Univoice Weekly









Weekly News for the week of:
September 12, 2021



Reopening POSTPONED for In-Person Sunday Worship in the Sanctuary 
from Lynn O’Brien, Board President and Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees

September 8, 2021
Dear Members and Friends,
Like so many of you, we have been looking forward to reopening our sacred space for in-person worship on September 12. Sadly, the recent surge in Covid cases and Berks County’s elevated risk level of “Very High” have led to a Board decision to delay our planned reopening. At this time Indoor Church-Based events of 20 or more persons, including Sunday Service and other large indoor gatherings, will continue to be held virtually.
We will continue to monitor and update our church community on a regular basis about the status of reopening. Once Berks County is in a “High” or lesser risk category, we expect to reopen.  
Meanwhile, we encourage you to participate in worship virtually.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Yours in faith and love,
Lynn O’Brien, Board President
Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees, Minister



This Sunday:

Ingathering and UU Water Communion

Sunday – on ZOOM

Sept. 12 – 10:30 am
Ebee BromleyRev. Dr. Sandra Fees

Water connects us as a community and as human beings no matter where we are. This morning we celebrate our connection with the Unitarian Universalist Water Communion, in which we gather water into a common bowl as we reflect on what we are thirsting for – for ourselves and our world.

For Sunday worship, we are continuing to meet via 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 we’re reminded the power we each have to share. It’s possible for each of us to make a difference. And even more than that, we have the responsibility to help others feel that life is full of possibilities, to believe that justice is possible. Let’s hear Say Something.


9:45 AM RE Hangout 

  • Seeds, Sprouts and Saplings (elementary ages): in RE Hangout Zoom Room with Ms Erin and Ms Jayné
  • The Possibilities In and Among Us, When hope is hard to find, we often look outside ourselves for help. We want a hero to save us, someone who we imagine has more power, smarts or creativity than we do. But our faith reminds us that we have inherent worth and more abilities than we sometimes realize. So what’s our faith tell us? It says, “Don’t always look outside for help and hope. There is more strength, power and possibility inside you and among you and your friends than you think. You have the power to be your own hero!” Or to put all that another way: “The possible hero might be you!”
  • link sent via Remind 1 hour before class.  If you need access please email Erin (epcjjc@gmail.com)  


  • For All: We gather back together.  We play with water this morning in our annual water communion.
  • Coloring Sheet: “Live With Great Rejoicing 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): Look for a note from your leaders as to when the next meeting is.  If you are a visitor – email director.religious.education@uuberks.org for more information. 

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 A Dialogue On Race and Ethnicity and The Listening Cafe


We have changed our meeting time to 7 PM on Sundays to accommodate parents and others. We will continue in a virtual format for the foreseeable future. 

On September 12th, at 7 PM we will be in conversation about systemic racism in the K-12 school systems. We have invited the diverse group of people in our congregation who have and are working in a variety of positions to share their experiences and insights about schools and racial justice and injustice.  We have also invited the librarians to recommend books for parents and children.

On October 17th, at 7 PM we will hear from the people involved with higher education about their experiences with systemic racism.

November 14th, again at 7 PM, we will be examining racism in the workplace.

And on December 12th, as the winter holy days approach we will look at the racial factors involved in creating the dilemma of the unhoused in our community.
Please plan to attend and bring your friends!  



New Policy Update on Gatherings as of August 10, 2021


Please review our updated policy at the link below
Updated Onsite and Offsite Church Gatherings Policy



Contemplative Companions – September 13, 2021


Join us on Monday September 13th, @ 7:00pm for a “Contemplative Regathering” when we welcome Jane back to the circle (and maybe a few others who took a summer hiatus?). PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS THE SECOND MONDAY! Contact Nadine Smet-Weiss (njw1258@hotmail.com or 484-333-4015) for further information or to receive the zoom link for these gatherings.



Soulful Conversations Small Group


4th Tuesdays, 7-8:30 pm (see details below)
Sign ups: required
Deadline: Sept. 21
Limit: 15
Meetings: by Zoom

Beginning the fourth Tuesday in September, Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees will facilitate a monthly small group for deep sharing, listening, and spiritual reflection. Participants are encouraged to attend regularly to enable the group to cultivate trust and vulnerability 

Sign ups are required for this program due to zoom logistics and passcodes. To sign up and be added to the monthly email invitations, contact Rev. Sandra at minister@uuberks.org.

Soulful Conversations Schedule:

  • Sept. 28 – Embracing Possibility
  • Oct. 26 – Cultivating Relationship
  • Nov. 23 – Holding History
  • No December meeting
  • Jan. 25 – Living with Intention
  • Feb. 22 – Widening the Circle
  • Mar. 22 – Renewing Faith
  • Apr. 26 – Awakening
  • May 24 – Nurturing Beauty



Calling all CROP Walkers!


First UU is again fielding a CROP Walk team to raise funds that help keep the costs of our monthly food pantry low. The Reading-Berks 40th annual CROP Walk will be held  on Sunday, Oct. 10, and you have the option of participating virtually or by starting at the Grings Mill Recreation Area, 2083 Tulpehocken Road, Wyomissing.

To foster social distancing, registration for those walking in-person will be open 12:30 to 2 p.m. and teams are encouraged to begin their walks whenever they choose.

To sign up for the team, go to the Web URL, www.crophungerwalk.org/ReadingPA and click the blue REGISTER button at the top right of the page. Each walker on the First UU team will receive a reusable tote bag with the CROP Walk logo.

Also, there’s a kickoff event on Thursday, Sept. 9, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., at Isaac’s, Village Square

94 Commerce Drive, Wyomissing. Mention the CROP Walk and 15% of your eat-in, takeout and online orders—even gift cards!—will go to the Reading-Berks CROP Walk!

A reminder that money raised from the CROP Walk benefits worldwide projects of Church World Service and a quarter of the funds stay local with Helping Harvest, the Berks / Schuylkill Fresh Food Bank.

Questions? Call Jim at 717 507-7237 or e-mail to jamesmbeidler@gmail.com



Reading Pride Celebration Photos
All 379 photos have been uploaded to this year’s album. You can find the link to the album on this page. Feel free to download, print and share.



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



Embracing Possibilities – Together

There are lots of reasons I’m grateful to call Unitarian Universalism my spiritual home. One of them is that we have historically been people who looked around and saw potential. We saw the potential in each other, in community, in nature. We saw the potential for compassion, acceptance, religious diversity, equity, vulnerability, anti-racism, wonder, gratitude, beauty. And while many others were preaching about sin and a fallen world, we were noticing the spark of the divine wherever we could. I believe that remains a core part of who we UUs are.

It’s important to note that our attention to what’s possible doesn’t come at the expense of tackling problems and harsh realities. If anything, our focus has been a powerful call to engagement. Unitarian Universalists are called to act, to be part of creating the world we imagine, a world where love prevails.

As we begin this new church year, I am wondering what possibilities we will embrace as a community. What relationships and commitments will we renew and build? How will our learnings from these past few years so rooted in trauma inform what we do next and how we understand our role in the world? What do we need from one another?

As we embark on this new church year, I look forward to embracing the possibilities as we move into the future together.

“Gather the spirit of heart and mind.  Seeds for the sowing are laid in store.  Nurtured in love, and conscience refined, with body and spirit united once more.” 

These words by Jim Scott are some of the first words I remember learning by heart as a UU kid.  As a UU adult typing those words out I can’t help but hear Jim’s melody in my head.  As UU’s we are called to gather for we know that the spark within each one of us needs tending to.  It is easier to keep that spark lit when there are others around to re-light it, when there are others around to witnes our peace, our thanks, our sympathy, our hope, compassion and strength.   

“Gather the spirit, harvest the power.  Our sep’rate fires will kindle one flame.  Witness the mystery of this hour.  Our trials in this light appear all the same.”

So once more we gather with a whole bunch of mystery ahead.  This year we hope our monthly themes will fuel everyone in our congregation from cradle to sage with core actions that our faith calls us to and our times need from us.  

At the start of this new church year we explore the ways in which our faith and times call us to “Embrace Possibilities!”  What relationships will we strengthen this year?  What new friends will we meet?  Who will we say goodbye to?  What will we try anew?  What will we try again?  What will we never try again? 

We will get to embrace these possibilities of ours as we

“Gather in peace, gather in thanks.

Gather in sympathy now and then.

Gather in hope, compassion and strength.

Gather to celebrate once again.”


nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director


let us embrace



the anxiety

of arrival

the journey is


by step

in time

punctuated by

















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