The Communicator  June,2016
Volume 33  Issue 6
Worship in June: Honoring Earth
This month is replete for opportunities to honor the earth! Come worship with us as we recognize new members in the church; rejoice in child dedication; celebrate flower communion and much more!  A special guest speaker will be sharing her experiences with us, Betty Osceola of the Miccosukee tribe.  I hope you extend a warm welcome to her and her wisdom at the end of the month.

Rev. Allison Farnum

Community Sharing in June
More Sunday Happenings!
Christian Group
The UUCFM Christian Group meets at 9:00a on Sundays in Room 7.  This is a great time for interested UUs to come visit, take a look, ask questions, and see what we're about. We look forward to welcoming you. We have a Communion after the service every 4th Sunday in Room 7.
Humanist Forum
The Humanist Forum meets every Sunday at 9:15a in Hobart Hall.  All are welcome to join us for a new and engaging topic each week.On Sunday, June 5th we will be showing two wonderful TED talks.  Please join us.

Save the Date!
There will be a Memorial Service For Terry Silvernail, Christine Rosa's husband, in the Sanctuary this Saturday, June 4th at 3:00p. There will be a reception following the service at the Heritage Cove Community Clubhouse,14041 Heritage Point Circle, Fort Myers. The Heritage Cove Community is at the corner or McGregor Blvd. and A &W Bulb Road. Directions to Heritage Cove are available in the Narthex for those without a GPS.
Minister's Column
For over 55 years, our congregation has been a beacon of liberal religious hope in our community. For me, it's sad to observe that our Unitarian Universalist Church still is having to rise up against patriarchy and assert the radical notion that women (and young girls) are people. The slut shaming and rape culture of our larger community has been magnified in recent events through the sexism of the Lee County School leadership as well as local media.  

Fortunately, our religious education and youth leadership created forum for the larger community to address these issues and more systemic problems around lack of sound comprehensive sex education.

What makes me glad is to see leaders in our church living into the rich heritage of our faith.  We have historically supported women's movements and are living into larger cultural movements that call us into accountability and ally relationships. Black Lives Matter; Commit2Respond: these are all fresh ways of living Unitarian Universalist legacy.   
As Unitarian Universalists, we must always find the cutting of edge of where Love calls us.  This edge is not a comfortable place.  The rewards for this bold commitment, however, teach our children that Love and Life is worth it.  

In love, growth, and service,
From the President
The month of May has been a busy one at UUCFM. We can rightfully feel proud of working to promote our UU values and to serve our Mission. One such example was the day-long program, “Differences that Make a Difference”, put on the UUA Southern Region and co-sponsored by All Faiths and UUCFM.  Attendance was good and all left with an increased sensitivity to the relationship between marginalism and power.

Another example is the recent Community Roundtable, facilitated by our own Jenn Blosser regarding an incident at a local schooland its implications regarding rape culture, sexuality education, and labelling. Our youth participated with knowledge, sensitivity, and wisdom. It was clear that our OWL classes served them well. Future sessions are planned as this is a social justice concern.

Let me not forget our successful Spring Fling attended by many members and non-members alike. We are certainly becomin more visible in the community. Our community is grateful for all these efforts.

The Vice President for Ministerial Services, Wayne Leaver, resigned. The Board will vote to approve a worthy candidate for the position for the balance of this fiscal year at which time the Nominating Committee will present a candidate for election for a one year term. The Board will also be considering the appointment of our first ex-officio youth member. Stay tuned for the news to follow.

I have reached out to the President of All Faiths, Diane Cartwright, to offer support as they respond to recent changes and to be available for further conversation. I will keep you advised if there are any significant developments.

And not least of all, we now have a very clean kitchen. Huge thank yous are due to all who helped in this huge undertaking.

We work best when we work together.

Music Notes
Musical Calendar: 

June 5: Peter Golbitz will ring in our month of honoring the Earth with special new verses to his song Bring it Home, and in honor of Ramadan, the Choir will sing Alhamdulillah , an Islamic alleluia.
June 12: Join us for an uplifting Flower Communion as Haris Blackwood performs  What a Wonderful World and the Choir sings Calypso Alleluia

June 19: For Father's Day and summer solstice, the Choir sings For the Beauty of the Earth , and Susannah Kelly, professional cellist, performs as a special guest. 

June 26: Join us for songs that honor Mother Earth in our service featuring Betty Osceola, Miccosukee Tribal Elder. 

On Saturday, June 18, UUCFM will be hosting two music concerts: The SWFL Gay Chorus at 7:30pm in Hobart Hall and professional musicians from the SWFL Symphony in the Sanctuary. Save the date! More details to come. 

There is no Music Committee Meeting this month.

The UUCFM Choir  rehearses most Wed. nights from  6:45-8:00p, and on Sunday mornings from 9:00-10:00a  in the Sanctuary. It's free and there are no auditions. Please email me in advance so that a music folder can be prepared for you. Come join us in singing!

The UUCFM Band  rehearses most Wednesday nights from  6:00-6:45p , and on Sunday mornings from  9:00-10:00a  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!

Amy Laursen, Director of Music
RE News
RE Field Day is THIS SUNDAY, June 5th!  Parents, do NOT send your children to church in nice clothes... and in fact, bring a change of clothes for them. Things are going to get wet at UUCFM this Sunday as we celebrate an end to the RE term and look ahead to a summer of exploration in the Bill Brewer Family Gardens!

Letters of invitation have been sent out to our youth for the Trial of Affirmation Challenge , our own coming of age program. This is an exciting time for our congregation as we gear up to see our junior high students take their faith to a new level through TCAP, and YOU can help!

We need mentors for our youth who are willing to meet with one of our wonderful kids regularly and help support them on their faith journey. Mentors help to hold the youth accountable to their goals and offer guidance and inspiration from their own life stories. It's truly an honor and privilege to be a part of a young person's journey! If you're interested in mentoring, please email me asap so I can add your name to the list!

Next Sunday (6/12) is Flower Communion, which will be a multigenerational service. Bring flowers from home and let your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and family friends share in the delight and symbolism of watching our congregational garden grow! We are looking forward to welcoming all ages and all stages to this beautiful service!

Jenn Blosser, Director of Religious Education

Office Hours:
Wednesday  10am - 6pm  (remaining on campus for Community Dinner  6pm - 8pm )
Sunday  9am - 12pm  and by appointment

Staff Spotlight

Mickey Kellam

Where I was born: Tampa Florida (Florida Native)

Skill set: I have been involved in facility maintenance since 1986, electrical, plumbing, light carpentry, electronics and HVAC. I have managed a golf couse, Presbyterian church, and blood banks.
I have owned and operated a floor care company and a computer repair business. I've been Building Supervisor and Custodian of two elementary schools in Lee County.

Education: High school Diploma, CompTIA A+ Certified, CompTIA Net + Certified, CompTIA Certified IT Technician, OSHA Certified, FFMIA Crowd Manager, Pending FFMA State Certified Fire and Safety Inspector 

Employed at UUCFM: 14 years

Job Title and Responsibility: Building Supervisor- service and manage all of UUCFM buildings maintenance needs including, life safety systems, security, cleaning and supply stock, plumbing, electrical, energy conservation, HVAC, pest control, superficial and structural, safety hazard, inspections and code compliance

Hobbies / Talents: Drawing, Coloring, Writing poetry, Playing guitar, Playing Xbox, Camping, Movies

Favorite Food: Italian, Hispanic

Favorite Movie: I am Sam

Favorite Book: Anything from Robert Frost or Edgar Allan Poe

Three Words to Describe Me : Chivalrous, Introvert, Conviction

Something few know about me: Probably everything listed here. LOL.  I was a competitive swimmer in my youth and won many trophies

Ability I wish I had: To create world peace; cheesy, I know, but true.

Favorite Music:   I like all kinds of genres from Blue Grass to Classical and Heavy Metal to Country, Jazz and R&B. You might see in my collection,  Marvin Gay, Tommy Dorsey,  Glenn Miller,  Sinatra,  Zappa, Steve Wonder, John Legend, Joe Bonamassa, Muddy Waters, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen or Black Sabbath or Slayer 

Community Wednesday
Join members and friends of our UUCFM community each Wednesday for a delicious vegetarian meal prepared by Chef Joy for a donation of $5.00. After the fellowship and fine fare from 6:00- 6:45p, join your favorite programming event, committee meeting, or social activity.  A place will be provided for any informal gatherings of your choosing. Child care is provided until 8:30p.
Activitie s

4:00-5:30              Coping & Optimal Living (1st & 3rd Wed)

6:00-6:45              Community Meal

6:00-6:45              Band Rehearsal in Sanctuary

6:45-8:00              Choir Rehearsal in Sanctuary

6:45-7:15              Group Exercise in Courtyard
Our Classes & Groups
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
Coping & Optimal Living
The Coping and Optimal Living group is open to all and does not require attending every session.  We meet in the Sanctuary the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 4:00-5:30p. 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. 
Women's Circle
SHOES! SHOES!  Enough is never enough.  Please join us for a discussion on footwear.  If you have a favorite shoe or something much loved from the past, please bring it along to share with the group.

