(In the Life of the Church)
June 15, 2014
(While Josh is away on sabbatical, Craig will be writing the newsletter. Which means you should expect less Harry Potter and more Hank Williams.)
I have lived a relatively pain-free life, as far as my body goes. When I was two I broke my arm. I was in the bathtub, according to eyewitnesses, but upon hearing the Happy Days theme song blaring from the television set (that's what we called it in those days,) I decided that I needed to immediately run to the living room in my birthday suit and dance on the coffee table. Apparently there was a mishap and I didn't quite stick the landing.
As a child I had recurring ear infections that lasted well into adolescence and caused some issues about 10 years ago that required surgery. And I broke my foot in a 2011.
Yet aside from all this, I have not really known chronic pain until recently. A couple of months ago I woke up with what I could only interpret as a pulled hamstring. I had never had one of these, but I have heard them described as extremely painful, which is what I was feeling in my hamstring area. Over time the pain spread to my...uh...butt, then began emanating further down my leg. After too long avoiding a doctor, I made an appointment and was diagnosed with Sciatica, likely caused by a herniated disc in my lower back. Since then I've been in physical therapy and on pain killers, with varying degrees of success. (I actually feel better today than I have in a long time.) The days in between the good days are spent lying on the floor, as sitting down feels like a scalpel is cutting through my leg. I think I've developed a permanent grimace.
Before all this, I heard words and phrases like "inflammation" and "chronic pain," and thought they were made-up ailments, like ADD and gluten intolerance. (Just kidding! Everyone knows ADD is a real thing.*) In my relative health, it was difficult for me to understand that such a thing as "persistent pain" could exist, much less put myself in the shoes of those who dealt with it. But now I understand a small sliver of the reality that many people have lived their whole lives. I get why they don't go out much and how physical pain can evolve into emotional pain. I understand, just a little, their prayers of desperation and why they sometimes stop praying, or find new ways to pray. I've received an initiation into their "club," hoping there is an expiration date.
I believe a similar thing is going on with all the conversations about the enneagram that are happening around UBC these days. I know many people are leery of this, and for good reason: Models of human behavior and motivation are often used as either trivial parlor games, or as ways to marginalize and dismiss "the other." In the early days of UBC'ers becoming interested in the enneagram, it often got used as a way to label each other. But something very special has been happening in our Wednesday night conversations led by Wade Mackey. People are eager to learn about enneagram as a way of understanding others and, ultimately, as a way to love and respect each other. We are seeing how everyone's reality and perception can be light year's away from our own. And, in some ways, we are being exposed, for the first time, with the pain of others. We are receiving an orientation into each others lives.
In seminary we learned about a movement known as Liberation Theology. Among the many complexities of liberation theology, one tenet is that if you want to really understand the Bible more fully, you need to be able to read it through the eyes of (and, preferably, from the lips of) the marginalized and poor. Regardless of what you believe about this, I think one thing is clear-- We are to be compassionate, tenderhearted and loving to each other. (1 Peter 3:8.) The only way to pull this off is to be able, as much as possible, to see life through each other's eyes.
This is something I am a novice at. Perhaps you are as well. May we have the grace to grow in empathy and tenderheartedness, and that we will be known for these.
*I also know gluten intolerance is a real thing, but wanted some of you to sweat it out a few paragraphs more.
We are in need of FOUR more volunteers this summer to help with our children during their 10:30a.m. formation time! Two of you will work in the "Sprout" room, which consists of walkers through early 2's. Preparation for leading this group includes knowing how to sit on the floor, giving high-5's and kissing boo-boos. (They basically just play.) The other two will be with the "Bloom" class, which are the older 2's through the younger 4's. The Bloomers this summer are going through their "Gone Fishin'" unit, which is looking at the fish and fishing related stories in the Bible.
If you are new and looking for a way to get connected, this is an EXCELLENT opportunity. (It's also an excellent opportunity if you aren't new.) If you are interested, email email@example.com.
Our summer Love Feast will be this coming Sunday (June 22nd) at 6:00pm. Bring a summer side or main dish. We have the desserts covered!
Work is Worship
We need coffee makers, mug cleaners, and greeters for this coming Sunday. If you can help, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: Jana Parker email@example.com
Kristin Dodson firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaley Eggers email@example.com
David Wilhite firstname.lastname@example.org
Austin Tiffany Austin_Tiffany@baylor.edu
Byron Roldan Byron_Roldan@baylor.edu
Teri Walter email@example.com
UBC Finance Team
Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.
Tom Haines: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Taft: email@example.com
Josh McCormick: Josh.McCormick@dwyergroup.com
Chris Kim: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom McCarty: email@example.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.
Lacy McNamee: Lacy_McNamee@baylor.edu
Callie Schrank: Callie_Schrank@baylor.edu
Jeff Walter: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Heins: email@example.com