News 04/09/2020


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Click here on Sunday, April 12th, to find the Easter Worship Service at 10am

In case you missed it: 

Click here for the April 5th Palm Sunday Service  

Click here for the March 29th Worship Service 

Click here for  the March 22nd Worship Service


For your Maundy Thursday observance we offer this devotional.


John 13:1-17, 31b-35


Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”


After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord–and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.


When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”




Jesus must have been an awkward dinner guest.


While eating with his disciples in celebration of Passover, the Jesus of John’s gospel gets up from the table, strips almost completely nude, and goes chair-to-chair washing his followers’ feet. One can imagine the disciples shifting uncomfortably as Jesus gets to them, putting their feet in the basin and massaging them, wiping them on the cloth hiding his nakedness. It must have been met with at least an eye roll or two, as Jesus had just received similar treatment from Martha’s sister Mary a chapter before—the sensuality and extravagance of which was also met with protest. When Jesus kneels in front of Peter, his most trusted disciple finally says what everyone is thinking: “Jesus, you really don’t need to do that.” Jesus insists. Peter, in characteristically zealous fashion, tells Jesus just to bathe him all over. Jesus says, “no it’s okay, just your feet are fine.”


This is a moment illustrating the kinds of intimate caring that amount to love of one another. Jesus himself says so, and points to acts of service and private sustenance as the markers of true discipleship. If we listen to Jesus, then, the physicality, the discomfort, the embarrassment, and the vulnerability of discipleship starts to come into focus. We aren’t there for one another only when it is public (although that matters), nor when our actions themselves are enthusiastically received (although that can matter, too). We are disciples of Christ in our intimate acceptance and recognition of one another’s need, our willingness to serve their wellbeing, and our readiness to be fully exposed for what we are when we do so. Into the awkward silence of the dinner post-foot washing, Jesus says: “you also should do as I have done to you.”


In our present cultural moment, a group meal, a shared basin, and close physical contact are not advised, but our unity in common concern remains. The paradigms for action set forth in Jesus are not as rigid or religious as some make them out to be. The world will not know us as disciples by our going out and getting one another sick in church and dying for cultic observance. The world will know us Christ’s followers only in our willingness to serve one another in all contexts and challenges. We are disciples just as surely inside in our physical vulnerability as we are outside in our public witness, and to ignore the reality of our embodiment on religious grounds is to forsake the role of discipleship for something more idolatrous.


We should each ask ourselves how we can echo Jesus’ concern for cleanliness, then, as a community—morally and physically. We should also be honest about how each of us needs the kind of intimate care Jesus offers. Though it may not feel like it, we are practicing a different kind of foot-washing together by being apart. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are perhaps the most difficult and mournful days on the church calendar. In all their entangled complexity, and in our present isolation, I pray you encounter Jesus’ presence caring for you so completely it makes you uncomfortable.


A Prayer


Loving God, empower us again to understand what it means to be in common care. Help us to comprehend how and when we need your care and your transformation, and enable us to overcome our participation in your betrayal. May we bear the coming trials together in unity of spirit and hope. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

We look forward to worshipping with you again this week! Click here to view the Easter Service on our Youtube channel at 10:00 am on Sunday, April 12th.


Greetings Everyone,

I hope you and your family and friends are well, and that you are weathering the stay-at-home order in as best a way as you can.


On Sunday, March 15, Pastor Dave and I addressed the congregation during service about our plans to shut down our building and said that we would revisit that plan the week of March 30. Well… we are. The new guidelines, and now directive from the Governor, are to stay home until April 30. So, we will not have our Congregational Meeting on April 19. The date for the meeting is to be determined.


However, your pastors, council, boards, and committees have been working hard through this time to keep our church going. (Learning Zoom has been a challenge, but we have overcome!)
I polled our Council about whether we (the Council) should vote in the new slate of officers, board, and committee members, and their answer was yes. So,………………….


WE HAVE A NEW MODERATOR AND VICE MODERATOR! Congratulations to Jeff Trout, our new Moderator and to Carolyn Martin, Vice Moderator. If you were nominated to be on a board or committee, congratulations to you, too.


We still have to tackle the new budget. The Finance Board has been working hard to form our new budget. That will be coming in the next few weeks. The most important thing I can ask you is to keep sending in your pledges either my mail or by clicking the DONATE button on our website.


It has been a pleasure and a challenge to be your Moderator this past year. What started off as an early surprise has ended in an even bigger surprise than I could have ever imagined. One thing is for sure…..I really know how to make an entrance and exit. 😊


I am in awe of what each and every one of you do for our church. No task is more important than another. It’s YOU that have made the difference for us and YOU who will continue to keep FMCUCC going. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication.


Thank you to all of you!


