Information on upcoming UUCGN activities can be found below.
A calendar view of events and program listings is available here. All our worship services, meetings, and programs are being held online via Zoom, posted as YouTube videos for public pre-recorded content, or using YouTube Live Online Streaming.
Contact the office at (239) 455-6553 for details on participating in UUCGN Zoom meetings, or if you need access to one of our Zoom licenses to host a meeting. Unfortunately, due to reports of Zoom meetings experiencing unwanted intrusion by people intending to cause disruption, Zoom links will not be publicized on our public web pages.
Zoom meeting details are available in the UUCGN Newsletter for members on the members-only page.
After thoughtful deliberations, our UUCGN Board of Trustees has voted to suspend in-person worship services to limit other gatherings at our congregation’s facilities until further notice.
This includes the Forum, Inquirer’s Series, Spiritual Practices, and the Youth Religious Exploration activities. We will be offering online worship services beginning this Sunday and Mary will offer connecting points for our R.E. students and families.
Some online services and programs may be offered. Please plan to revisit the home page for regular updates and see postings below for information to online offerings.
For Folks who come to UUCGN mostly for Coffee Hour:
UUCGN’s Virtual Coffee Hour group is still going strong on Facebook. You’re invited to join us after the service or anytime. The UUCGN Virtual Coffee Hour is open 24 hours a day so you can feel free to visit whenever you want to share a thought or express your angst during this crazy time.
This is a closed group for UUCGN members and friends only. You do need to be a Facebook subscriber to join.
Here’s how you join our Coffee Hour group:
1. Go to your Facebook page and in the search window, type:
UUCGN Virtual Coffee Hour
2. When you get to the page you will have to find the “Join this Group” button
and click on it.
3. A moderator will see your request within 1-2 days and accept you as a member or friend
of UUCGN and that’s it!
4. Once you receive notice that you have been accepted, start posting!
Our Sunday service from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM will continue throughout the rest of the congregation year via the UUCGN channel on YouTube with Live Streaming.
Youth Religious Exploration Sunday program will meet at 10:00 AM unless otherwise noted by the weekly email to parents.
Thursday Q&A with the Minister!
An opportunity for fellowship and learning. Each week on Thursdays at 5:30 PM online via Zoom there will be a chance to check in and new subject to talk about. Visitors, please contact the office by calling our office manager Anna Riazi (239) 455-6553 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org for details of the Zoom meeting. Members will find details in the May 2020 newsletter here.
Endowment Fund News
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO WHILE YOU'RE HERE
IS TO ENSURE UUCGN WILL BE WHEN YOU'RE NOT
March has arrived; spring--a season of renewal--is around the corner. The UUCGN Endowment Board wants to educate about the Endowment Fund and how it benefits our UUCGN community. This year, the Endowment Board was able to transfer $10,000 to the Capital Fund for important and necessary upgrades to our fire alarm system. As our Fund continues to grow, the Endowment Board will annually consider funding projects related to the safety and security of our building and grounds and the promotion of our visibility and message into the greater community. The generosity of past and present members who have made bequests has enabled our Fund to grow.
Have you wondered how you can make a difference in the future of our beloved congregation? How you can impact the life of UUCGN decades from now? Consider becoming part of the Legacy Circle, a group of members who have chosen to name UUCGN in their estate plans. There will be informational brochures on the patio after service in March. Stop by and take a look and speak to one of the Endowment Board members. The Endowment Board is keenly aware of the trust you, the members of UUCGN, have entrusted in us. Your generosity will continue to benefit UUCGN for generations to come. Endowment Board members Adrianne Cady, John Goodlet, Jane Graham, Ken Notturno and Robin Petty are ready to answer your questions.
Consider Signing Up for Virtual UUA General Assembly this June!
Due to the concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees recently decided to make the 2020 General Assembly a 100% online event. The dates remain the same. Programming begins the after noon of Wednesday, June 24, all day Thursday June 25, Friday June 26, Saturday June 27, and the morning of Sunday June 28. We hope you’ll consider attending!
The full schedule of virtual programming is almost ready. In the meantime, you can go to this 10-minute video on Facebook to learn more about the plans for Virtual GA: Click Here. The program schedule will be available at the UUA.ORG/GA web site.
The UUA’s organizing committee has been working to provide a very robust and rewarding virtual experience, making it well worth the registration fee of $150. When you view the above video you’ll learn about their speaker series and growing list of workshops (now greater than 30) that will be offered. You will also learn that once you register, you can view any of the workshops on demand, at your convenience. Thus, if there are two or more sessions going on at the same time, you will not be forced to choose between the them but rather watch them at a time of your choosing. As additional programming is finalized and the full program book becomes available, the UUCGN Denominational Affairs Committee will update you.
