(In the Life of the Church)
Advent - Peace
Jesus and Expectations - by Toph
This might be the hardest advent Sunday for me. This year, there have been 325 verified mass shootings in the United States (using the definition of a “mass shooting” described as four or more individuals being shot or killed in the same general time and location). Our political systems, and our country, seem to be as polarized as ever, consistently finding a way to make the “other” a villain. We have seen misogyny and racism consistently in the public sphere; often with people we know defending the perpetrator of such language. We have also witnessed the separation of children from their families, the use of violence against children; all while some religious leaders defend these actions.
I know these types of things happen every year, but I think I have been more acutely aware this year, and thus more concerned. This is a generalization, but I believe the root of many of these things can be found in our fear of the “other,” an unwillingness to listen to the “other,” and our immediate vilification of those who don’t agree with us. We wear our convictions with a sense of justice and arrogance; so much so, when those convictions are challenged we are unable to have a conversation with someone who disagrees with us. This happens in the public/political sphere, and in the Church as well. This also happens at UBC, although I like to think not as often.
When we worked through some conversations about belonging and taking ownership of faith at UBC, we began with what does it mean to call UBC home. One of the things the group discovered, is that at UBC, deep within our ethos, is this desire to be a place that we can disagree and still pursue the Kingdom of God together. This is our first statement of the final document we created about being a UBC’er: At UBC we encourage you to be yourself. You will not be marginalized because of your past, your questions, your look, and political/social/theological views. We celebrate how God has uniquely crafted you through your journey.
In this season of advent, and as we wait for the Prince of Peace to be born, are we willing to engage the “other?” David Dark says in his book, The Sacredness of Questioning Everything: “When we go public with our convictions and opinions, are we up for counter testimony? Or have we developed a habit of rendering hasty verdicts? Do we find some people inadmissible? Have we made space in our heads for a wide variety of hearts and minds? Do we want fellowship or submission? Do we remain capable of conversation?”
Peace will come to us in the form of a baby in a few weeks, in a way that shattered the expectations of many in the time of Jesus. And it is the Jesus of the gospels that shatters the religious leaders expectation of the messiah, as he consistently engaged and had conversations with people they deemed “other.” Later in his book, Dark quotes W.H. Auden, and offers a brief commentary: “”One thing, and one thing only, is serious: loving one’s neighbor as one’s self.” An especially difficult task for those who are primarily offended by people other than themselves.”
We do not seek peace with those we are already in agreement with. We seek peace with those in whom we disagree, have conflict with, or with those have hurt us. UBC, may we question on our own offendedness, may we seek to engage and listen to those we might deem as “other,” and may we recognize the Kingdom of God often takes form in people and places and spaces that shatter our own expectations.
Leadership Team Member
UBC is looking for a new leadership team member. If you this is something you are interested in or would like to nominate someone in our community for please use the following link to do so.
Here is some information from our bylaws about the leadership team.
Section 1. Leadership Team
(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.
(E) Term. Members of Leadership Team may serve for a duration lasting up to three years. While they are encouraged to remain the full three years, members may voluntarily remove themselves from their position at any time. Members serving as student member commit to a year with the chance to renew up to three years.
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Parishioner of the Week
Chef Jeff Walter for heading up the pancake brigade for the 17th time!
Sermon Text: Luke 3:1-9
12/24 Christmas Eve Service 5:30 P.M.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Ricky and Rose
Coffee Makers: Bella Sacco
Mug Cleaners: Aleigh Ascherl
Money Counter: Hannah Kuhl
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- Adam Winn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Byron Griffin: email@example.com
Kerri Fisher: Kerri_Fisher@baylor.edu
Bridget Heins: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Nance: Jeremy Nance
Joanna Sowards: email@example.com
Student Position: Samuel Moore: firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Position: Anna Carol Peery: 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.
JD Newman: JD_Newman@baylor.edu
Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com
Justin Pond: firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug McNamee: email@example.com
Catherine Ballas: 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.
Josh Blake: email@example.com
Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu
Jared Gould: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebekah Powell: email@example.com
Kristen Richardson: firstname.lastname@example.org