Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
November 1, 2020

From Rev. Sandra’s Study: Healing

November 2020

Rarely, if ever, are any of us healed in isolation. Healing is an act of communion.

bell hooks

The month of November is marked by the confluence of holy times devoted to death: All Saints Day, All Souls Day, Samhain, Halloween, and Dia de Los Muertos. These holidays honor death and those who have died, and make space for us to heal our losses. What’s particularly healing about these times is that they are occasions that bring families and communities together. Healing indeed becomes an act of communion, as bells hooks calls it.

This month we will have other opportunities to gather to heal. A post-election vespers service as well as a post-election Sunday morning service are opportunities for us to come together after a contentious election. The divisions in our nation, our communities, and for many of us, in our circles of family and friendship have left us angry, bewildered, frustrated, exhausted, hurt, and/or wounded. We need places where we can gather to begin to do the work of healing and to imagine what healing might even look like.

This month I encourage you to consider how you will lean into healing. How might you embrace the pain of loss and the pain of our national divisions in a way that can create more space, more connection, more communion? I look forward to exploring these questions together.

Yours in courage and hope,

Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees

healing breakthrough
by nadine j. smet-weiss


for a


i fought

to hold

all the pieces


until the struggle

became far more

than I could bear

so at long last

i surrendered

to falling apart

simply because

i could not not

it was only then

that i began

to discover

how life is born

of brokenness

Think about a recipe card or a recipe you were taught. Maybe one that you were gifted. A recipe you love from someone who loves you.

A recipe has ingredients. It tells you where you need to put those parts and how you need to introduce each one. A great recipe will not just tell you how much time each step takes but will get you to use your senses to know a step is done. Cook until you can smell the garlic. Wait to flip the pancake until you see lots of bubbles form throughout. Taste the soup for doneness. Listen to when the popcorn slows down and you can hear a pop every five seconds before pulling the popcorn off the heat.

In this month of healing what would your recipe to seek healing or to give healing look like?

What ingredients would it have in it? How much?

In what order would you add each part? Would you fold them in gently? Or combine in a blender?

What temperature does it need to be at? Is this a stove top, oven, grill, microwave, freezer or fridge recipe?

What senses will tell you when the dish is ready to serve or ready to eat?

Share your recipes with me at director.religious.education@uuberks.org


This Sunday:

Dia de Los Muertos

Nov. 1, 2020 – 10:30 am
Join us for our annual celebration of Dia de Los Muertos led by Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees and Cesar Martinez-Garza. This year will feature a virtual ofrenda of our beloveds who have died.

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:


  • 9:45 AM – regular time! 
    • Seeds, Sprouts and Saplings (elementary ages): zoom time with Ms Jayné and Ms Erin. 
    • This week we explore how one of the ways our faith guides us into becoming a people of healing.  It tells us, “Let gratitude heal you!”  We’ll explore what gratitude is and play a game or two with gratitude. 
    • back to our old link sent via Remind 1 hour before class.  If you need access please email Erin (epcjjc@gmail.com) or Ebee (director.religious.education@uuberks.org)

10:30 AM 

  • For All: This week we hear from Cesar Park-Martinez as he welcomes us into his home.  We will share a collective Offrenda honoring our beloved ancestors. 
  • Coloring Sheet:  Chalice Spiral” color as we explore the journeys we take and the journeys we help others take.
  • Activity: Salt Zen Garden. In our month focused on healing we’ll explore another practice. Zen Gardens. You’ll need a container, salt or sand and a rake or fork along with some rocks or shells. more instructions found her

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

UU Faith-At-Home Recipe Book

Each month your RE team likes to offer you resources and gifts that help you practice Unitarian Universalism at home. In this month focused on healing and Thanksgiving we are excited to share with you the UU Faith At Home Recipe Book. Each week on the RE facebook page we’ll explore a different aspect including our chalice, covenant, altar space, worship time and family meetings.

If you would like the recipe book printed and delivered to you please contact director.religious.education@uuberks.org

If you can download and print the book yourself click here for the link.

Thanks to co-author, York, Pa Director of Lifespan Faith Development, Matthew Shineman for sharing his creation with us.

“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):  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:





Also from the NAACP…The Reading Branch NAACP Religious Affairs Committee has developed the HopeLine. A dedicated FREE conference line offering a time together for encouragement, education, prayer and important calls to action where each one can reach one to make a positive difference. The goal of the NAACP HopeLine is to help heal trauma and division in our Community during these very difficult times. Please consider taking the time to join the call every Sunday 6:00-7:00pm and invite someone that you think may need their spirits lifted! PHONE #: (425) 436-6322 ACCESS CODE: 830684

Contemplative Companions – November 2020

Join us on Monday November 2nd, @ 7:00pm when gather together to contemplate Color, and the role it plays in our lives. Contact Jane Rohrbach (windowsjmr@comcast.net) or Nadine Smet-Weiss (njw1258@hotmail.com or 484-333-4015) for further information; contact Nadine to receive the zoom link for this gathering.

ADORE Second Sunday Listening Café

Friends and members are invited to participate in ADORE’s Second Sunday Listening Café on November 8 at noon.  Since this date comes shortly after Election Day, we will give you an opportunity to share responses to the election and the turbulent times that will follow and to practice deep listening.

Topic: ADORE Group Meeting
Time: Nov 8, 2020 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 925 0875 6638
To join from your desktop/laptop/tablet/smartphone, click on this link:

To join from a smartphone with audio only, click on this link:
+13126266799,,92508756638# US (Chicago)

To connect by phone:
1) Dial the phone number: 1-312-626-6799
2) When prompted for the “Meeting ID”, enter: 925-087-566-38#
3) When prompted for the “Participant ID”, enter: 1#
4) When prompted for the “Passcode”, enter: #

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 CircleClick on the link below to meet you 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



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