ITLOTC 1-5-18


(In The Life Of The Church) 


2017 Big Finds

Now that the year has come to an end, i've asked the staff to all think of one big find for 2017.  The something in question doesn't have to new or have come out this year, but rather be new to the person experiencing it.  Asked differently, what did you discover this year the you love?


I'll go first.  You might know from previous newsletters that if I won the lottery i'd drop Waco like a bad habit and create a commune on Lake Superior.  The commune would be centered around sustainable agriculture and life together, especially meals.  As an added bonus and because Chip and Jo Jo made it look so easy, I decided that we'd turn this move into a reality TV show.  I was sharing this dream with one Dr. David Wilhite when he turned me onto the River Cottage series.  I got the DVDs from Wilhite, but if you'd like to watch a few seasons you can catch them on Youtube here.  Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a former London chef who one decided to leave it all behind and see what he could cook up on his own little piece of property.  River Cottage is a TV series about that ever evolving experiment.  


In 2017 I discovered “The Greatest Showman.” This musical movie is the story of P. T. Barnum and the circus he started, focusing especially on the unique characters of the circus. Hugh  Jackman worked for nearly 7 years to get approval for this moving story of what it means to be human, to be included, to be loved, and to be reminded of what matters when we fall. And Zac Efron’s first musical appearance in 10 years did not disappoint, due in large part to the songwriting genius of the same duo who wrote “La La Land.” I can promise you all that the theme of the movie, “This Is Me,” will move you to tears. 


This year, I was able to explore Israel, and I discovered a new appreciation for the area around Galilee and Jerusalem in which Jesus lived. To physically see the landscape of these places truly made the stories in Scripture jump off the pages in new ways for me.  Lastly, I had the privilege of sitting at the chef’s table at Machneyuda in Jerusalem.  This truly was one of the best dining experiences of my life.


This year I discovered Iceland. This summer two friends and I spent a week driving across this beautiful island with waterfalls around every corner. Highlights included the Black Sand beach at Vik, 3 dudes sleeping in a Rav 4, Reykjadalur hot springs, and the Icelandic Hot Dogs. Also since USMNT failed to make the World Cup, I found a new team to cheer on this summer! 


my big find of 2017 was the [de]constructionists podcast.  it's basically two guys who are good at asking questions who interview theologians, philosophers, and musicians about matters of faith.  pretty much any episode you pull up is going to have a great, exploratory, wonder-driven conversation. as they engage diverse perspectives, they model active listening really well, and I can't think of a single time where the conversation turned into a debate. i have found it to be informative and thought-provoking without being pretentious. if you're looking for a place to start, just scroll through their catalogue and find a name that looks familiar.  if you can't find one, i'd recommend any of the Peter Rollins episodes, or the N.T. Wright one. but my main recommendation would be to go to episode 1, and listen to everything.


In 2017 I discovered podcasts. And look I know that puts me way behind but we can't all be on top of all the trends. I've always really liked music and for some reason I had convinced myself that it would be hard to listen to podcasts if I was only driving short distances but - turns out - it's not. It all started with a podcast from The Ringer called BingeMode - it's about Game of Thrones. And then I listened to S-Town and just about every podcast about the Enneagram that I could find and more recently I started listening to a podcast called Good Christian Fun and a podcast about Gilmore Girls called Gilmore Guys (It's two guys reviewing every Gilmore Girls episode and I love it). I like podcasts because they can be fun and silly or they can be educational and interesting or there can be provocative and introspective and make me think deeply about things - and I have all of those choices at the touch of a button! Wow - the future is great. And so are podcasts!


Last year up until this summer I served UBC as a Pastoral Associate and I felt so involved in the church process while I learned what it meant to serve the church. This year, I was hired as the Office Manager and found what it means to spend consistent time serving, talking with Taylor and Josh upstairs about current events, listening to Toph's song suggestions (he's got good taste), listening to Jamie practice music in his office, and processing life with these people. Living with these people, finding a home for my love of spreadsheets and organization, and fulfilling my need to be around genuine and caring people... this year, I found a job and a family.

Parishioner of the Week

Jay and Chris Jeffery for single handedly carrying the coffee/mug ministry through the end of 2K17. 

Random Picture So This Blog has a Thumbnail and a Greater Chance of Being Clickbait

Jamie was driving in TN and hit a deer.  Among other things his radiator was ruined.  Consequently he had to leave his car in TN and drive back in a rental.  This is the rental Enterprise gave him.  Enjoy the irony.  

Jamie was driving in TN and hit a deer.  Among other things his radiator was ruined.  Consequently he had to leave his car in TN and drive back in a rental.  This is the rental Enterprise gave him.  Enjoy the irony.  

Town Hall

There will be a town hall after church next Sunday, January 14th.  

Sunday School

Sunday School will start on Sunday January 14th.  We will be having two classes this Spring.  The first class led by Val Fisk and Kelly Doolittle will be about Matthew's usage of the Old Testament in writing his gospel.  The other class, Cheers, will resume and study the gospel of Mark.  That class will be led by Dr. Adam Winn.  

Work is Worship

Greeters: Walters 

Coffee Makers: Emmy & Caroline 

Mug Cleaners: Chris Jeffrey 

Money Counter: 


  • Sermon Text:  Mark 1:4-11, "Inward Realities" 
  • 1-8 Finance Meeting 
  • 1-14 Town Hall After Church 
  • 1-28 Quarterly Leadership Team Meeting 
  • 2-4 NUBCer Lunch 
  • 2-9 Date Night 
  • 2-11 Love, Love Feast 6:00 PM CST 
  • 2-12 Finance Team Meeting 
  • 2-14 Ash Wednesday Service, Lent Begins