Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
January 24, 2020

This Sunday:

Using Our Imagination in the Service of Connection

January 24, 2021 at 10:30 am 

In her famous poem, Wild Geese, Mary Oliver proclaims, “Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination…”. This Sunday we will consider how to Use Our Imagination in the Service of Connection.

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 hear an imaginative story about what will grow… “Weslandia” Written by Paul Fleischman and Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes


  • 9:45 AM 
    • Seeds, Sprouts and Saplings (elementary ages): in RE Hangout Zoom Room
    • Imagine A Better World – Corinne & Erin lead class this week.  Our faith asks us to use our reason to question what is and imagine new ways to think about things. It’s part of our fifth UU Source, “…heed the guidance of reason and the results of science…” Sometimes people think of science and imagination as opposites, but every good scientist will tell you that you need both imagination and reason to understand the world and to invent new things. So, what’s one of the ways our faith guides us into becoming a people of imagination? It tells us “Use imagination and reason as partners to think outside the box!
    • 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 will use our imaginations to form deeper connections. 
  • Coloring Sheet: “Live With Great Rejoicing coloring page by DRE at large Jenn Blosser
  • 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): Kai and Joanna lead class on Sunday.  Look for an email from your advisors on login information.  If you are a visitor – email director.religious.education@uuberks.org for more information. 

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

Growing Anti-Racist UU’s

Growing Anti-Racist UU’s is a new curriculum created by the UU congregation in Charlottesville with partnership from a credentialed religious educator. The first series of 8 lessons we will be teaching help children in grades K-2 and 3-5 engage with racial justice and anti-bias learning in an age-appropriate way, through stories, crafts, activities, and discussions–all  within the principles of Unitarian Universalism.

“Growing Anti-Racist UU’s” lessons being offered this winter/spring, co-taught by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster over Zoom. We are looking for a rough estimate of the number of families who will participate and dates and times that will work for your family.

Please take two minutes and fill out this poll about lesson time preferences for your children.

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:

  • Stephanie Hullinger
  • Jane Rohrbach
  • Joan Bromley
  • Liz Eshelman
  • 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.

Here is the link to the auction website: uuberks.org/service-auction.

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.

There will be a dedicated Silent Auction page on the auction website where you can view the different items and place bids, if you have registered and purchased a $10 ticket. The first one will open on Sunday, Jan 31 at noon and close late on the afternoon of Saturday, Feb 6. The second one will open on Sunday, Feb 7, and close 1 week later.   Once the silent auction is open, you will be able to access the silent auction page on our auction web site at the link above, or you can use the Auctria Mobile Bidding App (Android version,  Apple Version), Just like on the website, with the Auctria app on your smartphone you will be able to browse the catalog and place bids.  For those power users out there, you will also be able to use the app to place bids directly on Live Auction items, while you watch the Live Auction on Zoom on your desktop/laptop/tablet.

Finally, if you would like to volunteer to help with the auction or have a question/suggestion, send us an email at g.service.auction@uuberks.org. Many thanks from the Service Auction Committee.

Quote of the Week –  “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Extreme economic inequality leads to political inequality which is a large problem for our democracy!  Let’s change that nationally
and in Pennsylvania!

Video (4) – Robert Reich on what election day revealed about progressive policies.
Report – Billionaire Wealth vs Community Health is a report from Bargaining for the Common Good, Institute for Policy Studies, and United for Respect discusses how to protect essential workers from pandemic profiteers.

Fighting for the ‘Democracy We Want’  in Pennsylvania is a long term project to reform legislative rules, reform redistricting procedures, improve voting rights/participation, rminimize the role of money in campaigns, securing the vote with hand-marked paper ballots and reform governmental ethics .

Article – Fair Districts PA explains why legislative rules reform is needed.
Video (18) – Fair Districts presents ‘Dysfunction By Design’ and excellent look at why the legislative rules are at the root of the legislative dysfunction.

Video (98) – a long but informative town hall on judicial gerrymandering.
Fair Districts opposes House Bill 38 to elect state judges by district
rather than by the entire state.
Infographic page on why HB 38 is not a good idea.

**** Action to let your PA State Representative know you oppose HB 38

Upcoming events
Good Government PA calendar with listing of virtual and in-person events across PA and nation.
Tues. Feb. 2, 7 PM – February UUJusticePA Good Government 1st Tuesday
Conference Call – Click Here to join. Consider the zoom video feature.
Thurs. Feb. 4, 7 PM – Fair Districts PA Monthly  Conference Call (1st Thurs)
Fri. Feb. 26, 7:30 PM – UUJusticePA presents “The Democracy We Want Series 2021: What Would That Look Like”. Sign up info coming in early Feb.
Tues. March 2, 7 PM –  All UUJusticePA 1st Tuesday Conference Call  -Click Here to join. Consider the zoom video feature.
Thurs. March. 4, 7 PM – Fair Districts PA Monthly  Conference Call (1st Thurs)

Member Info website

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.

Here are a few common questions and answers:

  1. 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.
  2. I attend services all the time but I am not a member. How do I become a member?  We have a page on our public website with all of the details.  See https://uuberks.org/connect/become-a-member/ 
  3. 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.

UU Berks Technology Hints

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 g.it.services@uuberks.org

Enjoy the latest edition of the Universalist Herald

Closed Captioning Now Available 

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

Contact g.it.services@uuberks.org if you have any questions.

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.

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

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.

Yours in faith and love,

Rev. Sandra

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.

January Soul Matters Chalice Lighting written by Robin Slaw

[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.

all that is

From Your Spiritual Director:

nadine j. smet-weiss

all that is

was once


the seed

of possibility



it cracked


to being

we are

surrounded by

immersed in

made of


our source

our sustenance

our solace

our strength



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