Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
July 11, 2021

This Sunday:

The Life-Death Connection

July 11, 2021

Join members Lauren Fritz and Tracie Greth as they explore the connection between life and death through nature’s lessons and the moving images evoked by  Mary Oliver’s poetry.

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, in honor of all that’s growing around us, is The Curious Garden written and illustrated by Peter Brown.


9:45 AM RE Hangout 

  • Seeds, Sprouts and Saplings (elementary ages): in RE Hangout Zoom Room with Ms Corinne and Ms Erin
  • Playing Just Pretend, 

    Puppets are one source of play. They can be a foil for exploring all kinds of characters and interactions. Maybe this will be the month you try out Puppet Ministry as a leader. By modeling playfulness with puppets, you can

    model how puppets help us understand others by creating their characters.

  • 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 am 

  • For All: This Sunday we explore the natural world, the business of life and death with the works of poet, Mary Oliver.
  • Coloring Sheet: “Blessing of the Animals 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
check out our Remind classroom. 
If you need to signup link here: remind.com/join/refuucbc

July 11 ADORE Listening Café

On July 11 at noon, our ADORE team will invite those who attended the June Jubilee Anti-Racism Training to share insights gained during that transformative weekend.   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.

Let’s Show Up!

We from FUUBC fly our Pride Flag and “pride” ourselves on our open minds and loving hearts — now we need a few congregants to staff a table at the Pridefest, which is being held in August this year.  There’s very little work involved; it’s basically the ministry of “being there”.

Please contact Melissa at office@uuberks.org if you can help out or sign up here

Picnic & Worship on Sunday July 25

You read that right! The church will host worship outside on July 25th at 10:30. Following the service, we will have a potluck brunch.

Join in at the Pavilion at the West Reading Playground located on 505 Sycamore Rd West Reading, Pa 19611. If attending in person, the site can be accessed by a short sidewalk with roll up road cutin. (see picture). If attending online, you will get the regular zoom link.

For the in person brunch: Church will provide hamburgers/hotdogs/veggie burgers with all the fixings. In the rsvp below, you can sing up to bring something to share.

Make sure to bring chairs or blankets for your family to sit on and in an effort to reduce waste please bring your own plates, cups and utensils to be taken home afterwards and washed.

If the weather forecast is questionable on Sunday we will put out an email by 12 noon on Saturday to cancel the outdoor event.

Deadline for attendance sign up is Friday July 23rd. (we need a headcount for food). Visit this link to do so: https://uuberks.org/picnic

Updated Onsite and Offsite Church Gatherings Policy

Please click on the link below for our updated policy on Church gatherings. https://docs.google.com/document/d/18tZUOXsWkD-AUuv5TDWxFWm3QMR3aVOYYzV_FetDm6E/edit?usp=sharing

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.

Volunteer Moderators Needed

The Anti-Hate Summer Reading Program, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Reading/Berks, the Exeter Community Library, and Bring the Change, is in need of moderators for community conversations about each book.  The program is aimed at tweens, teens and adults, and is funded by the Berks County Community Foundation.  Goals of the reading program are to define and fight hate and racism and to create meaningful positive change in Berks County.
For more information, contact Laura Carson, Youth Services Librarian, Exeter Community Library 610-406-9431 (pronouns she/her).

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

Celebration, Lament, Action – From Sandra’s Study

Recently I heard a colleague describe the congregational work of the coming year as threefold: celebration, lament, action. For many of us, the arrival of summer and Pennsylvania’s reopening mean we have more freedom to gather with friends and family and to participate in activities we love. This time feels celebratory in so many ways. I know that I am grateful to be gathering with friends, family and church members as well as attending more in-person activities.

Yet I recognize that these opportunities and feelings of celebration are not universal for a variety of reasons, and that each of us has been impacted by the traumatic events of the past few years. Those traumas are not behind us but also live in us and our world, and we know there are those who have been and continue to be disproportionately traumatized. This necessitates that we make space in ourselves and our church community for lament. We need places and rituals to give expression to our individual and collective grieving, losses and traumas. We need embodied spiritual practices to heal and build resilience in ourselves and our community.

The third piece of that unfolding work is continued engagement in actions of witness and justice. These actions give expression to our joy and our grief and our commitment to collective liberation. As UUs we are called to cultivate compassion for the suffering in our own lives and in the world and then to transform it into action that changes people’s lived experiences.

Like so many of you, I am eager for us to be able to gather in worship in our building to celebrate, lament and take action. I can’t wait for our ingathering water ceremony in September. This summer we are continuing to develop the multi-platform options that will make that experience as inclusive as possible, ensuring that everyone can participate either virtually or in person. Meanwhile, we have planned some terrific summer worship opportunities, including worship with other congregations.

Yours in faith and love,

Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees

Let It Out!

From the Desk of Ebee Bromely DRE

One of my favorite foods to eat is popcorn.  Popcorn from the microwave, popcorn from a stovetop, one of these days I’ll have popcorn from the movie theater again.

Have you ever made popcorn on the stove before? Have you noticed how in the process of making popcorn – the steam needs a place to go?  My stovetop popper has a few holes in the top of it’s lid that direct the steam out so the popcorn can keep popping and the pressure doesn’t build up.

Those holes are often called vents and they can be oh so useful.  Not just for popcorn.  A few weeks back I was introduced to Vent Diagrams. It’s a collective art project started by educator E.M./Elana Eisen-Markowitz and Rachel Schragis.  You can find out more about it on www.ventdiagrams.com

Here’s the kernel that I’d like to share with you: What would your Vent Diagram(s) look like?

A “Vent Diagram” has two overlapping circles with two statements that appear to be true and appear to be contradictory. The middle is purposefully un-labeled.  This is a practice that can keep us imagining and acting from the overlaps of those two circles.  What right now needs to be vented?

in this time

nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director

in this time

of turning

as we emerge


and hesitant

to come together

once again

as if for

the first time

what old skins

will you have shed

what new being

will you bear



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