Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
June 11, 2023

This Sunday:


June 11, 2023 at 10:30 am

A Child Went Forth Come take part in this beautiful traditional UU service where our graduates cross the bridge between youth and young adulthood.  Not just a high school graduation service, we honor many achievers, so come prepared to feel proud.  The service will encompass the theme of transitions.

Take action to protect yourself from Covid-19 based on local risk conditions.  

Feel free to wear a mask anytime.

FUUBC encourages all those who can be vaccinated to be vaccinated, including boosters, as appropriate.

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 Jayden’s Impossible Garden words by Mélina Mangal and pictures by Ken Daley
  • Soul Matters shares:  This is a book about finding delight amidst all the buildings, people, and traffic in a city neighborhood.  Some don’t believe there’s nature in the city. but Jayden can see through all the distractions and plants the seeds of nature and delight – to show them the magic of nature in the middle of the city.    
  • Watch it here.  Or find it here.


9:45 AM : Adult RE 

  • In Person: chalice house craft room.  (Teens welcome with accompanying parent/guardian)

  • Faith Formation – 2nd Sunday in June: discussion continued based on Gutsy Women.  email Ginny Chudgar for more info (see directory for address)

  • Onsite Only 

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 – We delight in celebrating our year together!

10:30- Worship Service- All Ages

Celebrating transitions from one way of being to another – Graduates cheered! 

10:45 – 11:45 Youth Group:  

Grades 7th – 12: we had a great year!  next meet up in August.

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

The Kids Need You in Religious Education (RE)

We are putting together RE programming for the fall and want to make sure we have everyone interested in being a helper or leader. EVERY bit helps–even if you can only help one Sunday morning during the whole year, we welcome that!

Seven is the lucky number. If we have seven volunteers for each class, then we can rotate and spread the joy of serving our children. Even if you’ve already spoken to Ebee or someone on the RE Vision Team, make sure you sign up here so we can follow up.

Here are three cute videos that explain why we need you: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7ki3apq8L56PPS9WyKs8qro-iM_x6rmi

Sign Up here: UU Religious Education (RE) Volunteers

Sunday Volunteers:
Greeters: Lauren and Jake F.
Ushers: Lynn O. and Lauren F.
Coffee Crew:  Mark B. and Stephanie E.

Stand Up Berks Walk
Click Here to Register for Walk For NO MORE
Saturday June 17, 2023
9:00-11:00 am
820 at the Mills/Behind Sly Fox Taproom (former VF Outlet Complex)

Juneteenth Celebration

Hello UU members, you are all invited to the annual Juneteenth Celebration and Barbecue on June 17th.The event will be located at the Elks Lodge 237 Walnut street Reading. The hours will be from 12 to 6pm. This is a family Celebration with numerous activities for children( for instance, glass blowing from Goggle Works), entertainment,  Juneteenth speakers, and good food! Everything is FREE!

Reading Hospital will have their Mobile Mammography Coach present for the ladies and Prostate screenings for the men. Penn St/St Joe’s will provide Diabetes and Dental screenings. Berks Community Health Center will provide blood pressure screenings and nutritional information.

There will also be numerous vendors from the City and County. Plus, local and State government officials will be there to  discuss issues you may be concerned about!

Please consider attending this FREE event and gain some knowledge of why we celebrate Juneteenth!

Please bring insurance and ID if you want to take advantage of free screenings.

Peace and Blessings,

Dennis W., Juneteenth Facilitator

Social Justice Opportunities for Connection & Information

Mike and I have been members since 2004. As we prepare to go to General Assembly for the first time, we are learning about our extended UUA family. Here are some nuggets of knowledge that Randy and Carol opened our eyes to: First UU is in the Central East Region (CER) and our primary contact is Lenore Bajare-Dukes (she/her).Sign up for their Opportunities for Connection monthly newsletter to learn about events and programs on https://www.uua.org/central-east/blog

UU JusticePA is our legislative lobbying group that fights for policies and structural change. Sign up for one of their Justice Teams and talk to Carol Orts about their monthly calls that empower you to make a lasting impact. https://uujusticepa.org/justice-teams/

The 8th Principle Learning Community is a Facebook group of committed folks across the country who continue to learn how to accountably dismantle systems of oppression. Ask Pat and Maggie about how it has fed their spiritual growth.

Finally, we have our own internal community bulletin board. If you’d like to share some news with fellow congregants about something fun, curious, for sale, or for discussion, you can send an email to  and receive a daily digest only when someone posts a message. Join our First UU Berks internal listserve by emailing a request to the office

Once you’re connected with one of these groups, please share your insight and involvement with our First UU Social Justice Coordinating Team.  We’ll connect you with others of similar interests!

Greeter Volunteers Needed

I hope this mid spring beautiful weather is finding you all well!!

As we are all seeing new growth in nature in this season- I find that being of service is also a path to growth for us humans 🙂   We currently have a dedicated list of volunteers which is very much appreciated but as summer gets closer- I realize there are other adventures we will be heading out to do so there are currently a lot of open spots for the upcoming Sundays.  This is a wonderful way to connect with the rest of the community, get to know more about our amazing church and as an added bonus- gets you to church when sometimes you may not feel like getting out of your pajamas and hear the priceless messages in each of the services.

With this said- we need your help!!   If you are available or want to know more about being a greeter -please reach out to me by phone, text or email

Joanne K.

Food Bank

The Helping Harvest Food Bank is held at our church on the 3rd Saturday of each month, which will be June 17th. To prepare, we need to set up a “store” in the Gerber Room with tables and shelves starting 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 in our store. 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.

Member info

Did you know that we have a private website for members only:
member-info.uuberks.org ?  It is basically an electronic version of a bulletin board. On the website you can also find links to important documents (like the Budget, Bylaws, Church Directory,…), important email addresses ( like Staff, Committees,  … email addresses),  and a host of “how to” docs  (like Google Forms Have 2 Links, Email Account vs. Email Alias, Google Workspace Guide for New Users,…)

If you have any questions, send them to Frank W. Here are a few common questions and answers:

  1. Why do I have to login to access this site?  This site is private and the information on it is for members only. By having a login, we can restrict access to those individuals that are FUUBC members.
  2. I attend services all the time but I am not a member. How do I become a member?  We have a page on our public website with all of the details.  See https://uuberks.org/connect/become-a-member/ 
  3. I have a Google account, but I don’t remember my password.  (1) Go to the Google login page at accounts.google.com, (2) enter your email address, (3) click on the “next” button and (4) click on the “Forgot password” link.
  4. Does UUBerks have an email list for open communications between members on any topic? Yes, for years we used to use a Yahoo Group. Now that we are using Google Workspaces, we are using a Google Group. Contact Frank W. to be added to the email list.

Photos from the 2023 Reading Pride March & Rally.

Reading hosted it’s first EVER Pride March and Rally. The Pride Celebration started downtown in front of City Hall with a flag raising and the parade finished up at City Park with a Pride Picnic / Rally. I think everyone had a great time. If you’re interested, you can find photos from the event at the following link. You’re welcome to download, print, and share them.

End of Summer Picnic

Mark your calendars now for the End of Summer Picnic on Sunday, August 27th at 12pm at Farming Ridge Park in Exeter. The picnic will begin after the worship service and there will be a basket raffle during the picnic. We will be sharing more information in the Univoice later this summer. We will need help organizing and running the picnic. I am hoping that Rev. Amy will lead us in an old-time worship service before the picnic that lasts 3-4 hours like our church used to have 100 years ago. As one of the co-chairs of the Picnic Committee, I decree that all the picnic volunteers will be officially excused so as to be able to help with the picnic.

Contact Frank W. if you are able to help or have questions/suggestions.

Handprint T-shirt Order

Have you seen our amazing congregation handprint canvas in the Gerber room? Now you can get it on a T-shirt for $20! You can pre-order a shirt for yourself now through May 21st on the order form in the Gerber room- find the shirt and you’ll find the form. Ask an RE volunteer for assistance.

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.

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


Of course June would contain delight. Not only is it the month when we gather
together for General Assembly, but the weather in most areas is getting luscious.
There are the June celebrations of Juneteenth and Father’s Day and PRIDE, plus,
for some, graduations and the June wedding.
Delight is, in my understanding, a very specific happiness. It is when you find
happiness because of turning toward something. It is a verb and a noun; while
your favorite ice cream may be a delight to share with someone, you delight in
doing so. It is happiness, with the full feeling of satisfaction.
When I think of spiritually encountering delight, it is to rejoice in the feeling we
get when everything is, for that moment, just right. It is when we experience life
the way God wishes for us, if God language works for you—happy and satisfied.
A perfect sky, the smile of someone we love, the bracing wake-up of jumping into
a cold lake or pool after Memorial Day. Delightful.
Strip away the external trappings of the right clothes or the cost, and look at the
thing you are planning or looking forward to doing in June. What delights does the
moment promise? Use all of the seldom-used words to encourage a delightful
time. BASK in the satisfaction of a task completed. REVEL in the joy you
brought to somebody else. REJOICE in a well-executed plan. Delight is like
happiness, next level. It is not out of our grasp; we just do not often take the time
to notice.
In June, take the time to delight in the small things, and make the big things
delightful—happy and satisfactory. Even if it ends up looking different from what
you first imagined. You might even reach the next level of EXALTED. But for
now, let’s delight in this June weather.

In peace with love,

Rev. Amy

Hymn Highlight: #1022 Open The Window

Delight, our theme for the month, and delicious share etymological root.  This feels right, delight can feed the soul in a joyful way.  We have to open up and let delight in for it to do so.

This framework makes me think of Elise Witt’s song in our teal hymnal #1022 “Open The Window.”  Her song is inspired from the Georgia Sea Islands spiritual Heist the Window, Noah. 

Her song uses just one line from the original “let the dove fly in.”   In our hymn, we sing of situations for the dove to fly in, for peace to fly in.  I think that can also be the unexpected, the joyful, the delightful to fly in.

I encourage you this month to take a moment and sing our hymn with Elise Witt and Lea Morris.

Elise Witt’s Open the Window with Lea Morris for the Washington Ethical Society

And then ask, what window can you open?

What might fly in?

delight full life

by nadine j. smet-weiss
spiritual director

to daylight
bare toes
in beach sand
dog kisses
giggling children
pine needle paths
passing smiles with
passing strangers
sour raisins
ocean waves
silence of
still waters
a good cup of coffee

Leave a Reply

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