Weekly E-News July 23, 2020
Inspired by love, we transform ourselves and serve others.
Sunday, July 26th

Please join us on Zoom this Sunday, July 26th at 10:30 AM. Our t heme is Grief and Community Care. The service this week is brought to you by:

Suellen Kipp , Director of Music             
Jenn Blosser , Director of Religious Education
Theresa Bahre , Worship Associate
Allie Carville, Worship Associate
Peter Golbitz , Musician
Lesley Peterson , Musician

Tech Team:
Lesley Peterson
Mark Brandon
Walter Peterson
Jenn Blosser

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 891 5048 2747
Password: chalice

or, follow the link on our webpage for audio only

If you would like to make a pledge or donation to UUCFM at any time,  you may mail a check to UUCFM, 13411 Shire Lane, Fort Myers, FL 33912 or visit our paypa l. Search for Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers, then type in your donation and in the notes section, please add either  for UUCFM  or  Community Sharing,  or how much to split between both.
July's Community Sharing Partner
The Pachamama Alliance of SW Florida formed in October 2016 after a group of local leaders took the Game Changer Intensive together.
Our Three-fold Mission:

  • Collaborate with and support existing Game Changing movements and the establishment of organizations to inspire, educate, and engage.

  • Originate programs, develop and disseminate communications, and facilitate training designed to enlighten, energize, and empower pro-activists, giving them the Pachamama Alliance tools and resources needed for transformation to a thriving, just, sustainable human presence on this planet.

  • Integrate indegenous wisdom and promote the participation of indigenous peoples. 

Before COVID, we met monthly for Game Changer Gatherings at the church. These gatherings featured well-known and respected community leaders. Our regular newsletter reaches over 350 Pachamama people who have participated in our programs.
This last year, we partnered with many organizations by tabling, offering workshops and inviting Climate Change Ambassadors to speak at many events. 
Blessing of the Animals Service Next Sunday, August 2nd!
Our annual Blessing of the Animals Sunday Service this year is on August 2nd. We are planning a very special virtual service and would like to present a slideshow with all of your beloved pets and animal friends, past and present. Our animals give us so much unconditional love and comfort. We want to bless and honor them all, even though we cannot do it in Hobart Hall this year. Please send photos to Walter Peterson at  and we will include them in a special tribute to all of our animals.
UUCFM Classes & Groups
Caloosahatchee Mindfulness
The Caloosahatchee Mindfulness & UUCFM Book Study Group has resumed and is meeting on Zoom every Wednesday at 10:00 AM. We are reading  The Wise Heart  by Jack Kornfield. Please join us.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 849 5260 9369
Password: My1heart
The UUCFM Book Club  
The UUCFM Book Club now meets online. Our current book is the highly recommended White Fragility (Why it's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism) by Robin Diangelo . If you can find a hard copy, great. Amazon is sold out but they have the Kindle book. Read through chapter one. We will next meet on zoom Wednesday at 1:00 PM. For those who will be joining us for the first time, please email Mary Studer at   and she will send you the link to Zoom.
Special Book Group
Waking Up White by Debby Irving is "engaging, challenging, and action-oriented” (Moore, Eddie Jr.). The author tells a personal story about racial tensions in her personal and work relationships. In 2009, after wondering why her diversity efforts were unsuccessful, she begins her own discovery adventure that changed her life. 

Join Helen Leddy on your own discovery journey with Debby Irving’s book. It may change your life, too. This weekly book group meets Thursdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. It will take place online using Zoom. For more information and to sign up, please contact Helen   
Transparency Builds Trust

Dear Members and Friends of UUCFM,

Who would have or could have foreseen the changes we are experiencing, not only in the world but within our beloved community as well? I don’t need to repeat the many upheavals we as a congregation have endured during the first half of this year; however, every dilemma affords new opportunity. 

We recently had our first virtual board retreat and wish to make a fresh start -- to build your trust in this team of trustees. The last thing we want to see is another rift in this congregation.

Our goal is to be as transparent as possible in our actions and communications. We intend to use this space to inform you of the board’s plans for UUCFM for the future as well as clearly defining the organization’s structure.

Our first big decision (regarding campus sharing with the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra) was shared with you during several Zoom meetings to get your sense of the plan before we agreed. We are also in the midst of seeking congregational approval for a loan from the endowment fund for several needed capital improvements to our campus.  

We also believe there is the need to know how the structure of our congregation works, which has been somewhat informal and not very transparent. We intend to change that with a series of informational bulletins such as this one on different subjects.

The second issue we had to deal with was staff supervision and duties.

Although the church bylaws provide the personnel committee with the task of supervision for the employees, previous boards had agreed to the minister providing that oversight. With the departure of Reverend Beard, the personnel committee had to step up.

The personnel committee is composed of Bill Petrarca, Jen Smith, and Genelle Grant, chair. All employee contracts, job descriptions and the board manual were thoroughly reviewed and new job descriptions were developed. The committee soon realized that many of the previous job descriptions were no longer possible in this Covid-19 world. The goal of the committee was to keep all of our employees doing work that supports our mission of Sunday service, our only source of outreach and ministry now.

A few changes that resulted from the new job descriptions:

Jill Carville, Office Manager, has taken on more responsibilities and more hours. She is coordinating the tech team. Please contact her if you are interested in joining and learning and assisting with Zoom services. Liza Kellam is now working as an office assistant to Jill, as there are no children for her to supervise.

Leslie Gatto and Jennifer Grant are co-chairs of the Worship Associate Team. Albie Johnson, a Worship Associate, is consulting part-time and coordinating Zoom Greet and Meet sessions after the service for people to talk with each other and for interested viewers to talk with Membership Committee representatives.

Suellen Kipp, Director of Music, in addition to her Sunday music offerings, will be creating short videos about each month’s Community Sharing Partner. She will also work with the Gulf Coast Symphony, once we can do so, to integrate some of their performers into our Sunday Services. 

The duties of Religious Educator have not been reassigned since the resignation of our Director, however, this is an issue that we will deal with in the near future. 

Dorothy Van Howe is our VP of Operations and will be providing updates on the campus sharing project.

I am VP of Programming - so please, if you have a group or project, or are planning one, please let me know! We need more Zoom groups!

Blessed Be,
Toni Latino
From Our Caring Network
If you or another member of the Congregation needs some extra attention during this time, your Pastoral Care Committee is here to help as much as we can while keeping us all safe and protected.
Our Committee members include Mary Faegre, Joan Hickok, Deborah Lewis, Mary Alice Pierce, Mary Tracy-Sigman, Patricia Vivier-Naidl, Holley Rauen and Suzanne Ziemer. If any members of the Congregation are available to help during this crisis, please contact Mary Golbitz.
We have been holding weekly calls as a check in at the beginning of this crisis. Since the need for these calls seems to have dwindled, we will  not  be holding these calls any longer. If you feel strongly that you would like these calls to continue please contact Mary Golbitz. Thanks to all who participated and supported one another.

We can connect with you individually by phone if you are feeling isolated and offer other assistance. Please contact Mary Golbitz for information or assistance at  207 479-4082 (phone or text) or Holley Rauen at  or 239 464-6556.
Social Justice
South Fort Myers Food Pantry
The board and volunteers at the Food Pantry say thank you for the food that you have dropped off during these very difficult months. 

The best times to drop off food are 9 AM or 4 PM on Monday at the pantry itself, located at 8260 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers in the back of the Cypress Lake Presbyterian Church. Any size donation will be accepted. Most needed foods are peanut butter & jelly, cereal, breakfast bars, canned fruits and vegetables, pasta and tomato sauce, protein rich soups and beans. Please, no glass containers.
July 31  Kevin Carr   
Did you know your purchases can help us?  Amazon Smile  donates to UUCFM when you do your online shopping by following this special link to Amazon: 
Want to Become a Member?
If you are interested in becoming a new member, please email

Director of Religious Education   Jenn Blosser
Director of Music Suellen Kipp
Office Manager  Jill Carville
Building Supervisor   Mickey Kellam
Nursery Supervisor   Liza Kellam

Board of Trustees

President  Lesley Peterson
President Elect  Lane Cook
Secretary  Ruth King Fotovat
Treasurer  Pati Maier
VP Ministerial Services  Keith Hamlin
VP Operations  Dorothy Van Howe
VP Programming  Toni Latino
Member at Large  Genelle Grant
Please send all newsletter articles by  Wednesday at noon  for publication in Thursday's newsletter. Send articles to .