Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
January 7, 2024

Inclement Weather is forecast for this weekend. In the event of snow on Sunday please check our website UUBerks.org, our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/fuubc or call the church office at 610-372-0928 to find out is service will be virtual or cancelled. Stay safe and warm.

This Sunday:


Coffin to Cradle

January 7, 2024 at 10:30 am

A ritual in which we lay to rest that which we would like to leave behind and give birth to new hopes and dreams for the New Year.

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 1st floor meeting room.

  • Faith Formation in January’s Exploration of Liberating Love: We explore agency in end of life decisions, and euthanasia.  

  • 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 Liberating Love: Session A – Love Pulls Us

  • Upper Elementary: social hall meeting room

    • May You Survive and Thrive – 4th session

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: Nadine Smet-Weiss visits to share contemplative practices

Kids Congregational Life: Helping with Coffee hour with Erika Pied and Louise Lorenz 1/28

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: Be Y. and Louise L. 
Ushers: Nic S. and Carol O.
Coffee Crew: Nadine S. and Erika P.

Contemplative Companions

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 S.

Beloved Conversations

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! 

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 Blunt with any questions at: tracylblunt@comcast.net.  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 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

Liberating Love

Years ago when the city of Baltimore was experiencing violence, my friend the
Rev. David Carl Olson said that “My liberation is tied up with yours.” He was
referring to a quote that was not merely academic, but lived inside of him. “If you
have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come
because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” by
activist Lilla Watson.

Many of us have a life quote that we carry in us. Two of mine are “We are more
alike than we are unalike” by Maya Angelou and “Forward together, not one step
back” by Rev. Dr. William Barber.
Both of these refer to how I feel about people and how I wish to see and be seen by
people. They remind me of who I am—a unique person who shares bonds with
everyone, and a member of communities who move together.
Liberation means being free of ties that are unhealthy, being able to revel in bonds
that feel good, that do good.

When we keep our own self-worth in our minds, hearts, and in our words and
actions, seeing the worth of another is easier. To love another we must love
ourselves. One way that we love ourselves is by keeping our own boundaries for
our personal sense of safety, well-being and health.

When we know what we want and need and can identify how other people make us
feel, that is a premise of liberating love. We are liberated from fearing other
people or their rejection because we know who we are.
In turn, it is easier to love that other person because we see them for who they are,
not merely in relation to us, but as a whole unique person.

Liberation is freedom from, freedom to….
Liberating love is a love that we can give and receive freely because we fully
know and understand what is at stake.
We may not all have the same experiences or outlook, but we can share of
ourselves and see others, in a liberating love.

In peace
Rev. Amy

The Gift of Liberating Love

How do we access liberating love? How do we notice the love that is here? The love that could be here if we nurture it, if we say yes to it? Sometimes a song can help us do that. For me a song that acts as the key to open the door toward liberating love is Elizabeth Norton’s “There is A Love”.

Take a listen here

Sing it for yourself this month.

What do you notice?

Yours in Love,

Elizabeth Bromley, Director of Music

liberate love

by nadine j. smet-weiss
spiritual director

liberate love
hold it in
let it
like the
life force
it is

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