News 04/17/2020


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On Sunday, April 19th, at 10am, click here for our Worship Service.

In case you missed it: 

Click here for the April 12th Easter Sunday Service 

Click here for the April 5th Palm Sunday Service  

“FAITH AND DOUBT” John 20:19-31

C.S. Lewis once famously remarked that he believed in Christianity just like he believed in the sun: “Not only because I see it,” he said, “but because by it I see everything else.” Picking up on Lewis’ comment, Brandon Ambrosino, who covers culture and religion for, wrote, “That’s how I see Jesus’ resurrection; not so much an event I look at, as an event I look through. For me, it remains the interpretive key to the entire universe. And though it might seem improbable and primitive, we’re all aware that the idea is writ large across both our imaginations and even the cosmos. Each morning, the sun is reborn; each spring, harvests come back to life; after each disappointment, our dashed hopes are reanimated, and soar to even newer heights. For all the death and evil and greed and ugliness of our world, I can’t shake the fact that every last atom of this place is pulsing in time with the rhythm of resurrection.”


Friends, the time has come to rehabilitate the reputation of Thomas. Poor Thomas has had to walk the corridors of history known as “Doubting Thomas.” I will venture to guess that many of you at one point or another, when questioning something, have been called the same thing.


This Sunday, we’ll take a new look at Thomas’ understanding of what the other disciples were telling him.


See you then. — Dave

Come back here on Sunday, April 19th, at 10:00am to watch the service on our YouTube channel by clicking on the icon, below.



April 19, 2020 – Bulletin


Welcome and Announcements


Passing of the Peace


Prelude “Low in the Grave/Christ the Lord is Risen Today” R Thad Goodwin


Call to Worship

Leader: Sing a new song!

People: A springtime shout-out to life!

Sing praise to our joyful Easter God

Whose power brings new life out of death!

Immerse doubt and despair in the fountain of new birth

Find refreshment and strength for a future of hope!

For God has taken ordinary things

And made them extraordinary

All: Sing a New Song!


Unison Prayer of Invocation

Holy God,
Nothing is beyond your power to transform!
In a gray dawn, you coax songs of Alleluia!
From the tombs of despair we take refuge in you.
You call us to wake up and work.
We praise you for this amazing day!
Come, Risen Christ,
in newness and hope on this Eastertide morning. Amen.


Children’s Sermon


Gospel Scripture John 20:19-31


Message “Faith and Doubt” Rev. David K. Bucey


Offering Invitation

Easter teaches us that generous love is at the heart of God’s work.
Joyfully we are able to give knowing that our gifts will help others to see the blessed miracle of God’s creative joy.


Offertory Music “As the Deer/Fairest Lord Jesus” Amy Maneval


Unison Offertory Prayer


Loving God, can a generous prayer be lifted up to you this Eastertide?
In this pandemic, can these gifts, given with love,
be further transformed like echoes of grace,
delighting all who receive their blessings?
With a resounding YES, we offer our gifts to you.
May it be so, through the surprising power of your Holy Spirit,
and may our lives speak of a loving God,
full of Easter surprises. Amen.


Prayers of the People


Silent Prayer


Lord’s Prayer


Benediction in Unison
Within every kernel of doubt, there is a spark of life and hope.
In those times when our faith falters,
when we cannot recognize the presence of the Holy among us,
God takes our faith and transforms it,
patiently showing us the many ways Christ walks among us.
Look around you:
as close as your own beating heart,
and in the eyes of your nearest neighbor,
grace abounds at the heart of all life.
You are all God’s children, loved without condition,
go in that peace. Amen.



“Finale from Beethoven’s Trio for Two Oboes and English Horn Op 87”

Andrew Snedeker


Copyright 2020 Justice and Local Church Ministries, Faith INFO Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights


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 Finance 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.


Click on the card below to send your pledge information electronically to our Finance Coordinator, Laura Wunderly.


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


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.


Depending upon which option you choose, 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


by Doreen Marshall, Ph.D.

Vice President of Mission Engagement, AFSP


Many of us are grieving right now. We are grieving people we have lost, in many instances not having had the opportunity to say goodbye or to be with them in their final moments. We are grieving not being able to have our in-person presence to support one another right now. We are grieving our rituals, our routines and the familiarity of our day-to-day assumptions. For those of us who have a history with grief (especially the unexpected kind), we may be having grief of those former losses stirred and awakened. This week alone, I had two separate dreams connected to previous losses (a death and a miscarriage). I had to remind myself when I woke that it was not those events reoccurring, but another, entirely distinct set of losses that I was currently experiencing.


Grief can be messy. It’s not linear, as in, “when I get through this particular feeling, I’m done with that.” It is cyclical and lingers around important events, words not said, certain songs, and moments captured like photographs in our minds. It is a place we can choose to visit or ignore, though it resides in the background as if waiting for us to notice.


If you are experiencing grief right now, here are some things you might remind yourself:


  1. There are different ways to say goodbye. Unexpected endings tend to bring strong emotions, often anchored in both the present and the past, when we may have felt abandoned or left behind. There are different ways to say goodbye. Write a letter to your loved one, even if you end up being the only one who sees it. If your loved one has died or is in a place you can’t visit, hold an intention for them in your mind, and say it aloud as you think of them throughout the day. One of my favorites is, “May you feel my love for you and be surrounded by peace.”
  2. “The last sentence of the book doesn’t rewrite the entire story.” Years ago, following the loss of someone dear to me, a wise person shared these words with me. It reminded me that even though I was unable to be with my loved one when he died, I had a book full of lines to draw upon that were the story of our life together and of our relationship. Many of those lines were expressions of our love, moments we shared together, conversations and memories. Remembering these feelings and these moments is how we get a sense of who the individual was; who we were with them; and what the relationship was—all of which surpasses their final moments. Right now is a good time to reflect on those earlier, better memories as best as you can, to remind yourself of the full picture of their lives and your connection.
  3. Connections can deepen over time, even after loss. My father died 14 years ago this week. In the early days and weeks following his death, all I could remember was the image of him sick, and the trauma I associated with that. As time passed, my memories of him unexpectedly became richer and more accessible than they were in those early days. The images of him being sick began to fade away. I can now more easily remember his laugh and his jokes, and recognize the similarity between my daughter’s eyes and his. I also feel more connected to how he must have felt as a parent, now that I am one, myself. These are newer, deeper connections to my father, ones I couldn’t have anticipated at the time he died.
  4. You are not alone in your grief. Know that others are also experiencing grief right now, and that there is support available. Online grief support, and grief support provided by mental health professionals, hospice centers and faith groups are all accessible to you, many via telehealth and other virtual platforms. You can learn about options for grief support by connecting to your local mental health providers, faith organizations or hospice, or through one of the following national resources: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1800 273-TALK (8255); Crisis Text Line: text TALK to 741741. If you are struggling with the loss of a loved one to suicide, even one that occurred prior to COVID-19, AFSP has our Healing Conversations program, which provides peer-to-peer phone or video contact and resources for those struggling with suicide loss.

Please know, at this time, that others who have traveled the roads of grief are here for you and can serve as guides. Look to them for hope, healing and comfort during this difficult time, and know that days are ahead of you in which the intensity of your grief will be lessened, and replaced by loving memories.



The COVID-19 crisis has compelled us all to stay in our homes for the safety of our communities. In this climate, the methods used by worshippers, educators, caregivers, and others to offer their services and connect with one another have changed. FMCUCC’s educational program is following suit.


As we continue to stay inside and flatten the curve, FMCUCC will be hosting zoom calls with educators and advocates who will aid us in exploring vital moral and theological concerns. Each class will be approximately an hour, with our guest offering information on the subject, answering questions, and issuing calls to action. FMCUCC members will call in by clicking the zoom link in the e-blast (a reminder will be sent out the morning of each class with the link). If you’re unable to attend at the listed time, don’t worry! We’ll be uploading all our zoom classes to our youtube channel.


For our first week of conversations, we’ll be welcoming:


Uriel Zelaya-Perez — National Faith Co-Coordinator with the Alliance for Fair Food

April 23 (next Thursday!!); 2:00 – 3:00 pm

A discussion on the mission of the Coalition of Immokalee workers and the COVID-19 crisis. What can we do to aid farmworkers in their struggle for adequate protections as essential workers during the pandemic?

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 779 1228 7638


Rev. Craig Mousin — Ombudsperson and Faculty in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at Depaul University

April 24 (next Friday!!); 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Rev. Mousin was originally going to join us for our Lenten series on immigration, but has been kind enough to reschedule given the unusual situation. He will offer a workshop on how U.S. immigration law has changed in recent decades and how these changes have impacted the most vulnerable among us.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 718 3286 1654


We’ll be announcing more conversations soon, so keep an eye on your inbox!


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 on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020.


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!


Have you been leaving the house with an uncovered face lately?


We at FMCUCC want you to be safe and so with the help of our Deacons are able to provide you a cloth mask that will protect the people you “safely “ encounter outside.


On Friday you will find masks inside a bright Christmas tin with a puppy on it, on the bench outside the Narthex door. Please take one for your family member who ventured beyond your home the most.


All masks are washer/dryer friendly and Should Not Be Microwaved. 


If you would to be part of this project, please contact Vice-Moderator, Carolyn Martin at 315-529-3369

This is urgent.

As one of the country’s most vulnerable populations, our community of 25,000 farmworkers is in grave danger from the rapid spread of coronavirus. Most workers live in overcrowded housing units, are transported to and from the fields in packed vans and buses, and lack access to personal protective gear.


If nothing is done, the virus will carve through the state’s agricultural workforce like wildfire, and in a matter of weeks, Florida will not have enough workers to harvest our crops.


Simply put, without farmworkers, there is no food.


Help protect the lives of tens of thousands of farmworkers and prevent Florida’s agricultural industry from collapsing. Click here to call Gov. Ron DeSantis now >> After you click, you’ll be redirected to instructions and talking points to make sure you’re ready to amplify farmworkers’ call for critical health care in Immokalee.




The message to our country’s farmworkers is unmistakable: While your labor is essential, you are expendable. That is wrong, both morally and for our nation’s food security. We can’t treat the people who harvest our food as expendable. Like health care workers and first responders, they are putting themselves in harm’s way for the rest of us.


The COVID-19 crisis in Immokalee will not only threaten the lives of thousands of farmworkers but will also hurt millions of families around the country who are depending on the shelves of their local supermarkets to be stocked in the months ahead.


Farmworkers feed us all. No food workers, no food. It’s that simple. Make a call now and tell Gov. DeSantis to protect Immokalee workers and save the state’s agricultural industry.


Thank you for standing with us, first in the Fair Food Movement and now in the fight to protect the health and safety of the women and men who are harvesting our food during this unprecedented pandemic.


Coalition of Immokalee Workers


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:


Many are out of work at this time and are having trouble meeting their financial obligations. The pastor has been busy helping those in need. Because of this, the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund is getting low. Please consider a gift to this fund. Thanks.


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.


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


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