ITLOTC 9-26-14


(In The Life Of The Church)

Ordinary Time

Derek Jeter

And what shall be their education? ... gymnastic for the body, and music for the soul.

Plato, The Republic, Book II



Last night New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter gave his hometown crowd one last gift.  With the game tied in the bottom of the ninth he hit a walk off single.  Only one other player has ended his career with a walk off hit.*  But it shouldn't surprise us.  If there is one thing we have learned about Derek Jeter, it's that he delivers epic moments.  He hit a home run for his 3,000th hit and he delivered walk off home runs in World Series games.  Epic moments are what he does.

I, like so many Americans, have spent a lifetime disdaining the New York Yankees.  In a league where there's comparatively little penalty for buying your championships, the Yankees represent everything wrong with the fiscal side of competition.  And yet as much as we dislike the Yankees, baseball fans found it near impossible to not like THE New York Yankee, Derek Jeter.

Why is that?  Two reasons.  First, Derek Jeter played his entire twenty  year career with one team.  In an era where players are loyal to paychecks, it's rare to find someone who plays an entire career in one place.  Someone might object that, that's because Jeter started and played his entire career where paychecks are the most lucrative.   True, but there was at least one contract negotiation in which a lack of loyalty might have landed Jeter somewhere else.

The second reason is the most important reason.  I'll get that in a moment, but let me share a few things first.  I remember having a discussion back in 2005, when Lance Armstrong was in the midst of winning one of his 7 Tour de France titles, about Armstrong being the most drug tested athlete of all time.  My conversation partners and I were gleaming when thinking about Armstrong's drug free awesomeness.  I remember when allegations came out that 7 time Cy Young award winner Roger Clemens had taken performance enhancing drugs.  I listened to his passionate denial and believed him, until I stopped.  I remember when Ryan Braun was suspended, then cleared only to be suspended again.  That's to say nothing of baseball's great hitters like Alex Rodriquez, Barry Bond and Mark Mcgwire.

We've grown weary of athletes.  Instead of being awed by inflated statistics, we're now suspicious.  That's why players like Derek Jeter are so special.  They are rare.  It's one thing to be great, it's another to do it with integrity.

Every major sport gives us about one per era.  Basketball has Tim Duncan.  Football has Petyon Manning.  And Baseball has Derek Jeter ... until Sunday.  It's not just their lack of drug consumption that makes them special, it's their presence.  They way they handle themselves on and off the court.  It's the way they don't use social media and it's the things they don't say in post game interviews.  They are classy.

When the church father Tertullian became suspicious that Christian theology was being conflated with Greek philosophy in an unhealthy way he asked, "what has Athens to do with Jerusalem?"  You may be wondering what Cooperstown has to do with Grand Rapids, Colorado Springs or "insert name of city where you think Evangelicals have successfully waged and won a culture war."

 A couple of years ago I had the honor of preaching my dads retirement service.  It was the bottom of the ninth in Tomahawk, WI.  It was obvious to me that the thing to talk about was my dad's faithfulness.  27 years of pastoring that one congregation.  I used 2 Timothy 4:6-8.

"6 As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

The difficult thing about integrity is that it's not something you check off a list and are done with.   It's something you check off your list everyday for twenty years or twenty seven years.  And that can be exhausting.

My dad in one of our wisdom-filled Gandalf conversations once told me that it only takes one bad choice to ruin your integrity and a lifetime to develop it.  It's hard work filled with discipline.  But that's what are called to as Christ followers and Jesus helps us do it.  As of today Derek Jeter has had 11,191 major league at bats.  His walk off last night was special.  But the reason it was special was because all 11,191 of Jeter's at bats were special.  They were done the right way.

And that matters.

*it should be noted that Jeter will DH in this weekends series against Boston as a curtesy to Red Sox fans, but played his last ever game as a short stop.

Communion Services

Have you ever walked into a church an noticed that a table and not a pulpit stood at the center of the stage?  This happens more frequently in high church traditions such Catholic, Episcopalian or even Presbyterian.  Free church traditions have often reduced "church" to worship, which means music, and a sermon.  The table at the center communicates something.  Namely, that communion is a vital part of the life and worship of the community.  UBC does not a have a table at the center of our stage, but we recognize that we need to grow in our understanding and appreciation for communion as a form of worship.  In addition to our monthly communion Sunday service we will be worshiping together on Wednesday mornings at 7:15 to celebrate and partake in the Lord's Supper.  Services will last about 20-30, please consider joining us.  Our first service is Wednesday October 1st.

Satan Slayers

The Slayers got Slayed in a pair of losses on Monday night.  Odd Squad 2 and another team from somewhere in the greater Waco Metropolitan area beat down the Slayers in a pair of games called early due to a ten run rule.  Byron Roldon picked up his second loss of the season and Micah Wolters picked up his first.   The Slayers suffered a bunch of errors in both games and had trouble getting the bats going.  Wolters offered one of the few offensive highlights hitting a lead off home run in the second inning of the first game.  Here's a few soundbites from Coach Dani Miller:

"We did some things well, but we got a lot to work on.  In the first game our infield made too many mental errors and in the second game our outfield was out of position."

"Micah [Wolters] has been a late season gem in terms of free agency.  When the front office told me we got him off of waivers I was excited.  Looking forward to big things from Micah."

In regards to 3rd baseman Luke Blaylock who took a screamer to the head:

"The team doctors are watching Luke, but he seems to be doing good.  Luke's a tough kid and we expect him to be back in the diamond next Monday night."

Emerging Parents

This Wednesday night, October 1st, the Emerging Parents class will meet at UBC from 5:30-7:00.  Child care will be provided.  If you've never been before, here's how Emerging Parents works.  We meet in the backside from 5:30-6:15 to eat together.  We (the adults) then move to the one of the classrooms for discussion and learning and the children go their respective classrooms.  Interested persons should contact for more information if you are not already on the parent email list.

Work is Worship: 9-28-14

Mug Cleaners: Chris & Hanah Kuhl

Coffee Makers: Logan & Allyson Bayer

Greeters: Graham Dodd &

Shutdown Team: Cavemen


  • Toph is preaching this weekend.  Please be in prayer for him as he prepares a message challenging our community towards mission.  Sermon Text: Matthew 21:23-32
  • Next Sunday, October 5th, Jesus Said Love with join UBC for an announcement and a Q/A lunch after church
  • Friday, October 10th, Guys Night at Michael Heins’ lease on the Brazos River (men of all ages including dads and little boys are welcome/encouraged to come)
  • Fall Break Weekend (October 16-19) UBC will be taking an Embrace Beauty trip to West Texas. Those interested should contact More information to come.
  • UBC Girl's Day, Saturday, October 25th @ 11am:  Meeting at Farmer's Market, getting pumpkins, then heading back to UBC for pumpkin carving and fellowship
  • Wednesday, October 29th, UBC partners with South Waco Community Center for Halloween Festival. Those interested in volunteering should contact toph@ubcwaco.
  • Friday, October 31st Jesus Said Love Outreach … more information to come. MADE in Waco will be Saturday, November 15th more information to come.

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: Teri Walter:

Jana Parker

Kristin Dodson:

Kaley Eggers:

David Wilhite:

Jamie McGregor:

Byron Roldan:

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:

Paul Taft:

Josh McCormick:

Chris Kim:

Tom McCarty:


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:

Callie Schrank:

Jeff Walter:

Michael Heins: