Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
November 27, 2022
This Sunday:
November 27, 2022 at 10:30 am

“Family of choice” is how most of us grow our own friend circles so that we are not alone.  When friends come together to carry out old traditions, make new ones, and blend those family ties with bonds of friendship, we’ve got “friends giving thanks” for those life-sustaining relationships.  Come for the service and stay for a potluck after.  (Bring something to share if you can.  Your presence is more important than your food offering;  do not stay away simply because your presence is what you brought!)

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.

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.

This Weekend:

  • Tonight’s Story is Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story by Danielle Hill, Alexis Buntun, Anthony Perry, Garry Meeches, sr.
  • “The Thanksgiving story that most Americans know only celebrates the Pilgrims.  Without members of the Wampanoag tribe who already lived on the land where the Pilgrims settled, the Pilgrims would never have made it through their first winter.  Without Weeâchumun (corn), the Native people wouldn’t have helped. Keepunumuk is an important picture book that retells the Thanksgiving story for a more inclusive America, a story that honors the Native peoples who made it possible.
  • Hear it here.  Or borrow it from your local library.


9:45 AM :Adult RE 
  • In Person: in back of chalice house

  • Faith Formation Fall – This 3rd week of the month we focus on personal interest. Ginny shares what she’s learned about Voodoo from one of her mentees (her grandangels).

  • 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: Kidspace Classroom 2nd floor * teens may help, let us know you’ll be coming
  • Children’s RE – this week, we explore a few songs of change.  

10:30- Worship Service- All Ages

We share in our bread ceremony and contemplate what nourishes us.

10:30 AM: Youth Group 

Grades 7th – 12:  Onsite 

  • On site: back chalice house.  Gathering by name tags cart before start.
  • ALL 8 second session: this year we dive into all 8 principles through art making and brain storming.

Monday – Thursday 

Weekly posts on our covenanted RE Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/UUBerks.RE.page/?ref=share check out our Remind classroom. If you need to signup link here: remind.com/join/refuucbc

Our Semi annual Congregational Meeting will be held on December 11th following service. These meetings help us to exercise our 5th principle by giving members an opportunity to vote on important issues. Please plan to attend.
Ushers Needed

As we move forward to reestablish our Ushering /Pass the Plate process here at Berks UU we are currently looking for anyone who is interested in volunteering.   This is a great way to be of service, feel a part of a bigger community which over the past 3 years has been a struggle for most of us and helping this beautiful church grow and thrive again!!

We would like to have two ushers at each service to be able to pass the plates during the service, count attendees each Sunday, count the $ after the service, fill out the Usher Report, put the envelope in the Lock Box and then return the baskets to the lower shelf of the chancel table in the sanctuary.

We are hoping to have at least 15-18 volunteers so that those volunteers would be of service every 6-8 weeks. There will be a similar on line sign up process as we currently use for the Greeters & Coffee Crew. Please take time to consider this and please contact me, Joanne Koehler if you are interested or have any questions.

We will be having a Zoom meeting on November 29th at 7pm to answer any questions you may have and go through the Usher duties.

Here is the Zoom Link …..


The Caring Bags Project

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.

If you have questions, please contact Lauren Fritz or Ginny Chudgar

Cookie Donations and Helpers Needed

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 office@uuberks.org If you are able to help with coffee hour setup or clean up please contact Bonnie Sirott- Arlet

Do you like to throw parties? Sample food from caterers? Select wines and party decorations? You should volunteer to chair the 2023 Service Auction.

Frank Wilder is stepping down from the Service Auction chair and is only interested in being in charge of the service auction tech: donations, the auction catalog, the auction and bid winner billing. We need someone else to step in as the Service Auction chair and work on the “entertainment” part for the event. You will be in charge of a team of volunteers that will choose a theme for the event , decorate the church for the event, manage the food & drink, and help clean up after the event. If you are interested in helping, contact Melissa at office@uuberks.org
Family Promise asks for these home “making” items

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:

New Shelter Home (signupgenius.com)

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.

You can sign up for these dates and times here: FP Volunteer for Gift Deliveries and Pick ups signup genius 

Any questions can be directed to Cyndi Dimovitz

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 December 17th

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer but cannot me here on 10/2, please contact Mark Burton

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.

In the Interim, by Interim Minister, Rev. Amy DeBeck

November’s Thoughts are about CHANGE

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.

Seasons Change

Our seasons are changing all around us.  

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.

Let Us Fall Into Winter Together,

Your Director of Religious Education,

Ebee Bromley

being change

nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director


heart opening



the fullness

of our light

into the world

much like that

brilliant tree

turned autumn orange

outside my

bedroom window

trusting life

by letting go


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *