Weekly Communicator

January 13, 2022

Sunday Service

Join us Sunday, January 16, at 10:30am

via Zoom at


or listen to audio only at UUCFM.org


Dreaming with Intention 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream. Walt Disney had a dream. We all have dreams. What happens when we dream with intention? Please join us this Sunday to see if dreams really do come true.

Message from the

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Dear UUCFM Congregation

We are saddened to report that Lee County’s risk factor has now reached the “severe risk” level due to the widespread omicron variant:  https://covidactnow.org/us/florida-fl/county/lee_county/?s=27751665


We will not be holding worship services in our Sanctuary until the risk level has returned to a safer level. Our return to Zoom-only services is out of concern and love for each of you. We are hopeful that we will be back together in person soon.


Other gatherings on campus may proceed in cautious compliance with our re-opening guidance, found by clicking here.


As always reach out to me with any questions at UUCFMPresident@UUCFM.org or 239-222-9406.


Yours in Growth,

Lane Cook

President, UUCFM Board of Trustees

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**



UUCFM is doing well thanks to your generous support.  You should receive an update on the status of your 2021-22 pledge as we approach the end of the fiscal year on March 31.  If you need to make any adjustment to your pledge, please call Denise at the UUCFM office (239-561-2700).  And thank you again for all your contributions to the life of this Congregation.

Social Justice Team

Thursday, Jan. 6 our Social Justice Team hosted a Jan. 6 Remembrance and Action vigil outside on the Lanai. At least 63 people attended.

Much appreciation to Helen Dixon, Chair Social Justice who did a magnificent job as the hostess, Bill Petrarca made sure we had sound and remained safe, Carole Latino for managing at one point three lines of people at the to sign in table, Holley Rauen, who so graciously used her own mobile device to capture the event on Zoom. And to our speakers, Gary Robbins, Lane Cook, Suzanne Ziemer and many others. 

We gathered in solidarity because most of us believe that people who betray our nation and endanger our lives have no business governing in our name.

We are pleased to share that 89% of survey responses were positive for the vigil. A small number from our Beloved Community began planning this event 10 days before we had it. Imagine what we can do with more volunteers!

Our Social Justice Committee is outstanding and we suggest you connect with them:

Here are few things to get you started:

  • We will march in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. on his holiday, Monday Jan. 17, 2022.
  • Joining with the WA and Ministers to Host a Reproductive Justice Sunday this month. Jan. 23, 2022. In commemoration of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the ongoing fight for reproductive health, rights, and justice, joining UU congregations across the country for a Sunday of solidarity, support, and reflection.
  • Beginning Jan. 16, 2022 a monthly series of training on organizing skills to help build our UUtheVote and Side with Love Volunteer Squads to help us build stronger Social Justice teams in our congregation and community. Skill Ups Spring Series 2022: Action Center 101 Soup to Nuts Skill Ups occur every 3rd Sunday for 90 minutes 1pm PT • 2pm MT • 3pm CT • 4pm ET

Find the topics and sign up here

Again thanks to those of you who helped to make the vigil successful. It is only by Coming together, that we can prevent another January 6th attack and realize the promise of democracy for all of us - no matter our color, zip code, or income - so we all have an equal say in the decisions that shape our daily lives and futures.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Please join us in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr by marching on Monday, Jan 17. The march will begin at 11am so let's gather by 9:30. Our volunteer drivers, Carole Latino and Suzanne Ziemer, will pick us up at the corner of Edwards and Monroe Streets near the Post Office. Then let's pose for a group photo at Centennial Park.

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The SWFL RESET Center is deeply honored to host a presentation with Eric Toensmeier on January 25th at 1:30pm.

Eric has owned a seed company, managed an urban farm that leased parcels to Hispanic and refugee growers, and provided planning and business training to farmers. He is the author of The Carbon Farming Solution: A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agricultural Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security. His writings can be viewed at www.carbonfarmingsolution.com and www.perennialsolutions.org.