For those who had signed up to attend the now-cancelled, in-person meeting, we hope you will convert to virtual attendance. To others who might not have been able to or interested in travel to attend in person, this is a perfect opportunity to participate from the safety of your own home. And to committee chairs, this is an opportunity to share relevant GA sessions with your members. The Denominational Affairs Committee is able to provide financial support to pay your $150 registration fee for participation in the 2020 Virtual GA.
Please contact the UUCGN office soon to express your interest or ask questions.
Gentle Yoga with Lois
Join Lois Graydon via Zoom for a half-hour Gentle Yoga session any weekday at 12 noon EDT. This will be a gentle stretching session, with a few challenging positions. The routine will include pretty much the same positions each day but with a few minor adjustments, just so our muscles don't get bored!
Feel free to invite your friends. Of course, here comes the disclaimer, please check with your doctor before participation AND MAKE SURE TO DRINK WATER!
Lois Graydon's Zoom Meeting (Contact the office at (239) 455-6553 for Zoom link details).
Monday-Friday, 12:00 – 12:30pm
Social Justice Update
The "Glass is Half Full" Kind of People
While not all of us fit this description individually, Unitarian Universalists are generally an optimistic bunch. It’s part of the inherent DNA of a group that “reveres the past but trusts the dawning future more” (Hymn #145, “As Tranquil Streams,” Marion Franklin Ham). It’s what allows is to think less about ourselves and more about how we can help others get through a crisis like the one we’re facing now and think clearly about how we prepare for a “new normal.”
A case in point is your response to appeals for contributions to help UUCGN support individuals and organizations during the Pandemic. Members and friends have generously donated well more than $30,000 to the different congregational funds including the Ministerial Discretionary Fund and Weekend Meals for Kids, as well as our commitment to our Social Justice Partner Legal Aid Services of Collier County.
You have given even more in direct contributions to the organizations that the Social Justice Committee listed in the main appeal for help that went out a few weeks ago, including a great response to Bill McCormick’s effort to lift up the work of the Naples-based Meals for Hope.
While few of us can get out and roll up our sleeves to do the physical work, UUCGN members Ellen Hemrick with Standing Up for Racial Justice of Southwest Florida (SURJ) and Yvette Stafford with the Crohns Charity Service Foundation have both been able to work through their organizations to directly provide healthy groceries to local folks in need.
The Ministerial Discretionary Fund, which was set up to help members and friends in financial stress, has been able to help a few of our own and some others in the community with rent assistance with enough left over to help support the organizations above in their work. We’ve also started a conversation about setting up a permanent fund for emergencies that would be available for responding quickly to the kind of needs we saw after hurricane Irma and now during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Weekend Meals program has now been funded to last year’s level and is exploring what additional needs might result from the pandemic and what different ways the program might respond to any change in school schedules or routines. It is likely that more students/families will need the kind of assistance Weekend Meals provides so further appeals may be needed.
Finally, despite not being able to hold our annual charity auction, we have been able to fulfill our annual pledge to Legal Aid Service of Collier County. Legal Aid Service is our Social Justice partner organization for the current three-year period. Chosen by the congregation almost two years ago, we have been able to support a part time paralegal position in the area of immigration justice. Legal Aid Service is also responding to the pandemic by offering specific legal services for folks struggling financially.
It is clear that more will be needed along all these fronts as the situation evolves, but looking at this local response to a global crisis, we can see ourselves in a “glass half full” light and know we are in solidarity with all people who act with compassion, seeing the real needs and responding in the best ways we can.
Please stay safe, stay connected, and keep being who you are!
Love and blessings to you all!
Feed your mind, body, and soul.
A mid-week multi-age gathering with food, fellowship, and fun for all.
Wonderful Wednesdays will be continuing during the summer months a few times a month.
All sessions will start at 7:00 pm and will be using the same Zoom link and other details:
Join Zoom Meeting: Click Here! ! Meeting ID: 685 024 297. Password: 895882 Or call in at 646 876 9923
June 17 – Stories From U
We are very excited to bring this incredibly popular program to Zoom. Thanks to Laura Bensman and friends, we’ll be treated to original, true personal stories shared by UUCGN members and friends.
June 24 – No Wonderful Wednesday program - Attend General Assembly –virtually, of course!
This is the opening night of General Assembly, the annual gathering of UUs from across the country and the world. At least 17 UUCGNers had planned to attend in person but, of course, due to COVID, the conference will be virtual. The Welcoming Celebration begins at 7:30 but is only open to those who register for GA. The General Session which begins at 8:30 is open to everyone (no registration needed).
