(In The Life Of The Church)
Picking that guy?!?
I'm not preaching Sunday, but I've made it a discipline to read the lectionary texts weekly anyhow. I'm especially intrigued by the Easter season because it usually includes something from Acts. Acts is increasingly becoming one of my favorite books of the bible. It is full of questions for a church without a completely formed identity asking questions about how to do stuff. New situations are constantly thrust upon Jesus' followers without an instructional manual, but with the promise of the Spirit.
This weeks reading is Acts 9. You know this story even if you don't know Acts 9. Paul is knocked to the ground by a light from heaven. He hears and sees what everyone else can only hear. He's temporarily blinded by what has to be the most dramatic conversion story to this day.
There's a version of Christian theology that posits God always knew/knows from eternity past and future (both words predicated on the concept of time which officially had status after God gave it essence) what He would do. I say that because any time you try and peer into the life of the Trinity and ask the question "what was God thinking?" you're really asking something that may be nonsensical. Still I find myself wondering what God was thinking in picking Saul/Paul.
My curiosity is addressed in the figure Ananias. He has the same question. "Wait, who did you pick? Isn't that the guy that's trying to kill all of us?" Yes, that is the guy that God picked. The one who was trying to kill all of us. God sees something in Paul that we can't before Acts 9. God believes that Paul can change.
Have you ever thought about listing an "ability to change" as an attribute? We tend to celebrate terms like flexibility and open-mindedness, but I don't think we collective value change. Change is often seen as weak.
I've been eligible to vote in US political elections since 2000. I didn't really start paying attention until 2004 when George W. Bush defended his title against John Kerry. Here's what I remember. I remember protestors standing outside Kerry rallies yelling "Flip, Flop" as though his amendments on positions was unforgivable. I was naive then, I didn't know that position changes often have more to do with political expediency than they do a heartfelt shift in convictions. Still even in the world of ethically muddy politics we see glimmers of healthy change. Paul Ryan recently apologized for his past positions and more importantly, comments on poor people. I suppose that this too could have been for selfish reasons, but from my limited vantage point it looked like a genuine change.
One of my favorite theologians is Clark Pinnock. I have several of his books on my shelf including two that he wrote on reading scripture. They represent two ends of a spectrum. Pinnock wrote both of them with conviction and passion, but somewhere between them he changed.
Both books are more valuable because of the visible migration within his theology. Readers are able to see what change looks like.
One of the reasons I find change to be such an attractive feature is because it requires another kingdom characteristic—humility. In order to change, one has to be willing to acknowledge that his/her previous convictions were wrong. That takes large amount of maturity. But the bigger reason is because we must change. Our sanctification is predicated on the supposition that like God believed transformation was possible in the life of Paul, transformation is also a must in our lives. Grace makes change possible and then invites us into it.
How might the Spirit be changing you?
UBC Finance Team
Do you love excel spread sheets? Is April 15th your favorite day after you own birthday? You may be the person we are looking for to serve on the UBC finance team. Interested persons should submit their name to email@example.com. Here is some information taken from the bylaws about the finance team.
(A) Purpose. The Finance Team shall exist for the following purposes:
a. To serve as the primary advisory group for the Leadership Team in all budgetary and financial aspects of the church.
b. To oversee, in coordination with the ministerial staff, yearly budgetary processes, working to create a financial ministry plan in alignment with the ethos, mission and values of UBC.
c. To advise the staff and Leadership Team on any emergency financial matters that may arise with regards to the physical infrastructure of the church building, as well as those matters pertaining to compensation and benefits of personnel.
d. To assess the current financial status of the church on a monthly basis and advise the staff and Leadership Team on matters concerning changes in planned ministry expenses.
e. To advise the Human Resources/Staff Support team on all financial matters regarding new and existing personnel, including available resources concerning salaries, salary increases, insurance, taxes, etc.
f. To advise the church body on all matters relating to stewardship, financial integrity, etc.
(C) Qualifications. Finance Team members shall have been an active participant in the life of UBC for at least a year, have received at least a bachelors degree level of education (or roughly an equivalent amount of experience in business or finance,) and have at least a basic understanding of financial reports and budgets.
Families @ Baylor Soccer Fields
The UBC families will be meeting at the Baylor Soccer fields Sunday after church to throw frisbees, footballs and have fun. Pizza and drinks will be provided. If you are interested in Attending, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are graduating in 2016 (May, August, or December), we would like you to stay for lunch on Sunday, April 24th, after church. This is a great opportunity for and the staff to reflect on your time at UBC, and we will feed you some delicious Waco grub. There is a sign-up sheet in the foyer the next two Sundays, please sign-up if you would like to come. The luncheon is only for graduates and staff. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com
If you would like to buy a Thailand mission team shirt, time is running out. The shirt will only be one sale till April 17th, so make sure to purchase one before it’s too late. All profits go to our team members to help them go on the trip. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org You can buy a shirt by following this link: http://www.ubcwaco.org/new-page/
Work is Worship
Greeters: Marygale and Rick
Coffee Makers: Stephen & Emmy
Mug Cleaners: Team Lee
- Sunday Sermon: Revelation 5:11-14 ... please be in prayer for our friend and fellow UBCer Mick Colananni who will be preaching this Sunday.
- Backside, April 22nd. If you have art to display on a wall or in space or music to fill our ears, then you might be interested in the backside. email email@example.com
- Study Hall Days: May 2nd and 3rd
- Chris Tweedt will be leading a series of three talks about the intersection of faith and philosophy. Talks will run in the evening from 7:30-8:30 and will take place at UBC. for more information email Chris @ firstname.lastname@example.org
- Feb 24: Perceiving God or Arguing for God?
- Mar 23: What Does God Think About Suffering?
- April 20: Who, If Anyone, Should We Trust about Religion?
Do you have an emergency and need to talk to a pastor?
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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: email@example.com
Joy Wineman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stan Denman: Stan_Denman@baylor.edu
David Wilhite: David_Wilhite@baylor.edu
Bridget Heins: email@example.com
Sharyl Loeung: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Davis: 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
Josh McCormick: Josh.McCormick@dwyergroup.com
Chris Kim: email@example.com
Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com
Justin Pond: 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.
Maxcey Blaylock: email@example.com
Mathew Crawford: firstname.lastname@example.org
Callie Schrank: Callie_Schrank@baylor.edu
Rob Engblom: Rob_Engblom@baylor.edu
Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu