The Communicator  
September 2017 Volume 34 Issue 9
Sundays in September
Water Communion is Sunday, September 10th!
Please bring water from your summer travels, a special place locally, or from your own front yard! We will mix the waters in a Multigenerational Water Communion Ceremony during our Sunday Service on September 10th..
Staff & Board News
From the President
Please join me in thanking Albie Johnson and Rachel Spiller for their service on the board. They have both resigned to pursue other interests. They have been valuable additions to the board during this past year.

In that regard, this leaves several vacancies on the board that we need to fill. We really need the help of those willing to serve as volunteers for the board. This is an exciting and critical time as our membership is growing, and we seek to pursue the mission of the church. If you are willing to serve as a volunteer on the board, please contact Jill Carville at and she will get your name to me and the board. Thank you!

Steve Eisenberg,
Board President
Music Notes
Musical Calendar

September 3: For the Blessing of the Hands service, Amy Laursen covers the pop hit  Hands by Jewel, and  How Far I'll Go by Lin-Manuel Miranda from the Disney movie, Moana. 

September 10: The Water Communion service features violinist Lesley Peterson in Handel's  Water Music, and the Choir shares a song from the Dakota Pipeline protest,  Water Is Life ~ Mni Wiconi.

September 17: For our service celebrating the Fall Equinox, the Choir harmonizes the powerful UU song  Circle Round for Freedom, and Austin Pierce shares his talents.

September 24: As we honor the Jewish high holy days, the Choir sings the Hebrew  Hashiveinu, and the Band plays the rousing traditional  Haleluhu

The next  Music Committee  is Wednesday, September 27th 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
2017-2018 Musical Season 

An exciting new season of music is in store right here at our church!

• A dozen  new Choir anthems 

• Oct. 1  classical guest musician TBA 

• Beautiful  Thanksgiving service Nov. 19 with Choir accompanist 

• Third Annual  Holiday Sing-Along Sun., Dec. 3 at 1p: bring a friend, sing along, feel the holiday spirit, and eat cookies. We'll pass the Santa Hat for the South Fort Myers Food Pantry.

• Maternity leave music sub:  Suellen Kipp! Suellen will work with our Choir and Band from Dec. through March while I am enjoying time with my newborn. She is a talented pianist, singer, and conductor who currently serves as the Director of Music at Temple Beth El here in Fort Myers, and previously served in the same role at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fort Wayne, IN for 11 years. She has also taught vocal music and dance in schools for 17 years and holds a degree in Vocal Education. This is a wonderful opportunity for us and I hope you enjoy getting to know her. 

•  Easter morning service April 1: I'll be back to sing beloved Alleluias with you.

Don't forget:  The best part of our music program is you. What gifts and talents do you feel called to share in the coming year? What songs ring in your heart that you could request to hear on a Sunday morning or at the Holiday Sing-Along? Most importantly, singing in the pews and sharing an encouraging word with our music volunteers is the life blood of our vibrant music program. Let's create a wonderful year together. 

Amy Laursen, Director of Music
RE News
Children's Chapel is this Sunday! Children and youth are welcome to join us in Classroom 1 as we discuss Our Calling this Labor Day weekend. Parents, if you'd like to see what we get up to in Children's Chapel and what your kids are talking about, you're welcome to join us as well!

Water Communion, one of our most beloved multi-generational services, is coming soon! Have your family bring water from home or a place that is special to you on Sunday, September 10th, to participate in our wonderful water ceremony. Don't forget to have a bottle with so you can collect some of our community's water to bring home with you after the service! 

Jenn Blosser, Director of Religious Education
Save the Date!
Adult RE Class
A Call to Faith in Turbulent Times
Every Wednesday in September

Many Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith feel challenged by this moment in our nation’s history. The actions of political leaders are raising large moral questions. Many of us feel compelled to explore what our faith commitments and values require of us. Information is coming from every direction. We have learned that it is crucial to stay informed, yet not all sources are reliable. Others ask us to contact legislators, attend
meetings, join in protests, engage in political conversations with friends and acquaintances,
and take public action, sometimes for the first time ever. Many turn to our congregations
and faith communities for help to clarify how our values call us to respond and to
strengthen us to act.

This new curriculum from the UUA, released in the Spring of 2017, is designed to help
nurture, support, and strengthen Unitarian Universalists to respond to this moment and its
significant challenges. Sessions are structured to engage participants in deep
discernment, rather than in debate. Each session offers a different lens for a group to
examine together the call of our faith and our moral and ethical commitments at this
extraordinary moment.

Each two-hour session includes readings and audio-visual materials, as well as questions
for reflection and has these intentions:

 To create a space to explore feelings regarding current events
 To explore metaphors to sustain one’s spirit for the long haul
 To affirm that being in community sustains courageous acts

The program will be facilitated by Rev. Suzanne Fast, UUCFM community minister.

September 6, 13, 20, and 27 6:45pm – 8:45pm. Room 7 No fee
Enrollment is limited to 10 people. Please register using the following link:
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:

Thursday, September 7
6:30 pm
Weaving It All Together 
with Cyndy Nayer

Our Special Guest Speaker is Cyndy Nayer, a renowned expert who has shared her expertise on The Health Care Blog, Managed Care Online, Health Insurance Exchange, Disruptive Women in Healthcare, and more. Her remarks, Weaving It All Together, will help us connect the dots between health care rights, educating girls, and climate change. 

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

More About Cyndy:

Cyndy Nayer is founder/CEO of the Center of Health Engagement, balancing health value with 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. 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.

All Peace, Justice and Environmental groups are welcome to bring petitions, printed information and brochures and set up tables before the talk begins.

Thursday, October 5th
First Thursday Game Changer
Report from the Rainforest!
SWFL Pachamama Co-Coordinator Rev. James Reho returns from Ecuador after Shamanic Journeying and living with the Achuar tribe for two weeks.

Thursday, Nov 2,
6:30 pm
Speaker TBA 
Exploring the Qualities of a Game Changer

Thursday, Dec 7th
6:30 pm
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. 
Remember the fun of playing BINGO with friends? Well, it’s here at UUCFM in a new way. Join the eBINGO fun starting in September! Here’s how it works:

For the first 2 Sundays in September, after service in Hobart, you can buy eBINGO playcards, 2 for $10. Look for the eBINGO table. Sign-up with your email address. Buy playcards for your neighbors and members of your family. The more who play, the bigger the Jackpot, the more fun! You’ll be helping the church as well.

Starting Monday, September. 11, each day we will email one bingo number to those who bought a playcard. Mark your playcards accordingly. In the first email we will also announce the Jackpot amount (minimum of $100).

Whoever gets a bingo and has the first email received at the eBINGO email address will be the winner (provided they have a valid playcard). Bring in your playcard to the church office for validation. Once it’s validated, you will receive the Jackpot moneys. (A “win” is 5 squares horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.)

Once there’s a winner, we’ll start selling the playcards for the next round of eBINGO the following Sunday. Good luck!
FUUn BUUnch & FUUn LUUnch!
Saturday Dinner, September 30th at 6:00p

Join 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

It is imperative you RSVP John or Bob by Tuesday, 9/15/17 if you plan to
attend and that you honor your commitment.
(The restaurant requires firm numbers by this date.)

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.

We Are Starting Something Different!

Join the FUUN BUUNCH for LUUNCH after Church.
Sunday Lunch, September 10, at 12:30p at:

3701 Fowler St.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 277-0064

It is imperative you RSVP John or Bob by Wednesday, 9/06/17 if you plan to
come and that you honor your commitment.
(The restaurant requires firm numbers by this date.)

John E. Fischer, 267 992 6566 or


Bob Nies , 239 466 7933 or

From Shire Ln. at the Church, turn right and drive west on Daniel’s Parkway.
Turn right onto Plantation and follow it north around the circle at Crystal Dr. to
Colonial Blvd. Turn left onto Colonial and follow it west to Fowler St. Turn right
onto Fowler St. and follow it north across Winkler Avenue. Biggy’s is ½ block
north of Winkler on the east side of the street.
Covenant of UU Pagans
As the wheel turns once more, CUUPs will gather on Sunday, September 17th for our monthly meeting at noon in Room 1. We are going to have a presentation by Albie Johnson and all are welcome. We'll look at a few different paths of diversity.

Friday, September 22nd will be an Autumnal Equinox Celebration. We gather at 6:30, with a ritual at 7. We will be at the amphitheater or fire circle depending on conditions. We will have a community sharing meal after on the lanai. Bring your favorite dish to share. Join in and celebrate the next phase of celebrations in our yearly cycle. It is a time of balance, day and night. How do we look at that? This celebration will be presented by CUUPs members Heather and Steve Robinson. See you there. We will be outside so bug spray might be needed.
Holiday Fair and Bake Sale
This year the annual Holiday Sing-a-long will be on December 3rd as our Music Director will begin her maternity leave on December 4th. So, it will combine with our Bake Sale, Our Nearly New sale and the Arts and Crafts sale. This will take planning and volunteers. Can you help? Please bring your ideas to the September Women's Circle Lunch on September 11th.  (Men are welcome at this lunch, too, as we need your thoughts). Or if you can't join us, please send along those good ideas to Susan Forsyth. .
Classes & Groups
Women's Circle
On September 11th, the monthly Women's Circle Lunch returns to potlucks at noon on the second Monday in Hobart Hall. This month we will talk about our summer adventures. Please bring photos, tee shirts, cell phones, or other mementos to share. We will look for a lively discussion and also start our plans for Fall and the holidays. Contact Susan Forsyth. .

This year the holiday sale and Christmas Faire on December 3rd will be HUGE! It will include the Christmas Carol sing. We need to plan this together, so be sure to come and find out the details!!
UU Book Study
The UU Book Study meets Wednesdays at 1:00p in the Library. As a bonus, bring your lunch and join us at 12 Noon to view a video of Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers' T.V. program by the same name. The book is Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth. Here is the remaining schedule: September 6th, chapter 8 plus wrap-up and planning.
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 September:

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
UUCFM Historical Martial Arts Club

The UUCFM Historical Martial Arts Club is dedicated to preserving and practicing a variety of historical martial arts for entertainment and fitness purposes. We meet at various times (determined by interest) most often at 12:30p after service on Sundays to practice Archery and Tomahawk/Axe throwing. Other activities and times can be found on our Facebook page of the same name. All are welcome to join us!

Social Justice
From Hobbyism to Political Engagement

Friday September 15
Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers
6:30 pm

With Cynthia Odierna and Suzanne Cherney SWFL Justice4All Co-coordinators
This is the FaceBook page:

Cynthia Odierna : Became a core member of Occupy Naples in 2011, leading the Naples Minstrels of Righteous Indignation at events. More recently joined the new chapter of SURJ (Showing Up For Racial Justice), participated in actions against police brutality and fracking, and in support of the CIW (Coalition of Immokalee Workers). Cynthia has worked to help with the plight of Haitian and Dominican orphans in the Dominican Republic. She is Co-founder with Suzanne Cherney of the SWFL Justice4All Coalition, which brings together and supports more than 40 activist groups mainly in Lee and Collier counties.

Suzanne Cherney : Retired medical writer/speechwriter/translator (English/French) originally from New York. Politically active from the early 1960 in community organizing and rallies against the Vietnam war and in actions for civil rights and and labor rights. Participant in Occupy Naples rallies. Longtime sustaining supporter of Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign, Doctors without Borders, MoveOn, JStreet, Democracy for America, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Co-founder with Cynthia Odierna of the SWFL Justice4All Coalition, which brings together and supports more than 40 activist groups, mainly in Lee and Collier counties.
South Fort Myers Food Pantry 
The Food Pantry Newsletter for the second quarter of 2017 (April through June) is posted in Hobart Hall, next to the kitchen. I will summarize for those who may not have time to stop by and read it. During the second quarter of 2017 our pantry served 1670 clients, totaling 5,466 family members actually fed. The pantry volunteers distributed over 172,226 pounds of food. 

The annual meeting of the food pantry coalition was held on June 17, 2017. The directors of the current board were elected to serve another year. The names of the directors are available in the food pantry flyer which you can get either at the social justice table or from the rack of brochures near the water fountains in Hobart Hall. The meeting was followed by a luncheon to honor the volunteers, a time to enjoy fellowship with each other.

There is an appeal for more food donations during the summer months, which you are already doing and is appreciated. There are also instructions for anyone wanting to volunteer this summer. 
If you have questions or are interested in volunteering, email Fran Rose at Put "Food Pantry" on the subject line of your email.
My UU Story
UUCFM Remembers the Occupy Sanctuary
The 7 th anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement occurs on Sept. 17. These  camp-out protests began on Wall Street, in New York City. The slogan " We are the 99%", refers to  income inequality and wealth distribution in the U.S. between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population. By Oct. 9, Occupy protests had taken place or were ongoing in  over 951 cities across 82 countries, and over 600 communities in the United States.

