Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
January 19, 2020

When it is determined that worship services should be canceled by the President
of the Board and Rev. Fees, notification will be made on the church voice mail
recording and on the church website (www.uuberks.org) and facebook page facebook.com/fuubc/ by 8:00AM on the affected Sunday morning.

January’s theme: Integrity

What Does It Mean To Be a People of Integrity

January 2020

Loving inclusion has been an elusive goal within our congregations.

We are a covenantal people, and the promise of our faith, which was enough to bring us together, should have been enough to bind us together in love.

Many hearts have been, and often continue to be, broken, time and again.

We are a covenantal people, and the promise of our faith, which was enough to bring us together, should have been enough to bind us together in love.

“The Promise That Binds Litany” by Viola Abbitt

To be a people of integrity is to be a people of wholeness. It is to live into the promises of our faith. And this is exactly what we Unitarian Universalists are striving to be and do. Yet too often our high ideals have been but elusive goals. Too often, we have broken covenant. How can we hold ourselves accountable to our great promises?

Adopting The Eighth Principle will move us closer. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday we will explore how adding an eighth principle can help us recommit more fully to being anti-racist anti-oppression and multicultural. How can this principle contribute to the practice of our faith? At the end of the month, we will explore the need for both individual credos and collective covenants. As individuals we are asked to develop our spiritual beliefs, and, as a community, we seek to respect the bonds of love that bind us together. Being a people who hold ourselves and each other accountable will also move us closer to achieving the great promises of our faith.

Yours in faith and love,

Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees


Calling Us To Integrity – Notes from Singing the Living Tradition

From You Director of Music:
Ebee Bromley

Songs can have the power to call us to the deepest part of ourselves.  To keep our integrity it’s so important to find and re-find that deepest part.  Rachel Naomi Remen from her book Kitchen Table Wisdom writes that “Integrity rarely means that we need to add something to ourselves: it is more an undoing than a doing, a freeing ourselves from beliefs we have about who we are and ways we have been persuaded to “fix” ourselves.”

I wonder what your song is that calls you to yourself? For me there are some great ones.  There’s one that has a history of finding and refinding that deepest part of Unitarian Universalism for many.  Singing the Living Tradition’s “We Would Be One” eventually found its way into our hymnal after it was written for the 1953-54 Continental Convention of Unitarian and Universalist youth by Unitarian minister Samuel Anthony Wright.  This was 10 years before the joining of Unitarians and Universalists into Unitarian Universalism but is sooooooooo a song about who we are together as Unitarian Universalists. This is a song that calls us to as Rev Kimberley Debus writes “to keep showing up.  A call to work, to learn, to listen, to pray, to sing.” for that high cause of greater understanding of who we are, and what in us is true.  May you know your truth, may we listen to each other’s truths. May we hold the truths of how we are together sacred and holy.

Making Integrity

From the Desk of Your Director of Religious Education:
Ebee Bromley

Have you ever played Jenga?  It’s one of my favorites. If you’ve never played you start with a sturdy tower of blocks and then turn by turn you remove one of those blocks from the lower levels and place that block on the top – trying to see just how tall you can get your block building before it falls.  Crash! Big Ba-da- BOOM.

And then we put the puzzle back together to play again or to put it away for another day.  Jenga isn’t about adding more blocks to the tower or taking them away without using them. It’s about using what’s there and exploring how to use it.  Our word of the month reminds me of Jenga. This month we’re asking what does it mean to be a people of integrity. It stems from the Latin word ‘interger’ which means whole and complete.  To be a people of integrity means we need to have wholeness. To be the solid Jenga form at the beginning and the end of the game. To have integrity is to watch how your actions affect you and those around you – is your jenga tower wobbling or is it solid?  When do you need to put a piece back? When do you need to pull a piece out and go out on a limb?

holy honest

From Your Spiritual Director:
Nadine Smet-Weiss

i depend upon you to remind me

who i am at heart and to hold me

accountable for my actions

accountable for my words

from a place in your heart

that recognizes


calls us to

truth in


This Sunday:

Worship Service:

The 8th Principle

Unitarian Universalist has 7 beloved principles that guide our ethical and spiritual commitments. The 7 principles, however, have not adequately dismantled racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions. This morning in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, we’ll explore a proposed 8th principle and consider how it would help us build a diverse and multicultural Beloved Community.

