Weekly News for the week of:
December 24, 2023
Be with us on this cold, miraculous, joyful, mysterious night that ends in candlelight. Merry Christmas!
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.
Take action to protect yourself from Covid-19 based on local risk
Full vaccination recommended: FUUBC encourages all
those who can be vaccinated to be vaccinated, including boosters, as
No In Person Morning Service 12-24 and 12-31
- This Month’s story is I Wonder, words by Annaka Harris from SoulMatters resource subscription.
- Soul Matters Shares “Our theme this month is The Gift of Mystery and so we explore with a mother and daughter taking a walk, exploring mysteries for everyone to wonder about together!”
- I Wonder, Read Aloud
- Find the book at your local library.
Adult RE – Meets next 1.7.24
- Would you like some reflection time before the next session – find a prompt here SoulMatters Prompts
- email Ginny Chudgar for more info (see directory for address)
Children’s RE: The Gifts of Our Faith –Meets next 1.7.24
- Looking for something to do together on school break – check out Soulful Home’s December materials Soulful Home Mystery
- May You Survive And Thrive: how goes your animal masks? Do you need more materials – email Ebee.
- Curious about May You Survive and Thrive? Here’s the deal
Youth Group: Meets next 1.7.24
Kid Congregational Life: Coffee Hour: Jan 14th with Louise Lorenz & Erika Pied
Greeters: Dennis W. & Joanne K.
Ushers: Randy N. & Joanne K.
Coffee Crew: Special Coffee Hour
Please note that our New Year’s Day service will take place online only.The UUA will be offering a Seeds for the New Year service.
What seeds are you planting for the new year?
How are you weaving your magic into your relationships with others?
How can we center beauty and goodness and love in all that’s ahead?
These questions are at the heart of the homily, story, and other worship materials being offered by WorshipWeb and Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association in a worship collection available at the link below.
Happy New Year from UU Berks!
Beloved Conversations is a program for people seeking to embody racial justice as a spiritual practice. Many members of First UU Berks have participated in this program prior to and following the congregational vote in 2020, when the 8th Principle was adopted in solidarity with UUA’s intention to formally vote in the 8th Principle.
Your 8th Principle Team encourages each of us to consider enrollment in Beloved Conversations, offered by the Fahs Collaborative at Meadville Lombard Theological School. The program is open to all learners. In Beloved Conversations, we join to heal the impact of racism in our lives, to get free together.
Click on the link below to receive updates for Beloved Conversations in early 2024. Please indicate group participated with your congregation- UU Berks of Reading, PA. Scholarships is available.
|Upcoming Young Adult Con!
My name is Sean Nanos, and I am a member of the Young Adult Organizing Committee (YAOC) which is a group of UU young adults from the CER Region that has been planning and leading young adult events since 2020. In collaboration with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton (UUCB), YAOC is hosting a Young Adult con January 5-7, 2024 called DUUngeons & DragCONs which I am a co-dean of
of. We would love it if you could share this information with your congregation! I sent an email a while ago, but I am not sure if it went through.
The con will run from Friday evening to Sunday morning, and we will help coordinate carpooling. A con is a weekend-long social conference for UU Young Adults and like-minded folks to socialize and build community. This is a great opportunity to meet wonderful new friends and grow together, whether you’re a Unitarian Universalist or not. Register now to join us for a weekend of meaningful conversations, workshops, and fun activities that will leave you feeling inspired and connected!
Registration closes on December 22nd, 2023. Please share this information with any UU young adults you know, or anyone who can help spread the word. Please see the attached file for the con flyer with all the information on it, and sign up at this link!
Join us on Monday 1/8 @ 7:00pm via zoom for our Contemplative Companions when we will wonder what it means to ‘go home by another way.’ For further information or to receive the zoom link, contact Nadine.
|The Incredible Life and Times of an American Freedom Fighter
Please join us on February 4th, to hear Rastabla Hebron, a wonderful, dynamic speaker, share about the life and journey of Harriet Tubman. Rastabla is a trainer and guide, coming to us from The Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May, New Jersey. He will lead us on a journey beginning with the African Diaspora, through the Abolitionist Movement, the Underground Railroad and the life of Harriet Tubman. We will explore her childhood, adolescence and adulthood, and the key figures she encountered along the way. Prepare your mind to be intrigued and enriched on this incredible, thought-provoking experience!
Please register by Feb 1st through this link:
Lunch 12- 1 pm
Presentation 1-2:30 pm
This event is being sponsored by First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County and Calvary United Church of Christ. It will take place at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County,416 Franklin St., Reading, PA 19602
|Monthly Recorder Ensemble begins January 14 for interested musicians
We are hoping to get a regular recorder ensemble started at UU Berks! The UU recorder ensemble ( 3-10 players) plays music of many different types, focusing primarily on renaissance and baroque music, but includes early classical, folk, and even some modern tunes! We play soprano, alto, tenor, and bass recorders, but recorders come in
come in many more sizes!
Potential players might:
Have an interest in playing a wind instrument-
Can read music or are willing to learn
Can play the recorder or are willing to learn
Can meet for an hour once a month starting January 14
Are willing to practice the music between meetings
Are willing to play at a church service when we feel ready
If you’re still reading, why not give it a try? Please contact Tracy B.with any questions. All ages between 10 and 110 are welcome.
When you email your interest, please let Tracy know if you have an instrument of your own ( plastic recorders are fine) or if you need a recorder. Tracy will email music to anyone interested who already has a recorder so you can look it over before our first meeting on January 14. Those who are total beginners or who don’t have a recorder, Tracy will give you music at the first meeting.
Here are links to some recorder music in case you are interested in exploring a bit more:
Mark your calendars for the next Jam session on January 21st from 11:45-12:45 You don’t need to prepare anything or be the next Taylor Swift. Just come as you are. More details in 2024.
|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.
|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 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.
Giant Card Form
December’s theme is Mystery
Ah, mystery. I think of mystery novels and movies. I think of the Mysteries of
Scripture. There are all kinds of mysteries…..but mostly, this year, at this
congregation, I think of the Mystery of The Search.
Who will apply to be the next minister? Who will become a pre-candidate and
then the candidate? Who will UU berks vote on as their next settled minister?
As we all wait for ministers to apply, beginning in January, we are entrenched in
mystery. What will they be like? Will UU Berks be their first call, or 6 th ? There is
so much to wonder about!
So as we all live into this great mystery, here is some advice from your interim to
the whole congregation. Rather than imagining the great changes that will happen
when the new person comes, reflect on what you have to offer now. Not some day,
but now. Imagine how the new minister might need to find out what UU Berks
holds dear so that they know how to build on good stuff. Envision what UU Berks
has going for it, right now. There is much to feel good about.
I hope for you all, and each of you, a very happy Holidays Season.
The gift of mystery … is it a gift? For some, mystery can be frustrating or confusing. Why won’t this work? Whatever the “this” is? WHAT do I do about…? Whatever the “about” is.
People in our Unitarian Universalist faith this past General Assembly found it imperative that we honor the mystery and wonder around us as a direct source of inspiration. They added it back into our inspiration section of article II.
I was playing with my young nephew the other day and witnessed his frustration with mystery when he was trying to put a puzzle together. Over and over again he was trying to fit a piece in that was just not working.
But what if we turned the piece? What if it didn’t fit the way he wanted it to? Ah yes a quarter turn and it clicked right into where it was supposed to go. You see sometimes we solve our mystery, our question, by asking another question.
Such a simple solution for a mystery that felt bigger than he could explore before! Sometimes mysteries are meant to be solved and sometimes they’re meant to be danced with. But no matter what kind of mystery it is – wondering – revealing in the mystery, asking the next question, is often way more enjoyable than feeling stuck in it.
May your heart be opened, your spirit renewed, and your life transformed by experiences of mystery and wonder in this season.
Your’s in Song,
by nadine j. smet-weiss
in a moment
that show up
in the span
of a split
all we have to live
is the ever present