The Women's Circle will meet for a potluck lunch on Monday, June 13th .  Please bring a dish to share.  For information contact Jane Richey 239-939-7738 or or Susan Forsyth 239-424-8442 or

Looking ahead:  There will be no meeting in July.  In August join us August 8th for an entertaining potluck lunch and chat with Sandy McLintock, one of our delegates to the Democratic National Convention.  This is not a political discussion, but a revealing look at what it is like to actually attend a convention.

Susan Forsyth, Co-Chair 
Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Group
The Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Group meets every Sunday in Room 1 from  1:45-3:45p.  All are welcome to attend!   Join Mary Tracy Sigman and others for this well loved and well attended group. 
Weekly Activities
 Tai Chi has finished for the season.  All are welcome to join us again in the fall on Thursdays at 10:00a in the Sanctuary.
Play Mah Jongg every Friday afternoon in the Narthex from 1:30-3:30p. There is no charge and all are welcome!
Group Exercise
When:    Wednesdays at 6:45-7:15p
Where:   Meet in UUCFM Courtyard
Cost:      Nothing!
Bring:     Water bottle & Towel

Exercise with your friends after the Community Dinner each Wednesday.  All over 18 (under 18 with responsible adult permission) are invited to participate in a group run/walk around the campus with stops at 'stations' to do bodyweight exercises.

There is no pressure to 'keep up' with anyone and all should exercise at their own level. I will have an exercise plan for the first few weeks, but all are invited to bring their ideas and share their favorite workouts each week.

Questions?  Contact Jill Carville
UUCFM Strong
Good News!!

1.  As you may have already seen, our new smart TV screen in the back of the Sanctuary has been mounted and connected.  The people in the photo completed the task on a Saturday :

     top right:  Andy Crossen, Technology Consultant
     bottom right:  Hugh Cochran, Consulting Engineer
     bottom left:  Bill Petrarca, V. P. Operations, and
     top left:  Bruce Marble, V.P. Finance

It was amazing to see all the smiling and happy faces on the stage of the Sanctuary on the first Sunday of the new screen.  For the first time they saw what we have been seeing for several years.

2.  Recently, we received notice from Tower North that Verizon will be on the cell tower beginning June 1, 2016 .  This will improve our cash flow during the '16-'17 church year.

Bruce Marble, VP Finance

Social Justice
The South Fort Myers Food Pantry Coalition
Imagine being hungry and not being able to buy groceries to feed your family.  Many of our neighbors are forced to make decisions every week: food or rent, food or utilities, food or medical attention.  This is why the South Fort Myers Food Pantry is one of our social justice ministries.  Now that we are into the off season, the need is greater as many people have lost their seasonal jobs.  The pantry too, loses many of its seasonal volunteers.  This is why I ask our year round residents to please remember to bring a donation of nonperishable food every Sunday.  Also, if you are used to the heat and can tolerate our summer months, you are especially needed at this time of year.  Consider volunteering on Mondays.  Want more information?  Email Fran Rose .
Board Thank Yous
The volunteer of the month as selected by the BOT is Andy Crossen for all the time and effort he devotes to IT here at UUCFM.  In addition, thank yous are being sent to Brad Howe for his efforts on finances, Theresa Bahre, Teri Cooper, and Chris Rosa for all their work on Membership, Bill Petrarca and the Spring Fling team, Theresa Bahre for coordinating the logistics for the Making a Difference workshop, Mary Tracy Sigman and Rissho Kosei-kai for refreshments at Nancy Fisk's Memorial, Peggy Eisenberg for the welcoming garden at the entrance to the courtyard, and Mickey Kellam for donating a used laptop for the Nursery.
Policies approved by the Board of Trustees
in May 2016


The Minister is often made aware of situations where individuals, families or groups, who may or
may not be members of the congregation, are in need of assistance. It is the practice of the
Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Meyers to offer congregants opportunities to contribute to
a Ministers’ Discretionary Fund which the minister may, his or her discretion, use to respond
confidentially to requests for assistance from members and others.


