Worth It! Good job team.
I love my job. It’s the best. I often think to myself, “Wow, I can’t believe I have this job at this church.” God has been so gracious to me and my family. Now for the dirty part. Sometimes it’s hard. So hard that I want to pull out my hair, quit, and move to a lake on Northern Wisconsin and open a rundown bait shop. Very often in those moments when pastoring is hard, God sends me grace in the form of encouragement.
I got one such form of grace early this week. My friend Carlie, who graduates this week, sent me a note. It was one of those notes that reminded me exactly why we do what we do. But it isn’t a note for me, it is for all of us. Enjoy UBC and thanks Carlie.
this is a thank-you note of sorts. i have never been good at writing these, much to my mother's dismay. it usually takes about 4 months of her nagging before my thank-you notes from christmas finally make into the mail around….april. but this season of my life has been one marked by newness and change, accompanied by a deep sense of gratitude. gratitude for the people, places, and things in my world that have been the pillars of my faith and my sanity, the words that have been spoken to and over me that have become mantras of courage and freedom as i have continued to learn how to crawl, walk, run, and sometimes fall in my faith.
and now seems like the most appropriate time for me to offer my little piece of gratitude to a larger whole, and tell you what this church has meant to me. i just finished my time at baylor, a journey of 4.5 years that was literally chock full of the richest experiences. of course, the journey was not without pitfalls, failures, doubts. my quest for freedom, my own college soul-search led me in and out of the church, more than once.
church...i have loved it. i have hated it. i have resented it. i have been embarrassingly cynical toward it. i have been disillusioned with it. i have questioned it. i have listened as it has tried to teach me grace and humility, not to stamp my foot at God in child-like indignation. i have rationalized and justified almost every sunday i did or didn't walk through its doors. i have felt nothing and i have felt more than i knew what to do with. i have had just about every emotion that i could have imagined having toward this thing…church.
i came to UBC my freshman year thinking i already had it all figured out. but i couldn't, for the life of me, understand what things like, say, russian literature or movie clips had to do with God. i crossed it off my list, assuming church had to be a certain way, assuming interaction with the Divine took only one form. fast forward a few years- years full of figuring things out only to figure out how little i knew- i find myself back at UBC. now a writer, a lover of art, an avid reader. someone who has finally stopped making the poor distinction society seems to make between things that are secular and things that are sacred, someone who sees and feels and finally notices the goodness and the beauty of the One who loves me, eyes now trained to detect the traces of the holy that are woven throughout everything.
i have a patient God to thank for that, and i have a group of people at UBC to thank for it, too. people who have dared to suggest God as the source of every ounce of beauty, God as the source of everything that is good, God as the one who offers fullness of freedom and no condemnation. it is you all who have taught me that i am just as likely to meet God in a middle school lunchroom or on a soccer field as i am in a candlelit sanctuary with a band and a pastor and a liturgy.
you have helped lift the fog. you have told me to look for Him and you have taught me how. for that, i am eternally grateful. i am leaving waco now, much different than i came to it. thank you for helping me know Him. i really believe earth is just a little bit more like heaven on account of you guys.
At UBC we have so many talented folks living out mission in the life of the larger Waco community.
This week I want to highlight one of our many awesome photographers. Kristin Crawford is a mother, photographer, pretty-wicked-awesome athlete, and all around Pinterest Ninja. She can sew, photograph, paint, design, and do all kinds of other things that make me feel comparatively uninspiring. You can check out here work here.
The Crawford Family always does a really amazing Christmas card. This was this year’s entry. If it doesn’t make any sense to you, then watch this.
Lost and Found:
We’ve had this key for a few weeks. Please contact Michelle@ubcwaco.org if it is yours.
- This Sunday we will be celebrating the fourth Sunday of advent and then turning towards Christmas because we do not have Christmas day service. There will be no traditional homily.
- This is the last week for the advent Sunday school class in the backside. Sunday School will begin again on January 12th
- From our Children’s Pastor Emily: “For the next two weeks (the 22nd and 29th), we will have our oldest three classes (Bloom, Branch and Root) joining us in the service!”
- There are still spots available for the Spring Break Monastery Trip. Contact Craig@ubcwaco if interested
Do you have an Emergency? Do you Need to talk to a Pastor?:
254 366 9779