The Communicator
October 2019 Volume 36 Issue 10
Join us this Sunday, October 6th at 10:30 AM in the Miller Sanctuary for our weekly service entitled Afflicting the Soul (Yom Kippur Service).
Works Cited in Rev. Martinez's Sunday Sermon of September 29, 2019

Cheevers, Susan. American Bloomsbury
Eck, Diana. A New Religious America
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Nature and Harvard Divinity School Address or simply “An Address.”
● Essay Nature:
● Divinity School Address:

Gandhi, Mahatma. Sermon on the Sea
Gura, Philip. American Transcendentalism
Richardson, Jr. Robert D.. Emerson Mind on Fire.
Thoreau, Henry David , Civil Disobedience (Essay) and Walden
The Bhagavad Gita
The Upanishads

“Why Changing Somebody’s Mind, or Yours, Is Hard to Do”
by David Ropeik
July 13, 2010

Humanist Forum

The Humanist Forum meets every Sunday at 9:15 AM in Hobart Hall. All are welcome to attend. Join us as we engage in a new topic each week.

Sunday Social Hour

Sunday's Social Hour happens after the Sunday service every week at 11:30 AM. Come join us for coffee and snacks. Newcomers, visitors, friends, and members are all welcome. Sponsoring groups are the Women's Circle and CUUPs. Donations of food, snacks, or cash are always welcome.

Community Sharing

The mission of the South Fort Myers Food Pantry Coalition is to feed the needy of the South Fort Myers area including Sanibel and Captiva.

The pantry works in partnership with the Harry Chapin Food Bank and Midwest Food Bank and is supported by churches and organizations in South Fort Myers which provide funds, food and volunteers in service to our community.

Minister's Column

In my September sermon I asked you to remember we are a Community of Covenant. We are bound together by the promises we make to each other and the promises we keep. Being a covenantal community defines us and binds us. Covenants hold us accountable to each other. We strive to be in right relationship with each other. What defines us are the promises we make and the promises we keep. Being in community with each other permits us to be reminded of those promises and provide an opportunity to be accountable to ourselves and others. Being in covenant gives us a measure of grace to have that moment to remind ourselves what we agreed to and to come back in with one another. The covenant gives us an opportunity to be in right relationship with each other. A promise made, a promise kept. 

It is only fair that I share with you my promises. I promise you I am here to serve as your interim minister. My promise to you is that I am here to partner with you in shared ministry. My promise to you is to safeguard the health and vitality of this congregation and to protect it from those who might harm it or its members. My promise to you is to work together with you to guide this beloved church into the future. I promise to bring you hope when hope is hard to find. I promise to lead when leadership is needed. My promise to you is to work to help you make the best first choices in this period of interim ministry. My promise to you is that I will not accept nor consider any offer to become your settled minister. This latter promise gives us both the opportunity to work quickly and get to the point of what is really needed to make a difference at this moment in time for our time together is limited it will pass quickly. Let’s make the most of it.

Here are some of the promises you made and connected to the Promise Chain: 

I promise to lean into change and to be open to allow myself to be changed & be held in return.

I promise to use my skills to help UUCFM where needed.

I promised to commit to seeking opportunities to say yes, rather than waiting to be asked.

When able, I promise I will help serve in needed roles.

I promised to place importance on inclusiveness and diversity.

I promise to be present to others & create space to listen to others.

I promise to give myself unselfishly, and to put love into action.

I promise to invite friends to join me here.

I promise to bring doughnuts 

I promise to compromise.

I promise to speak to one new person every service.

I pledge to help newcomers feel warmly welcomed.

I promise to be present.

I promise to show up.
Meet the Minister

Rev. Carlos will be holding Meet the Minister sessions in October and November. This is an opportunity to share your hopes and dreams for the future of UUCFM. The sessions will happen on Sundays and Wednesdays in the Minister's office. Please choose one session from the following dates:

Wednesdays 6:00-7:30 PM: October 16, October 23, October 30

Sundays 12 noon-1:30 PM: October 6, October 20, November 3, November 10, December 8

Space is limited. Sign up with the Office Manager to reserve your spot. or 239-561-2700.
Interim Startup Kickoff

An Integral part of the Interim Ministry is the Interim Startup. The Startup will be kicking off October 25, 26 and 27. Leading the kickoff will be the Rev. Keith Kron, Director of the UUA Transitions Office. Twelve Transition Team Candidates, Staff and Board members will be participating. Also, Rev. Kron will be preaching on Sunday, October 27 and will stay after the Social Hour to lead a conversation on the unique advantages of Developmental Ministry.

Mark Your Calendars!

October 25th , The Rev. Keith Kron, UUA Transitions Office Director is coming to UUCFM. (See: ) to preach on a T-Rex, Pittsburgh and what a Theologian can teach about religion and Unitarian Universalism, following a conversations after the social hour on the benefits of developmental ministry.

His schedule is as follows:

Sunday: Oct. 27 at 10.30 am: Rev. Keith Kron on "What a T-Rex named Penelope, Pittsburgh, and a theologian Can teach us about The Future of Religion and our commitment to the Values of Unitarian Universalism."  Religion, including Unitarian Universalism is at a moment in time. Can it survive? And what must it do in order to survive? What must we do? We’ll explore our place in today’s world, and why it’s metaphorical meteorites and not a comet that could wipe us out. We’ll honor those who’ve come before us, see where we are, as we look toward the future for both our faith and this congregation.

Sunday: Oct. 27 at 12.15 p.m. in the Sanctuary: Rev. Kron leads a 45 min conversation on the benefits of Developmental Ministry.,

Your attendance is essential.

Rev. Carlos R. Martinez
Interim Sr. Minister

Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers
13411 Shire Lane, Fort Myers, FL 33912
Tel. 239-561-2700 x204
Board Meeting Change & Office Closing
Please note that the Board meeting date for October has been moved from October 8th to Tuesday, October 15th at 6:30 p.m. in the Office/Conference Room. The Office will be closed Tuesday, October 8th and Wednesday, October 9th.

Please email Allie Carville at with any questions or comments. Thank you for your understanding with the date change this month.
Religious Education News
Reminder: The Many Windows orientation is THIS SUNDAY, October 6th from noon till 2:00 PM in Room 7. The nursery will be available for children 4 and under until the end of the orientation. Older children/youth are welcome to join the orientation where they can participate or engage in quiet activities. Email Jenn Blosser with questions:
The UUCFM Choir  rehearses most Wednesday nights from 6:30-8:00 pm, and on Sunday mornings at 9:30 in the sanctuary. It's free and there are no auditions. Come join us in singing!

The UUCFM Band  rehearses most Wednesday nights from 5:45-6:15 pm, and on Sunday mornings at 9:10 in the Sanctuary. Do you play an instrument? Are you interested in playing with the UUCFM band for worship? If so, please schedule an audition time with me by email.Come join us in making music together!

Suellen Kipp, Director of Music
Music Team Spaghetti Luncheon
Join us after the service on Sunday, October 13th for a Spaghetti Luncheon in Hobart Hall for only a $5 donation! The goal is to raise $300 to cover half of the Music Team's financial responsibility to host  Deeper Than the Skin  in November. The Music Team hopes to sell 30 tickets at the suggested donation price of $10 each for the November 16th event. That amount would cover the remaining expense to the Music Team for hosting Deeper Than the Skin.  The Endowment fund will cover the remaining expense.
What:  Deeper Than The Skin: Reggie Harris and Greg Greenway
in a musical presentation on Race in America
When:  Saturday November 16, 2019 6:30pm
Where:  Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers
How:  For information: (508) 896-6225

On Saturday November 16th, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers will present  Deeper Than The Skin , a musical presentation on Race in America by Reggie Harris and Greg Greenway. Reggie and Greg have a unique story. Born three days apart, ancestry flowing through the same portal of history, Richmond, VA. They are on a pilgrimage together - one that began three decades ago. The racial divisions that are the reality of America started them in two different worlds, but the amazing bonds of music, mutual respect, sheer admiration, and shared vision have brought them together as friends and colleagues.

