May 6, 2021
From Stephen's desk.......

Spring Choir: The Awakening – Help the choir prepare this beautiful anthem by Joseph Martin on Thursdays from 7:30PM-8:30PM in the sanctuary.  In-person rehearsal on May 6th; Rehearsal/Recording on May 13th – Email Stephen to sign up,

June 13th - Summer Sunday Gathering: “Music Made Locally”
The first of three “Summer Sunday” outdoor gatherings, you and your family and friends are invited to bring a lawn chair or blanket and your own refreshments to Immanuel’s outdoor stage for an evening of music and fellowship hosted by Cara, Stephen, and other local musicians.   Additional details and performers will be announced over the next two weeks.  If you aren’t already receiving our weekly e-mails, contact the office today so you don’t miss important updates about this event!

Worship Musicians Needed!
Do you have a musical talent? Are you in a local group or organization that is looking for opportunities to perform?  Are you willing to share your time and talent with our Immanuel worship community? Contact Stephen to connect about participating in summer worship!

SUNDAY, MAY 9, 2021
Worship at 9am
Scripture focus: John 15:-17
As we Widen Our Welcome with in-person worship our services will continue to be live-streaming on YouTube and Facebook

Registration is not required, though it is helpful. This allows us to best prepare to extend our hospitality to all.

RSVP for in-person attendance using the link here.
For those coming onto IUCC’s campus for Sunday worship, here are a few reminders:

  • Sanctuary Door and the Office Door will be open. Greeters will be present.
  • Hand sanitizer will be plentiful. Just like God’s grace you can never be covered with too much!
  • Wear mask over your mouth and nose. We have extra masks in the event you forget.
  • Respect social distance practices.
  • Greeters will register your attendance.  This will be maintained should the need arise for contact tracing. They will also review our Covid protocol questions.
  • You may choose your seat from the open pews. We ask you keep space for the Holy Spirit between you and others who may choose the same pew.
  • A condensed bulletin will be available. Liturgy will be shared on the screens.
  • Speaking and singing the responses are asked to be done at a normal speaking level. Multiple recent studies suggest that quiet, masked singing creates about the same amount of aerosolized particles as breathing.
  • Worship leaders will unmask when speaking/singing. They will be an extended distance from others. Note: All worship staff are vaccinated.
  • Parlor, Quiet Room, and Nursery will be open for families to access. Bins are boldly labeled for the collection of toys after they’ve been enjoyed.
  • Offering will be received in baskets in the parlor or electronic giving.
  • Please worship with us from your home should you be experiencing any symptoms or you know of a recent exposure. 
Friends of all ages are invited as we begin our New Life in Nature series in Faith Formation! We will learn that after Easter we celebrate resurrection through the new life that surrounds us in spring.

Each week we will meet at a different outdoor location and this week we are at Reading Public Museum. Parents should stay with their students during this time to join in on the fun. Watch for an email from Kelly with more information. Questions? Contact Kelly at
LIFFT (Ladies in Faith & Fellowship Together) will be taking a trip to the Penn State Berks Labyrinth on Wednesday, May 12. We will meet at the labyrinth (turn off for parking lot is at Janssen Road, off of Broadcasting Rd) at 6:30 pm. Covid protocols of masks, social distancing, hand sanitizing will be followed. Carpooling is strongly encouraged (rides provided if needed) and bring a chair. Dessert will be served. Please contact Jan Buskirk or Kathy Joffred if you plan to attend. No membership required - this event is open to all.
The next meeting of Senior Ministry will be Thursday, May 20, at 1:30pm in Fellowship Hall. We will host speaker Adi Shalev, Emissary from Jewish Federation. She will share “Her Story”
Next meeting will be Friday, May 21 at 11:30am. Bring your own lunch and we will partake in conversation, guided by a focus question, supporting scripture, and sending prayer. We trust that together we will grow deeper in our understanding of ourselves, each other and the invitation to feast upon and share God’s goodness. We will meet outside at the edge of the parking lot (by the Labyrinth) so please bring a chair. In case of inclement weather, we will meet in the parlor of the sanctuary (enter through the sanctuary doors).
Love nature? Don’t have a garden of your own? Looking for an act of service that your children can participate? Immanuel is establishing a new team – the Hope Blooms Crew – to maintain our Hope Blooms planters and Pollinator garden. The crew will be essential for watering (and light weeding) during the high-heat summer-early fall months with minimal commitment the rest of the year. Like offering counters or greeters, the Crew will be assigned set week or day(s) rotation so the time investment is shared. If you are interested in joining the crew, please call Kathy Arnold or email to provide your name and contact information.  
In addition to Our Church’s Wider Mission, the United Church of Christ has 4 Special Mission Offerings (SMOs). These offerings exist to allow congregations and individuals to meet people at points of critical need in their lives. SMO’s allow a common witness and make a collective positive impact. The second of four identified areas where these critical human needs exist is upon us:
Strengthen the Church, May 23, reflects the shared commitment of people across the United Church of Christ to cooperatively build up the UCC.
The theme for the 2021 STC offering is “Renew!” When you share your gifts through STC, your generosity will plant new churches, awaken new ideas in existing churches and develop the spiritual life in our youth and young adults. If you are moved to give, please write STC on your memo line and mail or drop off at the church office (special offering envelopes are available in the parlor and outside the office), OR list under “other” when giving online.

Thanks to your generosity, Immanuel DOUBLED, over 2020, its One Great Hour of Sharing financial support. One of four special offerings supporting the UCC’s wider mission, OGHS focuses on our most vulnerable neighbors – addressing immediate needs and the underlying causes. From natural-disaster recovery to fresh water supply to refugee shelters, YOU are there. Thank you for letting your love flow.
Are you an Amazon shopper?

Did you know that Immanuel UCC has an Amazon Smile account? Log in using and search for “Immanuel United Church of Christ” – select the one with location Reading, PA – shop as usual and support Immanuel UCC at the same time. How AMAZ-ing is that?!?!?
Should you or someone you care for be in need of pastoral support during please contact the church office,, 610-777-7107.

Condolences to -
Kerry & Anne Mohn, on the passing of their daughter Laura
Ann Grabowski, on the the passing of her husband Steve