News 05/01/2020

Please Note: The church building is currently closed due to the COVID-19 “Safer at Home” quarantine. Weekly worship services are still occurring via YouTube (see below).

Donate online!

On Sunday, May 3rd, at 10am, click here for our Worship Service.


Rev. Wesley Snedeker


Boy, it’s an odd time to watch the news.


There is an unsettling dissonance between what we seem to know is morally right and what we politically maintain is advisable in our state government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Death tolls continue to climb, but our state wants neither to know nor talk about how many are dying. Social distancing is a proven, easy way to contain the spread, but it’s economically inconvenient so they need to limit our limited isolation. We know that going to work, opening restaurants, and participating in public gatherings is probably a bad idea, but our state is unwilling to provide proper support or extend the moratorium on evictions, so contribution to the GDP remains a prerequisite for survival.


In John 10, Jesus talks about knowing who to follow. The Johannine Jesus identifies himself as the proper, life-giving way for the sheep and the righteous shepherd, while others are condemned as thieves and bandits. It’s a difficult and exclusive passage to be sure, but it brings up important questions about how we know who is acting in the way of God and who is seeking only exploitative power. Join us in worship this Sunday as we consider these concerns together. — Wesley

Come back here on Sunday, May 3rd at 10:00am to watch the service on our YouTube channel by clicking on the icon below.


Holy Communion will be “served“ during our online worship service this Sunday, May 3rd. Each worshipping participant is asked to supply his/her own bread and wine from the bounty of their own home. Because bread comes in so many forms, the Pastors encourage you to use what you have in your cupboard or pantry — a small piece of bread, an oyster cracker, leftover toast from breakfast.


For the wine, your choices are broader —- grape juice, fruit juice, lemonade, and of course the real thing.


Whatever we use this Sunday for Holy Communion, we come together in the hope that the act of communally remembering the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ will find us strengthened as we gather in our homes.


May our faith unite us as we partake of this sacramental meal.


Worship for the 4th Sunday of Easter

May 3, 2020 – Bulletin

Welcome and Announcements


Opening Prayer: (from For God and the People by Walter Rauschenbusch)
O God, we thank thee for the sweet refreshment of sleep and for the glory and vigor of the new day. As we set our faces once more toward our daily work, we pray thee for the strength sufficient for our tasks. May Christ’s spirit of duty and service ennoble all we do. Uphold us by the consciousness that our work is useful work and a blessing to all. If there has been anything in our work harmful to others and dishonorable to ourselves, reveal it to our inner eye with such clearness that we shall hate it and put it away, though it be at a loss to ourselves. When we work with others, help us to regard them, not as servants to our will, but as brothers equal to us in human dignity, and equally worthy of their full reward. May there be nothing in this day’s work of which we shall be ashamed when the sun has set, nor in the eventide of our life when our task is done and we go to our long home to meet thy face. Amen.


Music “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan performed by Rev. Wesley Snedeker


Children’s Sermon


Scripture Readings
Psalm 23
John 10:1-10


Message “Knowing Who to Follow” Rev. Wesley Snedeker


Offering Invitation


Offertory “My Shepherd Shall Supply My Need” Amy Maneval


Prayers of the People


Silent Prayer


Lord’s Prayer


Holy Communion


Unison Communion Affirmations of Faith

I believe that bread comes from grain that grows in the wind and the rain with the farmer’s help far from the eyes of city folk.
I believe that bread comes from the love of God, the love of the farmer, the love of the baker’s hands, the love of those who bring it to me.
I believe that bread can be and should be broken and shared and given to all persons until all have enough and then some.
I believe that Jesus loved bread and took it and broke it and blessed it and fed his disciples and asked them to feed us forever.
I believe enough in bread to want it from Jesus, to want it to nurture me, to want his life through it, to want to give life through it.
I believe that his body, as bread, feeds me, and as part of his body, I want to be bread for others.
I believe the Spirit will help me as well as Jesus’ people. Amen.


Sharing of the Elements. 


Giving Thanks

All: Lord, you now have set your servants free to go in peace as you have promised. For these eyes of ours have seen the Savior whom you have prepared for all the world to see! Blessing and honor and glory are yours, now and forever.


One: You have seen the Savior. Go now in peace. And the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, go with you.


All: Amen


Closing Prayer: (from For God and the People by Walter Rauschenbusch)

O Thou great companion of our souls, do thou go with us today and comfort us by the sense of thy presence in the hours of spiritual isolation. Give us a single eye for duty. Guide us by the voice within. May we take heed of all the judgments of men and gather patiently whatever truth they hold, but teach us still to test them by the words and the spirit of the one who alone is our Master. May we not be so wholly of one mind with the life that now is that the world can fully approve us, but may we speak the higher truth and live the purer righteousness which thou has revealed to us. If men speak well of us, may we not be puffed up; if they slight us, may we not be cast down; remembering the words of our Master who bade us rejoice when men speak evil against us and tremble if all speak well, that so we may have evidence that we are still soldiers of God. Amen.


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.



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.


Remember: 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



For the next several weeks, FMCUCC’s GROW is hosting conversations with advocates and educators who will guide us in exploring vital moral and theological issues while we’re all stuck inside. There are still important justice issues that require our attention and exciting possibilities for enlightenment we can pursue even though we’re staying at home!

Our conversations will begin at 2:00 pm. Please plan to get on 5 minutes beforehand. If you’ve never used Zoom before, CLICK HERE to view the PDF on “How to Zoom”.

THURSDAY – 5/7 at 2:00 pm

David Swanson – Co-founder and Executive Director, World Beyond War

FMCUCC is excited to welcome David Swanson, peace activist, author, and Co-founder and Executive Director of the international organization World Beyond War! David will lead us in a discussion about the myths of war and how we can contribute to grassroots efforts to abolish it.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 863 2488 8045
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,86324888045# US (Chicago)
+16465588656,,86324888045# US (New York)

Videos of previous Zoom GROW Sessions:

Literature, Connection, and Solidarity in a time of pandemic (5/1)

The crisis of stay at home orders when one has no home (4/30)

Discussing Immigration Law with Rev. Craig B. Mousin (4/24)

Farm Workers in the Time of COVID-19 (4/23)



Thursdays at 6pm

FMCUCC’s youth group is still getting together–just virtually! If you’re in middle or high school and want to attend, reach out to our Community Minister Wesley at


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


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