Their stories together form the quintessential American story. The music that flowed from these experiences is powered by unadorned truth, raw and riveting, beautiful and uplifting.Echoing Gandhi, they believe that in telling our truths, we are able to rise up from the past and build bridges to the each other and the future. The presentation will be interactive and there will be time at the end for discussion.

Reggie Harris is a Woodrow Wilson Scholar and the Co-Chair of the  Living Legacy  Project of the Unitarian Universalist Association, co-leading tours through the historic sites of the Civil Rights movement in the South. Solo, and in the duo, Kim and Reggie Harris, he has led hundreds of programs on Race and Social Justice. Greg Greenway has been heard on NPR’s  All Things Considered, Mountain Stage,  and  Car Talk.  He’s played Carnegie Hall and had the honor for two years of having his song, “Rosa Parks,” play when  was opened. For eight years , he was one third of the successful Folk Trio,  Brother Sun.  Together and individually, Reggie and Greg have brought the issue of race before audiences around the world.
Good News from South Fort Myers Food Pantry

As many of you know, the South Fort Myers Food Pantry began a fund drive in June to replace the aging box truck used to transport food from the Harry Chapin Food Bank and area stores to stock the pantry. The goal is to raise $45,000 of the estimated cost of $75,000. $30,000 was set aside from the pantry's reserves for the needed equipment replacement.

As of the end of September donations totaling $30,900 have been received from Coalition Members and Supporting Partners, many present volunteers, as well as former volunteers and friends of the pantry. They are very close to reaching their goal.

We at UUCFM have moved up the month for the Pantry to be the recipient of our Community Sharing to October so that this donation might be credited to the Truck Replacement Fund. Those individuals who would rather make a direct donation can mail checks directly to the Pantry. These can be made out and mailed to the South Fort Myers Food Pantry Coalition, Inc. 8360 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, FL. 33919. Write "Truck Fund" in the memo line.

Any donation you can afford to help deliver food safely and efficiently to our neighbors in South Fort Myers will be greatly appreciated.
Family Gardens
Hi everybody! Hoping you all stayed cool (if you were in FL) this summer and are ready to test your green thumbs once more at our Family Gardens community garden.
Barring any weather delays, we hope to start the new garden season on October 12 th . We’ll be conducting our first Saturday Morning MeetUp then at 9:30a in Hobart Hall with Bonnie Clancy, our expert Master Gardener, answering questions about what/when to plant/harvest for our new season. 

The garden bed rental prices this year are very similar to last year: $75 for the first bed and $60 for each additional bed. $10/bed one-time auto watering connect fee.
This season we have the most return gardeners, over a third of our last year gardeners have indicated their desire to brave the FL growing challenge one more year. So if you haven’t done so yet, let me know if you want to rent the same bed from last year (or hopefully an additional bed) as early as possible. (Once they’re assigned, they won’t be available.)You can bring your check (made out to H.E.P.) to our Meet Up or send it in with a note to:

UUCFM, Family Gardens
13411 Shire Lane
Ft. Myers, FL 33912
Thank you for your support,
Bill Petrarca
UUCFM Operations
Pachamama SW Florida

Join us for an intriguing Game Changer Gathering. 


On Thursday evening, October 3, from 6:30 to 8:00, The Pachamama Alliance of SWFL, supported by our Social Justice Committee, brings you a chance to discover the ever-expanding worldwide movement that is capturing the hearts of environmental activists everywhere. It's called THE RIGHTS OF NATURE, and this is the time for us to find out what it proposes for us to do to ensure that Nature is legally protected.

Our presenter, Karl Deigert, treasurer of Clean Water NOW, Inc. will be filling us in. Clean Water NOW is a nonprofit that is working to bring awareness and education to the public about The Rights of Nature Movement, which seeks to give ecosystems the highest level of protection allowed by U.S. law. 

This is a must attend if you are interested in helping pass the Caloosahatchee Bill of Rights next year!

Coffee and tea available. Desserts and donations welcome.  
Come explore the simple and satisfying practices of  Mindfulness Meditation.  You don’t need experience with meditation, nor do you have to be a Buddhist. Please bring intention to quiet the mind and 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 6:30-8:00 PM in the Sanctuary. Contact Gary Robbins at 302-540-5899.
Wednesday Connection Circle
Lilibeth Grimes will be facilitating a once monthly Wednesday evening circle called  Principles of Joy . The goal for this connection circle is to serve as a bridge between UUCFM and the broader community. This is open each month to all members, family, and friends. Please email by the Monday before each circle to let her know you will be there that month. We'll meet the second Wednesday of each month at 6:00 PM. You don't have to attend all sessions. Here is the schedule:

October 9:  Fourth Principle: A Free and Responsible Search for  Truth  and Meaning
November 13:  Fifth   Principle: The Right of  Conscience  and the Use of the Democratic Process within our Congregations and in Society at Large
December 11:  Sixth   Principle: The Goal of World  Community  with Peace, Liberty, and Justice for All
January 8:  Seventh Principle:  Respect  for the Interdependent Web of all Existence of Which we are a Part.
Fall Connection Circle beginning November 10th!
Want to connect on a deep level with other UUCFM members, visitors, and friends? Come to the next 6-session Connection Circle beginning after church on November 10th and continuing every other Sunday ( Nov. 10 and 24; Dec. 8 and 22; and Jan. 5 and 19). Small group Connection Circles promote bonding in a supportive atmosphere through facilitated discussions on spiritual topics as they pertain to you and your life. Discover more about each other...and maybe yourself!

For more information and to register for this popular event, please contact Nancy Letts at  or call 401-741-2712.
UUCFM-Caloosahatchee Mindfulness
UUCFM and Caloosahatchee Mindfulness invite participants to join our weekly meditation book group. The group meets weekly on Wednesdays from 10:00 to 11:30 AM in Room 3. Please contact Helen Leddy to make sure the group is meeting each week or if you want to join. All are invited to attend. For more information contact
The UUCFM Book Club  meets Wednesdays from 1:00-2:30 PM in the Library. All are welcome to join in facilitated discussion and group bonding. Our new book is The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace Wells. This is an important book about climate change. Please read the first two chapters.
New CUUPs Class for October
Create an Ancestral Jewelry Tree 

If you have costume jewelry passed down to you or your own - bring it out! Inspired by Christmas Trees like this beauty (and a velvet box of my mother’s costume jewelry sitting in the bottom of my closet), we are offering Ancestral Jewelry Tree making every Saturday during the month of October. It may take you one time or all month but it will be fun! 

We’ll cut foam core in the shape of a Christmas Tree or Tree of Life (or whatever shape fits your style) and cover in material. Then using your own costume jewelry, plus if you like, add sequins, buttons and baubles to create beautiful memories that can be seasonal delights or displayed all year long. 

We'll meet Saturdays in October from 1-4 PM in Room 1. Join us. All welcome!
Art Fair Returns in December

December 1st and 8th will see the return of our Member Art Fair after the Sunday service. To sign up for a booth, contact Patricia Linhoff, 612-382-5927 or email: . There's no fee required and it's open to UUCFM members and friends. To help with Bake Sale and Lunches, contact Suzanne Ziemer, 812-332-3450 , email: . Save your Christmas shopping for our Fundraiser. It is a good time to invite neighbors and friends to share these festive Sundays.
10th Annual Florida Unitarian Universalist Women’s Retreat
April 3-5, 2020
DaySpring Episcopal Conference Center

A Weekend Gathering of UU Women 

• Friday evening we will get to know one another and create community 
• Saturday one-hour workshops offer choices 
• Sunday we share a UU Service bringing it all together 

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, 2020. Scholarships are available. 
Come join us for an enriching and memorable weekend. To register or for more information contact Helen Leddy
Our UU History
E.E. Cummings:
Primacy of Individual Experience

Among poets of Unitarian Universalist lineage, e.e. cummings may be our laureate. Many UU worship services include his poem “i thank You God for most this amazing”.  He became famous for his lowercase “i”.

Edward Estlin Cummings (1894–1962) was born in Cambridge, Mass., to Unitarian minister the Rev. Edward Cummings and Rebecca Cummings. It was a loving, literary home near Harvard University (his father’s alma mater and later his own). From infancy he was encouraged to revere words.

