ITLOTC 3-22-19

ITLOTC

(In The Life Of The Church)

Lent

A Collection for Reflection (by jamie)

Greetings.  Hope your Lenten season is going well.  I don’t know if you are actively pursuing a particular practice or taking up a particular fast this season, but if you are, I hope that it is proving to be meaningful for you.

I’ve put together a little collection here of offerings for reflection, and hope that whether or not you are already engaging in something specific this season, you’ll find what follows to be something meaningful to engage for a little while.

1) This is an excerpt from Henri Nouwen that I found in a Lent and Easter collection of his quotes.

Life is a long journey of preparation—of preparing oneself to truly die for others.  It is a series of little deaths in which we are asked to release many forms of clinging and to move increasingly from needing others to living for them.  The many passages we have to make as we grow from childhood to adolescence, from adolescence to adulthood, and from adulthood to old age offer ever-new opportunities to choose for ourselves or to choose for others.  During these passages, questions such as: Do I desire power or service; do I want to be visible or remain hidden; do I strive for a successful career or do I keep following my vocation? keep coming up and confront us with hard choices.  In this sense, we can speak about life as a long process of dying to self, so that we will be able to live in the joy of God.

2) This is a section from the fifth chapter of David Dark’s incredible Life’s Too Short To Pretend You’re Not Religious (106-107) [note: at some point he refers to “religion” and “bad religion”—he isn’t using that word to specifically refer to what we might think of as organized religions, but rather, more generally, as a controlling story we carry that informs how we make sense of the world and our place in it.]

What I’m up to with my imagination is what I’m up to.  It’s me making do.  And complicatedly—oh so complicatedly—neutrality doesn’t appear to be a live option, because writer Ronald Sukenick was rich: “If you don’t use your own imagination, somebody else is going to use it for you.”  The question of how I imagine myself and others is at the core of my lived life, how I relate (no getting away from relating), the way I dwell in the world.  How shall I go about mattering if not mattering isn’t an option for anyone anywhere anytime?

Slowly and carefully and with a wary eye on all the flashy, artificial offerings that serve to obscure the reality of where I’m sitting, standing or walking.  There is so much that can call me away from a proper estimation of who I am, where I am and what the joys of right relation might yet require of me; so much that draws me into a denial of the reality of my own body, so much that drives me to deny, to my everlasting detriment and that of others, the fact of the living world.  As I see it, we most effectively practice the right of dissent and resistance when we begin to realize that we’re in the thick of a religious quandary, one in which we’re in danger of no longer meaningfully experiencing our own lives.  It’s as if we’re awash in bad ideas that often render us unable to engage with anything larger than our own misperceived egos.  Recognizing bad religion when we see it—and it is coming at us from every angle—can make us more vigilant and alive to the possibilities of genuine consciousness and more wary of the trivializing shallowness into which we’re otherwise unwittingly enlisted.  Amid the static that degrades, how might we access wisdom, compassion, hospitality and other forms of life for which there is no app?

As I see the bad religion situation, the answer isn’t a matter of stepping out and starting new traditions so much as it’s a matter of approaching the currents we’re already in from a different angle, one person, one relationship at a time.  And even putting it this way brings to mind the poet-pastor Eugene Peterson, who once observed that the besetting sin of the American people is probably impatience.  This sounds so right to me, especially when I consider the possibility that there’s hardly a sin I can think of that isn’t somehow born of misperceived need, of haste and its accompanying inattentiveness, of some feverish variation once more of Hurry up and matter!  Being true—ringing true— will have to involve a slow work of recognition and resistance to that mad and nervy, deluding spirit.  To begin to be true is to try to choose—or risk choosing—presence over progress, really showing up and taking the time to wonder what we’re really up to, what we’re doing and why.

3) This is a prayer from Prayer: Forty Days of Practice by Justin McRoberts and Scott Erickson (Prayer 15):

May my limitations be doorways to partnership and relationship
Rather than reasons to feel shame and isolation.

4) This is a song called Rejoice by Julien Baker:

5) And, finally, Jon Davis took the time to put together a mix of the live recording of last week’s offering song.  The song is called “Acetone,” and it is about God’s dissolving away of the decorative paint we make of our faith, which in some way is what we are leaning in to during Lent.  It also includes the moment a little ubcer concluded the song with “Yay! We did it!” which is wonderful.

Sunday School Resumes This Sunday

9:30am—see you there.

Cesar Chavez Support - April 6

Make plans to support the kids and teachers of CCMS on April 6, from 10-12:30.  We will encourage them as they prepare for their state exams, and enjoy some time playing together.  If you have any questions, please email toph@ubcwaco.org

College Retreat - April 12-14

Join us for an all college retreat on the weekend April 12th.  The cost is $40, and that covers everything for the weekend.  Sign-ups will be being this Sunday.  If you have any questions, contact toph@ubcwaco.org

April 4th - 8pm

If you are a college student or young professional, join on us on Thursday evening April 4th for a time to connect, learn together, and grow.  Jamie (and maybe company) will be playing some music, Taylor will be preaching, and there could be a special surprise.  You don’t want to miss this.  If you have any questions, please contact toph@ubcwaco.org

The Harris’s

We have some UBC folks who are going to Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific to do some work translating this summer. We as a community are committing to praying for their time there, and if you would like to support them financially you can go to this link: www.wycliffe.org/partner/Harris   If you have any questions, please contact Daniel or Lydia Harris: Daniel_Harris2@baylor.edu lydia_harris@wycliffe.org 

Benny Fountain Art

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This week Benny Fountain (Ph.D. art) was teaching our roots class and did some real time story art. here is a sample of his work.

Finance Team Help

Are you good with numbers? Do you have some business experience? Would you love to serve on UBC’s finance team? We’d love for you to do that. Here is some information from the bylaws below. Interested persons should nominate themselves or eligible candidates by sending your nominations to josh@ubcwaco.org.

(A)Purpose.  The Finance Team shall exist for the following purposes:

a.     To serve as the primary advisory group for the Leadership Team in all budgetary and financial aspects of the church.  

b.    To oversee, in coordination with the ministerial staff, yearly budgetary processes, working to create a financial ministry plan in alignment with the ethos, mission and values of UBC.

c.     To advise the staff and Leadership Team on any emergency financial matters that may arise with regards to the physical infrastructure of the church building, as well as those matters pertaining to compensation and benefits of personnel.

d.    To assess the current financial status of the church on a monthly basis and advise the staff and Leadership Team on matters concerning changes in planned ministry expenses.

e.    To advise the Human Resources/Staff Support team on all financial matters regarding new and existing personnel, including available resources concerning salaries, salary increases, insurance, taxes, etc.

(C) Qualifications.  Finance Team members shall have been an active participant in the life of UBC for at least a year, have received at least a bachelors degree level of education (or roughly an equivalent amount of experience in business or finance,) and have at least a basic understanding of financial reports and budgets.

(E)Term.  Finance Team members shall serve for a duration lasting up to five years.  All efforts shall be made by the Finance Team to ensure that no more than two members in a given year rotate off of Finance Team due to duration requirements. While they are encouraged to remain the full five years, members may voluntarily remove themselves from their position at any time.  

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Parishioner of The Week

That kid that yelled, “yay!” after Jamie’s song and during Emmy’s sermon last week.

Announcements

Sermon Text: Exodus 3:14 “Ineffable God”

Work is Worship

Greeters: Blaylocks

Coffee Makers: Clark Mi Casa

Mug Cleaners: Aleigh Ascherl

Money Counter:  JD

Leadership Team

If you have a concern or an idea for UBC that you’d like to share with someone that is not on staff, feel free to contact one of our leadership team members. 

