Univoice Weekly

Weekly News for the week of:
June 9, 2024
This Sunday

“The Great Heart is Calling”

June 9, 2024 at 10:30 am 

What is the good news of Unitarian Universalism today? And are we ready to share it with the community?

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, Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth, words by Douglas Wood and illustrated by P.J. Lynch.  This month’s story helps us understand that prayers help us and others express our gratitude.  After a time, the boy’s grandfather passes away.  The boy is very sad, as we all are when someone or some being we care about dies.  After a while, the boy comes to value the memory of his grandfather and what he learned from his grandfather.  The boy is renewed in spirit when he realizes that prayers are gratitude expressed. 

  • Find it at your local library

  • Hear it read online



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

  • Faith Formation in June: We explore the gift of Renewal!  

  •  NO FORMAL MEETING SUNDAY – enjoy our “gerber room coffee house” – we’ll have the coffee on, some tunes going and contemplative prompts for your enjoyment in the gerber room

  • 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: 

  • Main Session: kids space cozy room

    • Meet Rev John!  Followed by The Gift of Reconnecting!

  • Upper Elementary: social hall meeting room

    • Meet Rev John!  Followed by The Gift of Telling our Stories 

(costume prep and rehearsal)

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 this fall – have a great summer!

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 Jim B. 
Ushers:     Carol O. & Dennis W. 
Coffee Crew:   Joanne K. & Marta M. 
Mark Your Calendars

Save the date for the following events:

  • Sunday June 9th- Settled Minister VOTE
  • Sunday, June 16th, Considering Membership Class. 9AM
  • Sunday, June 16th, -Flower Ceremony and Amy’s Send off
  • Sunday, July 21st, Reading Pridefest
  • Sunday, August 25th: Church Picnic in the Park

This month our special plate collection will go to Berks Stands Up
Berks Stands Up Mission:
We’re member-supported, volunteer-led, and part of the vast multiracial, multi-generational, cross-class movement to redeem the promise of liberty and justice for all. Our mission is to ensure that our elected officials represent all their constituents, including the most vulnerable.

To donate please make checks out to FUUBC with BSU. 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 Members!  
Be sure your Vote is Counted this Sunday!

Join us to hear Rev. John Cullinan’s sermon, “The Great Heart is Calling.” 

 Immediately following Sunday service we will have a member vote deciding on calling 
Rev. John as our next settled minister! 

“The Great Heart is Calling” 
June 9, 2024 at 10:30 am Rev. John Cullinan
What is the good news of Unitarian Universalism today? And are we ready to share it with the community?

To attend by Zoom, click on this link: uuberks.org/zoom-worship.
Greetings UU Berks Member By completing a two prompt survey, please inform us if you will be attending the Settled Minister Vote for Rev. John Cullinan following worship on Sunday, June 9th.  

Here is the link:  https://tinyurl.com/yc72a3zm

We need more than 60 people to hold the vote.  You can attend in-person or online via Zoom.

Please do all that you can to attend.

We are providing attendants to help members and friends navigate the 4th St parking lot app and kiosk as needed for June 2 and 9. For an additional tutorial please use the QR code located in the Gerber.


The Board of Directors of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County

Considering Membership Class

Mark Your Calendars: New Membership Class will be held on June 16th at 9:00am.

Parking Tutorial
We’ve made it easier to invite friends to meet you at church!  Send them Amber’s excellent 2-minute Parking Deck Video on our updated Directions and Parking webpage: https://uuberks.org/about/directions-and-parking/
Berks Pride Fest 2024 is coming!

July 21st, 2024
Jim Dietrich Park
11:00-6:00 pm

We need volunteers to help staff the UU Berks table. Please sign up here

DRUUMM’s Public Worship

“Choosing Joy!” brings together hundreds of UUs from around the world to hear Rev. Ali C Bell preach and experience the ensemble music led by Saunder Choi.
Join us Sunday, June 30th as we broadcast this service in our Sanctuary or view online at the following link


Join us as we broadcast this service in our Sanctuary.

Camping? We want to hear from you:

We’re looking at planning our next camping overnight! Did you attend part of all of April’s event? Are you interested in attending a future camping time? We want to hear from you – please fill out: uuberks.org/camp_ask

Family Promise Needs Our Help

Typically, First UU Berks delivers meals and groceries to three homeless families in the Family Promise program twice a year. They had a gap in coverage for June 3rd, so they asked if we could chip in as we’re able. Any help is greatly appreciated! More details about the families will be posted on the the sign-up as soon as possible.

[We will host again from Nov. 4-12, 2024.]

Sign up here


Bring a Friend

“We Are Earth: Creating Hope” with Rev. Joshua Long will be our guest worship leader on July 7th, 2024 (also on uuberks.org/zoom-worship).  Rev. Long, an award-winning songwriter and worship leader, will create a musical experience that speaks to the environmental and justice issues of today in hopes of a better tomorrow celebrating the relationship between humanity, the environment, and the divine.

In 2023, Rev. Long received Wesley Theological Seminary’s Public Theology Excellence Award and is now the Congregational Organizer for Interfaith Power & Light (DC, MD, NoVA).  He has also been recognized by Black Millennials4Flint as one of their 40 Under 40:Young, Gifted, and Green Award winners.  Worship begins at 10:30 a.m. with the Interfaith Power and Light workshop to follow.  Learn more at https://joshualongmusic.com/.

Join UU Berks For Our Summer of Readers Theater

Sunday Mornings for Kids 18 and under, June 30 – Sept 1 from 9:30 – 10:15 in UU Berks Rehearsal Space(s)

The stage will be yours! Dazzle us with your unique light!

Share your interest and intended days we’ll see you at www.uuberks.org/theater

Help Our Youth Grow in 2024-2025!

We need you and your gifts to make next year’s RE program all it can be! How will you help our RE Children and Teens Grow this coming year? Share your level of interest with us so we know what we can plant in our learning garden and who will be tending it 

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 B.; 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

The Interim Time is Ending in Renewal

We would know that Renewal is in the air, even if Soul Matters did not share its theme. It is time to go into the next church year, celebrating this past year, with all of the planning and joy and anticipation of each year’s transition PLUS a new minister! Our time together has been a time of transition, with many discoveries along the way. Let us end our time together well.

I will preach on June 16th , which is also Flower Ceremony. After, at coffee hour, there will be a cake to celebrate our successful transitional ministry! The following week, June 23, I will be present at the  sanctuary for the service, where we will all be watching the GA service together.

Many have asked what is next for me. From Reading and serving UU Berks, my family and I will be moving to Castine, Maine, where I will be serving our UU Congregation of Castine. It is a homecoming for us, as our family began in Maine. Kevin will most likely return to public schools and teaching while our young adults will look at University of Maine to finish up.

As for us, I gratefully thank you for this time as your Interim Minister. Your congregation’s work with me not only prepared you for next steps, but enriched my call to ministry as we faced the developmental tasks together. Thank you all for being open and friendly, trusting, and generous. May your future ministries reap all of the benefits that you sowed by getting out of your comfort zones during our
time together.

Leaving well is part of the work. I will need to withdraw from daily, consistent social media contact, like Facebook, and real contact, like texting, with folks at UU Berks after I go. But I will keep track of your congregation’s successes, and enjoy seeing you at GA and such! And we have our memories.
Have a great summer and a joyful coming-back-together in the fall. Renewal is always a theme for those who have a strong sense of community, always changing
and thriving.

In peace

Rev. Amy

From Soulful Home: The Groundhog Day Effect

This month, on the cusp of the ‘endless days of summer’, I bring to you an exercise suggested in June’s Soulful Home Packet. Soulful Home curator, Teresa Honey-Youngblood writes:

The Groundhog Day Effect is an informal but commonly experienced phenomenon

of feeling as if you are reliving the same day over and over, as if your life never

changes and isn’t moving forward in any meaningful or discernible way. The

concept got some traction during the pandemic, when the daily sameness of life

sheltering in place was magnified across the globe. But for many of us, the feeling

continues to come and go. To gain a sense of renewal and bolster our

psychological fortitude in the face of ennui or despondency, try the following


Once a week for this month, set aside a time–no more than five minutes–to ask

yourself the following questions, adapted from Rabbi Dr. Ira Bedzow:

1. Am I the person I want to be right now, in this moment?

2. Did my actions this week continue to create this person I want to be, or did

they detract from them?

3. Has anything challenged my values in the past week? Do I remain

committed to those values, or do I want to re-examine them?

4. Did my habits this week support my connection with friends and family, or

did they contribute to isolation?

5. What one thing could I do today to make my life and the lives of those

around me a little different, in a positive way?

6. What’s some small, fun thing I could do today?

From https://uuberks.org/Soulful_Home

Find out what to do next by visiting the “On The Porch” section of this month’s Soulful Home Packet.

Yours in the exploring,

Ebee Bromley


by nadine j. smet-weiss
spiritual director

we stand
at the threshold
may we find blessing
in the unexpected
may our eagerness
be tempered
with patience
may we imagine
both change and
being changed
on our way to
may we pause
to grieve
our unbecoming
may we welcome life

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