The Communicator
October 2018 Volume 35 Issue 10
Sunday Worship Service
All Welcome to our Service at 10:30 am Sundays in the Miller Sanctuary
Community Sharing in October: Visuality, Inc
The mission of Visuality is to enhance and sustain the health and well-being of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning communities and allies. They provide activities, programs, educational events, and services that create community, empower community members, provide essential resources, advocate for civil and human rights; and embrace, promote and support our cultural diversity. We strive to end violence, harassment and discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or sexual expression. Visuality Website
Humanist Forum
The Humanist Forum meets every Sunday at 9:15 am in Hobart Hall. All are welcome to attend.   The Humanist Forum on Sunday, October 7th will be on  The Future of Food.  There is no topic more central to whether human society can survive catastrophic warming in the decades ahead unless we come to terms with how to feed people sustainably. Two great talks address aspects of this looming realization. Think plants! Think regenerative methods of agriculture!
Social Hour
Sunday's Social Hour happens after the service every week and is provided by volunteers from the Women's Circle on the first Sunday, CUUPS on the second Sunday, Humanist Forum on the third Sunday, Men's Group on the fourth Sunday and if there is a fifth Sunday, it is All Church.  Any donations of food, snacks or cash are welcome. 

BURN, our High School Youth Group meets on Sundays at noon in Room 4. All youth, ages 14-18, are welcome! This Sunday we have a Theatrical Group Meet n Greet at 12:30. Contact Director of Religious Education, Jenn Blosser:
IGNITE , our junior youth group for ages 10-13, meets weekly from 12-1 pm in Room 3. Come join us for community, conversation, and finding your call to action! Questions about the group? Reach out to Stephanie Hoffman:
SPARK is our newest youth group. Exclusively for children ages five to nine, Spark will meet weekly from 12-1 in Room 2 to explore Unitarian Universalism and learn more about our church and each other. 
Staff and Board News
From the Minister
When I first moved here, I remember being shocked about how "behind the times" Lee County was in terms of LGBTQA+ inclusion. Coming out was a real issue here that could have effects on one's livelihood, familial relationships, and even health care in ways I had not imagined coming from a big city like Chicago. Though PRIDE and Coming Out day in Lee County has grown from a smaller affair (hosted once on our campus many years ago) to the large event it is now, the systemic oppression of LGBTQA+ folks of all ages is still real here. So, we are preparing for PRIDE here at UUCFM, and this year partnering with volunteers to staff our church booth as well as to offer folks hugs. Why hugs? Well, Free Mom Hugs for those whose mothers rejected them. Free dad hugs for the people whose dads disowned them. Free minister hugs from the congregations that oppressed a person just for who they love. Hugs and love all around - for our inclusive faith teaches us that all are deserving who agree in Love!

I want to thank all those who are attending the training and who are staffing our UUCFM tent and the FREE HUGS tent. Special thanks to new member Anne Reed for her vision and coordination. Be sure to attend PRIDE this Saturday starting at noon at Alliance for the Arts, say hi to UUCFM volunteers, and then come our special PRIDE service Sunday.

Rev. Allison Farnum
Music Notes

The UUCFM Choir  rehearses most Wednesday nights from 6:45-8:15 pm, and on Sunday mornings from 9-10 am in the sanctuary. It's free and there are no auditions. Come join us in singing!

The UUCFM Band  rehearses most Wednesday nights from 6:00-6:45 pm, and on Sunday mornings from 9-10 am 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!

Suellen Kipp, Director of Music
Religious Education News
BUU Fest is coming on Friday, October 19th from 5-9 pm and we need volunteers and donations! BUU Fest is our annual Halloween party which offers fun for  everyone  in the congregation with stories, games, prizes, and performances - not to mention costumes and treats.

We need volunteers for...
  • running games
  • selling sweet & savory treats
  • managing the prize table
  • reading ghost stories

Click this link to go to our volunteer sign-up page:

We are also collecting Halloween prizes!  Bring bags of NUT FREE treats and party favors to the Narthex and drop them off in the big pumpkin so we can hand them out to our little monsters at BUU Fest. Thank you!

Jenn Blosser
From the Office
We are now entering "season" and church classes, meetings, and events will be in full swing soon! Please reserve your spaces and times for all upcoming activities. Most of our prime time slots are full already. (Sundays at noon & weeknights.) There are classrooms available for Wednesday & Friday eves, and Saturdays. Contact the office manager at the email below to reserve. Thanks!

Jill Carville, Office Manager
Board of Trustees News
The Board would like to announce their Volunteer of the Month. It is Stephanie Hoffman! Stephanie was chosen for the new OWL training organization and her continuing dedication to religious education/family ministry .

The next Board meeting is Tuesday, October 9th at 6:30 pm in the Conference Room. All are welcome to attend.
Social Justice & Outreach Meeting
The Social Justice & Outreach Ministry meets Sunday, October 7th in C lassroom 1 at noon.
Worship & Music Ministry
Our meetings are held in the Sanctuary on the third Sunday of each month from 12:15 - 1:45 pm. Join us if you are already or wish to be involved in this ministry that includes all things service related including the following:

-Choir and Music Team
-Worship Associates
-Audio Visual

All are welcome and we hope to see you there! Contact Board Co-Liaisons Theresa L. Bahre  and Lesley Peterson  if you have any questions.
From the Village
If you would like to volunteer for the Halloween party, contact us at  to sign up. We would love your help!

Attention Knowledge Seekers : We are looking for people interested in leading classes during our Sunday second hour (12:00-1:00 pm). There are hundreds of prepared curricula available from the UUA. Contact us at  if you would like more information about offering a class. We are here to support you. 

Stephanie Hoffman
UUCFM Special Events
Something's Rotten in the State of Florida!
What has happened to our beautiful rivers and beaches?  Is it Climate Change, Big Sugar, Over Development?  Come to our October 10th panel discussion and hear what our panel of experts have to say about what is wrong and how to fix it.Space and parking are limited.  If you are in town and plan to attend, please RSVP to this email. Also, be kind to the environment and share rides if you can!

Members and Friends are invited to join us for our October 10, 2018 meeting from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church,  13411 Shire Lane  (off of Daniels Parkway), Fort Myers, FL.

Our panel of three local women scientists will bring their perspective on the health and environmental impacts of the recent plague of harmful algal bloom and red tide.  The panel will be moderated by David Holden, Congressional Candidate for District 19, who will add the legislative policy implications of dealing with this situation between federal and state govenments.
Dreamwork Group
Please RSVP if you are interested in participating in the next Dreamwork group led by Debra Leigh. We will meet six Sundays after church, beginning at 12:00 pm and ending around 2:00-2:15, depending on how many participants are in the group. We skip the 3rd Sunday of each month. The dates are: Nov. 11, 25, Dec. 2, 9, 23, 30. I will have the room number when you RSVP to:  or call Debra at (831) 818-1418.
Arts and Crafts Fair Returning
Sundays, December 2nd and 9th, from 11:30-1:30, we will be hosting Members & Friends for Arts & Crafts Booths and the All-Church Bake Sale. Mark your calendars to enjoy Christmas shopping, Christmas cookies to freeze, Next-to-New items, Joy's Chili lunch, and to see what our people create.

For Booth sign up contact Patricia Linhoff, 612-382-5927,

For Volunteering, Next-to-New items, and Baked Goods, contact Suzanne Ziemer, cell: 812-332-3450,
UU Women's Retreat

Celebrating Sacred Places
9th Annual Florida Unitarian Universalist Women’s Retreat
April 5-7, 2019
DaySpring Episcopal Conference Center Ellenton, FL.

The retreat begins Friday at 5:00pm and ends Sunday. DaySpring Conference Center is conveniently located off I-75 just north of Sarasota on Florida’s West Coast. The beautiful campus nestled under ancient oaks and located on a cove of the Manatee River offers a serene setting for our annual retreat. Take a look.

$220 per person covers expenses for a semi-private room and meals. 8 women share a cozy cottage with 4 bedrooms and 4 baths, a screened porch and common area. A limited number of single rooms are available at $292 each.

A non-refundable deposit of $15 for a semi-private room or $25 for a private room will reserve your place. Final payment is due January 15, 2019. Come join us for an enriching and memorable weekend. Any questions? Contact Helen Leddy
UUCFM Classes & Groups
Book Study
Join us at Book Study on Wednesdays at 1:00 pm. We are reading the book  Sapiens  by Yuval Noah Harari. Come having read the first few chapters. We meet in the Church Library.

"One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?
Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.
Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?"
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 .
Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Group
The Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist group meets Sundays in Room 1. All are welcome to join us. We have a new meeting time- 2:00-4:00 pm.
It's Time to Think "Connection Circle"
Come one, come all to the next 6 sessions of the Connection Circle beginning after church on Sunday, November 11th! New members, potential members, visitors and long-time members all are welcome. As we discuss meaningful spiritual topics by sharing our own life experiences as guided by a trained church-member facilitator, we get to know each other (and sometimes ourselves!) on a rich and deep level. We will meet every other Sunday, ending on January 20th. Participation in all six sessions is expected. For more information and to register, please contact Nancy Letts at njletts @  or call at 401-741-2712.

Thank you.
My best,
Nancy Letts
UUCFM Weekly Activities
Community Wednesday  
Community Wednesday Dinners are back! Please join us for Chef Joy's Dinners at 6:00 pm. We will be serving salad, soup and entree. The price is $5.00. The meal is vegetarian, but every other week will feature a meat item alternate.

Community Activities for October:
6:00-6:45        Band Rehearsal in Sanctuary
6:45-8:00        Choir Rehearsal in Sanctuary
Social Justice
Free Hugs at PRIDE SWFL!
We're seeking volunteers to spread love and information about our awesome church! Inspired by the Free Mom Hugs movement, new member Anne Reed is coordinating volunteers to staff two tents at PRIDE SWFL on Saturday, October 6, 2018. Volunteers can sign up to help staff the church display table and tell people more about UUCFM and/or sign up to staff the FREE HUGS tent. Link to the volunteer sign-up form:

A volunteer orientation meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 4 at 6:30 pm. To volunteer or get more information, please email Anne Reed
Pachamama SWFL Thursday Night Game Changer Gathering! 

From Social Activism to Electoral Victory
Thursday, October 4th  6:30 pm Hobart Hall
Unitarian Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers • Shire Lane, Fort Myers, 33912, FL

Meet activist Cynthia Odierna, who co-founded the  SWFL Justice4All Coalition  along with Suzanne Cherney, and hear about their Moral Monday Meet-ups in Naples. Cynthia and Suzanne, along with the other core group members, Carol and Holden Waterman, have been working to help groups put their talents and strengths together through their networking hub.  She will bring along student activists who are committed to work together, now more than ever, to affect cohesive, positive change in the realms of safer gun laws, LGBTQ matters and other issues of social justice. Cynthia will be joined by these students, Michaela O'brien and Zac Vega, who will talk about their efforts and successes at organizing students and stimulating them to take part in shaping their futures by Marching on the Polls in 2018 and 2020. We will also meet Tamara Paquette who will tell us about the upcoming candidates forum in Naples.

The SWFL Justice4All Coalition now has over 50 affiliates, ranging from political organizations to totally non-partisan groups. Cynthia Odierna will explain how and why they founded the Coalition in the wake of the explosion of political and social activism in southwest Florida following the November 2016 election. The burning question now is, what next?  How do we continue to strengthen the Coalition and make our work even more goal-directed? How do we keep our eyes on the prize despite the distractions emanating from the constant scandals in the White House? How do we maximize our impact on legislation? And - now that the 2018 mid-term elections are drawing closer - how do we balance our other activist priorities with the unglamorous work of getting like-minded people elected? A Q&A session will follow this brief presentation.

Pot luck desserts and beverages encouraged. Tables available for your organization to share information, as always.  

To read more about our speakers and to register online click on the   Event link here  Or, just show up! You can join our online Pachamama SWFL Community from this link. 

I hope to see some of you Thursday night. There are many exciting upcoming events and opportunities to find out about!

For all our Relations,
Holley Rauen
Changes to the Food Pantry re: Donations
The support that UUCFM has shown to our pantry over the years is greatly appreciated and along with other coalition members' support it has helped the South Fort Myers Food Pantry (FMFP) to feed 23,000 people in need during 2017. The Harry Chapin Food Bank is vital to our mission, to feed the needy of South Fort Myers, at a very modest cost. They are however, making some changes at Harry Chapin.

In the past, members of our congregation have financially supported the pantry by donating directly to the pantry or by sending checks to the Harry Chapin Food Bank with the stipulation the funds were to support the SFMFP. The Food Bank would then place the funds in a "Designated Grant" account for our use to purchase food. They are eliminating these accounts. As of August 1, 2018 any checks they receive in support of one particular pantry will be returned to the sender. Therefore, our pantry is requesting that any monetary donations be sent directly to and made out to:

   The South Fort Myers Food Pantry

If you feel strongly about your donation being only for food and not for operating expenses, write "for food only" on the memo line. The pantry relies on the support of the coalition churches for the funds and the volunteers needed. There are no paid positions and it takes hundreds of volunteer hours and thousands of dollars each month to accomplish our mission. If you have questions call Fran Rose and leave a message at 617-750-0470 and Fran will return your call.  
Big things are happening! We asked the commission to form a children's service council and while they are still refusing to even allow it on the ballot- they have increased the budget for children's services by $1.7 million. Should this budget pass we will be able to celebrate dental care for thousands of more children as well as hundreds of children getting access to full day preschool. It is still not a victory but it is a sign that work for justice is never done in vain. 