1. The funds in the Ministers’ Discretionary Fund are to be spent:

a. In accordance with the mission and vision of the congregation as interpreted by
the Minister;

b. Only for needs and purposes in keeping with the congregation’s tax exempt

c. As part of the congregation’s ministry to members and beyond;

2. The Ministers has sole discretion for disbursement of money from the Ministers’

Discretionary Fund, with the following restrictions:

a. Funds may not be used for the direct or indirect benefit of the Minister or his or
her family.

b. Funds may not be spent on any line item already covered in UUCFM’s operating
budget or for standard programming for which budget coverage would normally
be provided

3. Funds in the Ministers’ Discretionary Fund shall be maintained in a separate bank
account with the Minister as primary signatory on checks and the BOT President as
signer in the event of the Minister’s absence. Monies retained in this Fund shall not
lapse at year end and shall be retained in the Minister’s Discretionary Fund for
subsequent fiscal years. In the event of a Minister’s departure from UUCFM, all monies
in the Fund remain with the Congregation. The Fund belongs to the Congregation and
not to the Minister or Ministers.

4. With full respect for the privacy of the recipients, the Minister shall report to the
congregation in general terms the amounts and types of expenditures that have been
made from this fund each year in the Annual Report.

UUCFM Policy for Reserve Fund Transfers

Purpose: The purpose of this policy statement is to identify the criteria the Finance Committee
will use to rule on requests for transfers from UUCFM Reserves.

UUCFM Reserves are monies set aside for specific expenditures that will be incurred in the
future. Reserves means any funds, other than operating funds, that are restricted for deferred
maintenance and capital expenditures.

Deferred maintenance is defined as any maintenance or repair that will be performed less
frequently than yearly, and will result in maintaining the useful life of an asset.
A capital expenditure is defined as any expenditure of funds for the purchase or replacement of
an asset whose useful life is greater than one year, or a repair to an asset that will extend the
useful life of the asset for a period greater than one year.

Reserve funds that are restricted for these purposes may not be used for frequent or routine
maintenance of the property. These expenses should be paid with operating funds, and the
operating portion of the budget should include such estimated routine expenses.

The Finance Council requests that it be alerted when a department believes that a developing
situation may necessitate a Reserve Fund transfer. This will help the Finance Council to
forecast overall needs, ensure funds are available for the most critical needs, and advise the
BOT and departments in advance whether the Reserve Funds may or may not be available.

• A representative of the requesting organization should plan to be present at the Finance
Council meeting to explain the request. This will ensure that questions can be answered
and prevent a denial or delay of approval. If being present is a hardship, please contact
a member of the Finance Council to answer any questions in advance.

• Requests for Reserve Fund transfers should be submitted in a manner that allows for
the Finance Council to post a meeting agenda to address the request. If there is an
emergency, the Finance Council can convene an emergency meeting.

• The Finance Council may require that the requesting department deplete other funds
before the transfer request is considered.

• No direct expenditures may be made from the Reserve Fund. Funds may only be
transferred from the Reserve Fund to other operating accounts.

• A majority vote of the Finance Council is required to recommend such a transfer to the
BOT. For the purpose of this policy, this is defined as a majority of the council members
present at a meeting of the Finance Council.

• The BOT (with recommendation from the Finance Council) has the only authority to
approve Reserve Fund transfer requests.
The Author's Voice Writers Guild
Sponsored by CUUPs

Do you want to improve your writing and have fun? Raven Dodd, author, editor and writer’s coach is going to lead a monthly meeting at UUCFM.  Authors and those who are writing their first book will share their writing and receive feedback, insight and support from the others. The meeting will be held in room 7 on the first  Thursday  of each month starting June 2nd. The cost is $20 per month and registration is required. Raven is taking a maximum of 12 people (four have signed up already).  To save your space, please contact Raven:   239.682.0598
My UU Story

Objected To Stories of Miracles  by Gerald (Jerry) Blumenfeld 

My journey began in 1st grade when I learned that boys grow up to be men.  I had never thought of that before.  About the same time my father and I were walking down the street, and somehow the idea came up that the earth was not flat.  The earth was like a ball.  You could not get to the edge and fall off!  I had never thought of that either. 

