As we begin 2021, I’ll be on sabbatical. It’s an interesting time to take a sabbatical. I’ve been spending time thinking about these coming months and how to spend this time in ways that provide spiritual, emotional, and intellectual renewal.
I’m looking forward to some simple pleasures – like cooking more, putting together puzzles, and playing cribbage. I expect to read more novels and write more poetry, as well as take an online writing class. However, I do expect to spend far fewer hours on zoom! I hope to paint my home study, but first I’ll need to settle on a color, which is part of the fun and a project in and of itself. And while I won’t be doing any international travel, I do expect to have a few adventures locally and regionally, including spending some time at an ashram in the Catskills. So much, of course, depends on the pandemic and the weather. The truth is I’m content to live in the now, finding my way in the months ahead, putting the pieces together as I go.
As I begin this sabbatical, I do so knowing that the congregation is in capable hands. We have incredible leadership in our Board, M&O, committees, and staff. Rev. Sage Olnick, our part-time sabbatical minister, will provide a trusted ministerial presence. This will be a time of growth and learning for the congregation, a time when you all come together even more than ever to engage the ministries of the church.
I’m truly grateful for this time to catch my breath and to be. I’ll miss you. And I’m hopeful that upon my return – or soon after – there will be ways for us to gather in person once again either in small groups or even possibly larger ones.
This month we get to go on a journey. This journey will be one with infinite possibilities! Where we’ll go is only limited to the limits of our imaginations. Will you go on this journey with me?
I wonder what the journey will look like. Where will we go? What will we do? What will our world look like? – sound like? – taste like? – smell like? – feel like?
I’m so excited to go on this journey with you! Each Monday I invite you to light your chalice with the “Month of Imagination” chalice lighting words from Robin Slaw and use a time afterwards to dream, to travel to a place in the future where something is different – then make a representation of it.
Craft. Draw. Write. Move.
Where will our imaginations take us? Let’s find out.
[picture is of night sky with a wooden ladder propped against a crescent moon. Chalice lighting words on top of image by Robin Slaw read: In our imaginations we can become anyone, anything, anywhere. In our imaginations, we can dance with fairies, ride dragons, make friends with unicorns, and breach with whales. In our imaginations, we can help everyone, be strong and brave, make sure the world is fair. In our imaginations, we can build the world of our dreams, with no pollution, no wars, nothing going extinct. As we light this chalice, may our imaginations inspire us to dream big, bring change, heal the world. Amen, Blessed Be.
For too long, our world has been crowded with terrible things and our energies focused on survival. Now we stand at the beginning of what could be a vast reimagining of what’s possible, but it’s not easy to think big with a scarcity mindset. Let’s stretch ourselves to create a shared vision of the world we want — one of healing and abundance, equity and grace — not just what we don’t want.
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: uuberks.org/zoom-worship (If it’s the first time you’re using zoom you may be prompted to download a launcher app).
To connect by phone (audio only):
1) Dial the phone number: 1-646-558-8656
2) When prompted for the “Meeting ID”, enter: 999-805-145-23#
3) When prompted for the “Participant ID”, enter: #
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.
Tonight – FRIDAY 7:00 PM:
For this week’s story – we celebrate the new year and use our imaginations for what this year can hold. We’ve come along way and there’s a whole world and year ahead of us – let’s explore how it can unfold with Carole Martignacco and Joy Troyer’s The Everything Seed.
9:45 AM (suggested)
Seeds, Sprouts and Saplings (elementary ages): in your own time and spaces
Wait for Freedom – We are learning about anti- racism. We learn that on New Year’s Eve there is a church service called Watch Night. This is when enslaved Africans watched all night for news that they would be free. So what does our faith tell us? It tells us, “Learn about what it means to wait in the stillness for freedom to come!”
Join us on Monday January 4th, @ 7:00pm when gather together to imagine. . . . Contact Jane Rohrbach (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nadine Smet-Weiss (email@example.com or 484-333-4015) for further information; contact Nadine to receive the zoom link for this gathering.
Martin Luther King called on us “to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies.” On the next Second Sunday Listening Café on January 10, we will consider the assertion that capitalism is a root cause of racism. Friends and members are invited to participate in this ADORE discussion beginning at noon and encouraged to invite others to join in the dialog.
Topic: ADORE Group Meeting
Time: Jan 10, 2021 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 936 1106 9747
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,,93611069747# US (Chicago)
To connect by phone: 1) Dial the phone number: 1-312-626-6799 2) When prompted for the “Meeting ID”, enter: 936-110-697-47# 3) When prompted for the “Participant ID”, enter: 1#
Did you catch the presentation at the December 2020 Congregational meeting on our new private Member Info website: member-info.uuberks.org ? Do you still have questions or need some help accessing it? Use the link below to register for either a 1-on-1 help session and/or an introduction to the website via Zoom. You can also use the form to just post a question about the private Member Info website. https://uuberks.org/member-info-signup
Here are a few common questions and answers:
Why do I have to login to access this site? This site is private and the information on it is for members only. By having a login, we can restrict access to those individuals that are FUUBC members.
I have a Google account, but I don’t remember my password. (1) Go to the Google login page at accounts.google.com, (2) enter your email address, (3) click on the “next” button and (4) click on the “Forgot password” link.
Mark your calendars now: Our FUUBC 2021 Service Auction is on Saturday, February 6th @ 6 PM. This auction is not the same as other years, our primary motivation in this isolating time: Come together as a community, hence our theme “UU Heart to UU Heart”.
Following social distancing recommendations during COVID-19, our auction will be conducted fully online. We will be using an online auction website to host the silent auction for the week before and Zoom for a mixer & to conduct the live auction on Saturday night.
Have you seen our Donation Ideas page? If you are not sure what to donate, take a look for some ideas. We have found all kinds of suggestions from past auction catalogs and from other UU service auction sites and posted them on this page. I like the idea that I saw on another UU page of purchasing 2 extra tickets to an event and putting them up for sale — it is a great way to get to know other members and it helps out our church. Homemade food items like pickles, sauerkraut, salsa or homemade fresh bread are really nice too. My favorite idea is a guided tour of a few Lancaster county covered bridges with the last stop at the Victory Brewing Company.
Finally, We need your help. Service auctions only work if there are items to bid on and people volunteer to help make it happen. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, your suggestions & offers to help.
Did you know that we record every church service that we host on Zoom? We use our UUBerks YouTube account to host those recordings.
To find the recordings…
1) Open up a web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari,…) and navigate to our home page at uuberks.org
2) Once the page opens, click on the (2) Service Archive button. It is in the green box on the right side of the screen
3) The Past Worship Services page will open in the browser window. The services are sorted from “newest” to “oldest”. Click on the title of a service to find the video.
4) A dedicated web page for the service will open. At the bottom of the page, there is a video widget that you can use to view the recording. Click on the play button in the middle of the video widget to watch the video.
5) Once the video starts to play, you will see some buttons in the bottom of the video if you move your mouse cursor over the video widget. Click on the (1) CC button to turn on closed captioning, and click on the (2) Expand button to make the video full screen . There is also a pause button (not shown in the image below) , in the lower left-hand corner that you can use to pause the video so that you can refill your coffee cup.
If you have any questions about this hint or other technology issues, contact UUBerks IT Services at email@example.com
Closed captioning is now available for Sunday service. Please note that not all Zoom virtual meeting rooms/meeting IDs have closed captioning. You will need to be using a current version of the Zoom Client App (the latest version is 5.4.1).
Each participant will be able to toggle closed captioning on/off if the Zoom meeting room has it enabled.
To turn on closed captions, click on the “Closed Caption” button in the Zoom menu bar and then select “Show Subtitles.” Once it is turned on, you can adjust the font size by clicking on the “Closed Caption” button again and selecting “subtitle settings”. Note: if the button doesn’t show up on your Zoom menu bar, most likely closed captioning is not available in your current Zoom virtual meeting room.
We have created a short YouTube video to demonstrate how to use Zoom closed captioning. Here is the link to the video: https://uuberks.org/zoom-cc
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.
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 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