Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
May 7, 2023

This Sunday:

Youth Group Service 2023

May 7th, 2023 at 10:30 am 

This year our youth have been exploring their personal connections and understandings of our 8 UU principles in Jill Novensky’s All8 curriculum. We invite you to a time of reflection through the process of visual art. What a great way to kick off our month where we ask – What does it mean to be on the path of creativity?

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 The Book of Mistakes words and illustrations by Corinna Lyken.
  • Soul Matters shares:  This book is about the creative process, and the way in which ‘mistakes’ can blossom into inspiration.
  • Watch it here.  Or find it here.


9:45 AM :Adult RE 

  • In Person: meeting room off gerber room.  (Teens welcome with accompanying parent/guardian)

  • Faith Formation – 1st Sunday in May: Discussion The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris.  Do you have a topic you’d like to discuss?  email Ginny Chudgar (see directory for address)

  • Onsite Only 

9:45 AM: Children’s RE  

Elementary Ages:  Onsite/Online, email Ebee Bromley 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 finish our RE poster for the month of May.  Soul Matter’s theme the path of Creativity.  

10:30- Worship Service- All Ages

The Youth Group lead us in a celebration of our 8 UU Principles through visual art, music, and words. 

9 am – 12:00 Youth Group:  

Grades 7th – 12: meet to sound check and then lead your worship service.

?? Mystery Pals ??

Week 4 of 6: registered participants have received information to send and receive correspondence!  What do you want to know next?

The goal of this program is to build a relationship with Pals across generations, make a connection with them, and for participants kids and teens to know they are loved in their church community. 

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

May’s Special Plate Collection
This month our special plate collection will benefit LGBT Center of Reading. Checks may be mailed into the church, put in the collection plate or dropped on the wooden box in the Gerber room, throughout the month. Checks should be made out to FUUBC with LGBT in the memo line.

Sunday Volunteers: 
Greeters: Dennis W. & Joanne K.
Ushers: Lynn & Vince O.
Coffee Crew: Lauren F. & Karen N.

We Need You! At the RE Job Fair May 7th

On May 7th after the youth worship service, your Religious Education (RE) Vision Team will host a “RE Job Fair” in the Gerber Room.  This is an opportunity to express your appreciation and learn from the superheroes who have been running RE through the pandemic and beyond. Ebee, Erin, Jayne, Corinne, and Cyndi will share about all the ways you can participate in RE. We will have interest surveys and laptop stations ready to sign you up!

In the fall, we plan to return to age groupings, but we can only do that if we have enough volunteers and helpers. Join the exciting RE team and pitch in anyway you can! There are roles for everyone at various times in the year. You can:

– lead or help with activities in the classroom

– help when children prepare for coffee hour

– help when children participate in worship

– prepare materials for a craft

– be a guest speaker to share your passion or talent

– clean out a closet or organize a shelf

– decorate a board or display

– clean toys

– chaperone outings or gatherings outside of church

and more!

So, bring your calendar and an open mind, a loving heart, and helping hands as you consider how you’ll participate in nurturing our future UUs.

RE Mission: Holding Spaces for Nourishment and Spiritual Growth for All Ages, We hope to Build a sense of belonging in all spaces by Serving the entire family and Integrating home & worship for life-long religious exploration. 

Mark your calendars for our Spring Congregational meeting. These bi annual meetings give our members an opportunity to find out the latest updates and vote on important issues. Please plan on attending Sunday, May 21st, following coffee hour.

Playing in the dirt

April is over and we still have gardening to do. Jane P. and I are planning to work on the gardens at the church on Sunday, May 7 at 12PM. We would be grateful if you could join us and help out. We will be weeding, planting some new plants, and spreading mulch (I will be bringing our 4×8 trailer full of mulch).

If you plan to come, we recommend bringing a water bottle, a pair of work gloves, a pitchfork, a wheelbarrow, and your favorite weeding tool. Lisa has a Hori Hori Knife that I personally recommend for weeding, so feel free to borrow it.  Could you also sign up here so we know how many people to expect?

Let me know if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you there!


Dear Members of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County,

As we progress through Phase Two of the Settled Ministry Search Process, the congregation will participate in selecting the Search Committee (SC) members. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has refined and recommended a specific process to accomplish this important work. UUBerks leadership has embraced, tailored, and will execute this process within the next few weeks.

According to the UUA, using the recommended process provides good results with high respect and trust for both the SC and leadership. A synopsis of the process is as follows:

  • Leadership will phone each household to have a conversation, ultimately asking for recommendations for the search committee.

  • Recommendations will be recorded.

  • The most frequently listed names will become the short list of candidates for the SC.

  • Board members will call the short-listed candidates to see if they are interested in serving. Commitment and availability will be discussed.  Candidates who are sitting members of the board or M&O team would have to vacate those positions.

  • Candidates will create a Bio and statement of why they wish to serve on SC.

  • A vote for the slate of candidates will occur during a congregation meeting by early June.

Please consider the following questions while determining whom you recommend serving on the SC.

•What qualities are needed for someone to serve on a ministerial search committee? 

• Who in the congregation works well with others?

 •Who can represent and serve the whole congregation well, including our children and youth?

• Who knows (or can learn) the history and culture of the congregation, whether it is a member long-standing or relatively new? Who can use this history proactively? 

• Who has been and/or is active in the congregation and has demonstrated responsible participation and leadership? 

We hope you will take the time to have a meaningful conversation with leadership. If you are unavailable to talk when the call is placed, please be certain to return the call to the Board or M&O member that contacted you. It is imperative that we have each member’s input during this selection process. And please feel comfortable asking questions- if we don’t know the answer, we will research it and get back to you.

Respectfully Submitted by the Board serving you,

Ramona McCormick, President                                                      Nic Stoltzfus, Member at Large

Amber Brown, Vice President                                                       Mike Mannix, Member at Large

Greg Dimovitz, Secretary

Solar Panel System (5/3/2023)

We have received the PV design documents from Solar States, which comprise technical details and specifications for our photovoltaic system. The package includes a site assessment report, system design drawings, electrical diagrams, equipment specifications, and installation documents. Solar States will share these documents with the City of Reading and our electrical provider to obtain the necessary permits for the project. Although we could start the project immediately if we had precise information about the Inflation Reduction Act, the Solar Team intends to wait until the IRS releases the rules outlining how nonprofits can benefit from the solar rebate. Meanwhile, we will continue our search for grants and additional funding for the project. Out of curiosity, has anyone in our congregation won a significant amount in the lottery lately? We would LOVE to talk to you about this project.

2023 DRUUMM Public Worship & Fundraiser

Thursday, May 11th, 2023 at 8:00pm Eastern. Our working theme is Shine On, Resilient and Beautiful People with the Reverend Katie Romano Griffin and musical artist Amanda Thomas. This will be a public virtual event.  DRUUMM’s Public Worship is an opportunity for the wider world of Unitarian Universalism to connect with DRUUMM and be in community together. The Worship is open to everyone while prioritizing space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We particularly encourage our DRUUMM members in multiracial families and White antiracist allies to join.

Details are available at https://druumm.wildapricot.org/event-5225905

Do you have our latest Church Directory?
If you are in need of a church directory, please email Melissa at office@uuberks.org for a PDF copy or a hard copy to be mailed to you.

Would you like to deepen your connection to members of our church community?

The Eighth Principle Committee invites you to read What Does It Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy by Robin DiAngelo and then share your reactions to this important work in conversations with others, starting in July.  This is an opportunity to build community by telling stories and grappling with societal oppression. We have a limited number of copies available for $12.  Please contact Be Y. to get your book. We look forward to lively discussions this summer.

Food Bank

The Helping Harvest Food Bank held at our church on the 3rd Saturday of each month, is on 5/20/23. To prepare, we need to set up a “store” in the Gerber Room with tables and shelves around 8:30 AM. We will receive a delivery truck from Helping Harvest around 9:30 AM, which contains hundreds of pounds of food that must be carried in from the street. We will unbox all of the items and place them on the tables and shelves. Once the “store” is ready, we will guide families through it, one or two at a time, and assist them in selecting items that they can take home for free. Afterwards, we will break down all of the boxes and put away the tables and shelves.

We require many volunteers to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Currently, we are in need of more help. Would you be able to spare a few hours on Saturday morning to assist us? Typically, things are slow until the delivery truck arrives, so we could use more help with unloading, managing the different food areas in the “store” and cleaning up afterwards. Last month we were done before 12 noon. If you have any questions, please contact Frank W.

Are you curious what it would be like to be with UUs from all over the country and continent, right in our backyard?   Make sure to register for General Assembly happening this June from the 21st – 25th!  You can register for a day, a few days or full meeting. Check out https://www.uua.org/ga for more information.

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

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)

May Creativity

Friends, the time for submitting an article has come while I am simultaneously
participating in a weeklong meeting (online) of Interim Ministers AND packing up
my life from Elkhart IN. I hope that you will enjoy this link, or the printed lyrics
of my favorite song for May. Recorded by 10000 Maniacs, sung by Natalie
Merchant, These are Days.
Written by Buck Robert, Jerome Augustyniak, and Natalie A Merchant

These are days
These are days you’ll remember
Never before and never since
I promise
Will the whole world be warm as this
And as you feel it
You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you
Are touched by something
That will grow in you, in you
These are days you’ll remember
When May is rushing over you with desire
To be part of the miracles you see in every hour
You’ll know it’s true that you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you
Are touched by something
That will grow and bloom in you

These are days
These are the days you might fill with laughter until you break
These days you might feel a shaft of light
Make its way across your face
And when you do you’ll know how it was meant to be
See the signs and know their meaning
It’s true
You’ll know how it was meant to be
Hear the signs and know they’re speaking to you, to you

In peace with love,

Rev. Amy

A Practice In Creativity

Creativity happens when we ask ourselves – what if? It’s our ability to dream things up, hold them in our minds and then make them real in the world. It’s easier to be creative when you are connected to more than yourself. That connection can be with a group of people like your family, your friends, a group you belong to. That connection can be to a place, somewhere you travel to, somewhere that’s home. Often times that connection is more than one thing.

Our youth group all year met twice a month to practice creativity through the lense of our 8 principles in their curriculum. Our kids met each week to explore the theme of the month through creating posters, and stories, and even developing a song. Some of our families engaged with the theme of the month through Soulful Home arts, games and stories. Here’s a way you can playfully engage with creativity for a week this month from Soulful Home. If you think you can’t be creative or can’t draw – this practice is especially for you.

(Family can be those you connect with daily or weekly.)

Choose seven of the items below and challenge your family to do a drawing a day for a week. Make a thick stack of scrap paper and a jar of pencils in easy reach of everyone in the family. At whatever point throughout the day makes the most sense, each person draws the daily picture. Create a collage on the fridge or on a message board for the family to see the next day.

uuberks.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/picture-list-420×286.jpeg 420w” width=”549″ style=”border: 0;height: auto !important;outline: none;text-decoration: none;-ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic;”>

art of life

by nadine j. smet-weiss
spiritual director

each moment
of each day
this work of art
we call
our life

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