Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
October 25, 2020

This Sunday:

Listening to the Wise Ones: Elders, Ancestors, The Other

Oct. 25, 2020

This morning we’ll reflect on the practice of Deep Listening that honors our wise ones. What wisdom do our elders, ancestors, and the other have to teach us?

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.

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.

Tonight – FRIDAY
7:00 PM:

  • For this week’s story check out this story of Francis Ellen Watkins Harper.  Some of us heard this story back in September.  What part of the story connects with you hearing it this time?


  • 9:00 AM – Different time! 
    • Seeds, Sprouts and Saplings (elementary ages): zoom time with Ms Erin
    • This week we visit UU Church of Lancaster, as the election approaches, we celebrate what is sacred in voting…and we explore the power children have to shape what happens in our community, too! Children in Kindergarten through 5th grade with their caregivers and whole families are warmly welcome.  PJs Welcome!
    • *****Different link this week: 
    • Link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/120250912?pwd=d3RiU0ZuZlRUOGkySHlhbzZFQTFudz09
      Meeting ID: 120 250 912
      Passcode: 067662
      Or join by phone: 929-205-6099, enter Meeting ID: 120 250 912, passcode: 067662

10:30 AM 

  • For All: This week we get to hear what it means to listen to our ancestors, to listen to others.
  • Coloring Sheet:  5th Principle” color as we explore the life of Fanny Lou Hammer.
  • Activity: Use a printed or hand labyrinth to find renewal as you attend worship this morning. Here’s a labyrinth you can print out and trace.  Labyrinth Printable

10:45 – 11:30

  • Youth Group (7th grade & up): meets this week to explore what it means to listen to our ancestors.  Joanna and Kent lead this week.  For zoom link contact Kai Miller. kai@kaifawn.com if you need the log-in info re-sent.

Monday – Thursday 
Daily posts on our new covenanted RE Facebook page
check out our Remind classroom. 
If you need to signup link here: remind.com/join/refuucbc

Re families please take a moment to fill out your child’s RE registration

Halloween Costume Contest

We are doing a costume contest!! Please share pictures all month. You can send them to to our group fb page or Ebee (director.religious.education@uuberks.org) or Erin(epcjjc@gmail.com) ! Not only are we showing our most awesome costumes – but there is a category for best Jack o Lantern

On 10/30 we will hold an online RE Monster Mash hangout and announce the prize winners! There will spooky music and costumes galore – come and dance with your ghoulish RE friends

Our categories are…

1) Best Adults Costume
2) Best Kids Costume
3) Best Family or Group costume
4) Most Costumes posted
5) Spookiest Costume
6) Cutest Costume
7) Best Jack o lantern

Winners will all receive special Halloween Treats….

Rules –
All costumes must be PG – no super sexy UU nurses
You can post as many costumes or evolutions of costumes as you want
You can only win once
You can make submissions until 10/25

We can’t wait to see you all show your Halloween Splendor.

Time is Running out!
Submit Your Photos for our Virtual Dia De Los Muertos Ofrenda

Deadline: Fri. Oct. 23

For our Dia de Los Muertos service on Sunday, November 1, we will be creating a virtual ofrenda. You are invited to submit photos of loved ones who have died and a few lines about each person/creature. The deadline is Friday, October 23 (no late submissions!). You may submit your photos and information to: office@uuberks.org.Please write “virtual ofrenda” in your subject line.

“Caste” Book Discussion Invitation

Join us for a deep-dive book discussion into Caste by Isabel Wilkerson starting October 11th! Come join Lauren Fritz, Joanna Groebel and Rachel Gutzler as we facilitate a six week discussion Sunday evenings, 7- 9 pm on this important book, by this gifted Pulitzer Prize-winning author.  We will be meeting the following evenings from 7-9 PM over  Google Meet (you will need a gmail address to participate): 10/25, 11/8, 11/22, 12/6 and 12/20.

“This is a brilliant book, well timed in the face of a pandemic and police brutality that cleave along the lines of a caste system.” – Booklist (starred review)

“Magnificent…a trailblazing work on the birth of inequality…Caste offers a forward-facing vision.  Bursting with insight and love, this book may well help save us.” – O: The Oprah Magazine

“Wilkerson’s book is a powerful, illuminating and heartfelt account of how hierarchy reproduces itself, as well as a call to action for the difficult work of undoing it.” – The Washington Post

Reserve your place by emailing: office@uuberks.org

Looking forward to a meaningful discussion!

Options for downloading the book:





This fall choir is meeting over zoom every other week.  Each meeting we get to stretch our voices from the comfort of our own homes.  The commute time to choir has decreased to the click of a zoom link and the fun has increased to the speed of a laugh

We have fun at choir!  Singing different songs from our hymnals and from our choir library.

So come join us on: Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 18, Dec 2nd, and Dec 16th

This fall we get to collaborate with Immanuel UCC, and the Unitarian Church of Lancaster to record stirring and beautiful music together. Contact music.director@uuberks.org  with any questions.

