Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
July 16, 2023
This Sunday:

Let’s Talk about Sex

July 16, 2023 at 10:30 am

Rev. Amy DeBeck

This Sunday we share stories about sexual education, and about our religion’s understanding of it, which sometimes sets us apart from the mainstream! Bring a friend and expect prizes as we celebrate summer in church!

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 of The Invisible String told by Miss Leparir, words by Patrice Karst, pictures by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff. 
    • Everyone is connected by an Invisible String made of love that reaches from heart to heart, overcoming the fear of loneliness or separation.  Though we may be separated from the ones we care for, whether through anger, or distance or even death, love is the unending connection that binds us all, and, by extension, ultimately binds every person on the planet to everyone else.


9:45 AM : Adult RE 

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

    • Faith Formation – 3rd Sunday in July: come on by for an early morning coffee house.  Tunes will be playing.  The RE team will have the coffee and tea available starting at 9:45.  That’s right – two opportunities for tea or coffee this morning! 

    • 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)

    • Onsite Only 

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: Chalice House *airconditioned* 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

What does it mean to honor our whole selves? Unitarian Universalism teaches that sexuality is a part of life. 

    • Use a printed or hand labyrinth to find renewal as you attend worship this morning. Here’s a labyrinth you can print out and trace.  Labyrinth Printable

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

Sunday Volunteers:Greeters: Dennis W. and Joanne K

Ushers: Joanne K

Coffee Crew: Corrine H and Heidi S

Come out this Sunday for Pride fest!

Pride fest is finally here!  It is being held this Sunday, July 16th from 11-6pm at Jim Dietrich Park. Come see some great vendors, grab some yummy food and to show your support for our LGBTQ community Don’t forget to stop by the FUUBC table

Jim Dietrich Park is located at 4889 Stoudts Ferry Bridge Rd, Reading 1960%

Contemplative Companions

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.

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 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 g.friends.of@uuberks.org and receive a daily digest only when someone posts a message. Join our First UU Berks internal listserve by emailing a request to admin@uuberks.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 g.social.justice@uuberks.org.  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 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.

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. 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

Our Stories

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

to attend.

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

Rev. Amy

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,

Ebee Bromley

Director of Religious Education

faithfully becoming

by nadine j. smet-weiss

spiritual director



















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