Unitarian Universalist Congregation

of Fort Myers

Weekly E-News

July 8, 2021


Our Sunday Service on Zoom - The Maya and Mother Earth

Please join us for a very special Sunday service closing the Maya Culture Week at UUCFM.

Following the service, we will have our weekly UU Dialogues Discussion and Breakout Rooms on Zoom. Here is the Zoom link for our service on July 11th at 10:30AM:


Thank‌ ‌you‌ ‌to‌ ‌today's‌ ‌participants:‌ ‌ ‌

Gabriella‌ ‌Bravo,‌ ‌Indigenous‌ ‌Scholar‌ ‌

Marta‌ ‌Matias,‌ ‌Indigenous‌ ‌Lay‌ ‌Scholar‌ ‌

Albie‌ ‌Johnson,‌ ‌Lay‌ ‌Minister‌ ‌

Dr.‌ ‌Genelle‌ ‌Grant,‌ ‌Worship‌ ‌Associate‌ ‌ ‌

Maya‌ ‌Women‌ ‌Musicians‌ ‌

Children‌ ‌from‌ ‌Maya‌ ‌Camp,‌ ‌Dancers‌ ‌

Lesley‌ ‌Peterson,‌ ‌Musician‌ ‌and‌ ‌Tech‌ ‌Team‌ ‌Member‌ ‌ ‌

Mark‌ ‌Brandon,‌ ‌Tech‌ ‌Team‌ ‌Member‌ ‌

Walter‌ ‌Peterson,‌ ‌Lead Tech‌ ‌Team‌ ‌Member‌ ‌

Holley‌ ‌Rauen,‌ ‌Tech‌ ‌Team‌ ‌Member‌ ‌

Evan Carville, Tech Team Member

Carol Latino, UU‌ ‌Dialogues‌ ‌Host‌ ‌ 

Helen Dixon, UU‌ ‌Dialogues‌ ‌Host‌


Community Sharing in July:

Early Learning Coalition of SW Florida

Our mission is to enhance the quality of children’s lives by providing families, early childhood educators, care-givers and community partners in Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee Counties, with opportunities to positively impact the future.


Maya Culture Week

Since 1996, UUCFM has provided educational programs for migrant farmworker high school students and local farmworker women. In 2006, the Guatemala Rural Adult and Children’s Education (GRACE) Project developed to provide human trafficking prevention education in SW Florida and in Guatemala. The workshops have expanded to include reproductive health, natural family planning, and violence prevention education for teachers, midwives and teenagers. Even during COVID, GRACE teachers brought Fertility Bracelets and sustainable menstrual kits to rural Guatemalan women.

The Maya Culture Week will bring together twenty local teenagers, whose families are mostly Maya, at UUCFM to learn about the history, art, folk dances, and cosmovision of the Maya people. Classes will be in Spanish, and the teachers will be Marta Matias and Gabriela Bravo. Marta has worked with GRACE since 2006, and besides leading workshops in Guatemala and SW Florida, she has talked about human trafficking at the UN in New York. Gabriela Bravo has finished all six years of the legal studies program at San Carlos University in Guatemala City and will soon take the Bar exam there. The GRACE Project supported Gabriela for seven years as she successfully completed her studies to become a lawyer and advocate for indigenous people in Guatemala.

Marta and Gabriela will be Lay Indigenous Scholars for the two Sunday Services, July 4th and 11th. They will teach in the Maya Culture Camp, and they will perform in the July 10th Maya Cosmovision Concert in the Sanctuary, at 7pm. Tickets to the Concert are available at the door and cost $20. If you arrive wearing Maya clothing, entrance is $15. Children 16 and under are free.

The GRACE Project is part of the UUCFM Social Justice Ministry. Support for the Maya Culture Week, free for teen participants, comes from the Ellen Peterson Environmental and Social Justice Education Fund and from generous UUCFM donors. As always, Muchísimas gracias!

Genelle Grant

Monday UUCFM Book Group

The UUCFM Monday Book Club will convene via Zoom July 12 at 1 pm to begin discussion of our new book, Owls of the Eastern Ice: A Quest to Find and Save the World’s Largest Owl by Jonathan C. Slaght. If you’re joining for the first time, please email Mary Studer to get the link to Zoom: mstuder929@gmail.com 

Social Issues Book Group

Wednesdays 1:00-2:30 PM


The Social Issues Book Group will be starting a new book when we reconvene on July 21st. Please join us as we read Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lesson for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. 

"Mixing biography with history, memoir, and analysis of our current moment, the author endeavors to follow Baldwin, and to bear witness to the difficult truth of race in America."

We meet online on Wednesday from 1-2:30 p.m. Contact Helen Leddy for details on the book group or CTTT: helen.leddy@gmail.com



As your VP Programming Board member, I am thinking about programming throughout the year.  If you want to plan and/or facilitate a program, please call me or email and together we can strategize. What with sharing our building with the Gulf Coast Symphony and  SWFL RESET Center, and scheduling other community events, it will be important to think ahead for the year and book a room as soon as you can.  I’d also like to know about events being planned on Zoom like Connection Circles, Meditation Groups and Book Clubs. 

Toni Latino is working on scheduling/calendaring at the present time, but if you are planning an event or want to facilitate a program, please check in with me first. I’ll email or talk with Toni to get you scheduled, and I’ll have you send me a short write-up for the Weekly and our monthly newsletter, The Communicator. I can also answer any questions you might have. I can be reached at uudrek@gmail.com or 862-432-0173.  If I don’t answer the phone call, leave a message and I’ll call you back. We have three designated rooms in which to meet.  One of the rooms is reserved for Faith Exploration Programming for young children. I am looking forward to a year of fulfilling our mission of Love, Growth, and Service.

Karen J. Brown


60th Anniversary Pave the Way Fundraiser

Our goal is 100 commemorative bricks at $100 per brick for $10,000 for our General Budget. Our Endowment Fund will pay production costs so each $100 goes right to the Budget.

59 bricks have been donated. 39 other bricks have been moved from the Eco-Preserve that were the 2011 50th Anniversary Fundraisers. Thus, 98 engraved bricks grace the pathways into our Sanctuary. They are a blessing to read.

Each 4" X 8" brick can be engraved with up to 3 lines of 13 characters/spaces on each line. Examples of donated bricks are UU quotes, memorials, names & sayings, such as:

She loved and was loved. Nancy Letts

Service is our Law. Go Forth!

Remembering (name, birth-death)

Albie & Mary, Lay Ministers, Thank You

To donate a brick: Contact suzanneziemer@gmail.com, 812-332-3450 or

helendixon9@gmail.com, 239-633-4989.


July Birthdays


July 4 Helen Leddy

July 10 Barbara Mannix

July 14 Bill Petrarca


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

Teacher  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




Summer Office Hours: 9a-12p Tu-Fr

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