Zoom link to join: https://zoom.us/j/877449892
Meeting ID: 877 449 892
One tap mobile
+19292056099,,877449892# US (New York)

UU Berks Post-Election Vespers – Wed. Nov. 4 at 7 pm

Members and friends are invited to participate in an election vespers service led by Rev. Sandra Fees on Wednesday, November 4. The zoom gathering will offer time for us to share experiences, worries, hopes, and concerns following the election. This will be a facilitated time of listening and being listened to.

Join the Zoom Meeting here:

Meeting ID: 384 524 7860
One tap mobile: +16468769923,,3845247860# US (New York)

Join our own Sandra Fees and 2 poet laureates online on Thursday, November 5th:

Meet Your UU Berks Caring Circle

Upcoming Sabbatical for Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees

This Fall, Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees begins her 17th year as our minister. Part of our commitment to her is to provide one month of sabbatical time for every five years of service. The time has come again to afford Rev. Sandra a sabbatical to renew and expand her spiritual, emotional, and intellectual gifts.

The Board has approved a sabbatical for January 1-May 31, 2021. We are pleased to provide this support to sustain and grow Rev. Sandra’s ministry with us and our broader UU movement, and we are confident that her sabbatical will be a time of renewal and growth for us all. We also know that this is a challenging and uncertain time in our world with so many disruptions.

In consultation with Rev. Sandra and the finance team, the Board has approved Rev. Sage Olnick, our Affiliated Community Minister, to serve as Part-time Sabbatical Minister during this time. We believe that this will provide the confidence and support our congregation needs to continue our important ministries.

Rev. Sage will provide a trusted ministerial presence during this time. Her time will be devoted to governance, social justice, and pastoral care. She is not meant to be a replacement for our settled minister, Rev. Sandra, but to provide ministerial support during this time. Rev. Sage’s contract with the congregation includes:

  • providing three worship services each month
  • attending monthly Board meetings
  • facilitating monthly pastoral care team meetings
  • providing pastoral care for crisis situations
  • attending a limited number of committee meetings (to be agreed upon in advance of sabbatical)
  • monthly check ins with the staff (the Board will have supervisory responsibility during the sabbatical)

During the sabbatical, Rev. Sandra will be free of all ministerial responsibilities. However, in the event of a member death, a member testing positive for Covid-19, or a church crisis, Rev. Sage Olnick and/or our Board President, Lynn O’Brien will be in contact with Rev. Sandra.

While this may seem a difficult time for a sabbatical due to Covid-19 and the many disruptions in our world, we anticipate that this timing will ultimately serve us all best. In particular, we hope that sometimes around Rev. Sandra’s return from sabbatical we might be able to once again worship, gather, learn, and be together in person in our beautiful building.

If you have any questions or concerns about the sabbatical, please contact Lynn O’Brien, Board President, or Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees.

The Membership Committee with Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees will host a membership class, directly following online service on Sunday, November 15th.  We will meet in a Zoom session for 60-90 minutes.  If you are interested in exploring membership with a church, please consider joining us.  If you decide membership is right for you, you can be part of the next group of new members we will celebrate before the end of the year.  Please respond to Membership chairperson Mike Mannix at membership.chair@uuberks.org to reserve your spot in the class.

If you are in need of a church directory, would like to update your pledge, sign up for Egiving or just have general questions? Please contact our office administrator at office@uuberks.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
  • 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

Deep Listening
From the Study of 

One of my patients told me that when she tried to tell her story people often interrupted her to tell her that they once had something just like that happen to them. Subtly her pain became a story about themselves.  Eventually she stopped talking to most people. It was just too lonely.

Rachel Naomi Remen

What a difference it makes when someone truly listens to us, deeply, compassionately! When that happens, we come to life. The same happens when we listen deeply to another. They come to life.

In those times of deep sharing and deep listening, we discover the stories of our lives, our own inner wisdom, and the stories and wisdom of others. This kind of attentiveness is such an incredible gift of love when it is offered and received.

Deep listening might seem like something that we are doing all the time and therefore are quite adept at. The reality, I’ve learned, is that deep listening is a skill that requires that I set aside assumptions and judgments – and also my need to interrupt or talk. When I’m able to do that, able to be present, an enormous shift takes place. A holy connection takes shape.

This month as we reflect on and practice deep listening, I hope that we will experience deeper connection with ourselves and each other.

For this month of Deep Listening I can’t help but think about suspensions.  In a lot of ways I feel like we are in a time of suspension.  In music a note that’s holding over from a time before and not quite arrived at someplace else.  I’m choosing to name it ‘someplace else’ instead of ‘someplace new’ because for musical suspensions the melody often leads western ears to a place they expect.  Nine times out of ten if we’re holding out the note ‘ti’ the next note will be ‘do’.   (Cue the Sound of Music ‘Do a Deer’ song)

The beauty of a suspension is the notes moving against it.  We can hear those moving notes so much more clearly because of the note that’s holding on.

In what places are you holding on in your life?  What are you sensing more clearly through this time of suspension(s)?

beyond beneath within

From Your Spiritual Director: nadine j. smet-weiss

step beyond

all the external noise

of the world

slip beneath

the thousands of thoughts

in your head

venture through the rhythm

of your breath

and your heartbeat

to the barely perceptible pulsing

source of life within

sacred space

that deep listening place

i’ll meet you there



Leave a Reply

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