News 20191107

FINANCE NOTES

Some questions and ideas have been asked in response to our financial deficit. Would it help if I/we pay our pledge forward? Sure. Would it help if I/we paid Nov., Dec., Jan, or Feb. now? Of course. It helps level out our cash flow. We experience our shortfall through the summer and early fall, so any boost during that time helps. Can I make extra gifts on top of my regular giving? Of course. It is helpful if such giving is noted as either an “extra gift” or marked “Faith & Thanks” then the counting team and the Financial Coordinator know to credit it separately from your regular pledge. Can I give stock as a gift to the church? Yes. That needs to be arranged as a separate gift through the church brokerage account and it is best to speak with Joyce Vanca, Treasurer, or John Rohde, Chair of the Finance Board in order to facilitate that step. Thank you in advance!

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RAISING THE ROOF

Great progress! To date we have raised $39,966.00 in cash and pledges of our $100,000.00 goal. Thank you to everyone for your gifts and efforts! NOTE: During the construction on the roof, for safety reasons, please pay attention to the dumpsters and caution tape.

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UNICEF

This Sunday, Nov. 10th during announcements, we will be sharing the total amount collected for this mission. Come see how good your estimation skills really are!

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GRATITUDE WALK – This Sunday after Worship

Labyrinths have been found all over the world, dating from earliest antiquity. Once popular in the Middle Ages, they have been making a resurgence in recent years. The practice of labyrinth walking integrates the body with mind and the mind with the spirit. Labyrinths are utilized in many contexts including medical centers, parks, churches, schools, prisons, spas, cathedrals and retreat centers, as well as in people’s backyards. On Sunday 11/10 after worship, we will consider the power of this contemplative practice with licensed labyrinth facilitator Nancy Van Fleet and walk the labyrinth in our own fellowship hall!

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CHRISTMAS GET TOGETHER

Come join us with the holiday show, Sounds of Christmas, to get you in the happy feeling of the Christmas season. The show is Saturday matinee at Off Broadway Palm at the Broadway Palm Theater, Dec 7, at 11:30 AM for the buffet followed by the show at 1:00PM. The cost is $59.00 which covers the show and tip for the servers. This is a group rate so we need at least 20 people to participate. All tickets need to be paid for by Nov 21. If you have any questions, call Susan Hegner, Oct. 22 – Nov 9, call or 239-281-1601 and leaved a message. Otherwise call Susan on 239-482-0959.  Here is a synopsis of the show: Sounds of Christmas is a joyous musical revue that is centered around a family celebrating the spirit of the season through many musical memories! Bring your family and friends as we celebrate the season with festive production numbers, beautiful dancing and dazzling costumes! You’ll hear holiday classics along with more contemporary songs you know and love including Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Little Drummer Boy, All I Want For Christmas Is You, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, Run Run Rudolph and more. And this holiday extravaganza wouldn’t be complete without a visit from the big guy himself…Santa Claus! This fun-filled production is perfect for everyone and will remind you why this is the most wonderful time of the year!

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GROW

GROW is an educational ministry of Fort Myers Congregational United Church of Christ. It draws upon the resources that make our church unique to foster an atmosphere of intellectual and social experimentation. GROW is a series of free classes, workshops, and social events led by staff members, retired clergypeople, and guest facilitators who seek to edify our community through the enlightenment and organization of its members. You are welcome to attend any course listed at any point in its progress. If you would like more information about GROW or any of its courses, please contact our Community Minister Wesley Snedeker at [email protected] Please click here for a detailed description of all classes offered.

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NEW TESTAMENT STUDY

GROW hosts a New Testament study before worship every Sunday at 9:00 am! We are using Marcus Borg’s Evolution of the Word as our primary text, which you can purchase on Amazon or IndieBound. We are reading every book of the New Testament in the order they were written. Each session covers one or more texts, along with Dr. Borg’s historical-critical introduction. We are so excited to bring you this opportunity, and we look forward to digging into scripture together! You do not need to own the book to attend, but it certainly helps! If you have already purchased the book, please read chapter 3 in preparation for Sunday’s discussion.

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FINE TUNINGS

The 2019 Fall Session of Fine Tunings has been scheduled to begin on Monday, November 11th. Fine Tunings is designed to help young people enhance their education by participating in three 30 minute break-out sessions during the evening – Tutoring, Music and Arts /Crafts. A light meal is also offered for any families and volunteers who desire. The success of our program depends on our talented and dedicated church family volunteers. Please consider helping us by either working with children on craft projects, helping with homework, or simple music (piano, vocal, guitar etc.)  We also need people to help set-up for the meal and clean up after. This is a great opportunity for some new members, to get more involved in the work of our church. Past volunteers will tell you how rewarding it is to work with the children. If you would like your child to participate in the program, please return the registration ASAP since we offer this first to our church families. For additional information the 2019-2020 brochure is posted on the Church School bulletin board and copies are available at the welcome desk. Sandy Blackington or Susan Hegner can provide additional detail and answer questions or volunteer.

