Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
November 17, 2019

November’s theme: Attention


What It Means To Pay Attention — From Rev. Sandra’s Study

To give one’s full attention is to look closely, to linger upon, to delve, to immerse oneself into something that at first seems “other” but soon seems “one with.” To give attention, in the end, is to be grasped.
~ David Seaburn

Lingering in nature is a sure way to be grasped. At least it is for me. The change of season this Autumn offers a particular opportunity to give my full attention–to give myself over to the beauty and mystery of it all. It’s hard to ignore the altered patterns of sunlight, turning colors of leaves, and shifting quality of the air. And who wants to ignore it, anyway? Why not delve in and go deeper? Because, as writer David Seaburn notes, when we immerse ourselves in something that is other, our devotion soon makes us one.

This too is true of our relationships with one another, with our call to be attentive to each other. As we move past the surface, lingering with patience and careful observance, a path unfolds toward greater intimacy, vulnerability, and connection.

This month as we explore together what it means to be people of attention, may we find ourselves in communion with beauty, mystery, our own hearts, and each other.

Yours in faith, love, and gratitude,

Rev. Sandra


Pay Attention To Your Breathing-A note from your Director of Music

When I breathe in,

I’ll breathe in peace.

When I breathe out,

I’ll breathe out love.

Breathe in, Breathe out,

Breathe in, Breathe out

  • Sarah Dan Jones

I’ve written about the hymn #1009 before and this month geared towards asking ‘what does it mean to be a people of attention?’ is calling me to write about “Meditation on Breathing” again.  For as the DRE for SoulMatters, Katie Covey, writes “We turn our attention to our breath to find our center. We turn our attention to our breath to find freedom from worry so that we may turn our attention to other people’s pain.”   This time I’ll share the composer’s own reflection on the song found on the blog “Notes from the Far Fringe” (link is external)

“The song has since taken on a life of its own…When folks talk to me about it (like when I sing it when visiting out), they range from parents using it to sing their kids to sleep, adults using it in meditation, hospice choirs. Once, a man told me about how he and his husband had purchased two pigmy goats – they were in the back seat being driven to their new home and making all kinds of noises. The men started singing the chant and the goats calmed down (I often tell that story and note how the chant is multi-species!!).” – Sarah Dan Jones

With full breath and full love,

Your Director of Music – Ebee Bromley


Attention At the Table-From the Desk of your Director of Religious Education

In this month where we will explore what it means to be a people of attention – when’s the last time you noticed who you were eating dinner with?  – when’s the last time you noticed what you were eating?  I mean really noticed.

Starting your dinner with a short meditation or prayer is something that some people and families do  to turn our attention to gratitude for what we have. Here are three examples:

Sent from the families of Boulder Valley UU Fellowship in Lafayette, CO:

“Here’s a grace that Natalie’s kids learned at the UU church in Memphis when they were little (early ‘70’s) and said at home:

May we have eyes that see,

Hearts that love,

And hands that are ready to serve.

Another family shared this grace from school:

The silver rain, the shining sun,

the fields where scarlet poppies run

and all the ripples of the wheat

are in the breads that we do eat.

So when we sit for every meal and

say our grace we always feel

that we are eating rain and sun

and fields where scarlet poppies run.

In our own church in class our young children say this prayer before lighting the chalice you could very well change the word church to home for table use:

This is the church of the open mind

This is the church of the helping hands

This is the church of the loving heart

I’d like to invite you this month, if you have a prayer or meditation you use to email it to director.religious.education@uuberks.org.

With Gratitude for each and everyone of you,


calling my attention

by nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director

deluged

by the demands

of the day

flooding forth

fracturing and

fragmenting

my ability

to focus

on anything

at all

i heave a heavy sigh

and that whisp

of breath

calling my attention

to this moment

here

now

becomes

my spiritual practice


This Sunday:

Worship Service:

Hush

Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees

It is increasingly difficult to find silence in our world, to discover places where we can be in solitude away from the noisiness, busyness, and distractions of life. This morning we’ll explore the need and longing our spirits have for moments of hushing. The service will include recognition of Transgender Day of Remembrance. And we’ll take our once-a-month special collection, this month to benefit Safe Berks, formerly Berks Women in Crisis


Children’s Programming:

RE Theme This week: What does it mean to bring attention to sharing abundance to those around us?

Seedlings (PreK): Maria will lead a group check in on gratitude and transition to playful exploration of what we’re thankful for.

Sprouts (Gr 1-2) & Saplings (Suggested Gr 3-6) :  Two Options for exploring how we treat sharing:

Option  1: Jayné and Rachel to guide an off campus Interfaith Sunday School program where we’ll join 4 diverse communities of faith at local synagogue, Oheb Shalom, exploring “Do unto Otters” RSVP by Saturday on Evite (http://evite.me/gHMFHzr9CV    ) Transportation options are: go as family or arrange own carpool – see evite for more details.

Option 2: Ebee and Bruni to lead Group Elementary class exploring abundance: participating in song, meditation and service.

Youth Group (suggested 7th-12th) :  getting a view of the terrain – Christianity with leaders Mike Mannix & Jeanne Cocuzza


Volunteers:

Usher(s): Laura and Jeff Carson
Greeter(s):Liz Eshelman
Coffee Crew:   Group 4: Rachel Liberatore, Kate Lehman, Corrine Hauk, Amber and Nate Brown.

From the Welcoming Congregation Committee of First UU Church:

Wednesday, November 20, marks the twentieth annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). It was founded in 1999, by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman, to memorialize the murder of another Transgender woman named Rita Hester. Since its’ inception, the TDOR has grown into an annual international observance to remember transgender people who suffered violence and death for simply being who they are.

In 2018, there were 26 transgender people murdered in the USA, and thus far in 2019 there have been 22 transgender people murdered. The overwhelming majority of these victims are transgender women of color.

On Sunday, November 17, we will mark the TDOR with a reflection on the intersection of racism and transphobia. We hope that you are able to attend this service and observance.

INTERFAITH SUNDAY SCHOOL DAY “FRIENDSHIP STORYWALK” 
Reform Congregation Oheb Shalom / Kesher Zion Synagogue, Reading Pennsylvania

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17 FROM 10:30 AM -12:00 PM

Reform Congregation Oheb Shalom / Kesher Zion Synagogue

555 Warwick Dr

Reading, pa 19610

Echoing the teen group’s efforts to learn about other religions this year – the elementary classes are invited to have Sunday School class together with kids from Immanuel UCC, Islamic Center, Kesher Zion Synagogue and Reform Congregation Oheb Shalom.

We’ll be collecting canned food items to be donated and hear the book “Do Unto Otters”.  There’s a facebook page with more information. Please rsvp here so our UUBerks chaperones know who to expect.  https://www.facebook.com/events/707146799759327/

Annual Holiday Gift Tree

Our church community will again be participating in the Berks Connections Pretrial Services (BCPS) holiday gift tree. The gifts will go to families with a parent that is in the Berks County Prison. The gifts are given to the families at a holiday party.

Kent and Rachel Gutzler will have tags available with the child’s information this Sunday, Nov 17th or you can email Kent at kgutzler@goberkscounty.com to request a name.

We suggest a gift value of $25 and no gift cards. Each tag lists interests of the child.

Wrapped Gifts to be dropped off at church Nov 17th or 24th

If you do not want to shop, but want to buy a child a gift, We will shop for you. Donations can also be pooled if $25 is not in your budget, but $5 is in your budget.

Any questions, call Kent at 610-780-5162

Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving

Join us for our annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service Wednesday November 27th at 7 p.m. This year it will be hosted by Immanuel UCC located at 99 S Waverly Street in Shillington.

Community Town Halls–Members Asked To Attend at Least One

The Board and Bylaws Committee will be hosting four Community Town Halls to discuss our new Shared Governance model and interim  changes to our bylaws. The congregation will be voting on these important interim bylaws changes at the Dec. 8 congregational meeting. The Town Hall dates are: Nov. 17, and 24, and Dec. 1 in the sanctuary at Noon. A sign up sheet is on the Gerber Room bulletin board.

Mark your calendars: Dec. 8 congregational meeting with a critical vote in our democratic growth process

The meeting follows immediately after worship. Be part of choosing the next special plate collection recipients, deciding on whether to fly a rainbow flag outside our building, and a critical vote in our democratic growth process toward Shared Governance.Childcare will be available complete with pizza and games.
And don’t forget to sign up for one of the four Town Halls leading up to the meeting. Questions: contact Art Arleth, board president, or Lynn O’Brien, board vice president.

UU History Film Series
Join us for the last installment of the UU Film series on January 12th following service.This video explores the century-long “courtship” between Unitarianism and Universalism, follows Unitarian Universalism through the 50 years of its existence, and ends with some personal comments on what its future might hold.
Save the Date

Save the date for our Annual Service Auction.It will be held on Saturday, April 25th at 6 pm.

General Assembly 2020

General Assembly 2020 is being held in Providence, RI, June 24-28. Members and youth are encouraged to attend. Anyone may attend. Our congregation will also have 4 assigned delegates, who will be authorized to vote on business matters and whose registration will be funded by the Orts UU Scholarship Fund.

General Assembly is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists for conducting business of the Association, exploring the theological underpinnings of our faith, and leaning fully into our mission and principles. Please join us Wednesday, June 24 through Sunday, June 28, 2020 in Providence, Rhode Island for this 5-day immersive experience themed Rooted, Inspired & Ready! Join your faith family at inspirational worship services, informative workshops and a bustling exhibit hall. We anticipate that 4,500+ UUs will gather for this unforgettable experience and leave with renewed energy and innovative ideas for congregational and community engagement.
Registration is Now Open!
Registration is now open at uua.org/ga/registration. Full-time registration is $400 for adults, $250 for high school youth and retired and candidate ministers, $150 for off-site registrants. Early bird registration is now through March 15, 2020. Rates increase on March 16th.
NEW! Registration Payment Plan
Prefer smaller payments over a longer period of time? We’ve designed a payment plan just for you. When you register, simply click “payment plan” when prompted and, for as little as $50 down, you can spread out the balance of your registration over several months. Registration must be paid in full on or before February 29, 2020.
Register for General Assembly Now!

The UUA is committed to the goal of making GA accessible to as many attendees as possible. Go to uua.org/ga to learn about scholarships to support participation – particularly of those from marginalized groups – and volunteer opportunities (work in exchange for registration). The UUA is committed to addressing the inclusion of all people, whatever their abilities might be, in all GA activities. Beyond the physical accessibility of the facilities we use – ramps, captioning, seating cut-outs, etc.- we endeavor to take the next step: to truly welcome people with disabilities into every facet of GA.

Housing Opens March 2 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern
In addition to a variety of nearby hotels, attendees will also be able to book dormitory-style accommodations at two local universities. Also, UUs from local congregations will serve as host families for Home Hospitality, which is B&B style accommodations. Make your hotel reservation beginning March 2 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern. For more information, visit uua.org/ga/travel.

You can learn more about GA here: https://www.uua.org/ga. If we have enough participation, we will look into vans and/or sharing rides. Meanwhile, if you are interested, please add your name to the bulletin board sign up sheet, or contact the church office at office@uuberks.org

UPCOMING EVENTS:

November 17, 2019

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Community Town Halls

November 24, 2019

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Community Town Halls
November 27, 2019

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving

Immanuel UCC, Shillington Pennsylvania

December 1, 2019

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Community Town Halls-

December 8, 2019

11:45 am Congregational Meeting

2 Responses to “Univoice Weekly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *