ITLOTC 5-17-19


(In The Life Of The Church)


*Yes, this is a day early. Wanted you to get it before weekend email shutdown mode begins because this is an important one.

A Decision

I will have pastored for 12 years when August 19th rolls around. In that 12 years I guesstimate that I’ve done 50-60 weddings. As a rule, I try and steer engaged couples away from selecting 1 Corinthians 13 as a wedding text. Because the text is cliché?  Nay, the opposite. It looms so large I dare not taint it with the wedding planning that hasn’t been thoughtful. 1 Corinthians 13 is completely appropriate for marriage. Maybe the most appropriate. Marriage is a difficult relationship that requires the kind of love that can, hope, believe and endure all things. And then sometimes marriage requires even more than that. If we worked harder to offer real images of marriages before people got married, then using 1 Corinthians 13 at weddings would feel more appropriate. But I concede my thinking on this to Stanley Hauerwas who once said, “we can’t possibly know what we mean when we say our wedding vows.”

In her book Still, Lauren Winner has a chapter called “Reading the Bible In Eight Places.” The chapter is about dislocated exegesis, or reading the text in places where its salience might be felt more poignantly. Winner writes, “My colleague is in the habit of taking a Bible and a group of students to a bank and there reading Jesus’ words about money … On one occasion, I am outside an insurance building in Hartford, the insurance capital of the world, reading Jesus’ injections in Matthew : ‘Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.’” You get the idea. I suppose that applying a bible text to a church situation is not dislocated at all. The scriptures are the words for the church. But I have noticed something powerful about locating 1 Corinthians 13 in this moment instead of a wedding.

This Sunday the leadership team will announce the conclusion they have come to with regards to UBC’s relationship with the LGBTQ community. More particularly, they have reached a decision in answering the two questions we have been asking. As I said at the beginning of this process when I wrote a similar newsletter to introduce this moment, I’m sure you are eager to know what those answers are. But I’m going to ask instead that you come to church and we have this moment together. Our leadership team has been resilient, but they carry the weight of this hard work that we’ve asked them to do. A way for you to honor them and that work, is by not bombarding them with a thousand phone calls and texts between now and Sunday.

Now that we are nearing the conclusion of this process I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for coming with me. Thank you for doing this together. It is on this moment that I want to locate 1 Corinthians 13. Because you have endured, hoped, and believed all things for the sake of love, and for that I’m forever grateful.

Sarah Bessey Care

Friends, you may remember that Sarah Bessey came to preach at UBC for women’s month in 2017. As such, we consider her a friend. You may have also observed that in these last few weeks Sarah has been working tirelessly to support Rachel Held Evans and her family. Someone in our community suggested that we offer a token of our appreciation to Sarah. So we will be getting Sarah a small gift and would like to send her some encouraging notes. If you’d like to express your appreciation to Sarah, you can do so by writing a note here.

Meet Our Newest Finance Team Member

George Thornton


What do you do in Waco:  Director of Operations for Intrepid Development Group - an owners representative firm for capital construction projects. 

Do you have a favorite Bible verse, chapter book?:  Proverbs 24:3-4

Best Waco Restaurant:  Bangkok Royal

Current Show:  GOT, Billions 

Something we’d never know about you:  attended a military middle and high school

Why UBC?:  The fellowship and diversity within the community. 

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Parishioner of the Week

Lacy McNamee. Please read the following from the Baylor_comm instagram account:

Dr. Lacy McNamee has had a big week! 🎉 On Tuesday, she was named the 2019 Outstanding Faculty Partner by Baylor Student Life! 🏆 Then today, she was announced as the NEW#BaylorCommGraduate Program Director, effective August 1st! Dr. McNamee is taking over for Dr. Mark Morman who has served as our GPD for the last 11 years. We are very thankful for Dr. Morman’s dedicated service over the last decade+ and the growth our program has experienced during that time! 💛 Warmest congratulations and well wishes to Dr. McNamee on this new appointment (and on her recent award)!! We are extremely lucky to have her as a member of our faculty. 🙌🏾


  • Text: Ezra 3:10-13 “All the Joy & All the Pain.”

  • SWCC summer movie days 6-5, 6-26, 7-10, 7-24

  • UBC VBS 6-11-13

  • Young Adult/College Lake Retreat 7-12

Work is Worship

Greeters: Richardsons

Coffee Makers: Oliver & Michael

Mug Cleaners: Aleigh Ascherl

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. 

Chair- Adam Winn:

Byron Griffin:

Kerri Fisher:

Bridget Heins:

Jeremy Nance:

Joanna Sowards:

Kathy Krey:

Student Position, Samuel Moore:

Student Position, Anna Carol Peery:

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.

Josh Blake:

Ross Van Dyke:

Jared Gould:

Rebekah Powell:

Kristen Richardson: