Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
June 6, 2021

Go Slowly, Hold Lightly

Dear Members and Friends,

I return to UU Berks from sabbatical rested, renewed, inspired – and missing you! I am eager to reconnect and looking forward to gatherings and conversations, hearing your stories and discovering what is on your hearts and minds. If you’re wondering “What I Did on My Sabbatical,” don’t miss Sunday’s service, which will include a short slideshow on just that topic.

I am more grateful than I can fully express for the sabbatical time, which my body, mind and spirit needed more than I realized. I am so grateful for the compassionate and heart-centered shared ministry during this time. I am reminded once again of what a privilege it is to serve this incredible religious community. The Board, M&O, Pastoral Caring Circle, Rev. Sage Olnick, Ebee Bromley, Melissa Medina, Erin Connolly, the pledge and finance teams, the worship tech team, nominating committee, social justice team, auction team, and so many others have nurtured, deepened, and supported church life in 2021.

I return at a pivotal time of significant transition in our church and nation. Like so many of you, I am eager for us to gather again in our beautiful building for worship and programs. The CDC’s newest guidelines offer bright points of hope. At the same time, as a church community we have some additional work to do before we return to our building safely and in keeping with our commitments to inclusivity.

And – I am excited about the possibilities that await us for the year ahead. One of the many things I reflected on during the sabbatical is the importance to “Go Slowly, Hold Lightly.” It’s a healing message that invites me to be gentle with myself and others, especially during intense times of transition and adaptation.

I am so hopeful for the many ways that we will gather, deepen the bonds of our UU faith, and embody our covenantal relationships.

Yours in love, gratitude and hope,

Rev. Sandra

This past March I finished up three years worth of coursework to complete the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Music Leadership Certification program.  I’ve been grateful to have the support of this congregation as I’ve worked and played my way through.

I owe deep gratitude to Susan Peña, who served as my sponsor from UU Berks, my advisor from the Association of Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries, Bailey Whiteman and to Rev Dr. Sandra Fees for playing with me over these years.

Over these past few years I have so enjoyed learning what connects us to music.  Each year I was asked to develop and then refine a philosophy of music ministry.  It was a time I could play with words, changing one in for another, moving a sentence, or turning an observation I had from the past year around and around until it fit better in my head.

Three years ago my philosophy started out focusing on the immediacy of music and church.  Music is made in one moment in time.  We are a congregation not for our walls, doors and pews but for the people that welcome and greet and connect with one another.

This is the great thing about play.  It’s never the exact same twice.  You’ll roll a different combination in your board game than the time before.  In make-believe the story might be the same as the one you chose yesterday but today you pretend to have two dragons for pets instead of one.  A song comes on the radio and the dance moves you used yesterday, well they express themselves more exuberantly today.

This year we’ve played in ways that are easier to feel as new.  We’ve never had a virtual choir project before.  We weren’t in the habit of recording music for worship before this past year.  While we’ve used microphones in the past, the spaces we were using them in was new.  And so my final philosophy of music ministry for my course work feels new.

“My call to music ministry is a call to create harmony.  The practice of harmony, whether sweet or dissonant, is the act of deeply listening to one another, listening to ourselves and listening to the world we inhabit.  With active harmony we communicate connection and compassion.  This harmony is a practice in creating and re-creating beloved community.  Over time this act is a way of finding and seeing the divine spark within each of us and core to our living faith tradition.”

So I’m hoping that we can play together, that we can dance for a long time.  I’d like to ask you to play with me as our hymn #311, written by Ric Masten asks “Let it be a dance we do, may I have this dance with you…”

 

recess

by nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director

i have a friend

who highly recommends

the regular practice

of recess

most especially

for grown ups

a play full pause

or two

during the day

for the soul purpose

of experiencing

the wonder

of being

embodied

This Sunday:

Bridging Service & Ceremony

June 6, 2021 10:30 am

This Sunday we mark the journey of youth in our church community into young adulthood. This is known as the Bridging Service, and it is a significant UU rite of passage for those who have reached 18 and/or are graduating from high school this year. Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees’ return from sabbatical this Sunday marks another passage, and she’ll be sharing a slideshow of “What I Did on My Sabbatical.”

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:

SUNDAY
9:45 AM RE Hangout 

  • Seeds, Sprouts and Saplings (elementary ages): in RE Hangout Zoom Room with Ms Ebee and Ms Cyndi
  • Playing with Rainbows: (A Rainbow of Colors for PRIDE month)
  • What’s one of the ways our faith guides us in leaning into being a people of Play? It reminds us that “play supports understanding and creativity!”

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

** For June through August we plan alternate weeks between structured lessons and kid directed play.  

10:30

  • For All: This Sunday we celebrate four of our teenagers who are bridging out of our youth group and into our larger congregation.
  • Coloring Sheet: “Offer Love To All 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

Monday – Thursday 
Daily posts on our new covenanted RE Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/groups/UUBerks.RE.page/?ref=share
check out our Remind classroom. 
If you need to signup link here: remind.com/join/refuucbc

Register Ending June 9th – 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:
https://www.uua.org/central-east/calendar/jubilee-3-0621

The cost for FUUBC members is $120 up to the end of registration on June 10.

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

Opportunity: Volunteer Interested in Social Justice for a Time-Limited Co-Chair Partnership

Ginny Chudgar, chair of the Social Justice Coordinating Team, is looking for a patient-but-enthusiastic social justice warrior who is comfortable with technology to share with her the administrative and leadership tasks associated with the SJCT until September 2021.  If you care a lot about the impact FUUBC can have and does have on our larger community, but don’t want to have to commit to solitary leadership indefinitely, please contact Ginny at 610-678-8599, 610-223-8240, or ginny.chudgar@gmail.com.

UUJusticePA

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS ARE UNDER ATTACK IN PA!
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY?

HB 118 (Ryan): changes the definition of fetal death from 16 weeks and above to any point after conception and requires burial or cremation after a fetal death in a health care facility. This would require health care facilities to bury or cremate all products of conception that are either miscarried or aborted in the facility.  It is costly and burdensome and an invasion of the right to privacy.

HB 904 (Borowicz): bans abortions after six weeks in pregnancy (heart beat bill).  This bill would essentially ban abortion in PA as many pregnancies aren’t even detected before six weeks.

Please contact your representative and urge them to vote AGAINST these bills!  If you don’t know who your state rep is you can look it up here… https://www.house.state.pa.us/index.cfm

JOIN US
DONATE

Contact Us

UUJusticePA
1280 Clover Lane,c/o Unitarian Church of Harrisburg
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17113 1001

https://UUJusticePA.org

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.

https://uuberks.org/member-info-signup

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
    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


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