Weekly E-News March 14, 2019
Sundays in March
Community Sharing in March- South Fort Myers Food Pantry
The South Fort Myers Food Pantry works in partnership with the Harry Chapin Food Bank and Midwest Food Bank and is supported by churches, including UUCFM, and organizations in South Fort Myers which provide funds, food and volunteers in service to our community. Please remember the Food Pantry on Sundays in March. We thank you for your generous donations.
Annual Meeting
The UUCFM Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, March 31st at 11:45 am in the Sanctuary. After the service, we will exit the Sanctuary, take a small break, and return to the Sanctuary to sign in. Only members may sign in to vote. Non-members may attend but must abstain from voting. The lunch following the Annual Meeting will be a potluck Bring whatever you would like- salad, veggies, meat entree, or dessert.
Sunday Morning Opening Times
On Sunday mornings the Sanctuary will be open only to the music and A/V teams for rehearsal between 9:00 and 10:00 am. The Sanctuary doors will open at 10:00 into the Narthex for the congregation to gather and at 10:15 into the Sanctuary itself.  

Dorothy Van Howe, VP Operations
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.
Religious Education Youth Groups
If you have questions about our youth groups or Children's Religious Education program, please contact Jenn Blosser dre@uucfm.org.
BURN , our High School Youth Group meets on Sundays at noon in Room 4. All youth, ages 14-18, are welcome! Contact Jenn Blosser for info on our youth groups: dre@uucfm.org
IGNITE , our junior youth group for ages 10-13, meets weekly from 12-1 pm in Room 3. (or 7) Come join us for community, conversation, and finding your call to action!
S PARK, exclusively for children ages 5-9, Spark meets weekly from 12-1pm in Room 2 to explore Unitarian Universalism and learn more about our church and each other. 
Save Our Current Programming!
All congregants are invited to attend a town hall meeting on Sunday, March 24th at 12:15 pm in the Sanctuary. Our current faith formation (formerly religious education) programming is unsustainable and we need folks to serve in this vital ministry or change its structure so as not to overwork and under support our current team. Can't make the meeting, but still want to help? CLICK HERE to apply to serve in this dynamic ministry!

As Gini Gottman is out of town this Sunday, there will be no Spark following service. Ignite and Burn youth will be meeting together in Room 4 at noon to finalize plans for the youth service on Sunday, March 24th.

All families are invited to swing by Room 4 this Sunday to collect an informational brochure from Jenn Blosser about the possible changes to our programming and what's being done to make sure your children and youth are being supported and nurtured as they experience our Unitarian Universalist faith. 

We are developing at new registration process for children and youth which will be streamlined and simple and  online.  Once it is ready, we will send out a notice in the newsletter and offer a registration station in the Narthex. 

Jenn Blosser, Director of Religious Education
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
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

MARGIE KOLDE-  I was born and raised in Harvard, Illinois, about 75 miles northwest of Chicago.  I did indeed graduate from Harvard- that is, Harvard High School.  I graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BS in Nursing.  I have worked in nursing for approximately 55 years in varied positions: psychiatric, US Army nurse,  labor and delivery, childbirth education classes (Lamaze), public health nurse and HIV nurse.  The latters were at Lee County Health Department at their very busy varied clinics, maternity, immunizations,pediatric, family planning, and HIV.  I retired from nursing in 2012.

I met and married Jim Kolde on May 10, 1968.  We have 2 daughters, Nancy and Carrie, and 2 grandchildren, Sean and Emily Ellis.  Jim is a retired engineer.  We moved from Streamwood , Illinois to Fort Myers in the 1970s and have been happy here ever since.  I found UUCFM when I first moved here. I was raised Lutheran and was searching for a change.  I tried out several area churches in Ft. Myers and found them not a good fit. Then I tried UUCFM.  Ienjoyed the refreshing sermon that day and when my little girls came out of Sunday school they asked if we could come back to this church! I have been a member here ever since.  I have been on the board and various committees volunteering here and there.  This church has been a wonderful experience and comfort in helping me survive the strong conservative politics here. I really cherish the freedom and all inclusiveness of our wonderful congregation.  I also am thankful for the awesome care I received during my bout with cancer in 2007.  I am now a Pastoral Care Associate and am able to pay back members needing help.

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.
Special Events at UUCFM
Rummage Sale
UUCFM will hold a Rummage Sale Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, March 15-17 from approximately 8am to 4pm on the Screen Porch. We need volunteers! Any time you can help call Deb! 773-720-4875.
Join the FUUn BUUnch Dinner Group Saturday, March 30th at 6:30pm for a Tex Mex dinner at CANTINA 109, 9908 GULF COAST MAIN ST, FORT MYERS, FL 33913

Please RSVP John E. Fischer, 267 992 6566 or silverfischstudios@gmail.com
by Tuesday, 03/23/2019. (The restaurant requires firm numbers by this date.) If you need transportation, please tell John when you RSVP.

  • Take Rte 75 to Exit 128, Alico Rd. 
  • Turn EAST onto Alico Rd. to THE GULF COAST TOWN CENTER. 
  • Turn South onto ROYAL QUEEN BVD.
  • Continue without a turn to CANTINA 109 on the right. (If you come to the circle, make a U turn or follow the circle around to the street from which you came. The restaurant is now on you right.) Parking is on Royal Queen Bvd and Main Street.

Our next FUUN BUUNCH DINNER will be at Mimi’s in the Bell Tower Mall on April 27th.
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 Vernal Equinox
The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans meets Thursday, March 21st for our Vernal Equinox Celebration at the Amphitheater. We will meet at 6:00 PM. All are welcome, families, children, everyone!
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. For this month drumming has been moved to Saturday, March 23rd. Our leader had a date conflict. After this it will go back to the second Saturday of the month . 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.

Our next meeting is March 26th at noon. Bring a potluck dish. This is a program not to miss: Deb & Mary's trip to Thailand, Dorothy's trip to Egypt last October, and your own travels to share. We'll make a list of
countries visited by us. As always, bring a friend.
Let Dorothy know if you can volunteer for set up and clean up help.

April Meeting:
Tuesday, April 23rd, NOON Potluck in Hobart Hall
Program: Story of your Ancestry, your roots, bring photos, heirlooms, memories

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. Contact Suzanne Ziemer at suzanneziemer@gmail.com with any questions.
Book Club
On Wednesday, March 20th from 1:00-3:00 pm, Book Group will meet and begin reading our new book, Michael Pollan's How to Change your Mind - What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying , Addiction, Depression and Transcendence.  Please come having read the introduction and Chapter One.

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.
Rissho Kosei-kai
The Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist group meets Sundays in Room 1. All are welcome to join us. We have a new meeting time- 2:00-4:00 pm.
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 March:

6:00-6:45  Band Rehearsal in Sanctuary
6:45-8:00  Choir Rehearsal in Sanctuary
6:45-8:00  Spiritual Discussion group thru May 2019 in Room 2.
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
Caring News
Caring Network
If you have any caring concerns, please contact our Caring Network coordinator, Neil Yesu at  dbny79@aol.com
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 .

*As Associate Director of the Paradise Coastmen barbershop chorus, I invite you to attend our concert on March 22 & 23. This year we have as our headliner,  Boardwalk , a comedy quartet with banjo and string bass, along with  Wildfire,  a Bronze Medalist youth quartet you’ll enjoy. My quartet,  Easy Does It  , 2017 Sunshine District champions will perform a medley of memorable tunes from Lerner & Loewe.
The chorus will sing many of your favorite hits from the Broadway stage. I have tickets (group discount of $18 ) good for all three shows (Friday 7:00 PM / Saturday 2:00 & 7:00 PM). Let me know which performance and how many tickets you require. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Yours in Harmony,
Glenn Siebert
Associate Director,  www.ParadiseCoastmen.org
Our Greater Community
SWFL Gay & Lesbian Chorus
Get Ready, Get Ready, Get Ready! We begin rehearsals for our Pride 2019 Season with our new Director, Ms. Suellen Kipp. Come and sing with us! We are a non-auditioning all inclusive chorus.

When: Tuesdays, 7PM
Where: Room 7 or Sanctuary
There's a new mental health service in our community! NAMI LCH has been instrumental in our local Crisis Intervention training (CIT), helping police and correction officers to recognize and respond to an individual with a brain disorder in the most effective manner.
One can now call the new Mobile Crisis Response Team at  844-395-4432  and request assistance whenever a loved one is severely depressed, has suicidal or self-harming thoughts, has increased anxiety or panic attacks, parent-child conflict is out of control, but not in need of physical intervention or restraint; or when the family feels overwhelmed and unsure how to handle a loved one with a mental illness
The CIT police officer should be called at  911  when there is a high risk of aggression or violence, attempted or high risk of suicide, intoxicated or criminal behavior, a need for medical treatment or transportation or the situation calls for physical restraint.
A mobile crisis unit cuts down on stigma and increases the likelihood that families will reach out for help. This service is free. The CPE provides a team composed of a Masters-level clinician and a peer specialist who arrive in an unmarked vehicle within 60 minutes of receiving the call. They will go to any setting. The team guarantees that the individual or the family assisted will have face to face services in place within 48 hours of an intervention. If the Baker Act (involuntary 48-hour hold and assessment) is warranted, CPE will guarantee that continued service be established within 48 hours of release with wrap-around services locating support groups, assistance with benefits and advocacy in place.
In 2016-17, there were 9,850 Baker Acts/involuntary assessments due to mental health in SWFL.
Our next NAMIWalks is scheduled for September 28 at 5 PM. Check out NAMIWalks online and sign up your own team at  https://www.namiwalks.org/SWFlorida .

Joanne Halt, M.A.
FaithNet Ambassador
Creating caring congregations: Education, Commitment, Welcome, Support, Advocacy
(239) 337-9024 (w)
(702) 238-6431 (c) 
Happy Birthday!

March 22  Mary Gayle Skinner
March 24 Sheila Jaskie
March 25  Lily Hoffman is 11!
Contact Us
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
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
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