Cummings’s devotion to his parents was deep, but the desire to break free of their influence is clear in a letter he wrote to his sister, Elizabeth: “NEVER take ANYONE’S word for ANYTHING. Find out for yourself!!!!” He would ferociously proclaim the primacy of individual experience.

His poem “one” illustrates some of the techniques Cummings used to make language new; the word “gravestone” is stretched so that words within the word appear, while the letters mimic the twisting descent of a snowflake. His style has been called literary cubism, and he embraced the Modernist movement of the 1920s both as a poet and as a painter. Though steeped in literary traditions imbibed at home and in school, Cummings was hostile toward convention, a feeling he poured into the poem, “the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls.”

Literary critics often have found his artistic vision simplistic, and poems like “let’s live suddenly without thinking” do sound like teen manifestos, but for many readers, their very exuberance makes them thrilling. The large body of his poetry, nonfiction, and drama is a treasure trove, with all original typographical quirks restored. Though his life’s project was rebellion, the roots of his poetry are evident in his father’s sermons: “The Kingdom of Heaven is no spiritual roof garden: it’s inside you.” That idea echoes in the closing couplet of “i thank You God for most this amazing” which is, for all its unconventionality, a sonnet: “(now the ears of my ears awake and / now the eyes of my eyes are opened).”

By  Kris Willcox  – Edited by Joy F. Sokeitous
Youth Violence Prevention Project Grant Applications Due to United Way on October 23, 2019

Fort Myers, FL  (September 25, 2019) – The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has announced that grant applications for funds from the Youth Violence Prevention Partnership are due by  5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 . Applications should be submitted to the United Way by email to .

The United Way and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers (UUCFM) continue a partnership designed to reduce youth violence. This initiative is a United Way Collaborative entitled  Youth Violence Prevention Project (YVPP) . The YVPP is a community funding initiative to encourage the development of programs that will reduce youth violence and the risk factors that contribute to it.
YVPP focuses on giving grants to local youth centered organizations or communities who propose youth violence prevention programs with clear and measurable objectives. The project will offer a total of $25,000 in grants to fund  student-driven programs  that address youth violence prevention and awareness. Grants will be awarded in increments of $500, up to $2,500. Projects must be in Lee County. Recipients will be notified no later than November 15, 2019.
A student committee will review the submitted grant applications and select projects to be the recipients of the funding. Selected projects will be required to match the funding with money or in-kind donations. Projects will then need to be completed no later than April 17, 2020. The awarded student groups will then gather for a mandatory presentation on April 30, 2020. At this date, projects will present their outcomes to the grant committee and the invited public. For additional information, or to apply visit: .
Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Group-
The Rissho Kosei-kai group meets Sundays at 2:00 PM in Room Number 1. We do not meet on 5th Sundays. Contact Mary Tracy Sigman for more info
Couch Wanted
If anyone has a couch that they don't need, we are looking for one for the Minister's office. Couch needs to be 7' or less in length. Contact Office Manager at  or 239-561-2700.
Did you know your purchases can help us? AmazonSmile donates to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers when you do your online shopping by following this special link to Amazon:  
Would You Like to Become a Member of UUCFM?
If you are interested in becoming a new member, please pick up a Membership Kit on Sunday mornings in the Narthex or in the office during the week. Thanks!
Happy Birthday!

Oct 11 Roady Blosser is 16!
Oct 11 Jeff Hutchinson
Oct 12 Karen Feinen  
Oct 13 Deep Ford  
Oct 14 Vanda Barnes 
Oct 15 Ted Brown
Oct 15 Rev. Carlos R. Martinez
Oct 17 Holley Rauen
Oct 18 Doc Gatto 
Oct 18 Jane Petrarca
Oct 23 Ruth Fotovat   
Oct 27 Sima Robbins
Oct 30 Peter Golbitz 
Oct 30 Jersey Blosser  
Oct 30 Sue Magee

Senior Interim Minister Rev. Carlos R. Martinez
Director of Music    Suellen Kipp
Director of RE         Jenn Blosser
Office Manager         Jill Carville
Building Supervisor    Mickey Kellam
Nursery Supervisor   Liza Kellam