ITLOTC 3-3-17


(In The Life Of The Church) 


The Timing of Jordan Horowitz's Character

In the beginning of his book, After You Believe, NT Wright offers a pair of examples to make a point.  The first example is that of Chesley Sullenberger, or Sully, as he is more popularly known.  If that name sounds familiar, it’s probably because he was just portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie by the same name, Sully.  It’s the story about Sullenberger's heroic landing of an Airbus A320 on the Hudson River after a flock of Canadian geese flew into the plane, disabling both jet engines.  

The second example comes from northern England. In September 2008, it rained and rained and rained.  Having been cooped up inside for a couple days, the Baxter family decided to brave the weather and go for a walk.  Mark Baxter’s dog made its way to a puddle and his three year old little girl followed soon after.  In an instant, both the dog and girl disappeared.  Mark quickly calculated that a storm drain had burst open its cover and the sudden current sucked both his dog and his little girl underneath.  Mark made a decision in a split second.  He sprinted a few hundred yards to a nearby river and quickly spotted his daughter floating downstream, face down.  Mark correctly guessed that the drain would empty into the river and because of his quick thinking, he saved her life.  

Wright’s point is that both of these men saved lives because of their instinct.  The question raised by these stories is where does this kind of instinct come from?  Wright’s answer to this question is character.  Character is habituated.  Aristotle said that repeated acts of a particular kind give someone a particular character.  Doing the right thing over and over again forms something in us so that the formed something becomes instinctual.  


I saw about six new movies last year:  Arrival (Harry Potter), Rogue 1 (Star Wars), and The Jungle Book.  Because I’m a parent, I also suffered through Trolls and enjoyed Zootopia.  Still, I chose to watch the Oscars.  After No Country For Old Men won best picture, I decided my opinion would never be relevant again.  So, “what the heck,” I thought to myself, “it’s not like anything I like will ever win anyway.  I can watch without emotional investment.”  As I get older, I find these sorts of experiences are surprisingly more enjoyable.  

It turns out staying up for the end of the Oscars paid dividends this year.  In case you didn’t hear, there was a fiasco of Steve Harvey proportions.  Allegedly, Warren Beatty was handed the wrong envelope.  So instead of having the name of the winner for best picture, he had the envelope for the winner of best actress, which had already been given to Emma Stone for her role in La La Land.  As the moment unfolded, the audience could see Beatty’s hesitancy after he opened the envelope and read it to himself.  Faye Dunaway, who accompanied Beatty onto the platform, grew impatient with what she perceived as Beatty’s game.  She grabbed the envelope and blurted out what she saw before she could register the confusion herself.  La La Land was announced as best picture.  After a few minutes of speeches, a scuffle developed on stage.  Eventually word spread among the group on stage that a mistake had been made.  The winner of best picture was, in fact, not La La Land, but Moonlight.

What does one do in that moment?  Who does what in that moment?  


What’s stunning about Wright’s examples is the timing of those decisions and the stress under which they were made.  I feel like I can make good decisions … if i have enough time to process the data.  But making a decision under stress without time is hard.  This is exactly why I was so impressed with La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz.   After Horowitz discovered the mistake in the middle of the acceptance speeches, he corrected the mistake publically.  Then, as the craziness of the moment was settling in and people were accepting the fact that this was not a Noze Brother’s prank, Horowitz said, “I’m going to be really proud to hand this to my friends from Moonlight.”  A lesser person like me would have probably been too embarrassed and angry for being made the fool, but Horowitz was not.  Horowitz acted with an instinct that can only come from character.  

This is one of the goals of Christian discipleship: to be the kind of person who instinctually acts like Jesus (with character) when there’s no time to figure how else to respond.  


Meet Our Newest Leadership Team Member

Leah Ree


What are you doing in Waco?: studying Religion at Baylor University

What is your fav TV Show/Movie?: Jeopardy!, Parenthood, Parks & Recreation

Book You’ve Really Enjoyed?: All the Light We Cannot See

Best Restaurant in Waco?: Lula Jane's

A Bible Verse/Chapter/Book that has been formative for you?: Isaiah 58

Something we might not know about you?: I never learned how to ride a bicycle!

UBC Spring Retreat (Freshman/Sophomores only)

Spring is in the air, I know it’s only February, but it’s Texas.  We are going to do an overnight retreat at a lake house in Malakoff, TX, April 7th-8th.  The cost is $20: that will cover meals, lodging, and a shirt.  The retreat has limited space, so it will be for the first 20 people who sign-up, and pay their deposit.  Sign-ups will start this week, after church.  If you have any questions, please email

Rend Collective @ UBC (May 5th)

Rend Collective is playing a show at ubc on May 5th at 7pm. Tickets go on sale today, and you can buy them here. (We aren't selling them through the church). Tell you friends!

Work is Worship

Greeters: Walters 

Coffee Makers: Karen Carney 

Mug Cleaners:  Dilan B. 

Money Counter: 


  • Sunday Sermon:  Matthew 4:1-11 "the temptation to be something other than human." 
  • March 18-- The Middle Ages -- TBA
  • March 24th -- UBCYP cookout at Jamie's House
  • April 2-- UBC Families @ Soccer Fields -- More Info to Come 
  • April 7th and 8th - Spring Retreat (Freshman/Sophomores)
  • April 13th - Maundy Thursday
  • April 14th - Good Friday
  • April 16th - Easter
  • April 22--The Middle Ages Baylor Theatre production of the comedy NOISES OFF— 
  • April 30th - Mr. Rogers Sunday
  • April 30th - Graduate Luncheon
  • May 2nd - Study Hall 
  • May 5th - Rend Collective @ UBC

Do you have an emergency and need to talk to a pastor? 

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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- Jon Davis:

Byron Griffin:

Stan Denman:

Adam Winn:

Bridget Heins:

Sharyl Loeung:

Emma Wood:

Student Position: Samuel Moore:

Student Position: Leah Reed:

UBC Finance Team

Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.

Josh McCormick:

Hannah Kuhl:  

Justin Pond:

Anna Tilson:

Doug McNamee:


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:

Rob Engblom:

Ross Van Dyke:

Jared Gould: