Weekly E-News
November 21, 2019
This Sunday, November 21st
The Humanist Forum meets every Sunday at 9:15 AM in Hobart Hall. All are welcome to attend. Join us as we engage in a new topic each week. The Forum this week will look at two topics related to the intersection between our moral lives and the complex technological society in which we live. David Brooks talks about his new book , “The Second Mountain; the Quest for a Moral Life” and Andreas Eckstrom describes the power structures that lie within the digital world.

Our Sunday Service begins at 10:30 AM in the Miller Sanctuary. This week we bring you a Family Thanksgiving service.

Our Community Sharing partner for November is the Fair Food Program. Do you want all food to be Fair Food? Support the Fair Food Program by giving during the offering in the month of November. The Program aims to guarantee dignity and better wages through a new model of social responsibility. It allows workers to be the frontline monitors of their own rights without fear of retaliation. You can learn more about this Program by visiting the Social Justice Table in Hobart Hall during Social Hour. The Fair Food Program has been lauded by the New York Times and the Washington Post. They wrote: NYT, 2014. "This is the best workplace-monitoring program I've seen in the U.S." ~Janice R. Fine, Professor at Rutgers. The WP, 2012: "The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is one of the great human rights success stories of our day." From the UN: "Must be considered as an international benchmark for ending modern-day slavery." To learn more visit: 

Sunday's Social Hour happens after the service every week at 11:45 AM. Come join us for coffee and snacks. Newcomers, visitors, friends, and members are all welcome. Sponsoring groups are the Women's Circle and CUUPs. Donations of food, snacks, or cash are welcome.

All Church Potluck - Please join in with Great Community Spirit after the service today (Nov 24) for an All-Church Potluck in Hobart Hall. Bring a dish to share. Beverages and table service furnished. Volunteers, please join in for set up and clean up.

Family Meet the Minister- Families! Grab some food from the potluck and meet with the minister. (Room to be announced.) This is a chance for everyone in your family to get to know our minister, ask questions and talk about your hopes for the future of UUCFM.
Upcoming Events!
Friendsgiving! The Faith Formation team invites anyone staying in town to join us in Hobart Hall on Thanksgiving morning, November 28th , for a "Friendsgiving" Pancake Brunch! Buy your tickets to the Friendsgiving Brunch  this Sunday  in the Narthex, or fill out this online registration form and bring your payment to the brunch itself: 
https://forms.gle/5ewYvXHxt9uKxXYH7 . Please email Jenn Blosser with any questions. 

Board of Trustees Meeting
The UUCFM Board meets Monday, November 25th at 6:30 PM in the Administration building.

Member Art Fair & Lunch Fundraiser
December 1st and 8th will see the return of our Member Art Fair after the Sunday service from 11:30 to 1:30. Come support our "Artists In Residence" booths. It's an excellent time to bring neighbors and friends. Please support our members' artistic talents and Next-to-New donations booths. Enjoy a $5 lunch of Quiche, salads, dessert, & beverage each Sunday. Door Prizes and Christmas Shopping. Bring your Next-to-New donations, priced and early to Hobart Hall each Sunday.

Contact Patricia Linhoff, 612-382-5927 freckles345@comcast.net , or Suzanne Ziemer, 239-463-9020, suzanneziemer@gmail.com

The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans : Join our Yule celebration , Saturday, December 21, at 7:00 pm. We will have a community sharing feast with open mic for music and mirth. No charge. Bring a dish to share. Sing, dance, play or perform. January 31- Feb 2: Imbolc gathering. Fire and Ice, camping, workshops, ritual to honor Bridget, lady of poetry, hearth and forge. More information soon. This is open to all. There will be child friendly activities.

10th Annual Florida Unitarian Universalist Women’s Retreat
April 3-5, 2020
DaySpring Episcopal Conference Center- A Weekend Gathering of UU Women 

• Friday evening we will get to know one another and create community 
• Saturday one-hour workshops offer choices 
• Sunday we share a UU Service bringing it all together 

DaySpring Conference Center is conveniently located off I-75 just north of Sarasota on Florida’s West Coast.

$220 per person covers expenses for a semi-private room and meals. 8 women share a cozy cottage with 4 bedrooms and 4 baths, a screened porch and common area. A limited number of single rooms are available at $292 each. 

A non-refundable deposit of $20 for a semi-private room or $30 for a private room will reserve your place. Final payment is due January 15, 2020. Scholarships are available. 
Come join us for an enriching and memorable weekend. To register or for more information contact Helen Leddy:  helen.leddy@gmail.com
Groups & Classes

New Connection Circle Coming!
Want to connect on a deeper level with other UUCFM members, visitors, and friends? Then come to the Connection Circle on Wednesdays from 4:30-6:00 pm beginning January 8, 2020. Our circle will be meeting every week for 6 weeks so the meetings will be January 8, 15, 22, 29 and February 5th and 12th. Small group Connection Circles like this help promote bonding in a supportive atmosphere through facilitated discussions on spiritual topics that pertain to you and your life. Come join us in Room 2 and discover more about one another and about yourself.

For more information and to register please contact Mary Cline Golbitz at 
 marygcline@gmail.com  or call or text 207-479-4082. Thanks and look forward to connecting with you! 

T he Men's Social Group meets the second Tuesday of each month at 11:45 AM at Cross Creek Country Club (off Daniels at Cross Creek Blvd). This is time for UUCFM men to get together for fun, conversation, socialization, and lunch. Put this on your calendar and bring a friend. If you’re new to the UUCFM Men’s Social Group, please RSVP to Denis Jensen at   dalanjensen@gmail.com

The Women's Circle meets on the 4th Tuesday of November. Join us in Hobart Hall on Tuesday, November 26th at noon for a potluck lunch. After lunch, Suzanne Ziemer will share her experience in Guatemala where she participated in the Grace Project. This is a good opportunity to meet other UU women, so bring a friend and be sure to join us. 

Wednesday Connection Circle
Lilibeth Grimes facilitates a once monthly Wednesday evening circle, Principles of Joy . The goal for this circle is to serve as a bridge between UUCFM and the broader community. This is open each month to all members, family, and friends. Please email by the Monday before each circle to RSVP. We'll meet the second Wednesday of each month at 6:00 PM.

December 11: Sixth Principle: The Goal of World Community with Peace, Liberty, and Justice for All
January 8: Seventh Principle: Respect for the Interdependent Web of all Existence of Which we are a Part. libeala@gmail.com
A rt in the Narthex
Every month the art work of our member artists is hung in the Narthex. This month Nancy Green is displaying her fused glass pictures. Her work is inspired by her life in the Virgin Islands and other tropical climes. She will also have jewelry and other artistic crafts available for sale at the Art Fair in December. Look for changing displays each month. 

UUCFM & Caloosahatchee Mindfulness invite participants to join our weekly meditation book group. The group meets weekly on Wednesdays from 10:00 to 11:30 AM in Room 3. Please contact Helen Leddy if you want to join. 

The UUCFM Book Club  meets Wednesdays from 1:00-2:30 PM in the Library. All are welcome to join in facilitated discussion and group bonding. Our current book is  The Uninhabitable Earth  by David Wallace Wells. This is an important book about climate change.

The UUCFM Choir  rehearses most Wednesday nights from 6:30-8:00 pm, and on Sunday mornings at 9:30 in the sanctuary. It's free and there are no auditions. Come join us in singing!

The UUCFM Band  rehearses most Wednesday nights from 5:45-6:15 pm, and on Sunday mornings at 9:10 in the Sanctuary. Are you interested in playing an instrument with the UUCFM band for worship? If so, please schedule an audition time with me by email. Come join us in making music together!

Suellen Kipp, Director of Music

Mindfulness Meditation
Come explore the simple and satisfying practices of Mindfulness Meditation. You don’t need experience with meditation, nor do you have to be a Buddhist. Please bring intention to quiet the mind and body in a supportive group of UU members and friends with a similar intention - people who want to carry mindfulness into their daily lives. We meet Mondays from 6:30-8:00 PM in the Sanctuary. Contact Gary Robbins at 302-540-5899.

