Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
March 28, 2021

This Sunday:

Our Commitment Shapes Us

March 28, 2021 at 9:30 am

“Inevitably in our lives we commit ourselves to something, whether worthy or not” (quote by Henry Nelson Wieman). This Sunday we will explore how our commitments shape who we are and where we find belonging.

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.

Share the Plate Sunday

This Sunday our special plate collection will go to Berks Stands Up.
Berks Stands Up  is part of a vast multiracial, multi-generational movement of everyday people united in a commitment to the common good and to making real the promise of a society that works for all of us. We organize to win issue campaigns, elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people, and create lasting independent political power.  https://berksstandsup.org/

To make a donation please send checks to the church office made out to FUUBC with Berks Stands Up in the memo line.
The church address is 416 Franklin Street, Reading PA 19602

Tonight – FRIDAY

7:00 PM:

  • For this week’s story – we’re going to hear I Wonder by Annaka Harris (Author), John Rowe (Illustrator)


 9:00 AM

  • Growing Anti-Racist Unitarian Universalists (lower elementary) Jayné (UUBerks) and Marian (UUCL) facilitate our third class email director.religious.education@uuberks.org for more information. pre-registered class;

9:45 AM

  • Seeds, Sprouts and Saplings (elementary ages): in RE Hangout Zoom Room
  • Commitment to Curiosity!: In the past year we’ve experienced had lots of opportunities to get curious!  Come to hang out and play some games this morning!!
  • When we think about commitment, we think first about our Unitarian Universalist commitment to asking questions and being curious. We encourage people to ask questions of wonder. We support people as they ask questions of doubt. Far from outlawing doubters and questioners, our faith places them at the center. So, what’s one of the ways our non-conformist faith guides us into becoming a people of Commitment? It tells us to “Never lose your commitment to being curious!”
  • link sent via Remind 1 hour before class.  If you need access please email Erin (epcjjc@gmail.com)

10:30 AM 

    • For All: This Sunday marks a year of quarantine and living into virtual community.  We’ll celebrate our creativity and commitment to each other and mark what has been lost. 
    • Coloring Sheet: “Roots Hold Me Close and Wings Set Me Free coloring page by DRE at large Jenn Blosser
    • 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): Next class on 4/18.  Keep working on dreaming up what you would like to contribute to our May worship.  If you are a visitor – email director.religious.education@uuberks.org for more information.

1 pm 

Photos Needed For Flower Communion

Once again we will be celebrating our Annual Flower Communion virtually. We have received several photos of flowers but very few with your beautiful faces in them. Please send in selfies of you with your favorite flowers and or gardens for our mosaic bouquet. Photos should be submitted to Melissa at office@uuberks.org no later than March 28th.

Yes, Virginia, There is an Easter Bunny!

Good news, everybody! The Easter Bunny has just emailed me. He has asked me to pass along this message to all of you…

Hello UU Friend! It’s me, the Easter Bunny. I know you’ve probably been wondering what I’ve been doing with myself this year, since it isn’t safe for us to be meeting indoors or in large crowds. But, I promise you, I’ve been quite busy. I’ve been traveling all around the world, stopping wherever Easter is celebrated, and greeting people from afar. See me, in that picture?

Oh!  And, also, I’ve been coordinating with a number of UU congregations – including your own – to bring you a Virtual Easter Egg Hunt!

The UU Virtual Easter Egg Hunt 2021 will go live Saturday, April 3, 2021 – the day before Easter – and remain active throughout April. This way, you can spend the whole month exploring the UU net (did you know a UU actually invented the World Wide Web?)!

The hunt begins here: https://tinyurl.com/z1p2mwqv

Until we meet again, Hoppy Easter!

The Easter Bunny

Contemplative Companions – April 2021

Join us on Monday April 5th, @ 7:00pm when we gather to enter into the heart of Spring. Contact Jane Rohrbach (windowsjmr@comcast.net) or Nadine Smet-Weiss (njw1258@hotmail.com ) for further information; contact Nadine to receive the zoom link for this gathering.

Adore Listening Cafe

 On April 11th at noon, our ADORE team will continue to consider the role of capitalism in supporting  racism, invoking the wisdom of Ibram Kendi, and our own FUUBC community.

Friends and members are invited to participate in this ADORE (A Dialog on Race and Ethnicity) discussion and encouraged to invite others to join in the dialog.

If you have questions or issues logging in please contact g.adore@uuberks.org

Do you need help finding a COVID-19 Vaccination appointments?

First, are you currently eligible to receive the vaccine? If you don’t know, check this page. If you are eligible, supplies are limited so it can be difficult to schedule an appointment.

We want to make it easier for those having problems. If you’re interested you can go here to register or you can call 484-925-1684. You will be contacted by a team member. (To register for the vaccine note that some sites require the patient’s name, D.O.B, address, and phone number.)

Do you want to be part of a team from church to help members find vaccine appointments? We are looking for volunteers to help make appointments and those that need help. If you have access to a computer, you can go here to register or you can call 484-925-1684 (leave a message with your name and phone number). We will hold brief training/best practices sessions beforehand.

“Plant” a Pledge for “Celebrating the Cycle of Connection”

We’re beginning our 2021-2022 pledge campaign as we come upon the anniversary of our congregation’s leap to virtual worship. While there have been challenges for many—changes, surely, for all of us!—there have been positive moments, too, which is why we’re giving the campaign the theme of “Celebrating the Cycle of Connection.”

Pledge team members are sharing thoughts during the Sunday service and you’ll be receiving a brochure about pledging shortly in the mail. Please give it your full thought and consideration … what you have to “celebrate” … where you are in your own “cycle” … and the “connections” to FUUBC that matter to you!

To allow a budget to be put together based on the pledges in time for May’s Congregational Meeting, it would be great to have all pledges in by the end of March.

Pledge Brochure

OWL: Parents & Caregivers as Sexuality Educators

Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley (near Dickinson College in Boiling Springs PA) have graciously invited us to join in their zoom small group learning. Their Director of Lifespan Faith Development will be co-facilitating the course with a parent from their congregation who completed Adult OWL training last year. Many congregations are offering this program as a way to continue support of healthy sexuality education while we are social distancing/online. To look into the curriculum visit www.uua.org/families/sexuality-educators or hear from the curriculum developer herself https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6A55wgm750

Is this something that interests you? Let your Director of Religious Education know! director.religious.education@uuberks.org

Service Auction Update

GREAT NEWS: we hit our target of $16,000!  Way to go UUBerks!

 We submitted the auction Profit & Loss statement earlier this week. Here is the overview :

Total Income $17,710.40
Total Expenses $899.53
Inc. – Exp. $16,810.87

In other news, we made a presentation at the March M&O monthly meeting to conduct a Virtual Basket Auction (have you ever been to a raffle where they place bags in front of all the items and you place your raffle ticket(s) in the bags for the items you are interested in?).  The request was approved.  We are looking to hold it on a Friday/Saturday night in late May.  Watch the Univoice for more information.
If you have any questions or suggestions, send us an email at g.service.auction@uuberks.org.

Thanks again,
The Service Auction Committee

Are you a Young Adult? (ages 18 to 30s) Do you know someone who’s a Y.A.?

Let me introduce you to Y.A.R.N. ! They are creating a community for UUYAs to get together, a small group ministry program, monthly worship series and leadership calls, CONlines, aka online conferences, Identity groups: Black UUYAs, Countering Oppressions. Y.A.R.N. is for UU young adults ages 18 to 30s in the United States and Canada.

You can find us on…

  • Website: uuyarn.org
  • Facebook: facebook.com/uuyarn
  • Twitter: @uuyarn
  • Instagram: @uuyarn
  • Discordemail yarn@uusf.org to request access
  • Email: yarn@uusf.org

Save the Dates: June 11, 12, 13 for our virtual FUUBC Jubilee training!

Do you wish to deepen your understanding of how race and ethnicity play out in our institutions and our daily lives? Are you ready to take a leading role to nurture a multicultural future in the face of opposing cultural currents? Come Join Us for this Life-Changing Weekend! Contact Jean Cocuzza for more details: jeancocuzza@yahoo.com
Registration coming soon!

Who do I contact?
If you have a pastoral concern during Rev. Fees sabbatical you can reach Rev. Sage Olnick at sabbatical.minister@uuberks.org

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

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

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.

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

Counting on Commitments

Commitment means that we act on what we value and hold important.

It’s easy to forget how we act sometimes. One way we can store our commitments is to name them. Name your commitments by drawing them or say them outloud, maybe share them with someone close to you, or write them down. Lighting our chalice can be a way to make our time memorable.

Each time you light your chalice this month, name one way you’ve acted today that was caring, one way you’ve acted that changed something, one way you consciously listened to someone else or yourself, one way you curiously explored your world.

Thank you to Maryland DRE, Robin Slaw, who so graciously has committed to creating and sharing a chalice lighting each month for us to connect with.

commitment is. . .

by nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director

in my head

the very definition

of commitment

is a certain willfulness

a hard core determination

that come hell or high water

i will do whatever it takes to

make it happen

see it through

get the job done

fight the good fight

unto death until

i surrender to life

offering what i truly have to give

receiving all that i need to live

the reciprocity of relationship

restores the balance of

the freedom to be human

reminding me to remember

the definition of commitment

seeded in every cell of my being

is a full and total

yes to life letting go

into love



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