Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
April 12, 2020

This Sunday:

Easter and the UU Flower Ceremony – – Worship Online Via Zoom

Join us for a joyful Easter Flower ceremony that celebrates rebirth and renewal – in ourselves, our community, and all of creation. We’ll reflect together on the beauty and uniqueness of flowers and honor the beauty and uniqueness of each person. You can learn more about the Unitarian Universalist Flower Ceremony here. Please bring a flower with you to worship.

For Sunday’s worship, we are using the Zoom conferencing platform. It is easy to Zoom from a computer, tablet, or phone! Here is how you do it:

  • With a computer, smartphone or tablet, click on this link to participate: https://zoom.us/j/562036166. (If it’s the first time you’re using zoom you may be prompted to download a launcher app.)
  • With a land-line, cell phone, or smartphone (audio only)
    • dial this number to participate: 1-646-558-8656.
    • When prompted, enter the Meeting ID: 562 036 166.

Please plan to log on by 10:20 or 10:25 am so that you can establish a connection before worship is scheduled to begin. Please note that your mic will be muted and will remain muted for the service. Our service concludes with “virtual coffee hour” when members and friends are unmuted.

This week during coffee hour, we will break into small groups for 15-20 minutes of focused conversation.

Missed Last Week’s Service?
If you missed last weeks service you can view the recording here

Are you having trouble connecting to Zoom services?

We have established a Zoom service tech line if you are having trouble logging into our Sunday service. If you do not get an immediate answer, leave a message and your call will be returned momentarily.Dial 484-925-1684.

This Week in RE:
All ages worship
For All: This week we come together to celebrate Easter and our Flower Communion. Attached you will find floral coloring sheets to share at the end of service.

Flowers 1

Flower 2

Seeds, Sprouts and Saplings: From 12-12:30 zoom time with Ebee and  Ms Jayné. We will be using homemade play-dough to explore our world. Link to be sent via Remind. Contact director.religious.education@uuberks.org if you need the info resent.

Youth Group: From 11:45 – 12:30(ish) Joanna and the YG adult leaders will be leading you in an exploration of Theravada Buddishm using a kindness meditation and we will have some time to continue our worship planning for May.
Info for signing on and getting a good connection sent via g.youth.group email. Contact director.religious.education@uuberks.org if you need the info resent..

Giving Options in a time of coronavirus
We know that these are uncertain times and that some of our members and friends are being impacted financially as well as in so many other ways. For those who are able to make a gift or continue to contribute to their pledge, we have added some options. In addition to accepting checks and signing up for electronic giving, you can also now make your gifts from the website and via text. Here are the details:

  • You can now give online on our website UUberks.org by clicking on the online giving tab or clicking
  • You can also give by downloading the GivePlus app on google play and the App store below. You can easily locate our church by zip code 19602

Midweek Mindfulness: Wednesdays, 7:30-8 pm

Join Rev. Sandra Fees for 30 minutes of midweek centering, guided reflection, visual and musical meditation, and quiet. Each week we’ll have a different focus, such as presence, love, nature, kindness, self-care, or grief. Registration is not required but it is encouraged. You may contact Rev. Sandra at minister@uuberks.org to indicate your interest.

To participate:

By computer: https://uuma.zoom.us/j/887301181

By phone: 646-876-9923

Meeting ID: 887 301 181

Covid-19 UU Berks Community Response Fund

April 8, 2020 • 

In response to Covid-19, UU Berks is establishing a “Covid-19 community response fund” as a sub-category of the existing Minister’s Discretionary Fund (MDF). Donations to the “Covid-19 community response fund” will be used to fill critical gaps in the lives of individuals and families in Reading and Berks County that are the result of Covid-19.

Assistance may include one-time payments of phone, gas, electric, rent, or mortgage expenses resulting from lost wages or other Covid-19 related impacts. Recipients will be church members and friends or individuals and families referred by church members. Contributions may be made by check to First UU Church of Berks County (FUUBC). Write “Covid-19 MDF” on the memo line.

You may also make a contribution to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund for the ongoing hardships affecting church members and friends by sending a check to FUUBC and writing “MDF” on the memo line. Contact Melissa Medina, office administrator, at office@uuberks.org or Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees at minister@uuberks.org if you have questions.