We hope you'll consider signing up for Virtual GA. Refer to the info in the blurb on Virtual GA below for more information. For more information, see uua.org/ga.
July 1 – No Wonderful Wednesday program
July 8 - Experience Our Garden!
Learn the history, transformation and activities of our beautiful garden, brought to you by our Garden Crew.
July 15 – Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a grass-roots organization that that focuses on building political will for legislation that will put us on the path to reduce the emissions that are changing our climate. Amy Clifton who is active in CCL will talk to us about how its volunteers direct their efforts, along with a review of its extensive online resources, and hear about its first ever virtual lobby day and conference.
July 22 – Name That Tune!
A UUCGN favorite – adapted for Zoom! This just-plain-fun event (and don’t we need one?) will be brought to you by Anne Roberts and Linda Swears. Join us for some lively competition and good fellowship.
Join Zoom Meeting Click Here! Meeting ID: 685 024 297
Or call in at 646 876 9923
Tuesday Mindful Meditation – an online Meditation experience
Tuesdays, 3:00-4:00 PM
The Mindful Meditation group which has been meeting on Saturday mornings for over three years is offering an online opportunity to gather together to share an hour of meditation and reflection. All are invited to join us! If you have never meditated before or if you have been practicing on your own for decades, feel free to participate. We begin with about five minutes of gentle movement, followed by a brief reading, and then a guided meditation which leads into a time of silent meditation. Following our meditation time, we have a time of shared reflection and conversation.
Please join us on Tuesday at 3:00 PM. We will aim to begin promptly at 3:00 so you may want to “arrive” 10-15 minutes early and work out any kinks with your Zoom connection. For this particular week, the guided meditation calls for having a glass of water so plan to have one nearby.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Ann Fisher at email@example.com and she will send you the meeting link.
Spiritual Practices Program Continues Friday, June 19 at 2 pm
Spiritual Practices at 2 pm on June 19
Our final session in the series will take place next Friday, June 19. It will focus on service as a spiritual practice – how we might view our volunteering in the community and/or congregation as a vital part of our spiritual practice.
To join the June 19 session:
Meeting ID: 811 9242 1051
Or connect via phone: 646 876 9923
The final of six sessions program is designed to help participants deepen their spiritual lives through exploring and experiencing a variety of spiritual practices including keeping sabbath, meditation, worship and ritual, devotional reading, and work and service. We will meet every Friday afternoon for six weeks, from 2:00 to 3:00 PM starting this week, via Zoom. If the name of the program sounds somewhat familiar, that is because we promoted it and held the first session right before the UUCGN campus closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
We are now starting afresh, via Zoom, and will be using Zoom’s feature of break-out rooms to allow for small group discussion throughout the program.
Folks are welcome to attend some or all of the sessions but are especially encouraged to attend the first one if possible since it helps to set the stage for what follows. Those who participated in the initial in-person session in March are of course welcome to participate in it again, to get back in the swing of the program.
Adult Enrichment members Joan Dolamore, Ann Fisher, Kathie Gorski, and Harriet Lancaster will be leading
The Garden Crew invites you to visit the gardens. Please read as you will find many new additions to the gardens. UUCGN Members and Guests: Are you feeling like you have been at home forever? Do you feel like the
four walls are closing in? Well, why not take a trip to UUCGN and tour the gardens. The garden crew still meets on Tuesday mornings and has continued the work of continually improving the gardens. Did you know we have started a rose garden in front of the building? We also have a meditation area where you can meditate along with Buddha. To the left of the meditation area are several new gardens started just a few months ago. If you feel like you want to sit and relax on the pavilion you will observe all the plants and flowers in spring bloom. Looking to your left you’ll see the Purple Martins working on their new home. You might also enjoy walking the trails.
To the left of the sanctuary is a Bromeliad Garden, which is still a work in progress. Then wander out front and see if you can find a new pineapple garden. The Amaryllis Garden is also located nearby. Feel like an adventure? See if you can find the following. Lola, the frog in front of the fountain, the solar powered fountain, the relaxing giraffe, the chalice and shishi odoshi. So now you have something new to do that will give you exercise, fresh air and relaxation. Please enjoy the gardens. Please observe social distancing.
Met third Mondays of each month: Film Fans would meet at Silverspot for a movie; several are recommended, starting close to the same time and about the same length. This program is suspended during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Film Fans usually meet on third Mondays) at Silverspot for a movie and at Burntwood Tavern afterwards for conversation and a meal. I’ll make reservations at Burntwood Tavern for 6:30 PM. If you want to try a late movie, join us for the meal and see a later film afterwards.
Important: RSVP for the meal so I can reserve tables. Robin Schrage, 239-261-9427.
