Weekly Highlights


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.

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!

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 office@uunaples.org for details of the Zoom meeting.  Members will find details in the May 2020 newsletter here. 

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

NOTICE of Date Change: Discussion of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States--UUA’s Common Read 2020

As the United States recognizes the 400th anniversary of the much-mythologized encounter at Plymouth between colonists and those native to this land, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States allows us to speak to the truths that contradict mythologies taught in schools. It is a fitting predecessor to our theme of racism for the coming year.

UUCGN will discuss the book in three 90-minute ZOOM Thursday sessions on September 10, 17, and 24, beginning at 3:30 PM.  Cliff Welles will facilitate the discussion from the UUA leader’s guide.    Participants will need to read the 225-page version For Young People prior to the discussion and review beginning on September 10th.  It is available in paperback from Amazon and elsewhere for $14.50.  [Be sure to order the ‘For Young People’ version!]  A limited number of copies is available from Anna.

The book’s author, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, spoke at this year’s General Assembly and truly struck a chord with members of UUCGN who attended her session. A transcription of that compelling one-hour presentation is available by email.  To request the GA transcription, leave your request with cywelles@comcast.com.

The original book was published in 2015 and adapted last year by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese. It is this adaptation, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People, that the UUA recommends we read and discuss.  The book is an easy read to provide deep insight into what actually happened as European imperialists invaded a continent already inhabited by hundreds of generally peaceful, civilized native American tribes.  You will likely find the true story shocking in many ways.

According to Ortiz, the treatment of indigenous people by settler colonialists was a precursor to much of the racism we have created from the earliest times in the USA.  Join us beginning September 10th for the discussion of this important book by contacting Cliff Welles at cywelles@comcast.net.

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? E-mail 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.

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 annmfisher3@gmail.com and she will send you the meeting link.

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

UUCGN is in the process of becoming Blue Zones Approved! There will be more information included in our upcoming monthly newsletter.  We are excited to be bringing this project to the congregation. For information on Blue Zones Project® you can visit: Blue Zones Project - Southwest Florida


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. 


Forum Moving to Mindful Mondays

Covid-19 has upended our schedules and forced us all to make adjustments, and UUCGN's Forum speaker series is no exception.  After having to cancel our final several weeks of the 2019-2020 season, the Forum Committee is finalizing plans for a new speaker series to be held online via Zoom Webinar on alternating Monday evenings at 7:00 PM starting October 5 through the generous support of the Congregational Engagement Fund.  We have an exciting lineup of speakers whose topics will address a number of important current issues, including Election 2020, Anti-Racism and Policing, and more. Depending on the response, we may schedule additional "bonus" Forum speakers on other Mondays after we get a sense of how things are going and your interest. 

View the lineup of speakers FORUM Mindful Mondays this fall!

Attention UUCGN members!

Have you ever wanted to create an event, host a speaker, or plan something but didn’t pursue it because you didn’t have the money in your committee budget? Welcome to the Congregational Engagement Fund (CEF). The CEF is intended to supplement annual committee budgets, giving committees the potential to "think bigger" on what they can achieve. This fund’s purpose is to foster better integration of all members, enhance opportunities for fellowship, build/strengthen a sense of community, provide learning experiences, and support social justice activism. It is also focused on encouraging families and young adults to visit UUCGN and learn more about our mission, vision, and who we are.

Here are two upcoming programs that CEF funds helped create:

  • For the upcoming LGBTQIA Pride service in October, UUCGN will virtually host Jacob Tobia, author of “Sissy,” a book about growing up transgender, soon to be made into a Netflix miniseries.

  • For the Forum Committee, during this time of pandemic when many initiatives have transitioned to Zoom and other webinar services, the CEF provided funds to allow Forum to do so for its upcoming season. The funds allowed the Forum Committee to hire paid tech support during twice monthly Forum talks for 6 months starting in October and also upgrade one Zoom license from our current limit of 100 participants to one that allows up to 500 concurrent connections.  This upgrade was necessary to help Forum seamlessly transition into our virtual Covid world. The hope is that going virtual will also allow us to publicize Forums more broadly, bringing some in the wider community to other UUCGN programs as well, and perhaps to bring some of those viewers to our sanctuary once we are open again. For more information on how to apply for these funds, please contact any of the CEF steering committee members Kathie Gorski, Susan Musick, or Kristin Muschett. We look forward to sharing the possibilities with you. May the brainstorming begin!

An Invitation to Participate in our UUCGN Community!

Volunteerism is one way we practice and live out our UU values. Through service, we enhance our connectedness and continue to build our beloved community. You are invited to become part of one or more committees currently active in UUCGN. As we have all started using a lot more technology lately, we thought it would be a great time to share with you information about the committees that make UUCGN run.   Some committees are still very active and meet on a regular basis on Zoom, and some may need new volunteers to get them re-energized. Regardless, all committees welcome new members.

The Big Plus Now: It doesn't matter if you are seasonal and have moved north or if you can't drive or make it to a committee meeting at the building.  You can join and be active on any committee you wish in the comfort of your own home by using Zoom.

The Best Part: If you want to find out about a committee and see what it is about without joining or making a commitment, you can just tune in.  Please take time to review the list of committees currently active and available at UUCGN.  If you see a committee (or two!) that you may be interested in joining, or simply want more information, please email Anna your interest(s) at office@uunaples.org  or call 239.455.6553. Please remember, you can join and be active on multiple committees, and we need you more than ever! Your responses are greatly appreciated and look forward to hearing from you.

UUCGN Program Council - Bobbi Berglund, Chair

Request from the Membership Committee

The Membership committee is seeking ways to make visitors feel even more warmly welcomed and to facilitate new members’ integration into the congregation. We are looking for new ideas. Many of you seasonally attend congregations up north - and nearly all have attended others before finding your home with us. Did any of these congregations do things that worked particularly well, that we might try here in Naples? Think about it, and if you find something please share it with us.


Send an email to office@uunaples.org, saying you would be willing to speak with a Membership Committee member about your experiences. We will phone you to discuss. Thank you in advance for helping us with this important project, and know that during this difficult time we hope you are safe and stay that way.  Membership Committee - Mead Sommers, Co-chair

Beware of Scam Emails/Phone Calls & Requests - Special Announcement!

Recently, there have been scam emails that seem to be from members of the congregation (Ann Fullarton & Robin Schrage) making requests for Amazon accounts, money, and other favors. This is one of the many scams out there. Please remember, if you get an email or even a phone call with any request from a member or a friend on you contact list, CALL THEM DIRECTLY AND CONFIRM IN PERSON before replying to an email/text/phone call and fulfilling the request!

These are usually email addresses that are very similar to the actual email with disguised names of the owners (or phone numbers very close to theirs or yours).

If you get any emails with any requests, suspicious or not, call them in person and confirm before replying with any financial help or giving any personal/financial data. For more information or if you have questions or concerns, please contact Anna at office@uunaples.org or call 239.455.6553. 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.

We have not assigned each book to a particular month yet. However, that information will follow shortly. If you aren’t on our email list and want to be, send an email to

Joann Anthony at jtanthony21@gmail.com or call me at 508.207.7983.

Music For Wartime by Rebecca Makkai

Generosity: An Enhancement  by Richard Powers

The Plot Against America by Phillip Roth

The Red Notebook by Antoine Lauraine                               

White Noise by Don Delillo

The Tortilla Curtain by T C Boyle

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Fowler

UUCGN Building Closed - Message from the Facilities Committee:

***Masks are required inside the building***


The Facilities Committee would like to ensure the safety and security of all UUCGN members. With the recent rise in Florida covid cases we would like to remind the congregation that the building is closed.to all. With the exception of the Sexton, only select individual are allowed in the building for short periods to accomplish critical tasks.

As a result, there are no specific office hours and the building remains closed to the public even if the authorized staff are inside.

Also, there is a new signup sheet available at the entrance for all who ARE AUTHORIZED TO enter and exit, to easily track the traffic for everyone's safety.

Though the pavilion and the gardens are open, please make sure to practice social distancing and follow protocols.

If you have any questions or need to drop off and/or pick up anything, please contact Anna at office@uunaples.org or 239.455.6553 to make arrangements.

Please help us stay safe.

Be Well,

The Facilities Committee

Endowment Fund News



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.


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

Adult Enrichment​

Wonderful Wednesdays

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

September 23 – A visit to the Naples art studio of Nicario and Flora Jimenez. Join Rona Steingart as she interviews these Peruvian artists and we learn about their Andean artwork.

October 14 - TED Talk by Anne Lamott. In this terrific talk by the author of Help, Thanks, Wow and Traveling Mercies, Lamott shares the truths she has learned from life and writing. Joan Dolamore will facilitate a discussion.

October 28 - Buddhism – Part One of a two-part series exploring Buddhism.

November 4 - Day After Election - Celebration or Consolation??? We’ll join together to share thoughts following a much-anticipated election.

November 18 - Buddhism-Part Two 

December 14 - A Musical Evening brought to us by our Music Committee.

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.

© 2020 Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples • 6340 Napa Woods Way • Naples, FL 34116 • (239) 455-6553


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