Univoice Weekly









Weekly News for the week of:
February 20, 2022



This Sunday:




Many UUs come to this tradition from other religious backgrounds, sometimes having rejected the faith community of their childhood. This morning we’ll reflect on the faith of our origins and how it informs our UU identity. What can we get reacquainted with from our spiritual past that might deepen our spiritual lives?



New Format For Children’s Religious Education


This Sunday we will be reopening to Onsite Religious Education for all vaccinated children Sunday Feb 20th Expanding Religious Education for adults Sunday Feb 20th (read on for important details)

We’re experimenting with a new model of how to do church together.  We’re going to hold religious education classes for all ages from 9:45 to 10:15. Worship will follow all together starting at 10:30.  This will be an evolving process.  We hope you’re as excited as we are to try this starting February 20th.

*If you have not already done so, please submit your child’s proof of vaccination to the church office by 2-18-22



Tonight – FRIDAY


7:00 PM:

  • We visit MVUUF for their mid month message on Spilled milk.

** Onsite and Online***

9:45 AM RE Hangout 
director.religious.education@uuberks.org by Saturday noon if you’ll be attending online.

  • Seeds, Sprouts and Saplings (elementary ages): in RE Hangout Zoom Room with Ms Corinne & Ms Ebee
  • RE Hangout – Widening The Way We Flow; exploring monthly theme with spiritual play on Enso Circles with Ms Corinne & Ms Ebee  – Our theme this month is “Widening the Circle.” It may seem hard to believe, but this super-simple activity enthralls people of all ages, from just-able-to-hold-a-paintbrush to elder-with-a-background-in-Enso-painting. Painting vibrant watercolor circles elicits many emotions: playful, joyful, meditative, focus, flow…
  • link sent via Remind 1 hour before class.  If you need access please email Ebee (director.religious.education@uuberks.org)


    • For All: Join us to explore how we widen our views of how we tell the story of who we are, who you are…
    • Coloring Sheet: Chalice Doodling Page
    • 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

9:45 – 11:15

  • Youth Group (7th grade & up): we come back together to get to know one another again over a fun art project. 

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



Register Now for Our Service Auction- This Saturday

We are in the middle of our 2022 Service Auction. A big thank you to everyone that has donated your time and donations to the auction. It looks like it is going to be another successful event this year.

The first Silent Auction week started last Sunday and ends this Saturday, Feb 19th at 5PM, so get your bids in soon! The second Silent Auction week starts on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 12 noon. Here is the link to the auction website where you can bid on Silent Auction items : uuberks.org/service-auction. You will need to register and purchase a $10 ticket to be able to bid on auction items. A single ticket can be shared by everyone in your household.

The Live auction is this Saturday night, it starts at 6PM with a social hour and the bidding starts at 7. If you want to bid on items, you will need to register and purchase a $10 ticket (if you already have one for the Silent Auction, you should use it). No ticket is necessary if you just want to watch. We will be using Zoom for the Live Auction, here is the meeting link: https://uuberks.org/live-service-auction.  

We need your help if you are planning on bidding during the Live Auction: you will need to make a bidding paddle:

  • Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise (for a short fat rectangle)
  • Using the whole side of the paper, write your bidding number clearly on one side and a “?” on the other.  (ie. Make it LARGE, so that it is easy to read and use a marker)
  • Your bidding number can be found in your email from the auction, and also at the bottom of the Auction website screen once you’re logged in. To be safe, we will be sending them out again on Saturday afternoon.
  • To bid, hold your numbered bid paddle in front of your nose and mouth. If you only raise your hand, the paddle might go off-camera or be missed. Our FUUBC bid spotters will relay your bids to the auctioneers. Bid spotters can only see you if your video is on.
  • The winning bidder will be asked to hold their NUMBERED paddle again, for confirmation.
  • Use the back of your paddle (the side with a “?”) to get a bid spotter to unmute you. 

Finally, if you would like to volunteer to help with the auction or have a question/suggestion, send us an email at g.service.auction@uuberks.org. Many thanks from the Service Auction Committee.



Conversation about the Ministry Transition


The Board of Directors and the Ministry & Operations Team invites the congregation to a conversation about the Ministry Transition on Sunday, February 27 after church.  At this meeting we will be discussing next steps and answering questions about the process of hiring an Interim Minister.  We will also discuss how we want to commemorate the ministry of Reverend Fees as she transitions into retirement.

This meeting will continue directly after church on the service zoom link.



Update on Parking Options


  • Free parking is available on Sundays on the street and in the library parking lot.
  • The parking garage across the street (4th and Cherry streets) has changed to a pay by app system. The app is called ParkMobile. It can be downloaded in the apple store or on the google play app. At this time we are unable  to offer discounted parking vouchers.



Come to Portland, OR, for General Assembly 2022 – UU Berks Delegates Needed


Registration for General Assembly 2022 (GA) in-person in Portland, Oregon is now open. GA 2022 will be a multiplatform event, with registration options for in-person and/or virtual participation. Registration for Virtual participation will open March 1. For more information, go to www.uua.org/ga. If interested in serving as a UU Berks Delegate (to vote on denominational decisions), please contact the UU Berks Board at g.board@uuberks.org or Rev. Sandra at minister@uuberks.org.

The General Assembly logo, featuring the theme arranged in a circle. The theme is: “Meet the moment: Reimagining radical faith community”. Pink letters GA are in the center, with a white web decoration the represent the World Wide Web connecting our multi platform event. In front of GA, there is a purple silhouette of eight people holding hands. The persons depicted are of varying age, shapes and sizes.



