Weekly Highlights

Meditate and Create

On the pavilion following regular Saturday morning meditation.  Also available on Zoom. All are welcome!

Led by Zen teacher Sensei Laurie Lyons, this workshop offers a rare opportunity to immerse ourselves in meditation and the creative process. This is a fun and unique practice path, a method of making visible what is often invisible. Frequently, the results of our practice are difficult to point to. In this case, we will walk away with pieces of art to live with and contemplate well into the future.  Our time will include brief guided meditations, discussion, and art practice, drawing inspiration from the poetry of Zen Master Dogen.  Art supplies provided or bring your own.  No previous experience with art or meditation is necessary. Registration required.  To register, contact Anna Riazi at office@uunaples.org.

A $10 donation will be collected.

To join on Zoom, use this link Click Here . To learn more about the facilitator, Sensei Laurie, or to find the link on our website, please visit www.ZenArtsFlorida.com

Sunday Service Volunteers Needed!

Please email office@uunaples.org if you are willing to volunteer for any of these tasks for Sunday services.  Tasks & Short descriptions:

  • Greeters: Welcome members and visitors and ask for visitor information if any.

  • Ushers: Pass out the Order of Service, Head Count, Pass the collection plate

  • Money counters: Count the plate cash

  • Sextons: Help open and close the building -- open and unlock doors and turn on the fans etc.. This task is much easier now, and is done by the staff, but it would be helpful to have help if needed and maybe sometimes for committee meetings and events outside of office hours.

  • YRE Greeters: We need an RE Greeter willing to greet the children in the education wing.  It’s a great way to meet the children and their parents.  You need to arrive at 9:40 and greet until around 10:05-10:10 (some children arrive late).  When the children arrive have them put on their name tags and fill their water bottles that are on the table near the door.  The early arrivals (maybe two or three) sit in the brown chairs and play tic tac toe and hangman until the assistant takes them to the blue room or Stephanie arrives at 9:55 with the child greeter and takes them to the blue room.

  • We also need someone to bring snack each week for about 15 children.  It can be the same person who greets or a different person.  The snack should arrive by 9:45 and taken to the kitchen in the education wing.  There are white baskets to put snack in with wipes.  The snack is then taken down to the orange room. (We usually eat outside at some point and get it from there).  It’s an easy job and you don’t miss any church!

  • RE Snack List: Prepare snacks for 15 children. Please choose items that are individually wrapped, not messy and relatively healthy. Remember this is just a snack and children will go home and have lunch with their families. To prepare snack please arrive at 9:45.

Clementines, Bananas, Granola bars, Individually wrapped string cheese, Individually wrapped snack crackers like goldfish or little graham crackers, Individually wrapped fruit leather snacks. Individually wrapped apple slices or small apples. Individual boxes of raisins. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Stephanie St John at yre@uunaples.org or call 317-918-1965. We need dates filled from January 16th until May 15th with the exception of Jan 30th.

These are wonderful ways to serve the congregation without having to make a long-term commitment.  THANK YOU!


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!

Green Sanctuary

We meet monthly via Zoom and are always interested in having new people join our meetings to find out more about what we do. Please contact greensanctuary@uunaples.org for the zoom details.     We will be showing a 10-minute TED Talk "How Climate Justice Can't Happen without Racial Justice"  to  inspire discussion. 


Visual Arts Group

The UUCGN Visual Arts group meets the 4th Monday of the month on the patio at 4:00 PM.  Please wear a mask, we will be social distancing and want everyone to feel comfortable.  Our agenda changes from month to month.  Bring some of your own artwork OR artwork that inspires you.  Questions?  Email Christina or George Wright at wrightonovernaples@aol.com

Mindful Meditation in the Garden!
Saturdays at 10:30 AM 

The Mindfulness Meditation group continues to meet on Saturday mornings 10:30 AM -11:30 AM. We gather in the garden or on the pavilion, maintaining social distance throughout the hour. All are welcome - folks who are brand-new to meditation and those who have been meditating for years. For more information, contact Ann Fisher at annmfisher3@gmail.com or Ann Marina at yoganni@yahoo.com.

Mindful Meditation – an online Meditation experience

Tuesdays at 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.

Gentle Yoga with Lois

Weekdays, 12:00 – 12:30 PM. All who want to join for yoga, must first check with their doctor before participating.  Also for those interested in participating in the class, please send your email address and phone number to loiscdw3@gmail.com prior to joining so I have a way to notify you of changes and  cancellations.   Join Zoom Meeting Click here.  Meeting ID: 784 4945 1053   Password: 028910

Blue Zones

The Blue Zones Project of Southwest Florida is offering some terrific programs to help you stay healthy, active and engaged - even while you are socially distancing. Please check out the yoga, tai chi, and nutrition programs available. Click Here for more information and to get involved!

Zoom 101

Click here or search for Zoom tutorial on YouTube if you want to learn about zoom.   Recommendation: for those of you who only need to join a meeting and own a smart phone, just download the app. It is much easier to use than the zoom on your computer.   It is as easy as using Facetime or Skype or WhatsApp. 


Mindful Monday Forum


The Forum Committee is excited to introduce a new speaker series to be held online via Zoom on twice a month on Monday evenings at 7:00 PM. 

Non-Fiction Book Club

4th Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm. Contact the office for more information. Thank you! 

UU Book Club

Greetings readers and hopes that you are all well. We cannot predict the future as to when our group will meet again in Thomas Hall, there are many variables.  But it is our hope to conduct our book club meetings on line until we do.  We would keep to the same time: 2:00 PM on the third Thursday of the month, October through April, either at Thomas Hall or online.


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!

Rev. Tony

PFLAG Naples


PFLAG Naples is now hosting its monthly support meetings at the Naples Pride Center: 2248 Airport Rd S, Naples, FL 34112. What to expect: A safe, loving, non-judgmental, and supportive environment for the parents, family, and friends of the LGBTQ community and those who wish to learn more about them. Masks are required. For more information email info@pflagnaples.org. https://pflag.org/chapter/pflag-naples

Garden News!

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.

Social Activities

Unfortunately, in-person social activities are suspended indefinitely

due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Check back here for updates.


Film Fans

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 wrightonovernaples@aol.com.​

Bereavement Group

If you would like information about the Bereavement support group please contact Joanne Swonk at swonk2@sbcglobal.net.

Caring Committee

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 alicemo1@aol.com 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 joaninsel@hotmail.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 office@uunaples.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 amy.clifton@icloud.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.