Well, events like that made me start considering everything very carefully.  When I was about 8 or 9, I attended a Presbyterian Sunday School for about two years.  I  got a pin for not missing a Sunday for about a year.  But I never thought of the Bible stories as pure history -- just variations on history.   

When I was 10, I showed some science books to friends who attended the Catholic elementary school nearby.  One of the books dealt with the evolution of man.  My friends said that book was bad and should be torn up or burned.  I did not understand all of the research that went into those ideas, but I knew that the ideas about evolution had some factual evidence behind them.  I could not understand why anyone would believe they should not be read. 

As I grew older I began to realize that what I objected about the religions I had heard about was the supernaturalism – the miracles.  As a student at Harris Teachers College in St. Louis, I came across a book about Unitarians.  This made me feel good.  I found out that there were other people who thought like I did.  I was not alone. 

During the late 1950’s my wife, Shirley, and I got up enough nerve to visit a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Kirkwood, MO.  This congregation was a few miles from where we were living just south of St. Louis, MO.  We have been members of a congregation or fellowship ever since. 

I maintain my membership and financial support at UUCFM because I believe that if I oppose what the very conservative religious groups espouse I should support an alternative.  Right now I believe the Unitarian Universalist Church is the best alternative.   

Shirley and I both received Masters Degrees from Washington University at St. Louis-- originally a Unitarian school.  I did my doctoral work there and received my degree in 1966.  My major fields of study were Educational Psychology with emphases in Psychology of Learning, Statistics and Research Design. 

In 1970, I became Department Head at the University of Akron ( OH)-- this began as a Universalist School in 1870.  Shirley became Assistant Professor at Kent State University.  I retired in June of 1994 as Professor Emeritus.
 About My UU Story
Each month, the Membership Committee would like to publish your UU story- either converted or born UUs.  How did you become a UU or how did our religion affect your life?  Alternatively, do you have a one-paragraph remembrance of your first reaction to being in a UU church and/or learning about the religion?  To share your story, please contact Joy Sokeitous at   Joy will help you edit and she will provide questions to help you develop your story.   
My UU Summer
Show us your summer in pictures! Send pictures of you on your vacation or staycation between June 1 and August 31 to  Your pictures will be shown during the preservice slide show each week.  Please don't write a long description about each place- this is photos only- a one word caption is fine. 1-3 photos per person, please.
Happening In 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 each Wednesday for publication in the Thursday E-news.  
Wild Coffee Duo to Perform at UUCFM
Susie Kelly (cello) and Abbey Allison (piano) present  the Sounds of Summer in concert in the Sanctuary Saturday June 18th at 3 pm .  Admission is free (free-will donations appreciated).  Come and enjoy the music!

The Happehatchee Center is pleased to announce the Happe Campers Summer Camp featuring the wonderful Super Science and Amazing Art folks!  The camp is open to children in grades 1 through 5.

For registration and questions please contact Allison at or give her a call at 239-682-2780.  If you haven’t been to the Happehatchee Center before, we invite you to stop by the on Fridays or Saturdays between 10 – 4 pm for a free tour and to check out the park!

Happehatchee offers a unique summer camp location and programming where students will learn in the Happehatchee Historic House and the breezy Peace Pavilion.We also boast five acres of nature with bamboo stands, a butterfly garden and plant nursery all on the Estero River.  Kids love exploring nature in this safe space.  Don’t miss out on this wonderful summer experience! Space is limited.Click here to view weekly schedule along with more details and information.

Register today! or visit  Call  239-682-2780

National CUUPs Convocation
Join UU Pagans from across the country this  August 26-28  in Salem, MA for the first CUUPS Convocation in a decade!  Titled Awakening Our Tribe, there will be ritual and music and special guest speakers Shirley Ranck, John Beckett, Byron Ballard, CUUPS President Amy Beltaine, and Gypsy Ravish.  Organizers are working hard with local businesses to provide special deals for convocation-goers.  For more information and to catch the early bird special, register at .

If you have any questions, please reach out to convocation organizer and CUUPS Board of Trustees member Jerrie Hildebrand at .
 Please send all news articles for the Weekly E-news to
Jill Carville 
(239) 561-2700 
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