Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
January 29, 2023

This Sunday:

The Fire of Commitment

January 29, 2023 at 10:30 am

This week we will be exploring The Wider UU World and its History as we build on the understanding of UU Berks’ history.

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:

  • Tonight’s Story is Yo-Yo Maker: Pedro Flores by Paige V. Polinsky (Author)  
  • From Soul Matters: “Pedro Flores was born in the Philippines in 1896, when Spain still ruled his country. After the US took over, Pedro traveled to California, received an education, and looked for ways to go into business for himself. Then he remembered a toy from his childhood called the yo-yo, which means “come back” in Tagalog. He kept his balance, founded a company and found his center, which was to share his delight of the Yo-Yo with children. “
  • Watch it here.  Or find it here.


9:45 AM :Adult RE 

  • In Person: back chalice house room

  • Faith Formation – Neurodiversity.  We continue our exploration of neurodiversity.

  • 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 – We help prepare for coffee hour.  Come join in to help make tasty snacks and learn about the roles community members take on when helping with coffee hour. 

10:30- Worship Service- All Ages

We will explore the long history of our UU faith.  What are the choices Unitarians, Universalists and Unitarian Universalists made to get us to this day?    

 Youth Group 

Grades 7th – 12:  Onsite 

  • On site: back chalice house.  Gathering by name tags cart before start.
  • ALL 8 fifth session: this year we dive into all 8 principles through art making and brain storming.  Sunday’s session will focus on the 5th principle. 

Coffee Hour 

  • kids are invited to help with coffee hour table setting, serving and clean up, duties to be completed by 12 noon. 

Monday – Thursday 

Weekly posts on our covenanted RE Facebook page
check out our Remind classroom. 

Volunteers: January 29, 2023
Greeters: Liz Eshelman & Dennis Williams
Ushers: Dennis Williams & Jayne’ Park-Martinez
Coffee Crew: RE Kids

UU and You — It’s All of Us

Everyone is invited to the Pledge Drive Kick Off Luncheon after church in the Gerber Room on Sunday, February 26 at noon.  Mark your calendars and plan on spending some time in fellowship with your congregation.  More details on this exciting event to follow!  If you would like to help plan or carry out this event, please contact your Stewardship Chair, Vince O’Brien

Attention Giant Shoppers! Did you know you can shop at Giant and make money for the Church at no cost to you?

FUUBC is part of the Giant charitable grocery scrip program that gives 10% of all gift cards sold back to our church. You can purchase cards as needed or sign up for a monthly gift card order that will be sent directly to your home the first week of each month.

When you receive your order you will also receive a return envelope to mail your check to the church. Checks can also be dropped in the Gerber room drop box or in the plate collection. Checks should be made out to FUUBC with giant card in the memo line.

If you would like to purchase Giant cards please return the form below to Melissa at office@uuberks.org. One time cards can also be purchased from Melissa at coffee hour twice a month.

Giant cards are available in $50 and $100 increments.

Giant Card Form

Contemplative Companions

Join us on Monday 2/6 @ 7:00pm  via zoom when we will ask the question, “what is the center that holds you?”  For further information, including the zoom link, contact Nadine.

Coming in February – a clothing drive for Valentine’s Month.

Valentine’s Month. We are wearing our hearts on our sleeves, pants, hoodies, socks, winter wear, boots, shoes, anything adults or children don. Keep this in mind as you sort through your closets and bins. Our collections will go to Hope Rescue Mission and Lighthouse to help housing compromised women, men and children in our own local community.
While this is not a Shared Plate commitment, Lighthouse and Hope Rescue Mission asked for our help in caring for unhoused children, women, and men in our own local community. More information to come in February.

Parking Update

Reading is changing its street parking procedure from meters to app only payments. Currently parking in front of the church is free during the week until further notice. Street parking is always free on Sundays and free parking is also available in the Library lot on Sundays. The parking garage does charge on Sundays. You can pay by the Parkmobile app or at the small payment station near the entrance of the parking garage (near the stairs)

Solar Panel Information Sessions

Mike M. from the Solar Team presented an update on the project during the Congregational Meeting on Sunday, December 11th. It was generally well received. In keeping with the presentation, we would like to offer follow up detailed presentations and discussions. We created a short online survey to help us find the best dates and we received 5 responses. Here are the 2 most popular options.

  • an in person event on Sunday, Jan 22 @ 12 PM in the meeting room at the back of the Chalice House
  • a online Zoom event on Tuesday, Jan 24 @ 7PM.  Here is meeting link: https://zoom.us/my/fuubc

Service Auction 2023 Update

This is not a joke: mark your calendars now, we have a date for the 2023 Service Auction: April Fool’s Day (Saturday, April 1st, 2023).  This year’s theme will be Here Comes the Sun  … I think it has something to do with the solar panels we are trying to add to our roof.  We are still working out all the details and we will be sharing them with you as they are finalized.  The Service Auction Team is looking for volunteers to help with the auction, watch for the sign up in the Univoice after the New Year.


The Service Auction Team

Finding Our Center

Happy New Year, everybody! May 2023 and its fresh-slate first month be the time
for finding our center.
A ritual I have often led around the New Year is called the Coffin and Cradle. It
was written by my colleague and friend, Rev. Barbara Child. Her intern, back in
the day, was Rev. Roberta Finkelstein, who taught me the ritual when I was
Roberta’s intern.

Reflecting on this ritual gave me the opportunity to think about how I look to get
centered. For me, I feel balance when I consciously connect to those around me–
when I see my life in its larger context. Centering on my identity as a UU minister,
I celebrate the lineage of rituals. How might you find your center?

The essence of the Coffin and Cradle ritual is that at the new year we are
encouraged to put into the coffin that which we need to leave behind us in the
previous year, thus the coffin metaphor. Likewise, a cradle metaphor, because in
the new year we could give birth to new dreams and plans.

In the search for finding our center, obtaining balance, we will continuously be
casting off old ideas and anything else that is not serving us any longer, balancing
that with decisions of taking on new visions, or not.

In some ways, the Cradle, that which you would like to birth this year, is like
making New Year’s resolutions, but with balance. The Coffin represents the
balance, finding that center, when we are capable of letting go.

Happy New Year and Happy Searching!

In peace,
Rev. Amy

Hide And Seek

Finding our Center can be a bit like hide and seek.   We need to seek out who we are.  Do we look around the corner or further down the hallway for the person hiding?

What do we love?  What makes us feel ecstatic?  What puts a smile on our faces? What feels like the right thing to do? What feels aligned with our values?

These are choices we can make every day.

Sometimes we need to hide.  To find a spot of quiet, be in protected space.

Where do we hide that will feel like the best spot?  If the person searching for us takes a while – what do we notice when we’re really quiet?  One time I was playing hide and seek with my niece and nephew.  The nibling doing the seeking was taking their sweet time and I was trying to be as quiet as possible, to occupy my waiting I started looking around my hiding place, between the wall and an open door.  I never had noticed the details in the door before.  The woodgrain was showing through behind the paint in interesting patterns.  Before too long my nibling found me and the game was set again.  This time I was the seeker in search of the hiding ones.

We seek, we find, we come to the center and we leave from that place ready to search anew.

May we all have some fun in learning what it means for us to find our center this month.

Your Director of Religious Education,

Ebee Bromley

take a moment

by nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director

take a moment

to attend

to your breath

follow it in

all the way

to the center

of your being

then listen

to what it


in the ear

of your heart

on the way out

live that

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