The Communicator
October 2017 Volume 34 Issue 10
Important Information for All Members:

How Did You Weather the Storm?

The storm may have been over two weeks ago but many of us are still feeling its impact. We are now in a different cone of uncertainty. Life has not returned to normal. UUCFM is here to help in a number of ways. Already many of us have checked on folks to see if they are OK. Some, are helping others clean up debris at their home or the church. Many us are telling our story and listening the the stories of others. Still others are helping parts of the community that were hit harder. It is normal to feel unsettled even after you are able to return to your home. If you need to talk with someone about your storm experience, please feel free to contact Neil Yesu, who can put you in touch with a Pastoral Care Associate. Your Community Ministers are also available. 

Some of you may be worried about the finances of paying for storm damage and other costs not covered by insurance. Perhaps your out-of-pocket costs are less than your deductible but more than you feel you can comfortably cover. If this sounds like you, please do not hesitate to contact the Reverend Margaret Beard Your costs  may be able to be covered by a block grant our congregation hopes to receive from the UUA Southern Region’s "Disaster Relief Fund." At the most recent board meeting, the board authorized the following process. 

The first step is to email Rev. Beard to arrange a time to speak on the phone about your situation. You will need to be able to give a ball park amount which we will use to help determine our congregational request for the block grant. Please contact Rev. Beard no later than Tuesday October 3rd even if you feel you have only partial information about your need for help with non-reimbursed costs. After we hear the amount of our block grant which is approved, the money will be disbursed by Rev. Beard through our congregation’s "Minister’s Discretionary Fund." Your request and the disbursement of money will be confidential and known only by Rev. Beard and one board member who will sign the checks. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Rev. Beard.

If you are in a position to contribute to the Fund, please do so at: As of this writing the fund has received over $65,000. It is a good start but more is needed. As we receive more information we will share it with you. UUCFM has always been a caring congregation. We know that together we can get through just about anything.

Rev. Margaret Beard
Sundays in October
Meetings this Sunday, October 1
Cell Tower Buy-Out Discussions
At noon this Sunday in Room 7, Bill Petrarca will discuss proposals currently before the Board of Trustees regarding possible buy-outs of the church’s cell tower lease. Anyone interested in knowing more details about the possible transaction or having comments that the board should consider in their deliberations, please join Bill.

RE Committee

The Religious Education Committee meets in the Conference Room at 11:45a.

Social Justice

The Social Justice Committee meets at noon in Room 1.

Newcomers Meeting

There will be a meeting for all newcomers to the church who would like to learn more about us in Room 4 at noon.
Staff & Board News
Board Thank Yous
The Volunteers of the Month are Walter & Simone Ittenbach!  Thank you to all the volunteers who helped out to clean up the church and grounds after the hurricane, especially the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
Music Notes
Musical Calendar

October 1: Classical pianist Alexandra Carlson! 

October 8: As we host Betty Osceola, Angela Melton leads the Choir in singing a Dakota pipeline protest song,  Water is Life ~ Mni Wiconi

October 15: The Choir and Band join forces to rock USA for Africa's 80s ballad,  We Are the World.

October 22: Austin Pierce covers the edgy folk song  Your Next Bold Move by Ani DiFranco, and the Choir does an encore performance of Hezekiah Walker's gospel number  I Need You to Survive. 

October 29: For our service honoring our beloved dead, Karen Feinan and Keith Hamlin pair up for folk song,  This Love Will Carry, by Dougie MacLean and Kathy Mattea, and the Choir shares the mystic pagan round,  The Gates, by Reclaiming. 

The next  Music Committee meeting is TBA.  

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
Save the Date!
Pachamama Alliance of SWFL
First Thursday Game Changer Gatherings
The Pachamama Community of Southwest Florida invites you all to gather the first Thursday evening of each month at 6:30 pm for inspiring speakers, Pachamama Alliance updates, coffee, tea and pot-luck desserts. We gather in in Hobart Hall as Game Changers and Awakened Dreamers. We will show a short inspiring Pachamama produced YouTube clip for each gathering. Here is what we have planned for the rest of 2017:

Want to experience something unique and fascinating?

“Journey into the Self—Journey into Change”

Featuring  Rev. James Reho , who has returned from his amazing journey with the Achuar tribe, who are  dream readers living in the Amazon forest of Ecuador. These  indigenous peoples, who have a rich, ancient culture, first inspired and now participate with Pachamama Alliances worldwide as we do, with the shared vision of helping create a more sustainable, just, and fulfilling way for human beings to live on this planet.
Date:  Thursday Evening, October 5 th
Time:  6:30p
Place: Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers - Hobart Hall
Bring: If you like, bring a potluck dessert and bring a friend!

Thursday, November 2nd
Speaker TBA 
Exploring the Qualities of a Game Changer

Thursday, December 7th
Author, Yogi and Health educator Nancy Loughan will be addressing need need for a Spiritual Practice to ground in doing the political work needed at this time. 
FUUn BUUnch Reminder
Saturday Dinner, September 30th at 6:00p

For all those who have signed up for the FUUn BUUnch for an exotic dinner at the THAI GARDEN

Located in the College Parkway Plaza

Thai Garden
7091 College Parkway, #15
Fort Myers, FL 33907
(239) 275-0999

John E. Fischer, 267-992-6566 or

Bob Nies , 239-466-7933 or

The THAI GARDEN is in the College Parkway Plaza on the South side of College
Parkway just west of Route 41, near Office Depot and First Watch.

FUUn BUUnch BrUUnch!
Join the FUUn BUUnch BrUUnch Gang SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8th AT 12:30p for breakfast/lunch at Mimi’s Café at Bell Tower Shops at 5070 BellTower Shop Ave, Fort Myers, Fl 33907. 1-239-561-0073

Please RSVP to John or Bob by Tuesday, October 4th.
(The restaurant requires firm numbers by this date.)

John E. Fischer, 267 992 6566 or
Bob Nies , 239 466 7933 or

Mimi’s Café is on the north east corner of Daniels Parkway and Route 41 in Fort Myers, Fl. If you need special directions or help, call John or Bob at the numbers above or Mimi’s Café at 1 239 561 0073.
Holton Eco-Preserve, Family Gardens Kick-off Delayed
2 Weeks
Hi friends of the Eco-Preserve and the Family Gardens,
Hurricane Irma has setback our work schedule for the gardens by about 2 weeks. We have some damage that we have to repair and the delivery of soil has been delayed as well. Furthermore, the automatic watering system is not working because we still have no power in the gardens. So we think we can catch-up by the 15 th of October. So our first day is now set for October 15 th
We will, however, stay on our 1 st Saturday of the month schedule for our gardening meetups. For new gardeners, you can come and finish your signups, get your bed assignments, get questions answered.
Thank you for your understanding of this extraordinary situation. 
Bill Petrarca
Because a number of players still do not have email access yet, we have delayed the kick-off of eBINGO until next Monday, October 2nd. The jackpot is $135 and you have a 1 in 20 chance to win! Because we're extending the kick-off one week, we'll sell more eBINGO cards next Sunday after service. That should boost the pot a little more!!

This is the email address you should contact once you have a winning card or if you have a question.

Have a safe week and we'll be in touch net Monday.

Bill Petrarca
Classes & Groups
UUCFM Book Group
The UUCFM Book Group meets each Wednesday from 1:00 to 2:30p in the Library. Next Wednesday, October 4th, we review Chapter 8, the last chapter in Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth . If you haven't attended for a while or have never attended, please join us. This session should be worth your time. The very next Wednesday, October 11th, we begin a new 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
The Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist group meets Sundays at 1:45p in Room 1.
Weekly Activities
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 October:

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.
Member to Member
Church Member in Urgent Need of Room to Rent
Randall Gann is in urgent need of a room to rent. Circumstances beyond Randall's control have resulted in his losing his current living quarters. If anyone knows of rental availability to help Randall, please contact him at  239.834.2946.
My UU Story
Amy Laursen:
Elegance of Science
One fall day at Florida State, I was walking through the student union and saw a flyer that read, “Do you want to get together and talk about the questions of life, the universe, and everything? Free pizza!” There were about a dozen of us who would meet on weekday evenings in a gazebo or on the green, and we talked about everything: our spiritual upbringings, transitioning into adulthood, how to cope with 9/11.  And we practiced meditation and held pagan ceremonies. That Campus Ministry was my introduction to Unitarian Universalism. 
At the time, I was exploring different beliefs, but by the end of college I decided that science was my preferred world view. Its elegance made my heart sing. It was a breath of fresh air to have so much clarity. And, science’s humility about its own limits filled me with gratitude. It seemed like the term atheist best described me, but the word came with so much baggage. I remained closeted for a long time, especially since as a young musician I needed church jobs for steady income over the summer. 
One Sunday morning, in 2006, I was sitting at the piano in a small church, when I realized that I couldn’t take it anymore. The pastor had preached many ideas I found questionable, but that day he said that if people didn’t believe that demons were real and active in their personal lives, they were not good Christians and were going to hell. I dismissed the idea immediately, but as I looked around at the earnest faces in the congregation I realized that many of them were taking him seriously. Since my working there lent his words credibility and provided an emotional connection to his message, I quit as soon as I was able.
The next Sunday, I went to the UU Church of Tampa, and as I was shaking hands and introducing myself, one man asked about my personal beliefs, and I replied that I was an atheist. Instead of cringing and saying something awkward or demeaning, he genuinely smiled and welcomed me. I felt a flood of relief for being able to share openly and be accepted. I’ve been a UU ever since. 
P.S. A couple of years later at the UU Church of Tallahassee, Rev. Robin Gray introduced me to the term humanist, which is how I describe my beliefs today. 

Note: Amy is now  Director of Music at UUCFM.

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.
Because of the generous gift of Judie Marble and a previous gift from Patricia Linhoff, UUCFM has a fabulous supply of yarn and some knitting needles. The intention is for this yarn to be used for the making of Comfort Shawls that the Caring Network distributes to members. You can find further information about the shawls at this link . The yarn can be found in the boxes inside the door of the office. The office may be accessed Sundays through the Library door, which will be unlocked.

When you have completed a shawl, contact Diane Buckley at Your efforts will be greatly appreciated as the shawls are treasured by their recipients.
2018 Women's Retreat
It's time to start planning to attend the 2018 Florida UU Women's Retreat, April 13-15. Flyers will be available in the Narthex. This year, we are again sending this information to all the Florida UU congregations at the same time that this mailing is going out to you allowing more UU women to learn about the retreat. 

We are looking for volunteers to participate in the program planning. If you are interested and we hope you are, please contact us. Program planning can take place from anywhere in the state, so don't be reluctant to sign up to help.

Helen Leddy
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
Shalom Life Center Help Wanted- Teen May Apply
Shalom Life Center is looking for someone to help with the setup of our weekly Friday evening services which are held either in the Sanctuary or Hobart Hall. We begin on Fridays at 5:30p which involves the setting up of chairs and tables for about a half an hour and again after the service at 9:30p putting away tables and chairs and assisting with general cleanup. In addition to regular Friday nights we are also seeking help with our monthly Saturday night events which also require the set up and take down of chairs and tables and general cleanup. If you are interested please contact Lawrence Dermer at  239-218-3433  or email . This is not a volunteer position, we are offering compensation as well as community service hours if applicable.
Oct 11 Roady Blosser is 14!
Oct 11  Jeff Hutchinson
Oct 15 Ted Brown
Oct 17 Holley Rauen
Oct 18 Doc Gatto 
Oct 18 Jane Petrarca
Oct 23 Ruth Fotovat   
Oct 23 Gordon Woodworth III
Oct 27  Sima Robbins
Oct 30 Peter Golbitz 
Oct 30 Jersey Blosser is 17!
Oct 30 Sue Magee
Oct 31 Don Burget
  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