Unitarian Universalist Congregation

of Fort Myers

Weekly E-News

May 13, 2021


The Promise and the Practice of Our Faith


This Sunday May 16th, as part of our commitment to the 8th Principle, we invite you to imagine what it would be like if our UU worship service centered entirely around the voices and experiences of black Unitarian Universalists, also known as BLUU. What truths might we hear, however difficult? What might we learn? How might these black UU leaders teach us to be better allies, better siblings in faith, and even better citizens in our community? Lay Minister, Albie Jonson and Worship Associate, Allie Carville will lead us on this journey.

Black Lives UU https://blacklivesuu.org/

Thank You to Sunday's Participants:

Albie Johnson, Lay Minister 

Suellen Kipp, Director of Music               

Allie Carville, Worship Associate

Melanie DeMore, Vocalist

Mary Wilson, Vocalist

Peter Golbitz, Musician 

Lesley Peterson, Musician and Tech Team Member 

Mark Brandon, Tech Team Member

Walter Peterson, Tech Team Lead

Jill Carville, Tech Team Coordinator

Karen Brown, Dialogues Host 

Bill Petrarca, Dialogues Host 


Community Sharing in May: Alliance for Fair Food

The Alliance for Fair Food (AFF) is the vibrant, diverse ally network of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), the internationally-acclaimed farmworker organization transforming human rights in the U.S. agricultural industry. The principal focus of the Alliance for Fair Food is the Campaign for Fair Food, a farmworker-led, community-powered movement that successfully holds major food retailers accountable to the highest human rights standards in their produce supply chains.


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Memorial Service for Don Ehat

Please join us on Friday, May 28th at 10 AM on Zoom for a Memorial Service for long time member, Don Ehat. All welcome. An Ash Spreading will take place on Saturday morning in the Memorial Garden, time to be announced.

Topic: Don Ehat Memorial

Time: May 28, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting


Vespers Service

The next Vespers Service will be Thursday evening, May 20th at 6:30pm. We look forward to seeing you then. 


Message from the Board of Trustees


The Board of Trustees would like to share this report on the fiscal year that recently ended. As you can see, the operating budget ended the year nearly in balance. While expenditures exceeded revenue, the deficit was made up through reserves transfers, grants from the Endowment Fund, and the federal Paycheck Protection Program grant. The loan you approved from the Endowment Fund was also used for needed capital improvements to our campus.


The Board appreciates your continued support and generosity, and looks forward to a new year of loving, growing, and serving.

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UUCFM Board of Trustees Meeting

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be Tuesday, June 8th at 5:00 PM. Here is the Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/92925862711

All who are interested are invited to attend.

UU Dialogues

Do you get a lot out of participating in our after service UU Dialogues? If so, have you thought about volunteering to be a Dialogue Moderator? This is what it is all about-

Our UU Dialogues are a sacred space for intentional discussions with our speakers, whether they be visiting ministers, our lay ministers, our worship associates or other invited guests.

UU Dialogues is hosted by two Moderators and a Tech support person; they occur

immediately following the Sunday service. Ideally both Moderators attend the half hour Service Rehearsal on the Wednesday before the Sunday Service and decide between themselves who will be Moderator A and Moderator B.

Moderator A starts the meeting/dialogue and then opens it up. “Please feel free to explore all aspects of today’s service. The floor is open…”

Both Moderators watch for hands and keep the discussion flowing.

Moderator B’s role is to once again thank the visiting minister/speaker and to close the Dialogue with a poem, a quote etc. relevant to the theme of the service.

Sounds doable, right?

Please contact Lay Minister Albie Johnson albiej@uucfm.org or Kathy Ford

ktromford@gmail.com and we will sign you up.

UUCFM Monday Book Club

The Monday Book Group will meet at 1:00 PM on May 17, when it will begin its discussion of Janet Mock’s memoir as a black trans woman, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love and So Much More. 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


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.

Our Endowment Fund has granted the Brick Project all costs of production and placement of each donated brick, which amounts to about $20 per brick. Thus, all $100 per brick goes right to the operating budget. 53 bricks have been donated totaling $5,300. We are over halfway to our goal of $10,000.

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

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

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

Dear Justice Seekers,


It's a story that needs to be told... three years ago we started asking the city of Fort Myers to create an affordable housing trust fund. At this year's Nehemiah Action the mayor attended and committed to bringing a trust fund to the council. 

Well, we got news Saturday afternoon that the city would address the topic with just two days warning. 50 LIFE members mobilized at the last minute to show up at city hall. We hosted a prayer vigil out front and then waited in the lobby for our chance to speak. The speakers were compelling and the applause from the lobby let our city know that LIFE does not give up. 

Four hours later the city voted unanimously to create an affordable housing trust fund. 


Congratulations to all LIFE members for building the power needed to create this real and long-lasting policy change. 

We will be inviting all our city officials to the LIFE Celebration to applaud them and we look forward to sharing more stories from the Nehemiah Action when we all gather on May 24th at 7 PM.  

Thank you and God bless,

Chelsea Baker



Happy UUCFM Anniversary!

Linda Johnson-25 years membership

Harvey Heckes-25 years membership

Bob & Helen Krieger-30 years membership

Phyllis Brewer-35 years membership


May Birthdays

May 12 Fran Rose

May 17  Elaine Swank

May 21 Mary Cline Golbitz  

May 23  Cathy Snow

May 24 Janene Larson

May 29 Stephanie Moreland

May 30 Diane Buckley


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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