(In The Life Of The Church)
Over the next six weeks of lent, the main article of the newsletter will be a lenten reflection written by someone from our community. This week I'm honored to have Natalie Webb write for us. Natalie is working on her Ph.D. in New Testament and she is a gifted preacher. Her and husband Brandon are expecting their first child soon.
Transformers and Transformation
For the past few years, one of the most meaningful times in the church year for me has been ubc’s Ash Wednesday service – when we look each other in the eye and say, “from dust you came, and to dust you will return.” Pretty morbid, right? We think about our coming death and the coming deaths of our loved ones, and we cross each other with the ashes. Especially poignant for me is watching as parents place the ashes on their children, marking them with the cross, acknowledging their fragility and humanness and eventual death. This has to be one of the most beautiful and excruciating things I’ve ever seen.
When Brandon and I found out that I was pregnant last August, I was really excited about being “with child” during Advent. You know, the excitement and hope of a coming child, imagining whether Mary had morning sickness, etc… And Advent was really special. But I didn’t think at all about how pregnancy would shape my experience of Lent, though the connection there has been even more tangible. I’ve joked that pregnancy is like an extended Lenten fast. Tell me again how you are abstaining from coffee, alcohol, etc…? Forty days, huh? Try forty weeks!!
And although I have found pregnancy to be, like Advent, a time of excitement and anticipation and hope, I’ve found these last 7 months to be equally streaked with self-doubt (can I be a good mother?), anxiety (is he okay in there? am I getting him what he needs?), an overwhelming sense of the fragility of life (both my child’s and my own), and the helplessness of not knowing and not being able to do anything to guarantee his safety. Don’t get me wrong, this time has been beautiful and wondrous, but also terrifying and vulnerable.
Because there is nothing I can do to hurry it up. It takes 40 weeks (give or take a couple). The only thing to do is wait and hope in the midst of fear and insecurity. I don’t know about you, but I’m not very good at waiting. And no matter how many vitamins I take and foods and drinks I abstain from, I can’t keep his heart beating. I can’t will his organs to develop. I can’t guarantee a happy ending. He’s fragile, and so am I, though this is not something anyone wants to admit.
For me, pregnancy has been a very visceral reminder of what is always true about all of us – that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (as Brandon has reminded me throughout my pregnancy, “Babe! Your body is like a Transformer!”) and that at the same time we are pretty powerless when it comes down to it. We can see this is true in pregnancy, but we can also see it in friendships and marriages and in our other hopes and ambitions. All of the things in our lives that are life-giving and exciting and full of hope are always, at the same time, fragile. From dust we came, and to dust we will return.
Lent is hard, because it makes us wait. It makes us come face to face with our vulnerability. It makes us admit our powerlessness over our lives and the lives of those around us. These are truths we’d rather avoid, and Lent really just shoves our faces in them. So while we’re here, in the middle of Lent, let’s practice waiting. What does it mean for us to embrace our own waiting? What does it look like to acknowledge our fragility? In our family life, in our schoolwork or jobs, in our church? What does it mean to cover these things with the sign of the cross? This year, for me, it started with sitting in my car on Ash Wednesday with some left-over ashes on my finger and crossing my pregnant belly.
STARS Test Greeting - Every year, during the season of STARS testing, CCMS (Caesar Chavez Middle School) ask volunteers to greet the students when they arrive for school. We had a blast doing this last year, and we need volunteers to help again this year. If you can commit to being a a greeter on Wednesday, March 25th, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or sign-up in the foyer on March 22nd.
SWCC Volunteers Needed
Our second annual SWCC Easter Egg Hunt is coming up at the community center on Saturday, March 28th. We need volunteers to help set-up the hunt for kids, and to help clean up afterwards. This year they are aiming to put out 7,000 eggs!! If you can help with the hunt from 10am-noon, please email email@example.com or sign-up in the foyer on March 22nd.
Leadership Team Nominations
UBC is looking for two new leadership team members. Here are a few pieces of information from the bylaws. If you'd like to nominate someone for our leadership team, please send that name to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(A) Purpose. The Leadership Team shall be the primary decision-making body of UBC. The Leadership Team will oversee all the business and property of the church, as well as make the final decisions regarding hiring and dismissal of staff and the acquisition and selling of assets that are beyond budgetary provisions.
(C) Qualifications. Each member of Leadership Team shall have been a member of UBC for at least one year, exhibited an understanding and commitment to the mission and values of the church, and be willing to fulfill all responsibilities in the Leadership Team job description.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Tessa & Leigh
Coffee Makers: Chad & Annelise
Mug Cleaners: Sara & Vince
Shutdown Team: The Cavemen
Sunday Sermon Text: Numbers 21:5-11
Our next town hall is March 22nd after church.
UBC families at the Soccer Field, Sunday March 29th @ 12:00 PM. Email email@example.com for more information.
Do you have an Emergency? Do you Need to talk to a Pastor?:
254 366 9779
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jana Parker email@example.com
Kristin Dodson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaley Eggers: email@example.com
David Wilhite: 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
Josh McCormick: Josh.McCormick@dwyergroup.com
Chris Kim: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.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.
Maxcey Blaylock: email@example.com
Mathew Crawford: firstname.lastname@example.org
Callie Schrank: Callie_Schrank@baylor.edu
Jeff Walter: email@example.com
Michael Heins: firstname.lastname@example.org