Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
September 25, 2022

This Sunday:

Mabon: The Autumnal Equinox and First Harvest

September 25, 2022 at 10:30 am 

Rev. Amy shares some pagan spirituality as we turn the star wheel toward Autumn and the Coming Winter.  Mabon concentrates on the balance between light and dark at this time of year, leading us to the days of Samhain and the second harvest, when the earth becomes dark again.  Let us celebrate the fading light together.

Special Plate Collection

September’s special plate collection will benefit Helping Harvest Food Bank. For those attending in person. checks can be dropped in the collection box in the Gerber room. For those attending virtually. checks please mail checks to the church made out to FUUBC with “food bank” in the memo line.

To attend on siteFULL VACCINATION STRONGLY RECOMMENDED: FUUBC strongly encourages all those who can be vaccinated to be vaccinated, including boosters as appropriate.

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

To attend by Zoom, click on this link: uuberks.org/zoom-worship. (If this is 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: 921 4271 5512#
3) When prompted for the “Participant ID”, enter: #

Please plan to arrive or log on by 10:20-10:25 am to enjoy the gathering music, and, for those on zoom, to establish a connection before worship is scheduled begins. Zoom participant mics are muted throughout the service.


This Weekend:

  • From SoulMatters: Tico and the Golden Wings, words and pictures by Leo Leonni.  We belong to each other, and we are different from each other. We each have our own memories, and each have our own invisible golden dreams.

  • Find it on Reading Public Library Catalog  or Youtube Read Aloud 


9:45 AM :Adult RE 

  • In Person: in back of chalice house

  • Summer RE our Principle and Sources series – this week we’ll explore our 7th principle in conversation. We’ll also take some time to celebrate what we’ve done together from June through September. [soulful home packet]

  • 7th Principle We, the member congregations of the UUA, covenant to affirm and promote: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

  • [soulful home packet]

  • Onsite Only 

9:45 AM: Children’s RE  

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

  • On site: in office meeting room (room off Gerber room) * teens may help, let us know you’ll be coming
  • RE Hangout – creating moss gardens with Ms Wendy & Ms Corinne  

10:30- Worship Service- All Ages

We’re going to celebrate the changing of the seasons! 

Monday – Thursday 
Weekly posts on our covenanted RE Facebook page
check out our Remind classroom.
If you need to signup link here: remind.com/join/refuucbc

Save the Dates for some Halloween fun!

  • October 21st we will be holding a Spooky movie night at church.  Details to come in next few weeks
  • October 29 Trunk Or Treat.  UUBerks will have a decorated car at the Antietam Pool’s trunk or treat.  Details on how to participate to come in the next few weeks

RE Registration for 2022-2023

Registration is open now for our program year. We have some exciting things planned and look forward to what will emerge as we seek, nurture and serve together this year! To let us know how you plan to engage with our programs this year please visit. https://uuberks.org/Registration.

Registered families will receive occasional mailings including birthday cards from the church, invitations to events, seasonal updates on what we’re programming together this year.

Our offerings  depend on the congregation and on participating families to happen. If you want to be part of shaping programming or can lend a hand to help make them happen, please email Ebee: director.religious.education@uuberks.org

Sign Up Now for Out in the Park

On Saturday, October 8, 2022 from 1-7pm, the LGBT Center is celebrating its 2nd annual “Out in The Park” at First Energy Stadium.
We are in need of volunteers to greet people at the UU Berks table. The shifts are only two hours each, two people per shift. If you are available, please considering help out.
Sign up here https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F0F45A5A92DA5FA7-outinthe

Anti-hunger efforts are part of our social justice mission at First UU and one of the ways we support that cause is through the annual Reading-Berks CROP Walk. A quarter of the funds raised stay local with the Berks Schuylkill Helping Harvest Fresh Food Bank, which benefits the monthly food pantry sponsored by First UU.

This year’s CROP Walk will be held Sunday, Oct. 9. Because of lingering COVID conditions, the First UU team will gather midafternoon at team captain Jim Beidler’s house (1423 Old Bernville Road, Leesport, PA 19533) to walk around his acreage and/or on country roads, with a cookout for those participating afterwards.

“Spirit Walkers” who help raise funds for the cause but cannot or choose not to walk are welcome!

To join the team or donate, please go to this URL: https://events.crophungerwalk.org/2022 and click on either “Join or Start a Team” or “Make a Donation” as appropriate.

Every First UU team member will get a T-shirt!

Thanks for your consideration and we’ll see you as part of the team on Oct. 9!

Anti-Racism Activity of the Week

As the school year begins, teacher shortages and teacher strikes are in the news. Marginalized schools and their students are severely impacted. Take action. Support a teacher or classroom to get the necessary supplies and resources to help facilitate learning. Contact your state legislators and demand they pass the RAISE Act. This Anti-Racism Daily (ARD) article educates about this very critical situation.

Brought to you by your 8th Principle Team courtesy of the UU Delaware County

Principles & Sources – revision process

Did you know that our principles and sources have grown and evolved? They’ve seen many changes over the years since the Unitarian Universalist Merger in 1961? However, it’s been a while. The principles were last revised in 1987!

It’s time for such a review and revision process. The Unitarian Universalist Association has put together the Article II Study Commission and they’re asking for every UU’s help in this process. Find out more behind their timeline by visiting www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/article-ii-study-commission

Please attend one of the zoom sessions to engage with the draft language they have so far. They have six meeting times to choose from this month followed by a new round of revision feedback in late October / early November. Register to engage with this pivotal moment of UU faith www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/article-ii-study-commission

Sign up to engage with the draft revisions for our principles and sources! An exciting time in our UU faith.

Contemplative Companions October 2022

Please note that our Contemplative Companions group will be gathering on Monday October 3rd at7:00pm via zoom. The focus in time together this month will be ‘How do we live in peace today?’ For further information, including the zoom link, contact Nadine at njw1258@hotmail.com or (484) 333-4015.





2 PM 


7 PM 











Beware Of Fake Emails Claiming to be Rev. Amy!

Please be aware that once again someone is impersonating our Minister by sending fake emails asking you to purchase gift cards. This is not being sent by Rev. Amy. At no time will Rev. Amy or anyone else from the church ask you to purchase gift cards for them. If you have received an email like  like this please do not  open or respond to it.

Solar Team 
Have you noticed that your electric bill has gone up? The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) authorized the increase in June and those new rates are set to take effect this month.  Our church uses Met-Ed and they raised the cost by 18.4%.Maybe this is a good time for us to offset our electric usage by adding a solar panel array on the church roof?

Solar power has been an ongoing interest of the Building Keepers for a few years. With our church’s strong commitment to environmental and social responsibility, we at FUUBC want to do our part. The Building Keepers are looking for volunteers to help with a temporary ad hoc Solar Team Subcommittee to evaluate (1) adding solar panels on the church buildings and (2) upgrading our natural gas heating systems to electric heat pumps.  To do this, we will have a series of meetings (both in-person and/or virtual) to evaluate the different proposals from solar/HVAC companies and then prepare a final proposal to take to the M&O Team for final acceptance. Contact Frank Wilder at frank.wilder@uuberks.org if you are interested.

Please Consider Attending PA Universalist Meeting!

A perk of FUUBC coming from the Universalist side of the UUA is involvement in the Trustees of the Pennsylvania Universalist Convention, including this fall’s TPUC Annual Membership Meeting, which this year will be hosted by the Unitarian Universalists of Mount Airy in Philadelphia.

The Annual Membership Meeting will be held from Friday evening through Sunday morning, Oct. 7–9, at the Mount Airy congregation’s historic sanctuary, known as the Universalist Church of the Restoration of Philadelphia, 6900 Stenton Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19150.

 First UU is entitled to five voting delegates in addition to the minister and with the availability of hybrid—as well as relative closeness of Mount Airy for those attending in-person—this is a great year to consider becoming one of those delegates and network with those from our portion of the denomination.

All should be aware that TPUC distributes grants from its endowment annually that form a significant portion of our congregation’s annual budget. This year, we’re benefiting from an extra grant to help fund the costs of our transition to an interim ministry.

Further information on registration for this year’s meeting will be available shortly!

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.

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.

A Note from Rev. Amy

Since I started serving you last month, you have been so welcoming to this new interim minister; we’re off to a wonderful start! At this point, you may be wondering about more of the specifics of what a two-year interim period is like. After 2 services lead by me, I dropped out of sight to attend the Introduction to UU Ministry class online, with colleagues form around the country, for 40 hours. It will be good to see y’all again on Labor Day weekend.

An interim period is to work toward several things. In general, it is a time for us to examine and attend to any issues or goals that are lingering from the previous ministries. These include what are called “The Five Developmental Tasks of Interim Ministry.” At my first service on August 7, we symbolically unpacked them from a suitcase.

In addition to the normal responsibilities of congregational ministry, including worship and pastoral care, Intentional Interim Ministers are tasked with assisting a congregation in:

• claiming and honoring its past and engaging and honoring its griefs and conflicts;
• recognizing its unique identity and its strengths, needs, and challenges;
• clarifying the appropriate leadership roles of minister(s), church staff, and lay
leaders and navigating the shifts in leadership that may accompany times of
• making appropriate use of Regional, UUA, and other outside resources; and
• proudly coming into possession of a renewed vision and strong stewardship,
prepared for new growth and new professional leadership, ready to embrace the
future with anticipation and zest.”

To all of you lovely people who make up UU Berks, our journey together is going well, and I look forward to our ongoing process of getting to know each other and the hopes and dreams you have for your congregation.

In peace with love,
Rev. Amy

Belonging To One Another

From Your Director of Religious Education

What does it mean to belong? What belongs to you?  And who do you belong to? As I was exploring these questions and reading all about belonging to prepare for our time together in September, a song popped into my head.  Can you guess which one?

… Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.  A circle’s round, it has no end.  That’s how long I’d like to be your friend…

Where and when did you first hear this song?   Did you just learn it now and have to go look it up?  Did reading the lyrics bring you back to camp this past year?  Or maybe, did those lyrics transport you to a time so long ago you’re not sure how much time it’s been exactly since you heard the song for the first time?

As the lyrics floated through my memory I turned them over and over in my head.  Which friendship is silver?  Which is gold?  The circle is round but how do we become a part of the circle in the first place – where is our beginning?

And that’s just it.  My friend and fellow religious educator, Lenore Bejare-Dukes pointed out that “the song doesn’t say which friendship is silver and which one is gold.  The implication is there in rhyme and word order but there’s space for us to find our own answer to this song.”  As UUs we look for the meaning in the space between.

This year we’re leaning into the space between. The space between “being” and “longing.”  What a great word for us to start our year with, “Belonging.”  For some of us the space between has felt really really wide these past few years.  For some of us that space has been closer than they knew it in past seasons of their lives.  For others, you’re coming to our space for the first time.

Our Unitarian Universalist faith is created and re-created by the friendships we value and how we choose to connect with each other.  Those friendships are what’s guiding our religious education programming choices this year.  If you’d like to find out more here’s more on our intentions (link).

In all that we belong to and in all that we do this church year, may we seek with open minds, may we nurture with loving hearts and may we serve with helping hands. Blessed be and Amen.


by nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director


be longing

longing to be


be coming

the two betwined

our most authentic



the deep truth

of our


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