Chair- Adam Winn:  adamwinn68@yahoo.com

Byron Griffin: byrontgriffin@gmail.com

Kerri Fisher: Kerri_Fisher@baylor.edu

Bridget Heins: bheins@hot.rr.com

Jeremy Nance: Jeremy.J.Nance@L3T.com

Joanna Sowards: jo.sowards@gmail.com

Kathy Krey: kathykrey@gmail.com

Student Position, Samuel Moore: samuel_moore2@baylor.edu

Student Position, Anna Carol Peery: anna_peery@baylor.edu

UBC Finance Team

Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.

JD Newman: JD_Newman@baylor.edu 

Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com  

Justin Pond: pondjw@gmail.com

Doug McNamee: douglas.mcnamee@gmail.com 

Catherine Ballas: catherine@refitrev.com

UBC HR Team

If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.

Josh Blake: joshnblake@gmail.com

Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu

Jared Gould: jared.gould1@gmail.com

Rebekah Powell: rpowell671@gmail.com

Kristen Richardson: wacorichardsons@gmail.com

Liturgy 3-17-2019

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the Living God,

the One who is with us,
before us,
and behind us

to enter into the story of God,
who is in us, beneath us, and above us,
on our right, and our left

to find our stories formed in the way of Christ,
in our lying down in our getting up

that the Spirit might shape our minds

to find Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of us
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of us,
Christ in every eyes that sees us
and Christ in every ear that hears us

Amen

Scripture

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18

The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”

And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.”

Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Then he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”

He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him.

When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates.”

Philippians 3:17-4:1

Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears.

Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

Prayer

This prayer accompanied a time of silence for the victims of the mosque shootings in New Zealand:

Living God, we are for you, and it is to you that we return. 

We come to you grieved by the display of evil that claimed the lives of 50 of your children in Christchurch this week.

We pray for the community that is learning to live in a world without some people that they love in it, and ask that you would grant them comfort and peace.

For those who are still in intensive care, we ask that you would grant them healing and strength.

We pray for the shooter, that the Light of your love would pierce the veil of the hatred he has embodied.

We ask also that you would care for our Muslim neighbors, both in New Zealand, and Waco, as they carry this story with them. Protect them from harm, unjust aggression and discrimination, breathe healing into their wounds, and teach us what it means to be Christ to them.

We are aware of the overwhelming scope of that which we cannot do about the evil in our world, but we ask that you would give us eyes to see the scope of that which we can.

Amen.

Setlist 3-17-2019

Yesterday was the second Sunday of Lent, and our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics.  Below the songs, you can find a brief example of one way you might think of these songs. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

In the Night by Andrew Peterson

Deliver Me by David Crowder* Band

For Those Tears I Died by Jameson McGregor (adapted from Marsha Stevens)

Acetone by Jameson McGregor

Be Thou My Vision

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

In the Night: This song traces the thread of God’s presence within struggle throughout the biblical narrative, and invites us to step into the lineage of hope-in-despair.

Deliver Me: This song offers us language to carry through Lent as we turn toward the Living God.

For Those Tears I Died: We sang this song to accompany a time of prayer and lament for the mosque shootings in New Zealand.

Acetone: This song is about God cutting through the decorative ways we wear our religious convictions, revealing to us the tombs we disguise.

Be Thou My Vision: This song will accompany us through Lent, reminding us to turn to God for our vision, wisdom, and security.

ITLOTC 3-15-19

ITLOTC

(In The Life Of The Church)

Lent

The Credibility of Belonging

In November of 2017, so about 1.5 years ago for those of you who love math and chronological clarity, I was invited by my good friend, one Rev. Dr. Robert “Bob” Creech, to share a breakfast with Mary Berry.  Mary Berry is the daughter of the legendary Wendell Berry. Wendell Berry, you may or may not know, is a person so significant in my life that I did that cheesy thing of naming my child after him.

Let me tell you what happened at that meeting.  I wore my overalls and cardigan. I gushed and played it cool.  I was given a copy of Wendell’s book Blessed Are The Peacemakers by Mary.  I beamed.

At the end of our conversation Mary Berry began talking about one of the Wendell’s philosophical-theological-sociological truths.  She said, “Daddy always says there is no environmentalism there is only my environment.”

What I  have learned as I have continued reading Wendell Berry with this hermeneutic, is that meaningful discourse can really only happen in the context of a community.  The most important politics for Wendell Berry are not those of the United States of America, they are those of Henry County Kentucky. Henry County is a place to which he belongs, with people to whom he belongs.  It is in this context of knowing and being known that he can make a meaningful contribution to the world he inhabits.

Or that is my best attempt to understand what Mary Berry meant when she said “Daddy always says there is no environmentalism there is only my environment.”   

I’m not sure how you learn, but I have come to realize I do it very slowly.  What I mean is this. When I hear a new idea, I have to think about for a while and try and understand what is meant by it.  When I have my best guess of what is meant by it, which could be wrong BTW, I then live life with that lens. While I’m wearing the new idea i find that the truthfulness of a thing, or lack thereof, is usually made evident by its existential fit. Jesus said something similar, “look for the fruit,” [my paraphrase].   As I have considered Berry’s claim that the only real meaningful work I can do is within the community to which I belong, I have decided he is right about that.

I’ll add my own addendum.  The smaller the community is the more effective one’s impact can be.  That may be so obvious it’s not worth stating, but let me share what I mean.  

I was listening to a podcast yesterday on my eight hour drive from the thunderous Guadalupe National Park to Waco, TX.  The podcast, The Bible for Normal People, is hosted by Peter Enns &  Jared Byas. They were interviewing Jen Hatmaker.  Jen is a co-pastor of a church in Austin that decided to become open and affirming a few years ago.  The interview was about her life in the aftermath of that decision.

Jen is a celebrity of Christian sorts.  In the interview Jen talked about how she was taken to task by the world of social media.  This is zero percent surprising for 100% of humans alive. After talking through her Lord-of-the-Flies-experience in social media, the hosts turned the conversation to the local response of her community.  She said it was more, “painful and gracious.”

Ah-ha! Do you see what just happened?   I’m right.

Of course it was more painful and gracious locally.  It’s not as easy to condemn people in our lives to whom we belong and who belong to us, even if we disagree with them.  The reason people were able to “destroy” or attempt to destroy Jen’s credibility and life’s work online without regard for the consequence of their criticism was because the world of cyber criticism is not real.  No one really belongs to that world. It is devoid of the accountability born of compassion.

Eugene Peterson said that he would never take a church over 300 people because it wasn’t possible to pastor that many anyhow.  I was thinking about how this conversation, the one Jen’s church had, went down in the United Methodist Church with its thousands of delegates from all over the world, a few weekends ago.  I was thinking about our comparatively small community of a few hundred. I was thinking about full time staff of four people. And I was thinking about your marriages of two people.  In all of these relationships there is disagreement. What I have noticed is that the smaller the community is, the deeper the sense of intimacy and the less threatened the relationships become.  

UBC is in the middle of the navigating a difficult conversation.  Insofar as it has been successful, it has been so because we belong to one another.  Which leads me to my conclusion. The most important work you will ever do in your life is to love someone else.  It is to entangle your emotions, desire, wants and needs with someone else’s so that there is no escape from one another without the possibility of pain.   It is to fill your life up with the accountability born of compassion.

Finance Team Help

Are you good with numbers? Do you have some business experience? Would you love to serve on UBC’s finance team? We’d love for you to do that. Here is some information from the bylaws below. Interested persons should nominate themselves or eligible candidates by sending your nominations to josh@ubcwaco.org.

(A)Purpose.  The Finance Team shall exist for the following purposes:

a.     To serve as the primary advisory group for the Leadership Team in all budgetary and financial aspects of the church.  

b.    To oversee, in coordination with the ministerial staff, yearly budgetary processes, working to create a financial ministry plan in alignment with the ethos, mission and values of UBC.

c.     To advise the staff and Leadership Team on any emergency financial matters that may arise with regards to the physical infrastructure of the church building, as well as those matters pertaining to compensation and benefits of personnel.

d.    To assess the current financial status of the church on a monthly basis and advise the staff and Leadership Team on matters concerning changes in planned ministry expenses.

e.    To advise the Human Resources/Staff Support team on all financial matters regarding new and existing personnel, including available resources concerning salaries, salary increases, insurance, taxes, etc.

(C) Qualifications.  Finance Team members shall have been an active participant in the life of UBC for at least a year, have received at least a bachelors degree level of education (or roughly an equivalent amount of experience in business or finance,) and have at least a basic understanding of financial reports and budgets.

(E)Term.  Finance Team members shall serve for a duration lasting up to five years.  All efforts shall be made by the Finance Team to ensure that no more than two members in a given year rotate off of Finance Team due to duration requirements. While they are encouraged to remain the full five years, members may voluntarily remove themselves from their position at any time.  

No Sunday School This Week

SPRING BREAKKKKKKKKK

Wild Torch Help

Jesus Said Love is currently preparing for their annual fundraising gala, Wild Torch, on April 23 and needing volunteers the day-of! If you're interested in volunteering go to https://goo.gl/forms/N6j8FgqmK6qvYo8D3, fill out the form, and their team will be in contact with you!

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Parishioner of The Week

I’ll be honest, I was gone all week, so I got no one. But I’m sure somewhere, someone lived self sacrificially in the way of Jesus so the world could be a better place. So if that was you, go ahead and imagine your name here.

Announcements

Special guest preacher Emmy Edwards!!!!! Let’s celebrate women!

Work is Worship

Greeters: Richardsons

Coffee Makers:

Mug Cleaners: Cooleys

Money Counter: 

Leadership Team

If you have a concern or an idea for UBC that you’d like to share with someone that is not on staff, feel free to contact one of our leadership team members. 

Chair- Adam Winn:  adamwinn68@yahoo.com

Byron Griffin: byrontgriffin@gmail.com

Kerri Fisher: Kerri_Fisher@baylor.edu

Bridget Heins: bheins@hot.rr.com

Jeremy Nance: Jeremy.J.Nance@L3T.com

Joanna Sowards: jo.sowards@gmail.com

Kathy Krey: kathykrey@gmail.com

Student Position, Samuel Moore: samuel_moore2@baylor.edu

Student Position, Anna Carol Peery: anna_peery@baylor.edu

UBC Finance Team

Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.

JD Newman: JD_Newman@baylor.edu 

Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com  

Justin Pond: pondjw@gmail.com

Doug McNamee: douglas.mcnamee@gmail.com 

Catherine Ballas: catherine@refitrev.com

UBC HR Team

If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.

Josh Blake: joshnblake@gmail.com

Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu

Jared Gould: jared.gould1@gmail.com

Rebekah Powell: rpowell671@gmail.com

Kristen Richardson: wacorichardsons@gmail.com




Liturgy 3-10-2019

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the One is gracious and merciful, abounding in steadfast love

to find rest for our weariness,
and a balm for our aches,
in this wilderness of Lent

at this seam between seasons,
this space between death and new life,

we trace the stitches with our hearts
and invite the Spirit to trace the seams within us

to find our loose threads and pull them

that we might begin again
our journey on the way of Christ

amen

Scripture

Deuteronomy 26:1-11

Once you enter the land that God, your God, is giving you as an inheritance and take it over and settle down, you are to take some of all the firstfruits of what you grow in the land that God, your God, is giving you, put them in a basket and go to the place God, your God, sets apart for you to worship him.

At that time, go to the priest who is there and say, “I announce to God, your God, today that I have entered the land that God promised our ancestors that he’d give to us.” The priest will take the basket from you and place it on the Altar of God, your God. And there in the Presence of God, your God, you will recite:

A wandering Aramean was my father,
he went down to Egypt and sojourned there,
he and just a handful of his brothers at first, but soon
they became a great nation, mighty and many.
The Egyptians abused and battered us,
in a cruel and savage slavery.

We cried out to God, the God-of-Our-Fathers:
He listened to our voice, he saw
our destitution, our trouble, our cruel plight.
And God took us out of Egypt
with his strong hand and long arm, terrible and great,
with signs and miracle-wonders.

And he brought us to this place,
gave us this land flowing with milk and honey.
So here I am. I’ve brought the firstfruits
of what I’ve grown on this ground you gave me, O God.

Then place it in the Presence of God, your God. Prostrate yourselves in the Presence of God, your God. And rejoice! Celebrate all the good things that God, your God, has given you and your family; you and the Levite and the foreigner who lives with you.

Luke 4:1-13

After his baptism, Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread." Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone.'"

Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, "To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours."

Jesus answered him, "It is written,
'Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.'"

Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written,

'He will command his angels concerning you,
to protect you,'

and

'On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'"

Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Prayer

This week’s prayer was from Gill Le Fevre:

Merciful God, You see deep into our hearts and know us better than we know ourselves. Forgive us we pray. For the times we turn away from Your word, remind us that You are the Lord our God, our eternal protector and guide. For our impulses of anger and jealousy, scorn or spite, grant us Your healing peace. For our resistance to forgiveness, generosity and mercy, inspire us with Your compassionate love.

Setlist 3-10-2019

Yesterday was the first Sunday of Lent, and our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics.  Below the songs, you can find a brief example of one way you might think of these songs. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

In the Night by Andrew Peterson

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

Wandering by Jameson McGregor

Chasing the Wind by Jameson McGregor

Be Thou My Vision

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

In the Night: This song traces the thread of God’s presence within struggle throughout the biblical narrative, and invites us to step into the lineage of hope-in-despair.

Lord, I Need You: We sang this song to take on its confession of dependence upon the Spirit as we make our way further into the Lenten season.

Wandering: We sang this song to celebrate God’s faithfulness to us despite our failing to be faithful to God.

Chasing the Wind: This song is about the emptiness that comes with trying to make ourselves whole.

Be Thou My Vision: This song will accompany us through Lent, reminding us to turn to God for our vision, wisdom, and security.

ITLOTC 3-8-19

ITLOTC

(In The Life Of The Church)

Lent

Love/Hate

I Love Lent. I love thinking of things in my life that I don’t need and then getting rid of them. And at the same time, I hate it. I hate how difficult it is to give up something so minuscule. This year, my husband and I are giving up animal product substitutes, no fake meats, no fake cheese, imitation salad dressings, and so many other things like ice cream and butter. Y’all, I love these things. I’ve been vegan for over 6 years, and it gives joy to my soul to have a vegan burger that tastes eerily like a burger made with cow (see Beyond Burger, it is amazing!). Food science has come so far! When my husband suggested we give up these things, I was filled with sadness and immediately knew it was the correct decision.

I love a challenge. I love winning, making it through to the end and being able to say, “Yeah, I did it. I did the Lent thing.” Although, I’ve never made it to the end. I tend to give up about week 2, throwing in the towel and telling myself I’ll do better next year (#enneagram1). It feels like I never have the time to commit to the thing I’ve decided on - that life eventually gets in the way - and in order to stay on-top of things, Lent gets put aside.

I’ve had the flu all week, and one thing I’ve realized is that life goes on without me. The church office is functioning just fine, my yoga classes are being taught by somebody else, each of the students in my Truett small group have vast leadership qualities and can be trusted to lead themselves, my husband is a functioning adult and can do things, and I can take care of myself. This is hard for me. It’s difficult to let go of control, to let others help me, to even ask for that help! But I’m so grateful I have the flu right now, because through it I’ve learned that there is always time. I can always make space in my schedule to devote time to God.

And so with love and hate, I’m entering this Lenten Season with a dedication that I can live intentionally for 40 days of the year. I can dedicate portions of my mornings, afternoons, and evenings to prayer and meditation, and I can sacrifice taste to let God begin to break me apart from my desires.

I’m excited to move through this season with you all and would love to hear what you are doing for Lent. You can reach me at kim@ubcwaco.org to schedule coffee or an email chat. Grace and Peace.

Mens Group

Are you a male at UBC who occasionally here’s about the women’s college group, mens college group or women’s groups. And if that is you have ever thought, “hey is there a mens group for non-college people. I might like to be a part of such a thing.” Well boy do I have good news for you. This is an exploratory offering to how many of you have that thought process there are. Should you be interested in a version of a mens group, though not necessarily one that fixes cars and reads John Eldredge books, but you know, one that is like “hey, I’d like to meet some other guys at UBC and become friends and converse about the facets of Christian faith,” please let us know by emailing josh@ubcwaco.org.

No Sunday School This Week

SPRING BREAKKKKKKKKK


Youth Spring Break Schedule

The Order of the Phoenix will not be meeting this Sunday 3-10 and Wednesday 3-13. The 5-6 graders will begin meeting again on Sunday 3-17.

Wild Torch Help

Jesus Said Love is currently preparing for their annual fundraising gala, Wild Torch, on April 23 and needing volunteers the day-of! If you're interested in volunteering go to https://goo.gl/forms/N6j8FgqmK6qvYo8D3, fill out the form, and their team will be in contact with you! 

A Primer on the Exegesis of Sexuality Podcast


Special thanks to Dr. Jonathan Tran for visiting with us this last Wednesday to give us a primer on the hermeneutics of sexuality. If you were unable to attend, but would like to hear that discussion, a recorded version of it can be found here.

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Parishioner of The Week

Emmy Edwards for cleaning up after the potluck and throwing garbage bags over the dumpster, missing it entirely, and then laughing about it and proceeding to pick up our trash from the parking lot with great joy and laughter.

Spring Forward

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  • Sermon Text: Deuteronomy 26:1-11, “liturgizing the ordinary”

Work is Worship

Greeters: Ricky and Rose

Coffee Makers:

Mug Cleaners: Sepasnki

Money Counter:  JD

Leadership Team

If you have a concern or an idea for UBC that you’d like to share with someone that is not on staff, feel free to contact one of our leadership team members. 

Chair- Adam Winn:  adamwinn68@yahoo.com

Byron Griffin: byrontgriffin@gmail.com

Kerri Fisher: Kerri_Fisher@baylor.edu

Bridget Heins: bheins@hot.rr.com

Jeremy Nance: Jeremy.J.Nance@L3T.com

Joanna Sowards: jo.sowards@gmail.com

Kathy Krey: kathykrey@gmail.com

Student Position, Samuel Moore: samuel_moore2@baylor.edu

Student Position, Anna Carol Peery: anna_peery@baylor.edu

UBC Finance Team

Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.

JD Newman: JD_Newman@baylor.edu 

Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com  

Justin Pond: pondjw@gmail.com

Doug McNamee: douglas.mcnamee@gmail.com 

Catherine Ballas: catherine@refitrev.com

UBC HR Team

If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.

Josh Blake: joshnblake@gmail.com

Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu

Jared Gould: jared.gould1@gmail.com

Rebekah Powell: rpowell671@gmail.com

Kristen Richardson: wacorichardsons@gmail.com

Liturgy 3-3-2019

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the Eternal One

to direct our attention toward
the Creator and Sustainer of all
,

offering our songs, our prayers,
our silence, and our listening

that the Spirit of God might illuminate our ordinary lives,
renewing our hearts and minds
and shaping our imaginations

that, as a Body held together in the Word-made-flesh,

we might carry the light
of the love
of the Living God
together

Amen

Scripture

Psalm 99

The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble!
   the Lord sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The Lord is great in Zion;
   the Lord is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name.
   Holy is the Lord!

Mighty King, lover of justice,
   you have established equity;
you have executed justice
   and righteousness in Jacob.
Extol the Lord our God;
   worship at the Lord’s footstool.
   Holy is the Lord!

Moses and Aaron were among the Lord’s priests,
   Samuel also was among those who called on the name of the Lord.
   They cried to the Lord, and the Lord answered them.

The Lord spoke to them in the pillar of cloud;
   they kept the Lord’s decrees,
   and the statutes that the Lord gave them.

O Lord our God, you answered them;
   you were a forgiving God to them,
   but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Extol the Lord our God,
   and worship at the Lord’s holy mountain;
   for the Lord our God is holy.


1 Corinthians 15:50-58

What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.

For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
   Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Luke 9:28-36

Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him.

They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"--not knowing what he said.

While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.

Prayer

This week’s prayer was from Christine Jerrett:

We wait for you, God of truth and freedom.
We wait for you, Holy Spirit.
We wait for you, Lord Jesus, full of the glory of God.

God of goodness and grace,
you summon us into a world
made large by your expansive, creative salvation.
Open our eyes and ears and hearts
to your unexpected presence in our lives.

You know the ways we wander from your love and your truth:
the fears that drive us to make our world small and manageable;
the selfishness that shuts down our hearts;
the arrogance that limits our reach towards the ones you love.

Immerse us again and again
in your lavish grace.
Bathe us once more in the
cleansing stream of your truth.
Send your Spirit flowing through the
dried-up, worn out places.
Bring life — your life,
your wondrous, abundant life,
for we pray in the name of Jesus,
the Way, the Truth, the Life,
your Word made flesh,
your love that transfigures our world.
Amen.

Setlist 3-3-2019

Yesterday was the final Sunday of Epiphany, also known as Transfiguration Sunday, and our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics.  Below the songs, you can find a brief example of one way you might think of these songs. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

The Transfiguration by Sufjan Stevens

Pulse by ubcmusic

The Word Is Yet Flesh by Jameson McGregor

Trusty and True by Damien Rice

Wayward Ones by The Gladsome Light

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

The Transfiguration: We sang this song to enter into the story of the Transfiguration.

Pulse: This song offered us language to petition God to reconnect our hearts to our interconnectivity with all of creation.

The Word Is Yet Flesh: This song is a petition to the One in whom all things hold together to hold us together and breathe the Spirit of life anew into our collective body.

Trusty and True: This is a song about reconciliation.

Wayward Ones:  This is our communion hymn, and it contemplates Christ's self-giving love that is displayed and remembered in the eucharist.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos. 

-JM

ITLOTC 3-1-19

ITLOTC

(In The Life Of The Church)

Epiphany

Trusty and True (by jamie)

Greetings.  I hope this finds you well.

I have elected today to share with you from my attention collection in lieu of a wall of words. It’s a video of Damien Rice playing a song called Trusty and True, and it continues to be one of the most moving things I’ve seen for reasons I admittedly do not fully understand.

If you’re not familiar with Damien Rice, I would recommend that you remedy that.  He is one of few artists that I have listened to for over a decade that I can return to out of genuine appreciation, with no shade of irony (this song is from a record that is only a few years old, but still).  Put differently, his work resonated with me at 15 and it resonates with me at 30.  Trusty and True is, at it’s core, a song about reconciliation, and I of course receive pretty much anything reconciliation-oriented through a lens that is informed by my seeking to be formed in the way of Christ.  But, subject matter aside, this performance sparks in me a sense of the sacred, and I imagine I would have been reduced to a puddle on the floor if I happened to be in the room when this occurred.

So, anyway, grab some headphones if you’ve got them, dim the lights, and behold:

Unity Sunday

This Sunday UBC will be intentionally entering a space of unity together as we are in the midst of our discernment process. What that means is a few things, two of which I will name here. First, I Josh, will be giving a kind of update/sermon on what we’ve been discerning so far. Secondly, after church we will have a potluck. Not a thing where we provide lunch for you or a thing where you go get lunch for yourself. Like a legit potluck. You can either go grab potluck item after church while we set up or bring something delicious that your grandma would make. UBC has a warming rack if you need one. In addition to the potluck we will do something fun. A mysterious something to be named later.

Ash Wednesday

We will have two Ash Wednesday services on 3-6. The first will be service will be @ 7:00 A.M. The evening service will be @ 5:30 P.M.

A Primer on the Exegesis of Sexuality

If you were unable to attend our Wednesdsay night gathering this last week, you can listen to a version of that discussion here.

The Hermeneutics of Sexuality

If you were at church this last Wednesday you heard a conversation on exegesis and sexuality. This Wednesday, 3-6, we will be having a kind of part 2 on sexuality and the Bible. Hermeneutics means something like, “the lens you see the text with.” Said differently now that we have the biblical data made available by exegesis how do we read the Bible? Our own Dr. Jonathan Tran will lead us in the discussion. One note, because of Ash Wednesday, this will start at 6:00 and go 7:30 PM.

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Parishioner of The Week

Glovers and David Rehfeld for being willing to help with coffee when no one else was there.

Announcements

  • Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 15:58. “never in vain.”

Work is Worship

Greeters: Ricky Lhotan and D-Train Harris

Coffee Makers:

Mug Cleaners: Order of the Phoenix

Money Counter: 

Welcome Station: Broadduses

Leadership Team

If you have a concern or an idea for UBC that you’d like to share with someone that is not on staff, feel free to contact one of our leadership team members. 

Chair- Adam Winn:  adamwinn68@yahoo.com

Byron Griffin: byrontgriffin@gmail.com

Kerri Fisher: Kerri_Fisher@baylor.edu

Bridget Heins: bheins@hot.rr.com

Jeremy Nance: Jeremy.J.Nance@L3T.com

Joanna Sowards: jo.sowards@gmail.com

Kathy Krey: kathykrey@gmail.com

Student Position, Samuel Moore: samuel_moore2@baylor.edu

Student Position, Anna Carol Peery: anna_peery@baylor.edu

UBC Finance Team

Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.

JD Newman: JD_Newman@baylor.edu 

Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com  

Justin Pond: pondjw@gmail.com

Doug McNamee: douglas.mcnamee@gmail.com 

Catherine Ballas: catherine@refitrev.com

UBC HR Team

If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.

Josh Blake: joshnblake@gmail.com

Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu

Jared Gould: jared.gould1@gmail.com

Rebekah Powell: rpowell671@gmail.com

Kristen Richardson: wacorichardsons@gmail.com

Liturgy 2-24-2019

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship the Living God

to offer our songs, our prayers, our attention, and our listening
to the One in whom all things hold together

to enter the story of God and the people of God

and find our own stories there

and to find our hearts and minds transformed by the Spirit of God

that we might learn to love, to live, and to die,
carrying the Light of Christ in our ordinary lives

Amen

Scripture

Psalm 37:1-12, 41-42

Do not fret yourself because of evildoers;
do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
For they shall soon wither like the grass,
and like the green grass fade away.

Put your trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he shall give you your heart's desire.

Commit your way to the Lord and put your trust in him,
and he will bring it to pass.
He will make your righteousness as clear as the light
and your just dealing as the noonday.

Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him.
Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers,
the one who succeeds in evil schemes.

Refrain from anger, leave rage alone;
do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait upon the Lord shall possess the land.

In a little while the wicked shall be no more;
you shall search out their place, but they will not be there.
But the lowly shall possess the land;
they will delight in abundance of peace.

But the deliverance of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The Lord will help them and rescue them;
he will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them,
because they seek refuge in him.

Luke 6:27-38

If you’re listening, here’s My message: Keep loving your enemies no matter what they do. Keep doing good to those who hate you. Keep speaking blessings on those who curse you. Keep praying for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, offer the other cheek too. If someone steals your coat, offer him your shirt too. If someone begs from you, give to him. If someone robs you of your valuables, don’t demand them back. Think of the kindness you wish others would show you; do the same for them.

Listen, what’s the big deal if you love people who already love you? Even scoundrels do that much! So what if you do good to those who do good to you? Even scoundrels do that much! So what if you lend to people who are likely to repay you? Even scoundrels lend to scoundrels if they think they’ll be fully repaid.

If you want to be extraordinary—love your enemies! Do good without restraint! Lend with abandon! Don’t expect anything in return! Then you’ll receive the truly great reward—you will be children of the Most High—for God is kind to the ungrateful and those who are wicked. So imitate God and be truly compassionate, the way your Father is.

If you don’t want to be judged, don’t judge. If you don’t want to be condemned, don’t condemn. If you want to be forgiven, forgive. Don’t hold back—give freely, and you’ll have plenty poured back into your lap—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, brimming over. You’ll receive in the same measure you give.

Philippians 1:21

For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.

Setlist 2-24-2019

Yesterday was the eighth Sunday of Epiphany, and our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics.  Below the songs, you can find a brief example of one way you might think of these songs. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

How Great Thou Art

Crown Him With Many Crowns by ubcmusic (adapted from Matthew Bridges)

SMS [Shine] by David Crowder* Band

When the Saints

There by Jameson McGregor

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

How Great Thou Art: We sang this song to begin our time together giving voice to the greatness of God’s activity in history.

Crown Him With Many Crowns: This song offered us language to speak of Christ’s greatness being rooted in his coming low and suffering among us.

SMS [Shine]: This song is a petition for Christ to continue to be the light in the darkness the darkness did not overcome, and to make us bearers of this light.

When the Saints: We sang this song to tie ourselves to those who have gone before us, and to locate our stories within a great parade of stories God is weaving together into redemption.

There: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week’s songs. This is what we said about There then: This song celebrates God as an anchor beyond every pain we encounter.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos. 

-JM

ITLOTC 2-22-19

ITLOTC

(In The Life Of The Church)

Thank You from Taylor

Today Kim and I are at the Texas Baptist Women in Ministry Conference. And it has me thinking about a lot of things. I’ve been thinking about UBC and how I’ve been formed by my time there as a congregation member and as a pastor. And I’ve been thinking about women in ministry – the ways that women have found to be ministers no matter their circumstance and how that has formed me and the church. And I’ve been thinking about women generally – about the ways in which we move through society and the church, about the ways in which we are affirmed and the ways in which we aren’t affirmed.

And I think mostly I’ve been thinking about myself – about my particular call to vocational ministry and the ways that this call has changed and transformed my life. Or – maybe more accurately – the ways that the Holy Spirit has changed and transformed my life through this call. A part of my story that you might not be familiar with is that I grew up in a church that was not affirming of women in ministry. When I first felt a call to ministry in the 7thgrade I was met with skepticism. And then eventually, a reluctant compromise: “Well,” they said, “maybe you’ll be a pastor’s wife.”

But I knew, deep within myself, that that was not the call – that my calling to ministry was about my own particular vocation. But because I was met with such skepticism and because I had never seen a woman be a pastor of any kind I did not have the imagination to even begin to set a vision for how I might become a minister. And so I went to college, and I got a degree in music, and I spent a season of life teaching music. And while those years were dear and valuable and I learned and grew so much and I could not be the pastor that I am without those experiences it is also true that those years were a sort of wilderness for me. And a particular lonely one because even though I felt a deep calling – I did not believe in my own ability to be a minister. And I didn’t think anyone else did either.

But eventually I could suppress the call no longer. So I came to Truett, and eventually I came to UBC as well. And let me tell you friends – I know that we all love UBC so deeply and in our own individual ways – but it was a revelation for me. At UBC and at Truett I found a place where I was affirmed in my ability to be a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was encouraged to lean hard into the person that God had crafted me to be, to see and learn how to use what my own particular gifts and skills were and then use those gifts and skills to tell and show other people about the way of Jesus. I was set free – and I had not even know that I was living in bondage.

And so I guess what I’m really trying to say is thank you. Thank you to UBC. Thank you to the versions of UBC that existed before me. Thank you to the many different versions of UBC that I have experienced. Thank you the versions of UBC that will exist long after I have gone. Thank you to each of you. Thank you for accepting me, for encouraging me, for refining me, and for loving me well. Thank you for creating a place where our little girls will never have to wonder whether or not they are fully invited to the table. None of our children will ever lack the imagination to see themselves as ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I cannot tell you how much of a gift that is. Thank you for being UBC. May we continue to be UBC to each other – in hard seasons and in easy ones. May we continue to love each other well – and to life each other up.

As always - if you have thoughts about this and want to talk or process - please feel free to email me at taylor@ubcwaco.org.

Guest Preacher

As February comes to a close and we continue to celebrate Black voices and lives that have changed the world and shown us Jesus we prepare to welcome guest preacher Rev. Cokiesha Bailey Robinson. Please be in prayer for Cokiesha as she prepares to bring a word from the Lord to UBC.

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Second Wednesday Training

This Wednesday, 2-27, we will have our second conversation with regards to UBC’s relationship with the LGBTQ community. In this particular session we will be talking about biblical exegesis of verses that address sexuality.

If you’d like to do your own study before hand, the primary verses we will be talking about are:

Genesis 19:1-29

Leviticus 18:22, 20:13

Romans 1:18-32

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (as a collective read of 1 Tim 1:10, Acts 15:28-29, etc.)

This discussion will be led by Dr. Brian Gamel. Brian’s work is in the field of New Testament.

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Parishioner of The Week

Karen Carney for coming up and cleaning the Sunday school rooms and the youth room.

Announcements

  • Sermon Text: Philippians 1:21 with Rev. CoKeisha Bailey Robinson

  • 3-3 Unity Sunday

  • Ash Wednesday Service 3-6 @ 5:30 PM

  • Hermeneutics Training Session on LGBTQ texts 3-6 6:00-7:30 (note this time shift as we will be observing Ash Wednesday).

  • Lenten Prayer Services begin

Work is Worship

Greeters: Blaylocks

Coffee Makers:

Mug Cleaners: Andrew S-C

Money Counter:  Catherine B

Leadership Team

If you have a concern or an idea for UBC that you’d like to share with someone that is not on staff, feel free to contact one of our leadership team members. 

Chair- Adam Winn:  adamwinn68@yahoo.com

Byron Griffin: byrontgriffin@gmail.com

Kerri Fisher: Kerri_Fisher@baylor.edu

Bridget Heins: bheins@hot.rr.com

Jeremy Nance: Jeremy.J.Nance@L3T.com

Joanna Sowards: jo.sowards@gmail.com

Kathy Krey: kathykrey@gmail.com

Student Position, Samuel Moore: samuel_moore2@baylor.edu

Student Position, Anna Carol Peery: anna_peery@baylor.edu

UBC Finance Team

Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.

JD Newman: JD_Newman@baylor.edu 

Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com  

Justin Pond: pondjw@gmail.com

Doug McNamee: douglas.mcnamee@gmail.com 

Catherine Ballas: catherine@refitrev.com

UBC HR Team

If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.

Josh Blake: joshnblake@gmail.com

Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu

Jared Gould: jared.gould1@gmail.com

Rebekah Powell: rpowell671@gmail.com

Kristen Richardson: wacorichardsons@gmail.com

Liturgy 2-17-2019

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship
the Creator and Sustainer

to direct our attention
toward the One in whom we live
and move and have our being

to find comfort for the afflicted
in the Story of God and the people of God

and to find our stories formed
in the way of Christ

so, may the Spirit of God carve the love of God into our hearts,

and may we learn to embody
the Kingdom of the Living God
in our ordinary lives

amen.

Scripture

Genesis 48:1-20

Soon after this, Joseph was brought word that his father was gravely ill; so he took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, to see Jacob. When Jacob was told that his son Joseph had come to see him, he gathered his strength and sat up in bed.

Jacob (to Joseph): The All-Powerful God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan many years ago and spoke His blessing over me, telling me, “I am going to make you fruitful and multiply your descendants so that you will give rise to nation after nation. I will give this land to them after you to have as their possession forever.”

So Joseph, your two sons who were born to you in Egypt before I came here are mine. I claim Ephraim and Manasseh as my own, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. As for any children you father after them, you may regard them as your own. When it comes time for your other children to gain their inheritances, they will be given land within the regions granted to their brothers, Ephraim and Manasseh.

When I left Paddan, your mother Rachel died on our journey in the land of Canaan. We were not far from Ephrath, so I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (which is also known as Bethlehem).

Just then Israel noticed Joseph’s sons.

Jacob: And who are these?

Joseph: These are my sons, Father, whom God has given to me here in Egypt.

Jacob: Please bring them here to me, so I can lay my hands on them and bless them.

Israel’s eyes were dim because of his old age, so he couldn’t see well. Joseph brought the boys near to him, and Israel kissed them and hugged them warmly.

Jacob (to Joseph): I didn’t know if I would ever see your face again, but now God has given me more than I hoped: He has let me see your children too.

Then Joseph moved the boys aside—they had been at his father’s knees—and he bowed down low with his face to the ground. Then Joseph took his sons and brought them near to his father. He took his younger son Ephraim in his right hand and put him to the left hand of Israel, and he took Manasseh in his left hand and put him to the right hand of Israel. But Israel stretched out his hands and crossed his arms, laying his right hand on the head of Ephraim, the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, the firstborn. And he spoke this blessing over Joseph.

Jacob: May the God before whom my ancestors Abraham and Isaac walked,
       the God who has been my shepherd all of my life and still to this day,
   The messenger who has rescued me from all harm,
       bless these boys.
   And let my name be perpetuated through them,
       as well as the name of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac,
   And let them grow into a great multitude of people
       throughout the world.

When Joseph saw that his father had laid his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he was troubled, and so he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s.

Joseph: No, Father! Since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.

But Israel refused.

Jacob: I know, my son, I know. Manasseh will also become a people, and he will be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his children will give rise to many nations.

So it was that Israel blessed Joseph and his sons that day.

Jacob: When the people of Israel speak blessings, they’ll remember you: “May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.”

So this is how Israel ranked Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

Luke 6:17-26

Jesus came down with the twelve apostles and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

Then he looked up at his disciples and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.

“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.

“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.

“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets."

"But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.

"Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.

"Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.

"Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets."





Setlist 2-17-2019

Yesterday was the seventh Sunday of Epiphany, and our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics.  Below the songs, you can find a brief example of one way you might think of these songs. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

There by Jameson McGregor

Where God Has Always Been by Jameson McGregor

Heart With No Companion by Leonard Cohen

Mystery by ubcmusic (adapted from Charlie Hall)

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

Just A Closer Walk With Thee: We sang this song to express our desire to be formed more fully in the way of Christ.

There: This song celebrates God as an anchor beyond every pain we encounter.

Where God Has Always Been: We sang this song to acknowledge and celebrate God’s solidarity with those with their backs against the wall, and to look ahead to the coming of the Kingdom in fullness.

Heart With No Companion: This song is about the hope of Christ that reaches across pain and time, drawing us into a future of wholeness.

Mystery: This song invites us to consider the death, resurrection, and enduring presence of Jesus as being transformative to the way we navigate our ordinary lives.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos. 

-JM

ITLOTC 2-15-19


ITLOTC

(In The Life Of The Church)

Epiphany

On Certainty and Conviction

I’ve been thinking about this kind colloidal suspension that UBC  currently sits in. By that I mean where all of you know that we are engaging in a conversation about the LGBTQ community and UBC, but we don’t have an answer yet.  I wonder how you are faring. If you are worn down. If you are just ready to get an answer! How is that I can … we can ... continue to exist here. Let me offer something I’ve been thinking about below.  

The pastor before me at UBC wrote a book on prayer.  In the introduction Kyle explores the idea that we’ve all been handed scripts.  Prayer, he suggests, is often one form of a script we’ve inherited. In the spirit of self-deprecation Kyle offers three scripted prayers from previous expressions of his own discipleship.  The third he calls “death by cliché.” It’s clever, picking on some of the sentiments you’ve likely heard over the course of your evangelical existence. There in the middle of the prayer was this, “help me stand for something so I don’t fall for everything.”

At first glance it seems that Christian faith should be about the business of certainty.  We must be certain about what we believe. After all, some Christians have died pretty brutal deaths because of their beliefs.  Wouldn’t it be a tragic if at the end of the day they were uncertain about the beliefs for which they were dying? And how about our creed?  For thousands of years the church has confessed “we believe … we believe … we believe …”

At this point I should acknowledge that there’s an entire philosophical discussion about the word 'certainty' that I’m aware of, but not familiar enough with to include here.  In that regard readers should understand that I’m talking the popular version of the same idea. I don’t think Christian faith is about certainty, but I do believe we are called to be a people of convictions.

My definition of conviction would be this: a belief that you are passionate about.  I have deep convictions that Christ has died, Christ is risen and Christ will come again.  Conviction allows me to move around the world with direction, but simultaneously lets me hold my belief humbly.  Conviction allows for the understanding that the Spirit works with me and through me despite my not having perfect belief.  Conviction allows for me to believe in Jesus as I continually see Him anew from fresh perspectives. Certainty does not. Certainty led the church to believe that the earth was at the center of the universe while they tortured people for disagreeing.  Certainty led Christians on crusades in which they murdered thousands of innocent people. Certainty destroys faith when threatened with change.

So why am I taking the time to pick on certainty?  Brene Brown has a popular TED talk about vulnerability..  In it she shares that we are scared of vulnerability so we compensate for that fear by numbing ourselves.  As a result she points out that we are the most “medicated, obese, addicted, and in debt adult cohort in American history.”  If you numb the fearful stuff (shame, rejection, exposure) Brown argues you also numb the good parts of vulnerability (joy, happiness, acceptance).

Brown suggests that there is another way of dealing with the fear of vulnerability.   In response to our fear of vulnerability we develop a need for certainty.  We take deep comfort from the notion that we can’t be wrong and that our suppositions can’t be upset by new experiences or information.

My proposal is that in response the visceral world of politics, religion and public opinion we do away with certainty and celebrate our shared conviction that Jesus is Lord.   This is the faith of the Church.

Youth 5-6 Lock-in (Friday 2/22 6 PM – Saturday 2/23 9 AM)

Join us for a full night of fun and formation on Friday February 22nd at UBC! We will start with dinner then move into a time of Bible Study followed by classic night games such as Hide and Seek and Murder in the Dark. We will then show a movie, and enjoy a wicked snack bar before heading to bed. We will wake up Saturday, feast on some cereal, clean up, then be picked up! This event will cost $5 to help us pay for meals and snacks. If your student plans on attending please RSVP by emailing Dilan or Hannah by Sunday 2/17!

n’UBC’ers Luncheon

Are you new to UBC, like within the last 6 moths? Would you like to get to know more about the church? Do you enjoy free food? If you answered yes to these questions, then we would love to have you stay for lunch on February 17th. We will spend some time talking about the history of UBC, ways you can plug in, and our current conversation. If you have any questions, please email toph@ubcwaco.org

You can sign-up on Sunday morning in the foyer, or you can email toph.

Power Point Party

On February 21st 2019 a group of 10 UBC #champions4thelord will present information on random topics. It is sure to be riveting. Please consider going, but only if you want to became smart. This extravaganza begins at 7 PM CST.

Financial Peace University

It turns out that Ron Miller, a new partaker in the UBC extravaganza, has a black belt in financial peace university stuff. Ron has offered to lead a 9 week class. The materials cost about $130, but if we reach a critical mass of interest and order in large quantity that number could go down. If you are interested in doing that class please email josh@ubcwaco.org.

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Parishioner of The Week

Paul Carron and Lacy McNamee for dealing with the toilet in the kids room. 

Announcements

  • Sermon Text: Luke 6ish “blesses is ?”

  • Ash Wednesday Service 3-6 @ 5:30 PM

Work is Worship

Greeters: Richardsons

Coffee Makers: Clark and Co.

Mug Cleaners: Cooleys

Money Counter:  Hannah

Leadership Team

If you have a concern or an idea for UBC that you’d like to share with someone that is not on staff, feel free to contact one of our leadership team members. 

Chair- Adam Winn:  adamwinn68@yahoo.com

Byron Griffin: byrontgriffin@gmail.com

Kerri Fisher: Kerri_Fisher@baylor.edu

Bridget Heins: bheins@hot.rr.com

Jeremy Nance: Jeremy.J.Nance@L3T.com

Joanna Sowards: jo.sowards@gmail.com

Kathy Krey: kathykrey@gmail.com

Student Position, Samuel Moore: samuel_moore2@baylor.edu

Student Position, Anna Carol Peery: anna_peery@baylor.edu

UBC Finance Team

Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.

JD Newman: JD_Newman@baylor.edu 

Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com  

Justin Pond: pondjw@gmail.com

Doug McNamee: douglas.mcnamee@gmail.com 

Catherine Ballas: catherine@refitrev.com

UBC HR Team

If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.

Josh Blake: joshnblake@gmail.com

Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu

Jared Gould: jared.gould1@gmail.com

Rebekah Powell: rpowell671@gmail.com

Kristen Richardson: wacorichardsons@gmail.com


Liturgy 2-10-2019

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship
the Lord of all the earth

with our songs, our prayers,
our silence, and our listening

to enter into the story of God
and the people of God

that we might find our own stories there

hoping the Spirit of God
will transform our hearts and minds

and set to light
the Kingdom of God
in our midst

amen.

Scripture

Isaiah 6:1-13

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said:

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory."

The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said: "Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!"

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: "Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out." Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I; send me!" And he said, "Go and say to this people:

`Keep listening, but do not comprehend;
keep looking, but do not understand.'
Make the mind of this people dull,
and stop their ears,
and shut their eyes,
so that they may not look with their eyes,
and listen with their ears,
and comprehend with their minds,
and turn and be healed."

Then I said, "How long, O Lord?"

And he said:
"Until cities lie waste
without inhabitant,
and houses without people,
and the land is utterly desolate;
until the Lord sends everyone far away,
and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land.

Even if a tenth part remain in it,
it will be burned again,
like a terebinth or an oak
whose stump remains standing
when it is felled."

The holy seed is its stump.

Luke 5:1-11

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore.

Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break.

So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!" For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.

Then Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people." When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

Prayer

This week's prayer was from Howard Thurman:

Our little lives, our big problems—these we place upon Your altar!
The quietness in Your temple of silence again and again rebuffs us:
For some there is no discipline to hold them steady in the waiting,
And the minds reject the noiseless invasion of Your spirit.
For some there is no will to offer what is central in the thoughts—
The confusion is so manifest, there is no starting place to take hold.
For some the evils of the world tear down all concentrations
And scatter the focus of the high resolves.
We do not know how to do what we know to do.
We do not know how to be what we know to be.
Our little lives, our big problems—these we place upon Your altar!
Pour out upon us whatever our spirits need of shock, of life, of release
That we may find strength for these days—
Courage and hope for tomorrow.
In confidence we rest in Your sustaining grace
Which makes possible triumph in defeat, gain in loss, and love in hate.
We rejoice this day to say:
Our little lives, our big problems—these we place upon Your altar!

Setlist 2-10-2019

Yesterday was the sixth Sunday of Epiphany, and our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics.  Below the songs, you can find a brief example of one way you might think of these songs. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Holy, Holy, Holy

Mystery by ubcmusic (adapted from Charlie Hall)

Future/Past by John Mark McMillan

For Those Tears I Died by Jameson McGregor

Rise Up by BiFrost Arts

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

Holy, Holy, Holy: We sang this song to begin our time together directing our attention toward the triune God and meditating on God’s presence among us.

Mystery: This song invites us to consider the death, resurrection, and enduring presence of Jesus as being transformative to the way we navigate our ordinary lives.

Future/Past: This song offers us language for expressing our gratitude that the Eternal has not abandoned us to our own devices, but instead has come alongside us in our time and place.

For Those Tears I Died: This is a song of lament which grasps for the healing of the wounds of the world, and raises a question about how long we are supposed to wait for all of this to be set right.

Rise Up: This song is a petition for God to come to the aid and defense of people who are trampled by our systems of power.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos. 

-JM

ITLOTC 2-8-19

ITLOTC

(In The Life Of The Church)

Epiphany

The Obvious Hallow

This is Harry Potter themed because Taylor is a thoughtful and compelling human and posted this on Thursday afternoon:

IMG_0429.jpg

If you don’t know the story of the Deathly Hallows, here is a video to watch. 

It’s obvious, isn’t it?

The oldest brother asked for a powerful wand, the second – seeking to humiliate Death - a resurrection stone, the third – a humble man – Death’s own cloak. 

Power leading to death, desire leading to hopelessness and death, humility greeting death. 

It’s so obvious, because all 3 brothers died in the end. Each the same result, but different journeys to get there. Each living their best lives and meeting their best deaths. It’s beautiful and compelling, and obvious.

Wouldn’t we all like to have power, to never want for anything? How wonderful it would be to never have trials come our way, to never struggle through this life, to be utterly protected and never worry. It sounds like bliss. But this bliss is a corruptible bliss when not shared with others. We see this in our government, our communities, our schools, our relationships. Misused power is not good for anyone. Power in the hands of one is power for none. The oldest brother experienced that, and deep down we know that.

The resurrection stone gets me right in the feels. How glorious it would be to be able to bring back those we miss, those that left us. Family, friends, mentors, and so many other people that with 3 turns of a stone we could bring back to us. But there is a beauty to loss, a magic to grieving and overcoming, and a story to pass on to those suffering. To suffer invites us to relate to those around us. Growth through hardship prepares us to sit in the presence of the pain that we know and have faced. There is a glorious coming-together when we meet each other in our pain. The second brother mourned this truth, and deep down we know it. 

This was my response to Taylor:

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But the more I think about the cloak, the more I realize it is the most obvious choice because Death did not create the cloak – it was Death’s own. The wand formed from a tree, the stone plucked from the river. Death gave the cloak off his back to the third brother. He knew that Death comes for us all in the end – and we all know that – and asked for a way to hide. But had he not come to Death at the end of his life and only hidden away, he would have missed out on love, his child, a life not crippled by fear. The cloak gave him peace of mind to continue living. Until it was time. 

Though I think the cloak is the obvious choice, I think each could be used in a noble way. We know that when power is spread evenly, we all benefit; that desire to undo our natural end leads to more suffering; and that with humility, we find the freedom to live without fear. The corruptibility or nobility of the deathly hallows depends on the user.

So UBC, may we, if ever faced with choosing which deathly hallow is the best, choose the noble path. The path that shares the privilege we have, walks alongside the suffering, and shows humility and joy for life in all things. 

Also, Taylor confirmed to me on the phone that the cloak IS the obvious choice. 

Peace,
Kim

Financial Peace University

It turns out that Ron Miller, a new partaker in the UBC extravaganza, has a black belt in financial peace university stuff. Ron has offered to lead a 9 week class. The materials cost about $130, but if we reach a critical mass of interest and order in large quantity that number could go down. If you are interested in doing that class please email josh@ubcwaco.org.

Wednesday Night Educational Moments

We’re hosting several educational moments over the next couple of months. Each of these gatherings will occur from 5:30-7pm.

February 13th: Conversation Tools workshop.

February 27th: Exploring biblical and theological perspectives.

March 6th: Hearing from two guests (one Side A, one Side B) about their beliefs (it’s also Ash Wednesday).

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n’UBC’ers Luncheon

Are you new to UBC, like within the last 6 moths? Would you like to get to know more about the church? Do you enjoy free food? If you answered yes to these questions, then we would love to have you stay for lunch on February 17th. We will spend some time talking about the history of UBC, ways you can plug in, and our current conversation. If you have any questions, please email toph@ubcwaco.org

You can sign-up on Sunday morning in the foyer, or you can email toph.

Youth 5-6 Lock-in (Friday 2/22 6 PM – Saturday 2/23 9 AM)

Join us for a full night of fun and formation on Friday February 22nd at UBC! We will start with dinner then move into a time of Bible Study followed by classic night games such as Hide and Seek and Murder in the Dark. We will then show a movie, and enjoy a wicked snack bar before heading to bed. We will wake up Saturday, feast on some cereal, clean up, then be picked up! This event will cost $5 to help us pay for meals and snacks. If your student plans on attending please RSVP by emailing Dilan or Hannah by Sunday 2/17!

Work is Worship

Greeters: Ricky and Rose

Coffee Makers:

Mug Cleaners: Bri Childs

Money Counter: 

Welcome Station:

Leadership Team

If you have a concern or an idea for UBC that you’d like to share with someone that is not on staff, feel free to contact one of our leadership team members. 

Chair- Adam Winn:  adamwinn68@yahoo.com

Byron Griffin: byrontgriffin@gmail.com

Kerri Fisher: Kerri_Fisher@baylor.edu

Bridget Heins: bheins@hot.rr.com

Jeremy Nance: Jeremy.J.Nance@L3T.com

Joanna Sowards: jo.sowards@gmail.com

Kathy Krey: kathykrey@gmail.com

Student Position, Samuel Moore: samuel_moore2@baylor.edu

Student Position, Anna Carol Peery: anna_peery@baylor.edu

UBC Finance Team

Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.

JD Newman: JD_Newman@baylor.edu 

Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com  

Justin Pond: pondjw@gmail.com

Doug McNamee: douglas.mcnamee@gmail.com 

Catherine Ballas: catherine@refitrev.com

UBC HR Team

If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.

Josh Blake: joshnblake@gmail.com

Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu

Jared Gould: jared.gould1@gmail.com

Rebekah Powell: rpowell671@gmail.com

Kristen Richardson: wacorichardsons@gmail.com

Liturgy 2-3-2019

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to worship
the Creator and Sustainer of all that is

to seek refuge in the rock of the Eternal

to enter into the story of God
and the people of God

that our own stories might be transformed

as we are drawn together by the Spirit of God

into the peace of Christ,
grafted into the Body
of resurrection hope

amen

Scripture

Psalm 71:1-6

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
   let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
   incline your ear to me and save me.
Be to me a rock of refuge,
   a strong fortress, to save me,
   for you are my rock and my fortress.
Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
   from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
For you, O Lord, are my hope,
   my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
   it was you who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.

Ephesians 2:13-22

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.

He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

Prayer

This week's prayer was from W. E. B. Du Bois:

Give us grace, O God, to dare to do the deed which we well know
cries to be done. Let us not hesitate because of ease, or the
words of men’s mouths, or our own lives. Mighty causes are
calling us—the freeing of women, the training of children, the
putting down of hate and murder and poverty—all these and
more. But they call with voices that mean work and sacrifices
and death. Mercifully grant us, O God, the spirit of Esther, that
we say: I will go unto the King and if I perish, I perish.

Amen.