Children’s Programming: 

RE Theme this week:   Elementary classes gather to have children’s chapel together and youth group meets separately

Seedlings, Sprouts, Saplings:   
Children’s Chapel. We’ll be focusing on connections to civil rights era and now, as we come together to share our joys and sorrows, offering (bring a dollar or two), story and group reflection.

Youth Group:
Although a personal credo is always a work in progress and subject to change, Youth Group will be concluding this year’s in class development of our individual credos. If you have completed your credo, you will be giving the opportunity to work with classmates that may appreciate some fresh ideas of finalizing theirs.


Ushers: Carol Orts, Mona McCormick and Mark Burton
Greeters: Karen Nierle
Coffee Crew: Group 4: Rachel Liberatore, Kate Lehman, Corrine Hauk, Amber and Nate Brown.
SJ Table: Carol G.
Audio/Visual: Richard B.

Have you seen our new website?
Check it out at UUBerks.org

Last Chance on Orders for Indigenous books

This Sunday will be the last chance to order our upcoming common read An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States at a discounted rate. Please order on the signup sheet on the Gerber room bulletin board or by emailing office@uuberks.org. If you have not already done so, please indicate on the signup sheet if you would like the young adult or adult copy of the book.

HELENA, CHRISTY and their 8 children NEED YOUR HELP starting Sunday!

We need 17 people to step up as volunteers to bring a meal (6:15pm), stay for the evening (6-8:30pm), or stay overnight (8:30pm-5am). Please sign up immediately via a link from our website under Connect >> Volunteer or on the bulletin board in the Gerber Room. We need:  5 dinner preparers 8 evening host 4 overnighters The children include a 3-yr-old and a and a 2-month old. Come enjoy a meal, play games, and know that you are helping a neighbor in a tangible way. 
Contact Carla at family.promise@uuberks.org or 610-301-4522 for details.

Shut Down Berks Vigils are Resuming for the New Year

Shut Down Berks Interfaith Witness, the Shut Down Berks Coalition & Make the Road PA will host a vigil led by Sycamore House
(Episcopal Service Corps Harrisburg) on Sunday, January 19, 3:30-4:30 pm at the Berks County Residential Center located at 1040 Berks Road Leesport, PA 19533
Parking is available at the buildings across the road from the center.FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT s.strauss@pachurches.org

Visit the Shut Down Berks Interfaith Witness Facebook page-Facebook.com/shutdownberks/

LGBTQ Caucus Meeting

There will be a meeting of the LGBTQ caucus at 12 PM on January 26th in the small meeting room off of the Gerber room. Childcare Provided

Trans Inclusion: Welcome as Spiritual Practice

The Welcoming Congregation team will host a workshop focusing on transgender inclusion in congregations entitled Introduction to a beloved Community: Welcome as a spiritual practice on Feb 2 2020 in the sanctuary at noon. It will run for 45 minutes with audience discussion Please sign up on the sheet on Gerber room bulletin board.

Indigenous Peoples’ Book Read and Workshop led by Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees

Workshop: Sunday, March 29, Noon-1:30 pm (book reading period: mid-January-March 2020)

Join in reading and reflecting on the award-winning book, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. This narrative upends myths and misinformation, reconsiders the U.S. origin story taught in most schools, and presents US history through the experiences and perspectives of indigenous peoples. The church will be making a group book purchase with an exact cost per book TBD. Adult and young peoples’ versions available. Read more here.

Sign up for the workshop on the church bulletin board or by contacting the church office. This program is being hosted by UU Berks ADORE (A Dialogue on Race & Ethnicity, formerly the Racial Justice Education Team).

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:

Family Promise Hosting

Sun, January 19, 12:00 AM

Choir Rehearsal

Sun, January 19, 9:15 AM

Shut Down Berks Vigil

Sun, January 19, 3:30 PM

Guitar Rehearsal

Mon, January 20, 7:45 PM

Membership Committee

Tue, January 21, 7:00 PM

Choir Rehearsal

Wed, January 22, 7:00 PM

RE Teachers/Helpers Winter Retreat

Sat, January 25, 10:00 AM

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