In Rev Theresa I Soto’s poem “Remembering the Future,” they write “Can we develop the skill of remembering the future? Can we commit to build the community that will extend into a time that we only know by memory because it will outlast us? Memorize the compass points of the day yet to come: the truth, the love, the fire, the endless yes of the horizon. Shake the scales from your imagination: Reach. Stretch. Rise. There is no more time for pretending that everything can be all right without your care, without your attention…”
Join us on this MLK Sunday to let our music ‘shake the scales from your imagination: Reach. Stretch. Rise.”
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 read a profound story about responsibility connected to the communities we live in… “It’s Not My Problem” adapted from a Thai folk tale for UUA’s curricula “Moral Tales“
Seeds, Sprouts and Saplings (elementary ages): in RE Hangout Zoom Room
Imagine A Better World – Jayné & Erin lead class this week. In this second class we’ll dream up what Rev Dr Martin Luther King’s speech would sound like if it was delivered today.
This past Sunday we reflected and explored using our imaginations to help us cope and keep moving forward. We named the harsh realities and many feelings that have arisen after the events of the past week in our country. Rev Sage would like to share with you the prayer, adapted from the words of Rev Kristen Grassel Schmidt, she led during the service.
Spirit of Life,
It is all too easy to dismiss the violence done,
The hatred stoked,
The threats made
As the work of a few hundred extremists.
It is all too easy for so many people to live their whole lives
Without noticing that we live inside an empire with liberty as its brand
Yet which draws its power from fear and suppression,
Inequality and commodification.
It is all too easy to trace precisely how we got to where we are
And it will be much more difficult to get ourselves out of this mess.
We pray this morning for all now living with the trauma of having to barricade in the Capitol building.
We pray this morning for those who live in constant fear of racist violence.
We pray this morning for all who bear the scars, inner and outer, of police brutality, for all who have been teargassed and billy clubbed while protesting peacefully for freedom who have now seen just how capable the police are at not using deadly force when they don’t want to.
We pray this morning for all those who lost their lives and were injured on Wednesday.
We pray for those of us who are sick and tired of praying, who don’t want to spend any energy on those whose appalling behavior has led to loss of life, whether through violence or the spread of this virus.
It is all too easy to believe the lie that this is the way things have to be,
That it’s not realistic to dream of a better way,
A better world,
A better way of being with one another.
May the spirit present, in all work for freedom,
the power that brings down the mighty from all manner of thrones,
the force that sends the rich empty away and fills the hungry with good things,
May the spark of divine goodness in each and every human being
be in us and with us and among us in these days and always.
For another world is possible,
If we can only imagine it first.
May our prayers, meditations, and actions embolden us to support one another and foster the Beloved Community of justice we know is possible. Amen. Blessed be.
Splinters from you Board of Director’s Meeting:
An email will be sent to encourage those who have not attended a Heart storming session to attend the session that will be held after service on Jan 31st.
Nominating committee of Shelly Kauffman, Carol Orts, & Cesar Martinez-Garza will begin a search for the next board member to replace Cesar, who’s term is up in May.
Board will collectively put together a service auction donation.
The Board would also like to extent their gratitude to the members of the caring circle for their continued dedication:
Mary Jo Weishampel
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 two weeks (Jan. 31 – Feb. 14) and Zoom to conduct the live auction on Saturday night in the middle of the two weeks.
You will need to register and purchase a $10 ticket to be able to bid on Silent & Live Auction items. A single ticket can be shared by everyone in your household that is on the shared Zoom connection. If you just want to watch the Live auction, there is no fee, just join the Zoom meeting. We will be sending out the Zoom meeting details closer to the event.
As part of the registration process, you will be asked for a credit card number because we will be using the website to collect payments. This will make it much easier for us, but if you don’t want to use a credit card, we can register you to pay with a check that you can mail to the church. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 484-925-1684 for this option.
These instructions may make it seem that the registration process is difficult, but it is not. We are using a standard registration form offered by Auctria website. Millions of people have used this form successfully, including a dozen of our own members. Finally, if you would like to volunteer to help with the auction or have a question/suggestion, send us an email at email@example.com. Many thanks from the Service Auction Committee
Insurrection in D.C. – what can we do next?
This is a time when white supremacy has shown its face one more time as it has so often in the past of the United States. However, this time it was a little different. Instead of white violence against people of color -Indigenous people, Black people, Brown people, and people of Asian descent, it was mainly white-on-white violence as white terrorists attacked the Capital police forces. Unlike the peaceful Black Lives Matter actions that were greeted by heavily armed and aggressive forces, these white terrorists – who had coordinated a planned action openly on-line to invade the capital building with force – were met with lightly armed and sometimes sympathetic law enforcement. The obvious racism of the response was impossible for most of us to miss, and many folks are wondering how best to respond.
1st This is a time for you to finally have that conversation you have avoided with your family and neighbors about white supremacy.
2nd Here are 4 action steps that Movement for Black Lives (an organization promoted by our Unitarian Universalist Association and Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism) is asking people to do.
Sen. Bob Casey: toll free – (866) 802-2833; Berks County – (610) 782-9470
Sen. Pat Toomey: toll free – (855) 552-1831; Berks County – (610) 434-1444
It is also worthwhile to go to the website of both Sen. Casey and Rep. Houlahan as both are soliciting public opinion on impeachment and Amendment 25
Call your Senators and Representatives (202-224-3121) and leave messages demanding the following things:
The Senate must convict and remove Donald J. Trump from office immediately
Expel each member of Congress who has fanned the flames of white supremacist violence and has participated in the effort to stop the certification of the electoral college
Elected officials both at the federal level and state level must publicly renounce this white supremacist attempted coup as well as the accompanying attempts to retroactively disenfranchise the votes of millions by overturning the democratic results of this election
Abolish the Electoral College
3rd Stay in touch — Open and read emails and Univoice Weekly posts from the new 8th Principle Action Team (see more details about this team in the 4th action step). We will be proposing concrete steps you can take. You may want to print out, tag, or file this email so that you have the legislative phone numbers needed for this and other future actions.
4th Join the new 8th Principle Team at FUUBC, which will be focused on taking action on racial justice issues in our church and larger community. For starters, we will work to organize on-line advocacy pieces (like the one in this email) that church members/friends can use, as we continue to gather remotely for church activities. We need people to help produce mailings like this one and to think of and do things we have not yet imagined. If you are interested, please contact Tonya Wenger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-344-9997.
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.
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
From Sandra’s Study
January 2021 – Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees
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.