Weekly E-News March 28, 2019
Sundays in March
Annual Meeting
The UUCFM Annual Meeting will be held this 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.

There will be a Budget Review meeting on Saturday, March 30th at 11:00 am in the Conference Room. S ince there is limited time in the annual meeting, anyone with questions or comments about the budget is encouraged to attend this informational session. The proposed budget will be emailed to members on Friday in preparation for the Saturday review session.

From the Minister
This Sunday is the congregation’s annual meeting. It is a time when the congregational membership votes in the new slate of board members who have been selected to serve next year. In addition, you vote in the annual budget. The budget is important. It is a moral document that tells a story. Over the years, I have seen our congregation slowly try to move itself from a narrative of scarcity to a narrative of abundance. This is evidenced in the ways in which our congregation has made itself mission- active in the community. The community sharing partnership every Sunday (in which those gathered are invited to invest in organizations) enlivens our religious values in the world. Additionally, this congregation is partnering with United Way and has founded a granting program called the Youth Violence Prevention Network. This program provides small grants to groups of people who wish to prevent gun violence, whether on the streets or in our schools. Without the leadership and seed money from our congregation, this grant opportunity would not be available to young leaders in our community. I mentioned in my sermon on Sunday the 17th, that this congregation has seen some amazing financial improvements. 

I am proud of your accomplishments and though this time of ministerial transition may be challenging, I am confident that the Interim Minister who joins you in August will be glad they said yes to serving this loving, growing, and serving religious community.

Rev. Allison Farnum

From the President 
The Nominating Committee has been diligently working to craft an exceptional slate of Trustees for this upcoming church year. We have a great mix of institutional memory, professional experience, and fresh energy to shepherd this congregation through an exciting period of transition. This hard-working group is dedicated to applying their gifts and expertise to serving the health of the whole. I am confident that this Board will lead under the direction of our mission to lead us joyfully and faithfully into the future, and with great honor and respect I pass the torch on to your new leaders. 

Although change can bring with it tension, it also opens up a world of possibilities. As you move forward I urge you to do it assuming good intentions and to remember that we need not think alike to love alike.
Matt Hoffman, BOT President

Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers
Annual Meeting Agenda
March 31, 2019

Call to Order
Matthew Hoffman, President Board of Trustees

Centering Moment
Reverend Allison Farnum

Confirmation of Quorum
Bruce Leddy, Parliamentarian

Approval of the 2018 Annual Meeting Minutes
Matthew Hoffman, President Board of Trustees

Vote to accept 2018 Annual Minutes
Bruce Leddy, Parliamentarian

Presentation of Nominees for Board of Trustees – 2019-2020
Helen Dixon, Chair of the Leadership Selection Committee

Vote on Nominations for Board of Trustees 2019-2020
Bruce Leddy, Parliamentarian

Presentation of Nominees for UUCFM Endowment Committee
Helen Dixon, Chair of the Leadership Selection Committee

Vote on Nominee for the UUCFM Endowment Committee
Bruce Leddy Parliamentarian

Treasurer’s Report and Presentation of the Proposed 2019 – 2020 UUCFM Budget
Jen Smith

Vote on the Proposed 2019-2020 UUCFM Budget
Bruce Leddy Parliamentarian

Presentation of the Proposed Community Sharing Partners for 2019-2020
Cathy Snow

Vote on Proposed Community Sharing Partners 2018-2019
Bruce Leddy, Parliamentarian

