We have been through months of enormous changes: changes in safety protocols, changes in work and school routines. changes in family dynamics and social habits, changes in emotional thresholds for difficulty, changes in how we live out social justice. changes in our willingness to see history. These months have hurled emotions piled high, one on top of one another. It is easy to get lost in the layers of the larger traumas. We can easily lose touch with our ability to effect positive change when things feel overwhelming. This Sunday, we will take a look in our own personal buckets. We will see what needs cleaning out, and what is there that is precious and worthy. Through this exploration, we will re-ground and reconnect with our strengths and intentions, allowing us to focus with consciousness on moving our energy into being.
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.
Missed Last Week’s Service?
If you missed last week’s service you can view the recordings on our Past Services page on our web site at http;//uuberks.org. Click on the “Worship” link on the main menu and select the “Past Service” option.
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.
Tonight – FRIDAY
Story time link catch up on stories you’ve missed in the month of July. Great delivered to you from Erin, Ebee and Maria.
Seeds, Sprouts and Saplings (elementary ages): zoom time with Ms Corinne and Erin. RE Hangout time – explore how we are connected and how we create connections? Contact Sunday Assistant, Erin, firstname.lastname@example.org if you need the log-in info resent
All ages worship :Come to G.A. worship! use or be inspired by the visual order of service
For All: This week we come together to explore what’s around us.
Our congregation’s ADORE group (A Dialog On Race and Ethnicity) invites you to a virtual space on Sunday, July 5 from 11:45-12:45 PM via GoogleMeet. We encourage all participants to share and learn, we will specifically discuss the movement led by the#ShutDownBerks Coalition to close the Berks Family Detention Center in Leesport. To receive updates, join FUUBC’s Immigration Justice group list by sending a request to email@example.com.
Topic: Intersection of Race and Immigration Justice Time: Sunday, July 5 starting 11:45AM MeetingID: cyw-yttw-cjd (Google Meet with closed captioning)
To connect by phone:
1) Dial the phone number: 1-413-758-2375
2) When prompted for the “PIN”, enter: 313 300 242# To help with future dialogues, please give us your input on this very brief survey before July 3rd: ADORE Next Step
Questions or concerns can be directed to Jeanne at 484-529-0915.
A time for silence, sharing and listening from our hearts around the theme of “Active Hope.” If you would like to join us for this gathering (and are not on the group email list) please contact Nadine (firstname.lastname@example.org ;or 484-333-4015) for the “Active Hope” practice sheet and to receive the zoom link for the gathering on 7/6
UU Faith Lab This hybrid online, personalized and small group experience for high school aged Unitarian Universalist youth who’ve completed grades 9th-12th or the homeschooled equivalent will teach you how to discern your own gifts and how to build community with those gift through practicing and co-creating Unitarian Universalism in real time. UU Faith Lab Begins July 10th with an with an online community gathering around covenant. The program runs through July 31st.
Your Central East staff, youth leaders and volunteer adults are working on a private social media space where CER youth can connect with each other this summer. There will be break out spaces like spaces for BIPOC and LGBTQ youth, chances to plan drop in programs like worship, game nights, social events, writing, art, and music sharing and more—whatever the community needs and can create together! For more information visit
Know a young person of color (who’s completed 9th-12th grade) who needs community and space to deepen their faith?There’s still time to sign up for Thrive!Direct them here (https://bit.ly/31BSXF8) to sign the participant form! From there, they’ll get access to the zoom links and our Mighty Network. (don’t forget Thrive is free this year)Want to know the schedule for Thrive this year? Email email@example.com
Over the summer, our minister, Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees, will be taking vacation and study leave time. During that time, she will be responding to pastoral emergencies (deaths, serious illnesses, and crises). For non-emergency pastoral news (a birth, celebration, or struggle), please contact the Caring Circle at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about other church matters, contact our Office Administrator, Melissa Medina, at the church office at email@example.com.
We are evaluating having a Kauffman Chicken BBQ fundraiser in late August/early September. These kinds of fundraisers only work if we have enough volunteers, because the minimum order is 400 dinners (with a $4-5 profit on each dinner). We will need people to
sell dinner tickets in advance to your friends and families (we need
to sell at least 250-300 tickets before the event)
I need a kidney donation for a kidney transplant. Because of my blood type and age, my wait for a compatible kidney from a deceased kidney donor is expected to be as long as 8 years. At the moment there are 100,000 people in the US waiting for a kidney donation.
I feel very uncomfortable asking for help, but my doctor recommended that I ask if anyone would be willing to donate a kidney? Kidney donations from live donors last up to 3 times longer than ones from deceased donations. So, ideally a live donor is the best. Having a donated kidney provides a much better quality of life than doing hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.
The worship team is looking for a few more volunteers who can run the Sunday morning slides during worship. Volunteers are on duty once every 4 to 6 weeks. You will get training and rehearse with the worship team the week prior to the service you are supporting. Rehearsals are held Fridays from 5-6 pmYou will need familiarity and ease using Zoom and slides (we use Google Slides which are similar to PowerPoint) as well as a strong internet connection. If you are interested or have questions, please send a email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 here
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
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 email@example.com or Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
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 email@example.com
I first heard Kate and Justin Miner’s “Tomorrow” in the first days of UU wide collegial collaboration, in that mid March time when we were first trying to swim in this COVID shut down era. I was grateful to Rev Teresa Soto for sharing the Persisters of the First Unitarian Church of Oakland singing this song. It’s washed over me many times over the past few months.
There will be better days…There will be better days…There will be better days…
Finding ourselves in this moment there are days where for our survival we will need to name
I AM ALREADY UNDER. LET THE WAVE WASH OVER ME
In the days after General Assembly – I’m starting to ask how I, how we can stay buoyant in this time of change and seismic shifts. How can I be ready for the better days? Like the story of Elizabeth Cotton told at this year’s Music worship service. We must create persistence. If we focus on our areas of growth – we will keep going. When we focus on the big picture – it doesn’t matter where we make music. It matters that we make it. What music can we make in these new environments – in these waters?
I look forward to us making music and persisting together.
For many normally this season is filled with summer blockbusters. I love a good summer blockbuster. A fantasy or sci-fi or good old Superhero tale helps me stretch my imagination – suspend my disbelief muscles – and dream.
Last week I attended the General Assembly of the UUA. Lots of you came to Sunday morning worship at G.A. this year. The week preceding was filled with our faith’s annual U.S.A. denomination gathering business. Something close to 5,000 Unitarian Universalists from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Philippines, and beyond came together over Zoom to vote on denominational concerns, to learn, to work together, and to worship.
In the days leading up to G.A. I was with my religious educator colleagues and I kept hearing one idea come up again and again.
We Can Not Achieve What We Can Not Imagine!
I’m reminded that so much of what a fantasy like Star Trek imagined 50 years ago is now in some part our everyday world (cell phones anyone?). So in a world where many of us have “normal” suspended. Let’s use this time to imagine! What if we were building this world, this community, this life from the scratch? What would you start with? Who would be in your community? How would you work together? What could you learn? How could you play?