Weekly E-News April 11, 2019
Sundays in April
Community Sharing in April- Pachamama Alliance of SW Florida
The Pachamama Alliance is a not-for-profit organization that was born out of a relationship developed between a group of people from the modern world and the leaders of remote indigenous groups in the Amazon region of Ecuador for the preservation of life itself. Their mission is to empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world.   Please give generously this month for our Community Sharing collection.
The Humanist Forum
The Humanist Forum meets every Sunday at 9:15 am in Hobart Hall. All are welcome to attend.
Sunday Social Hour
Sunday's Social Hour happens after the service every week. It is volunteer run- by the Women's Circle on the first Sunday, Humanist Forum on the second, CUUPs on the third, Men's Group on the fourth, and if there is a fifth Sunday, it is All Church.  Any donations of food, snacks or cash are welcome.
From the Office
The UUCFM Office is up and running again. Office hours are back to normal - Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Our phones, internet and office machines are all fixed, and our drywall repair and rug replacement will be completed by the end of next week. 

Thank you for your patience, understanding and support as we navigated this unexpected event in our church life. The Conference Room is available for small meetings. The minister's office sustained the most damage from the flood and Rev. Allison will hold appointments in alternate locations for the next few weeks. Thank you all for your patience.
Music News
The UUCFM Choir rehearses most Wednesday nights from 6:45-8:15 pm, and on Sunday mornings from 9-10 am in the sanctuary. It's free and there are no auditions. Come join us in singing!

The UUCFM Band rehearses most Wednesday nights from 6:00-6:45 pm, and on Sunday mornings from 9-10 am in the Sanctuary. If you would like to play your instrument during a Sunday service, please email me to coordinate the details.
Come join us in making music together!

Suellen Kipp, Director of Music
Religious Education News

Please bring in lots of donations of canned food for our first Canned Food Hunt this Easter! We want to center community service this year, instead of candy and treats. Drop off your canned foods in the basket in the Narthex. Let's make this one of the most amazing canned food collections ever donated!

Registering for RE:
Parents and Guardians, we are using a new online registration system for infants, toddlers, children, and youth! Please click here to get your child registered for our faith formation programming, whatever their age!

Youth Groups
There will be no classes during the second hour of church for the month of April except for OWL . Spark, Ignite, and Burn members will be offered access to various activities in Hobart Hall during coffee hour. An email blast has gone out to the congregation discussing this matter. In the meantime, please get your child/youth registered for our Chalice Faith Formation program which will resume on the first weekend of May. Click here to register:  https://forms.gle/ufC5hsswoKkEt96AA 

If you have questions about our youth groups or Children's Religious Education program, please contact Jenn Blosser dre@uucfm.org .
Notes from the Board

Members and friends, 

The Board of Trustees would like to inform you that our "Board Board" has been filled with a board member contact list, the 2018-19 annual meeting minutes [DRAFT], and a request form for board meeting guests. This board is mounted on the wall in the Narthex. 

If you would like an e-copy of any documents, please contact Board Secretary, Alison Carville at  alisoncarville@gmail.com  .

We would also like to inform members that our phone line has been fixed! Thanks to Comcast Business for their support! 
If you or a friend has been thinking about joining our faith community, you are cordially invited to pick up a Membership Enrollment Kit at our “Welcome Tables” in the Narthex and Hobart Hall on Sunday, or come by the Office and grab a Kit. (Or I can email you an Enrollment Kit  bill@petrarca.net .) Complete the forms in the kit and drop in the mail or bring the completed forms with you Sunday morning. It’s that simple! Wherever you are on your journey, we bid you Welcome!

The Membership team needs a few more Ambassador Volunteers
This past fall the Membership Team began the process of helping newcomers on the pathway to membership by assigning volunteers (we call them Ambassadors) to the newcomer once they submit a Connection Card. Six volunteers have formed our current Ambassador Corps but we need a few more. In the past 3 months we are averaging 16 newcomers/month, that’s a healthy increase over previous months. That’s the good news! To help our newcomers with the journey to membership, we need a few more Ambassadors, representing a cross-section of our membership. 
If you’re interested, please let the Membership team know by emailing  MemberServices@UUCFM.org  or just corner one of us and let us know of your interest. The time involved is not significant, no more than an hour a week.

Get to Know Our Members

GENELLE GRANT came to UUCFM in 1993 with husband, Richard Shine and 2 young sons after 6 years in Puerto Rico. They saw in our church community a good place to raise their sons. You can ask Genelle how those boys are now doing and get a proud answer. Richard fell in love with Genelle's voice when she was a radio announcer and they married soon after in 1982 at Concord, NH. Genelle has been a college professor at various schools in Health and Education and is a
published textbook author. In 1996, she became involved with our support of migrant farmworker families, especially centering on the children. These connections evolved into her creation and direction of the GRACE Project ( Guatemalan Rural Adult and Childrens Education). She makes several mission trips each year there and always invites anyone to accompany her. The Guatemalan Minister of Education works closely with the GRACE Project. Currently and for the past 7 years Genelle is President and Volunteer Coordinator of the Happehatchee Center in Estero. This Environmental Action Place on the Estero River was established by our late member, Ellen Peterson. Social Justice issues continue to be Genelle's passion and UUCFM is fortunate to have her with us to provide direction in ways to serve others. Thank you, Genelle, for your inspiration and presence for over these 26 years.

What are Gratitude Gatherings?
Last year, the Board of Trustees, at the recommendation of the Finance Council, chose to re-invent the way we manage our traditional pledge campaigns. Recent years’ experiences, although successful in terms of contributions pledged, became overburdensome on just a few volunteers and somewhat intrusive for many members, cramming all solicitation meetings within a short amount of time in order to complete the grueling budgeting process for the church. Furthermore, the weeks-long, energy-
draining effort necessarily put an unbalanced focus and stress on financial expectations with very little focus on the overall sense of the mutual appreciation for the connectedness between the church and each member. Furthermore, we understand that many of our members have busy lives, filled with urgent demands on their time.

Our new stewardship approach is a year-round series of hour-long Gratitude Gatherings where a twelfth of our members voluntarily come together each month in small groups with the minister and church leaders. In these sessions, members learn about the “state of the Church,” share our proudest moments of being a member of UUCFM, express concerns and satisfactions about our progress toward our Vision,
and celebrate our commitments to our faith community. The goal is that members will leave feeling uplifted and more engaged as a member of our congregation!
So, when you receive an invitation to attend a future Gratitude Gathering, you now know a little bit more about why you are being invited and what you can expect.
Photo Sessions in April for the UUCFM Online Photo Directory
Denis Jensen will be taking photos in April of old and new members who do not yet have their photos in the UUCFM Photo Directory (The Photo Directory can be accessed through the UUCFM website).  Photo taking date is Sunday April 28 th  right after church. Photos will be taken after church on the lawn in back of the screened in porch at Hobart Hall---If the weather is bad, photo taking will move to the screened in porch. Many of you whose photos are not in the Directory will receive emails in advance about these photo sessions. Be sure to come to either session if your photo is not currently in the UUCFM Photo Directory and you would like to have it there.
Social Justice
South Fort Myers Food Pantry
The support that UUCFM has shown to our pantry over the years is appreciated. Along with other coalition members, the combined effort fed 26,646 people from the South Fort Myers area in 2018. There is still a tremendous need in Southwest Florida and consequently the Harry Chapin Food Bank sometimes runs low on food. When this happens, your donations of food each Sunday become so important, even if it’s just one item. Remember “Fran’s plan, just one can”? Look around church this Sunday and just imagine the amount of food, if everyone brought just one can. Protein items are always a good choice, canned ham, chicken , tuna or hearty prepared meals or soups.  

Prefer to donate money? You can make out checks and send to the South Fort Myers Food Pantry. 8260 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, FL. 33919.  Be sure to write Food Pantry in the memo line. Looking for a satisfying volunteer experience? See Fran Rose or email  francrose@centurylink.net
Greetings Fair Food Allies,

It is with great excitement that we write to inform that Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and The Florida Poor People's Campaign will include a Wendy's protest in Ft. Myers on April 17 as part of their National Emergency Truth and Poverty Tour!

In the last two years the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has reached out to communities in more than 30 states, gathering testimonies, engaging in direct action, and chronicling the demands of thousands of poor people as they call for a more just and equitable society. The  Poor People's Campaign  and the farmworker-led Fair Food movement for worker-driven social responsibility share a commitment to creating a world without victims -- a world where everyone's human rights are protected. If you are nearby, come out and join CIW farmworkers, Rev. Liz Theoharis, The Florida Poor People's Campaign, and fellow Fair Food allies as we demand that Wendy's respect farmworker's human rights by joining the Fair Food Program! Here's the event info:

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 5:00 PM
Wendy's: 9301 Daniels Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL 33912  (Do NOT park at the Wendy's lot)

Your commitment to participate goes a long way in ensuring protections for farmworkers’ human rights! See you April 17!

Please reach Uriel at  uriel@allianceforfairfood.org  or 305-305-1212 with any questions.
Special Events at UUCFM
Bell Tower Mall
6:30 p.m.
April 27, 2019
Please RSVP to John E. Fischer, Silverfischstudios@gmail.com or 267 992 6566 BY April 23, 2019. The restaurant needs exact numbers. If you need transportation, please let us know with your full name, address and phone number when making your reservation with John. We will make every effort to provide transportation. Our next FUUN BUUNCH DINNER will be at Bianca’s Italian Restaurant in N. Fort Myers, May 25, 2019.
UUCFM Classes & Groups
15+ Group
The UUCFM 15+ Group is comprised of UUCFM members who have belonged to UUCFM for at least 15 years. Some churches call this type of group Church Elders -- but this group of "elders" chose to be called the 15+ Group! We will be meeting at noon in the Conference Room on Sunday, April 28th. If you would like to have an item put on the agenda, please contact Ellen Erickson  andy.ellen.erickson@gmail.com or 239-694-6833.
CUUPs Healing Drum Circle
Cuups is now hosting a monthly healing drumming circle. We'll meet by the fire circle at 6:30pm every 2nd Saturday. It is open to all. We will have a facilitator who is accomplished in healing sound and drumming. We welcome our larger community as well as our diverse church community. May healing begin with drums of passion. Love and blessings, Joy Purcell
Women's Sharing Circle
Every 4th Tuesday there will be a noon potluck in Hobart Hall. Bring a dish to share and your own beverage.

April Meeting:
Tuesday, April 23rd, noon Potluck in Hobart Hall
Program: Story of your Ancestry, your roots, bring photos, heirlooms, memories. LADIES HAT DAY, wear a Spring bonnet for all to admire & enjoy.
Tuesday, May 28th meeting
Same noon schedule of potluck. "Stories of Travel Times, in the World and United States" featuring Mary Nies & Deb Lewis in their Thailand Adventure. We'll chart where
we all have been in the world.

For contact information: Dorothy Van Howe, 239-560-7238,
Men's Social Group
We want you to join the  UUCFM Men's Social Group.  We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 11:45 am at the Cross Creek Country Club Clubhouse/Restaurant off Daniel's Parkway. For 2019, we are planning fun social activities as well as action sessions on what the Men's Group can do to help UUCFM. For information, contact Denis Jensen at 215-436-5748 or email Denis .
Spirituality Discussion Group
The Spirituality Discussion Group meets Wednesdays at 6:45 pm in Room 2 after the Community Dinner. Our Spirituality has to do with the way one connects to ourselves, others, nature, and the unknowns. Our last meeting will be April 24th. Contact Suzanne Ziemer at suzanneziemer@gmail.com with any questions.
Book Club
On Wednesdays the Book Group will meet and continue reading our book, Michael Pollan's How to Change your Mind - What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying , Addiction, Depression and Transcendence.  
Mindfulness Meditation
Join us on Monday evenings to explore the simple and satisfying practices of mindfulness and 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 6:30-8:00p in the Sanctuary. If you have any questions, please call or text Gary Robbins at 302-540-5899.
UUCFM Weekly Activities
Community Wednesday
Please join us for Chef Joy's Community Wednesday Dinners at 6:00 pm each Wednesday. She will be serving salad, soup and entree. The price is $5.00. The meal is vegetarian, but every other week will feature a meat item alternate.

Community Activities for April:

6:00-6:45  Band Rehearsal in Sanctuary
6:45-8:00  Choir Rehearsal in Sanctuary
6:45-8:00  Spiritual Discussion group thru April 24th in Room 2.
Caring News
Caring Network
If you have any caring concerns, please contact our Caring Network coordinator, Neil Yesu at  dbny79@aol.com
Sitting in Solidarity
This reflection was written by Allie Carville, BURN advisor, and read by Jersey Blosser during the March 24, 2019 Youth Service, "Finding Our Way Out."

“Attitudes are the real disability.” This quote, attributed to Olympian Scott Hamilton who is not disabled, used to be displayed on Allie Carville’s wheelchair spokeguards as a youth transitioning to her adolescent years. It seemed everyone LOVED this sticker because she was/is such a happy person, on most days. As a kid, she would randomly roll up to people and just strike up a conversation.

She seemed happy so people felt comfortable to approach her and have a thoughtful conversation as she grew into her voice. After going to college as a Communication major, she realized that so many songs she listened to only had embodied verbs like “standing, walking, and marching.” Something didn’t feel right when she sang along to “We are standing on the side of love”, or the Backstreet Boys lyric, “Is this the feeling I need to walk with?” Oh, it’s just a figure of speech, everyone stands for something in their life, and walking is “just” a way to reflect on a journey. 

