ITLOTC 5-4-18


(In The Life Of The Church) 

On Prayer - by Taylor

Prayer has always been a tricky thing for me. And I think that part of the reason why is because, as much as I wish it wasn’t true, I am a naturally transactional person. And I’m sure this is one of those things that’s a result of when and where I was raised as much as it is a result of my inner self. Growing up in Texas the place I remember praying the most (outside of church) was praying for meals and praying for the outcome of sporting events. I know that sounds ridiculous but it's true. I have very vivid memories of praying for the final score of the Friday Night Football Game in my hometown.

And I think that things like that made sense to me when I was younger – it made sense to pray for something with a clear and obvious outcome. Because my expectation was that if I prayed for something God was either going to say yes or no – and that was the point of prayer. Getting a yes or a no from God.

It wasn’t until seminary that I realized that it might be important to practice other types of prayer than intercessory prayer – or that I really even knew that other types of prayer even existed. Praying for myself felt weird and selfish (welcome to being an Enneagram 2). And it wasn’t until seminary that I really began to think of prayer as formative – and not just transactional. (God bless those of you who figure these things out without going to seminary – you are so much smarter than I will ever be). And I began to think of that time as formative in a lot of ways – the discipline of setting aside time for prayer is formative, practicing different types of prayer is formative for different parts of my own spirit, and that time with God, above all else, is formative. 

During this time I began to learn a lot about the importance of spending time in silence and a lot about centering prayer – and it was then that I realized that for my life during that season it was only really helpful for me to pray after I had done one of those practices. (Which is not to say that works for everyone or that those will be helpful practices for me during every season of life – but for me at that time it was true.) Because it was only after I had spent time in silence sitting still and getting centered – becoming aware of what the Holy Spirit was already doing – that I could really pray

The gospel text from the lectionary this week is John 15:9-17. In The Message version verses 16-17 say this:

You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you. “But remember the root command: Love one another.

 We have been chosen by Jesus Christ to bear good fruit. Fruit that won’t spoil. And I don’t know about you, but very often the things that I make myself out of my strength and will begin to spoil almost right away. 

Earlier in this chapter Jesus says, “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” (v.5) It is only when we are living in Christ that we can bear good fruit. It is only after I spend time in silence that prayer makes any sense to me. Only after I have been formed by the Holy Spirit, after I have listened to what God is already doing. I do not trust my own striving.

This is a thing I am still figuring out. And like I said – this is what worked for me, in particular, during a particular season of my life. How has prayer been formative for way? Are there any practices or prayers that give you comfort or challenge you in new ways? I’d love to hear what they are.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about any of this, feel free to email

Town Hall Follow/Leadership Team Follow Up

I wanted to give you some information based on discussions at those two events.  

First, we have replaced four of our nine leadership team members.  Stan Denman, Sharyl Loeung, and Jon Davis are all finished with their three year terms and Leah Reed did not renew her student position because she is leaving for graduate school.  Again, I'd like to reiterate our gratitude for their leadership in our community. 

In their place the leadership team selected the following new members: Jeremy Nance, Joanna Sowards and Kerri Fisher.  Anna Carol Peery was selected to replace the student position. We had a tremendous pool of our largest applicants ever.  So if you were nominated and accepted we'd like to say thank you for considering service to UBC in this way. 

Second, in our last town hall David Wilhite asked for an update on our expense ratio.  Our current budget is 412K.  Of that 94K is for ministry expenses.  In addition to that money we've done about 12K of benevolence off the books.  By that I mean we've raised/given away 12K to needs both in and out of our community.  Taken together we've done about 106K of ministry (or will have by year end).  That ratio then turns out to be 75% to 25%. 

Thirdly, as you know we've been in the discerning process about the future of the building space. It was decided that if we are able to purchase the two lots discussed in town hall at a reasonable price, we will begin the process of our building project here at our current campus.  

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Parishioner of The Week

UBC kids for leading us in worship this past Sunday and for a general commitment to being #champions4thelord. 

Silo District Marathon

Champions, there is a local business that is hosting a marathon this Sunday during church.  I was going to run it, but you have to complete the marathon on the same day that it starts.  Still you should know that we may all experience some traffic changes.  The most direct impact on UBC church goers will be that 17th north/east of us will be close from Webster to Austin from 7:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.  Said differently if you normally leave church and go down 17th towards Waco Dr., that will not be an option after church.  If you come to UBC from Baylor or South on 35, you will not be impacted by the marathon.  Or if you come to church on 84 to 18th you can get there, but expect a few stops.  If you are from the Sanger Heights neighborhood or somewhere nearby, you may want to check the chart below to make sure you can get your vehicles out before they close down your street.  

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Pastoral Associate Applications

Each academic year UBC employees two pastoral associates.  While a modest stipend is offered to these individuals, the main goal is for interested persons to gain pastoral experience and be able to list this experience on a resume or other items.  Pastoral associates begin work in July and finish the following May.  Weekly responsibilities include attending staff meeting, helping with worship on Sunday mornings and other events as needed.  Pastoral associates are also given one ministry to oversee such as Sunday School, community partner relationships, mi casa's etc.  

Interested persons can apply here. 

Work is Worship

Greeters: Walters

Coffee Makers: Emmy & Caroline 

Mug Cleaners:

Money Counter:   Justin Pond 

Welcome Station: Broaddusses


  • Sermon Text: 1 John 5:1-6
  • 5-14 Finance Team Meeting 
  • 5/10-25 Thailand Mission Team in Thailand 
  • 6-3 Summer Grill After Church/Picnic Party
  • 7-14 Trampoline Park Fun Day 
  • 8-5 Cameron Park Picnic 
  • SWCC Movie Days @ UBC: 6-18, 7-9, 7-23

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- Emma Wood:

Byron Griffin:

Stan Denman:

Adam Winn:

Bridget Heins:

Sharyl Loeung:

Jon Davis:

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.

JD Newman: 

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.

Rob Engblom:

Ross Van Dyke:

Jared Gould:

Rebekah Powell:

Kristen Richardson: