Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
June 26, 2022

This Sunday:

June 26, 2022 – 12:30 pm Rev. Gretchen Haley, Rev. Sean Neil-Barron, Shari Halliday-Quan






Tonight – FRIDAY

7:00 PM:

  • From Our SoulMatters Team: ““Today’s story teaches that the best way to be happy is to embrace the circumstances we find ourselves in each day.”

  • Happy Right Now words by Julie Berry pictures by Holly Hatam Read Aloud Link & Berks Library Catalog link


11:30 AM :Adult RE 

  • In Person: in Gerber Room 

  • Summer RE Starts our Principle and Sources series – this week we’ll explore our second principle in conversation around the lunch table. We will explore with a time of reflection and community centered around helping our community. [soulful home packet]

  • Onsite Only 

11:30 AM: Children’s RE  

Elementary Ages:  Onsite, email Erin Connolly  by Saturday noon if you’ll be attending online

  • On site: in Gerber Room (* teens may help, let us know you’ll be coming) 
  • RE Hangout – table top games after lunch

12:30- Worship Service- All Ages

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



Service Auction Update


We hope everyone that attended the picnic last month had a good time, even if we had a little bit of July-like weather in May. A big thank you to everyone that helped with the picnic and the Penny Social. We think the Penny Social was a great success: we brought in almost $375.

If you are interested in helping to hold another Penny Social or helping with the 2023 Service Auction, please contact us at g.service.auction@uuberks.org.

Picnic Lost & Found: we found some items at the park after the picnic. If you are missing anything, check the meeting room off the Gerber Room or contact Frank at the email address above. Thanks



Shut Down Berks Interfaith Witness & the FUUBC Immigration team


invite you to: 
Join an evening vigil at the Berks Detention Center on Wednesday, June 29 at 7 pm. 1040 Berks Road Leesport, PA 19533

ICE has not yet allowed any social visitation to the more than 80 immigrant women incarcerated at Berks, even though the restrictions on visitation have been lifted nationwide. Human rights violations continue to be reported by the women as well. Come out to this vigil to show them that the Berks community supports them and to join the call of immigrants and the larger community to finally shut down this center! The building should be used for beneficial purposes for our county instead.



We are currently looking for anyone who is interested in volunteering to be a Greeter and when the time comes- to be an Usher.  This is a great way to get to know your fellow members or get to know them better    And of course- being of service can provide comfort to you and others!!

Currently we have a group of  approx 10 of us that rotate and fill in when we can but if we can get another 10 volunteers- then this will mean you would be a greeter every 6 -8 weeks and provides back up for our busy summer months. 

We like to have two greeters at each service & when RE sessions are occurring on Sunday’s- one greeter arrives at 9:40 to greet those arriving for RE at 9:45 & the 2nd greeter arrives at 10 am to be available for those attending the Sunday service.

Please take time to consider this and please contact me, Joanne Koehler at jkbluesky@icloud.com or my cell 610-914-8827 if you are interested or have any questions.



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.






Effective June 1, 2022 until further notice 

Given the evolving nature of the pandemic, the FUUBC Board will be making ongoing evaluations on a regular basis. We are using available metrics from:

FULL VACCINATION STRONGLY RECOMMENDED: FUUBC strongly encourages all those who can be vaccinated to be vaccinated, including boosters as appropriate. The church will be requiring proof of vaccination for the Minister, staff, guest speakers, and all RE volunteers. 

MASKING RECOMMENDED: FUUBC strongly encourages attendees at worship services and other large gatherings to wear masks.



In gathering together, we promise to: 

  1. Wear masks when recommended by CDC guidelines. 
  2. Do not attend in person gatherings if you are not feeling well or if you have been directly exposed to Covid-19.
  3. Gain consent before touching or hugging others. Be mindful of varying levels of comfort and safety with social distancing when approaching others.
  4. Find ways to be inclusive of individuals who cannot be vaccinated, who may be immunocompromised, or who have hearing impairments. 
  5. Prioritize the safety of the whole community over our own individual sense of what is safe for ourselves.
  6. Give and accept reminders of these ground rules gracefully. 
  7. Assume good intentions, but also accept that policies and these ground rules will guide our actions. 
  8. Respect the authority of the people making policies. 

* adapted from Ground Rules by Carol Gay, UU Congregation of Cleveland

Food Bank Update and Call For Volunteers

We have a new coordinator for the FUUBC monthly food pantry! As previously announced, Brian Kammerer needed to step down from this position, and Mark Burton has stepped up to fill the role! Mark has been volunteering for a few months and has already been preparing to lead May’s distribution day.  Thank you Brian for your years of service in this capacity – you will be very missed! 

With this change in leadership, we also need more volunteers to help on distribution day, which takes place on the first Thursday morning of every month at the parking lot located on 5th and Cherry streets from approximately 9am-1pm. The next one will take place on Thursday, May 5th (next week).
This is a great opportunity to help in our community and engage with people from diverse backgrounds!

Tasks include:

  • food setup
  • registration and communication with recipients (Spanish fluency would be helpful)
  • distribution of food
  • clean up

Training will be provided. Contact Mark Burton at selliott42@comcast.net with questions or to volunteer


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.
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.

What is a blessing anyway? 


I have no idea how many times I’ve responded to someone’s sneeze or someone has told me after I’ve sneezed with either “bless you” or “gesundheit.” 

However, the number probably ranges in at least the thousands if not millions.  I’ve said a variation on that blessing more than I can count even after learning the history of why many of our ancestors started saying it.  Our soul matters children’s packet reminded me that back “around 590 c.e. Pope Gregory the Great believed that a sneeze was an early warning sign of plague, so he commanded Christians to respond to a sneeze with a blessing.” 

To wish someone the blessing of good health while they might be on the verge of not having it is one way we think of blessing. 

Blessing has other ways and meanings that we can explore this month.

We bless our flowers during our flower ceremony.  

We bless the water we bring for water communion.  

Last month the kids attending re hangout made breath blessings for Rev Sandra to take with her when she retires and leaves for a while.  We thought of all the good things we wished for her.  We let our breath in and out as we drew the shape of breath on special paper.  

What are other ways you’ve heard blessings?  Have you gone to a child dedication?  Have you heard or given words of thanks before you eat?  Have you ever told someone or have you ever heard someone say to you that “You are a blessing.”  

All of these ways of blessing are ways to take a moment to pause, to give time or give something to be grateful for special moments of all sizes and shapes. 

“Many see life’s gifts as blessings from God.  Our faith uses the idea of blessing to refer to something good, something that feels like a gift. Celebrating blessings means remembering with gratitude all the good things in our lives.” – Soul Matters 

In all times but especially in hard times, it’s important to count our blessings.  You. Yes I mean you.  Each and every one of you is a blessing to this community of faith.  

Have you celebrated the blessing of this day today? 

With goodness,

With gratitude,

With blessings,

Your director of religious education,

Ebee Bromley

blessing this time

nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director

there are griefs

in letting go

of what has been

along with 


for the ways

in which it 

formed our being

may we allow space

for these waves

to flow through us

as a blessing

of aliveness and 

in time 

of our becoming

in time


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