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COME YE THANKFUL PEOPLE COME

The annual FMCUCC Turkey Dinner will be served in Fellowship Hall at 12:00pm on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019. Come and enjoy the friendship and fellowship of other members and friends as you share a traditional meal of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, cranberry sauce, rolls butter, assorted pies and beverages. Ticket purchase serves as a required reservation. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased in Fellowship Hall before and after worship on 11/10, 11/17 and 11/24. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for children under 12. Volunteers are needed to help with set-up and clean-up. Please sign up on the “Thanksgiving Dinner Helpers” sign-up sheet in the Fellowship Hall. If you have questions, please contact Head Pilgrim Susan Hegner at 239-482-0959

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NEW MEMBER CLASS

If you would like to learn more about our church, or if you think you might be interested in becoming a member or an associate member, we invite you to attend our membership class on Sunday, December 1st following morning coffee. Please RSVP by email: [email protected] or by calling 239-482-3133. A light lunch will be served. New members will be received on December 8th.

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THE BOARD OF DEACONS NEEDS YOUR HELP

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.

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THE McGREGOR CLINIC
CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF CHANGING LIVES

(Jeff Trout & Sharon Murphy, members of FMCUCC, are the founders of The McGregor Clinic. Pastor Bucey is currently serving as a Board Member.)

 

The McGregor clinic in Fort Myers is celebrating 20 years of changing lives in Southwest Florida. The clinic says it serves more than 1,100 patients with HIV. Director Sharon Murphy says, “There aren’t a lot of people that get to work their passion, and I get to do that every day, and that’s all I can say.” The McGregor Clinic is more than a place to its Murphy, it’s a passion she found 20 years ago while working as a nurse and treating people with HIV/AIDS. She said when she was a nurse in the ’90s, people with AIDS were in isolation, “It just broke my heart that they were in hospital rooms by themselves … It was a group of people no one wanted to talk about; they were afraid to touch.” She opened the doors to the Fort Myers clinic in November 1999 for patients living with the incurable virus. Murphy wants people to feel as soon as they walk through the door that they’re in a safe place, “My goal was to keep the clinic open and work part-time as a nurse.” Murphy has grown her non-profit over the past two decades to include much more than medical treatment. The clinic provides case management services, a food pantry, a clothes closet, education and prevention center, and they now have three locations. For patients like Dawn Marissa Breedon, the clinic is important, “HIV has been a part of my life for 28 years now.” She attends support groups and says she loves the people that are there. As Murphy celebrates McGregor Clinic’s 20th anniversary, she hopes it inspires others to educate themselves about HIV in Southwest Florida. She says the increase in new infections every year is “staggering”, and you can get tested for free, “We do not charge for testing never have never will.” And to be a part of the community embracing people with HIV/AIDS, the McGregor Clinic celebrated its 20th anniversary with an open house today, 11/7, at its Fort Myers location. Champagne toasts were given for transforming lives in Southwest Florida. — Article courtesy of WinkNews. For more information about the clinic visit mcgregorclinic.org

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MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

If you have walkers or bedside commodes you no longer need, please consider donating them to the church. We loan those items out to those in need and are currently out. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Riehl in the church office, 239-482-3133

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FROM THE CONFERENCE MINISTER

To: The People of the Florida Conference
Re: Your challenge to build affordable housing in Immokalee, Florida
Dear Church,
It was a powerful moment. Maybe you were there. Maybe you’ve heard about it. Maybe this will be news to you. In any event, let me tell you how excited I am about your call to be in mission!
  • At the annual gathering in October, 109 attendees from 51 churches challenged the Board of Directors to free up $100,000 from the conference’s unrestricted reserves to join an ecumenical effort to buy a piece of land in Immokalee, FL on which affordable housing will be built to benefit farmworkers and their families.
  • The challenge was framed by those same attendees as an invitation for the people and churches of the conference to match that $100,000 by Thanksgiving so we can make an offering of thanks to the workers whose labors benefit the feasting so common to many on that day.
  • The Board rose to the challenge! The calling now comes to you to answer the invitation to raise another 100K in gifts or commitments by November 25, 2019.
Here’s the best news:
  • Today marks your opportunity to be part of this movement toward justice for God’s people.
  • Individuals may use the “Donate” button at www.uccfla.org to make a gift today or mail a check to the conference office. Every gift matters!
  • Churches and other groups may respond with checks mailed to the Florida Conference office before November 25, 2019. Every gift matters!
  • Optionally, churches may send a letter of commitment to the conference minister indicating a level of giving and a commitment to remit that gift by June 30, 2020.
You can learn more about this effort by visiting the website of the Immokalee Fair Housing Alliance at www.ifha.info or by calling me at (407) 835-7501. I covet your prayers and your generosity.
Be at peace and be in touch, won’t you.
John Vertigan
Conference Minister

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OUR OWN CARLOS TORRES
MAKES THE COVER OF PEGASUS MAGAZINE

Expression Meets Inspiration at UCF Downtown
The new UCF Downtown campus reflects — and inspires — the energy and personalities of the more than 7,000 students who started classes there this August.
By Nicole Dudenhoefer ’17 | Photos by Nick Leyva ’15
Click here to view the online article
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