If you would like to order a LIFE t-shirt you can do so at .  Shirts can be worn out and about and at community events.

2018-2019 Dates. See below for the newly announced dates for the upcoming year.

Annual Assembly
Monday, October 29, 2018

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Nehemiah Action
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 Community Forum

Caring News
If you have any caring concerns, please contact Neil Yesu at
Art in the Narthex
The Art in the Narthex for October features Mary Richey's- "A Retrospective." Check it out!
Member to Member
Do you have something to offer, trade, or sell? Are you looking for something? Free ad space here for personal items only. Will run ad for 4 weeks. Email
Free Singing Lessons!
If you have occasionally said to yourself,  “Gee, it would be fullfilling to sing with the UU choir if only I knew how.”  Well, believe me, everyone can sing. All most of us need is a little encouragement and a few lessons. Here’s your chance. Join several us UU’s and take these free lessons taught by an expert. No obligation to join the choir. . None of us are “great” singers. We just love to sing and contribute to the beauty of our Sunday services. But if you do, you’ll find our director, Suellen a very supportive and inspiring director.

Glenn Siebert , UU choir member  (440) 572-5558
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 Wednesday for publication in the Thursday E-news.
FORT MYERS, Fla . (September 20, 2018) – The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee is seeking volunteer tax preparers, interpreters, and greeters to help our  Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA ) sites during the 2018 tax season. With the support of trained, IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers, VITA sites provide free tax preparation to individuals and families earning less than $66,000 per year throughout the five county area of Lee, Hendry, Glades, Okeechobee and Charlotte Counties.
Volunteers of all ages and levels of experience are welcome, though all volunteers need to be comfortable working with a computer. There is a special need for bilingual Spanish speakers. Flexible hours are available January through April. Volunteers will receive specialized IRS certified training including learning how to prepare basic tax returns, using online tax preparation software, and learning about tax deductions and earned income tax credits that benefit eligible taxpayers. In addition, experienced agents, certified financial planners, and non-credentialed tax return preparers can earn continuing education credits when volunteering as a VITA tax preparer.
“For the past eleven years, VITA volunteers have made a real difference in the lives of people in our community,” said Cliff Smith, President of United Way. “Volunteers who come back year after year tell us the VITA program is very rewarding because they connect with members of our community and empower families to achieve economic success.”
Last year, 150 volunteers helped file nearly 5,000 federal tax returns, bringing over $6.7 million dollars in federal tax refunds back to the local community through the United Way VITA program. In addition, United Way VITA clients saved the cost of tax preparation by a commercial service which totaled over $1.2 million.
An orientation and training class for  new  volunteers will be offered  November 17 th  at Florida Gulf Coast University. For tax professionals or experienced volunteers, an online training and certification tool is available. Interested parties can register online at  , contact Patrice Cunningham at , or call 239.433.7557.
The United Way Volunteer Center connects individuals and companies to volunteer opportunities throughout our community. You can find additional volunteer opportunities by visiting the United Way website at .

Louise Hawthorne
Communications & Marketing Manager
United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades & Okeechobee
Lee County Election Deadlines
The following deadlines apply for the General Election on Nov. 6, 2018:
  • Register to vote – Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018
  • Request Vote-By-Mail Ballot – Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018
Early voting will occur as follows:
  • General – Oct. 22 thru Nov. 3, 2018
If you are voting by mail and you will not be at the address provided, contact Lee County Elections. Your ballot will not be forwarded to a different address. For more information call 239-533-8683 or on-line at  www.Lee.Vote .
Oct 11 Roady Blosser is 15! 
Oct 11 Jeff Hutchinson
Oct 12  Karen Feinen  
Oct 13  Deep Ford  
Oct 14  Vanda Barnes 
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
Oct 30  Sue Magee
Oct 31 Don Burget
Board of Trustees

Matt Hoffman 239-222-4836
President Elect
Alison Carville 239-634-0487
Jen Smith 630-881-0000             
VP Finance
Bruce Marble 239-596-2703     
VP Programming
Cathy Snow 239-896-3693 cm
VP Ministerial Services
Lesley Peterson 239-839-4434
VP Operations
Mary Alice Pierce 239-267-4429           
Member at Large
Don Ehat 239-947-8143

Rev. Allison Farnum 239-561-2700x204
Director of Music   
Suellen Kipp
Director of RE        
Office Manager       
Building Supervisor   
Nursery Supervisor