Family Gardens Open for Implantment
Our growing season has started for the Family Gardens. We still have a few 4’x8’ garden beds available with automatic watering in a wholesome (no chemicals) growing environment. Join our monthly MeetUps hosted by our Master Gardeners. Fees are $75 for the first garden bed and $60 for any additional plus $10 per bed for automatic watering. Contact  Bill@Petrarca.net . All proceeds go to the Church.
Minister's Column

Danger! Family Gatherings Ahead!

Suck it up America, our body politic is deeply divided. Our national presidential crisis continues. Given the recent election reversals in Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana I foresee very spirited Thanksgiving family gatherings ahead. Unless you want your Thanksgiving table to breakout in a food fight I have some recommendations and recipes for you to manage the political differences that might arise.

First, if you know can’t bear to be with your diametrically politically opposed relatives exercise your right not to show up. If you are travelling to a faraway place and already bought your ticket you might consider getting a doctor’s note explaining your condition. I am sure the airlines have heard it before (and heard it all). 

Second, consider using place cards at your dining room table. Place cards are typically reserved for high brow dinner affairs, but, faced with the choice of seeing world war three break out over the mashed potatoes, a little upper crust can go along way. The rule about place cards is to insist that your guests find their place and sit where assigned. If necessary try exercising the control your third grade teacher employed by pointing to the seating chart and threatening to take attendance. Also threats of detention could help. Withholding dessert is a good alternative.

Third, you have no choice. You are obliged to pay your respects to grandma, Aunt Margie or Uncle Billy, and you have no option but to show up at the Thanksgiving table. My advice: be judicious with whom you talk to. Remember you have a choice. It will present itself like a Zen moment of awareness. In a flash you will have a blinding insight as your lips are forming words that you really DON’T have to speak. Silence can often speak more loudly than words. Repeat: Silence can speak more loudly than words.  

To fully embrace the Zen moment, use the red-yellow-green system. Think of it of as a traffic light that clearly allows your conscious mind to connect with your deepest subconscious thought about what the right thing is to do (and say).  Red : STOP! Don’t talk to that person. You know nothing good will result and you might even get demerits that could postpone your entrance to heaven (or wherever...).  Yellow : This is the caution flag you often see at Indy 500 car race events. You know there is potential danger ahead so you must go slowly and be cautious about what you say and how you say it.  Green : You have found the field free of conversational landmines. You are entirely comfortable in speaking with this person and you have the benefit of not only feeling you were heard but of being understood too! You might just want to invite this person to sit with you, carry their drink to the dinner table, and do the otherwise unthinkable: switch the place cards and enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving meal together. 

As for recipes, try Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish recipe (found on NPR). Like the Thanksgiving Dinner you were avoiding it looks bad but could really be good. 
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 
Rev. Carlos

South Fort Myers Food Pantry
As you may know the South Fort Myers Food Pantry began a fund drive in June to replace their aging truck used to transport food from the Harry Chapin Food Bank and area stores to stock the Pantry shelves. The goal was to raise $45,000 of the total estimated cost of $75,000;

Although the goal was not met in full, they were able to reduce the cost to $70,000 and they received a trade in value for the old truck of $5,000, thus reducing the cash needed. They have collected $36,000 from the 16 Coalition Members and Supporting Partners, Pantry volunteers and friends of the Pantry. To this they added the balance from the reserves for equipment replacement to reach the needed $65,000.

As the truck fundraising effort comes to an end, the South Fort Myers Food Pantry Coalition, Inc. expresses their gratitude to the UUCFM members. They hope to be blessed by our continued support in the future as they strive to fulfill their mission, to feed the needy of South Fort Myers.

Meet the Minister- Rev. Carlos will be holding Meet the Minister sessions in December. This is an opportunity to share your hopes and dreams for the future of UUCFM. The sessions will happen on Sundays in the Minister's office.

We have one session left: Sunday, December 8th at 12:00 PM. Sign up with the Office Manager
uuchurch@uucfm.org  or 239-561-2700
Attention All Members- Are you eager to see additional growth in our congregation and ready to meet some interesting fellow UUs? Then it's time to join the membership committee. We meet one Sunday a month after the service in the library. You'll even have time to grab a snack and coffee in Hobart before we begin at noon. Please contact chair Keith Hamlin ( webdivemaster1@yahoo.com ) (239) 738-9650) or acting secretary Linda Jensen ( lindajensen50@gmail.com  (215-880-1433) for more information.

Dinners Go Round Now Forming!
Dinners Go Round are forming for January through April. These potluck dinners offer you a chance to get to know your fellow UUCFM Members on an informal basis. One dinner is held each month at a host UUCFM member’s home on a date determined by the host and participants. If you didn’t participate last year and would like to do so this year, Email Denis Jensen by December 15th

Include your names, telephone numbers, addresses and email addresses in your Email. Let him know if you would consider being a host for one of the four monthly dinners, if there is one or more of the four months where you would not be able to participate, or if you need wheelchair accessibility.
Did you know your purchases can help us? AmazonSmile donates to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers 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 pick up a Membership Kit Sunday mornings in the Narthex or in the office during the week. Thanks!
Our Greater Community

Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Group
 The Rissho Kosei-kai group meets Sundays at 2:00 PM in Room Number 1. We do not meet on 5th Sundays.
Quality Life Center Toy Collection
It's that time again! Time for UUCFM to  show our support for The Quality Life Center of SW Florida   and the important work they do teaching and mentoring children in under served areas of our community. We do this in two ways during December. First, as our Community Sharing Partner for the month and second,  by donating toys for their holiday party They appreciate unwrapped gifts for all school aged children. Please, no toy guns or other items that promote violence! Be aware that battery operated toys are very expensive to play with and are bad for the environment. Kindly bring your donations to church and  place them under the Christmas tree in the Sanctuary or in Hobart Hall by Sunday 12/15 . Members of the Social Justice Ministry will take them to The Q on 12/18. Let's help The Quality Life Center celebrate a joyous holiday season and let them know that UUCFM supports the work they do, such as after school programs, art and dance classes, summer camp and their almost complete brand new teen center!   Thank you!
UU General Assembly
Registration is now open at
uua.org/ga/registration $400 for adults, $250 for high school youth and retired and candidate ministers, $150 for off-site registrants. Early bird registration is now through March 15, 2020. Rates increase on March 16th.Prefer smaller payments over a longer period of time? We've designed a payment plan just for you. When you register, simply click "payment plan" when prompted and, for as little as $50 down, you can spread out the balance of your registration over several months. Payment plans must be paid in full on or before February 29th.
The Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida is one of our Community Sharing partners and they are looking for Literacy Buddies. They need 197 more buddies. Learn more about the program by going to  www.ELCofSWFL.org  and clicking on the Literacy Button or email Tallica Tidwell at  tallica.tidwell@elcofswfl.org  directly. Or go to the Social Justice Table in Hobart Hall and learn more about the program. Karen J. Brown is a literacy buddy. Other members and friends of our congregation are also buddies. Karen says, "I am wildly happy with this program. I just bought my first book for my young partner. My literacy buddy is 4 years old and loves monster trucks. I just bought a book by John Cena called  Elbow Grease . I hope he likes it. He sent me an orange monster truck he drew on purple paper. I am looking forward to sending him more books."
Volunteer Opportunity
People go hungry and we can do something about it. There is an important volunteer opportunity to become the contact person from our congregation to the South Fort Myers Food Pantry. This volunteer will be a member of the Social Justice Team and be responsible for making sure the food gets delivered to the pantry, writing a few brief newsletter articles, and staying in touch with the pantry and what they need. You will be fully supported by the Team. Please get in touch with Karen Brown at
uudrek@gmail.com  or Fran Rose if you want to learn more about this opportunity.
Happy Birthday!

Nov 21 Mary Murray
Nov 23 Mary Dryden
Nov 28 Bob Krieger
Nov 28 Jennifer McFadden
Nov 29 Liz Taggart
Nov 29 Bob Nies  

Senior Interim Minister  Rev. Carlos R. Martinez  revmartinez@uucfm.org
Director of Music   Suellen Kipp  music@uucfm.org
Director of RE   Jenn Blosser  dre@uucfm.org
Office Manager  Jill Carville  officemanager@uucfm.org
Building Supervisor   Mickey Kellam  buildingsupervisor@uucfm.org
Nursery Supervisor   Liza Kellam
UUCFM  | 13411 Shire Lane Fort Myers FL 33912