Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
March 8, 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.

March’s theme: Wisdom

What Does It Mean To Be a People of Wisdom?

There are many ways to seek wisdom. There is travel, there are masters, there is service. There is staring into the eyes of children and elders and lovers and strangers. There is sitting silently in one spot and there is being swept along in life’s turbulent current. Life itself will grant you wisdom in ways you may neither understand nor choose.

~ Kent Nerburn

Wisdom is everywhere and nowhere. It is within our reach and often elusive. It is outside us, beyond us. We can spend our lives seeking it–acquiring more and more experiences, accumulating knowledge, and looking to gurus and masters for meaning and guidance.

But sometimes we need to stop and see how wisdom is showing up from within us. Listening to our own teacher, to our own intuition, our inner voice, can be powerful and profound. How well are you doing at listening to your own inner teacher as well as heeding the counsel of others? When’s the last time your still small voice gave you just the insight you needed all along? This month as we explore the many sources of wisdom, be sure to take time to explore your own inner voice. It just may be the key that unlocks some wisdom you’ve been waiting for.

Yours in love,

Rev. Sandra

Balancing Knowledge and Wisdom

From your Director of Music
Elizabeth Bromley

“Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification. ”

– Martin H. Fischer

In rehearsal we focus on the balance between piling up of skills and then in performance we strive to let all of the details go and focus on the moment at hand.

In rehearsal we’re focused on the rhythm and the notes and the text and the dynamics And and And and And…..

Letting all of the details become one simplified idea can be so hard.

All of the details can seem so important that engaging with the whole picture, the whole piece of music can become challenging.

It is often only in a dress rehearsal, the time right before a performance, that we give ourselves permission to move away from the details and experience the whole piece.

Great conductors know to check the “balance” of an ensemble.  Either they’ll ask someone to move to the far corners of a room and report what they hear to the conductor or they themselves will move away from right in front of the group and conduct from a further distance than normal to hear how the different sounds are blending in the room.  Are the lower sounds louder than the higher sounds, can we hear each individual part or are some parts not coming through?

The simplification comes when we can create distance from the piece we’re focusing on and it truly helps our wisdom when we can share our perspectives with many folx.  In what ways is it easy for you to find a “balcony perspective” with moments in your life? In what ways do you need to ask someone else to share with you their “balcony perspective”?

In Harmony,

Ebee Bromley

The Wisdom of A Wise Old Owl

From Your Director of Religious Education
Elizabeth Bromley

A Wise Old Owl

A wise old owl lived in an oak.
The more they saw the less they spoke.
The less they spoke the more they heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?

Wisdom shared to you from the SoulMatters Religious Education Materials for our Seeds class (PreK-K group).

Questions to play with in this month of wisdom:
What helps you see, hear, smell, touch & taste your world?
How can you experience more of your world this month?

Yours in the wisdom of questions,

Ebee Bromley,
Director of Religious Education


by nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director







This Sunday:

Worship Service:

The Wisdom of Our True Natures

Ancient wisdom advises us to listen to our inner voice, the still small voice. When we do, we come closer to our own true nature and learn to honor the wisdom within.

Children’s Programming: 

RE Theme this week: This week we continue to explore 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.  

Seedlings:  Maria Lead group exploration on wisdom of children through activities and hearing the folk tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”

Sprouts:   Using “The Emporer’s New Clothes” folk tale to explore what can happen when the world goes topsy turvey!

Saplings:    Exploring the Wisdom of our UU Sources by celebrating Pi Day! Hearing the story Sir Cumfrence and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander

Youth Group:     Buddhism – Map Sunday – we start our unit on Buddhism with Joanna Groebel taking the lead. Joanna is a life long UU who has been attending a local Sagha for many years. You’ll get a glimpse at what Buddhism is all about with exploring the 8 fold path and the 5 main types of Buddhism.


Ushers: Jeff and Laura Carson
Greeters: Liz Eshelman
Coffee Crew: Group 2: Sage Olnick, John and Mary Jo Weishampel,
Steph Carter and Janelle Bentz, Priya & Edwin Aitken.
SJ Table: Frank W.
Audio/Visual: Mike M.

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

Members, Please Beware: Church Phishing Scam Using Fake Email

Dear members and friends, please beware of any suspicious emails you may receive attempting to impersonate me and asking you for gifts cards or money. Many ministers and congregations are being subjected to these phishing scams. The way it works is that someone creates a fake email address impersonating the minister’s. They send the email

 out to church members asking the recipient to purchase gift cards to help out someone desperately in need with the promise to pay them back.

This week a few of you received such a phishing email from someone impersonating me. (My account has not been hacked.) Please do not respond to these emails and be sure to block them.

Also note that my correct church email address is: minister@uuberks.org. Please do not use or respond to any other email addresses for me. My apologies for any inconvenience.

Rev. Sandra (minister@uuberks.org)

“Building a Community of Communities” with Paula Cole Jones

Did you miss Sunday’s service or want to hear Paula Cole Jones’s presentation again? Listen to the complete “Building a Community of Communities” presentation from General Assembly 2019 

SAVE THE DATE! Sunday, April 5th – it’s a double-feature!

12pm – Shut Down Berks training at First UU Church of Berks County (co-sponsored by Sunrise Movement Berks). This training is open to new comers and those that have been doing the work before. 

3:30pm – monthly Shut Down Berks vigil at the Berks County Family Detention Center (led by Cabrini University and Saint Joe’s University students) #ShutDownBerks #EndFamilyDetention

1040 Berks Rd, Leesport, PA 19533 .Parking is located across the street from the center.

Ruth Epler needs to find a home for her beloved cats

These two beauties are looking for a new home. Pumpkin is about 12 yo and Tommy is 7. They are best buds, have had regular vet visits, including all their shots. They are friendly and indoor only. All their toys, litter box, etc. can go with them. Their “mom” Ruthie Epler has to move and they can’t go along.Please contact office@uuberks.org if you might be able to offer them a home.

How Your Pledges Can Help Us “Toward Full Flowering

Our annual pledge campaign has begun with reflections from Stewardship chair Jim Beidler and member Dennis Williams, seeking commitments for the 2020-2021 fiscal year that begins July 1. This year’s campaign is built around the theme “Toward Full Flowering,” asking members to consider their pledges as a way of helping the congregation do “more.” Brochures and a letter about the campaign were mailed and distributed in the last week. Copies of brochure are also available after church each Sunday in the Gerber Room.

As an additional incentive to make this “more” happen, we have secured a promise of a “matching grant” from a generous member who will add dollar for dollar up to $10,000 for those who are able to increase their pledges for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The pledges of new members or previously unpledged members will count toward this match, too.

To allow a budget to be put together based on the pledges in time for May’s Congregational Meeting, it would be great to have all pledges in by the end of March.

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

uuberks.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/indigenous_ya_original_photo_1_0-1004×1024.jpg 1004w, uuberks.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/indigenous_ya_original_photo_1_0-768×784.jpg 768w, uuberks.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/indigenous_ya_original_photo_1_0-1505×1536.jpg 1505w, uuberks.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/indigenous_ya_original_photo_1_0-1320×1347.jpg 1320w, uuberks.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/indigenous_ya_original_photo_1_0.jpg 1920w” width=”294″ style=”border: 0;height: auto !important;outline: none;text-decoration: none;-ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic;”>

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).

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:

Choir Rehearsal

Sun, March 08, 9:30 AM

Guitar Rehearsal

Mon, March 09, 7:45 PM

Board Meeting

Tue, March 10, 7:00 PM

Choir Rehearsal

Wed, March 11, 7:00 PM

Choir Rehearsal

Sun, March 15, 9:30 AM

Sustainer’s Brunch

Sun, March 15, 12:00 PM

Leave a Reply

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