Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
May 3, 2024

This Sunday

Youth Sunday

May 5, 2024 at 10:30 am 

Coordinated by the folks who have worked alongside them all year, our Youth Group shares with us what sparks their spirits.

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 bedtime story, The Tree in the Ancient Forest, by Carol Reed-Jones, bridges last month’s theme of interdependence to this month’s theme of pluralism.  It’s a simple, repeating story that describes the relationships between the creatures — the fungi, the plants, and the animals – that all occupy the same space: a very big, very old tree.  Each being depends on the other, and yet, they are not always symbiotic.  The same can be said of all of us!

  • 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 May: We explore the gift of Pluralism!  Topic: Free Will 

  • 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 Many Views

  • Upper Elementary: social hall meeting room

    • The Gift of Many Experiences

    • 10:30 – 11:30 – Theater work day with Ms Jayné

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 – 11:15 Youth Group:  

Grades 7th – 12: Planning your worship elements

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: Dennis W. and Cesar M.
Ushers:   Dennis W.
Coffee Crew: John N. and Steve H.

This month our special plate collection will go to LGBT Center of Reading
The LGBT Center of Greater Reading provides support, advocacy, and resources to the Greater Reading LGBTQ+ Community

To donate please make checks out to FUUBC with LGBT 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

Mark Your Calendars

Save the date for the following events:

  • Sunday May 19th- Spring Congregational Meeting
  • Sunday, August 25: Church Picnic in the Park

Our Solar Panels are Up and Running!

Our solar panel installation by Solar States is complete! We now have a powerful 19.4 kW array consisting of 40 high-efficiency 485W panels on our roof.

On Wednesday, Jacob G. from Solar States met with a building inspector from the City of Reading for the building inspection. We’re proud to announce that the inspection went smoothly, and our system passed with flying colors. In fact, the inspector noted that this is the first commercial solar installation in the city of Reading – a big win for Berks County. We still have the city electrical inspection before the project can be marked complete.

After the inspection, Jacob showed us a handy app on his phone that monitors the performance of our solar panels. He’ll be sending us an invitation to access the app ourselves, allowing us to track our energy production in real-time. Here’s a glimpse of the app’s interface. As you can see, our system is generating more energy than we’re currently using, with the excess going back into the grid!

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 C.

DRUUMM Public Worship

When: 08 May 2024 8:00 PM, EDT

DRUUMM stands for Diverse Revolutionary UUs for Multicultural Ministry

Choosing Joy! DRUUMM Public Worship

Each year we host a DRUUMM worship service that is open to all. As our ministry and membership, you are an important part of our community. We hope you will join us and share the word with your networks. We invite you to join us for:

Choosing Joy! DRUUMM Public Worship

Rev. Ali K.C. Bell, Guest Preacher
Saunder Choi, Director of Music
Rev. Carol Thomas Cissel, Liturgist

Wednesday, May 8, 2024
8:00 PM (Eastern)

OPEN TO ALL Zoom Link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84648482758?pwd=dXM1MDF2blRmUnZpSVJVZjN4NllhQT09

Livestream Link: https://youtube.com/live/X7lmv6qSP7Q?feature=share

Monthly Recorder Ensemble Continues 2nd & 4th Sundays – music lovers welcome. No experience necessary.

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 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 to twice a month: April 14th, April 28th, May 12th, May 26, June 9th and June 23rd.

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 next meeting.  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:


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.

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


Whether we think about it or not, we live in a religious pluralist world.  The person next to you, even in your own family, is a whole person with their own beliefs that are different from yours.  Even if you are in the same religion.  Being human is to have your own set of rules to live by, including how we handle our religions.

What makes a UU church really great is that we embrace pluralism and look for ward to hearing the different viewpoints.  Many religions spend time and energy getting everybody onto the same page;  to some extent we do this, as well.  Physical, tangible, secular things are what we “push,” to make the world a better, safer place for more people, not to have the same religious practice or correct theology.  Getting out the vote is for everyone, studying specific theological terms is not, and judging some beliefs to be more correct than others is definitely not for everyone.

Secular thought and action, grounded in our values (which are pluralist and might include Christianity, Buddhism, Atheism, etc), lifted up in communal worship, is what we pluralists do.  Truth be told, many churches are pluralist, in that not everyone at that congregation believes the same things, but in UU churches it is lifted up as a strength.

Unitarian Universalists happily acknowledge t and of having church friends who are different but also alike, thee value of pluralist worship, and spending energy getting to know about other people’s beliefs and practices.

Some people want to call us non-denominational and that is not accurate.

Or they call us multi-faith, which is inaccurate;  while our practices are multi-faith, our religion is specifically the faith called Unitarian Universalist.

This month as we ponder that theme of pluralism, may you embrace our pluralist ways for their strength!

Pluralistically Yours,

Rev. Amy

The Dance of Pluralism

As Theresa Honey Youngblood says in our soulful home packet this month – With each choice we make, as “to open or close, to include or exclude, to engage or refrain from acting, to share or withhold, to change or remain the same” we make and remake pluralism.

In musical terms, this feels like a dance to me.  We move with our choices over time and in consort with the world within and the world around us.

One way we practice or don’t practice our pluralism is through our musical choices. As Matt Meyer points out in his recent series diving into the history of Unitarian Universalist congregational singing “[choirs, hymns, and psalm-chanting] had been ebbing and flowing in Christianity for centuries. And each of them, in reverse order, would be re-discovered and reinvented by our congregations.”

I encourage you to check out his series to learn more about our long history of music making within the context of Unitarian and Universalist life and around the larger world these schools lived in:

A Journey into Congregational Singing – Matt Meyer


Our Songleading Roots

What to Sing: Psalms vs. Blasphemy & a Question of Content

How to Sing: Chants vs. Hymns & a Question of Form

Who Should Sing: Performance vs Participation

With What to Sing? Adding Instruments or Going Acapella

Grassroots Hymnody: A Porous Tradition


you are

by nadine j. smet-weiss
spiritual director

you are
so much more
than meets
the eye
what parts
of your
diverse self
will you contribute
to continuing

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