When we sang those songs, she just bit her tongue. There’s bigger battles to fight, she assured herself. Happiness is easier to relate to than having problems that no one else understands. If she’s not a happy person, people would and do pity her.

In 2011, at General Assembly, our very own Rev. Suzanne Fast, Rev. Theresa Ines Soto (pictured above), and many other UUs held a literal sit-in at a public witness for LGBT marriage equality which was entitled Standing on the Side of Love with LGBT People Everywhere. Reverend Soto is holding a “Standing on the Side of Love” poster with the word standing crossed out and replaced with “Sitting.” This interfaith public advocacy campaign renamed themselves “Side With Love” just in January 2018! It took seven years for the campaign’s organizers to acknowledge the implicit ableism of its previous name, even though disabled Unitarian Universalists spoke up right out of the gate.

Within the last year, in her role as Worship Associate, Elise Sexton made an announcement that in our worship space, we would no longer be calling people to stand for songs or readings; folks could if they wanted to, but it wouldn’t be an explicit aspect of worship. It might not seem like a big change, but for Allie and others for whom standing isn’t feasible, it means the way their body exists in this worship space is welcome without the tepid option of “rising in spirit,” as we used to say. The youth have heard Allie speak about this justice issue and voted to remain seated during service so that she is never the only one sitting for a song, a prayer, or a reading. We sit because the use of one’s legs isn’t the only way to show respect.

It takes acknowledging our privilege, in this case, as physically able to choose to be in right relationship with those who are marginalized. This is an act of faith and solidarity, not an act of disrespect to tradition or our faith.

Safety Tips
These tips are brought to you by our Operations Team.
Shop and Help UUCFM!
Did you know your purchases can make a difference? AmazonSmile donates to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers when you do your online shopping. Follow this link:   smile.amazon.com/ch/59-1160337
Member to Member
Do you have something to offer, trade, or sell? Are you looking for something? Free ad space here for personal items only. Will run ad for 4 weeks. Email  uuchurch@uucfm.org .
Our Greater Community
Lee OFA Indivisible
Lee OFA Indivisible invites you to hear Roger Williams speak about Free Speech, The Mueller Report and James Madison visits the Sunshine State
Thursday, April 25, 6 – 7:30 at the Unitarian Universal Church of Fort Myers.

Roger Williams was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from the University of
Kansas with a Classics degree, served in the Marine Corps and earned a master’s
degree in Journalism from Columbia University. He has worked for the Asbury Park
Press (New Jersey), The News-Press (Fort Myers), The New Times (Broward County)
and for the last 12 years, Florida Weekly. He is an award winning journalist who won
the Jon A. Roosenraad Award for defense of the first amendment. He is married to The
News-Press writer and WGCU public radio essayist, Amy Bennett Williams. They
reside in Alva with their youngest son, Nash and Roger’s mother, Ellen Nash Williams.
Please join us to show your interest and support for this important issue and bring
concerned friends, relatives and neighbors.
Earth Day Festival at St. John the Apostle MCC
Saturday, April 27th 9-3 at St. John the Apostle Church 3049 McGregor Blvd Fort Myers. Vendors needed! For info Email events@sjamcc.com

●       Palm Sunday  (Christian) - April 14
●       Lent  (Christian) - March 6 - April 18
●       Maundy Thursday /Holy Thursday (Christian) - April 18
●       Good Friday  - (Christian) April 19
●       Easter  (Christian) - April 21
●       Passover  (Jewish) - April 19 - 27
Unitarian Universalist:
●      Death of  Sophia Lyon Fahs  - April 14 (1978)
●       Hosea Ballou ’s Birthday - April 30 (1771)
●       Climate Justice Month  - March 22 to April 22
National & Cultural:
●       Jazz Appreciation Month  
●       National Poetry Month  
●       Earth Day  - April 22
●       Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day  - April 26
●       Day of Silence  (LGBTQ) - April 27 
Happy Birthday!

April 20   Shirley Fox
April 27  Jeff Letts  Nancy Letts
April 28  Mickey Kellam
April 30  Audrey Brown
Contact Us
Board of Trustees
Board Email board@uucfm.org

Theresa Bahre
President Elect
Lesley Peterson
Alison Carville
Eddie Grimes       
VP Finance
Alanis Garcia
VP Programming
Cathy Snow
VP Ministerial Services
Karen J. Brown
VP Operations
Dorothy Van Howe         
Member at Large
Helen Leddy

Rev. Allison Farnum  239-561-2700x204   minister@uucfm.org
Director of Music   
Suellen Kipp  music@uucfm.org
Director of RE        
Jenn Blosser  239-561-2700x208   dre@uucfm.org
Office Manager       
Building Supervisor   
Nursery Supervisor