Come hear what happened in Pittsburgh! Your delegates and members will report back on what was an important time at the 2023 UUA General Assembly. We voted on amendments to Article II, and a resolution to divest from fossil fuels as well as affirming the election of Sofia Betancourt to the presidency of our Association for the next six years. We met for tacos, and witnessed the bridging ceremony of Jonathan Newnham. To find out the details of these events and more of 5 days in Pittsburgh
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.
Tonight’s Story of The Koala Who Couldtold by Kevin Werner, words by Rachel Bright, pictures by Allison Halerz.
How does our world change, how does it stay the same, and what do we choose to do when change comes?
9:45 AM : Adult RE
In Person: chalice house craft room. (Teens welcome with accompanying parent/guardian)
Faith Formation – 2nd Sunday in July: we continue our exploration in our series on General Assembly. This week – what was the vote concerning divestment? How do we live our values through our decision making processes?
One of the goals of the Adult RE program is to get to know each other better. What fascinating people sit around our table and how much we have to learn from each other. There’s a place for you at our table!
email Ginny Chudgar for more info (see directory for address)
9:45 AM: Children’s RE: Theatre Camp Summer!
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 – Summer Theater Camp series! We play games, create costumes and have fun.
10:30- Worship Service- All Ages
General Assembly – what does it mean to be together with 1,000s of UUs – the travelers share our snapshots and all gathered share snapshots of meaning!
Greeters: Lauren and Jake F.
Ushers: Carol O. & Lauren F.
Coffee Crew: Carla and Mike M.
On Sunday July 9th, 2023 church members who went to Pittsburgh will be at Adult RE, giving you a chance to ask questions and find out what GA was really like in the 1st Floor Chalice House back room after service.
Please help FUUBC represent at this years Reading Pridefest! Pridefest will be held on July 16th from 11-6pm at Jim Dietrich park located at 4889 Stoudts Ferry Bridge Rd, Reading 19605. We are in need of people to setup, greet and breakdown our table. Please sign up here https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0f45a5a92da5fa7-pridefest2#/
Contemplative Companions will be taking a summer hiatus in the months of July and August. We will be regathering again in September. If you are interested in learning more about Contemplative Companions, please feel free to reach out to Nadine or Jane.
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 Facebookgroup 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 email@example.com receive a daily digest only when someone posts a message. Join our First UU Berks internal listserve by emailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you’re connected with one of these groups, please share your insight and involvement with our First UU Social Justice Coordinating Team at email@example.com. 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
The Helping Harvest Food Bank is held at our church on the 3rd Saturday of each month, which will be July 15th. 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a PDF copy or a hard copy to be mailed to you.
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.
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 email@example.com. One time cards can also be purchased from Melissa at coffee hour twice a month.
Giant cards are available in $50 and $100 increments.
In July and August, the Soul Matters group encourages us choose our own theme,
or even forego the thematic schedule. We decided to have a summer theme, for
July and August—Our Stories. Even as we welcome guests to the pulpit, stories
will abound. The act of coming together to hear the goings-on of other people,
other places, is a big part of human civilization. Our religions, too. How else do
we find out about the world unless diverse people share their stories?
In July and August, invite and bring friends. Most people who have had it in their
minds to find a church community for themselves or their kids “church shop” over
the summer. There was a time when “polite conversation” stayed away from
politics and religion, so it would seem awkward to push our religion on somebody
else. But it is no longer the 1950’s with those standards of etiquette. With religion
and politics being forefront in so many decisions effecting American families
today, UU Berks is the sanctuary for many people and their families that they do
not know exists.
This summer let your story include that time you were an evangelist and welcomed
that co-worker to UU Berks, or brought the neighbor, or drove your kid’s bestie to
church after a summer backyard campout. Create the church community you wish
And, just because summer makes me think of all the prizes we got for attending
Vacation Bible School when I was a kid, there is now a prize closet for July and
August! But you must listen and be able to answer the questions! Come and
renew your faith by sharing it with others!
In peace and love
Exploring and Imagining at General Assembly
Here’s one one snapshot from General Assembly. In the pic, A young child participates in a General Assembly exhibition hall interactive display of the core values proposal. The picture here was shared with permission from our young UU’s mom.
This past week at General Assembly, thousands of UU’s from across the globe and many ages gathered to worship. We gathered to wonder. We gathered to explore what we as Unitarian Universalists believe. One way we did this was to vote on the process of updating what’s in Article two of the UUA’s bylaws to continue. Article two is the section that holds what have been called our principles and sources, although, they’ve had a few different names through the years since the Unitarians and Universalists merged into one faith in 1961.
We as members and friends of all ages at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County will have opportunities throughout our year together to explore what we as UUs believe here and now and how we articulate that to serve us for the next fifteen years or so. I’m excited to be on this journey of exploration and imagination with all at UUBerks.
Yours in faith and learning,
Director of Religious Education
by nadine j. smet-weiss