Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
April 11, 2021

This Sunday:

Contemplative Companions Service

April 11, 2021 at 10:30 am

Join us this Sunday as members of our Contemplative Companions group look deep within, and to the outer reaches of the cosmos, as they explore the role of our beliefs in the process of becoming.

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:


 9:00 AM

  • Growing Anti-Racist Unitarian Universalists (lower elementary) Suze (UUCL) and Marian (UUCL) facilitate our fourth 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
  • Finding Your True Self (Who are you becoming?): Who are we meant to become? What unique gifts can we share with the world? That is for us to find out for our whole lives. Growing into what special and unique about us isn’t always easy.  Society is constantly pressuring us to become something we’re not. So, what’s one of the ways our faith guides us to being a people of Becoming? It tells us, “Resist what others want you to be and become your true and unique self!”
  • 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 we explore what we believe and how we find those beliefs. 
    • 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 

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

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, need the Zoom meeting link or issues logging in please contact g.adore@uuberks.org

Shut Down Berks Honk-in & Vigil
Sunday, April 18, 3:30-4:30
To Terminate the contract between Berks Co & ICE and End Family Detention PERMANENTLY

Honk-in at 3:30pm
Vigil at 4pm across from the detention center
1040 Berks Road, Leesport, PA
Led by Pennsylvania Council of Churches – Rev. Sandy Strauss
(Honk-in—meet at 3:15 pm in side parking lot next to the Berksheim—honk-in to begin soon after that
Watch for signs to locate honk-in & vigil)

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT s.strauss@pachurches.org
Visit the Shut Down Berks Interfaith Witness Facebook page-Facebook.com/shutdownberks/

Proposed By Laws Changes

After more than a year of living into our shared governance model, the Board of Directors and the Bylaws Review Team would like to propose a few needed adjustments to the Bylaws.  These adjustments can be found here –  https://uuberks.org/draft-bylaws Please note that sections that will be struck from the Bylaws have a strikethrough text and are marked in blue. The new wording is written in red.

If you have any questions about these changes, you are welcome to come to a Bylaws Zoom Meeting after church on Sunday, April 18 at 11:30 where we will explain the rational for the changes.  If you cannot attend the meeting and have questions, feel free to reach out to me directly.

Lynn O’Brien, Board President (lynnmobrien@comcast.net)

Delegates Needed for Virtual GA

Are you planning on attending this year’s virtual General Assembly? Consider being a delegate for our congregation. Delegates participate in workshops, and worship services and share what they have learned with our community. If you are interested in being a delegate please contact Board President Lynn O’Brien at  lynnmobrien@comcast.net

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.

Gardening with Family Promise

In the past year, we have listened to many who have asked for opportunities to engage with the clients experiencing homelessness. Family Promise is happy to announce that we are planning an Earth Day of community service on April 17th, from 10:00am-12:00pm at our Meade Street apartment shelter. 

Our goal is to plant seeds and flowers to spruce up the backyard and provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables for clients staying in our shelter. We are also interested in planting a butterfly garden to register with the state conservation department. During this day, our clients will be on site working alongside those who register for this event. Face masks will be worn when within 6 feet of others, and there will be a capacity of 25 people to this event. It is not open to the public and is solely for partner congregation members who want to engage with current clients. We will have a special guest from the Venom Institute, Mr. Rudy Arceo, who will be doing an educational workshop for the children in the program. He will also be helping me plan out the necessary plants and flowers for the butterfly garden, since this is also a specialty of his. . We would love those with gardening experience to grace us with their presence!

Please let Carla know ASAP at family.promise@uuberks.org if you are interested in attending or donating to this project.

“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

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 ;
Register at the link below:

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


UUJusticePA Economic Justice Team presents:
The Road to the Racial Wealth Gap Begins With Inequitable PA School Funding
(and what we are doing about it).

Public Citzens for Children and Youth:  Tomea Sippo Smith, Education Policy Director
Pa Education Law Center:  Maura McInerney, Legal Director
Education Voters:  Susan Spicka, Executive Director

  Join us on April 15th from 7 – 8:30 pm.


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

What are you awakening?

From the desk of your Director of Religious Education: 

We start this month of Becoming off with Easter and each year it is a blessing to hear our trumpeters resound this joyous holiday.  As I grew up in the Unitarian Universalist faith, I always knew the Easter Hymn with Unitarian Transcendentalist, Samuel Longfellow’s, words “Lo, the Earth Awakes Again.”  Those of us who grew up in more Christian surroundings might know the tune as “Jesus Christ is Risen today, Hallelujah”

In our hymnal Singing the Living Tradition (SLT or the grey hymnal), published in 1993, it’s found in the topic section SPRING hymn #61.  Before it we find tunes with words from Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston Hughes, “In Time of Silver Rain.”  After it we find UU hymn writer Carl Seaburg, #62 “When the Daffodils Arrive”.

The hymnal preceding our grey hymnal was Hymns for the Celebration of Life and was published in 1964. This is where the Longfellow text was revised by the hymnal editors to fit the tune Easter Hymn.  The tune itself can be traced back to John Arnold’s Compleat Psalmodist, second edition in 1749.  This song has had a long history of becoming what we need it to be.  In this long winter, what have you discovered, what have you needed, what have you become? What are you awakening to?



by nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director

by nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director


graces my


for now

attending to

my comings

and my goings


my connection to

all that i come from

all that i am

all that I am becoming

day by day

moment by moment

breath by breath






letting go






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