Unitarian Universalist Congregation

of Fort Myers


Weekly E-News

April 22, 2021

This Sunday!

Join us this Sunday, April 25th at 10:30 AM on Zoom for our weekly Sunday service.

Join Zoom Meeting Sunday at 10:30 am


No password needed

Or follow the link on our webpage for audio onlyuucfm.org

Thank You to Sunday's Participants:

Mary Cline Golbitz, Lay Minister 

Suellen Kipp, Director of Music             

Holley Rauen, Worship Associate 

Lesley Peterson, Musician and Tech Team Member 

Mark Brandon, Tech Team Member

Walter Peterson, Lead Tech Team Member

Jill Carville, Tech Team Coordinator

Carole Latino, Dialogues Host 

Jenn Smith, Dialogues Host


Community Sharing in April: Planned Parenthood

The mission of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida is to provide affordable access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care and accurate health information through patient care, education and advocacy. Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, an affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. began operations in 1966. Many of our members and friends have advocated for our local Planned Parenthood facilities throughout the years. 

No Vespers Service Tonight

Vespers is canceled for this evening, Thursday, April 22nd. The next Vespers will be May 6th at 6:30pm. We look forward to seeing you then. Thank you for your understanding.

Mother's Day Photos!

The Worship, Music & Tech Teams are looking for pictures of your Mom! We are creating a musical slideshow to honor our mothers and need your help. Please send a jpg image of your mom as an email attachment to officemanager@uucfm.org by April 30th. If you don't have access to a computer you can bring a photograph into the office from April 20-30, and we'll convert it for you. Thank you!


A Message From The President of the Board of Trustees

Our new Board is already having robust discussions about how and when to reopen, and we have been reviewing various resources. The latest guidance from UUA Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray states, “Moving into the coming year, the UUA recommends that congregations plan for multi-platform operations—a flexible combination of in-person and online engagement based on the needs and risks in your community.”


The Board and staff are working on a UUCFM-specific plan for gradually reopening, and will keep everyone updated and involved in the planning process. We are looking forward to exploring our new campus sharing partnerships while keeping everyone safe and healthy. With great rejoicing!

Lane Cook - President, UUCFM Board of Trustees

Connection Circles

Would you like to be more connected to others in UUCFM? This is your chance to get to know others and yourself better by joining a Connection Circle. The Circles are a ways of exploring spiritual topics in a deep way with others.

New circles are forming soon on Mondays and Thursdays at 1:30 pm. Please contact Leslie Gatto at gatto.leslie@gmail.com or Mary Cline Golbitz at mary@uucfm.org if you are interested. Let us know of your interest even if those times don't work for you. We are looking forward to connecting with you.

UUCFM Monday Book Club

The UUCFM Book Club will meet via Zoom April 26 to discuss Ch.12 & 13 from The WEIRDest People in the World, by Joseph Henrich. If you’re joining for the first time, please email Mary Studer. She will send you the link to zoom. mstuder929@gmail.com 

UUCFM/Caloosahatchee Mindfulness

The Caloosahatchee Mindfulness and UUCFM Meditation Book Group is reading The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness by Rhonda V. Magee.

The author "reveals that the work of racial justice begins with ourselves. The practice of embodied mindfulness--paying attention through our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in an open, nonjudgmental way--increases our emotional resilience, helps us to recognize our unconscious bias, and give us the space to become less reactive and to choose how we respond to injustice."

The group meets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. Contact Helen Leddy at helen.leddy@gmail.com or Mary Robinson at mindfulness579@gmail.com.

Social Issues Book Group Resumes

Started Wednesday, April 21 from 1:00-2:30 PM and continues weekly


Book: My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem.

My Grandmother's Hands is a call to action for Americans to recognize that racism is not only about the head, but also about the body. The author introduces the reader to an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide. He takes the reader through a step-by-step healing process based on the latest neuroscience and somatic healing methods.

Coming to the Table (CTTT)

We are inviting interested members to join together in the formation of a Coming to the Table chapter in Southwest Florida. CTTT provides leadership, resources, and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism. For further information about CTTT, following this link: 


Contact Helen Leddy for details on the book group or CTTT: helen.leddy@gmail.com



Last Stop in SW Florida

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fort Myers

13411 Shire Lane

Fort Myers, Florida 33912

Contact: Kathleen Ford 267-318-0051 UUCFM Social Justice, 

Contact: Lane Cook (239) 222-9406 UUCFM Board President

Email: ktromford@gmail.com or UUCFMPresident@UUCFM.org  


The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fort Myers, the SWFL RESET Center and the Music & Arts Community Center are proud to welcome the public to view this eye popping, heart opening quilted representation of the approximately 45,000 immigrants being held by ICE in detention every single day.

The quilt was the brainchild of Glen Ring, a member of the Human Rights Coalition in Concord, New Hampshire. It gets people thinking and communicating “about humanity and people treating people humanely,” says Ring.

The display can be viewed outdoors in the beautiful UUCFM courtyard, socially distanced, masks required beginning Friday evening April 23 from 4 PM to 7 PM.

On Saturday, April 24 at 1:00 PM, we will be hosting live music and speakers: 

Maria Cardenas, Co-Founder of Immokalee Grassroots Movement for Immigration Rights that provides information to help immigrants Know Their Rights.

Erica Luque, Esquire, managing partner of her immigration law firm and member of Leading Latina, Inc., a non-profit working to empower the next generation of Latinos. 

Lupe Gonzalo will join in as an integral member of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). 

The quilt will continue to be on display on Sunday, April 25, 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.

RSVP to this event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/560650488238933


Come, Share, and Enjoy

Your Membership Committee urges you to come walk our campus and connect to our beautifully maintained grounds. Bring a picnic lunch and sit under the open air shelter at the Family Gardens. Then do a meditative walk on the newly paved Labyrinth. Use close-toed shoes to walk gravel paths and the rough terrain of our nature trail. Find its entrance behind the pond next to the CUUPS meditation area.

The Memorial Garden has butterflies and benches. Be sure to peek in the windows of Hobart hall to admire the new tile flooring. As you leave, take a look at the many commemorative donated bricks lining the central walkway into our Sanctuary.

You will feel blessed to belong to our congregation who over the span of 60 years has built this home community for us.


LIFE - Lee Interfaith For Empowerment

LIFE Nehemiah Action

Monday, April 26th 

7 PM

Join via Facebook or Zoom

1.) ZOOM 


Meeting ID: 372 942 4134

2.) Facebook Live: Details to come. Watch newsletter and Facebook.

To invest in LIFE

CashApp: $LIFEJustice

or send checks to LIFE to: PO Box 62692 Fort Myers FL, 33906

60th Anniversary Pave the Way Fundraiser

We are celebrating our 60th year here by offering commemorative, personalized bricks to line the walkways leading into the sanctuary.

GOAL: 100 bricks @ $100 each to raise $10,000 for the General Budget to take the place of not having a Service Auction this year which raised that amount or more.

Order your personalized 4" x 8" brick of up to 3 lines, up to 13 characters/spaces per line.



Examples of Bricks already ordered:






To get a brick order form, Contact Project Manager, Ways & Means, Suzanne

Ziemer at suzanneziemer@gmail.com or 239-463-9020.

Campus Sharing: Fort Myers Quakers

A Congregational Update

About the time the Transition Team was pursuing our Campus Sharing strategies toward sustainability, in the fall of 2019 we were approached by the Fort Myers Quakers (known as the Fort Myers Friends Meeting, or just “Friends”) to consider sharing our campus. (See www.fortmyersquakers.org ) Discussions have been sporadic over the past year or so; however, recently our meetings have take a greater level of specificity. This article is to update the congregation on those discussions and what may (or may not) lie ahead for eventual Board of Trustees discernment and decision.

The relationship of our two liberal faith congregations (and non-dogmatic religions) has deep interdenominational roots. Although our forms of worship are dissimilar, our beliefs ethically and theologically complement each other. We frequently celebrate each members’ side-by-side witness to social and environmental justice events. Our members have formed relationships based on our common pursuits of justice, such as in our memberships in the L.I.F.E. organization.

The Friends Meeting is looking for a more permanent meeting venue and home. Being a frequent visitor to our campus, they approached us regarding (1) meeting in our existing facilities, and (2) building a Meeting House on the back part of our property as a long-term home for their Meeting. We have approached these discussions open-eyed, trying to understand better the nature of such an arrangement. The current status is that the specifics are still evolving and at this time no concrete agreement/proposal exists for consideration. However, in the interest of transparency, the Board of Trustees wants the congregation to be brought up to date on the nature of the discussions thus far.

The Friends vision, were our Board to approve, is that of a small (42’) “yurt” building (see www.smilingwoodsyurts.com) erected out on the Holton Eco-Preserve, just behind the raised earth area (drain field), leasing about .4 acres of our property. The yurt would have restrooms with access by Preserve event goers (something we’ve wanted for some time). Since the Friends Meeting is about 35 members, they would use parking spots on the east end of our parking for their Sunday worship and other scheduled events. The nature of a land lease agreement is still in early draft form; however, it would appear to have to be a long-term arrangement, several decades, in that Friends would be committing large amounts of funding to finance the new site improvements.

Preliminarily, although there may be a financial benefit for UUCFM from the Friends campus-sharing long-term arrangement, the primary advantages for our congregation may be in our broader relationship with Friends and expanded options for enjoying the Eco-Preserve: (1) the potential for deeper spiritual and social and environmental justice experiences by a closer relationship with the Friends Meeting, (2) the presence of a meeting facility on campus with a size between our smaller classrooms and our larger Hobart Hall, as Friends will be making their space available to us (and others) on a scheduled basis, (3) enriching Eco-Preserve eco-spiritual experiences (such as yoga retreats)  by being an in-the-woods meeting venue close to our open spaces, labyrinth, Family Gardens, and amphitheater.  

This effort is an unfolding process of definition. Shortly, the congregation will be asked to provide feedback once specifics have been solidified.  No action will be taken without congregational input.  

UUA General Assembly

General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Participants worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend. This year’s GA is a 100% virtual event and will be held June 23-27. Registration costs $200 and is done on-line at https://www.uua.org/ga/registration. One registration scholarship has been funded anonymously and is available to a member of the congregation.

UUCFM has four voting delegates; the Board of Trustees has allocated three of them. One voting delegate position is available for a member of the congregation to represent UUCFM.

If you are interested in the scholarship and/or the voting delegate position, please contact Jill Carville at 561-2700 or officemanager@uucfm.org.

Southern Region Links

Find out what's happening in our district! https://www.uua.org/offices/organizations/southern-region-uua

Thank You to Membership

Your Membership Team produced the April 11th Sunday Zoom service for Family & Friends and little did we know how much effort and coordination it takes to make such a seamless Zoom Sunday service for us all. Mary Golbitz was lay leader coordinator. Albie Johnson did the music, Carole Latino lit the chalice and extinguished it and shared a benediction. Helen Leddy was Worship Associate. Reflections were offered by Judy Burget, Helen Leddy, and Suzanne Ziemer. Making it all happen was the Tech team of Walter Peterson, Lesley Peterson, Mark Brandon, and Allie Carville. Thank you to all for the continuing Sunday service productions. You are all greatly appreciated!


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 Jill Carville officemanager@uucfm.org

Building Supervisor  Mickey Kellam buildingsupervisor@uucfm.org

Assistant  Liza Kellam lhiz_sierra@yahoo.com

Please send all newsletter articles by Wednesday at noon for publication in Thursday's newsletter. Send articles to newsletter@uucfm.org.


13411 Shire Lane

Fort Myers, FL 33912




Office Hours: 9a-2p Tu-Fr

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