ITLOTC 10-15-19


(In The Life Of The Church)

Ordinary Time

Holy Ground

“Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.” Exodus 3:2

I told you in a previous newsletter that my wife and I went to the Catskills for  our 15th wedding anniversary. We picked it because of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season two.  We flew from Minneapolis to Newark in the wee hours of a cool July morning. We parked downtown and took a trolley to the airport to save money because I am cheap.  It was dark, the city was still asleep. No one is available to ask questions. In these moments of traveling ambiguity we like to pretend that we are on the Amazing Race.  Soon we are on a jet plane to the east coast. When start descending I strain my neck to look out the window to see if I can find iconic New York landmarks across the river.  No dice. We land. I don’t like Newark's airport. No free water. It reminds me of Europe. We aren’t there for two minutes and the fire alarm goes off in the airport. This is exactly what I expect from Newark. 

Our car rental place is off campus.  Not even close to the real car rental places like Hertz and Avis because we only use the black market car rental places.   You know, the ones that are in the old cigarette shops made entirely from cinder block and have one broken plastic chair for you to sit in.  Yes that one. I pick this place because I am cheap. It’s extra effort, but it’s worth it. With a mail in rebate, which no one makes the effort to send in aside from Lindsay Carney, we actually make $37 for renting our 1987 Mercury Cougar.  

Once on the road we start navigating the kind of traffic that Dante describes in the third circle of hell for the impatient.  Everyone appears to be rude, but I know they are not. I’m just from the midwest and they are from the east coast. Anger is their love language.  I feign my own frustrations by throwing my hands up occasionally and joining the chorus of honkers so i don't’ seem like a tourist. Eventually we make it outside the city and on our way north to the mountains.  

Once in the mountains I’m reminded why central TX topography is hard for me.  

Finally we arrive at our resort.  The Inn on Lake Joseph. The main lodge is, I think a Victorian something, but without all those saucy colors.  A large roof swallows most of the building, so that it seems hidden on top of the hill it sits on. In this way, it feels like something out of the Shire.  A big win.


After our bags are unpacked our vacation routine begins.  We ask each other what should we do? Neither of us knows.  Traveling at the age of 38 is akin to track practice when I was 17.  The truth is we want to start our rigid vacation routine of eating, napping and reading, but we are in the Catskills and so feel compelled to go somewhere beautiful and take instagram pictures.  Lindsay reads the tourist-things-to-do literature because she has an unrelenting commitment to support the locals. Call it Kathleen Kelly syndrome, she refuses to accept the depersonalized and/or commercialized aspects of 2019.    I brace myself for what I imagine will be a choice between milking a cow or the third grade art gallery of a nearby school. She discovers that 1. We are about 15 minutes from Bethel Woods which is the location of the Woodstock festival and 2. that this very evening they are celebrating the 50th anniversary by having a special screening of The Graduate.  


I’m mildly excited by this choice.  It’s probably more honest to say I’m grateful I'm not participating in some of the other options I'd imagined.  We arrive. I’m surprised by how nice the whole thing is. Hippies have ethos and culture, but my personal track record indicates that they are also dirty and unorganized.   It’s raining. Our outdoor screening is moved inside this pristine wood lodge looking building where the vendors are selling Mrs. Robinson martinis and popcorn. I buy the popcorn and a Mountain Dew because I’m cheap.  

A local film professor from an important small New York college participates in an interview before the movie.  She says meaningful things and informs us that Robert Redford was originally supposed to be cast as Ben Braddock.  Also, did you know that this was the first movie to use a rock and roll star to do the soundtrack? I’ve never seen The Graduate.  We both laugh extensively. Heartily. The thing begins to feel magical. After it’s over we walk downstairs and take in a few artifacts from the woodstock museum.  Something is happening to me in the place. I feel closer to the sixties. It has a spirit about it.  

Place has this kind of power.  I think about Moses and the burning bush.  God tells Moses to take off his shoes. One time I heard a podcast, in it the podcaster tells me that some Jewish Rabbis say that the bush was always burning and in the story Moses was finally able to see it.  I remember this Liz Barrett Browning quote I saw recently, “Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God, But only he who sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”

Thinking back to our happenstance night at Woodstock, I’ve decided this.  I saw heaven crammed into it. I want to see this way all the time, so I keep practicing. 

All Saints Day Liturgy (November 1st)

Join us for a liturgy of remembering those who have died who have well-reflected the light of Christ in our lives and re-membering ourselves to the living who are embodying the presence of Christ in our lives today. We’ll gather in the Backside at 5:30PM.

UBC Kids Root Room Teacher Training This Sunday!

The Root Room UBC Kids Teacher Training is this Sunday directly after church. We will be getting to know each other, reviewing our policies and procedures, and talking some about classroom management! Hopefully teachers will come away with some practical ideas about how to engage the kids in our Root Rooms in formative ways! We will also make time to exchange phone numbers and let people switch for dates they already know they will not be available to serve. If you cannot make it or if you have not received an email from Taylor about this training please email her at

5-6 Grade Parent & Youth Game Night this Friday (10/18)

If you are a 5-6 student or the parent/family of 5-6 student join us this Friday evening from 6-8 PM for our annual game night! We will pit parents versus students in trivia, hide and seek, and other competitions. Pizza and drinks will be provided by UBC, but we would love if you provided a snack, salad, or dessert. Contact Hannah or Dilan with any questions you might have!

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Parishioner of the Week

Betsy Bracken, Kristen Davis, and Melody Zuniga for helping with the homecoming breakfast. (and all others who did that as well.


  • Sermon Text: Luke 18:1-8

Work is Worship

Greeters: Richardsons

Coffee Makers: Clarks and Co.

Mug Cleaners: Nelsons

Money Counter: George Thornton

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. 

Byron Griffin:

Kerri Fisher:

Jeremy Nance:

Joanna Sowards:

Kathy Krey:

Jose Zuniga:

Taylor Torregrossa:

Student Position,

Student Position,

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: 

Catherine Ballas:

Jen Carron:

Mike Dodson:

George Thornton:


If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.

Erin Albin:

Sam Goff:

Rebekah Powell:

Kristen Richardson: