ITLOTC 9-18-15


(In The Life Of The Church) 

Ordinary Time

Top Five (christian non-fiction books)

Over the next few weeks the staff will use the main part of the newsletter to share lists of top fives.  The topics of these lists can range from books, to music, to thinkers.  

A few things seem worth mentioning.  This section of the newsletter is (loosely) given to thoughts that are about formation.  As such it is worth mentioning that you will consistently see material that is sometimes labeled secular and material that is considered explicitly Christian.  This is a not a bad place to remind ourselves and everyone else what we believe about truth and culture ... the sacred and the secular which can be read here.  

UBC celebrates a diversity of voices and opinions.  These are our opinions.  As with any list there will be disagreement.  Please use the comments section on Facebook and/or the comments feature on the website to provide your own feedback and lists.  

A special note on this entry.  Some of my choices are probably too specific in focus.  By that I mean they are scholarly works dealing with new testament issues and/or theology.  I'm leaving those out because I don't think anyone cares about those books. 

1. Harry Potter (i'm just kidding) 

1. Lament For A Son - Nicholas Wolterstorff: Wolterstorff is a retired philosophy professor who spent most of his career serving at Calvin College and Yale.  In 1985 he lost his son who died in a climbing accident.  Lament For A Son reads like a journal that Wolterstorff shares with those who are willing to sit and listen.  The first time I read this book I almost suffocated.  It is raw, honest and powerful.  Wolterstorff manages to find language full of meaning to describe an experience in which many people can barely say anything at all.  I now read this book during Lent every year.  Sometimes I get so wrapped up in it, I finish it one sitting.  

2. The Pastor - Eugene Peterson: I wonder as I write this if I enjoyed Peterson's book because I am a pastor.  I think the answer has to inevitably be yes.  And still, I think the book is accessible and enjoyable for everyone.  If I were to form a Fellowship of the Ring out of a bunch of characters form real life, I'd ask Eugene Peterson to be Gandalf.  I was recently talking to Truett  professor Robert Creech who has taught a class on Eugene Peterson and he said that, "more than one pastor has told me that her career has been saved by Peterson's writing."  I get it.  He mentors with his words and God uses him to restore souls.  This book then, is the story of a Pastor who has meant so much to so many pastors.  The is the story about becoming a real life Gandalf. 

3. Leaving Church - Barbara Brown Taylor:  Do I talk about her too much?  Yes and No.  Barbara Brown Taylor is fun to read because she's an artists whose craft happens to be writing.  I think she is the absolute best at putting together words in one sentence to create meaning that I didn't know was possible with just letters.  Leaving Church is, as the rest of the title declares, a memoir of faith.  In it she describes her journey out of full time parish work and into the academy, but it's also a model about how to hold the faith. But BBT is uniquely powerful in another regard.  Usually when artist crosses over into science I find myself disappointed.  But Taylor's work as an artists makes her work as a theologian all the more profound.  Neither motif is dispensed in service to the other and that is a rare gift. 

4. The Naked Now - Richard Rohr: Rohr is a Franciscan monk who lives in the dessert and thinks and writes about amazing ideas.  The subtitle of this book is "learning to see as the mystics see."  I'm not sure I'm any closer to being a mystic or even understanding mysticism, but reading Rohr's book helped me settle down.  The Naked Now is short, not even 200 pages, and yet it took me a long time to read because I could only get 5 pages in before needing set it down and think for a while.  I'd sum up my major discovery this way.  Rohr taught me two ideas could be true even if I didn't think they could.  He helped introduce a humility in my thinking that has set me free from the bondage of needing to be right. 

5. After You Believe - N.T. Wright: I'm going to begin with a criticism.  I think Wright and his publisher Harper One have discovered that his stuff is so successful, that he is now rewriting the same books over and over.  Head the religion section at your local Barnes and Noble and you're likely to find at least one Surprised by Something or Mere Something.  Still those ideas Wright is sharing are important and summarized well (which is why he keeps getting published).  Of his popular works my favorite is After You Believe. At some point in my deconstructionist phase I figured out that Evangelicals had made millions of converts not Christians.  I wanted a theology that demanded more from me without falling prey to legalism.  N.T. Wright writes about a theological world where that's possible and this the book that describes it.  

Those are my books. What are yours? 


JSL Outreach Help!

We are sponsoring the September outreach for JSL this month, and we need your help putting together bags and writing notes.  Join us at 5:30pm, Wednesday September 23, at UBC.  We will be putting bags together for the dancers, and writing encouraging notes.  If you have any questions, please contact .  


Family Weekend Breakfast - September 20, 2015

Bring your family to church next weekend and eat breakfast with us!  The breakfast will be at 9:30 in the Backside.  If you would like to help with breakfast, please sign-up on Sunday to bring a dish.

nUBC’ers Luncheon - September 27, 2015

If you are new to UBC in 2015, we would love to have you stay for lunch after church on the 27th.  This will be a time you can hear more about the history of the church, our current initiatives, and ask any questions you may have.  There will be a sign-up sheet in the foyer on the 20th.  If you have any questions, please email

Town Hall - September 20th, 2015

We are having our quarterly town hall meeting after church on September 20th.  We will give you a few minutes for people to connect after the service, as well as leaving time for those to leave who do not wish to stay for the town hall.  If you have any questions, please email

Cesar Chavez Partnership Meeting

We will have a short meeting after church this Sunday for those interested in serving in our programs at CCMS.  We will meet in the red room after church (the room just pass the coffee room on your left), and the meeting will only be about 15 minutes.

Financial Report

THE PLAN:  Our fiscal year runs from the first of July through the end of June.  This year’s budget is $309,412.  Fixed expenses (staff salaries, building and office expenses) accounts for $253,373, or 81.9% of the total, and ministry expenses (the many things our church does for our community and for those who attend) accounts for $56,039 or 18.1%.

OUR EXPENSES AND INCOME:  Between July 1st and September 8th, we have spent $55,170.  Those items considered fixed accounted for 90% of this spending and those considered ministry about 10%.  Our income from tithes and offerings during this period totaled $56,501.  About 45% of our income is received through online methods (PayPal and EasyTithe); the other coming from Sunday morning collections.

OUR STATUS:  UBC’s cash (checking account) balance is currently about $25,400, with another $86,285 in savings.  We continue to carry no debt.

As you can see, our expenses and income are very close and our cash balance covers a little less than two months of expenses.  So we rely heavily on weekly tithes and offerings.

If you’d like to be a financial partner with UBC, you can sign up for monthly giving through EasyTithe

Satan Slayer Recap

The Satan Slayers lost another game on Thursday night, this time to the TSTC Tornado & Two Other Words I Can't Remember.  I've been a sports columnist now for the whole of four weeks now and I can tell you in my decorated journalism career I've not quite seen a team who can lose one like the Slayers.  The Tornado squad came out fierce and the Slayers quickly figured out they were no longer in Kansas.  One explanation is that the Slayers were without a full squad.  That McNeil guy wasn't there because he had to work a late shift at Billy Bob's.  Catcher Amber Wilhite was not able to be there to control the pitching and it showed.  When asked about her absence Amber replied, "For the love God the game started at 9:30 PM, I'm in bed and into my third chapter of Anne of Green Gables by that time.  Obviously the committee making schedules has never had 6 AM wake up calls filled with tired children, emerging teenagers and a world class patristic scholar who can't spell his name before he's had a cup of coffee."  

When I contacted the city's record keeping department to get a score I was put on hold for 15 minutes until a guy name Butch finally answered.  He told me he didn't know that the city had a softball league and transferred me to parks and rec.  There I talked with Vicky who said that they aren't allowed to share scores without a valid drivers license or water bill.  So I went downtown and showed Vicky my license.  She had to verify it in the verifying machine, but it was broken.  Maintenance had put in order to get it fixed, but that part of the budget is up for debate in city council.  So in all likely hood I won't be able to get the score until the season is over.  

So what do we make of the slayers season at this point?  Coach Roldan told me he's not discouraged.  He said the night is darkest before dawn and that he's seen the movie Facing the Giants and so I shouldn't worry.  He knows how to get this team some W's.  I asked coach if he was nervous about job security.  He told me that front office doesn't have the courage they need to fire him and that nobody in their right mind would take over coaching the Slayers.  

We shall see.  The Slayers will be back in action last night.  Yep you read that correctly.  The newsletter comes out on Fridays and I give you the news from the week before.  So who knows?  Perhaps as you read this, the Slayers have already turned a corner.  Let's hope.  


Work is Worship

Greeters: MaryGayle (Goldberry) and Blaylocks 

Coffee Makers: emmy & stephen

Mug Cleaners: the cooleys 


  • Sunday Sermon Text:  Matthew 13:53-58: "Bless, Send, & Let Go" (Parents Weekend)

  • Pub Group this Wednesday at 5:30pm (note the time change) at the Dancing Bear. Come have a pint with some other UBCers and talk about stuff (and things). 21 and up.

  • College Retreat -October 9-10. $50  cJoin us for a great weekend away learning more about the core values that shape UBC.  Your cost includes 3 meals, lodging, and a UBC shirt.  If you have any questions, please contact

  • we will be partnering with the South Waco Community Center on October 20th to put on a Halloween Festival for the community.  We need 80 volunteers.  Please contact for more information

  • Our next UBCYP event will be Friday October 16th.  Contact for more information 

  • Date Night will be Friday October 16th.  More information to come. 

  • We will be celebrating the life of Kyle Lake during our worship service on Sunday October 25th.  Please invite friends that you think might be interested in joining us that day. 


Do you have an Emergency? Do you Need to talk to a Pastor?:

254 498 2261

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- Kristin Dodson:

Joy Wineman:

Stan Denman:

David Wilhite:

Byron Roldan: 

Sharyl Loeung:

Jon Davis:

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:

Josh McCormick:

Chris Kim:

Hannah Kuhl:  

Justin Pond:

Lacy Crocker:


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:

Mathew Crawford:

Callie Schrank:

Jeff Walter:

Rob Engblom: