The Communicator
November, 2017 Volume 34, Issue 11
Sundays in November
Meetings this Sunday, November 5th

*The RE Committee meets in the Conference Room at 11:45a
*The Social Justice Committee meets in Room 1 at noon. All welcome.
*There is a Newcomers meeting in Room 4 at noon for all those who are interested in learning more about UUCFM and Unitarian Universalism.
Staff & Board News
From the Minister
Gratitude and Presence

"The secret of life is not about knowing  what to say or do.  It’s not about doing love or loss right.  Life cannot be handled.  The secret is simply to show up.  It’s about witnessing it all, even the pain, and letting it touch you and make you not harder, but more tender.  Showing up, feeling it all –- this is my new kind of prayer.  I call it praying attention, it’s how, for me, everything turns holy." ~ Glennon Doyle Melton

Our caring coordinator Neil Yesu recently shared this beautiful quote from the white Christian  Momastery blogger  Glennon Doyle Melton.  As a white woman in a white supremacist culture, I am often put in a position to fix things and to be perfect.  This tenet of white supremacy keeps us all down- white, black, brown,  all of us.  What does it mean to pray attention for you? To show up?  What does it mean for our church? How must we open up to the heartbreak of the world- not to fix, but to show up with tenderness? I am grateful for moments of pause such as these- to pray attention and know I am part of a constellation of connections that deserve my praying attention. This web of connection- of Life- needs all of our presence.

Rev. Allison Farnum
Music Notes
Musical Calendar

November 5: Join us for Water Communion as the Choir harmonizes  River of Peace, the classical quartet plays Handel's  Water Music, and Amy Laursen shares Debussy's famous piano solo  Clair de Lune

November 12: Rebecca Donlan covers Josh Groban's ballad  Thankful, and the Choir sings the heartwarming anthem  Rejoice and Be Glad

November 19: The Choir sings a new version of beloved UU hymn  We Give Thanks, and Angela Melton shares an offertory. 

November 26: Watch the weekly E-News for details. 

December 3: The Choir and Band team up for the rousing Gospel song,  Let There Be Peace

December 3: 1:00pm HOLIDAY SING-ALONG! See article below for more details. 

December 4: Please welcome Suellen Kipp as Amy's maternity leave begins. 

The next  Music Committee meeting is Wednesday, November 8th at 3:00p in Room 7.  

The UUCFM Choir  rehearses most Wednesday nights from 6:45-8:15p, and on Sunday mornings from 
9-10a 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
I am in Denver, Colorado for the annual Liberal Religious Educator's Association Fall Conference! Obviously, I will miss you all this Sunday... but also woohoo! Rocky Mountains! This year's conference is titled "Building Brave Spaces" and focuses on effectively building spaces that will allow us to show brave love and that will help us develop skills for shared empowerment and collaborative relationships. I'm looking forward to bringing what I learn home to UUCFM.

This Sunday is our rescheduled Water Communion. This is a multigen service that I will be sad to miss out on, but I know that you're all in good hands. Gini Gottman will be taking over the Time For All Ages and is telling one of my favorite stories, The Rainmaker's Apprentice. Get ready for a storm, because she will also be leading you in calling down your own rain right in the Sanctuary! Don't forget to bring some water from home or a place that is special to you to contribute to the community bowl during the water ceremony. This service is all about coming together from wherever we call "home" to be part of this beautiful, dynamic, spiritual community. 

Jenn Blosser, Director of Religious Education
Special Events
Pachamama Game Changer Gathering November 2nd
Join Pachamama Alliance SWFL on Thursday, November 2nd as we continue our exciting speaker series: Game Changer Gatherings.

Our Special Guest Speaker is Cyndy Nayer, who we are happy to reschedule after Hurricane Irma.

Cyndy Nayer is founder/CEO of the Center of Health Engagement, balancing the health value to patients and health systems. An award-winning and slightly irreverent author, speaker, producer and gerontologist, her awards in benefit design and payment reform have influenced value and quality-based care for 25 years. Nayer is a subject matter expert for The Health Care Blog, Managed Care Online, Health Insurance Exchange, Disruptive Women in Healthcare, and more. As former chair of the Missouri Governor’s Council on Health, Nayer led the strategy to establish the Office of Women’s Health. She guides legislative health agendas on Capitol Hill and at the state level. She has won awards for producing worksite health strategies for Fortune 100 companies.

Her remarks, Weaving It All Together , will help us connect the dots between health care rights, educating girls, and climate change.  

"Making the world better, and renewing hope in our country can often seem a heavy burden. That's why no one person must do all the work. Let's talk about it together. Let's build the world we want and be the change we want to see. Join me on November 2nd.” Cyndy Nayer

Don’t miss this special opportunity to hear a great speaker, get updates from the SWFL Pachama Community and the Pachama Alliance around the world, and enjoy Potluck desserts.

Contach Holley Rauen for more information 239-464-6556
Join the FUUn BUUnch for LUUnch after Church
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12th 12:30p at a different Perkins location:

12300 S. Cleveland Ave.
Fort Myers, FL 33907
(239) 936-1150

John E. Fischer, 267-992-6566 or

From Shire Ln. at the Church, turn right and drive west on Daniel’s Parkway. Turn right onto 41 and drive south toward Crystal Drive. Perkins is just north of Crystal Drive on the West side of 41.
Baby Sprinkle
Join us for a Baby Sprinkle on Sunday, November 19th at noon in celebration of our Director of Music's Baby Girl arriving in late December. Sign up to bring food or help with potluck here:

The Laursens are registered at Amazon:
The 3rd Annual Holiday Sing-Along!
Sunday, December 3rd at 1:00p

Come sing and enjoy Christmas carols, Hanukkah songs, solstice chants, and other wintry favorites. We’ll pass the Santa hat to benefit the South Fort Myers Food Pantry, a partner of the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Request a song by Fri., Nov. 17 for a $25 donation. Please bring a friend and a holiday treat to share.

Questions? Contact Amy Laursen, 
December Shopping
The Arts & Crafts Fair and All Church Bake Sale is happening in Hobart Hall on Sunday, December
3rd, and Sunday, December 10th immediately following the service. Please mark your calendars and bring a friend. New this year is a "Next to New" booth for donations or 50/50 consignment. Teri Cooper & Barbara Mannix are in charge. For an Arts Booth, contact Patricia Linhoff, . To volunteer, contact .
Rummage Sale
Save your gently used items for our UUCFM Rummage Sale! The sale will happen over 3 days- Friday, January 19th, Saturday morning, January 20th, and Sunday afternoon, January 21st. Contact Deb Lewis for details
Games and More!

Saturday, January 27th, our church- sponsored Scouts present a Casino Night for our UUCFM general budget needs. Hobart Hall will be a festive environment of Casino Tables and a Buffet Supper. Doors open at 6:30p. Bring friends. Limited advance tickets are for sale @ $20, includes $3,000 worth of playing chips. To volunteer contact Suzanne Ziemer at  or  812-332-3450 .
Classes & Groups
UUCFM Book Group
The UUCFM Book Group meets each Wednesday from 1:00 to 2:30p in the Library. We are now reading a book by international peace-maker, Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD, (forward by Deepak Chopra), Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, (3rd Edition) Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships (Nonviolent Communication Guides) . Over 1,000,000 copies of this book have been sold and it has been translated into over 30 languages.

  "Nonviolent Communication shows us a way of being very honest, without any criticism, insults, or put-downs, and without any intellectual diagnosis implying wrongness." --- The Author
Women's Circle
Attention UUCFM women: Don't miss our Women's Circle meeting at noon on Monday, November 13th. Bring a potluck item to share. The program following our lunch will be a discussion of "My Most Unusual Thanksgiving." See you then, and feel free to bring a guest.

Linda Jensen
Next Connection Circle Begins Sunday, November 19th
Come one, come all to the next Connection Circle beginning Sunday, November 19th! New members, long-time members, and visitors are welcome. In each of six sessions we'll discuss meaningful spiritual topics through the sharing of our personal stories and experiences. Participation in a Connection Circle is a great way for "potential", new, and old-time members to get to know each other on a deep level and to feel more connected to our church community. This facilitated 6-session group will meet from 12:15 to 1:45p on the following Sundays: November 19th, December 10th, December 17th, December 31st, January 14th, and January 28th. Participants are expected to attend all 6 sessions. For more information and to register, please contact Nancy Letts at or call at  401-741-2712.
The Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist group meets Sundays at 1:45p in Room 1.
Weekly Activities
We will be selling eBingo cards for the 2 nd round starting this Sunday after the service in Hobart Hall. Don’t forget to get your play cards. We’ll sell them for one more Sunday then start the second round. The more participants, the bigger the jackpot! Buy an extra set of cards for your friends and family. Join in the fun every time you open your email.

Bill Petrarca
Community Wednesday  
Community Wednesday is held in Hobart Hall. Bring friends and neighbors, too. Join us each Wednesday for a delicious meal prepared by Chef Joy for a small donation. After the fellowship and fine fare from 6:00- 6:45p, join your favorite programming event, committee meeting, or social activity. Child care is provided until 8:30p.
Regular Activities for November:

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
Social Justice
South Fort Myers Food Pantry  
Urgent need for canned goods! If you have a lot of canned goods left over from your hurricane stock, please consider donating them to the Food Pantry this week. There is a collection basket in the Narthex by the middle door.
If you have questions or are interested in volunteering, email Fran Rose at Put "Food Pantry" on the subject line of your email.
Kimberly Littleton is looking for some volunteers to help put up holiday decor in November. If you are interested, please contact Kimberly at:
UU History/Herstory
Mary White Ovington  (April 11, 1865- July 15, 1951) was a suffragette, socialist, Unitarian, journalist and co-founder of the  NAACP . Ovington was a white civil rights advocate and organizer who worked to address racial discrimination within housing and employment in New York City, work that led her into relationship with prominent Black civil rights organizers including leaders of the  Niagara Movement and WEB Du Bois. Her work in support of and alongside many others would eventually lead to the founding of the permanent body known as the NAACP. Its early members included Josephine Ruffin, Mary Talbert, Mary Church Terrell, Inez Milholland, Jane Addams, George Henry White, Charles Edward Russell, John Dewey, Charles Darrow, Lincoln Steffens, Ray Stannard Baker, Fanny Garrison Villard, Oswald Garrison Villard and Ida Wells-Barnett. Ovington would go on to serve in various leadership capacities at the NAACP throughout her time while also authoring numerous books. Read more about  her work here.

May we be relentless in our work for growth - for ourselves and each other. Like Ovington, may we continue to strengthen our study coupled with praxis, building relationships with those with whom we share a vision of the world we are building. May we honor the contributions and legacy of those who came before.
My UU Story
Many Views About God by UUs
The Fuun Buunch is a group of church members and friends who regularly meet for a meal and social get-together. At a recent Thai restaurant dinner, people were asked their thoughts on God. Here are some of the answers:

“I was born and raised Baptist, Saved, and Baptized – the whole scam. I don’t believe in a God. My God is nature – I can see and feel my God.” ~Randall Gann
“Growing up Unitarian, I believe in a greater force than humans.  I believe that every person on earth has one thing in common: we are all human beings." ~Laura Snow

“God is everywhere. My spiritual energy emanates from nature and other people, the oceans and the mountains lift me, and I am open to spirits that surround me." ~Mary Nies

“God exists, but is beyond people’s scope to understand." ~ Robert Nies

“God is a creator and higher power. This is what I learned as a child in the Congregational Church." ~Mary Gayle Skinner

“We are Christian and we believe in God and salvation. We pray and we wonder why those who claim to be atheist say: ‘Thank God!’" ~Alice & Susan Forsyth

“In early civilizations, people did not understand science, so they created various Gods to explain what they did not know. And, if God created the world, how and when was God created?” ~Joy F. Sokeitous

“I believe God is a powerful energy that surrounds us." ~Joan Hickok

“I am still a believer in God and the power of prayer. This church has changed a lot of ideas about religion for me. I am more open in my thinking." ~Peg Clayton Fischer.
-- Compiled 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.
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
Lifeline Screening at UUCFM

Why Get Screened?
Taking preventive steps such as making lifestyle changes and getting health screening may help you avoid a stroke or other serious health events in the future. Early intervention is important.

If you are over fifty, if you have diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, or if you have a family history of stroke or heart disease, you may be at risk, even if you feel great. Actually four out of five people who suffer a stroke have no apparent symptoms and nearly 30% of strokes occur under the age of 65. The good news is that according to the National Stroke Association, 80% of strokes can be prevented. Life Line Screening will help you find out if you are at risk, so you and your doctor can take the next steps and be proactive about your health.

Where: Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers
When: Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pre-registration is required. The Wellness Package includes 4 vascular tests for $139 ($129 with our member discount). The screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete. In order to register for this event and to receive a $10 discount off any package priced above $129, please call 1-888- 653-6450 or visit There are 2 free screening certificates in the Narthex. First to pick them up gets them.
SWFL Gay & Lesbian Chorus
SWFL Gay & Lesbian Chorus with
Tropical Storm present

There's No Business Like Snow Business

2017 Holiday Concert
Saturday, December 9th in Hobart Hall
6:00pm Dinner
7:00pm Concert

For tickets contact
Nov 1 Ann Heckes
Nov 1 Barbara Moreland
Nov 2 Miriam Jones
Nov 5 Mary Nies
Nov 8 Alice Forsyth
Nov 8 Terri Kelly 
Nov 8 Bob Krieger
Nov 17 Denis Jensen
Nov 20 Theresa Bahre 
Nov 21 Erin Everson 
Nov 21 Mary Murray
Nov 23 Mary Dryden
Nov 26 Carolyn Thompson
Nov 28 Bob Krieger
Nov 28 Jennifer McFadden
Nov 29 Liz Taggart
Nov 30 Amy Laursen
Nov 30 Bob Nies
  Please send all news articles for the Weekly E-news to
All Communicator articles may be emailed to
Newsletter Editor: Jill Carville 
(239) 561-2700 
Board of Trustees

President              Steve Eisenberg        239-634-7367
President Elect     Matt Hoffman          239-222-4836
Secretary Theresa Bahre 843-472-0386
Treasurer              Jen Smith             630-881-0000
VP Finance             Deb Lewis            239-313-5618
VP Programming Julie Ireland 786-348-5544
VP Ministerial Services   Susan Forsyth         239-424-8442
VP Operations           Bill Petrarca           239-454-2438
Member at Large Bruce Marble 239-596-2703
Youth Representative Madeline Wellman

Minister            Rev. Allison Farnum  239-561-2700x204
Director of Music   Amy Laursen        941-932-2353
Director of RE       Jenn Blosser       239-561-2700x208
Office Manager      Jill Carville          239-561-2700x202
Building Supervisor  Mickey Kellam       239-738-3473
Nursery Supervisor  Liza Kellam          239-314-6316