Occupy Fort Myers drew 150 people for its first demonstration in  Centennial Park in October. “I cooked pots of soup and took them over and had great conversations with some very interesting people,” notes Holley Rauen. “Many were young and not experienced at how to organize. Setting up the Kitchen is always the best start.”

“My very radical friend, author and activist,  Starhawkcame to the Occupy camp after offering a weekend workshop at UUCFM sponsored by CUUPS. She offered them non-violent training”, recalls Holley. “Her mini-training included an Occupy Manual on good ways for anarchists to peacefully communicate in large groups -- a part of her most recent book “Holding Power Well”.

By November, Police gave the protesters the boot. According to the city, the movement needed to obtain a permit to occupy the park after the 10:30 pm closing time.  After being ousted, they landed on the County Courthouse steps for about a week, around Thanksgiving. It was getting cold.   To the rescue came UUCFM members. 

Holley arranged for demonstrators to get Sanctuary at UUCFM when they were forced away from the front of the County Building. “I approached the board to make that happen.”
Barbara Mannix was on the UUCFM Board at this time. “Her stand on offering sanctuary to this ragtag group was made representing her role then as the VP of Operations. She showed a lot of chutzpah and I totally agreed,” notes Don Ehat. The group came to the UUCFM Eco Preserve with tents, sleeping bags, cooking stuff, he adds. Don even set up an enclosed out-door shower for demonstrators to use.
“The group was not very sophisticated and had not been given effective leadership training and eventually the lack of any significant progress resulted in defections and the group dwindled,” Don adds. But, in some of the larger cities,  provided training sessions. 
“American protest in the digital age is changing,” is noted in  The Guardian, June 15. “Protests are mushrooming across the country in larger numbers than ever before, with social media allowing protesters to easily organise, form and disperse. Mobile communication allows instantaneous tactical redeployment when things get heated, video and photography now capture every movement, and public relations have become paramount.”
The new media channel for the voices of  Occupy is . They use media to call for social, economic and environmental justice.
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.
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. 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. 
DaySpring has raised the room rates for 2018, but we are not changing the rates for attendance at the Retreat. We are also again offering a $5 discount to all those who register before September 15, 2017. 
So, secure your place for the April gala and remind others that there's a special deal for signing up early. It's going to be another grand weekend.

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
Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund
On Friday night, August 25, Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 Storm and brought with it deadly winds and rain to an area of the United States millions call home. Much of the Texas Gulf Coast has been impacted and communities in Louisiana and across the state of Texas are still coping with more days of rain. We’re holding all of those affected in our hearts and prayers and we are in touch with local Unitarian Universalists so we can meet the needs as they arise. To do this, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has joined with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) on a recovery and relief fund.
Please give as generously as you are able. Half of all funds raised will go to at-risk populations served by UUSC partners and the other half of the funds will support Unitarian Universalist congregations and members of those congregations most affected by the storm. Those funds will be administered by a group of leaders in the UUA’s Southern Region, which includes the states across the southeast from Texas to South Carolina, and from most of Virginia to Florida.
Using their eye-to-eye partnership model, UUSC will work with and support local grassroots community partners on the ground in Texas serving at-risk populations who may not be able to access relief services and who are traditionally left out of mainstream response efforts. UUSC and their partners will work to bolster locally led relief efforts that are serving immigrant families, in particular young mothers and their children.
As the storm passes and recovery begins, UUSC will continue to get updates and work with partners to ensure their needs are met. Your donation to this fund is much appreciated. To donate, go to Thank you.
Sept 4 Linda Johnson
Sept 4 Keara Trummel 
Sept 4 Maureen Witschey
Sept 9 Judy Burget
Sept 14 Jenn Blosser 
Sept 14 Frances Pake
Sept 16 Genelle Grant
Sept 19 Allison Farnum 
Sept 19 Toni Latino
Sept 24 Leslie Gatto
Sept 29 Mary Pat Fitzgibbons
Sept 30 Jen Smith
  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
Treasurer              Jen Smith             630-881-0000
VP Finance             Deb Lewis            239-313-5618
VP Ministerial Services   Susan Forsyth         239-424-8442
VP Operations           Bill Petrarca           239-454-2438

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