You tell me to live each day / as if it were my last. / But why the last? I ask. Why not / live each day as if it were the first— / all raw astonishment, Eve rubbing / her eyes awake that first morning, / the sun coming up / like an ingénue in the east?
~ Linda Pastan, Imaginary Conversation
What would it be like to live each day as if it were the first? This is a question I am sitting with these days. I envision retirement as a vital time to reawaken to that raw astonishment. I don’t see it as a time to live as though each day is my last.
I look forward to more unstructured time and also more time to be curious about the question “who am I now?” I will still be a minister. I will still participate in clergy groups and UU circles. Very likely I will preach from time to time and perhaps occasionally officiate at rites of passage for friends and family. But my role will be changing. I will no longer be a congregational minister. I will no longer be your settled minister. I will be awakening to something new.
And I wonder, what would it be like for you to live each day as if it were the first? What would you be awakening to? What choices might you make for yourself to bring that vision a little closer to being a reality?
I love a good meme and this one is a classic at this point… “I was today years old when…”
Often these realizations feel like a jolt, an awakening to something new to me. They often feel like a paradigm shift – a big Eureka moment – the way I was doing something isn’t the way it has to be! Or – I never knew that!
I love the enthusiasm behind a lot of these posts. To celebrate awakening to something new can be a great way to live into experimentation and play. Another way to put this is “I was today years old when…” captures one way to draw from our first of six UU sources “the sense of wonder we all share.”
What understanding did you wake up to lately?
by nadine j. smet-weiss
is the season
to come alive
to the power
of the light
open your arms
live to share
now is the season
to come alive
Some things become so familiar to us that they become invisible to us. We overlook them and miss out on important opportunities to experience wonder, awe, love and beauty.
Tonight – FRIDAY
For our Story tonight here’s a tale that shares a fun way to explore what’s familiar but not thought of deeply day to day. A great way to explore weight, measurement, and balance is through science! In the story Ada Twist, Scientist, a young girl takes the time to ask the question why, what, how, and when, and often times those questions lead to more questions. It is a wonderful story about the importance of asking our questions, staying curious, and continuing on our search for truth and meaning.” Here we go!
In Person: in 2nd floor chalice house with UUBerks community minister, Rev Sage and Be Young
How Do UUs Pray?: Rev Sage leads us in a time of reflection. We’ll explore ways people already pray but don’t currently regard it as prayer and discuss ideas about how to reframe for our daily lives. [soulful home packet]
On site: in Kidspace w/ Ms Corinne & Ms Cyndi (* teens may help, let us know you’ll be coming)
RE Hangout – “Awakening To What Could Be” – We’ll be building our religious exploration class of the future through drawings, blocks and pipe cleaners. Our theme this month is Awakening. This session invites kids to practice and explore ways of deep living, a calling found in our fourth principle about searching for meaning. It’s all a way of reminding ourselves that our faith challenges us to “wake up to what really matters”!
Beginning April 1, masking will be optional for small group gatherings and Sunday coffee hour. Participants in onsite church programs are still required to submit proof of vaccination and to mask during worship services. The updated UU Berks Gathering Policy can be found here.
Our 2022-2023 Pledge Drive and its theme of “Emerging Transitions: Coming Changes Create Pledge Opportunities” has successfully steamed past the halfway point vs. last year’s successful drive! Much appreciation to all of you who’ve already submitted your pledge forms or otherwise communicated your pledge!
To allow a budget to be put together based on the pledges in time for May’s Congregational Meeting, we are hoping to complete the campaign by the end of March. Please let us hear from you!
Planned Parenthood Moves to Laureldale Planned Parenthood, formerly located on South Fourth Street, in downtown Reading, has relocated to 1920 Kutztown Road, Reading Medical Center, Suite H. This location offers increased access to essential care for those in Reading and the surrounding areas, as well as more convenient parking. For additional information, call 610-376-8061
We have been invited to join with the Delaware County UU for a workshop. In keeping the commitment to the 8th Principal, the UUCDC Anti-Racism Coalition is proudly offering the online workshop, Dismantling Racism and Oppression: Decentering Whiteness One Conversation at a Time.
The workshop will be held on April 2, 2022, from 9 am to 2 pm. There will be bio breaks and a 45 min lunch break. The workshop will be done online via Zoom. A link will be forwarded to you after you have registered.
Join us on Monday April 4th, @ 7:00pm. We will be taking a contemplative pause, in the midst of life’s chaos, turning our attention to the “angels among us.” Contact Nadine Smet-Weiss (firstname.lastname@example.org or 484-333-4015) for further information or to receive the zoom link for these gatherings.
Mark your calendars for the Service Auction Picnic on Sunday, May 22 @ 12 PM at the Farming Ridge Park in Exeter. The plan is to have a picnic lunch after the worship service with a basket raffle during the picnic (have you ever been to a raffle where they place bags in front of of all the items and you place your raffle ticket(s) in the bags for the items you are interested in?). The picnic and raffle are open to everyone, but if you purchased a bidding number for the Silent/Live auction, you will receive a coupon that is good for 5 raffle tickets. Watch the Univoice for more information.
Save the Date for Pride Fest
Mark your calendars for the LGBT Center of Greater Reading’s PRIDE FEST on July 17th, 2022. Come out and show your support for our LGBTQ Community with a day full of music, vendors, food and FUN! We will be asking for volunteers to staff the FUUBC table as the date gets closer. Please consider helping out.
As the situation in Ukraine has unfolded over the last several days, there has been an outpouring of prayers and concern from Unitarian Universalists expressing heartfelt unity around this growing human rights tragedy. We want to share the most up to date information on how UUs in this country and around the world are responding and amplify the ways that we can all help.
As Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), said, “we continue to join in solidarity with so many around the world and pray for the people of Ukraine. Our hearts go out to those who are enduring devastating loss of life, violence, instability, and upheaval due to Russia’s unprovoked invasion. Our UU faith calls us to remain committed to justice and we believe we have a moral responsibility to support the creation of peace and the equal rights of all people.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a stark reminder that human rights are fundamentally linked to our interdependence. Over the last few weeks, while we have seen tremendous acts of courage and generosity by and towards the people of Ukraine, we have also seen the worst of human behavior. We continue to be mindful that an authoritarian, imperialistic ideology that seeks to deny Ukrainians their rights to live free and independently, under the false, anti-Semitic guise of “denazification,” is directly tied to colonialist ideologies globally and here in the U.S. that endanger the health, well-being, and lives of BIPOC individuals, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and other marginalized populations.
And as millions of people living in Ukraine flee to safety, we know that, on top of an already dangerous situation, there are life-threatening experiences of anti-Blackness, racism, and xenophobia that are blocking escape from the deadly conflict.
The scope of this humanitarian crisis is staggering. To help address the scale of the crisis, the UUA has been working closely with our partners at the UU Service Committee, which is dedicated to advancing human rights and social justice, together with an international community of grassroots partners and advocates. They have created an Emergency Relief Fund to support Ukraine and we are committed to amplifying their voice and humanitarian work.
The international implications of Russia’s war in Ukraine are profound. The UUA’s International office has additional resources for supporting Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes and communities, including information on supporting the Hungarian Unitarian Church and the International Women’s Convocation’s Faithify Campaign.
As more information becomes available, we will make sure to provide updates on our efforts, including on our Facebook page. We ask that you continue to hold in your hearts the people of Ukraine and all of those around the world who are suffering because of war and injustice. And we ask that you pray for peace as we all hold each other in mutual care.
Although the plight of the refugees from Ukraine is top-of-mind for most of us, there are chronic refugee disasters ongoing in many places. Among the worst situations currently are faced by Syrians; many, many Africans; and – closer to home– Central Americans who have traveled across many countries only to be stopped at our border with Mexico.
There are many organizations which are involved in helping refugees, and several to consider are:
We urge that anyone who does not have an organization that they usually support, check out the report cards found on Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and similar sites. The world-wide financial and personnel resource situation is fluid, so it’s always good to do some research before contributing. Foremost, consider supporting the UUSC. As UU’s, we want to be certain that our principles guide our giving.
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.
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 email@example.com or Rev. Sandra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.