(In The Life Of The Church)
When Church Leaders Fail
I had a conversation this week wihth a friend who got hurt by a religious figure.
That sentence, that scenario, is far too common in our church culture today. If you’ve been following the news recently, you could point to the failure of the leadership at Willow Creek or the recent reports of the clergy abuse court findings in Pennsylvania.
Those circumstances are formative and powerful. “Detrimental” might be a better word to describe them. What’s obvious in those situations is that the abuse that the survivors overome is terrible. What’s not always obvious is what survivors should do with their positive religious experiences that happened in those places of abuse.
What does it mean about my relationship with God when I seemed to experience God in the place of my terrible past? Was that real? Was I fooled into thinking God did something in my life? Did the bad things that happened negate the good?
A version of this discussion has been hanging around the church for a long time. In 311 Caecelian, the then new Bishop of Carthage in North Africa, was consecrated by Felix of Aptungi, an alleged traitor. Felix apostatized, but then he repented and was restored. The opponents of Felix, those who didn’t apostatize and remained true to the faith, were mad. So they thought that Caecelian couldn’t rightly administer the sacraments because his consecration had been done a by a tainted figure. It was no good. Caecelian was then no good either. So the opponents decided they were going to refuse the sacraments of priests or bishops who were, in their minds, traitors. They set up their own priest, Majorinus, who was quickly replaced by Donatus.
If you look in your Christian history books, you’ll find the heresy of Donatism. But it’s not really a heresy, it’s a schism. In fact Augustine pointed out that Donatists didn’t believe anything heretical. But there was the issue about the experiences of those individuals who had followed the leadership of the traitors. Were their religious experiences invalid? The church answered no, they were not invalid. What came out of this is a doctrine called ex opera operato. It’s Latin and means “from the work carried out.” The application was this: the sin of the presiding priest or bishop couldn’t negate the work of God in the life of the recipients. It was the faith of the participant that appropriated the work of God, not the failing faith of the priest.
I thought this was an encouraging word for us. Paul tells us that we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. Even the best of us. Even Mother Teresa. But our sin and the sin of leadership can’t hinder the goodness of God. And the sin of leadership can’t nullify the power and work of God in our lives. So if you’ve ever been hurt by a religious figure, if you’ve ever been hurt by me, then know that my mistakes can’t keep God from moving in your life. So let us move forward in the power of the resurrection.
Random Pic To Generate Clickbait Traffic
Parishioner of the Week
Van Davis for the electric bingo games she led us in at the Fiesta extravaganza.
Satan Slayers Softball
After a two year hiatus the Satan Slayers, UBC Co-Ed slow pitch softball team, is back in business. The Satan Slayers have a history of excellence (and a lot of losing seasons), but I cannot wait for us to forge a new legacy. We have a few spots left on the team, but we are especially looking for some females to slay with us. The season starts the week of September 17, and anyone over 18 can play. The cost will be $30 a player. Email Dilan@ubcwaco.org if you are interested.
Sunday School returns September 9th
Cheers: The SS class where everybody knows your name
Led by Jeff Walter and Adam Winn
This class will be a place to grow in our relationships with God and with each other. Each week this semester we’ll studying from the book of Galatians, and throughout the semester we’ll have opportunities to eat together, hang out, and get to know each other. Whether you're new to ubc and looking to plug in, or if you’ve been around a while, you’re welcome to join us. Cheers!
Led by Jameson McGregor and Kerri Fisher
We all have a collection we've been curating since we were born. It is composed of all the things that have challenged and formed us more fully into who we are--that have shaped what we think about ourselves and our neighbor; about God and the cosmos. It is made up of movies, songs, books, places, memories....you get the idea. Collections like this do their job best when we take the time to notice them, and perhaps to share them with one another. So this class is going to be about that. About sharing parts of ourselves with one another by sharing things have that been meaningful to us. And in our sharing, we hope to come to know ourselves, our neighbors, and our God more fully.
Work is Worship
Coffee Makers: Toph & Emmy
Mug Cleaners: UBC Youth
Welcome Station: Broadduses
- Sermon Text: Mark 7ish
- Sunday School Begins again on September 9th
- 9-6 Mens and Womens College Groups Begin
- 9-14 Parents Night Out
- 9-16 Mi Casa's begin
- 9-16 Children Worker Teacher Training
- 9-19 Faith & Family Session 1
- 9-21 Youth Game Night w/ parents (5-6)
- 9-23 nUBC'ers Luncheon
- 9-28 Backside
- 9-30 OOTP Taco Fund Raiser After Church
- 10-4 College Womens/Mens Group Skate Night
- 10-18/21 Junior & Senior Fall Retreat
- 10-19 Youth Lock In (5-6)
- 10-26/27 Stay in Retreat for youth (7-12)
- 10-27 Womens college group service project
- 10-31 OOTP Halloween Party
- 11-9 Youth Boys and Girls Night (7-12)
- 11-18 Youth Sunday
- 11-4 Bring Parents to Church Day
- 12/5 Pre-Pancake Party Mens and Womens college group
- 12-9 Last Sunday of the fall semester/Christmas Youth (5-6)
- 12-12 Last Wednesday of fall semester/Christmas party Youth (7-12)
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: email@example.com
Byron Griffin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kerri Fisher: Kerri_Fisher@baylor.edu
Emma Wood: email@example.com
Bridget Heins: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Nance: Jeremy Nance <Jeremy.J.Nance@L3T.com>
Joanna Sowards: email@example.com
Student Position: Samuel Moore: firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Position: Leah Reed: Leah_Reed@baylor.edu
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: email@example.com
Doug McNamee: 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