Liturgy 3-19-2017

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

Fountain of Living Water,

we have gathered hoping that You
will irrigate our hearts and minds

cleanse the dryness in us

and nurture the kingdom love You
have sown among us

teach us to live, and to live fully

so that we too might become fountains,
spreading Your Life and Love throughout the world.

Amen

Scripture

Exodus 17:1-7

From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.”

Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.”

The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

John 4:5-42

Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.”

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” They left the city and were on their way to him.

Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.

The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”

 

Setlist 3-19-2017

This week was the third week of Lent, and our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics. Below the songs, you can find recordings from Sunday morning of a few of them, and below the recordings, there is an example of one way you might think of these songs in light of this week's theme. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

In the Night by Andrew Peterson

Wandering by Jameson McGregor

Fall Afresh by Jeremy Riddle

Shadow by Jameson McGregor

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

Be Thou My Vision

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

In the Night: We will be adding a piece to this song every week of Lent.  It traces a thread of struggle through the biblical narrative, ultimately building a case to hold hope in the midst of immense darkness.  We recorded a live version of this song last year, which you can download for free here.  

Wandering: During Lent, we enter the wilderness to ask the question of who we are and what we are for, using Jesus as our mirror, and ask the Spirit to transform us more fully into this identity.  Though we make a point to do this for 6 weeks, this sort of wilderness wandering is something most of us do often.  The Christian life is a push-pull between being more fully formed in the way of Christ and settling back into the rhythms that we are seeking to be transformed away from.  If we look inside of ourselves for some sort of consistent cause for hope, we will not find it.  But if we look to God, we will find that God is faithful to us throughout our own ebb and flow of learning to live like Jesus.  So if we build our hope on God's faithfulness to us, we are well on our way to having more solid footing to move forward.  We sang this song to proclaim this truth, to worship God in light of it, and to remind ourselves that our overarching life of faith is tied to who God is for us (not solely if we can look in the mirror and see a perfect Christian).  You can find a studio version of this song here.

Fall Afresh: As we enter further into Lent, our introspection can begin to conjure a weight that doesn't seem worth carrying.  We sang this song to ask for help, to ask the Spirit to cultivate transformation in us.

Shadow: There is a theme of Lent that is centered on learning how to die to ourselves in order to be more like Christ.  This song traces the internal struggle that this concept can ignite within us, using the image of talking in our sleep--having the sense of what we are trying to do, without the sense to actually execute it meaningfully.  The end of the song brings in the thought that perhaps God has given us the Word we need.  I'm not talking specifically about the Bible, though the Bible plays a role in what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about the Word-made-flesh of Jesus, who we come to know through the witness of the Bible and the embodiment of Jesus in other people who are being formed in the way of Christ.  The point isn't to offer a "solution" to the "problem" identified in the "talking in my sleep" image, but instead to suggest that God has not left us to our own devices in our transformation.  The word we couldn't call to mind has been spoken for us, and it reverberates around us even as we try to get our mouths to form it ourselves. You can find a studio version of this song here.

House of God Forever: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about House of God Forever then: This song serves as an early reminder that we will need time and again during Lent that God cares for us in the midst of our struggles (whatever they may be).  God brings safety into our danger, a feast into our hunger, and a light into our darkness.

Be Thou My Vision:  During Lent, we depart from our typical singing of the Doxology to close our time together.  As we wander the wilderness of Lent, learning more about who we are and what we are for, we carry these words on our tongues, time and again asking God to be our vision, wisdom, and security.

-JM

ITLOTC 3-17-17

ITLOTC

(In The Life Of The Church) 

Lent

Bible Madness Is Here (Rounds 1 & 2)

Tournament Overview

Before we give viewers 1st and 2nd round results we'd like make a few observations.  To no ones surprise the top overall seeds went to the gospels with Matthew and his prominent position in the canon and productive season (lectionary calendar Year A) securing the #1 overall seed.

Probably the biggest scandal of the tournament is 1st Thessalonians 16 seed, all but guaranteeing a 1st round loss to Matthew. Inside sources tell us committee members leaked the following quote, "one of the two things is true.  Either we forgot about 1 Thessalonians when we were almost done making the brackets and didn't want to start over or the book was penalized for using the Greek word harpagEsometha which is often translated "rapture" thus making 1 Thessalonians responsible for dispensationalism and the Scofield Bible."  Truett's Todd Still is leading the outrage calling this "criminal!" 

The other shocking story was the first ever appearance of a Apocryphal book in the tournament after 1 Maccabees beat out 3rd John in a play in game for the 12 seed in the Rome Division.  When committee members were questioned about this, they asked the media to tell them one verse from 3rd John they memorized as kids.  After the room was silent the conversation moved on.  The other play in game was for the 16 seed in the Carthage Division between 1 & 2 Chronicles.  When asked why the pair were pitted against each other the committee responded by asking if the media had read 1 & 2 Kings.  When they replied yes, the committee argued that they'd heard all that before. 

Other scrutiny was delivered on the seeding of the Jerusalem Division.  Some fear that 2 seeded Psalms represent the best chance for the Hebrew Bible to win a national championship.  But the Psalms will tango in a division that includes a 4 seeded Philippians team, 3 seeded Jeremiah squad and as has been noted already, overall number 1 seed Matthew, leaving some to speculate that this potential elite 8 matchup might be the real national championship.  Detractors say that John and Romans will have something to say about that.  

Rome Divison

Round 1

Things were wild in the West! 12 seeded Apocryphal representative 1st Maccabees began their Cinderella quest when they stunned 1st Corinthians.  The lesson here, be careful what you do with your mother-in-law.  Look for a possible another win for 1 Mac because they'll face a 13 seeded Titus who beat what some have called an over rated 1 Samuel team.  Mark put on a clinic crushing Haggai and Pentateuch titans Genesis and Deuteronomy cruised as well sending minor prophets Micah and Zechariah home early.  Jonah prevailed in a slug fest with 1 Timothy, but ultimately won because of it's prominence in children's bibles.  Joshua upset Ephesians probably for 2 reasons.  1. He shares a name with the author of this article about bible bracketology and 2. Ephesians is disputed.  Speak the truth in love unless you are messing with a conquest narrative.  The Rome Division's most interesting first round matchup was predictably it's 8/9 game.  In what some have called the battle over feminism, Ezra said "divorce your foreign wives" and Esther said, "or deliver a nation." 

Round 2 

Well feed me a pig and call me Antiochus Epiphanies, 1 Maccabees is dancing!  That will likely come to an end next week when they take on Mark's fast pace, high octane kai enthuse offense that coach Paul Westhead loves to use.  Mark got tangled up for a second by Esther's patriarchal accusations, but then retorted, "who showed up at the tomb first?  Mic drop." 

Rome's other Sweet Sixteen matchup will feature Joshua whose conquest continued past Deuteronomy.  A cocky Joshua said, "it looks like one of us really did get to the promise land, hashtag strong and courageous." Genesis toyed with 7 seeded Jonah, but then pulled it's starting primeval eleven after a substantial first half lead.  

Carthage Divison

Round 1

The southwest will be the long forgotten quadrant of early Christianity no more!  11 seeded 2 Samuel crushed Daniel with it's Zionistic and Davidic promises.  2 Peter upset Acts leaving Robert Wall to complain "we now have no clear connection to the gospels and Paul!" 2 Corinthians veiled the faces of 2 Kings and Isaiah put in the 3rd string suffering servant early to finish crushing 2 Thessalonians.  Exodus left the building in glowing fashion after cruising past Malachi.  Philemon handled 1st Kings leaving many to wonder just how good Deuteronomistic History Conference really is.  Joel gave Job his best shot, but then the whirlwind showed up in the fourth quarter.  John employed many double entendres, but then in a rare moment of straight talk literally beat down 1 Chronicles.   After the game Ray Brown was asked about his team's performance and he said, "one word, Logos."  Starting point guard Nicodemus still looked confused.  

Round 2

The 2 Corinthians/Exodus matchup proved to be one of the better 2/7 games we've seen.  Both teams put their best Moses foot forward.  In the end the Ten Commandments proved to be too much.  When 2 Corinthians started chattering about being a new creation, Exodus painted blood on her doorpost.  Game over.  2 Peter's senseless luck came to an abrupt end.  Bildad heated up from beyond the Arc and Job cruised.  In the beginning John put on a clinic and never looked back.  David did his best, but his sin caught up with him this time.  Isaiah simply flipped open to the infancy narratives and asked 2 Samuel to find his quotes. This sets up an exciting 2/3 matchup between Exodus and Isaiah pitting perennial power 5 conferences Major Prophets and Pentateuch against each other.  

Jerusalem Division

Round 1

One might have thought that being slighted would prove to be the fuel needed for 1 Thessalonians to do something special, but that wouldn't be the case tonight.  Matthew didn't even need to call on his wisemen before the game was over.  Longtime veteran coach Ulrich Lutz had this to say after the game, "This program is playing well right now.  I feel like we are the face of Jesus."  Judges and 1 John brought their antithetical styles to the court.  Judges Wild West tribal confederacy was highlighted by Samson's new haircut which almost brought the house down, but 1 John's love proved too much.  Song of Songs lost decisively to 12 seeded Habakuk in a rare first round Minor Prophet conference victory.  Some speculate that the Song of Songs got a high seed because of the early church's allegorical reading, but was eventually weakened by both John Eldredge and True Love Waits.  That and the new perspective on Paul's careful attention to Habakkuk 2:4 led some to believe that there's something more to this sparky bunch.  Philippians replaced the national anthem with the Christ hymn and the game was over before it started. Jeremiah cruised past Obadiah.  James worked hard enough to shock Revelation.  A big Johannine loss.  This bad break for coach Tim LaHaye could be the straw that breaks the camel's back, especially after he promised that the beast would come out of Russia.  Oops there's 1 Thessalonians ... hmmm ... makes me wonder which other book got left out.  O well, Numbers won as did Psalms. 

Round 2

Matthew vs 1 John proved to be a potential Matthean/Johannine preview.  John will have to bring more than love to win that game.  Habakkuk 2:4, a one trick pony, brought it's minor prophet winning spree to an end in an easy win for Philippians who can do all things through Christ who gives them the strength.  James continued to work hard stunning Jeremiah who looked everything, but major.  The Psalms beat Numbers at it's own game, simply flipping to 119 and wearing the Penteteuch hopeful down through shear attrition.  

Alexandria Division

Round 1 

What should we say of the Alexandria Division.  This is SEC country.  Luke plodded along like an Ox all season grinding out win after win moving all the way to Jerusalem and now through Alexandria.  Nahum was nothing.  Nehemiah part of a reformed movement that couldn't wall off the efforts Leviticus and the all-American play of the Holiness Code. In a battle of Evangelical darlings, Proverbs took on Hebrews.  Between the Desiring God and Precious Moments fan bases, there wasn't a seat available in the house.   Proverbs proved to be the straw man that Ecclesiastes said it was folding to the high priest from the line of Melchizedek.  Even though God sang over Zephaniah that wasn't enough to overcome Ezekiel and his dry bones.  Francine Rivers fans were sad to see Hosea eliminated so easily by Galatians, but ladies do not despair.  Time to call your mother-in-law because in a tournament of storied 11 seeds, Ruth just upset Colossians.  Amos let it rain and the rivers flow as he plumbed Catholic hopeful 1 Peter, and the Romans Road to the final four is looking strong as they steamrolled Jude.  

Round 2

The Prodigal Son returned to the sweet sixteen as Leviticus got hung up on the technicalities of the reffing.  The supremacy of Jesus was put back on display as Hebrews blew past Ezekiel.  Galatians come out of Romans' shadow trouncing Ruth only to step back into it as Romans trounced Amos in a matchup of unbalanced teams.  Coach Tom Wright had this to say after the game, "This team is for real. I feel like we've been misunderstood for 2,000 years, but not anymore.  What coach Sanders and Coach Dunn did before me is incredible.  Now it's all about having a new perspective and these kids got it."  

Tune in next week for 3rd and 4th round action as we inch our way to the final four books of the Bible.  

Meet Our Newest Leadership Team Member

Byron Griffin 

 

What are you doing in Waco?:  I am the environmental science teacher at Lake Air Montessori Magnet. 
What is your fav TV Show/Movie?:  My favorite (recent) tv show is the Walking Dead. My favorite movie is Interstellar. 
Book You’ve Really Enjoyed?: I recently read The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf. It's a biography about Alexander von Humboldt, a famous (and mostly forgotten) naturalist that was the inspiration for many of our modern scientists and nature writers like Darwin, Thoreau, and Muir. 
Best Restaurant in Waco?: I've been enjoying Moroso a lot, lately. 
A Bible Verse/Chapter/Book that has been formative for you?:
Romans 8:38-39: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. I often struggle with doubt and question what I believe (not inherently bad),  but this verse has helped me a number of times. 
Something we might not know about you?: I am an avid birder and on any given Saturday you can find me at the wetlands or at the lake for hours on end. 

Middle Ages Lunch After Church

The Middle Ages will be getting together for Hippodrome Brunch after church Sunday (March 19).  The Hippodrome is at 724 Austin ave.     If you have any questions email Jeff @ Jeff_Walter@baylor.edu. 

UBCYP

The young professionals of UBC will gather for an extravaganza at Jameson McGregor's house on 3-25.  It will be a night filled outdoor festivities so pray against the rain ... at least over on the Live Oak Ave. area.  Interested persons who would like more information should email jamie@ubcwaco.org. 

UBC Spring Retreat (Freshman/Sophomores only)

Spring is in the air, and I know you want to go to the lake.  We are going to do an overnight retreat at a lake house in Malakoff, TX, April 7th-8th.  The cost is $20: that will cover meals, lodging, and a shirt.  The retreat has limited space, so it will be for the first 20 people who sign-up, and pay their deposit.  We only have a handful of spots left, so make sure to sign-up.  Sign-ups will continue this week, after church.  If you have any questions, please email toph@ubcwaco.org

Lent at the Hippodrome

Can't get enough of Lent?  Still haven't fully connected with your sinfulness?  Could you use another does of good old fashion ash poured over you head?  Come hear a series of talks on Lenten themes in the form of story at the Hippodrome on Wednesdays.  

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Work is Worship

Greeters: Will & Richardsons

Coffee Makers: Emmy & Stephen 

Mug Cleaners:  Cooleys 

Money Counter:  Anna Tilson 

Announcements

  • Sunday Sermon:  John 4ish "some sermon title i decide on later this week" 
  • April 2-- UBC Families @ Soccer Fields -- More Info to Come 
  • April 7th and 8th - Spring Retreat (Freshman/Sophomores)
  • April 13th - Maundy Thursday
  • April 14th - Good Friday
  • April 16th - Easter
  • April 22--The Middle Ages Baylor Theatre production of the comedy NOISES OFF— 
  • April 30th - Mr. Rogers Sunday
  • April 30th - Graduate Luncheon
  • May 2nd - Study Hall 
  • May 5th - Rend Collective @ UBC

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- Jon Davis: jdavis83@gmail.com

Byron Griffin: byrontgriffin@gmail.com

Stan Denman: Stan_Denman@baylor.edu

Adam Winn:  adamwinn68@yahoo.com

Bridget Heins: bheins@hot.rr.com

Sharyl Loeung: sharylwl@gmail.com

Emma Wood: emmaj.wood@yahoo.com

Student Position: Samuel Moore: samuel_moore2@baylor.edu

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.

Josh McCormick: Josh.McCormick@dwyergroup.com

Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com  

Justin Pond: pondjw@gmail.com

Anna Tilson: Anna_Tilson@jrbt.com

Doug McNamee: douglas_mcnamee@baylor.edu

Black History Month Interviews

Throughout our liturgies in February, we interviewed four of our fellow ubcer's about their faith journeys and their experiences as people of color.  At the beginning of the month, I stated that we were incorporating Black History Month into our liturgy in the hope that engaging issues of race, and asking the Spirit to shape our thinking in this realm, would extend beyond February, hence our revisiting these interviews now.  

In listening to these interviews, it is my hope that we can get to know Kerri, Kareem, Leah, and Rennekia better, and gain further insight into who God is through their stories about who God has been to them in their own lives.  If you are not a person of color, I would encourage you to do the following as you listen::

1) notice that there isn’t one “black experience.” 
2) listen for the things that people (particularly church people) have done that invalidated or negatively framed this part of who they are, and ask the Spirit to help you seriously consider if you have been complicit, intentionally or not, in causing this sort of pain.
3) imagine how you can carry these sorts of difficult conversations into your own friendships, or how you might apply this curiosity in seeking out blogs, documentaries, etc. to learn from people you do not know personally (because, once again, this sort of vulnerable insight is not something that black people “owe” white people, so outside of the context of relationships, asking these sorts of questions can come across negatively).
4) notice that we live in a culture where no one really has to ask white people about their experiences; not that there is only one “white experience,” either, but our culture—even our American “evangelical” church culture—has been so saturated with white voices, a general idea of whiteness is not difficult to come by.

If you want to read more about the reason we did these interviews, check out the newsletter entry about it here.  At any rate, here are the interviews:

Kerri Fisher is a social worker, writer, and professor at Baylor University.

Kareem Shane is a powerhouse of personality who cares deeply for people, holds an MDiv from Truett Seminary, and works for the VA.

Leah Reed is a junior at Baylor University, where she is a Religion major.  She is also one of our student Leadership Team members.

Rennekia Goffney holds an MDiv from Truett Seminary, and is a gifted preacher and speaker.

As always, if you want to talk about any of this further, you can email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Liturgy 3-12-2017

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

we have gathered to devote our attention
to the One who formed us and knows us

seeking to be formed anew
and to know as we are known

we have gathered that God might form in us

hearts of justice, mercy, and humility
and minds of empathy, care, and awareness

Spirit of Life, form us in the way of Christ

and fold us into Your story of redemption

Amen

Scripture

Nehemiah 2:1-8

In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was served him, I carried the wine and gave it to the king. Now, I had never been sad in his presence before. So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This can only be sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my ancestors’ graves, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”

Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors’ graves, so that I may rebuild it.” The king said to me (the queen also was sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I set him a date.

Then I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may grant me passage until I arrive in Judah; and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, directing him to give me timber to make beams for the gates of the temple fortress, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the gracious hand of my God was upon me.

John 3:1-17

There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Prayer

This week, our prayer time was a reflection on Kathleen Norris' "My Messy House" from Bread and Wine:

When I’m working as an artist-in-residence at parochial schools, I like to read the psalms out loud to inspire the students, who are usually not aware that the snippets they sing at Mass are among the greatest poems in the world.  But I have found that when I have asked children to write their own psalms, their poems often have an emotional directness that is similar to that of the Biblical Psalter.  They know what it’s like to be small in a world designed for big people, to feel lost and abandoned.  Children are frequently astonished to discover that the psalmists so freely express the more unacceptable emotions, sadness and even anger, even anger at God, and all of this is in the Bible that they hear read in church on Sunday morning.

Children who are picked on by their big brothers and sisters can be remarkably adept when it comes to writing cursing psalms, and I believe that the writing process offers them a safe haven in which to work through their desires for vengeance in a healthy way.  Once a little boy wrote a poem called, “The Monster Who Was Sorry.”  He began by admitting that he hates it when his father yells at him: his response in the poem is to throw his sister down the stairs, and then to wreck his room, and finally to wreck the whole town.  The poem concludes: “Then I sit in my messy house and say to myself, ‘I shouldn’t have done all that.'”

“My messy house” says it all: with more honesty than most adults could have mustered, the boy made a metaphor for himself that admitted the depth of his rage and also gave him a way out.  If that boy had been a novice in the fourth-century monastic desert, his elders might have told him that he was well on the way toward repentance, no such a monster after all, but only human.  If the house is messy, they might have said, why not clean it up, why not make it into a place where God might wish to dwell?

Setlist 3-12-2017

This week was the second week of Lent, and our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics. Below the songs, you can find recordings from Sunday morning of a few of them, and below the recordings, there is an example of one way you might think of these songs in light of this week's theme. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

In the Night by Andrew Peterson

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

House of God Forever by Jon Foreman

Fever by Jameson McGregor

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

Be Thou My Vision

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

In the Night: We will be adding a piece to this song every week of Lent.  It traces a thread of struggle through the biblical narrative, ultimately building a case to hold hope in the midst of immense darkness.  We recorded a live version of this song last year, which you can download for free here.  

Just A Closer Walk With Thee: This song hones in on a particular aspect of Lent: a focusing of discipleship.  It confesses our need for God's help to be formed in the way of Christ, without removing any responsibility from ourselves.  It also confesses that we will likely fail time and again at leaning in to this transformation, but confesses that God has entered our condition, knows how difficult life can be, and carries the weight with us.

House of God Forever: This song serves as an early reminder that we will need time and again during Lent that God cares for us in the midst of our struggles (whatever they may be).  God brings safety into our danger, a feast into our hunger, and a light into our darkness.

Fever: This song is about how the status quo of what we are battles against our efforts to become more like Christ, and imagines this self-correcting-for-the-worse in the same way as our bodies use fevers to restore our biological environments when we are sick.  Keeping with this image, it voices a desire for a wilder pathogen to infect us and overwhelm our built-in defenses to wholly change us.  If you want to give this song another listen, you can find it here.

Lord, I Need You:  We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is was we said about Lord, I Need You then: Continuing to build our vocabulary for engaging the inner struggles of Lent, we sang this song to voice a declaration of our reliance on God's help to have any hope of transformation, and implicitly to voice a petition for God to come to our aid.

Be Thou My Vision:  During Lent, we depart from our typical singing of the Doxology to close our time together.  As we wander the wilderness of Lent, learning more about who we are and what we are for, we carry these words on our tongues, time and again asking God to be our vision, wisdom, and security.

-JM

ITLOTC 3-10-16

ITLOTC

(In The Life Of The Church) 

Lent

Women's Month

Wednesday was international women's day.  March is international women's month. 

As Baptists, UBC has a history of observing Martha Sterns Marshall month of women preaching.  That choice came from our deeper conviction that women are called lead in the church in all capacities.  As a pastor, the way i've tried to lead out in this conviction is by asking women to preach 50% of the time when I'm absent.  We've gone through seasons when that's been more and less.  In addition to this Jamie tries to be cognizant of who's leading our liturgy.  

Last February ('16) when our staff was planning for the year we decided to do something different.  We decided that, with the rest of the world, we'd observe Black History Month and with the rest of the world, we'd observe Women's Month in March.  

It strikes me that one could fill up their entire calendar year with movements and causes.  If you add in all the liturgical demands from the church calendar, you could have a very complex and perhaps discombobulated approach to ecclesiology.  So the question worth asking is, "why are we doing this?" 

I think I was blessed to grow up in naive environment.  My household was one in which both of my parents had a deep sense of agency.  My mom would often voice wanting to go back to college, but she didn't, not because my dad wouldn't let her, but because it was more important to her to be involved in our lives the way she was.  I've always recognized and appreciated that sacrifice.  When my parents would fight, it was clear that both of their opinions mattered.  When big decisions were made, they shared the cost and joy of those decisions together.  When they divided up household chores, all of them were a shared responsibility. My dad could alway be found doing dishes and I have vivid memories of my mom helping split wood.  They'd weave in and out of what society might call gendered expectation in terms of the work they did.  It was never about whose job it was, all of the work of making a life for themselves involved both of them all of the time.  Trying to parse responsibilities based on what was appropriate for their gender just wasn't a discussion that provided much utility. I think life is both more beautiful and complicated than that. 

My freshman year of college, I took a course called Christianity and Western Civilization.  In that class we learned about the Roman Empire and it's cultural norms like paterfamilias.  From that moment forward I began tracing a trajectory into the present day in which my eyes were opened to the history of women being treated 2nd or less than, even if implicitly or unintentionally.  I then began seeing the way I was doing this.  

My basic hermeneutic as a Christian is this.  Philippians 2 includes the Christ Hymn.  It's italicized. That cue clues us in to the fact that it was probably a song and consequently some of the first theology Christians did.  At the beginning of the Christ Hymn is the claim that Jesus made himself nothing.  He moved from God to human.  He gave it all up. That's what God does with power.  He gives it away.  What this teaches me is that before I can make a judgment about anything, I must first listen.  It doesn't mean that I accept everything I hear, but I do feel Jesus calls me to listen.  

There are feminist voices of a big variety.  I don't know many of them.  In fact most of what I know about feminism comes from Bell Hooks and a conversation I recently watched her participate in with Parker Palmer.  She was delightful.  I do understand that some people are turned off by a kind of feminism.  Likely, that rejection is of an attitude they detected in a person who represented that version of feminism.  But I also know that my mom loved my dad and my dad loved my mom.  And I do know that in places where that's not the case, namely where people don't love each other as equals, Jesus asks for those with power to move towards the powerless with a listening ear.  

So that is why UBC is celebrating women's month.  Because Jesus gave up power and so we want to follow his lead in giving up power.  We are listening to a tradition.  

Matthew Henry wrote this about Eve's creation: "The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him." I think that's true.  

God's design for humanity is one of mutual self giving where roles are given in service to a larger shared vision not as designations of worth and identity.  

Some day in heaven the world will be "put to rights," to borrow a phrase from N.T. Wright.  And when that happens there will be no Black History Month, Women's Month or any other month. There will simply be the reign of God and all that the justice that, that reign entails.  Let's get ready for it.  Let's listen together. 

Women's Month Schedule @ UBC

3-5 Communion: led by Pastoral Associate Kim Stuebben

3-12 Special Guest Preacher: Rennekia Goffney 

3-19 Installation of Children's Pastor: Taylor Post 

3-26 Special Guest Preacher: Sarah Bessey

Meet Our Newest Leadership Team Member

Samuel Moore

 

What are you doing in Waco?
- I grew up in Waco and I now am a sophomore at Baylor studying Great Texts and Religion.

What is your fav TV Show/Movie?
-Definitely Oceans 11. I have watched that movie well over 50 times with my dad and brother.

Book You’ve Really Enjoyed?
-The Fellowship of the Ring is probably my favorite book of all time.

Best Restaurant in Waco?
-I've done some pretty extensive research in this area over the past several years and I must say it is undoubtably El Crucero. 

A Bible Verse/Chapter/Book that has been formative for you?
- in Matthew 3, after Jesus' baptism, God says "this is my beloved son, with whom I'm well pleased." This verse has meant a lot in my own faith development and growing understanding of God's nature. I am continually comforted by knowledge that we are all uniquely and wonderfully God's "beloved." 

Something we might not know about you?
-My family lives on a farm with cows, and chickens, and crops, etc. so basically I'm more Wendell Berry than Josh will ever be.

UBC Spring Retreat (Freshman/Sophomores only)

Spring is in the air, I know it’s only February, but it’s Texas.  We are going to do an overnight retreat at a lake house in Malakoff, TX, April 7th-8th.  The cost is $20: that will cover meals, lodging, and a shirt.  The retreat has limited space, so it will be for the first 20 people who sign-up, and pay their deposit.  Sign-ups will start this week, after church.  If you have any questions, please email

Work is Worship

Greeters: Ricky & Juliet 

Coffee Makers: I have no one signed up for coffee this week.  If you come and would like some coffee, please feel free to make some coffee. 

Mug Cleaners:  

Money Counter: 

Announcements

  • Sunday Sermon:  Nehemiah 2:1-8 Please be in Prayer for our special guest preacher Rennekia Goffney.  
  • March 18-- The Middle Ages -- TBA
  • March 24th -- UBCYP cookout at Jamie's House
  • April 2-- UBC Families @ Soccer Fields -- More Info to Come 
  • April 7th and 8th - Spring Retreat (Freshman/Sophomores)
  • April 13th - Maundy Thursday
  • April 14th - Good Friday
  • April 16th - Easter
  • April 22--The Middle Ages Baylor Theatre production of the comedy NOISES OFF— 
  • April 30th - Mr. Rogers Sunday
  • April 30th - Graduate Luncheon
  • May 2nd - Study Hall 
  • May 5th - Rend Collective @ UBC

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- Jon Davis: jdavis83@gmail.com

Byron Griffin: byrontgriffin@gmail.com

Stan Denman: Stan_Denman@baylor.edu

Adam Winn:  adamwinn68@yahoo.com

Bridget Heins: bheins@hot.rr.com

Sharyl Loeung: sharylwl@gmail.com

Emma Wood: emmaj.wood@yahoo.com

Student Position: Samuel Moore: samuel_moore2@baylor.edu

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.

Josh McCormick: Josh.McCormick@dwyergroup.com

Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com  

Justin Pond: pondjw@gmail.com

Anna Tilson: Anna_Tilson@jrbt.com

Doug McNamee: douglas_mcnamee@baylor.edu

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.

Maxcey Blaylock: maxceykite@gmail.com

Mathew Crawford: mathewcrawford@yahoo.com

Rob Engblom: Rob_Engblom@baylor.edu

Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu

Jared Gould: jared.gould1@gmail.com

Liturgy 3-5-2017

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

God, in this wilderness of Lent,

let our wandering hearts find rest in You

untangle our mismanaged priorities

teach us the truth about
who we are and what we are for

shape us by this truth, and teach us to wear it proudly

so that we may live life to the fullest

Amen.

Scripture

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’“

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

But he answered, “It is written,

‘One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him,

“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,
‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
and ‘On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him,

“Away with you, Satan! for it is written,
‘Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.’”

Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Prayer

This week, we made a prayer of Barbara Cawthorne Crafton's "Living Lent," from Bread and Wine:

We didn't even know what moderation was. What it felt like. We didn't just work: we inhaled our jobs, sucked them in, became them. Stayed late, brought work home – it was never enough, though, no matter how much time we put in.

We didn't just smoke: we lit up a cigarette, only to realize that we already had one going in the ashtray.

We ordered things we didn't need from the shiny catalogs that came to our houses: we ordered three times as much as we could use, and then we ordered three times as much as our children could use.

We didn't just eat: we stuffed ourselves. We had gained only three pounds since the previous year, we told ourselves. Three pounds is not a lot. We had gained about that much in each of the twenty-five years since high school. We did not do the math.

We redid living rooms in which the furniture was not worn out. We threw away clothing that was merely out of style. We drank wine when the label on our prescription said it was dangerous to use alcohol while taking this medication. "They always put that on the label," we told our children when they asked about this. We saw that they were worried. We knew it was because they loved us and needed us. How innocent they were. We hastened to reassure them: "It doesn't really hurt if you're careful."

We felt that it was important to be good to ourselves, and that this meant that it was dangerous to tell ourselves no. About anything, ever. Repression of one's desires was an unhealthy thing. I work hard, we told ourselves. I deserve a little treat. We treated ourselves every day.

And if it was dangerous for us to want and not have, it was even more so for our children. They must never know what it is to want something and not have it immediately. It will make them bitter, we told ourselves. So we anticipated their needs and desires. We got them both the doll and the bike. If their grades were good, we got them their own telephones.

There were times, coming into the house from work or waking early when all was quiet, when we felt uneasy about the sense of entitlement that characterized all our days. When we wondered if fevered overwork and excess of appetite were not two sides of the same coin – or rather, two poles between which we madly slalomed. Probably yes, we decided at these times. Suddenly we saw it all clearly: I am driven by my creatures – my schedule, my work, my possessions, my hungers. I do not drive them; they drive me. Probably yes. Certainly yes. This is how it is. We arose and did twenty sit-ups. The next day the moment had passed; we did none.

After moments like that, we were awash in self-contempt. You are weak. Self-indulgent. You are spineless about work and about everything else. You set no limits. You will become ineffective. We bridled at that last bit, drew ourselves up to our full heights, insisted defensively on our competence, on the respect we were due because of all our hard work. We looked for others whose lives were similarly overstuffed; we found them. "This is just the way it is," we said to one another on the train, in the restaurant. "This is modern life. Maybe some people have time to measure things out by teaspoonfuls." Our voices dripped contempt for those people who had such time. We felt oddly defensive, though no one had accused us of anything. But not me. Not anyone who has a life. I have a life. I work hard. I play hard.

When did the collision between our appetites and the needs of our souls happen? Was there a heart attack? Did we get laid off from work, one of the thousands certified as extraneous? Did a beloved child become a bored stranger, a marriage fall silent and cold? Or, by some exquisite working of God's grace, did we just find the courage to look the truth in the eye and, for once, not blink? How did we come to know that we were dying a slow and unacknowledged death? And that the only way back to life was to set all our packages down and begin again, carrying with us only what we really needed?

We travail. We are heavy laden. Refresh us, O homeless, jobless, possession-less Savior. You came naked, and naked you go. And so it is for us. So it is for all of us.

 

Setlist 3-5-2017

This week was the first week of Lent, and our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics. Below the songs, you can find recordings from Sunday morning of a few of them, and below the recordings, there is an example of one way you might think of these songs in light of this week's theme. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

In the Night by Andrew Peterson

Deliver Me by David Crowder* Band

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

Wearing Thin by Jameson McGregor

Wayward Ones by The Gladsome Light

Be Thou My Vision

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

In the Night: We will be adding a piece to this song every week of Lent.  It traces a thread of struggle through the biblical narrative, ultimately building a case to hold hope in the midst of immense darkness.  We recorded a live version of this song last year, which you can download for free here.  

Deliver Me: As we go through Lent, we will likely dredge up a host of inner conflicts we typically work hard to suppress, and this song prepares us to give voice to the longing that accompanies such pain.

Lord, I Need You:  Continuing to build our vocabulary for engaging the inner struggles of Lent, we sang this song to voice a declaration of our reliance on God's help to have any hope of transformation, and implicitly to voice a petition for God to come to our aid.

Wearing Thin: This song is about the wearing thin that comes with holding a conviction about the way things should be while observing a world that consistently plays out contrary to that vision.  It is also about knowing that something should be done in the name of the-way-things-should-be, feeling powerless, and imagining what it would take to feel less powerless.

Wayward Ones: We sing this song every time we take communion to remind ourselves of a couple of things.  First, we are a broken people--though we are seeking to become more like Jesus, we often fail at this.  Second, Christ has given Himself for us despite our brokenness.  We take communion to remember the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf, even though we did not, and do not, deserve it.

Be Thou My Vision:  During Lent, we depart from our typical singing of the Doxology to close our time together.  As we wander the wilderness of Lent, learning more about who we are and what we are for, we carry these words on our tongues, time and again asking God to be our vision, wisdom, and security.

-JM

ITLOTC 3-3-17

 

Liturgy 2-26-2017

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

We have gathered to worship
the God revealed in Jesus Christ

To learn what God would
have us know about who God is
And who we are made to be

Spirit, as we sing, pray, and listen

Form us in the way of Christ

Make thin spaces out of our lives

So that we carry your light wherever we go.

Amen.

Scripture

Psalm 99

The Lord is King;
let the people tremble;
the Lord is enthroned upon the cherubim;
let the earth shake.
The Lord is great in Zion;
The Lord is high above all peoples.
Let them confess the Name, which is great and awesome;
the Lord is the Holy One.

"O mighty King, lover of justice,
you have established equity;
you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob."
Proclaim the greatness of the Lord our God
and fall down before his footstool;
the Lord is the Holy One.

Moses and Aaron among the Lord’s priests,
and Samuel among those who call upon the Name,
they called upon the Lord, and the Lord answered them.
The Lord spoke to them out of the pillar of cloud;
they kept the Lord’s testimonies and the decree that the Lord gave them.

O Lord our God, you answered them indeed;
you were a God who forgave them,
yet punished them for their evil deeds.
Proclaim the greatness of the Lord our God
and worship the Lord upon the Lord’s holy hill;
for the Lord our God is the Holy One.

Matthew 17:1-9

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Setlist 2-26-2017

This week was Transfiguration Sunday, the final Sunday of Epiphany, and our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics. Below the songs, you can find recordings from Sunday morning of a few of them, and below the recordings, there is an example of one way you might think of these songs in light of this week's theme. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Revelation Song by Kari Jobe

All Creatures of Our God and King

Mystery by Jameson McGregor (adapted from Charlie Hall)

The Transfiguration by Sufjan Stevens

How Great Thou Art

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

Revelation Song: The Transfiguration is one of those moments in the gospel narrative where Jesus' particularity is underscored.  There aren't words to accurately describe the wonder of this moment, but Revelation Song offers language to talk about it sideways through giving voice to various responses to God's wonder.

