ITLOTC 4-20-18


(In The Life Of The Church) 


Eastertide (by jamie)

Let’s talk Church calendar.  We began the year waiting in the darkness and dislocation of Advent for the Light that came on Christmas.  Then during Epiphany, we came to know this Light, and in doing so, came to know what God would have us know about who God is and who we are.  After that, we entered the wilderness of Lent, coming to terms with the gap between who we are and who we are made to be, At Holy Week, we saw the Light of Christ extinguished, and on Easter, we saw the Light blaze forth again.   

We are now in the Resurrection space of Eastertide.  

In the past, I’ve mentioned that the three elements of UBC’s benediction interface with a season of the Church calendar.  “Love God,” attaches to ordinary time, “Live Life to the Fullest” attaches to Lent, and “Embrace Beauty,” attaches to Eastertide.  

Josh touched on the connection between Resurrection and beauty in his sermon last week, but I’ll take a swing at it too.

The Resurrection is an emphatic Yes to life and creation.  It’s a doubling-down on embodied existence, as if to make it perfectly clear that God didn’t create the universe and bodied creatures without reason.  It takes the wind out of the sails of the worldview that says this is all just a cage we need to escape.  It is a rewrite on the finitude of the life/death cycle of creation, adding resurrection to the end.  

All good and well, but why do we emphasize embracing beauty in this season?

A few years ago, I came across a book by Madeliene L’Engle called Walking on Water, the subtitle of which is “Reflections on Faith and Art.”  If you haven’t read it, find a reason to. 

In talking about art, she is really talking about Beauty—or, at least, the kind of beauty people can make.  She points out how difficult it is to say what exactly makes something art, or beautiful, but teases out a definition (borrowing some words from Leonard Bernstein): art is drawing cosmos out of chaos—which we might think of as saying: beauty is when cosmos emerges out of chaos.  

I like the sound of that.  It strikes me as sufficiently vague to be meaningful.

But let’s think about that a little more.

In the midst of a world that time and again (and recently, again and again) proves to be thoroughly chaotic, little pockets of cosmos break through.  Natural beauty asserts itself over against our short-sighted self-importance.  Songs, novels, films, poems, etc. re-frame our condition, and invite us to be re-framed with it.  Artists enter into their own pain and order it into something bodied, something that might resonate with someone else and cause their pain to be transformed too.  Artists stop moving long enough to experience the heights of life as well, and order the bliss from chaotic ineffability into a creative moment, and we find ourselves invited to do the same. 

But there is another way cosmos emerges from chaos in all of this.  It is in our being drawn outside of our own subjectivity and coming awake to our connectedness with our fellow creation.  Beauty invites us to shift our entombed gaze outward, and to embrace more fully the depth of the world around us.

If all of this is in any way an accurate description of beauty, we might think of the Resurrection itself as an Event of Beauty, of cosmos emerging from chaos, life emerging from death.  And, as with any work of art, we might find ourselves, the way we see, live, move, and have our being, drawn in and transformed by it.

So, as we journey through Eastertide, we join the disciples in looking for signs of the Resurrection, in places ordinary, strange, and wonderful.  And in our looking, we open ourselves to being drawn into Resurrection ourselves.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about any of this, feel free to email I’m working on what you might call a “long-form” version of these thoughts, so I have a lot more to say if you’re interested.

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Backside (TONIGHT)

Backside is at 7pm tonight--come hear some songs and poems, eat some baked goods, look at some art, and buy some handmade stuff.

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.

World Hunger Relief Fundraiser

UBC champions for the Lord!  I have great news.  This last Sunday I asked you for $2,500 to feed hungry people and waco with nutritious food and you came through!!!!  All the tabs for the fundraiser were taken and half of that money came in that morning.  If you have pledged to give you can do so a number of ways.  Go to our easytithe page and select the "benevolence option." Or you can drop off cash or check in an envelope in our mail slot under the "UBC" letters on the building at any time.  Thank you so much.  

Children's Sunday

On April 29 - just over three weeks from now! - our kids are going to be leading us in worship at UBC! We are so excited for them to have the opportunity to lead us in worship because we think that it will be a formative moment for them as well as a formative moment for our entire congregation and we are very excited about it! If you have any questions feel free to email to ask!

Leadership Team Nominations

First we'd like to applaud the fearless Stan Denman, Sharyl Loeung, and Jon Davis for their leadership these last three years.  Their stints are coming to an end this April.  In addition to their departure, one of our student positions are being vacated as well.  Leah Reed is graduating and moving onto bigger, but not necessarily better things.  As a reminder, the student positions are on year commitments that can be renewed up to three years.  

So that means we are looking for new folks to serve on the leadership team.  Here is some information for you to consider from the bylaws. 

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. 

Nominations begin now.  So if you'd like to nominate yourself or anyone else, please use this link.

Work is Worship

Greeters: Blaylocks 

Coffee Makers: Clark Mi Casa 

Mug Cleaners: Teddi & Wesley 

Money Counter:   JD Newman 

Welcome Station: High Holy Hospitalitarians


  • Sermon Text: Mr. Rogers Sunday 
  • 4-29 Leadership Team Meeting 
  • Study Hall Days 4-30/5-1
  • 5-14 Finance Team Meeting 

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: