First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County

seek ... nurture ... serve

May 2019 News

Worship Services: 

Celebrating the Little Things

Sun, May 5, 10:30am
Coming of Age Candidates and Youth Group

This Sunday we celebrate our youth group in our annual youth-led service. The service is all ages, and children are encouraged to attend. In honor of the theme, “Celebrating the Little Things,” and in recognizing all of the small things that bring us joy every day, please dress in an outfit in your favorite color for service… head to toe, if at all possible! Whatever clothing makes you smile, whatever will make you feel comfortable, and whatever will add to our congregation’s rainbow, please wear it!     

Blessed Are the Curious

Sun, May 12, 10:30am
Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees

Henry David Thoreau said that if we don't keep pace with our companions perhaps it is because we hear a different drummer. How might we cultivate a sense of curiosity for the ways we each move to our own music?

The Gift of Doubt

Sun, May 19, 10:30am
Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees

For Unitarian Universalists, doubt is a holy gift and companion of faith. Join us as we consider how doubt, rather than certainty, fosters wonder, curiosity, and a sense of urgency.

Why?

Sun, May 26, 10:30am
Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees

Is there a big (or small) question you are grappling with right now? Do you wonder why the universe exists, whether animals have souls, if there is a divine source, what you are being called to do with your life, or whether to forgive someone? This morning we will reflect on some of the questions we are most curious about.

Volunteers: 
Our Community: 

Share the Plate Nominations

If you would like to nominate an organization as a candidate for upcoming special plates, please contact a member of the Share the Plate Committee including Bernice Hines- Corbit, Frank Wilder, Kristi Blazi Lado, and Judith Smet-Weiss. You may also email nominees to office@uuberks.org or click on the link in the univoice. All submissions are due by 4/26

Food Bank Will No Longer Be Taking Clothing of Household Goods

The foodbank will no longer be accepting donations of clothing or household goods. We will continue a limited distribution of warm hats, mittens and scarves starting in November. Thank you to those that have donated in the past.

LGBTQ Caucus Meeting

The next LGBTQ/Allies caucus will be held on  Friday 5/31 from 6-8pm at Stephanie and Carole Hullinger’s home located at 44 Buckingham Drive in Wyomissing. Pizza and soft drinks will be provided. Contact Steph or Carole for more information. 

Building a Bigger Table Conversation Workshop

On May 5th and 19th, from 6-8 pm, Lauren Fritz, board certified art therapist and licensed professional counselor, invites us to a two-part workshop to explore the idea of expanding our proverbial tables. We will look at softening our own barriers and strengthening our muscles of courage and curiosity around extending community to others who are not like us. We will come to view differences as places of interest and exploration.

Contemplative Companions

Join us on Monday May 6th, @ 7:00pm for our last small group gathering of the 2018-19 church year. Our focus for this session will be “The Thin Places,” where the physical and spiritual worlds meet.  In preparation for this session we ask that you take some time to reflect on your own experience(s) of being in a “thin place.”     

All are welcome. Contact Jane Rohrbach ((windowsjmr@comcast.net) or  Nadine Smet-Weiss (njw1258@hotmail.com) for further information.

UU History Video Series- Part IIII

"Where did the Universalist stream of our denomination begin"  Part 4 of our History of Unitarian Universalism will deal with that question.  
We are skipping the busy month of May.  Our Session #4 will be held on Sunday June 2, following coffee hour.  If you missed the early sessions,
come to this one anyway as it pretty much stands on its own.

Urgent Help Needed

Dear Friends,
First UU Berks is hosting March on Harrisburg for three nights next week!

Potential RE Campout

The RE committee is considering a campout or our families on Friday and Saturday August 23rd and 24th. We have drafted flyers that can be found on the Debenville table asking for feedback. Please pick up a flyer this Sunday and drop it in the response basket. Your input in very much appreciated.

Friday Night Film

The Adult RE racial justice team invites members and friends to a screening and discussion of A Dangerous Idea: Eugenics, Genetics, and the American Dream on Friday, May 10, at 7pm in the sanctuary.  This documentary examines the history of the US eugenics movement and its recent resurrection, revealing how this dangerous idea has gained new traction in the 21st century with an increasing belief in the concept of an all-powerful “gene’ that predetermines who is worthy and who is not.   It sheds light on how this new genetic determinism provided an abhorrent rationa

LGBTQ+ Cultural Competency Workshop

“The LGBT+ and Allies Caucus is offering a workshop in conjunction with the LGBT Center of Greater Reading titled “LGBTQ+ Cultural Competency”. The workshop will be held on May 5 at 12:00 in the sanctuary. All are welcome to attend. Please contact Carole Hullinger if you plan to attend”

Social Justice: 

“Sparking Anti-Racism”

Anyone with whom I’m a Facebook Friend knows that I consider John Pavlovitz my “prophet of resistance” in this time and place. I generally read the blogs of his that Facebook serves up to me … many of which were written a year or two ago but always seem to have become more and more relevant.

But I hadn’t read his blog post titled “A Jesus Who Builds Walls” until Lauren Fritz directed my attention to it. Unlike many pieces of writing, there’s no one “money paragraph” that sums it all up, but I’ll give you one sample of what he’s saying:

Stranger still, is that these people tell me that I’m wrong; that my Jesus of compassion and gentleness and mercy is one found in spiritual error. They mock me for this Jesus, saying that it is my bleeding heart that has led me far afield; that in seeking such empathy I have drifted into heresy.

It’s worth a read in full, which you can find at this link:

https://johnpavlovitz.com/2019/03/06/a-jesus-who-makes-walls/?fbclid=IwAR2qjhnfJf_l5E4A2a2WkGZj7uvX6qoSMqviyHusuvC9cJeSmFGVjpcg47c

I think John is emblematic of the fair number of us at First UU—and I count myself among that number—who come from the Christian tradition but became turned off by how, well, un-Christlike most “Christian” churches have become.

Lauren still has spaces available for a workshop she is leading at church called the” Building a Bigger Table Conversation Workshop” on the evenings of 5 and 19 May. Please see this blurb for details:

 https://www.uuberks.org/event/building-bigger-table-conversation-workshop

She’s also co-coordinating with Terri Bridgwater a full weekend with John Pavlovitz underwritten by a grant from First UU’s Debenneville Fund. [Current known details or “watch website” or whatever … ]

 

—     Jim Beidler

 

Others are invited to contribute their own “sparks” – personal experiences, links to blogs or podcasts, quotations of note – to be published in this space. Please send them to james@beidler.us

Upcoming Classes: 
Upcoming Events: 
Wed, September 25, 7:00pm
Sun, September 29, 12:30pm
Thu, October 3, 9:00am
Mon, October 7, 7:00pm
Tue, October 8, 7:00pm
News: 

And the Nominees are…

April 28, 2019

Spring brings lots of things, sometimes even the same in our step; and, it also brings our May Congregational Meeting and a Vote for members of our FUUBC Board of Directors.

The Nominating Committee is accepting nominations of church Members to serve on the Board. We’ll be voting to fill 3 positions. Nominees must be Members in good standing. The nominating committee consists of 

  • Skip Miller
  • Adele Claire Wallace
  • Dennis Williams
  • Bill Oberti

Please forward your nomination(s) to the Nominating Committee no later than April 28th, care of our Office Administrator Extraordinaire, Melissa Medina at office@uuberks.org or Sign up on the sheet on the Gerber room bulletin board. Please make sure that anyone you are nominating is aware and interested in the nomination.

Congregational Meeting

May 19, 2019

Our Spring Congregational Meeting will take place on Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 11:45am. All members are encouraged to attend. We will be voting on items such as upcoming special plates and new board members. Please save the date.