Did You Know?
Did you know that registration is no longer required to attend in person service? All you need to do it submit your vaccination card one time to our office where it will be kept on file for you to attend upcoming service and events.


Did you know that recordings of past services are available on our website? Visit UUberks.org and click on the Worship tab and past services for access to recording of previous services or by clicking here 



From Social Justice Coordination Team


Please add the LGBT Center of Greater Reading’s PRIDE FEST to your calendar for July 17th, 2022.  Further information to follow, but suffice to say, it’s a wonderful celebration of our LGBTQ Community and its allies.  First UU Berks has been a presence at the Festival for many years



Deeper Than The Skin: Live and Live Streamed


The latest version of a quintessential American story of Race and friendship.This Sunday Reggie Harris and I will present Deeper Than The Skin at Voices Cafe in Westport, CT.

It will be live and live streamed, providing a very rare opportunity for folks everywhere to see this remarkable presentation on Race in America

The information is at: www.voicescafe.org. If you’re on this list, then there is a good chance that you’ve seen it, Reg and I have been friends for over 30 years, we were born 3 days apart, and our DNA came up the same portal in history, the James River. We tell our stories, punctuated by songs, telling the unvarnished truth about what we have experienced.

As America is beginning to have dialogue on Race, Reggie and I have continued to delve deeper, to include the events that are shaping the country now, to look deeper into ourselves to better invite this discussion. We think you’ll hear things you didn’t hear on the CD. We hope you will join us as we take the next leg of our journey.


This is our new video, hopefully it will remind you of the experience, and help
spread the word to folks that you think might find this compelling.




Please view our updated gathering policy below


Effective November 21, 2021 until further notice






Our Giving App has Changed


Vanco, the eGiving provider behind our church’s GivePlus Mobile app is now using a new online giving app, Vanco Mobile. This easy-to-use app replaces the GivePlus Mobile app you currently use to make your donations.   The switch is simple!  

  • Your log-in credentials are the same in Vanco Mobile as in GivePlus Mobile 
  • Recurring created through GivePlus mobile will continue as scheduled  
  • New gifts, or changes to previously scheduled recurring gifts, can now occur through Vanco Mobile 

Download the free Vanco Mobile app today in the Google Play store or the Apple App store. Find our organization by searching for First Unitarian Universalist Church or by its invite code, 2S4C9G.   



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.

Our public website has a lot of information that is also useful for members. Did you know that we record a video of every worship service and post them on our website? 

To find the recordings, navigate to uuberks.org. At the top of the page, there is a green box on the right side of the screen, with the title “Next Service”. (A) If you click on the next line of text (the title of the next service), you will be taken to a page with all the information about that service, like the Zoom meeting details. 

At the bottom of the green box, there is a “Service Archive” button. (B) Click on it to navigate to a page listing all of our previous services.  Click on a service title to see more details about the service and to view the video recording.



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.



Widening the Circle

I live my life in widening circles…

I circle around God, around the primordial tower.

I’ve been circling for thousands of years

and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,

a storm, or a great song?

Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Joanna Macy

This month we are considering what it would mean to live our lives in widening circles. I know that the pandemic has changed my circles of engagement. My in-person circles have narrowed a bit while my online circles have widened rather dramatically. I love the new friends I’ve made online. And, I also look forward to widening my circle locally in the coming year. I’m eager to reconnect with local groups and activities that have been mostly virtual or inactive. I’m also recognizing my urge to venture out and explore some new possibilities.

What needs a little widening in your life? Your ability to stay open, to be vulnerable? Your circle of friends? Your engagement with anti-racism? Your acceptance of yourself and others? Maybe you need to become reacquainted with your own cultural or religious background. Maybe you need to join a new circle – an activity, committee, project or group. Or maybe you need to leave a circle you’ve been part of for a long time that is holding you back from a truer flourishing.

I hope you’ll take a little time this month to consider how you might expand your circle in ways that will provide you encouragement, support and joy.

Yours in faith and love,

Rev. Sandra

Moving in Circles

I have always found a need to create.  I remember wanting my creations to be perfect.  For a while I wanted to work on something until it was “done.”  A circle was not a circle until it was complete.  But what happens if we try to widen that circle?  What happens when we leave a project incomplete? 

In our month exploring the ways in which our times call us to “widen the circle” I’m going to return to a creative practice that helps me nurture the core of the thing, cultivate curiosity and feel a sense of belonging to things I’ve known forever and things I’m getting to know for the first time.  

Many years ago now I was introduced to the concept of process painting.  The point of this kind of painting is not to strive to make your most technically beautiful art but to lean into the process of creation and see what emerges.  

Dance then move to start painting.  After a while stop and take a look at your work.  Thank your work for what it is.  Go back to dancing some more.  Create a new painting overtop of the first painting.  Rinse and Repeat.  Maybe what emerges is something completely different. Maybe there is a morsel that stays the same.  Do this again and again and through the layers meaning emerges. 

It can bring forth a lot of different emotions to paint over a work that feels whole.  What I’ve found though is that the pieces that are important re-emerge.  Sometimes they re-emerge in different spots of the painting.  Sometimes they deepen in the same spot I began them many layers ago.  The new layers, and the differences they bring beckon a deeper clarity to the whole.  

In this month of widening our circles, may we explore, may we embrace, may we move.

Or as our UUBerks mission and vision statements assert may we seek, nurture, and serve.


Yours in Faith and Learning,

Ebee Bromley, DRE

P.S. Our soulful home packet has an art project that you can do at home. See page 13.

full circle

by nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director

having come

full circle

it may seem

we have gotten


until we share

the story

of our journey

realizing how far 

we have come

and thus filled  

we begin again








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