News 05/22/2020

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 24th, at 10am, click here to watch our Worship Service video. Click here for the accompanying Sunday Worship Bulletin. 

For previous Sunday sermons, click here to go to the Sermons page. 

“WHY DO YOU STAND LOOKING UP TOWARD HEAVEN?”

By Reverend Wesley Snedeker

Sometimes it feels as if so many of us Christians are just hanging out, waiting. We’re waiting for an otherworldly visitor to come and astound us with uncomplicated information about what we should do with our lives. We’re waiting for the end of everything to descend on a cloud. We’re waiting for God to do the delivering for us. 

 

Jesus’ disciples watch him ascend into heaven at the beginning of the book of Acts. Acts is an evocative book, the only canonical sequel to a gospel. It is the book that asks, after the Christ event, “so now what? What are we supposed to do about all of this?” It’s a loose history of the first couple generations of the church coupled with a whole lot of theological and ecclesiological reflections on who God is and how God relates to us. The apostles aren’t quite ready for the depth of what they’re about to face as they’re standing there watching Jesus float off. They just stare upwards, mouths agape. A couple voices break the silence, calling them out of their stupor, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven?” 

 

Join us this Sunday, and we’ll look at the call to discipleship from a different angle.

OUR SANCTUARY IS GETTING A FACELIFT

 

During the long weeks and months of the Pandemic our sanctuary has been undergoing some big changes. Through a generous gift from the family of Lois and Denton Smith we will be ready for our return from the Pandemic. In late April two 82 inch Sony Bravia QLED monitors were attached above the chancel on either side of the organ speakers and the elevated cross. In the rear of the sanctuary a 75 inch LG LED monitor was installed for use by the pastor, liturgist and other worship leaders.

The screens will show prayers and readings for the congregation as well as hymns, illustrations, photos and videos. The gift further aids us in our quest to be paperless and better stewards of our resources. More information and news about the dedication of the Smith Gift will appear in future eBlasts.

Gifts honoring or memorializing family members are a great way to express your appreciation for loved ones and help FMCUCC at the same time. If you are interested in making a gift, please contact Pastor Bucey or the Church Office. 

HERE’S OUR CHANCE TO HELP

FMCUCC is collecting “Pasta and Sauces” for the South Fort Myers Foot Pantry. As a replacement for our Peanut Butter Sunday, we are collecting pasta and jars of sauce for those hit hardest by COVID-19.

Each time you shop, you can pick up an extra box of pasta and a jar of sauce and help our sisters and brother.

There’s a brightly painted metal newspaper vending box under the portico at the main building entrance. Use it for your donations.  The boxes will be emptied daily and then taken to Cypress Lake Presbyterian Church for distribution.

Look for the colored box and make a donation of hope for those caught in the COVID—19

If you would rather not go out and purchase the items, you can write a check and mail it to the church marking “South Fort Myers Food Bank” in the memo section. Soon we hope to have a designation in Tithe.ly for South Fort Myers Food Bank.

So, you may purchase or donate funds. Either way, you’re coming to the aid of those in need.

Questions????  Contact Linda McGlashan at 239-218-4272. 

SUNDAY SCHOOL IS MEETING

Click here for the details and schedule.

GROW STAYS INSIDE

Through the month of May, 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!


Wednesday – 5/27 at 8:30pm

Brian McLaren
Next Wednesday evening, FMCUCC is very excited to welcome author, speaker, activist, & public theologian Brian McLaren for an interview and discussion over zoom! He will be discussing topics related to his books The Great Spiritual Migration and The Galapagos Islands: A Spiritual Journey, as well as considering the role of faith communities in our present crisis. This discussion, unlike recent offerings, will take place on Wednesday evening at 8:30pm, so mark your calendars!
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 833 2934 0926
One tap mobile:
+16465588656,,83329340926# US (New York)
+13017158592,,83329340926# US (Germantown)

Youth Group Zoom Sessions

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 [email protected].

 

2-1-1: YOUR FIRST CALL FOR HELP 

What is 2-1-1?
2-1-1 is a FREE service provided by United Way that connects area residents to critical health and social service resources when they need help. From help with a household bill, food assistance, or counseling for suicide prevention, calling United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round. Instead of searching the phone book or internet when faced with a crisis, think of 2-1-1 as your first call for help.
Need Help?
If you or someone you know needs assistance, please reach out through calling, texting, chatting, or emailing.
  • Call 2-1-1 or (352) 332-4636. Calling is availble 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Text your zip code to 898-211.
  • Chat with a 2-1-1 operator:
  • Email an operator here.
Chatting and texting are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Contact 2-1-1 during a crisis for help with:
  • Emergency shelters
  • Food distribution centers
  • Shelter & federal assistance
  • Grief counseling
  • Helping locate family members
  • Clean-up crews
  • Potable water, ice, food, etc.
  • Elder services
  • Youth and child care issues
  • Emergency financial assistance
  • And more!
Looking for Child Care?
Contact the Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County by emailing [email protected] or by calling (352) 375-4110 ext. 102. The Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County provides early child education information and resources. They maintain a comprehensive database on availability, quality and affordability of child care and early education in Alachua County.
DUE TO COVID-19, YOU MAY EXPERIENCE LONGER CALL WAITING TIMES.

CELEBRATING THOSE WHO HAVE GRACED US WITH THEIR PRESENCE FOR 90+ YEARS

During this time of separation, we want to send Birthday wishes to a few of our members who have celebrated the gift of life for more than 90 years. If you would like to send them a card to mark their special day, that would be wonderful.
May and June Celebrations include:
Zonda Montgomery – 05/19
Harriette Hahn – 5/20
Peggy Sherword – 5/27
Shirley English – 06/03
Beverly Brisson – 06/10
EmmaLeigh Goodwin – 06/16
Please consult your directory for addresses.

PLEDGE CARDS

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.

 

NOW MORE THAN EVER, YOUR STEWARDSHIP IS IMPORTANT

Fort Myers Congregational UCC is accepting your tithes and offerings via our website. Simply go to FMCUCC.org 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 Tithe.ly 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 tithe.ly 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 

 

DO YOU NEED A MASK?

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 encounter outside.

You can 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. If you are unable to get out and would like a mask, please call the church office 239-482-3133.

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

We are also looking for individuals willing to assist in making the masks.

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

Sending out a big THANK YOU to Linda McGlashan for assisting Carolyn Martin in making and providing these wonderful masks! 

ALTERNATIVE MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE

“Honoring Our Heroes”
Memorial Day Virtual Event
On Monday evening, May 25th, at 7:00 pm CDT), World Beyond War Twin Ports Chapter, Veterans for Peace, Chap. 80, and Grandmothers for Peace Northland will host a virtual Memorial Day observance on Zoom, to honor our heroes, past and present. The event will focus on who true heroes are and how we can honor them. One local hero will be featured, Jan Provost of Superior, WI who was the founder of our local chapter of Grandmothers for Peace and who passed away on April 6, 2020. Music will be provided by Ian Connell, and Duluth Poet Laureate Gary Boelhower will share a poem. There will be time to honor all those who have given their lives both in war and in the struggle for peace and justice. This Zoom event will be hosted by World Beyond War and here is the link to register for the event and get your link to participate:

PASTOR’S DISCRETIONARY FUND

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.