I recently rewatched the final episode of The Office. There are many great moments in that last episode, but one of my favorites is a reflection from Andy Bernard. Andy, after a failed attempt at a musical career, gets a job at his alma mater Cornell. This after spending a lengthy part of his working career at Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. longing for the days when he was singing with his a cappella group at Cornell. His reflection is worth thinking about.
Watch it here.
Andy reminds me how difficult it is for us to see ourselves in the present. Hindsight is 20/20. The future is full of vision. And we are blind to the present. In light of this I’ve been asking myself questions about the present state of the church. Where are we?
In my first year of at UBC, back in 2004, I consumed the “couch conversation.” It was a service UBC used to do early in the fall to tell it’s story. At the couch conversation I heard Ben (a former community pastor) tell about when he first arrived at UBC fresh from Amarillo. Ben approached then community pastor Byron Weathersbee and asked him how he could transfer his membership to UBC. Byron laughed. Laughing not so much to make fun of Ben, but rather at the supposition of Ben’s question. The thought that UBC was organized enough to have membership seemed hilarious.
That story was always helpful to hear because it revealed something about the ethos of UBC. UBC was started by two college kids who saw a need and sought to fill it. And they did. David Crowder and Chris Seay went to a bunch of fraternities and sororities and handed out flyers. A few weeks later a college church was born. It started as a movement that was raw, untamed and unafraid, with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
In its first few years UBC didn’t have nor did it worry about budgets, finances, buildings, maintenance, staff dynamics and many other grown up issues including membership. They were having too much fun to worry about that stuff and it’s worth mentioning, being quite successful while not worrying about that stuff.
A year or so ago I was having lunch with my friend Burt reflecting on where the church was at. I pointed out that we’d gone through many changes. We’d added a finance team, an HR team, hired a part time children’s pastor, hammered out new bylaws and added Sunday school classes that accommodated our growing diversity. Since that conversation we now have a volunteer youth leader.
Burt gave me language to understand what was/is happening at UBC. He said, “every movement eventually becomes an institution, and then a new movement is born to takes its place.” Institution. That’s what is happening to UBC right now.
This fall the staff had a conversation about the possibility of membership. We took that idea to the leadership team and they approved Craig forming an exploratory committee to talk about what that might mean at UBC.
I realize that even that word “membership” has connotations that are not always positive. That will be one of the many questions considered by the committee as they navigate these thoughts. Still we believe it might be time to ask and possibly define what it means to belong to this once-movement-now-becoming-institution. We think it’s important work. Please be praying for Craig and our membership committee as they do this work.
On Sunday December 22nd the HR team, on behalf of the larger community, presented each member of the staff with a gift to express your gratitude for the work we do. We’d like to express ours in return. Working at UBC is such a joy and privilege. It felt really great to be thought of by all of you. Thank you for helping make this such a wonderful place. We are blessed to be able to serve along side all of you in this ministry.
Meet Our Newest UBCer
Name: Chaim Kosal Loeung
Height: 20 inches
Weight: 7lbs 1oz
Enneagram Number: 5
Need Among Us
Speaking of new UBCers there have been a slew of them lately and a good deal more coming. If you can help by bringing one of our families a meal or a gift card please sing up.
Ryan & Kristen Richardson: http://mealbaby.com/viewregistry/16966575
Britt & Holly Duke: http://mealbaby.com/viewregistry/16893900
Rath & Sharyl Loeung: http://mealbaby.com/viewregistry/16953550
Meet The Leadership Team
I would like to ask the church to be in prayer for our next leadership team meeting which is coming up at the end of January. If you have anything you would like the leadership team to consider please feel free to contact me (email@example.com) or any of our leadership team members.
Chair: Jana Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristin Dodson email@example.com
Kaley Eggers firstname.lastname@example.org
David Wilhite email@example.com
Austin Tiffany Austin_Tiffany@baylor.edu
Byron Roldan Byron_Roldan@baylor.edu
Teri Walter firstname.lastname@example.org
Vocation (could be your job or something you love doing that you believe you were made for): Veterinarian- I love caring for animals and the people that love them.
Favorite Movie: Bend it like Beckham
Best Restaurant in Waco: Homestead Heritage
Bible verse/chapter/book that is meaningful for you: Hebrews 11.1 - faith believing in something you cannot see
Best Television Show: The Cosby Show
Favorite Holiday: Christmas
Something we might not know about you: Maiden name is Schwebke
Hobby: Riding horses- I grew up riding horses and showing in evening. Now I ride dressage.
Work Is Worship
A few weeks ago I announced that there are many ways folks could sign up to serve the church for the January-March quarter. That sign up is located outside of my office. As of now no one is signed up to make coffee this Sunday morning. If that is something you could do, please email email@example.com.
When does Church Start?
Earlier in the fall semester our staff had a discussion about starting church on time. 10:30 is our official times, but we usually started at 10:35, which turned into 10:40, until that got all the way to quarter to 11. We decided that we are committed to starting at 10:30. I have to admit there were a few times when I thought no one was coming to church, but eventually it filled in. I thought about sharing our decision in the newsletter last semester, but was hesitant because I didn’t think we’d actually do it, but we have. So if you’d like to get to church when it starts, we are starting at 10:30.
Giving statements for the 2013 tax year will be available starting this Sunday. They will be located on the table on right of the foyer after church. Look for Michelle.
Children’s Ministry Spring Update (from Emily)
The UBCKids' Service will be March 2nd! Our theme is the Fruit of the Spirit! there will be more news and music coming soon!
Younger Kids will be enjoying their time of fellowship and fun! As we approach the date for the UBCKids Service, we will also be using this time to sing songs and practice for the big day!
Chronicles of Narnia Book Study:
We will be skipping A Horse and His Boy and moving on to Prince Caspian, followed by The Voyage of The Dawn Treader this semester!
Our classes will continue as normal until February 2nd when we will begin our look at the Fruit of the Spirit in preparation for the UBCKids Service!
At UBC we have so many talented folks living out mission in the life of the larger Waco community.
This week I’d like to highlight a photographer. Wes Kitten is a husband, future father of two and native San Antonio Spur. Wes has a plethora of photographic interest and abilities and has been used by both Baylor and the cities of Waco and San Francisco to do some killer time-lapse work. Check out his stuff here.
He also has artistic taste buds. Check out his instagram work @THEBEERHAUL
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