Marianne Dent
Not The Moderator Anymore


Sunday, Mar. 1st, worshippers were given a small hand-sewn cloth bag. The cloth bags are used to collect coins (30 pieces of silver) to allow participants inside the mind of Judas as he contemplated his misgivings about Jesus. On Palm Sunday (4/5) and Maundy Thursday (4/9), participants can mail their bags to the church as a means of admission of our own betrayal of Jesus. Some have put nickels, dimes and/or quarters in their bags. Others have opted for a more adventurous “betrayal.” Even John F. Kennedy half dollars and Susan B. Anthony dollars and an occasional Sacagawea dollar have made their way to the chancel. Many have returned their bags and contributions by mailing them into the church. Thanks you for participating.


As we continue to forge through these new obstacles, we know that some of you have not had a chance to return your pledge card. The Fiance Board is working to have a completed budge and needs to make sure your pledge has been counted.


If you haven’t had the chance to send it in and would like to, click here to get a new pledge card that you can print out at home and mail in.


Thank you to everyone who has already returned your pledge cards and for everyone faithfully helping our mission continue.


Over the duration of our social (but not spiritual) distancing, I invite you to email your photos to me at or


We have received some photos and are thrilled to be able to put them up in the Sanctuary but we would love to get more. If you have not had the chance to send one in, please email one today. It doesn’t have to be a formal photo, a selfie works great!


Each day I will set aside time to pray for each person included in the March 20, 2020, Church Directory sent as a separate email. You are invited as well to take the new directory and pray for those you know AND those you do not.


A lot has been made of social separation in recent days. As we pray for each other and contact each other via phone, text, and email, may we strive to be closer spiritually as well as on social media. — Dave


Do you have an uplifting story or activity that you want to share with others. giving inspiration in this stressful time, help let others know we can still find joy even in the darkness. Send your information to Lisa, the Office Manager, at
Stay safe and healthy!
Some examples we have gotten back include:
  • Cleaning Closets
  • Baking – some alone and some with family
  • Making things – for others to brighten their days
  • Online Video chatting
  • Celebrating birthdays online
  • Having a party on line or just visiting with others we can’t see in person.
  • Games you can play while video chatting that some of our members are playing:
  • Read my lips – One person in the chat will read a sentence from a book, meanwhile the others in they party mute their sound and write down what they think was read. Then each person takes turns reading what they wrote down. Closest to the sentence wins. This can produce some hilarious responses.
  • A scavenger hunt – Text a list to all at the party. Once everyone receives the list, everyone has 5 minutes to collect as many things as they can on the list. Prizes can be whatever you want.


Fort Myers Congregational UCC is accepting your tithes and offerings via our website. Simply go to and find the word “DONATE” prominently displayed on the main page. See the example above.


Your donation will be processed by PayPal or as a safe and secure way to underwrite the expenses of our vital ministries. Or if you prefer, you may mail your offering in the convenient, pre-addressed envelopes you use every week. Don’t forget to mail in your pledge cards if you haven’t already.


Don’t have giving envelopes? Place your check in any envelope and mail it to FMCUCC. That way you’ll be participating in your church’s vital ministries during our time apart.


Remeber: When You Give ONLINE Through You Can “Cover the Cost“ of the fees and save the church about $2.50 when you donate $100.00. That’s good Stewardship!
Click on the logos below to make a donation

Or, if you prefer, please mail your donation to the church

Fort Myers Congregational
United Church of Christ
8210 College Parkway
Fort Myers, Florida 33919


You may watch our Sunday April 5th worship services on our YouTube Channel.

Click here to go to our YouTube channel. Click on the April 5th video to participate in the service.


We intend to have additional features in the future beyond the worship services. We will have educational classes and other information for members and friends.

AN ALTERNATIVE TO PayPal is an online giving service designed especially for churches. See “Donate” on the home page of our website.


  1. It’s good stewardship! Saves time, resources, money. With givers can even cover the small service fee so our entire tithe goes to the work of the church!
  2. To make it EASY to share our abundance! Even if we miss a Sunday (or are isolating), on we can set up automatic weekly or monthly offerings as an automatic deduction from our bank account OR from our credit card.
  3. To make giving an easier habit and attract younger folks to become our next generation of givers.
  4. makes it simple for Visitors and Guests to participate in giving! is a free app for our phones. There will be pew cards with a QR code to download it instantly, and the GPS will ID FMCUCC by location. It will fill in everything but the amount!
  5. Because when we travel or return to our summer homes, we want to continue to support the important 24/7/366 work of FMCUCC! makes this SIMPLE!

Nancy Chorpenning, for the Stewardship Committee


Love, care, action—it’s what the world needs right now. Even in uncertain times, each one of us seeks ways to make a difference and help others. Be a part of healing the planet. Participate in one of five ways to honor and celebrate this historic 50th anniversary of Earth Day.


5 Ways to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

  1. Help our denomination plant 50,000 trees! Have a tree planted for $1 in a National Park or support one of our Global Mission Partners in planting trees. Options abound in this 3 Great Loves campaign!
  2. Order your copy of Cathedral on Fire!: A Church Handbook for the Climate Crisis by Brooks Berndt, the UCC’s Minister for Environmental Justice. Stay tuned for details about an online book group!
  3. Prepare for Earth Sunday with a terrific resource entitled “The Fierce Urgency of Now.” It was written in collaboration with Creation Justice Ministries and includes resources for preaching and worship.
  4. Protect communities and children from harmful toxic pollutants. The UCC’s new report “Breath to the People”: Sacred Air and Toxic Air Pollution comes with an advocacy toolkit and an action alert for urging much needed legislation.
  5. On Earth Day, watch one of the foremost leaders of the environmental justice movement deliver an online address. The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis, who coined the phrase “environmental racism,” will present in a webinar. Register now!

Join with others. Make a difference. You are needed!

Plant a Tree!


Are you looking for ways to help? You can help out by sending your pipe cleaners to one of our resident sewing experts. Carolyn Martin is in the process of making masks for our local health care workers. She has most of the supplies to make the masks but is in need of pipe cleaners to finish them. If you would like to contribute to this project, please mail them to her at: Carolyn Martin, 619 SW 39th Ter, Cape Coral, FL 33914 Thank you in advance for helping out. 


Would you be willing to take a few minutes to pray for people during the week? We have a group who is praying for those who have needs, be it health/medical, a family member, a neighbor or a friend. God knows the needs of those we lift in prayer to him. Cheryl Frank will accept the information and then email the request out to those who are willing to pray. If you would like to join the group who are praying, please email her with your contact information. If you have someone who would like prayer for their situation, please email her:


Here is the link to the April/May issue of Celebrate Florida: Click here to see what other UCC Churches are doing. See if you can locate where our FMCUCC family is featured.


The 2020 Fort Myers Congregational UCC Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, April 19th immediately following Sunday worship service. The purpose of this meeting is to accept the Annual Reports of the Officers, Boards, Committees and other working groups, to accept the budget for the coming year as presented to this meeting, to elect a slate of officers and Board/Committee members, and to take up any business which may be rightfully initiated from the floor. Respectfully submitted, Susan Randall, Clerk. Please note that the meeting is open to all. Members will be able to vote on all matters. 


If you know someone who would benefit from the comfort and blessing of a prayer shawl, please don’t hesitate to let me know and you can present it to a loved one yourself. If you would like to create and donate a shawl, we can provide printed instructions and yarn. Of course you can always use your own pattern and yarn if you would prefer! In God’s service, Kris Hurren 239-565-4289


Lyn Clark Pegg will be leading a delegation to Bogota, Colombia on June 13-23, to strengthen solidarity with our partners and to learn how our continuing presence supports their efforts for a sustainable and peaceful future. Our solidarity matters!
Contact Lyn Clark Pegg (, 218-348-3048) for more information; see Facebook posting, Click here – Witness for Peace


Are you interested in helping serve the FMCUCC community by being a welcoming face before guests enter the sanctuary? Please consider serving at the Welcome Center desk or as a door opener once a month. See the sign-up sheets in the Fellowship Hall to indicate your desire.


“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27) Paul uses the metaphor of a human body to explain how Christians are to work together to be the body (and message) of Jesus in the world. There are lots of parts needed to make a body function. So too with the church. So what part are you? Please take some time to review the ministry opportunities and see all the different parts that are needed to make the church function. Prayerfully consider stepping out in faith and/or stepping up to leadership. Maybe your part is to host a coffee hour, or volunteer to usher. Maybe even join a committee. What part are you? Think about it.


We have many volunteer opportunities available to assist with various aspects of our Sunday worship services and around the church. Please consider signing up for one of these important jobs. Sign-up sheets can be found on the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall or send an email to Lisa Riehl,, and let her know what you are interested in doing. Thanks in advance for helping make our church so great!


Did Joan go on the around the world cruise she’s been planning these past several months? Do you know whether Harold is recuperating at his daughter’s home in Wisconsin? And how about Marie – she’s usually back in Fort Myers for the season by now, have you heard from her? Oftentimes, the Board of Deacons and the church staff know when a church member is homebound locally, and keep tabs on him or her. However, we aren’t always informed by family members or caretakers when a member has prolonged health issues making it difficult for them to attend church functions. Here’s where the members of the congregation can help out. If you are aware of a member that is homebound, or have noticed a member’s prolonged absence but haven’t heard it announced at church, please bring it to the attention of one of the deacons or the church office. Most times we are aware of the members who are homebound locally, but we don’t want to overlook anyone.


Rev. David Bucey – – 513-535-2121
Rev. Wesley Snedeker – – 239-297-1586
Church Office – – 239-482-3133