Unitarian Universalist Congregation

of Fort Myers

The Communicator

Volume 39 Issue 5 May 2021


This Sunday!

This Sunday, May 2nd at 10:30 AM, we will be honoring Beltane and having our Annual Flower Communion. Please wear something flowery- clothing, garlands, etc. If possible, have a flower with you for the ceremony. Thanks and see you on Zoom!

Join Zoom Meeting Sunday at 10:30 am


No password needed

Or follow the link on our webpage for audio onlyuucfm.org

Thank You to Sunday's Participants:

Lesley Peterson, Speaker, VP Worship

Alberita Johnson, Lay Minister 

Suellen Kipp, Director of Music              

Peter Golbitz, Musician 

Lesley Peterson, Musician and Tech Team Member 

Mark Brandon, Musician and Tech Team Member

Walter Peterson, Lead Tech Team Member

Jill Carville, Tech Team Coordinator


Community Sharing in May: Alliance for Fair Food

The Alliance for Fair Food (AFF) is the vibrant, diverse ally network of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), the internationally-acclaimed farmworker organization transforming human rights in the U.S. agricultural industry. The principal focus of the Alliance for Fair Food is the Campaign for Fair Food, a farmworker-led, community-powered movement that successfully holds major food retailers accountable to the highest human rights standards in their produce supply chains.


Vespers Service

The next Vespers Service will be May 6th at 6:30pm. We look forward to seeing you then. 


Mother's Day Photos!

The Worship, Music & Tech Teams are looking for pictures of your Mom! We are creating a musical slideshow to honor our mothers and need your help. Please send a jpg image of your mom as an email attachment to officemanager@uucfm.org by April 30th. If you don't have access to a computer you can bring a photograph into the office from April 20-30, and we'll convert it for you. Thank you!


Music Committee Forming

Music is an important part of our congregational life. As your new Vice President of Worship, I am forming a Music Committee to help grow and support this aspect of our services, as well as potential special musical events. Would you like to be part of our team? Musicians and non-musicians alike are invited to share in this endeavor. Meetings will be held via Zoom at a time and frequency to be decided. To become a part of our new Music Committee, contact Lesley Peterson at vpworship@uucfm.org.

Connection Circles

Would you like to be more connected to others in UUCFM? This is your chance to get to know others and yourself better by joining a Connection Circle. The Circles are a ways of exploring spiritual topics in a deep way with others.

New circles are forming soon on Mondays and Thursdays at 1:30 pm. Please contact Leslie Gatto at gatto.leslie@gmail.com or Mary Cline Golbitz at mary@uucfm.org if you are interested. Let us know of your interest even if those times don't work for you. We are looking forward to connecting with you.

UUCFM Monday Book Club

The UUCFM Monday Book Club will meet via Zoom on Monday, May 3 to discuss Chapter 14 from The WEIRDest People in the World, by Joseph Henrich.  There’ll be a 2-week hiatus after that to allow us to get copies of the next book. If you’re joining for the first time, please email Mary Studer. She will send you the link to zoom. mstuder929@gmail.com 

UUCFM/Caloosahatchee Mindfulness

The Caloosahatchee Mindfulness and UUCFM Meditation Book Group is reading The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness by Rhonda V. Magee.

The author "reveals that the work of racial justice begins with ourselves. The practice of embodied mindfulness--paying attention through our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in an open, nonjudgmental way--increases our emotional resilience, helps us to recognize our unconscious bias, and give us the space to become less reactive and to choose how we respond to injustice."

The group meets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. Contact Helen Leddy at helen.leddy@gmail.com or Mary Robinson at mindfulness579@gmail.com.

Social Issues Book Group Resumes

Started Wednesday, April 21 from 1:00-2:30 PM and continues weekly


Book: My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem.

My Grandmother's Hands is a call to action for Americans to recognize that racism is not only about the head, but also about the body. The author introduces the reader to an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide. He takes the reader through a step-by-step healing process based on the latest neuroscience and somatic healing methods.

Coming to the Table (CTTT)

We are inviting interested members to join together in the formation of a Coming to the Table chapter in Southwest Florida. CTTT provides leadership, resources, and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism. For further information about CTTT, following this link: 


Contact Helen Leddy for details on the book group or CTTT: helen.leddy@gmail.com


Come, Share, and Enjoy

Your Membership Committee urges you to come walk our campus and connect to our beautifully maintained grounds. Bring a picnic lunch and sit under the open air shelter at the Family Gardens. Then do a meditative walk on the newly paved Labyrinth. Use close-toed shoes to walk gravel paths and the rough terrain of our nature trail. Find its entrance behind the pond next to the CUUPS meditation area.