Comments from the outgoing BOT President
Matthew Hoffman, President

Comments from the incoming BOT President
Theresa Bahre, President Elect

Presentation of the Gauch Award
Matthew Hoffman, President

Closing and extinguishing of the Chalice flame
Reverend Allison Farnum

Matthew Hoffman, President

With Board Presentations
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.
First Responders Appreciation Sunday April 7th
As an expression of our gratitude, we set aside the morning of April 7th to show our appreciation for the men and women who have served our community by responding to critical situations with skill, dedication, and uncommon bravery. All First Responders and their families are cordially invited to join us at the Unitarian Universalist Church. Coffee and good fellowship afterwards.
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.
April Worship: Wholeness
"Let’s just say that we’re skeptical about rushing in to fix things.
We Unitarian Universalists understand the urge to restore what once was. Nothing is more human. Who doesn’t want to reverse the damage? Who doesn’t hold on to the humpty dumpty hope that all can be put back together again? But our faith teaches us that this is just not how the world works. Transition and change rule the flow of life. There is no going back. The current of time is just too strong.
And so the wholeness offered us is not that returning our lives to their original state but working with what remains to make something new. The shards are not pieces of a puzzle that needs put perfectly back together, but building blocks waiting to be molded into a yet to be imagined form. To be made whole again is to be reorganized, not restored.
Another way to put this is to say that there is freedom in the breaking. The cracks make room for creativity. That’s not to minimize the pain. And it’s certainly not a way of justifying tragedy as “part of God’s plan.” Rather, it’s a call for us to perceive the broken pieces of our lives as more than just a pile of worthless and ruined rubble. “Look closer,” says our faith, “that ash, if worked with, can give birth to a Phoenix.”
So, what piles of rubble in your life need revisited? What longing for what was needs let go so a new wholeness can emerge?
And how might you break open even further? Because that’s part of this too, isn’t it? “Your broken pieces are more than rubble” is not the only counterintuitive thing our faith tells us about wholeness. It also urges us to “Crack wider!” 
As odd as it sounds, we were meant to be broken, broken open to be exact. Over and over again, our faith reminds us that protecting our personal wholeness is only half the game. The equally important part of life’s journey is about letting in the wholeness of world!
It’s about cultivating cracks on purpose. It’s about becoming intentionally exposed. As  Leonard Cohen  famously put it “Cracks are how the light gets in.”
Broken hearts hurt but they also let in and allow us to connect with the pain of others. Protected hearts may seem safe, but our armor only ends up being a prison. It’s one of the most important but paradoxical spiritual truths there is: Broken people end up bigger people.
So, in the end, maybe that’s our most important “wholeness question”: How are your cracks inviting you to become larger? What cracks do you need to cultivate on purpose?"

-From  Soul Matters

Rev. Allison Farnum
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
We have had two town hall meetings on the state of our faith formation programming (formerly religious education). Ten people attended the first and about sixteen attended the second. The meeting was to discuss the current state of our program and the proposal for change should we be unable to find enough congregants to serve. A handout about this is available in the Narthex on the Faith Formation table on the far right. If anyone would like a copy of the Q&A session from the town hall, please email me so I can send you one. Thank you!

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
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. 
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

THE GRIIMES FAMILY was born in 2006 in NYC, where Lilibeth and Eddie met in college. Eddie was born and raised in NYC from Dominican parents while Lilibeth is from the Dominican Republic.

To nourish the new family in a more quiet space, they moved to the capital region of NY where they lived for 9 years. In Albany, they learned more about alternative education, gardening, community engagement, and social justice.

By the unique inspiration of freezing weather, they realized of the beauty and possibilities of Florida; they followed their hearts and moved in December 2016 to Cape Coral. In the meantime, Eddie and Lilibeth continuously worked in social development and education projects.

When the children, Mara and Louvi, became curious about spirituality, they knew it took a village. Therefore, it was important to expose them to an environment that promotes acceptance and kindness. Believing unconditional love comes from a place of no judgement, UU was the only choice.

They are very happy to contribute to the enrichment of the UU community. As a gesture of gratitude, they seek ways to serve to the needs and growth of our church.

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 dates are Sunday April 7 th  and 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
Pachamama Alliance

April 4, 2019
6:30-8:00 PM.
UUCFM - Sanctuary
The Pachamama Alliance Alliance of SWFL holds Game Changer Gatherings the first Thursday of every month at our UUCFM. We always host an awesome speaker.  This next first Thursday we will have  Ray Judah!   

What Florida's Inland Bays and Land Use Tell Us About Global Warming

Ray Judah , former environmental land planner with the Lee County Department of Community Development and Lee County Commissioner (1988-2012), remains a strong advocate for providing a balance between management of growth and responsible stewardship of our precious natural resources. He has shared decades-long experience, and will let us know what he thinks we need to focus on right now to make the biggest impact on global warming, right here in SW Florida.
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
Special Events at UUCFM
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

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 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 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.
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 .
Our Greater Community

●       Visakha Puja  - Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Death (Buddhist) - April 8
●       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:
●       William Ellery Channing ’s Birthday - April 7 (1780)
●      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  
●      Martin Luther King Jr Assassinated - April 4 (1968)
●       U.S. declares war on Germany  - April 6 (1917)
●       Vimy Ridge Day  (Canada) - April 9
●       Fair Housing Act passed  - April 11 (1968)
●       Freddie Gray is arrested in Baltimore and dies  after sustaining injuries in police custody - April 12 (2015)
●       Earth Day  - April 22
●       Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day  - April 26
●       Day of Silence  (LGBTQ) - April 27 
Happy Birthday!

April 2 Evan Carville is 15!
April 11  Cindy Gustafson
April 20   Shirley Fox
April 27  Jeff Letts  Nancy Letts
April 28  Mickey Kellam
April 30  Audrey Brown
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