Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
November 19, 2023

This Sunday:


Bread Communion

November 19, 2023 at 10:30 am 

Join us with the bread of your family, your childhood, or your ethnicity, to share.  Bread in its many forms is shared as we celebrate this season of family and of generosity and gratitude.

Full vaccination recommended: FUUBC encourages all those who can be vaccinated to be vaccinated, including boosters, as appropriate.

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

Feel free to wear a mask anytime.

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:


9:30 AM : Adult RE 

  • In Person: chalice house craft room 

  • Faith Formation in November: We explore book banning with poet Susan Pena.

  • 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 

9:30 AM: Children’s RE: The Gifts of Our Faith – 2 classes

Elementary Ages: 

  • Lower elementary: kids space cozy room

    • The Gift of Gratitude (Todd Parr’s The Thankful Book)

  • Upper Elementary: social hall meeting room

    • The Gift of Gratitude: gratitude game 

10:30- Worship Service- All Ages

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

How to make visual art directed by breath 

10:30 – 12 Youth Group:  

Grades 7th – 12: meet to explore spiritual practices.  This week – the practice of grace. 

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

* Reminder – bring your items in to help restock the LGBT pantry

This Sunday’s plate collection will be donated to Berks Coalition to End Homelessness

The Berks Coalition to End Homelessness (BCEH) is a non-profit organization that works towards preventing, reducing, and ending homelessness in Berks County,

Donations can be made in the collection plate or by mailing a check to the church made out to FUUBC with Berks Coalition  in the memo line.

Sunday Volunteers:
Greeters: Joanne K. & Dennis W.
Ushers:    Dennis W. & Jayne’ P.
Coffee Crew: Youth Group

Breaking Barriers, Building Beliefs Workshop

As a community, we have been thinking and talking about what we hope and expect our next called minister will do. Now it is time for us to begin asking who our next called minister might be – and who are we ready for them to be?

To help us recognize our own biases in answering

this question, we need everyone’s input on this anonymous survey:


We also strongly encourage you to register and join us for a two part Breaking Barriers, Building Beliefs Workshop

  • Friday December 1st 7-8:30pm (via zoom or in person)
  • Saturday December 2nd, 9:30-11am (via zoom)

If you can attend some, but not all, please attend what you can! Please sign up at the link below


Food Bank- This Saturday

The Helping Harvest Food Bank is held at our church on the 3rd Saturday of each month, which will be November 18th this 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 11:30. If you have any questions, please contact Frank W.

On behalf of DRUUMM, we invite you to a special vigil this Sunday. This is open to all.

Staying Human: A Unitarian Universalist Vigil for Gaza
Sunday, November 19th
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM Eastern
RSVP Required for Zoom: https://druumm.wildapricot.org/event-5490512

This vigil, open to all, is to honor the emotional work toward ending the violence. We are calling for a ceasefire and end to the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza, a release of all hostages/prisoners, humanitarian aid, and an accountability process that is not rooted in revenge. We deeply honor the worth and dignity of all Palestinians and all Israelis.
In this hour of reflection , we aim to be present with one another and deepen our attention to the crises in Gaza. We are mindful of the deep and complex roots in the minds and hearts of Westerners. The intention of this first vigil is to re-root ourselves in our feelings. Join us as we grieve, rage, learn, and find solace together. 
Join us as we grieve, rage, learn, and find solace together.
Hosted by concerned Unitarian Universalist ministers, religious professionals, lay leaders, DRUUMM and more. Vigil officiants include Rev. Mitra Rahnema, Rev. Annie Milliken Gonzales, Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, Rev. DL Helfer, and more.

Feeding Families in Family Promise (Nov. 5-18, 2023)

Family Promise of Berks County helps families in a housing crisis by providing a ‘shelter house’ and intense case worker support for up to 90 days. Families are able to maintain some normalcy, learn homeownership skills, and save money until they found more permanent housing. They now operate three shelter homes.


Our congregation is one of eighteen around Berks County that provides meals or groceries to the families during our two host weeks from Nov. 5 -18.

We need volunteers to drop off a meal or groceries on Mondays directly at the selected house at 6:00pm.

You can also mail gift cards for food and/or supplies directly to the Family Promise Office (325 N. Fifth Street, Reading, PA 19601) on Mon-Thurs before 4:30PM. Call (610) 373-3323 to make sure someone is available.

If you have any questions, please call Carla at 610-301-4522.

Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

November 22, 2023 at 7:00 pm
Gather with us the night before Thanksgiving as we host our community ministry partners The Islamic Center of Reading, Immanuel United Church of Christ, Oheb Sholom & Wyomissing Church of the Brethren in a service of gratitude.

We are also in need of coffee crew help for this evening. If you are available to help with setup and clean up or able to bring a snack please sign up below. We would love to impress our community neighbors with a bountiful spread.


Friendsgiving Sunday! November 26th

In today’s world, cultivating loving connection and friendship is a courageous response to acts of hate and inhumanity. Join us today as we celebrate and strengthen our ability to be a good friend .Feel heartened in the bonds of friendship we create, both within and beyond our own community.

Best of all, join us after service for our Friendsgiving Potluck Feast! November 26th following service,

Sign Up here https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F0F45A5A92DA5FA7-45448692-friendsgiving#/

Blessing Bags

This year, our Blessing Bags donation will benefit the LGBT Center of Reading. Rather than a full event to assemble bags, we will have a deadline of November 19th for collecting these items to help restock their pantry, and will ask that we have a few people volunteer to deliver the donation to the to the LGBT Center.

These are the items we’re looking to collect-  body wash, shampoo, hand sanitizer, can openers (I know this isn’t a personal hygiene item, but is in high demand!), nail clippers, tooth brushes, tooth paste, floss, mouth wash, condoms, personal lubricant, menstrual pads, tampons, incontinence pads, diapers, baby wipes, etc. As we are entering winter, we can also use hats, gloves, scarves and socks.

Donations can be placed in the boxes/bins in the Gerber Room, or contact Corinne H. to coordinate.

Come Jam With Us

Nov 19th – Bring your instrument, a song you’d like to share and your openness to join in to songs others share.  We’ll play a few all together to start off our hour and then trade songs as we go. Signup at uuberks.org/Jam Or email Félix P..

2023 UU Gift Tree

Hello UU Berks Our community will once again be participating in the Berks Connection Pretrial Services (BCPS) holiday gift tree event. We have been given 25 names of children whose parent or guardian is currently incarcerated at the Berks County Prison. For some of these children this may be the only gift they receive. BCPS hosts a big family event and hands out the gifts. My wife, Rachel, and I have been coordinating this event for 19 years and are always amazed at the generosity of our church members. If you want to participate, contact me and I will provide you with the child’s name, age, gift ideas, and clothing size. I suggest a budget of about $40, but smaller monetary gift  donations can be made and I will combine them to purchase gifts. Additionally, if you want to participate, but can not get out to shop, I will be happy to shop for you.

***Please remember to include your child’s name and family number on the gift bags. I would really appreciate the gifts be returned by Nov. 19th.

Please Drop Off With Melissa at Church or Contact Kent G.

Come sing along with us !

– “To Sing Is To Pray Twice.” – however you pray, however you find your center and connect with something larger than yourself.  Let UUBerks, be a place where we connect through song.

The next few months have some really wonderful singing scheduled ahead!  Let us know you’re interested in sharing your voice

Email director.music@uuberks.org with any questions you have Visit


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.

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


Happy Autumn, friends!

The very first Sunday of November is when we experience a time change. (Fall
back) At least with this kind of change that we all experience together, we know it
is coming. So many changes that occur in our lives (like the Pandemic) happen
suddenly, without our permission, or even a friendly heads up.

Being a pastor and not a therapist, I give advice rather than clinical suggestion. No
matter what the issue is, I almost always incorporate into my advice that an attitude
of gratitude moves us to healthier places. I stand by this advice. It is like when
Mr. Rogers says that in an emergency or tragedy, look for the helpers and be
grateful for them. It is simple but it works.

Now, generosity has entered my rotation of helpful advice, along with gratitude,
since the pandemic. Holding and cultivating a spirit, habit, or theology of
generosity will lead us to healthier places than the ones we are stuck in. It, too, is
very simple. As a whole group (family, church, country, world) we had to live
through being isolated in ways we could not imagine, very suddenly, without our
permission, or even a friendly heads up warning.

It helped us to look upon other people with gratitude as it was displayed on news
shows, toward health care workers and teachers and such, and being generally
grateful for science and masks and vaccines and Zoom. But only being grateful is
not enough to get us to the next phase of health—we need to think about that for
which we are grateful, and then extend generosity to others as a balancing act.

Being generous starts with the impetus to give something that somebody else could
really use. Can you be generous with your time to help a kid with homework, or a
neighbor with a ride? Maybe your charitable financial giving has shifted. When
we are grateful for people and things around us, extending generosity, not
necessarily directly or in kind, is the healthy way forward. What might you offer
in this new season?

In peace,

Rev Amy

Listen Generously…
May we all be generous music lovers and music makers this month.

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.

Simone Weil

When making music, Attention to what’s going on around us, is possibly the most unspoken but necessary ability.  Attention can allow us to be generous with our fellow music makers and with ourselves.

Attention allows us to notice.  Notice who is playing, who isn’t.  And by noticing we can invite our own selves, in a generous way, to join in on the song.

In this month, where we at UUBerks focus on what is the gift of generosity, what of your musical life can you share with others and yourself more deeply?

Is there a song that when you hear it reminds you of someone?

This week – Share it with them!

Might there be a piece of music that you’ve been starting to play again?

This month – Can we hear it?!

Do you join in on hymns at church?  Can you hear your voice mix with the voice across the room or across the zoom connection?

Next time – Listen for it!

May we all be generous music lovers and music makers this month

One way you can do just this – Join us for our second Jam session of the year on Nov 19th after worship.

Your’s in Song,

Ebee Bromley

live generously 
by nadine j. smet weiss spiritual director

every given day

bring your best self

and release that

into the world

the world needs

the gift of you

being true

to you

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