The Memorial Garden has butterflies and benches. Be sure to peek in the windows of Hobart hall to admire the new tile flooring. As you leave, take a look at the many commemorative donated bricks lining the central walkway into our Sanctuary.

You will feel blessed to belong to our congregation who over the span of 60 years has built this home community for us.


New Safety Equipment

The Operations Committee has been busy getting Hobart Hall and the Sanctuary ready for our use with new safety equipment such as defibrillators, first aid kits, and more!


60th Anniversary Pave the Way Fundraiser

We are celebrating our 60th year here by offering commemorative, personalized bricks to line the walkways leading into the sanctuary.

Our Endowment Fund has granted the Brick Project all costs of production and placement of each donated brick, which amounts to about $20 per brick. Thus, all $100 per brick goes right to the operating budget. 53 bricks have been donated totaling $5,300. We are over halfway to our goal of $10,000.

Among the memorial bricks are Nancy Letts, Don Ehat, Bill Brewer, Ellen Peterson, Matt Stark, Carolyn Maron, Bill Ziemer and Don Burget. Many thanks for your contributions which are looking quite fantastic along the walkways into the sanctuary.

To get a brick order form, Contact Project Manager, Ways & Means, Suzanne

Ziemer at suzanneziemer@gmail.com or 239-463-9020.


45,000 Quilt Exhibit

The existence of a traveling quilt, created to educate people about the plight of many immigrants at and within our borders, came to Holley’s attention through one of her various networks. Our proactive Board of Trustees recognized that we, as a congregation, could offer an event, the 45000 Quilt Exhibit, and bring us back together in person, in a Covid safe way. The Board approved the idea, and an organizing committee was formed.

Through a lot of collaboration and teamwork, we made “an idea” a reality. The speakers at the main event on Saturday, April 24th brought home to SW Florida the

message of the quilt to all present. These speakers included the Coalition for Immokalee Workers (one of our Community Sharing Partners), a grassroot organization from Immokalee, an immigration lawyer, and the woman who helps transport the Quilt from location to location.

The tranquil and thoughtful mood of the gathering was complemented by music by Peter and Rick. Thank you also to Lupe Gonzalo and Uriel Zelata- Perez from CIW; Maria Cardenas Immokalee Grassroots Movement for Immigration Rights; Erica Luque, Esq. immigration lawyer; Vielka Rambold, 45000 Quilt Project. There were many joyful greetings among UUCFM friends and conversations with visitors to the event.


LIFE Update

On Monday April 26th , LIFE’s 10th Annual Nehemiah Action was held virtually. The negotiated exchange between the LIFE team (clergy, participating members, administrators) and our public officials (Sheriff and Mayor) was held at Mount Hermon


Nearly 500 people attended through Zoom and our congregation contributed twenty and more. Other participants opted to use Facebook or YouTube.

My takeaways are as follows:

We were successful at making progress in the Criminal Justice “asks”. This included a “yes” by Sheriff Marceno to

1) train 25% (or more) of his officers in mental health de-escalation/intervention;

2) use the training offered by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) as opposed to from within his force;

3) everyone involved recognized the progress made by the Sheriff’s Office in issuing civil citations versus arrests when possible for first time juvenile offenders. Our “ask” was to include all first time offenders and to institute a secondary review as a way of increasing the percentages of citations.

Sheriff Marceno informed us proudly that they have set aside a section of the jail for inmates with mental health challenges - providing a more conducive situation. As for the requests directed to Mayor Anderson representing the City Council, I sensed

disappointment and frustration on both sides. Mayor Anderson said “yes” to

1) having a City Ordinance drawn up outlining the creation of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) aimed to provide housing for persons earning 60% or less of the annual median income for Lee County;

2) he said “yes” he would bring the Ordinance before the City Council (and reminded us that he was only one of seven elected officials on the Council).

3) he could give no assurances whether such an Ordinance would be passed by his colleagues. He pledged to advocate for its passage.

If you haven’t had the chance to donate to LIFE, you can still do so.


Mail checks to: LIFE, PO Box 62692, Fort Myers, FL 33906

Kathy Ford

UUA General Assembly

General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Participants worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend. This year’s GA is a 100% virtual event and will be held June 23-27. Registration costs $200 and is done on-line at https://www.uua.org/ga/registration. One registration scholarship has been funded anonymously and is available to a member of the congregation.

UUCFM has four voting delegates; the Board of Trustees has allocated three of them. One voting delegate position is available for a member of the congregation to represent UUCFM.

If you are interested in the scholarship and/or the voting delegate position, please contact Jill Carville at 561-2700 or officemanager@uucfm.org.

Southern Region Links

Find out what's happening in our district! https://www.uua.org/offices/organizations/southern-region-uua


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

Assistant  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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