Unitarian Universalist Congregation

of Fort Myers

Weekly E-News

June 17, 2021

Ann_s Photo  .jpg

Our Sunday Service


Please join us on Zoom this Sunday, June 20th, at 10:30 AM for our Sunday Service titled Sacred Relationships.

Join Zoom Meeting Sunday at 10:30 am


No password needed

Or, follow the link on our webpage for audio only: uucfm.org

About Our Guest Speaker, Ann Smith

Ann has devoted her life work as a co-creator of a world that works for all creation. With more than thirty years of experience working globally through the United Nations, Anglican Communion, Episcopal Church USA, World Council of Churches, The Millionth Circle, Parliament of the World Religions and SARAH4Hope, she has attended 60 world gatherings where she has shared resources and information, hosted events, provided leadership programs and made connections that unite and empower us as spiritual change agents.

She,with Holley, Albie, Mary Cline, Linda Sechrist and others are convening the

Southwest Florida Congress of Women that is part of The General Congress of Women that started September 21, 2020. She is co-author of Stories from the Circle, Women Prints that brings to life the U.N. 12 Issues to improve the statusof women and girls, Women’s Uncommon Prayers and Women’s Round Calendar.

Ann lives in Naples, Florida, with husband and their cat Brownie on a nature preserve where the Everglades and all Her glory are witnessed and loved.

Thank you to Sunday's Participants:

Ann Smith, Guest Speaker

Albie Johnson, Lay Minister

Suellen Kipp, Director of Music

Karen Brown, Worship Associate

Duo Beaux Arts, Recorded Musicians

Lesley Peterson, Musician and Tech Team Member 

Mark Brandon, Tech Team Member

Walter Peterson, Lead Tech Team Member

Holley Rauen, Tech Team Member

Jill Carville, Tech Team Coordinator

Carole Latino, UU Dialogues Host 

Bill Petrarca, UU Dialogues Host


Community Sharing in June: Pachamama of SW Florida

The Pachamama Alliance of SW Florida was formed in October 2016 after a group of local leaders took the Game Changer Intensive. 

Their intention is to work with the people in Southwest Florida who are beginning to live in a new dream— one that fosters environmental sustainability, social justice, and spiritual fulfillment. Their three-fold mission is to collaborate with and support existing Game-Changing movements; Originate programs and facilitate trainings designed to enlighten, energize, and empower pro-activists, and integrate the wisdom of and promote the participation of indigenous peoples to strengthen our collective transformation.

More info can be found at https://connect.pachamama.org/group/87/about

UUCFM Board of Trustees

Volunteer of the Month!

We are pleased to announce that Peter Golbitz is our Volunteer of the Month. Peter has been a part of the music team for at least ten years. During the pandemic, he has consistently contributed to our Zoom services by playing his guitar, singing and sometimes writing original songs for the services. Once fully vaccinated, Peter volunteered to go into the Sanctuary to help our Music Director, Suellen Kipp, with technology for the music and playing music with her in person. He helps to improve the quality of the sound on Zoom and recently agreed to chair the newly formed Music Committee. Thank you, Peter for all you do! 

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be Tuesday, July 13th at 5:00 PM. Here is the Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/92925862711

All who are interested are invited to attend.


Father's Day Slideshow Presentation

The Music Team is putting together a Father's Day slideshow for the service on June 20th. Please send pictures to Lesley Peterson by June 17th at vpworship@uucfm.org.

Summer Office Hours

From June 1st-August 31st the office will be physically open from 9-12 Tuesday-Friday and staffed by the office manager and/or volunteers. Feel free to call and leave a message or email the office manager anytime. I will be working in the office and also at home while undergoing treatment this summer. officemanager@uucfm.org.

Jill Carville

Office Manager


New Email for Calendar Events

If you'd like to schedule an event at UUCFM, please use the new email calendar@uucfm.org. Board Member Toni Latino will help you schedule your events this year. Thank you!

UUCFM Re-Opening Plan

Dear Members and Friends,

The process for reopening is necessarily a slow, thoughtful one that requires many voices -- the Board, the Staff, Worship Associates, the Tech Team, and the Congregation. Some of our congregation are anxious to return to in-person participation in UUCFM activities, including worship; others will be happy to continue to engage online. 

We are planning for a future when we can smile and laugh and hug- where we can see each other’s faces, hear each other’s voices, and be in each other’s presence – and where online options, safety measures, and other steps can keep everyone connected and safe.

Since November, our campus has been in Phase 3 of our original opening-up plan. With limited exceptions, UUCFM gatherings have been limited to no more than 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors, including masks and social distancing, with no shared food. 

Now that nearly half of Lee County residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose, the Board of Trustees has begun planning to expand our on-campus activities, and to offer both in-person and online worship services.

