Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
August 26, 2023

This Sunday:

Church Picnic

August 27, 2023 at 10:30 am

The End of Summer Picnic at Farming Ridge Park  located at the intersection of Farming Ridge Blvd and Ritters rd in Exeter. We will start the day with a worship service at the park, followed by hamburgers and hot dogs. There will also be a basket raffle, so bring some cash for tickets.
RE Kids will be performing the play they have been working on this Summer.

This Weekend:

9:45 AM : Adult RE 

  • In Person : meet for picnic at Farming Ridge Park in Exeter

  • Faith Formation in August: what will you bring to this year’s picnic?

  • 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.

9:45 AM: Children’s RE: Theatre Camp Summer!  

  • At Farming Ridge Park: see special info email from Ebee and your summer leadership about where/when to meet

  • Children’s RE – Summer Theater Camp series!  Today’s the day of the show y’all !

10:30- Worship Service- All Ages at the Park!

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

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:
Service and Fellowship at the Church Picnic!

Tracie Greth’s Memorial 

We will be hosting a memorial service for Tracie Greth at 11am this Saturday, August 26th. If you are unable to attend in person we will be sharing the service via zoom at : uuberks.org/zoom-worship

Thank you,
Tracie Greth Memorial

Special Plate Collection for AugustIn times of challenge, it is our duty to uphold the principles of community and foster an inclusive society for all. Today, we stand in solidarity with the @thelgbtcenter LGBT Center of Greater Reading and their mission to serve the LGBTQ+ community in Berks County.In light of the recent defunding, we will be doing an additional  Special Plate collection for the LGBT Center of Greater Reading. Please make checks out to FUUBC with LGBT in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to the church or left in the collection plate or pledge box in the Gerber room.

End of Summer Picnic
The End of Summer Picnic is coming up on Sunday, August 27th at 10:30 AM at Farming Ridge Park in Exeter. We will start the day with a worship service at the park, followed by hamburgers and hot dogs. There will also be a basket raffle, so bring some cash for tickets.We need your help to make this picnic a success. Please RSVP by Friday, August 25 @ 6PM using the signup form so we can plan accordingly. We are also looking for volunteers to help with setup, cooking, and cleaning up. The signup form also includes a place to indicate if you would like to volunteer. Here is the link to the signup.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Frank W.


By now, you will have received the link (available below) to the Congregational Survey.  It can be filled out online, or you can pick up a hard copy at church from the Greeter’s Table, or you can request that one be mailed to you.  If you choose to fill it out online, you can answer some of the questions, take a break and then return to the “updated version” and pick up where you left off.  If you choose to fill out a hard copy, we ask that you use a sticky note with your name on it so that we can contact you if we can’t read your handwriting.

This survey is the first look at us that the pool of candidates will see.  The questions are framed to create a snap shot for
potential ministerial candidates, so that they know who we are in order to consider us.  We are aiming for at least 100 surveys returned (or 66% of the members and friends) to ensure an accurate picture of the congregation.

Thank you for working with us!

Your Ministerial Search Committee

Ministerial Search Survey.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to: g.minister.search@uuberks.org

Promise 5K Run and Fun Walk 2023- This Saturday

Join Family Promise for their 1st Promise 5K Run and Fun Walk on Saturday, August 26, 2023, from 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM at the West Reading Playground.  All of the proceeds from the event will support Family Promise of Berks County.  Their mission is to help families and youth experiencing homelessness achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response.

LOCATION:  West Reading Playground.  Regist./ number pickup opens at 7:00 a.m.  5k starts at 8:00 a.m., 1 Mile Fun Walk at 8:45 a.m.

COURSE: ROLLING TERRAIN, course on mostly shaded streets. Course will start at the West Reading Playground and continue through surrounding neighborhoods.
Clock at finish, refreshments, mile splits, instant results.  Rain or shine.  No refunds or mailed awards.

AWARDS: 5K: Separate awards for the Overall Top male and female Finisher plus: 14 & under: 3M, 3F 15-19: 3M, 3F 20-29: 3M, 3F 30-39:3M, 3F 40-49: 3M, 3F 50-59: 3M, 3F 60-69: 3M, 3F 70+: 1M, 1F

ENTRY:  5k: $25 if postmarked by Friday, August 4, 2023 incl. guaranteed t-shirt.  Afterwards, incl. race day, $30 (shirt not guaranteed).  1 Mile Fun Walk: Ages 8 & Under Free with Paying adult. For 9 – 13 y.o.: $5 (no shirt included for 13 & unders); 14 y.o. and over: $25 if postmarked by August 4, 2023, incl. t-shirt.  Afterwards, inc. day of race, $30 (shirt not guaranteed).

Note: Participants of both the 5k & fun walk must enter twice.

Optional Online Registration also available at www.pretzelcitysports.com

(Nominal processing fee applies, closes at midnight, the Wed. of race week)

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 paturli50@gmail.com 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 Uribe-Lichty

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 NeededI 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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