Register for this awesome opportunity on ZOOM.





Sunday, January 30th at Noon, the Generosity Campaign will host a party for all in the Screen Room. Beverages and ice cream will be provided. Bring your own sack lunch and be ready to be entertained.

We will be Honoring our Past, Celebrating our Present, and Imagining our Future with speakers and inviting members & friends to share thoughts.

Eating and Drinking Together with social distancing and masks.

A Kickoff Party for the coming Pledge Campaign.


Congratulations to Priscilla Jeffcoat and Lucy Wistreich on the 25th anniversary of membership at UUCFM.  

Greetings from the Ministerial Search Committee 

We are enthusiastic as we begin our work for the congregation to find an appropriate minister to partner with. We appreciate that you have entrusted us with this important mission. 

If you would like to connect with us, an email address has been set up for your convenience at


We have met twice and will be meeting every week. The team includes Helen Leddy (chair), Leslie Gatto (team spokesperson), Jeff Letts, Alanis Garcia, Mark Brandon, Matt Hoffman and Hank Flandysz. We will keep you posted with a monthly Communicator article and occasional updates on Sunday mornings. Please understand that the nature of our work involves much that must remain confidential. 

Hugs, Leslie Gatto for the team

SINGFEST 22 will now be an ONLINE ZOOM EVENT on Saturday~January 22nd, 2022!  

Join us for a full day and evening of fun or attend the sessions that call to you!

VISIT:  singfestfl.com and/or FOLLOW us on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/934511313789486 

Saturday Workshop Sessions: 12:00 PM - 5:15 PM (EST)

Saturday Evening Concert: 7:00 PM - 9:15 PM (EST) 

Social Hour 9:15 PM - 10:00 PM (EST)

Tickets:  Suggested Donation~ Sliding Scale $15-$60  Visit:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/242041461527

#No womyn turned away due to lack of funds

Sunday Service via Zoom at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ft. Myers: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)

Workshop facilitators will be interwoven into the Sunday Service led by Lay Minister Mary Cline Golbitz  (SingFest 22 Committee Member).

The Zoom Link for SingFest 22 and final schedule will be sent to registrants on Friday, January 21st!  Zoom doors will open 15 minutes early for the workshops,

the concert and the Sunday Service!


Questions?  singfestfl@gmail.com

Building Community Safety For All

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Social Justice Committee

The Social Justice Committee will meet on the first Sunday in February on the 6th at noon. The current plan is to meet by zoom. Please submit any items for inclusion in the agenda.

Helen Dixon, helendixon9@gmail.com

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The Music and Arts Community Center

2021 - 2022

Season Tickets

On Sale Now

The GCS comprises the Gulf Coast Symphony, the Gulf Coast Chamber Orchestra, the Gulf Coast Jazz Collective, and the Music & Arts Community Center (MACC). This year over 100 programs will be offered that present the best in classical music, jazz, world music, dance, opera, film and musical theater. 

Ticket prices range from $24 - $44

As you know, there's not a bad seat in the house!

Tickets and seat choice can be purchased online or at the door.

For more info visit


Truth and Democracy Women's March/Fair

There is a Truth and Democracy Women's March/Fair taking place in Naples on January 15. Click the link if you want more info and would like a free ticket. 

  Click here

Please Share Your UU Story

The Membership and Stewardship Committees are hoping to receive your reflections about either or both of the following:

Why I became a UU.

Why your membership in UUCFM is important to you.

We would love to be able to share these reflections with the Congregation in various ways. If you want to remain anonymous, please indicate that.

Send your stories or reflections to Nancy Hutchins at StewardshipVP@UUCFM.org.


For January and February, 2022

7:00 pm Central Time (8:00 Eastern, 6:00 Mountain, 5:00 Pacific)

The Religious Professionals Task Force of the Unitarian Universalist Multiracial Unity Action Council is sponsoring "Third Wednesday" evening worship services on the third Wednesday of each month.  To get Zoom information, whether for the next Worship Service or those in subsequent months, please send your name, email address, and congregation (if any) to richard3point@gmail.com


DATE: January 19

PREACHER: Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy

SERMON: "Medicine for Our Times ~ Living the Legacy of Howard Thurman"

DESCRIPTION: Howard Thurman's life and teachings are the perfect medicine for our times. Thurman was called, "a saint of the Civil Rights Movement", by Rep. John Lewis. Thurman was a universalist, a mystic, an outstanding preacher, a scholar and a professor at Howard University and also Boston University and one of the most influential African Americans of the last century. He had a profound impact on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You're invited to join us as we learn from and let Thurman's insights, challenges and paradoxes wash over us with hope. Our contentious world so needs his wisdom and healing words today. Thurman wrote and preached on the power of Negro Spirituals and the Springfield, VT, UU Meetinghouse Choir Director, Julane Deener and virtual choir, will join us with some great music for this journey.


DATE: February 16

PREACHER: Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels

SERMON: "Liberal Religion"

DESCRIPTION: Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion, not because of our progressive politics but because of our commitment to the ideals of liberalism. Liberalism in the classic sense is not an ideology, but a method for resolving conflict, gaining knowledge, and advancing toward truth. Our liberal approach to religion and to all that concerns us as religious people is a precious inheritance. Abandoning the principles of liberalism would mean losing an essential part of who we are.


For past services, type

"Third Wednesday UUMUAC services"

in the YouTube search box

Big Opportunities for You…

Are you a helper?

Do you like to promote UUCFM?

Here’s your invitation to join the Membership Committee!  The group is all about recognizing and encouraging new members through personal contact and planned events. There is one meeting per month, a chance to get to know other members AND to participate in activities like the November “Welcome Home” social.  Contact Carole Latino, carolelatino@gmail.com

Another Opportunity…

UUDialogs is a lively discussion every Sunday after service; it’s live from Hobart Hall and simultaneously on Zoom. The talk is moderated by co-hosts.  More co-hosts are needed, so check it out. Assignments are made around your availability. Talk to Carole Latino, carolelatino@gmail.com, to sign up, or get more info.

New Connection Circles Forming

What? A Connection Circle is a small group meeting every other week for six sessions. Facilitators will lead discussion on a variety of subjects.

Who? Any members, friends or guests. Facilitated by trained leaders, Mary Cline Golbitz and Leslie Gatto.

Why? To get to know others and yourself on a deep and meaningful level. Confidentiality is protected to promote compassionate dialogue.

When? Either Thursdays or Sundays (Please plan to attend all six sessions of the circle you choose.)

Thursday Circle from 1:30 - 3:00 on January 13 and 27, February 10 and 24, March 10 and 24.

Sunday Circle from noon - 1:30 on January 9 and 23, February 13 and 27, March 13 and 27.

Where? Thursdays by Zoom or Sundays in person at church (location TBD).

How do I sign up? Contact Leslie by phone or text at 239.850.9664 or email at gatto.leslie@gmail.com to join or for more information.

Monday Book Group

The UUCFM Monday Book Club will NOT meet again until January 24, when it will discuss Ch. 5 & 6 of Defund Fear: Safety without Policing, Prisons and Punishment by Zach Norris.

If you’re joining for the first time, please email Mary Studer at mstuder929@gmail.com to get the Zoom link.  

Social Issues Book Group

You are cordially invited to join us in our new book discussion. We will read Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration. We will reconvene our zoom group on Wednesday, Jan 5 from 1:30 until 3pm and discuss Part 1, pages 1-15. To add your email address to our list please contact: helen.leddy@gmail.com who will provide us with discussion questions for reflection.

Mindfulness Opportunities

We welcome you to join either of our two online sitting practices each week. We practice mindfulness and discuss a reading. If you don’t have the books, you're still welcome to sit with us.


The Monday Sangha meets at 6:30-7:45 p.m. and will continue discussing Thich Naht Hanh’s Happiness: Essential Practices. Contact mstuder929@gmail.com for details. 


The Wednesday sangha meets between 10:00-11:30 a.m. in coordination with Caloosahatchee Mindfulness. It’s discussing Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise by Thich Nhat Hanh. Contact Helen Leddy for more information: helen.leddy@gmail.com.

Poetry Group

Judi Dettorre & Cat Pivetti are starting a poetry group on Tuesday, January 4, which will meet from noon to 2pm every two weeks. 


We plan to read and discuss a variety of poems and to spend some of our time writing to prompts, as well as to have meetings in which, if they wish, members may bring in their own work for discussion. This group will meet on-line, at least for now.  

We’re really looking forward to this experience and to having you join us. Please e-mail either facilitator, Cat at joypivet@aol.com or Judi at judidet84@gmail.com, for more information and for links.

60th Anniversary Pave the Way Fundraiser


How to order your brick:

Contact Helen Dixon at helendixon9@gmail.com

or call 239-633-4989


Contact Suzanne Ziemer at

suzanneziemer@gmail.com or call 812-332-3450.

Each 4"x8" brick can be engraved with up to 3 lines of 13 characters/spaces on each line.

Your check for a $100 donation should be made to UUCFM with Brick fundraiser in the memo line.

We now have over 70 commemorative donated bricks lining the walkways

into our sanctuary. They are loving reminders for who we are, and who we have been. Do consider adding your names and thoughts.

Ideas for engraving: Remembrances with birth-death dates, UU sayings/messages (Believe in truth, work for Justice), your name with personal wishes or identity, meditate at the Labyrinth, Honoring..., In Memory of..., etc.

Your entire Brick donation goes to the General Budget since our Endowment Fund Grant will pay for all production costs. This is our only Fundraiser since the Covid-19 Pandemic prevents us from being together. 

Grateful thanks to all who have contributed bricks!

The Bill Brewer Family Gardens




The gardens are currently partnering with Hope Pace in Fort Myers, a non profit associated with Lee Health, to provide seniors with day treatment and activities that help them stay in their homes.  We have provided some seeds, flats and containers to grow seeds.  Some they will grow in their own beds and some they will grow for our family gardens ( to sell to gardeners or to provide produce to sell or donate). We are setting aside two of our beds for those plants.

We now have a tumbler composter , donated by SWFL RESET, housed at our congregation.  Bonnie Jean, your garden manager, will be offering a composting basics course in January 22 at 10 a.m. at the garden site.   This class is open to the public.  Garden bed holders who take this brief lesson will be able to participate in the composting project and use the resulting compost in their beds.

We will also be discussing irrigation and water use on that day.

A few irrigated beds are still available for rent.  They are 4x8’. And are $85 for the season. Contact Bonnie Jean at familygardens@uucfm.org if interested.

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Play Reading Fun Group

We're meeting regardless of the Sunday service being in-person or not.

Please come at Noon in the Screen Room, Sunday, January 16th.

Bring your own lunch and water.

We will be reading the 2002 40th UUCFM Anniversary Play and updating it for our present 60th Anniversary year. Don Maron and Barbara Boynton are the only members with us from that play production.

Further meeting times to be determined on the 16th.

For further information contact Suzanne Ziemer at

239-463-9020 or via email at suzanneziemer@gmail.com

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Great Decisions 2022, a program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association, has openings for its 21st season. The 8-week course will start on Thursday, January 20, and ends on March 10, 2022, and will be held in person at UUCFM. 

The facilitator for the group is Bruce Leddy. Information about Great Decisions and the 2022 topics can be found on the FPA website at fpa.org

For registration and information about the local group, contact Helen Leddy at helen.leddy@gmail.com.


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 Lane Cook

President Elect Mary Studer

Secretary Ruth King Fotovat

Treasurer Pati Maier

VP Worship Lesley Peterson

VP Operations Genelle Grant

VP Programming Karen J. Brown

VP Membership Toni Latino

VP Stewardship Nancy Hutchins


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: uuchurch@uucfm.org

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