailer here.  Planned Parenthood, in partnership with our coalition partners in our 22-county service area, is screening this movie in Fort Myers, Naples, Orlando, and Sarasota throughout 2016.  

Due to high demand for the Fort Myers showing, reservations are required and can be made online here. The movie will be followed by a Q/A and call to action. Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida serves 40,000 unduplicated patients at 11 health centers. Our 175 employees provide compassionate, non-judgmental care to women, men and families who seek care for preventive healthcare and reproductive services. 

For more information about Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, visit us online 

Free Lifeline Screening
Lifeline Screening will be here at UUCFM to offer Heath Screenings on Thursday, June 2nd.  If you would like a FREE Screening Package, please come to the UUCFM office to pick up your complimentary pass. Lifeline gives us 2 free screenings for hosting their event, so please take advantage of this offer. Contact if you have any questions, or visit the Lifeline website.
May 1               Judith Lancaster

May 2               Owen Just is 8!

May 3               Hugh Barclay

May 3               Alayna Calkins is 11!

May 3               Matt Hoffman

May 3               Anne Howe

May 6               Arlene Goldberg

May 8               Peg Clayton Fischer

May 9               Alison Carville

May 9               Helen Dixon

May 9               Walter Peterson

May 12             Fran Rose

May 14             Jim Stout

May 17             Priscilla Jeffcoat

May 17             Elaine Swank

May 21             Mary Cline Golbitz

May 22            Terry Silvernail

May 24             Nancy Beecher

May 24             Elise Sexton is 15!

May 28             Stephanie Moreland

May 30             Diane Buckley

May 31             Kelly Johnson

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