Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
"According to the rabbis, those who observe the Sabbath observe all the other commandments."
Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar In The World
This is the Friday at the end of spring break for most of Waco. The Carneys have probably spent more of them in Waco than not since we got married nearly ten years ago. Some years that was due to fiscal constraints. Some years that was due to a lack of planning, but I think most years it had to do with a lack of motivation. I talked with a friend this week who suggested I think correctly, that spring in Waco is the one season when you really want to be here, so he and his family save their vacation dollars for our beastly summers. That makes sense to me.
Confession: I love being in Waco when all of you leave. Christmas and spring break are two my favorite times of year in Waco. Everything seems more peaceful. The traffic seems slower. The restaurants are emptier. It's as if the local cosmos has communicated that we can let our hair down. And so the city does.
Even the church is empty. Toph was in India doing scouting work this week. Craig led a group of UBCers to a monastery. Tye went to Amarillo to do a funeral and Michelle and Emily have been in and out. What surprises me most is that as much as I'm an extrovert and conditioned to thrive in the presence of others, I come alive in my solitude.
By all means this should have been a week of chaos for me. We are in the midst of HR reviews. The annual budget is being finalized. My wife is 38 weeks pregnant. Our house is a complete disaster because we are moving this weekend and most of our belongings are now inaccessible in a 300 square foot storage unit and all regular pastor duties remain.
Despite all of this, somehow, Waco's week of rest has found me. There have been fewer phone calls, fewer emails, I really didn't have any meetings this week, no impromptu staff conversations, no mi casa and all weekly events have been cancelled for the week.
I know myself well enough now to understand what is happening. When the chaos of life subsides the parts of myself that I enjoy the most get to surface. I browsed books recalling things I've underlined. New ideas have started to pop in my head. I begin to do a little bit of dreaming. It's life giving.
Jewish Rabbis understood this process. It's the reason they took the sabbath commandment so seriously. Contrary to popular understanding, the seventh day of creation was not a day off, rather it is the most vibrant and vivid day of creating. It is the day when the best part of is allowed to come out and play.
Abraham Joshua Heschel says this in his book The Sabbath:
After the six days of creation--what did the universe still lack? Menuha. Came the Sabbath, came menuha, and the universe was complete.
Menuha which we usually render with "rest" means here much more than withdrawal from labor and exertion, more than freedom from toil, strain or activity of any kind. Menuha is not a negative concept but something real and intrinsically positive.
What was created on the seventh day? Tranquility, serenity, peace and repose.
Sabbath is a space in time that humans are given to "work" on themselves. To cultivate the best parts of themselves, the God given parts, so that we become even better vessels of peace, joy, serenity and all the attributes that should translate into worship for God's glory.
The problem with spring break is that often we come back needing a vacation from our vacation. This week I was reminded about the importance of cultivating Menuha. I was reminded about why it is important to love myself enough to give the best part of me a chance to flourish.
I pray that as chaos settles and life returns with it's routine you find a way to make menuha a priority. Grace, Peace and rest friends.
Meet The Finance Team
Meet Chris Kim
Vocation: I am an auditor for Jaynes, Reitmeier, Boyd, & Therrell, P.C. I perform accounting procedures to determine if financial statements are free of material misstatements whether due to fraud or error. It’s WAY cooler than it sounds.
Favorite Movie: Airplane (Surely you can’t be serious!)
Best Restaurant in Waco: El Crucero
Bible Verse: Matthew 5: 1-12 (The Beatitudes)
Television Show: Shark Tank
Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving (because our family gets to express the spirit of thankfulness with a “friendly” game of touch football)
Something we may not know about you: For the first 13 years of my life I wanted to be a garbage man.
Hobby: Hiking, camping, fishing, soccer, aka anything that gives me an excuse to be outside.
Lost and Found
“Hi. Will you add these things to the newsletter, please?
Lost & Found Items: A children's black Hanes hoodie, size M, a pink/blue/yellow play phone that talks in Spanish/English, a small tan bible (pic included).”
Empty and Empty Nesters Dinner
Friday, March 28th @ 6:30.
4651 Interstate 35-S
If you are interested email Linda @ firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Families @ Baylor Soccer Field Day
Families, we will be meeting at the Baylor Soccer Field after church on March 23rd from 12:30ish to 2:30ish. We’ll eat lunch together (pizza provided) and then spend some time playing Frisbee, soccer, and other games with our kids on the field. Interested persons should email email@example.com for more information.
Lenten Ecumenical Services: For the Love of the City
I have been working with some downtown churches to put together a series of noontime Lenten services for the larger Waco community. They will be held at Turner’s on Austin Ave (723 Austin Ave) from 12:00-1:00 for four consecutive Wednesdays. There will be food trucks stationed outside if you need eat. The services will be about 20 minutes. Would love to see you there.
- Wednesday March 19th
- Wednesday March 26th
- Wednesday April 2nd
- Wednesday April 9th
A Reminder that during the two Sundays during Spring Break, March 9th and 16th there will be no Sunday School.
Work Is Worship
Coffee Makers: Kayla Larvins & Michael Scott
Coffee Clean Up: Sara Joyave & Vinie Cooley
- Sunday Sermon Text: Genesis 12:1-4
- John Sunday School: No Sunday School during Spring Break
- Christians in the Headlines: No Sunday School during Spring Break
- Psalms of Ascent Sunday School: No Sunday School during Spring Break
- If you feel like the music is at times too loud, we have earplugs available next to the mints out front.
Do you have an Emergency? Do you Need to talk to a Pastor?
254 366 9779
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: 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