Weekly E-News
July 19, 2018
Sunday Worship in July: Ethics
Service at 10:30 am Sundays in the Miller Sanctuary
Community Sharing in July: Pachamama Alliance, Inc.
For two years, as part of our Social justice Ministry, we have been carrying out our mission to create an environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling human presence on our planet. More than 100 people and eight organizations have joined us by participating in our programs and presentations like the Awakening the Dreamer Changing the Dream Symposia, monthly Game Changer Gatherings and special programs, like our Florida Going Solar luncheon last winter. We encourage deeper learning and interacting through our online Game Changer Intensive , and getting involved in the exciting new Drawdown programming that, when acted upon, promises to create the cleaner more beautiful world we know is possible. The Diving into Drawdown study/action group has galvanized much cooperation and collaboration with many groups working for clean water and social justice in SW Florida. We also attend and support monthly meetings of the All Faiths Congregation CAT (Climate Change Action Team) and are working on grants with them on Water awareness and hurricane resilience starting with eco-summer camps at the Quality Life Center. We continue to grow and move forward and are most grateful for the support of UUCFM.
Humanist Forum
The Humanist Forum meets every Sunday at 9:15 am in Hobart Hall. All are welcome.

Coffee Hour
Sunday's Coffee Hour happens after church every week and is provided by volunteers from the Women's Circle on the first Sunday, CUUPS on the second Sunday, Humanist Forum on the third Sunday, Men's Group on the fourth Sunday and if there is a fifth Sunday, it is All Church.  Any donations of food, snacks or cash are welcome. 

BURN, our High School Youth Group meets on Sundays at noon, usually in Room 4. All youth, ages 14-18, are welcome! Contact Director of Religious Education, Jenn Blosser: dre@uucfm.org
IGNITE , our junior youth group for ages 10-13, meets weekly from 12-1 pm in the Narthex. Come join us for community, conversation, and finding your call to action! Questions about the group? Reach out to Stephanie Hoffman:  stephgator7@yahoo.com
Staff and Board News
Music Notes
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, Acting Director of Music
Volunteers Needed
We need volunteers to stay after the service on Sunday, August 5th to help manage the annual purge of the Family Ministry storage room (Room 5). Please email Jenn Blosser if you're interested:  dre@uucfm.org
Music Director Search Is Underway!
The search for our congregation’s settled Director of Music has begun. We will be seeking candidates through August 15th. After reviewing applicants, we hope to welcome a well-qualified, settled director to our midst by October 1st. We anticipate that our congregation’s music program will continue to grow in a positive direction and remain an enriching part of our worship services.

The following members have agreed to serve on the Search Team:

Rev. Allison Farnum
Mary Cline-Golbitz
Jeffrey Letts
Lesley Peterson
Elise Sexton
Village News
The New Village Council
IGNITE will be holding its first lock in this weekend! Some of us may not make it to church on Sunday, but it will be because we did a lot of soul-searching for a group of young people.

SPARK is now forming! Exclusively for children ages five to nine, Spark will meet weekly from 12-1 to explore Unitarian Universalism and learn more about our church and each other. 

OWL (Our Whole Lives - comprehensive sex education) clases for Middle School and High School are in the planning stages. We will announce a parents and caregivers meeting soon to answer questions and working on setting dates. 

CANDIDATE PANEL: Gun Violence and Youth Engagement in Government

Next week, on Sunday July 29 at 1 PM, IGNITE junior youth group, with participation from the Village Council, Social Justice, and the Humanist Forum, will host candidates for state and national congress at a moderated panel discussion. 

Due to the highly charged political atmosphere currently overtaking our country, all questions must be submitted in writing. Further details are being worked out. Please check back next week and on our Facebook page for updates. To submit a question, please email Stephanie Hoffman at  stephgator7@yahoo.com  with the PANEL QUESTION in the subject. 

Save the Date!
The Southwest Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action is screening Making A Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA on Sunday, August 19th at 4 PM. Co-hosted by IGNITE. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

Stephanie Hoffman, Communications
Community Sharing
Here are the ways the congregation can volunteer with or support our
Community Sharing Sunday (CSS) partners:
GRACE ( Guatemalan Rural Adult and Children’s Education Project) website here .

If you would like to volunteer or participate in anyway, please contact Dr. Genelle Grant- grantgenelle@gmail.com

1.This coming week is the second week of the Happe Summer EcoCamp for farmworker children at the Happehatchee Center, of which GRACE is a sponsor. There are 30 Guatemalan children learning about the environment, canoe safety and stewardship of the Earth. If anyone would like to visit the camp this week, please let me know.
2. The Women’s Health Class at the New Image Tabernacle in North Fort Myers is on summer break. It will begin again in September.
3. We always need people to make Fertility Bracelets. Helen Dixon puts Kits of the beads together, or people could purchase the beads on their own (very helpful). Beads are red, purple, and green pony beads.
4.In July, we will begin meeting on Wednesdays to sew and assemble the menstrual Kits. People can contact Dr. Grant if they want to participate.
5. There is a Trip planned for Guatemala for the first week in December, if anyone wants to volunteer and contribute to the workshops in Guatemala.

Hello Amigas,
Here's the link to Jessica Meszaro's new story about Vilma and Rita's business in San Lucas, which she broadcast through NPR Tampa:
South Fort Myers Food Pantry:
Volunteers are needed during the summer season as snowbirds have gone home. There is still a great need during the summer for local families when children are not being fed in school. Please contact the food pantry at (239) 628-3191 if you would like to participate on Mondays for food distribution.
Cypress Lake Presbyterian Church

Planned Parenthood:
If you know anyone in need of services offered by Planned Parenthood, please direct them to a local center.

Planned Parenthood Fort Myers
(239 ) 481-9999
Special Events
JULY 28, 5:30 pm




From the corner of Cleveland and Cypress Lake (Daniels Dr.), proceed south toward Alico Road. Shortly before Alico Road, make a right turn onto Island Park Road and immediately turn left into the parking lot. The restaurant sits almost in the inside corner of the shopping center.
Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans Event
Blessings and love to all! CUUPs will be holding our Lughnasadh ritual August 4th, gathering at 6:30 pm in Hobart Hall. This is the first harvest time being grain. We celebrate solar blessing. It is the festival of Lugh or Llew, aspect of the sun. Come join us as we tell the story of Lugh and celebrate your own seeds of harvest. Bring drums- we will be chanting. Bring a dish to share as we will be feasting. Join us for a bit of story, song and honoring that which Great mother has given us with nourishment of our sun. 

Oh, but that's not all! Sunday, August 5th at 10:30 am is Blessing of our Animals, also in Hobart hall. Bring your fur friends, swimming ones, flying ones to be honored in sacred space. Please use discretion as some of our loved animals can not tolerate all the hype. Looking forward to seeing you all for these time honoring traditions.

Love and Peace
"Reflections on Hurricane Irma" - Art Quilters Unlimited Exhibit

Miller Sanctuary Narthex
August 6-September 29, 2018
Open Reception Thursday, August 9, 2018 5-7 p.m.

Art quilters create fine art wall hangings based on their experiences, imagery and ideas, rather than on traditional patterns. Art Quilters Unlimited is a group of fiber artists interested in expanding their knowledge and pushing the boundaries of their creativity. Our very own, Rev. Margaret L. Beard is a member of this group!

For more information, please contact Pam Richardson, Exhibition Committee Chair at pjrichfiberart@comcast.net .
To confirm access to the exhibit, please call the Church Office at (239) 561-2700. For more info, check out the public event page here .
UU Women's Retreat
Celebrating Sacred Places

9th Annual Florida Unitarian Universalist
Women’s Retreat
April 5-7, 2019

DaySpring Episcopal Conference Center Ellenton Flo The retreat begins Friday at 5:00pm and ends Sunday.
DaySpring Conference Center is conveniently located off I-75 just north of Sarasota on Florida’s West Coast. The beautiful campus nestled under ancient oaks and located on a cove of the Manatee River offers a serene setting for our annual retreat. Take a look.

$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.

$5 Discounts Available for Registration before September 15, 2018.

A non-refundable deposit of $15 for a semi-private room or $25 for a private room will reserve your place. Final payment is due January 15, 2019. Come join us for an enriching and memorable weekend.
Classes & Groups
Book Study
Come join in reading Ram Dass'  Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart  Wednesdays in the Library at 1:00 pm beginning July 11th.

"Sometimes illumination occurs spontaneously or, as Ram Dass experienced, in a cosmic moment of the heart opening. More commonly, it happens when we remove the dust from the mirror of our spiritual heart with daily practice - to see beyond the illusion of our transient thoughts and emotions to the vast and luminous landscape of our true nature.

For five decades, Ram Dass has explored the depths of consciousness and love, and brought back insights as his service to others. With  Polishing the Mirror , he gathers together his essential teachings for being and loving, here and now, in the eternal present. For those just starting on the path, this is a primer for living from the spiritual heart. For those already practicing it, is a reference point for daily life in the spirit.
In this book, readers will discover perennial wisdom, humor, teaching stories, and guidance into Ram Dass's own spiritual practices, including:

  • Bhakti Yoga - devotion, opening our hearts to unconditional love
  • Practices for living, aging, dying, and embracing the natural flow of life
  • Karma Yoga - transformation through selfless service
  • Working with fear and suffering as a path to grace and freedom
  • Step-by-step guidance in devotional chant, meditation, mantra, and more

Polishing the Mirror  is Ram Dass' invitation to experience who we are and why we are here, and how to become beacons of unconditional love."

July 25th Chapter 5 & 6
August 1 Chapter 7 & 8

For Book study beginning August 8th, we read  Play  by Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughan.

"From a leading expert, a groundbreaking book on the science of play, and its essential role in fueling our happiness and intelligence throughout our lives 

We've all seen the happiness on the face of a child while playing in the school yard. Or the blissful abandon of a golden retriever racing across a lawn. This is the joy of play. By definition, play is purposeless, all-consuming, and fun. But as Dr. Stuart Brown illustrates, play is anything but trivial. It is a biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition. We are designed by nature to flourish through play. 

Dr. Brown has spent his career studying animal behavior and conducting more than six-thousand "play histories" of humans from all walks of life-from serial murderers to Nobel Prize winners. Backed by the latest research,  Play  (20,000 copies in print) explains why play is essential to our social skills, adaptability, intelligence, creativity, ability to problem solve and more. Particularly in tough times, we need to play more than ever, as it's the very means by which we prepare for the unexpected, search out new solutions, and remain optimistic. A fascinating blend of cutting-edge neuroscience, biology, psychology, social science, and inspiring human stories of the transformative power of play, this book proves why play just might be the most important work we can ever do.

Come having read Part One (first 47 pages)
Mindfulness Meditation
Join us on Monday evenings to explore the very simple and satisfying practices of mindfulness and meditation. You don’t need experience with meditation, nor do you have to be a Buddhist. Do please bring an intention to quiet the mind and the 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 contact Gary Robbins at  pachamamaelder@gmail.com .
Optimal Living Group
The Optimal Living Group is open to all and does not require attending every session. We meet in the Sanctuary on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 4:00-5:30 pm. We discuss how to live optimally, including practical ways to cope with life's challenges and issues. Helping others and developing maturity in ourselves is part of our quest. We explore many paths and techniques for enriching our lives and making a difference for others. For more information, fill out a blue card found in the pews or email Neil Yesu:   dbny79@aol.com .  
UUCFM Gaming Group
The UUCFM Gaming Group is the club for you. We do our best to meet in Room 7 on Sundays after church from 1:00-4:00 pm. Those of us with children can't always make it so please check the Facebook group page ( UUCFM Gaming Group ) to see if games are scheduled.
Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Group
The Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist group meets Sundays at 1:45p in Room 1. All are welcome to join us.
Weekly Activities
Community Wednesday  
Activities for July:

4:00-5:30        Optimal Living Group (1st & 3rd Wed)
6:00-6:45        Band Rehearsal in Sanctuary (off 1st two weeks in June)
6:45-8:00        Choir Rehearsal in Sanctuary (off 1st two weeks in June)

Community Dinners are on hiatus until September. Enjoy your summer! Rehearsals and Events will continue through summer.
Social Justice
Pachamama Alliance of Southwest Florida
Game Changer Gathering August 2 at 6:30pm

Biophilia and the Consumer Culture
with  Joseph Bonasia,  a retired teacher and former Scoutmaster who is also a Pachamama trained facilitator. He is editor of the Sierra Club Calusa Group newsletter, moderates the website of the Cape Coral Freecycle Group, and is President of Cape Coral Toastmasters, a public speaking organization. Currently, under the auspices of the Cape Coral Department of Parks and Recreation and to nurture a deeper connection between people and the natural world, he has initiated a literary environmental project,  Poetry: The Language of Conservation ,  with local high school students. He speaks and writes about sustainability and consumer culture, as well as biophilia.

Biophilia is the scientific hypothesis that humans have an innate love of nature, that it is in our DNA because it has provided human beings with evolutionary advantages. This presentation provides a stimulating and surprising overview of the critical impact biophilia has on our physical, cognitive, psychological, and spiritual well-being—indeed, how central it is to our very humanity—and therefore how critical it is in efforts and educational approaches to saving life as we know it on this planet. 

Big things are happening! We asked the commission to form a children's service council and while they are still refusing to even allow it on the ballot- they have increased the budget for children's services by $1.7 million. Should this budget pass we will be able to celebrate dental care for thousands of more children as well as hundreds of children getting access to full day preschool. It is still not a victory but it is a sign that work for justice is never done in vain. 

If you would like to order a LIFE t-shirt you can do so at  https://www.customink.com/g/bxr0-00bf-84j3 .  Shirts can be worn out and about and at community events.

2018-2019 Dates. See below for the newly announced dates for the upcoming year.

Annual Assembly
Monday, October 29, 2018

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Nehemiah Action
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 Community Forum

LIFE members were invited to a community forum to help the county health department decide on a focus for the upcoming few years. If you wish to participate see below:

What: Department of Health in Lee County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Town Hall Meeting
When: July 2, 2018
Time: 6:30p – 8:30p
Where: Department of Health Lee County
Address:  83 Pondella Road

South Fort Myers Food Pantry
 The response for food donations has been consistently good over the last year. The need is still there and UUCFM has been a strong supporter of the pantry. I have not been able to post the pantry newsletter but there is one at the Social Justice table listing the number of people fed by the pantry for the last year. Easter is early this year which means many people will be heading north earlier too. Consequently, many people will lose seasonal jobs and the need for food donations and volunteers will be just as great as it is now. Keep that in mind. Remember to bring at least one can each week and consider volunteering during the summer months. 
Questions? Email Fran Rose:  francrose@centurylink.net
Caring News
Member Harriet J. 'Harri' Wisser passed on July 1, 2018, in Minnesota. Harri and her late husband, Nat, were members of UUCFM until they moved to Friendship Village in Bloomington, MN, in 2013. In lieu of flowers to the family, donations are welcome to the Alzheimers Association.

Read her obituary online here .
Shop at  smile.amazon.com/ch/59-1160337  and Amazon donates to
Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers.
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
Kimberly Littleton would like to know if anyone has recordings of Angela Melton singing and playing music, especially at our services. Photos, recordings, videos, or any stories they may want to share would be welcome. Contact Kim at Jadenight@embarqmail.com
Our Greater Community
If you are a UUCFM Community Sharing Partner, a regular Facility User, or have UU related news to share, you are welcome to submit announcements for publication in our Greater Community section of the newsletter. Please send announcements in by Wednesday for publication in the Thursday E-news.
Lee County Election Deadlines
The following deadlines apply to the Primary on August 28:
  • Register to vote – Monday July 30, 2018
  • Request Vote-By-Mail Ballot – Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018
The following deadlines apply for the General Election on Nov. 6, 2018:
  • Register to vote – Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018
  • Request Vote-By-Mail Ballot – Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018
Early voting will occur as follows:
  • Primary – Aug. 18 thru 25, 2018
  • General – Oct. 22 thru Nov. 3, 2018
If you are voting by mail and you will not be at the address provided, contact Lee County Elections. Your ballot will not be forwarded to a different address. For more information call 239-533-8683 or on-line at  www.Lee.Vote .
The following camp is for Home School Rocks, a renter of UUCFM. This camp is not run by or sponsored by UUCFM.
Workshop by Dr. David Campt

Why Racism Skeptics Should Be Empathetically Listened to, and This Should Be the Work of White Allies


Engaging white folks who are skeptical of racism, in an empathetic way, so they can examine and potentially revisit their views should be the a primary task of white allies and not a key task for people of color. 
As one journalist titled his review of new research on empathy based methods of dialogue aimed at de-biasing: “Research says there are ways to reduce racial bias. Calling people racist is not one of them.”
**Childcare Provided - please request it at the bottom of the ticket form**
Please contact us with accessibility requests at surjswfl@gmail.com .

July 28 Deborah Lewis
July 30 Don Klein
July 31 Kevin Carr
Board of Trustees

Matt Hoffman 239-222-4836 mwaters106@yahoo.com
President Elect
Alison Carville 239-634-0487 alisoncarville@gmail.com
Jen Smith 630-881-0000 jenw930@gmail.com             
VP Finance
Bruce Marble 239-596-2703 bamarble44@gmail.com     
VP Programming
Cathy Snow 239-896-3693 cm snow23@gmail.com
VP Ministerial Services
Lesley Peterson 239-839-4434 unicorn@cyberstreet.com
VP Operations
Mary Alice Pierce 239-267-4429 piercemaryalice@gmail.com           
Member at Large
Don Ehat 239-947-8143 don.ehat@gmail.com

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