Third Fridays Circle Dinners
Join us for a dinner with 6, 8, or 10 friendly UU’s in their home. Circle dinner hosts will prepare a main course and ask you to bring some of the trimmings: appetizers, a salad, dessert, bread or maybe a vegetable side dish. We meet around the dinner table to get to know each other better, to have personal conversations, and to have a fun and entertaining evening. If you are new to circle dinners and would like to participate in one of our dinners, there is a sign-up sheet in our UU foyer, or you may call Marjorie or Sal Corrallo 239.269.8802 for more information.
Ongoing Programs and Activities*
*These programs are suspended during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Adult Enrichment: Guided Autobiography: Pam Mayer will continue to offer her very-much appreciated Guided Autobiography Levels 1 and 2 classes, early in the new year. Those who have already participated in Levels 1 and 2 will be joining Pam in an online group that starts this month.
Several other ongoing programs will continue to be offered as well. Several of these are offered not directly under the umbrella of the Adult Enrichment Committee, having existed before the committee formed. Ongoing programs include, for example, Art in the Garden, Writing Group, Visual Arts Group, Aging Well, Fiction Book Club.
Adult Enrichment: Creative Writing Group
This is an opportunity for all writers - fiction, non-fiction, essay, poetry - to come together to share their work and receive feedback in a supportive, collegial environment. Contact John Womack by e-mail at johnHwomack@gmail.com for more info.
Adult Enrichment: Visual Arts Group
The Visual Arts Discussion Group meets on the 4th Monday of each month at 4 pm. Everyone is welcome! Come and bring in examples of your recent work . . . painting, photography, sculpture or any other medium. We will try to go beyond a technical critique and explore what story the artist is trying to tell. Interested? Contact George Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like information about the Bereavement support group please contact Joanne Swonk at email@example.com.
Many UUCGN members have left their former communities up north (or west, for some folks), and have relocated to southwest Florida and found their way to our Unitarian Universalist community. Our
congregation's Caring Committee members are available to help with short term needs such as transportation to appointments, delivery of prepared meals when an acute need arises, or childcare for emergency situations.
Our committee members come from varied backgrounds and professions and may be able to offer
information to you if you have questions about resources in our region. Call the office and request a call from one of our members. We'd be happy to assist you with our helping hands and loving hearts.
LGBTQIA+Interest Support Group
If you are interested in joining LGBTQIA+ group, please contact Alice Modic at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief introduction of yourself. Meets second Monday of the month at 7:00 PM.
Social Activities: Film Fans: Suspended
Normally meets the third Monday of each month at Silverspot Cinema, but film outings have been suspended due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Please contact Joan Insel at 239.514.2759 or email@example.com for more info.
Social Activities: First Fridays / First Saturdays: Suspended
First Friday is a monthly evening get-together at a UUCGN member’s home. Guests bring finger food and drink to share. If you are unable to host a party at your home, please consider hosting a First Saturday on the UUCGN pavilion with the same format. Contact Cheryl Lash or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Social Activities: ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out): Suspended We usually meet for breakfast on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at Skillets in the Bed, Bath, and Beyond Plaza at the corner of Airport Pulling Rd. and Pine Ridge. We start at 8:00 AM until ??? Call Roger Brown for additional info. at 239.254.1128.
Green Sanctuary: Citizen’s Climate Lobby: Contact Amy Clifton at email@example.com for details on online meetings.
Do you have five minutes to tell congress how you feel about climate? If so, please click cclusa.org/write and enter your name and address. The next screen will show messages to be sent to your congressman and both senators. You can send the suggested script, or customize. Submit and you’re done.
On November 12, over 800 CCL'ers from across the nation met with congress people and their staff in DC asking for them to take meaningful action on climate. A common response from the congress person is they need to hear more from their constituents. If you want to make your voice heard please click cclusa.org/ write and enter your name and address. The next screen will show messages to be sent to your congressional representative and both senators. Submit and you’re done. To learn more about CCL, please join us in Thomas Hall for our monthly meeting. All are welcome.
Citizens Climate Lobby, citizensclimatelobby.org, is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that empowers people to become effective advocates for climate solutions. Each meeting we have a guest speaker (by video) and make plans around outreach opportunities, building relationships with local business, faith and political leaders, and pursuing media opportunities. Meetings are most third Thursdays of each month at 6:30 PM.
Board of Directors. Tech4Good: Suspended.
Tech4Good is a nonprofit organization that meets the first Tuesday of each month, from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM at UUCGN. We invite all local nonprofit organizations to network, learn, test and explore new technologies, exchange ideas, and best practices. To learn more or to register, visit https://local.nten.org/tech4good-swfl/ for updates on upcoming events.