All Creatures of our God and King: This song is a rallying cry for every aspect of God's creation to sing of God's grandeur, and voice gratitude for God's creative impulse.  This, again, is a sideways response to talking about Jesus' transfiguration, this moment whose significance isn't well-captured by words.  

Mystery: We sang this song to acknowledge that the mystery of the Transfiguration is paradigmatic for the mystery of Jesus in his Person, and settles into the positive affirmation that Christ has died, Christ has risen, and Christ will come again, as a way to talk about Jesus' particularity without attempting to make Jesus into an equation to be solved.

The Transfiguration: This song literally narrates the Transfiguration.  Listen to it, and know that writing a song that literally narrates a bible story without coming off as trite or poetically lazy is a feat of masterful proportions.  

How Great Thou Art: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about How Great Thou Art then: This song is an exercise in wonder.  It allows us to practice connecting the wonders of creation, the redemption story that unfolds in the Bible, and the reconciliation Hope we carry, to the One who is responsible for all of them.  This is ultimately the same function of the season of Epiphany.

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.

-JM

ITLOTC 2-24-17

 

Liturgy 2-19-2017

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

Holy God, we have gathered to draw near to you

and in our drawing near, to become like You

we have come that you might mend what is broken in us

and form us by your love
that we may carry your reconciliation into the world.

write your story on our hearts

and teach us the art of being as we were made to be.

Amen.

Scripture

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.

You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another. And you shall not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God: I am the Lord.

You shall not defraud your neighbor; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a laborer until morning. You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Matthew 5:33-37

“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.”

Setlist 2-19-2017

This week was the seventh Sunday of Epiphany, and our songs were gathered with this in mind.  Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics. Below the songs, you can find recordings from Sunday morning of a few of them, and below the recordings, there is an example of one way you might think of these songs in light of this week's theme. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Songs:

Amazing Grace by Citizens & Saints

Rise Up by Bifrost Arts

How Great Thou Art

Lifted/Lifting by Jameson McGregor

Holy, Holy, Holy

Doxology

How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

Amazing Grace: We sang this song to begin our time together acknowledging the grace of God as it is revealed in the person of Jesus, and the way that this grace has impacted and continues to impact our lives.

Rise Up: This song contrasts the disposition of the God of justice with the inconsistent presence of justice in the world, and rises to a plea for God to act and set things right in the world.  It serves a double-purpose: to confess the truth about who God is and to raise a petition for God to show up, and also to remind ourselves of the way we should seek to conduct ourselves in the world if we are to call ourselves people of God.

How Great Thou Art: This song is an exercise in wonder.  It allows us to practice connecting the wonders of creation, the redemption story that unfolds in the Bible, and the reconciliation Hope we carry, to the One who is responsible for all of them.  This is ultimately the same function of the season of Epiphany.

Lifted/Lifting: This song is about being more fully formed in the way of Christ.  When we encounter the Person of Jesus through the Bible, a sermon, etc., we are unable to erase this experience, and are thus changed in some way.  When we embrace that Person and seek to become more like him, we are further changed.  Somewhere in the midst of this, one might say that a veil is lifted, revealing both who God is and who we are.  But the journey toward being formed in the way of Christ is a life-long pursuit.  We keep changing and the veil keeps lifting.  This song confesses this reality, and asks that the Spirit would continue to transform us, to cultivate the fledgling Hope we carry into full bloom, and to spread the fruit of this hope through the world where the Light is not overcome, yet there is still darkness. 

This song is still a work in progress, but I recorded a rough demo of the way it exists now, in the event that you want to listen again:

Holy, Holy, Holy: We sang this song to look over our shoulder at last week's songs.  This is what we said about Holy, Holy, Holy last week: We began with this song to start off our morning calibrating our attention to the Triune God, confessing that our comprehension of God is blurred by our human condition, yet also confessing what we do know to be true: God's might, mercy, power, love, and lordship over all of creation. 

Doxology: We close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.

-JM

ITLOTC 2-17-17

 

Liturgy 2-12-2017

This blog is a record of the call to worship, Scripture readings, and prayers from our Sunday liturgies.  If you are interested in writing something for the liturgy, or if you have a concern about any aspect of our liturgy, please email jamie@ubcwaco.org.

Call to Worship

God of justice, we have gathered to direct our attention to You

though our minds are pulled in many directions
grant us the peace of this hour to find rest in You

Drawing near to Your transforming Love

re-form our hearts in the way of Christ
so that we direct our attention to you in all of our hours

And re-calibrate our lives

so that we live as citizens of Your Kingdom.

 

Amen

Scripture

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Moses said, “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess.

But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”

Matthew 5:21-37

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.”

Setlist 2-12-2017

Setlist 2-12-2017

 

ITLOTC 2-10-17

 

Black History Month Interview 1

During February, we are taking a cue from Black History Month and making an effort to talk about race and diversity in our liturgy.  We've never done this before, so we are laying a foundation to build upon in years to come.  The primary way this will be present in our liturgies is through a series of interviews with ubcer's about their experience as a person of color and how the Hope of Christ connects to that part of who they are.

Our first interview was with Kerri Fisher, a social worker, writer, and all around wonderful human being.  You can listen to the interview here:

Kerri has also been working on a podcast called On Ramp, that you can (and should) check out here.  The conversations all center around matters of race and faith, and link through to several articles, videos, etc. for further reading.