ITLOTC 1-19-18


(In The Life Of The Church) 


Engaging Epiphany

As you might remember, the Story We Live In hit reset after Christ the King Sunday, and we went from triumph and celebration to waiting for a Light in the darkness and dis-location of Advent.  At Christmas, we witnessed the Light enter the darkness, and we now find ourselves in a season of Light: Epiphany.  

During this season, the gospel readings in the lectionary will take us through several stories of people coming to know Jesus and/or acknowledging him as Lord.  This is a time when we are invited to come alongside the people of God in the text and become re-acquainted with Jesus; to attempt to set aside the assumptions we’ve already accumulated and to encounter this Person as if for the first time.

In this season of Light, we find the way that we perceive what was once cloaked in darkness to be changed.  We might find that things are worse than we thought or perhaps better, but there is hope to found in the illuminating—it’s the cover of darkness that lets despair flourish.

There are three interconnected ways of engaging Epiphany that I want to offer to you and myself.

First, make an effort to come to know the Person of Jesus.  The lectionary is going to give us several snippets of stories where people meet Jesus,  and that’s great, but those stories alone aren’t going to do much to you as a reader.  Instead, try entering into the story—taking on the posture of these people who encounter Jesus for the first time, and follow Jesus through the gospel narratives, waiting to see how he will react in precarious religious and social situations.  Listen to his teachings—especially the ones relevant to interacting with other people (most of them)—and resist the urge to tone them down or brush them aside because they seem impractical; you and I have both been taught to do this as a defense mechanism for the parts of our status quo that the ethic of Jesus opposes.  In doing this, we might come to know more about what God would have us know about who God is and what God would have us know about who we are.

Second, pay attention to the way Jesus sees those around him.  As you follow Jesus through the story of his life and ministry, you’ll find that he views human beings with dignity and decided lack of un-importance.  He has a particular lens for viewing the world, and we should presumably seek to make that lens our own. With this in mind, it might be worthwhile to take note of the way you see other people, and see how that measures up to the example offered in Jesus.

Third, seek to illumine the world around you.  This season offers us the chance to look again at Jesus and to look again at the world around us, but then asks what that means for the way we live and move in the world.  Are we interacting with people as though we truly see them? Are we actively seeking justice, or even just ordinary care, in our community?  Are we living lives that express a sense of dignity for Creation and all creatures?

Taken all together, that should keep us pretty busy for the next few weeks.  If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me at

Baby Dedication

Please be in prayer for Hayes Duke as he prepares for his dedication this Sunday. 

Town Hall Update

Finance Report

Missions Report

Toph shared about our upcoming missions partnerships.  He will be taking a trip in February to explore a CBF partnership in the country Cuba.  We will be concluding our Thailand partnership after our last trip there this Spring.

Youth Report

Dilan and Hannah shared about the youth’s Mid-Winter Retreat as well as a few of the studies and activities the youth are involved with.

Land Report

We were asked by the city to demolish the storage unit (918 S. 18th St.) on our Flint property.  We decided at that time to also remove the house.  The total cost of the those demolition projects was $11,300. 

Building Report

Before Christmas I, Josh, met with our realtor and we decided to offer the Brazos Electric Company $1 million for the property.  The BEC refused that offer and didn’t counter.  They also informed us that they are pulling the listing.

The last time Lisa (our realtor) and I were there, the BEC had demolition and asbestos people were walking through the building.  Our opinion is that they are going to remove the permanent structures from the property and relist the land clean.  We will be watching for future listings. 

You may remember that BEC property was listed for $1.85 million.  Obviously our offer was low.  We didn’t necessarily think we’d get the property at that price, but we thought we’d get a counter.  That being said, we were nervous about the potential cost of renovating the existing structure.  After meeting with some finance folks from the BGCT and talking with a few builders, some estimates came in as high as $3 million to get that building ready for a worship space and to host children.  That didn’t include renovating that entire main building or dealing with asbestos in the other maintenance buildings.   Abatement costs on that type of asbestos and the 9x9 tiles in the existing structure (which we knew were asbestos) were alarming. 

When the leadership team meets on the 28th we will discuss what’s next. 

I did mention some ideas for our existing property.  Some of you asked for a sketch so I’d like to provide that for you. 

Below you’ll see an early sketch I got from our architect.  I’ve made some colorful amendments.  One idea is to do an expansion on the 18th st. side of the building.  The expansion would go out the current coffee area into the parking lot (pink area below).  When I talked with our architect his rough estimate is that, that project would run between $150-200 a sq. foot.  We’d likely do plumbing both on our current building and the new one.  That’d probably put us in the middle.  That shaded area is about 8,000 sq. ft.  we may need more room, we might need less room.   An intial estimate on that addition then would run between 1.5-2 million. 

In conjunction with that, we turn the newly demoed property on 18th st. (green on the sheet) into park along with investigating acquiring Flint St. from the city, which we also turn into to parking.  In talking with a developer in Waco, his quick guess would be that turning flint into parking would run 100K if we could get an easement form the city and they forfeited the property. 

In addition to these changes we’d also likely take this opportunity to improve our current buildings.  Some preliminary ideas include renovating current spaces into larger and more legitimate restrooms, adding natural sunlight to places like the backside and restoring classroom space to their former swanky


Parishioner of the Week

Marshall Cook for doing some heavy lifting with the children's ministry these past 7 weeks.  Marshall has volunteered 5 of the last 7.   Let's get him some help.  Email if you are interested in serving in the kids ministry.  

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


nUBCer Lunch

If you are new to UBC and would like to learn more about the church we will be hosting a lunch after church on Sunday February 4th.  Sign ups will be in the foyer this Sunday or you can sign up by email 

Giving Statements

Giving statements for 2017 tax year will be available after church this Sunday.  

Work is Worship

Greeters: Richardsons 

Coffee Makers: Chris Jeffrey

Mug Cleaners: Carson & Andrew 

Money Counter:  Justin Pond 


  • Sermon Text: 
  • 1-28 Quarterly Leadership Team Meeting 
  • 2-4 NUBCer Lunch 
  • 2-11 Love, Love Feast 6:00 PM CST 
  • 2-16 Date Night 
  • 2-12 Finance Team Meeting 
  • 2-14 Ash Wednesday Service, Lent Begins 


Do you have an emergency and need to talk to a pastor? 

254 413 2611

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: