Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
April 14, 2024

This Sunday

Earth Day

April 14, 2024 at 10:30 am 

April 22 is Earth Day, how will you show Mother Earth she can count on you?

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 Invisible Web: by Patrice Karst. Soul Matters writes, Our theme this month is the Gift of Interdependence. Another way of saying that we are all interdependent with one another is to say that we are all connected to each other. So, with that in mind, I want to share a story with you about how we all have invisible strings that are connected to one another in The Invisible Web. 

  • Find it at your local library

  • Hear it read online


9:30 AM : Adult RE 

  • In Person: back of the chalice house meeting room.

  • Faith Formation in April: We explore the gift of transformation!  Topic info please email Ginny Chudgar (membership directory).

  • 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 Interconnectedness: Web of Community

  • Upper Elementary: social hall meeting room

    • The Gift of telling our tales, readers theater

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: meets next April 21st.

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

*** Camping Trip: April 26th & 27th – have you signed up yet?  www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0C4EADA62DA1FD0-44780636-recamping

Sunday Volunteers:
Greeters: Liz E. & Joanne K.
Ushers:     Cookie L. & Dennis W.
Coffee Crew: Steph E. and Mark B. 

This month our special plate collection will go to South of Penn.
South of Penn Task Force is a community outreach project focused on the South of Penn (SOP).

To donate please make checks out to FUUBC with South of Penn in the memo line. Checks can be dropped in the collection plate, in the wooden box in the Gerber room or mailed to the church office at 418 Franklin St. Reading PA 19602

FUUBC 2024 Service Auction THIS SATURDAY

Mark your calendars: Our FUUBC 2024 Service Auction is on Saturday, April 13.  The live auction is an in-person event, but just like last year, we will be using the Auctria website to host the two silent auctions. Watch the Univoice for more details in the coming weeks.

We are still in search of donations. Have you seen our Donation Ideas page? If you are not sure what to donate, take a look for some ideas. We have found all kinds of suggestions from past auction catalogs and from other UU service auction sites and posted them on this page.  I like the idea that I saw on another UU page of purchasing 2 extra tickets to an event and putting them up for sale — it is a great way to get to know other members and it helps out our church. Homemade food items like pickles, sauerkraut, salsa or homemade fresh bread are really nice too. Remember we need your donations to make this event a success. Auction item donations must be submitted by Wednesday, Apr 3 to be included in the printable program (use the Auction item donations page to make donations)

Finally, We need your help. Service auctions only work if there are items to bid on and people volunteer to help make it happen. We have a signup where you can RSVP for the live auction, sign up to share food & drink and volunteer to help. Contact us at g.service.auction@uuberks.org with your questions, your suggestion & offers to help.   Many thanks from the Service Auction Committee.

Sunday, April 21, 2024
*by Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran

WO R S H I P @ 1 0 : 2 5 A M
Exploring Subtle Acts of Exclusion will be the focus of our worship service on Sunday April 21st. Based upon “Subtle Acts of Exclusion: how to understand, identify, and stop microaggressions” by Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran, together we will begin to explore ways we might identify and address these subtle acts. 

C O F F E E & C O N V E R S A T I O N
If  you can’t stick around for the full workshop, we hope you will make time to join us for coffee and conversation – an opportunity to process what we heard and learned during the morning service

L U N C H & WO R K S H O P
( R E G I S T R A T I O N  R E Q U I R E D. Register HERE by 4/19/24 )

Light Vegetarian Meal 
A light vegetarian meal will be provided for all workshop registrants and their children.
Workshop  – 12:15-3:15
During the workshop we will take a deeper dive into the work of Jana and Baran, including the opportunity to develop our ability to understand, identify and address subtle acts of exclusion.

P A R K I N G 
Street Parking is Free on Sundays
Parking garage across the street (4th and Cherry st) accepts the ParkMobile app or card payments at the kiosk by the entrance.

M&O Needs You!

Our Ministry and Operations committee is looking for members to help shape and support our church. If you are interested in hearing more about our M&O team contact Maria Couchman at ms_krauss@yahoo.com

Hymnody has evolved over two hundred years in our congregations. We’ll explore how our music has grown and changed. An introduction to the traditions of Unitarian, Universalist, and UU hymns and hymnals. For ministers, musicians, new UUs, and you! Registration isn’t up yet, but follow AUUMM here to stay tuned.

Mark Your Calendars

Save the date for the following events:

  • Thurs, April 18th Family Promise Meet & Greet at Christ Lutheran Church
  • Sunday, April 21st: Subtle Acts of Inclusion, Lunch and Workshop
  • Friday April 26th -Saturday April 27th: Group Camping at French Creek
  • Sunday May 19th- Spring Congregational Meeting
  • Sunday, August 25: Church Picnic in the Park

Delegates Needed for Virtual General Assembly 2024 June 20-24

This year General Assembly will be fully virtual. It is a great opportunity for members to serve as delegates from the comfort of your own home. Delegates have the honor of representing UU Berks and voting on issues that impact the greater UU world. If you are interested in serving as a delegate, contact Melissa at office@uuberks.org

History of UU Hymnody:An online workshop

Hymnody has evolved over two hundred years in our congregations. We’ll explore how our music has grown and changed. An introduction to the traditions of Unitarian, Universalist, and UU hymns and hymnals. For ministers, musicians, new UUs, and you! Registration isn’t up yet, but follow AUUMM here to stay tuned.

Coffee Crew Needs Help
Coffee Crew is looking for a few new helpers. Commitment is only about 4 Sundays a year on a rotating schedule.  Training provided!  Good benefits!!  Like first dibs on snacks and hot coffee. 
If you can help out contact Bonnie S.

Camping at French Creek – sponsored by RE Exec Team

We’re gearing up to go camping at the end of April 2024 (Friday the 26th – Saturday 27th).  The site is local.  There will be drop in and overnight camp options.  Let us know you’re thinking about attending by signing up here https://uuberks.org/camp

Are you wondering what camping will be like next month? Check our welcome letter out:

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.


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. The latest directory is dated 3.1.24

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


April is upon us with its April showers, and Earth Day, and our theme of
interdependence. For this month, more than reading and writing meaningful
words, I propose we use this space to do meaningful things. Like, notice when we
need somebody or something just as much as it/they need us.
Interdependence, depending on each other.
Our cat brings joy and love and we give her joy and love, and food and care.
When necessary, she used to hunt mice. This is a mutually beneficial

Making sure to shop, when possible, at small businesses and not corporations. If
my money keeps them going, and they stock things I need, that is interdependence.
Notice when you do something for somebody else, or the reverse. Small, like,
because a housemate bought the coffee this time, you will prepare a cup for them
along with yours.

Or large, because you believe in the mission of the church, you support them
financially. It is a cycle with no end no beginning. The church gives you
something you need, your money keeps it going, and the cycle of interdependence

Where does interdependence, mutually relying on each other, show up in your life?
More than transactional, more than simple sharing, you need each other, you
depend on each other.

Look for, notice, and mark on your heart, not just the naturally occurring
interdependence of all the earth, but the specific places this cycle of
interdependence shows up in your life and in the world around you.
Doing so will make you feel less alone, more valuable, and maybe connect you to
your own spirituality better.

Happy April, and may you revel in its examples of interdependence all around!
In peace,

Rev. Amy

Message Board

This year we’ve subscribed to a resource called Soulful Home. Each month’s packet, created by Teresa Honey Youngblood, Soul Matters’ Family Ministry Coordinator, contains treasures to spark, fuel and enrich your spiritual lives at home from Monday to Saturday. This month, let’s take a look at the On The Message Board section. I wonder what’s one act you’ve done recently to support our interdependence? Has it been to participate in mystery pals? Has it been to share food together? Will an act of interdependence happen at our camping trip this month? Check out the full packet of resources when you visit https://uuberks.org/Soulful_Home

From Teresa:

The On the Message Board section lifts up a theme-related mantra, graphic,

quote, or gesture for your family to carry with them throughout the month. Think

of these “family sayings” or “family signs” as tools for the journey, reminders that

help us refocus and steady ourselves and our kids as we navigate through life’s

challenges and opportunities. Each month, write this mantra on your family

message board, or on a sticky note to put on your bathroom mirror, or the fridge.

Make it part of your routine to share the mantra each morning so that it becomes

something you all carry with you throughout the day.

April’s Mantra: “All of us need all of us to make it.”

There are a few phrases that get right to the heart of UU theology, and this is one

of them. Bless its author, the Rev. Julián Jamaica Soto! What a gift.

Use this phrase when you find yourself stuck in us versus them thinking, or when

you find yourself seeking out only individuals who think, look, sound, and act like


Use it also when you are seeing more scarcity than abundance, when it seems like

there is just not enough _________; fill in the blank–love, land, trust, sense,

security, etc. to go around.

Use it when the news of the day feels raw and overwhelming, when policy and

strategy and election cycle and law and injustice seem to all be versions of the

same, threatening disconnection.

Use it when you feel separate from the life force that animates each tiny plant,

animal, and fungus around you, when you’re not sure what you’re doing here or


Use it when you are reluctant to ask for help, when your conditioning against

burdening another with your needs prevents you from reaching out, though

connection and care is exactly what you require.

And finally, share this sentiment. Tell it to anyone who will listen this month. It’s

core to our interdependence.


March 27, 2024 • 

by nadine j. smet-weiss
spiritual director

they said
most people
come here
for community
for spirituality
gave way to
gave way to
is not
the very definition
of community
the spiritual practice
of love

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