Our general principles are:

  • Inclusivity and Justice: We will not exclude people and will take special care that equity and anti-oppression are centered in our decision making.
  • Safety: We will do our utmost to keep our people and the community safe. We will not contribute to community spread.
  • Community Matters: We value our community and being together. As soon as it is safe to gather in an inclusive way, we will.
  • Pro-science: We support vaccination for those who are able as a scientific, reasonable, and loving decision. You protect yourself and others. We believe that vaccines are effective and trust the scientists who have worked on them.

Here is our plan so far:

Visits to the Campus

Individuals and members of the same household may visit the outdoor facilities at any time.

People wishing to visit the office are requested to make an appointment in advance.

Outdoor Gatherings

Groups of any size may meet outdoors, beginning immediately.  

  • At small outdoor gatherings with vaccinated and unvaccinated people:

o Unvaccinated people should wear masks and stay six feet apart

o Vaccinated people do not need to take prevention measures

  • At small outdoor gatherings with only vaccinated people, prevention measures are not needed if all present agree.
  • At outdoor events with more than 50 people, everyone should wear masks  


Indoor Gatherings

Small groups can choose to meet in person beginning immediately or stay online. We will continue to maintain the capacity for small groups to hold their meetings on Zoom for the foreseeable future.  

  • At small, indoor gatherings with vaccinated and unvaccinated people, everyone should wear masks and unvaccinated people should stay six feet apart
  • At small indoor gatherings with only vaccinated people, prevention measures are not needed if all present agree
  • At large indoor events with more than 50 people, everyone should wear masks and social distancing should be maintained.

Worship Services and Religious Education

Hybrid worship services – on-line and in-person – will begin in Hobart Hall on Sunday, August 1 for the Blessing of the Animals Service, and in the Sanctuary on Sunday, August 8. Child care will be available for preschool and kindergarten children beginning August 1. Elementary children and youth in grades 7 through 12 will be welcome in the Worship Service until we have enough children to form a group. The social hour after the worship service will resume at a later date, when it is safe to gather without masks.

  • All people will be required to wear masks in the Sanctuary
  • During the worship service, one vaccinated, socially-distanced speaker or singer at a time may remove their mask
  • Households should sit in socially-distanced groups
  • Vaccinated and unvaccinated people may sing softly (or hum) with their masks on


Will we require proof of vaccination?

No, we will not require proof of vaccination. Hospitality volunteers (greeters, ushers, etc.) and worship leaders should be vaccinated, but that, and our encouragement for everyone who is able to be vaccinated, is on the honor system. We do not feel it is appropriate for the congregation to ask or keep track of this information. However, if we find that we have a large number of unvaccinated people whose choice to not get a vaccine puts those who cannot get one for medical reasons at risk, we will reevaluate this. The Board and Staff agree that you can be trusted to get your vaccine – please do so.

What happens if new variants or a new surge in Lee County cases changes things?

The Board will assess the situation and determine what alterations are needed.

What happens if we have an outbreak at UUCFM?

If an outbreak occurs among our people (five or more cases that may be linked), we will close the campus immediately while we assess what happened and what steps we should take.

What’s next?

We pledge that we will be transparent, responsive, and deliberate about how we go about this. If you have a question, please ask – it will help us think through all the aspects of this process. We want your comments and opinions! You can email or call Lane Cook, Board of Trustees president, at uucfmpresident@uucfm.org or 239-222-9406.

UUCFM Book Club

The UUCFM Monday Book Club will convene via Zoom June 21st to discuss Chapters 14-16 from Redefining Realness by Janet Mock. If you’re joining for the first time, please email Mary Studer. She will send you a Zoom link. 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

Wednesdays 1:00-2:30 PM


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


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.


RESET Center

SWFL RESET Center and

SWFL General Congress of Women


The Wonders and Perils of the Gulf

Saturday June 26 at 4:00pm 

Learn about an amazing FGCU Resiliency Reef Project that the FGCU Water School is working on building a huge artificial coral reef. Hear from women in the community who care and are working for clean water.

A conversation with 

Helen Noble

Community Engagement/Outreach

Florida Gulf Coast University

Vester Marine & Environmental Science Research Field Station

4-5pm  Saturday  June 26th

Register for ZOOM Link here


Pachamama Alliance of SW Florida Presents

The Right to Clean Water

Wed July 7 at 3:00 - 4:00PM

Join a very special zoom discussion to see how each of us can help get the Rights of Nature off the ground in SWFL!

Join this important Zoom Event and Call to Action being put out by the SWFL Pachamama Alliance Community. We need your support now!

Learn about the current efforts to amend the Florida State Constitution to make these rights the law of the land. This event is not only educational, it is a call to action. 

Find out what you can do now to help. 

Email pachamamaswfl@gmail.com to request the link.


June Birthdays

June 17 Phyllis Brewer

June 19 Suzanne Ziemer

June 21 Chet Beemer

June 23 Karen Brown  

June 24 Helen Krieger

June 25 Rosalie Kuehn

June 28 Chris Rosa  


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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