Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
August 6, 2023

This Sunday:

Being Ready to Not be Ready

August 6, 2023 at 10:30 am 

Rev. Amy speaks of resilience and the flexibility required for life today.

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:

  • This month’s story is The Treehouse Rules a UUA Tapestry of Faith Story as adapted and told by Dr Tuli Patel, Executive Director at Beacon UU Congregation in Summit, NJ. 

  • When arguments arise over the use of a church treehouse, the children create a covenant together.


9:45 AM : Adult RE 

  • In Person: Back Chalice House 

  • Faith Formation in August: We explore how to practice fiscal responsibility as a part of the Sacred Web of All Being. With guest visits from Joe Plageman (8.6) and Bill Vitale (8.13)

  • 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

  • On site: Chalice House *air conditioned* 2nd floor * teens may help, let us know you’ll be coming

  • Children’s RE – Summer Theater Camp series!  This month we finalize the script, practice our lines & create our final costumes- see remind or fb family group page for more info

10:30- Worship Service- All Ages

We meet together to sing, to reflect, and to explore our world. 

10:45 – 11:45 Youth Group:  

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

Monday – Thursday 

Weekly posts on our covenanted RE Facebook page

August 15 & 22nd – 6:30-7:30

*** OWL for Middle School Info Sessions on Zoom and onsite options available – contact Ebee Bromley  to let her know you’ll attend

Sunday Volunteers:
Greeters: Dennis W. and Liz E.
Ushers: Dennis W.
Coffee Crew: Bonnie S. & Lynn O.

Nelson Simonson Memorial and Ice Cream Social- This Saturday

This Saturday, August 5th at 2 pm, we will be hosting a memorial service for long time member Nelson Simonson. Nelson and his wife Caroline were pillars of our UU community for many years. The family invites you to stay after service for an ice cream social in the Gerber room.

For those that cannot attend in person a zoom service will be available through our worship link

Thank you all of you that have volunteered to help with this service.

End of Summer Picnic
The End of Summer Picnic is only a few weeks away, 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 need everyone’s help. First, if you are planning to attend we need you to RSVP using the signup. Second, we need volunteers to help with setup, cooking and cleaning up afterwards.
Here is the link to the signup.  

Hello Everyone!

Keep your eyes out for an important survey to arrive in your email in the near future! Please fill out the survey so that we can compile the results about our congregation to share with prospective new ministers in our search.  We are excited to be at this stage of the process.
These next few steps involve our whole congregation.

Thank you for your very valuable time, perspective and participation!

The Ministerial Search Committee

If you have any questions please email g.minister.search@uuberks.org

A Friend In Need

Adanjesus Marin, a lifelong activist, was the lead organizer for Make The Road in Reading.  He worked closely with our congregation when we were supporting MTR on a variety of issues ranging from a municipal ID and driver’s licenses for people without papers to the initial organizing efforts at closing the detention center.  He was a frequent speaker at our anti-racism trainings and workshops. He accompanied Tonya Wenger and me to the General Assembly in 2018 in Kansas City to speak on a panel about the importance of white allies following the leadership of people of color on issues that involved their communities.

He is suffering from terminal cancer with a prognosis of less than a year.  The American “safety net” is failing him, as it has so many others. He had to struggle to get food stamps because they said he “couldn’t survive on what money he had.”  He finally won that.  But Social Security Disability is still delaying opening his case on various pretexts.  The latest demands for him to resubmit his paperwork included a deadline on the same date as the postmark of the letter, and then another one that his doctors resubmit their paperwork because “their signatures were illegible.”

In the meantime, he can’t make his rent for July as he has no income and it will be months before SSDI comes through when his case is finally opened.  He has asked for two things:  one, that if he touched you or improved your life in some way, that you let him know, and two, that if you can, that you help him financially in whatever amount that you can.

A paypal donation page has been set up for Adanjesus at this link  tinyurl.com/Donate4Adanjesus

The church will also collect donations that will be and mailed to Adenjesus. If you would like to donate by cash or check please make checks out to FUUBC with Adanjesus in the memo line or drop cash in a envelope marked for Adanjesus in the collection plate or the donation box in the Gerber room.

You can find him on facebook, or contact me at for well wishes. Please consider both of his requests:  Adan was an important part of our community while he was working in Reading.  While individually perhaps we cannot give much, what we give together can make a substantial difference for him.

Thank you,
Pat U.

Contemplative Companions

Contemplative Companions will be taking a summer hiatus in the months of July and August. We will be regathering on Monday 9/11 (note – this is the second Monday due to labor day). 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. 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.

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

moon shine

by nadine j. smet-weiss
spiritual director

by the
in the

This is Your Song

This summer a conference of Unitarian Universalist musicians and music lovers gathered in Baltimore, MD and online. We gathered to rebuild, to revision, and to reconnect. All of this reinvigorating happened thanks to the Association of Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries and the congregations that support this work (hint, hint, UUBerks is one of them).

Our spirits sang. They sang old songs and new songs. For some of us, our spirits sang songs that we don’t yet quite know yet. Sessions on song leading, song writing, and harmonizing all happened over the course of a few very hot days in July.

What’s next?

We’re planning to gather up many of those songs and some songs yet to be. You see, our current hymnal “Singing the Living Tradition,” was first published in 1993. That means we’re celebrating its 30th year in publication in 2023. So we’re also dreaming up what’s next. “Singing the Living Tradition” has some beautiful songs that can be caught and taught with our hearts. It also has some gaps. If you were alive in 1993, could you imagine exactly then what 2023 would feel like? From where we are now, can you imagine what 2053 will sound like? What songs will we need in 2053? How about what songs do we need now that aren’t in our current hymnal? Can you hear the songs that we reach for often?

The Unitarian Universalist Association is helping to resource and build what’s next. They’re bringing together voices from across our association. River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda Maryland’s own Director of Music, Clif Hardin, is one of the team on this new project. He put out a call during one of the sessions to every composer, lyricist, and everyone in our great faith community. He shared – “This is your chance! I believe everyone has at least one good song in them. There is spirit waiting to break through in all of us, if we are open to it.”

Yours in Song, Ebee Bromley, Director of Music

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