Contracts and covenants are all around us, both by being implicit, like social constructs, or explicit, like those which get discussed and written together, like church covenants. When we know what to expect, we function better; let’s look at how spelling it out ahead of time makes us feel more free, not less free.
To attend on site, FULL 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.
General Assembly Meeting After Service This Sunday:
This Sunday, 11/13, there will be a brief meeting following service in the Sanctuary to discuss General Assembly.
If you attending service via Zoom stick around on the service link to attend.
November’s Special Plate Collection:
This month our special plate collection will benefit Berks Coalition to End Homelessness. Please make checks payable to FUUBC with Berks Homelessness in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to the church or dropped in the box in the Gerber room.
Tonight’s Story is Sandra Cisneros’ “Eleven”
As we explore growing and changing together take a listen to the author read or read for yourself Sandra Cisneros’ 1991 story. Soul Matters shares of “Eleven”: describes a deeply memorable experience the author had as an elementary school student, became a mainstay in schools across North America throughout the 1990s and 2000s. However, it has a very different feel when read at home, in the context of one’s family.
Use this telling together as an opportunity to talk about the big changes that come with growing up. Hear the author herself read the story here. and for a text version, here.
9:45 AM :Adult RE
In Person: in back of chalice house
Faith Formation Fall – This 2nd week of the month we focus on different religions. Sunday’s focus is on Wicca and earth centered traditions with Rev Amy leading discussion. Drop in participants welcome.
9:45 AM: Children’s RE
Elementary Ages: Onsite/Online, email Erin Connolly by Saturday noon if you’ll be attending online
On site: Kidspace Classroom 2nd floor * teens may help, let us know you’ll be coming
Children’s RE – this week, through art, sharing and game we play with the idea of change. What would we change? How would we change it?
Next Sunday will be our breads of the world ceremony – this year with a twist! Nov 20th we invite you to bring in the bread of your family. Some of us recall babkas or corn bread. While for some it is tortillas or dinner rolls. We will create a table of bounty together. Our bread ceremony will give us the opportunity to speak of our family offering before those onsite* enjoy it together at social hour.
* We hope those at home will take advantage to enjoy this memory in your own spaces.
Splinters from the November Board of Directors Meeting:
Discussion of transition schedule
Update by Rev. Amy for transition Team
Nominating committee update
By-law update discussion, to be introduced at December congregational meeting
Family Promise (FP) has a new ‘shelter house’ model for helping families who are experiencing homelessness. Instead of traveling from church to church, families now live temporarily in a house while participating in the program. SIGN UP HERE TO VOLUNTEER Our church has committed to provide meals or groceries to the three families staying at two ‘shelter houses.’
Volunteers will drop off a meal or groceries on Mondays & Wednesdays directly at their chosen house at 6:00pm. Volunteers are encouraged to hand sanitize and wear a mask.
You can also mail gift cards for food and/or clothing directly to the FP Office (325 N. Fifth Street, Mon-Thur before 4:30PM. Phone:(610) 373-3323).
If you have any questions, please call Carla at 610-301-4522.
Hello FUUBC! Here’s everything you need to know about Friendsgiving and the Caring Bags Project! Friendsgiving will be held on Sunday, November 27th, following the service. It’s a chance for us to enjoy a feast with friends in community, celebrating potluck-style the Sunday following Thanksgiving. Below you will find a link to a sign up genius for you to reserve your spot and to share what you plan to bring.
The Caring Bags Project is a church-wide initiative that we will be collecting for throughout November. We are joining the RE program in making Caring Bags for our homeless brothers and sisters. Donations can be dropped off at a designated area in the Gerber Room throughout November. On Sunday, December 4th, we will create a church-wide assembly line after service to put the Caring Bags together. They will then be dispersed to the community.
Here is a list of possible donation items that you can be collecting: socks, hats, gloves, bottled water, gallon size plastic bags, drawstring cloth bags or gently used backpacks, soap, travel sized tissues, sample sized lotions, shampoos and conditioners, chapstick, band aids, hand sanitizer, cough drops, tooth brushes, toothpaste, combs and brushes, deodorants, hot hands, tampons/pads, travel wet wipes.
Our community will once again be participating in the Berks Connection Pretrial Services (BCPS) holiday gift tree event. We have been given 25 names of children whose parent or guardian is currently incarcerated at the Berks County Prison. For some of these children, this may be the only gift they receive. BCPS hosts a big family event and hands out the gifts. My wife, Rachel, and I have been coordinating this event for 18 years and are always amazed at the generosity of our church members. If you want to participate, contact me and I will provide you with the child’s name, age, gift ideas, and clothing size. I suggest a budget of about $30, but smaller monetary gift donations can be made and I will combine them to purchase gifts. additionally, if you want to participate, but cn not get out to shop, I will be happy to shop for you. Please remember to include your child’s name and family number on the gift bags.
***Please only use Gift Bags for all gifts and return to church or Kent Gutzler by Nov 20th. Contact Kent Gutzler at 610-780-5162 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange drop off
NEW THIS YEAR: Please put gifts in gift bags*. DO NOT wrap the gifts. You can put all of one child’s gifts into one big bag, or several smaller ones. *We found great deals with Dollar Tree for gift bags! Label them with the child’s name and family number. Because these are complete families, you can choose to bag the gifts in a large black garbage bag with the family number on the outside or bring them loose, and we will ensure they are bagged up for the gift distribution.
NOTE: if a size bed is listed, it is in reference to sheet size.
Family Promise is in need of household items for the new shelter home, which is scheduled to open in early-November. The items we currently need are listed on this sign-up genius. You will click the box, labeled “sign up”, next to the item or items you are able to donate
Next, you hit “Submit and Sign Up” at the bottom of the screen. You will be directed to submit some contact information:
The final list below is for anyone physically able to assist with carrying holiday gifts up and down the steps, between the 1st and 3rd floors of our office building. This might be a good opportunity to get youthful members involved from your congregations! We have two dates and times available for sponsors to drop off gifts and three dates and times available for clients to pick up the gifts.
We are in need of cookie donations and coffee hour help for our Christmas Eve service. If you would like to donate a plate of cookies contact Melissa in the office at email@example.com If you are able to help with coffee hour setup or clean up please contact Bonnie Sirott- Arleth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-913-6949
The food bank will be moving back indoors starting this October 15th (inside the church) at 8:30am and yes it will take place on the 3rd Saturday of the month. So come out and help out with a great cause. We will be having an optional training session this Sunday (October 2nd) at noon if you want to learn more and get a better idea of what we do at the food bank. Here are the dates for the rest of the year.
Saturday November 19th
Saturday December 17th
If you have any questions or would like to volunteer but cannot me here on 10/2, please contact Mark Burton at email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or my cell 610-914-8827 if you are interested or have any questions.
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.
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.
In the Interim, by Interim Minister, Rev. Amy DeBeck
Hymn #361 tells us “Don’t be afraid of some change.” Is that how we feel about change—fearful? Are we afraid of change?
Fear seems like a big word to use about a small conflict, a small change. Well, although scary might be more present with a big change, change is incremental and it can creep up on you. Making small changes, working on each fear as you go, is best practice for long-term change..
So, if aversion to change, small or large, is fear-based, how might we get past the fear to accept the change? Think about a fear you have, and how you deal with it. Public speaking, heights, dogs, water….we have many fears and even more ways to deal with them. Nelson Mandela said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” Let’s be clear—if somebody is so fearful of flying that they will never fly, then all they have to do to have “triumphed over it” is to declare flying as a line in the sand that simply will not be discussed. Period.
“Don’t be afraid of some change.” Maybe an improvement could be made.
How about, instead, when you feel afraid of some change, note it, acknowledge its presence, and find the inner courage to behold the new surroundings not with fear, but with wonder. Let’s be afraid, then triumph over it.
A few short months ago many of us were wearing shorts and t-shirts.
We shared water from our lives at water communion. We might have found a new favorite pew to sit, wiggle, laugh, sing and cry in with old friends or with a new face. We met each other anew after this past summer, at youth group bonfire, or in our first class together back in Kidspace after a summer downstairs. We chose new topics to focus on and a new rhythm in Sunday morning adult RE. If you signed up for them in RE registration, you received packages to use at home with our Soulful Home packets this October expanding our sense of where sacred lives.
We did this in our community of communities. We gathered in our homes, our sanctuary, and our classrooms. We choose to come together because we as individuals and as a community value holding space for nourishment and spiritual growth for our children, for our youth and for our adults. We do this together because we know that no one generation has the monopoly on spirit, on knowledge, or on heart. We value a sense of belonging and being of service to one another.
Now, as we approach mid fall, many of us are wearing more sweaters and long pants.
We know that religious education is about building up families in our congregation. We know that families can be a family of one, a family of two, or a family of twenty two.
In this month of change, I think about the awesome change very humble ingredients go through when we put them together. All you need is some flour, a bit of water, some salt. Then you add in some time and heat. Voilà! You’ve got warm bread on your hands!
All month long we will be collecting ingredients to make blessing bags for folks who are housing insecure or unhoused.
Youth group will take their art supply ingredients to explore our 2nd principle.
Our kids will be using table cloths and baskets to learn how to set a table for eating and a table for worshiping.
On Nov 20th we will be celebrating, sharing and learning about different breads in our lives. What recipe will you make and share with us?
On Nov 27th we will be coming together to celebrate friendship and give our time to eachother over a potluck dinner following the service.
On Dec 4th we share our time and our collective strength to put together blessing bags with the supplies gathered all month.