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Weekly Communicator

September 22, 2022

Sunday Service

Join us this Sunday at 10:30am in the Sanctuary or via Zoom


or listen to audio only at UUCFM.org

We hope you will join us on Sunday, September 25. Mary Cline Golbitz and Gary Robbins will lead our service as we explore belonging and our interconnection with all. 

Please send all newsletter articles by 

12pm Wednesday for publication in Thursday's newsletter.

Send articles to newsletter@uucfm.org

**Please do not send requests to the office manager email**

Revised Covid Protocol

The efficacy of vaccines and treatments has significantly reduced Covid’s danger for most of us.  As a result, the protocols for campus events have been revised: 

  1. MASKS ARE OPTIONAL BUT ENCOURAGED in the sanctuary during worship services.
  2. Masks are optional for coffee and other functions in Hobart Hall.
  3. In classrooms, the library and other small spaces, masks are still required UNLESS everyone present agrees otherwise.  We’ll continue to be respectful and protective of those of us whose immunity is impaired.
  4. Worship services will continue to be available via Zoom.

Although the Covid risk level will continue to fluctuate, I’m sure all of us hope the worst of the pandemic is behind us.  We’ll continue to monitor the risk and change the guidelines as needed to protect our congregation.

Please reach out to me with any questions at UUCFMPresident@UUCFM.org


Mary Studer

President, UUCFM Board of Trustees


Beginning this Sunday, there will be a conversation with fellow Zoomers following service. When Rev Sue is appearing via Zoom, she will be there. Each week we plan to offer this Zoom fellowship opportunity. Unfortunately, it is not possible to incorporate the live and virtual audiences together. 

Also, please remember to turn the Zoom video feed of yourself off when carrying your device or engaging in activities which are inappropriate for our congregation to view. This will not affect your ability to watch the service. Thank you. 

Board of Trustees Update

Your Board of Trustees met September 13th and covered a lot of ground. Genelle Grant and Karen Brown have both unfortunately resigned from the Board. We voted to approve Dorothy Van Howe as our new VP for Operations - welcome back, Dorothy! We are mulling over how to replace Karen, who had so much experience as a Religious Educator, in her role as VP for Programming. Our President Mary Studer has encouraged the Stewardship and Membership Committees to set goals, which we discussed. We then had a lively debate about our COVID policy, resulting in what you've already seen in the newsletter, and we hope it's well-received. We passed a motion to re-instate the Disruptive Behavior Policy, which Reverend Sue explained after last Sunday's service. We hope all of your questions were answered and stay tuned for updates on the committee's difficult work. Finally and most fun, we selected our Volunteer of the Month, Allie Carville!

Volunteer of the Month

Allie Carville

Allie is a valued member of the Tech Team, and serves as Zoom Moderator most Sundays. In this role, she starts the Zoom meetings, shares slides and videos, spotlights the speakers, and much more. She works hard behind the scenes to make sure that services flow as smoothly as possible on the Zoom side, as well as in the Sanctuary. She also tries to ensure that the slides are readable, whether you are joining us in person or via Zoom. Her work is very much appreciated by everyone on the Tech Team. 

Community Sharing for September

Quality Life Center's mission is to strengthen and instill pride in family and community through programs and services to cultivate self-discipline, self-development, build confidence and promote cultural awareness.

If you cannot attend in person, you can still donate by mailing a check to the office with "community sharing" in the subject line, or by using the "donate" button on the website and marking it "community sharing". 

Right Relations Panel Convened by Board of Trustees


At their meeting last week, the Board of Trustees convened a Right Relations ad hoc committee in accordance with the Congregation’s Disruptive Behavior Policy. (See policy here.) The 1996 Congregation policy states:


“Acceptance of each other, and of each other's beliefs, is a key element in the life of our church. If freedom of belief in expression, opinion, personal, physical and/or emotional well-being of a member or members is restricted, intimidated or threatened by another member or members, such disruptive behavior must be dealt with in a firm and forthright manner. Expulsion from membership can be the ultimate result of such disruptive behavior.”


Disruptive behavior may take many forms, such as (1) potential threats to the safety of members or of a member's children, (2) disruption of essential congregation activities, or (3) diminishment of the appeal of the congregation to its existing and potential membership. All of which are in violation of our Covenant to each other as Unitarian Universalists. We encourage diversity of opinions and diversity of beliefs. Disruptive behavior which limits others in their holding of such opinions or beliefs is unacceptable!


Our Disruptive Policy obliges the Board to convene a panel with the power to investigate and act with the goal of maintaining the overall well-being, safety, and stability of the Congregation. The Board has asked three members to serve on the Right Relations Committee: Lane Cook, Patricia Vivier-Naidl, and Jeff Letts. The Committee will report to the Board on its actions with regard to situations involving disruptive behavior referred to it by the Board.


Members or staff experiencing situations that may be considered disruptive behavior are encouraged to discuss such behaviors with Rev. Sue or the Board President.

GRACE Project

This week the GRACE Project (Guatemalan Rural Adult and Children's Education) shipped three large boxes to San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala. The boxes are full of women's hygiene products and teaching materials.

In November, GRACE Facilitators will work with 60 local teachers in Patulul, Sololá, who will then organize workshops for 3,000 women in their community over the next year.

Read More

CUUPS New Moon Thursdays

Walkabout on the OPEN Road


OPEN, Our Purpose: Exclude Nobody


OPEN invites you to a walkabout in Hobart Hall during Coffee Hour this Sunday, September 25. Come peruse our tables and learn about OPEN, LIFE, The Book Group, RESET, Voices for Racial Justice, the Grace Project, and Albie Johnson’s upcoming poetry event!

Monday Book Club

On Sept. 26, we'll begin our discussion of An African American and Latinx History of the United States by Paul Ortiz. Contact Mary Studer for details.

Poetry Circle 


“Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence.” (Audre Lorde) 


The Poetry Circle welcomes all who love poetry. You do not need to be a poet to join us, but if you are, you can share work if you want to. We read and discuss in detail a variety of poems, usually centered around a weekly theme. 


This is an ongoing Zoom group. New members can join at any time, and we really hope you will. Contact Judi Dettorre or Cat Pivetti for more information.  

The Poetry Circle will meet next on Tuesday, September 27. We meet every other Tuesday from 1-3pm.


We will be rehearsing in preparation for singing on Sunday, October 23 when Rev. Sue will be in-person with us for Sunday worship service.

We will meet at 5:30pm on the following dates:

Wednesday, October 5th

Wednesday, October 12th

Wednesday, October 19th

And then on Sunday, October 23 at 9:30am in the Sanctuary prior to the service.

When arriving for Rehearsals, please use the CENTER Sanctuary Doors.

If you have questions, please reach out to Suellen at music@uucfm.org.


Would you like to connect with others at UUCFM? Connection Circles are a great way for new UUs and guests as well as long term members to get to know others. These circles have a long standing history in our congregation and have been well received by those who participate. 

Each session begins with a chalice lighting and reading, followed by a check-in and guided discussion. The topic is sent out several days in advance of each session with quotes and possible questions for discussion. Mary Cline Golbitz and Leslie Gatto co-facilitate.

The next six session circle will be held on the first and third Thursdays at 1:30 via Zoom beginning in October. The dates are 10/6, 10/20, 11/3, 11/17, 12/1, and 12/15. We ask that you make a commitment to attend all sessions, but exceptions can be made.

Please contact Leslie Gatto at 239.850.9664 or gatto.leslie@gmail.com to sign up.

CUUPS Annual Meeting

The CUUPs Annual Meeting will take place on Thursday, October 20 at 5:00PM in Hobart Hall at the UUCFM. This Meeting will take place before the Potluck dinner and the New Moon Ritual scheduled for that evening. 

According to the CUUPs Bylaws: 

   "Members will be notified of the meeting at least thirty days in advance by Chapter Coordinators.

   The right to vote shall be reserved to those CUUPS members who have been involved more than 60 days and paid annual dues for current membership no later than thirty (30) days prior to the date of voting."

November trip to Guatemala

SAVE THE DATE! Saturday Nov 26, 10:00am-3:00pm

Save your seeds and starts too!

The gardens will be using many unrented beds for food bank production this year. Last year we provided over 1000 pounds of fresh produce to local food banks. We welcome your donations for this project. Each bed is $85 for the year; we will plant, tend, harvest, and share in your name when you donate. Thank you all who participate.

We also have some seeds on sale for $1;  all proceeds will go to the gardens. Will be available Sundays after service in Hobart Hall.

Volunteer Opportunities

Tech Team contact Walter Peterson or Alison Carville

Brewer Family Gardens

We will be seeking volunteers; you can come weekly, occasionally or even once to help plant, harvest, weed etc. If you know of a youth group, a sister church, any non-profit that could volunteer, let us know.

Sunday Social Hour Kitchen Help contact Dorothy Van Howe

Band/choir contact Suellen Kipp


Amazon Smile donates to UUCFM when you do your online shopping by following this special link



Want to Become a Member?

If you are interested in becoming a new member of UUCFM, please email 


Board of Trustees

Email: board@uucfm.org

President Mary Studer

President Elect Bill Petrarca

Secretary Lane Cook

Treasurer Pati Maier

VP Worship Lesley Peterson

VP Operations Dorothy Van Howe

VP Membership Marge Gonzalez

VP Stewardship Nancy Hutchins


Minister Sue Gabrielson - revsue@uucfm.org

Lay Minister Albie Johnson - albiej@uucfm.org

Lay Minister Mary Cline Golbitz - mary@uucfm.org

Director of Music Suellen Kipp - music@uucfm.org

Office Manager Denise Greenwood - officemanager@uucfm.org

Building Supervisor  Mickey Kellam - buildingsupervisor@uucfm.org

Teacher  Liza Kellam - lhiz_sierra@yahoo.com


13411 Shire Lane

Fort Myers, FL 33912

Phone: (239) 561-2700 

Website: uucfm.org

Email: officemanager@uucfm.org

Office hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 9am-2pm

Thursday 11am-4pm

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