(In the Life of The Church)
Simplicity and Sabbath
(this solicited a genuine LOL from me)
I love Fall. Football. Kind-of cool weather. All things pumpkin spice. The two weeks of it that we have in Waco are probably my favorite season in the south. But something is tempering my appreciation. It seems to be the season most filled with chaos. Tomorrow I will be preaching on the spiritual discipline "simplicity." What that actually means is something that is difficult to get down in a few paragraphs of a church newsletter.
So I want to address part of it--namely time. We can simplify our lives spiritually by how we use our time. As my own kids have gotten older I've noticed something developing in the lives of our young families. We. Have. So. Much. Going. On. And I bet you do to. We were talking about this phenomenon in our emerging parents class this semester when my friend Rob recommended a book--Wayne Muller's Sabbath. Muller's book had been on my list form some time, but Rob's recommending was the nudge I needed to pick it up.
Thomas Merton calls our incessant need to be doing (activism and overwork) a form of violence. At first I thought that term too strong until I began pondering some of the pastoral conversations I've had over the years. Violence, I suppose, is anything that undoes our health ... in whatever form. On more than one occasion, I've noticed unhealthy lifestyles born out of overcommitment and a general inability to say no.
Employing Merton's definition Muller writes, "Sabbath time can be a revolutionary challenge to the violence of overwork, mindless accumulation, and the endless multiplication of desires, responsibilities, and accomplishments. Sabbath is a way of being in time where we remember who we are, remember what we know, and taste the gifts of spirit and eternity."
As someone who thrives on "doing" I used to find the notion of Sabbath almost useless. "An excuse for laziness," I thought. When I read Abraham Joshua Heschel's book on Sabbath something changed. Heschel argues that the 7th day of creation was not a day off for God. On that day He created, and we are called to actively create what the rabbi's called menuha. Menuha is sometimes called rest, but that translation doesn't do enough. It's the active creating of tranquility, serenity, peace and response.
We have been called to cut out a day, not to turn our brain off, but rather to lay aside the labor which if done in excess can steal from our human identity and in turn cultivate the peace that exists from knowing you belong to God.
It is fall break weekend at Baylor and for many other professionals around Waco. This means most of us will fill up our weekends with something fun, but also something that we will need an additional two days to rest from when we are finished. Good rest ... God rest is different. It quiets the soul and restores the human. We need this experience as humans.
As a practical suggestion in tomorrows sermon, I'm telling listeners to say no to something. For me it was this newsletter. The newsletter is supposed to out on Fridays and for the most part, I've been pretty faithful in doing that. Yesterday I created a rare two day weekend for my family by taking Friday off. Getting the newsletter done nagged at me all day. But then I thought about my own advice. I decided that my family was more important than one newsletter. And the decision gave me life.
The line between wisdom and foolishness is thin. Cutting out the right thing takes discernment, but I'd ask you to think about this week. How might God be calling you to rest? To create menuha?
nUBCer's ... In Review
Last Sunday we hosted our first ever nUBCer's gathering in the backside. We just wanted to thank everyone who came out to get to know the church better. It's honor to have you worship with us at UBC. We will be doing more of these events from time to time, but if you are new to UBC and would love to hear more about the church and events like these please email email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craig Nash giving some history on the church.
UBCers, new and old, alike fellowshiping in the Lord
Marfa Fall Break Trip
Please offer a brief prayer for our UBC folks traveling back all day tomorrow from their Marfa trip.
Guys Night ... In Review
Last Friday, October 11, UBC hosted it's first guys night. It was a memorable night that including scouting random dead cows that died for mysterious reasons, using a zip line that we were unsure could support that weight of the participants, and grilling meat on a fire. Vegans starved as hair grew on our chests. John Eldredge was supposed to come a special guest speaker, but on surveying the layout decided he wasn't man enough for the festivities. Bad dad-jokes were told, bodily gases were emitted without apology, and memories were made. Please consider joining us for our next extravaganza. On a more serious note, we'd like to thank Michael Heins for providing us with his space for a fun evening.
Craig "Bull" Nash relaxes in a chair after punishing the man landscape with his rugged his Honda Civic.
We thought about not cooking anything and eating it raw.
Miller Nance laughs at the ground below him as he flies from one tree to another without a safety harness.
Some UBC "boys" skipping puberty and heading straight into manhood.
Work is Worship: 10-19-14
Coffee Makers: Chad & Joel
Mug Cleaners: Chris & Hannah
Greeters: Paul & Linda
Shutdown Team: Cavemen
- Sermon Text: Ecclesiastes 7:29 The UBC youth group will be going to Jump Street in Dallas on October 25th. Interested persons should contact Craig@ubcwaco.org. 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.
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: email@example.com
Jana Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristin Dodson: email@example.com
Kaley Eggers: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Wilhite: email@example.com
Jamie McGregor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Byron Roldan: Byron_Roldan@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.
Tom Haines: email@example.com
Paul Taft: firstname.lastname@example.org
Josh McCormick: Josh.McCormick@dwyergroup.com
Chris Kim: email@example.com
Tom McCarty: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
Michael Heins: firstname.lastname@example.org