Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
May 23, 2021

This Sunday:

“Tell Me A Story…”

May 23, 2021 at 10:00 am

How many of us have had our whole worlds changed by another person’s story? A moment of shared connection, a song, a moment of creating together? In this collaborative service, adults and children from our Growing Anti-Racist UUs program will open up their own spiritual toolboxes and ask you to explore yours, too. We’ll be joined by a special guest, Omar Mohamed, who has woven his own life story into an award-winning graphic novel. Together, we will open and explore the ways that story, art, connection, and spiritual attention can help us live lives of empathy, meaning, and justice. Join the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster with gathering music at 10AM, worship at 10:15.

(Please note the time change!)

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

*** For this week the zoom-worship link is connected to Lancaster’s zoom room

(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):

*** different this week since we’re using Lancaster’s zoom room
1) Dial the phone number: 301-715-8592
2) When prompted for the “Meeting ID”, enter: 966 2373 9683#
3) When prompted for the “Password”, enter: 71717

Please plan to log on by 10:00 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’re going to hear Toe May Toe Beloved Community told by Rebecca Kelley-Morgan.


9:30 AM ** earlier time to accommodate worship ** RE Hangout

  • Seeds, Sprouts and Saplings (elementary ages): in RE Hangout Zoom Room
  • Stories Remind Us Who We Are: As Living & Interconnected Beings
  • The theme of story invites us to think of the great story of the evolution of life on our planet. Darwin’s story of

    evolution, of the origin of all of the species of animals and plants on our planet, is part of our Unitarian

    Universalist living tradition. We look to science and reason to help us understand our story as living beings.

    We’ve even put this into our UU principles and sources. The 5th source says we honor “Humanist teachings

    which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science…” So, what’s one of the ways our

    faith guides us into being a people of Story? It tells us “To honor the results of science by seeing ourselves as part

    of the great evolution story and remembering that we are an interconnected part of all living and growing


  • link sent via Remind 1 hour before class.  If you need access please email Erin (epcjjc@gmail.com)

10:00 AM prelude 10:15 worship *** time change

  • For All: We’ll use story, art and exploration to go on a journey with the kids and families in our Growing Anti Racist UUs class. This is a co-lead worship service with UU Lancaster
  • Coloring Sheet: “You Don’t Define Me I Do 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): meeting with Board President Lynn O’Brien to discuss Congregational Covenant. 
  •  If you are a visitor – email director.religious.education@uuberks.org for more information.

11:15 pm 

  • Growing Anti-Racist UUs (both classes!): Q & A with Omar Mohamed
  • directly following our worship service after the Q & A we will have some time to share thanks and celebrate.

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

Join ADORE on May 23rd for a discussion on the the intersection of Capitalism and Racism in the K-12 system.  Bring your insights, experiences and curiosity for an hour after church on Sunday, May 23rd starting at 12.15 pm
Zoom link: uuberks.org/adore

Reflections from Beloved Conversations by Be Young

Dear Beloveds,

I am offering a few musings about Beloved Conversations through Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago.  Because I am white, I am enrolled in the group of registrants who are all white: the other two groupings of study offered are BIPOC+ (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) and Religious Professionals. These segregated groups

allow for focus on issues specific to our categories; in my case white identity and what the anti-racist version of that identity is.  Segregation of groups allows each to focus on its own unlearnings, and the healing each group needs in order to acquire new perceptions of selves and others.

By doing the work that includes readings, videos, discussions, critical friend conversations, on-line meetings, listening, observing and ample provided support, … I am changed.  My awareness of the privilege I have lived is heart breaking and heart opening.

While on vacation, sitting in the car at check-out I began to notice that white people pulled up to the front of the building, cars idling and walked inside to check out.  Persons of color parked along the sides of the building and then walked to the front entrance to go inside.  I am changed.

While observing some pandemic performances on a streaming site, a young man tossed something in the air and suddenly through clever editing, appeared in full costume performing Indigenous dancing, my heart fluttered with respect and awe for a culture I heretofore regarded with detached interest.  I am changed.

During participation in group activities usually online, I am becoming aware of motivation to give my opinion; but am learning to listen and allow ideas to be promoted by all participants while at the same time asking for the group to listen to ideas from persons of color, “I’d like to hear more about what she is saying.”  I am changed.

I am changing by acknowledging the layering of privilege with which I have lived.  I am changed and I am changing.  My hope is that you, too, will join me and opt for this work through Beloved Conversations.  The people who pursued this initiative for our First UU BERKS congregation, and those who continue to encourage others to sign on, are my personal heroes for positive social change.

Register NOW for our virtual FUUBC Jubilee training! June 11, 12, 13

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!

Weekend activities: The training includes presentations, discussions, videos, exercises, and small group work. This 2 ½ day workshop is open to anyone who wants to journey toward making a stand against racism. Church members and church leaders of any faith, as well as non-church members are all welcome!

Our goals are:

  • To develop a shared analysis of racism and its individual, institutional, and cultural manifestations, and
  • To begin to apply this common understanding to the history, culture, and institutional structure of our society, and to envision the next steps in taking action.

Agenda topics include:

  • The history of racism and resistance to racism in the Americas
  • Defining racism
  • The effects of racism on people of color and on white people
  • Dismantling racism
  • Claiming and shaping an anti-racist identity

Trainers are Paula Cole Jones, Dr Leon Spencer and Lutricia Callair.

Questions:Contact Jean Cocuzza : jeancocuzza@yahoo.com ;
for more info and to register visit link below:

Partial scholarships available contact treasurer@uuberks.org to apply.

Special Plate Nominations

We are now selecting the next FIVE organizations we will support during our next six-month cycle. We ask that you nominate and suggest local organizations to be placed on the eventual ballot. By clicking the link below you will find a listing of past Special Plate recipients and the amounts that we donated toward their work.


Please respond by midnight on Saturday, May 29th.

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 Websites 
Our church has 2 websites: one is public and one is private. Anyone on the Internet can access our public website at uuberks.org, but you have to be a member of our congregation to access the private UUBerks Member Info site at
member-info.uuberks.org. Access is restricted, so you need to login with your email address & password. 

What can you find on the UUBerks Member Info site?

  • Email contact information for our staff and all of our committees
  • The current version of the Church Directory, the Member Photo Album, as well as our current budget and board meeting minutes
  • Links to all of our recurring Zoom meetings
  • Help documentation and FAQs

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 and request access.


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.

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

Chalice lighting for our month of stories

From Your Director of Religious Education: 

Our chalice lighting for the month is from Robin Shaw. She asks us to remember our stories. As you read or proclaim her words.

What story comes up for you?

What story do you need to remember?

What story do you need to create?


making story

From Your Spiritual Director

nadine j. smet-weiss



through us

even stories

once silenced

eventually emerge

into the present

like forgotten seeds


may we find

the courage

to be good tenders

of this new arising

to embrace it fully

flaws and all

may we let love

lead the way



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