Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
February 23, 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.

February’s theme: Resilience

What Does It Mean To Be a People of Resiliency

February 2020

Things seem like they’re spinning out of control. We can respond to this state of affairs with fear, aggression, and selfishness, or we can respond out of trust in our vast, open, basically good mind, which is timelessly aware, yet empty of imputed meanings. How we respond will determine the way the world will go. As citizens of our world, we can help things go in the direction of wisdom, caring, and compassion.

— Pema Chodron

I am finding the need for a lot of practices and resources to keep my spirit courageous, hopeful, and resilient. I mean, the world is on fire, isn’t it?! Spinning out of control! Rollbacks of environmental protections, the ongoing assaults on people of color, including travel bans, the continued erosion of reproductive rights, corruption. And then add to that the major and minor hurts and losses in one’s own life. It’s a lot to handle.

So I keep returning to basics–to what can help me hold onto my vision of wisdom, caring, and compassion for myself and others. For me, right now, these basics include 30 minutes of yoga every day, walking for 45 minutes 3-5 times a week, using nasal rinse daily, at least 8 hours of sleep every night, daily writing, regular meals and quality time with my partner, snuggling with my cat, staying connected to family and friends, and time to read just for fun. They also include limiting my exposure to Facebook and the 24/7 news cycle, limiting my sugar and caffeine intake, resisting the urge to overwork and overfunction. These are both partial lists, and some of these items sure don’t sound very glamorous. But what I do and what I don’t do (even some of those seemingly mundane habits) matter enormously to my spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.

This month as we explore the theme of resiliency, I wonder, what is on your list of resiliency habits?

Yours in a spirit of resiliency and hope,

Rev. Sandra

There is a love

From Your Director of Music

In this month where we can be bombarded by conversation hearts and chocolates – I’m reminded that while valentines day can get stuck on one kind of love the ancient Greeks identified 8 different types of love.  I’m also reminded that unconditional love, affectionate love, love of self, familiar love, enduring love, and playful love can all help us strengthen our resiliency. For yes while I can tell myself “I can do it” I can also remind myself “I don’t have to do it alone.”

Rev. Dr.  Parker wrote “There is a love holding me/us.  There is a love holding all that I/we love. There is a love holding all. I/We rest in this love.”  One of the ways I find deeper love and I can say those “I/We can do it” affirmations a little stronger is to sing the song that Beth Norton wrote these words for.

6 Hymns that also strengthen and spring me back to life:

6 Just As Long As I Have Breath

123 Spirit Of Life

398 I Know This Rose Will Open

1002 Comfort Me

1013 Open My Heart

1009 Meditation On Breathing


How we hang in there

From Your Director of Religious Education

The word resilience is made from the Latin word re meaning “back” and saliens “the beginning, the starting point, the heart of the thing”.  So to be resilient is to return to the heart of ourselves. That returning?  It’s a journey, a motion. So how do we stay moving and come back to the heart of it all?  One way we can ask that is what do we hold onto in hard times? Another question would be how do we hold on, or move through or….. how do we hang in there in the hard times?

My UU colleague up in Montpelier Vermont,  Liza Earle-Centers, explains it this way:

 When we care for our body and spirit we can be resilient.  So let’s review for our bodies, on a daily basis we have to:

 1) Eat (mostly healthy) food 2) Drink water  3) Breathe fresh air 4) move 5) play 6) sleep

These are healthy body practices.

What are the things we can do for our spirit to keep our spirits strong on a daily basis?  We need healthy spiritual practices! What can those be? Well the difference between healthy body practices and spiritual practices are that while everyone eats, drinks, and sleeps, spiritual practices are more unique for each person.

Here are a few to try out.  Maybe try one everyday for a week, maybe keep it going for the month! Maybe if you have a regular spiritual practice try a short new one for a week and see what happens.  I would love to hear how we feel after our practice tryout:


  1. Hang on to time to sing
  2. Hang on to time to sit quietly
  3. Hang on to time to make some art
  4. Hang on to time to be thankful (gratitude jar is one way to do this)
  5. Hang on to time to look out your window and find one magnificent thing

Yours in Faith and in Hanging in there,

Ebee Bromley

Two resources to find what works best for you to hang onto: 

Faithful Practices: Everyday ways to feed your spirit   ed. By UU minister Rev Erik Wikstrom

Everyday Spiritual practices: Simple Pathways for enriching your life ed. By UU minister Scott Alexander.

Or videos from SacredSkills.org the Fulfilling Service: Resources to Create Sacred Spaces and Experiences

resilience embedded

by nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director

sitting here with my breath i am reminded

of the heart at the heart of each being

infinitesimal spark of light

hidden in each and every form

unfolding through the eons

becoming unending

appears to falter

mystery moves

 spark ignites



This Sunday:

Worship Service:

Building a Community of Communities

, Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees

Whether we consider faith formation, growth, social justice and/or dismantling white supremacy, Unitarian Universalists could use an identity update. This presentation embraces who we are and challenges who we think we are. Seeing ourselves as a Community of Communities changes our future and it is  key to the Beloved Community. Paula Cole Jones is the founder of ADORE (A Dialogue on Race & Ethnicity), a former president of DRUUMM (Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries) and our congregation’s Primary Contact in the Central East Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association. There will be a workshop following the service from 12:30-2:30 pm.

Children’s Programming: 

RE Theme this week: This week we start to look at March’s month – exploring the many
ways our UU faith invites us to become “a people of wisdom.” To get at that, our sessions are each built around five sources of wisdom. The wisdom of UU Sources, simplicity, clowning, story, and our bodies. This week we’ll focus on the wisdom of our sources.

Seedlings: free play with Maria and Barb in nursery.

Sprouts: Story: A Cup of Light by Pam Baxter Theme Message: The chalice is the symbol of Unitarian Universalism, where we seek wisdom from many sources) 

   Remembering the sources of our living tradition (6 kinds of wisdom) _ engaging with the Wonder box and Hearing a story who’s main character uses the wisdom of his reason to figure out how to save his father.  “Sir Cumfrence and the Dragon of Pi”

Youth Group:   Sitting together in worship to engage with Paula Cole Jones’ message.


Ushers: Bill Oberti and Brian Kammerer
Greeters: Liz Eshelman
Coffee Crew: Group 9-Carol Orts,Charles and Bernice Corbit, Mona McCormick, Marta Botch, Colin Row.
SJ Table: Mike S.
Audio/Visual: Thom R.

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

“Building a Community of Communities” Workshop facilitated by Paula Cole Jones– This Sunday

Sunday, Feb. 23, Noon-2pm Paula Cole Jones will introduce the concept of a Community of Communities and guide us in looking at a new, collaborative way to engage with each other in discussion and decision-making. If we focus on the well-being of Communities, will we develop a more inclusive culture? Are there other ways to engage in democratic process? What might it look like for our Principles to be in action, while integrating the 8th Principle of building Beloved Community? Please join us on February 23rd as we explore these questions together.Childcare provided.

Social Justice Coordinating Team Meeting

The Social Justice Coordinating Team Meeting will meet on Weds. February 26th at 7pm in the Gerber room.

Pennsylvania UUs,

On Wednesday evening, March 11, 2020 at 8pm,  UUPLAN will host a UU the Vote zoom meeting for all Pennsylvania UUs.

It’s a chance to communicate about the UU the Vote efforts Pennsylvania UU congregations and partner organizations are planning and doing.

Many UUs from New York, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware and Massachusetts have indicated a desire to come to Pennsylvania to do meaningful electoral work.  We’ll discuss how to connect those folks to congregations and communities where electoral work reflecting our UUA values is being performed.

Susan Leslie, the UUA’s long time “Congregational Advocacy and Witness Director” and a member of the UUA’s Organizing Strategy Team, will be joining us.

Please invite others to attend the zoom meeting.  It will last no more than 1 hour.

Contact me if you have thoughts or questions.

Zoom Info:  From your PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android click this link: https://zoom.us/j/7132347624    
Or by phone:
1-408-638-0968 or 646-558-865
Meeting ID:  713 234 7624

In the faith,

Richard Williams, Director
Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network (UUPLAN)
Pronouns: he, him, his
Cell: 570-793-3316

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.

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).

Contemplative Companions – March 2020

Join us on Monday March 2nd, @ 7:00pm when we explore and reflect upon selections from Mark Nepo’s “The One Life We Have.” Contact Jane Rohrbach (windowsjmr@comcast.net) or Nadine Smet-Weiss (njw1258@hotmail.com) for further information.

An 8th Principle???

What is The 8th Principle and why do we need it? To learn more, read Rev. Sandra’s sermon, which was delivered on January 19. At our Spring Congregational Meeting on May 17, we will vote on whether to adopt The 8th Principle.

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:
Workshop with Paula Cole-Jones
Sun, February 23, 12:00 PM

RE Committee Meeting
Sun, February 23, 12:00 PM

Guitar Rehearsal 
Mon, February 24, 7:45 PM

Soul Matter Conversation
Tue, February 25, 7:00 PM

SJ Coordinating Team Meeting
Wed, February 26, 7:00 PM

Choir Rehearsal 
Wed, February 26, 7:00 PM

Choir Rehearsal 
Sun, March 01, 9:30 AM

Sprouts Leader Meeting
Sun, March 01, 12:00 PM

Saplings leaders meeting 
Sun, March 01, 12:00 PM

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