News 05/15/2020

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 17th, at 10am, click here for our Worship Service.

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

FROM THE PASTOR’S PEN

Earlier the this week every UCC Pastor in America received a gift. This gift was from the UCC Council of Conference Ministers regarding the extra effort they perceive as having been expended by pastors during the pandemic. The gift comes in the form of a worship service for this Sixth Sunday of Easter.

 

Produced and “starring” UCC Conference Ministers and Staff, the service celebrates Eastertide and its intersection with Mental Health Sunday. It includes video segments, musical selections, prayers, bulletin and more.

 

As Florida Conference Minister Rev John Vertigan put it: “I am hopeful that this worship service might be a blessing to you while providing connection to the wider church with whom we are all in connection. I pray it will be so and that you will find ways to use the service, in whole or in part, in keeping with the Spirit’s calling in this moment.”

 

This Sunday we will worship with thousands of ACC folk across the country. We will see and hear the great witness of inclusivity which abides in our denomination. Please plan to be a part of this denomination-wide experience on our YouTube channel.

 

See you then. — Dave 

Come back here on Sunday, May 17th at 10:00am to watch the service on our YouTube channel by clicking on the icon below.

 

 

 

EASTERTIDE SERVICE 2020

A worship service created by the Council of Conference Ministers of the UCC

May 17, 2020

Click HERE to view the bulletin for this week.

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

Beginning today 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 RETURNS – THIS SUNDAY – MAY 17TH – 11:00AM

After a two month COVID-19 hiatus, FMCUCC Sunday School returns this Sunday at 11:00. Karen Kelley and her able Band of helpers have a fun-filled hour of study and fun planned around the “FLAT STANLEY” theme. Each week the kids will appropriately adorn “FLAT JESUS” for the day’s lesson.

Click HERE to get instruction and Flat Jesus


Our teachers our ready for this new phase in the educational life of FMCUCC.
PLEASE see the Zoom link below and get ready for SUNDAY SCHOOL.

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!


Please check the session start time and 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 – 5/21 at 2:00 pm

 

Rev. Micah Bucey – Minister at Judson Memorial Church and Multi-Faith Organizer with New Sanctuary Coalition. What is the role of faith communities in the struggle for immigrant rights? What models and movements are already working? In what liberative and revolutionary ways are churches choosing to love the stranger? Rev. Bucey will join us for a discussion exploring this vital mission of the church and his experience as an immigration activist in NYC.

 

Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 851 1103 3312
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,85111033312# US (New York)
+13017158592,,85111033312# US (Germantown)

FRIDAY – 5/22 at 2:00pm 

 

Dr. Sharon Isern – Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast University. COVID-19 seems to be as much a political phenomenon these days as a biological one. Amidst all the interpretive noise, it is essential to learn as much as we can scientifically about the pandemic so that we can better keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe. Next Friday, we’ll be joined by Dr. Sharon Isern, a molecular virologist and a science educator at FGCU. She will lend us her valuable perspective on the COVID-19 crisis and what to expect in the coming months. 

 

Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 885 5226 0117
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,88552260117# US (Germantown)
+13126266799,,88552260117# US (Chicago)

Videos of previous Zoom GROW Sessions:

Grief and Self Care in Pandemic Times (5/14) 

War is a Lie with David Swanson (5/7)

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)

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

 

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS

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

 

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 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 “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

Persistence pays off: Governor DeSantis announces free, community-wide testing to begin in Immokalee this week! 

 

Click here to read the full article.

PRAYER CHAIN

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: [email protected]

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.

STAYING CONNECTED WITH OTHERS IN OUR CONFERENCE

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 COMFORT AND BLESSING OF A PRAYER SHAWL

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[email protected]

RADICAL HOSPITALITY

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.

BODY PARTS

“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.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

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, [email protected], and let her know what you are interested in doing. Thanks in advance for helping make our church so great!

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.

NEED TO REACH US?

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

    

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