Transgender Inclusion in Congregations: Session 2 – Gender and Our Faith Community

On Sunday, April 19, from Noon-1:30 pm, the UU Berks Welcoming Congregation Committee will be hosting the second session of the Trans Inclusion in Congregations series. In this workshop, we will explore the impact of gender and gender roles on our lives, what we’ve been taught about gender by religion, and how gender roles on our lives, what we’ve been taught about gender by religion, and how gender roles show up in congregations. We will watch a lecture together and have opportunities for sharing experiences and reflections. For more information and to register for the workshop, contact the Welcoming Congregation Committee here.

The 8th Principle of UU

In May, our congregation will be voting on whether to adopt the 8th Principle to ground and guide our work toward building the Beloved Community. You can learn more here

Are You in Need of Resources?

Are you experiencing financial or grocery needs? The church community can provide a box of dry-goods groceries on a Thursday for pick up at the church or grocery cards to shop at Giant or Weis. For assistance with these or other needs, please contact by email Rev.Dr. Sandra Fees or the church office. You may call the church office at 610-372-0928 or email office@uuberks.org

UU the Vote: Apply for a PA Mail In or Absentee Ballot

Let’s ensure that we can all vote during the Pennsylvania primary on April 28 by applying now for a mail in or absentee ballot. You can check your voter registration status and apply for a mail in or absentee ballot here

Liberation: Our Collective Longing

If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. ~ Lila Watson

Dear Members and Friends,

Liberation seemed at first to be an ironic and unlikely theme to be exploring in the month of April. So many of us have been sheltering in or in lockdown across the nation and world. So many are feeling anything but free. But liberation is our collective longing now–liberation from this pandemic, from the deaths and suffering, from the fear, from unemployment and economic struggles, from isolation. And along with the challenges the coronavirus has brought are the injustices and oppressions that were already imprisoning people. We see now, perhaps clearer than ever, that “your liberation is bound up with mine.”

So this month, I invite you to join in reflection and conversation about what liberation means to us in this time. How have our understandings of freedom been evolving? What would it mean to live every day knowing that “my liberation is bound up with yours”? What if liberation means letting go–letting go of what we think is “normal,” of bad habits, of consumer culture, of our over-insistence on individualism?

As the month of April unfolds and the natural world continues to bless us with its splendor, I wonder, in what ways are we learning to liberate ourselves and each other. I look forward to reflecting on these questions in community.

Yours in faith, love, and hope,

Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees

Practices for Liberation through Song

From your Director of Music  

  1. Try Mindfulness by listening to the world around you – take 2 min or even 30 seconds to disengage from what you’re doing and notice what’s around you.
  2. Try Mindfulness by listening to yourself – What is the ear worm in your head connecting you to and telling you about the moment?
  3. Try Mindfulness by doing – we are embodied beings.  This time in our lives, many of us are being called to use our bodies less or use them in different ways than usual by distancing.  Music is the way that we can have an embodied connection across distance!
    • So use your bodies the way you do best, maybe that’s singing, maybe that’s playing an instrument, maybe that’s turning your stereo up real loud and dancing your hearts out – maybe it’s turning it up loud enough so your neighbor can dance with you too! (make sure to ask first on that one!)
    • Here’s a playlist on liberation to get you started



From your Director of Religious Education 

Many of us might feel stuck right now. We might feel stuck at home. It could be that you feel stuck with different schedules than you’re used to. It could be that you’re stuck with different ways to hang out with friends.

One way to free ourselves from feeling stuck is to make a game of it! This is a challenge we get to win! Check out these UU kids from Fort Myers, Florida and take their challenge up – the Chalice Challenge!!

I’m looking forward to seeing how you take up the chalice challenge! The Image for today’s post is a drawing of our UU chalice from David Snedden of Morristown, NJ


to be free


by Nadine J. Smet-Weiss

Spiritual Director

the greatest liberation

i        have   found

lies       in presence

fully       here now

open     and opening



           to soar

Upcoming events

Choir Rehearsal -Via Zoom
Wed, April 15, 7:00 PM

Midweek Mindfulness-Info above
Wed, April 15, 7:30 PM

Worship Tech Practice
Fri, April 17, 5:00 PM

Trans Inclusion Workshop
Sun, April 19, 12:00 PM

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