ITLOTC 4-25-14


Easter 2014

so long farewell auf wiedersehen goodbye 

I've just sat down to write.  1:51 PM on April 25th.  In two days it will be Sunday ... the 27th.  That's how I keep my time, by preaching days.

The 27th, which means the following Sunday will be May 4th.  That will be Senior Sunday.  Mr. Rogers will do what he does best and seniors will get nostalgic.

This has me thinking.  This is the last chance I have to preach to this class of seniors, which has me nostalgic.  Our seniors are a solid bunch.  The sort of kids you hope your's will turn out to be like.

This isn't my first rodeo. I've been a pastor in this college town for seven years.  Transition is part of the DNA.  And so you learn to say goodbye.  I've been thinking a lot about Toph.  Though all the UBC pastors minister to everyone, Toph has it in his job description to care for college folks.  And he does a fantastic job.  This coincides with the fact that this is the first group of freshman he's worked with.  For four great years Toph's been doing what Toph does well.  And now he says goodbye.

I mention that because I remember when my first-four-year-group-after-I-got-hired graduated.  I thought the we'd never have kids that great again.  And ... we did.

Maybe that's a long introduction to say transition and goodbyes are hard.

College is such a fantastic experience.  I was speaking with one of our great seniors a few weeks ago and he gave me a concept and language to make sense of the fantasticalness (my typing program just autocorrected to that word so I'm leaving it).  Tyler, the great senior, said that "college is the right amount of freedom with the right amount of accountability before you enter the real world."  It's like real life dress rehearsal. Some of the real pressures without all of them.

And then it's over.

They should advertise that in line camp.  I never went to line camp, so I can't really say, and I'm guessing they refer to it, but I'm certain they don't prep you for the emotional magnitude of that moment.

This place, wherever it may have been for you, forms you in these critical years when world views come apart and grow back together in the most wonderful ways.  It's a really powerful experience for the human soul.

And then it's over.

When I was a senior driving off campus for the last time I made the moment as dramatic as possible.  I wanted to sacramentalize my experience with the proper music and words.  So I drove around campus by myself listening to the Braveheart soundtrack telling the most mundane objects (like dorm carpet, cafeteria treys, speed bumps, etc) goodbye like I was Emily Webb from Thornton Wilder's Our Town.

There is something worse than saying goodbye though.  Staying when your supposed to go.

I've been reading this book called the Naked Now.  It's by Father Richard Rohr.  He's a Fransiscan Priest and mystic.  I'm reading it slowly ... and it's been exhilarating.  I've thought about why I've liked it so much and I think my answer is because I genuinely feel like I'm learning something I don't know (holy cow that sounded arrogant).  What I mean is that Father Richard is framing Christian faith in a new way for me.  I don't always agree with him, but I always love hearing.

Recently I read this, "Why so much status quo?  Once you know that the one thing the ego hates more than anything else is change, it makes perfect sense why most people hunker down into mere survival."

Which has me thinking about the Christian life and our seniors.

We have been called on mission.  We have places to do ministry, but we don't really have permanent homes.  Our lives always belong to God and the God of mission can always find another reason to send.

I think we were made to be this way.  Don't hear me saying that there's something wrong with being where you are for a long time or even for most of your life.  But the church must be defined by mission which means movement.  The gospel belongs everywhere and even where it's already been expressed again and anew.

Read this, it's one of my favorite Bible passages.

John Piper says, "Go, send, or be disobedient."

And so in week and a half we will celebrate our sending identity and rebuke the ego's need to keep things the way the are ... because Christ is on mission.  He who has come will come again.

Prayer Request

Since the inception of the newsletter last fall I have worked hard (with the wise counsel of the staff) at keeping this about the church and not, for example another, social media exchange or our version of craigslist.  Every now and then I turn down an individuals request to put something in here that is for the individual.

That being said I've decided to include this because if a letter to the church can't ask the church to pray  then something must be amiss.

First let me take this opportunity to point out that Craig keeps a running prayer guide that is used in the Mi Casas and in the Wednesday communion service.  It's a google document and can be accessed and edited by anyone.  You can find that here.

Secondly, Kara is a UBC senior.  Her brother, Carl, was in a motorcycle accident.  He lives in Colorado.  The accident was bad.  They have removed part of his skull to let his brain swell and they think there may be damage to the brain stem.  I called Kara today to check on her and when I asked what I could do to help she requested this, to ask all of you to pray for the Edmondson family in these critical hours.  In her words she "just want as many people as possible to be praying."

Thanks friends, I know you will to chose to care for Carl in this important hour.

Meet the HR Team

Meet Callie Shrank


Family: Husband Cody (37 y.o. – bench-presses 550lbs – Outdoor Adventure Enthusiast) Son Cru (1.5 y.o. – 40 yard dash in 3.54sec – Rock Collector and Break Dancer) Vocation/Job/What I do: Baylor Athletics - Personnel/Administration, Wife, Mother

Favorite Movie: I really don’t have a favorite anything except for a drink – Via Iced Coffee packet from Starbucks with milk instead of water – over ice. Oh yeah!

Best Restaurant in Waco: Again, I can’t answer this question…I am looking forward to trying Torchy’s Tacos

Chapter from the Bible that is meaningful to me: Psalm 63

Best Television Show: Downtown Abbey, Blacklist, 24, Alias…

Favorite Holiday: Christmas – birth of Christ, food, lights, decorations, music, family, festivities, Bowl games…can’t beat that.

Something you might not know about me: I grew up on a farm in the Midwest – corn bred and corn fed. We showed cows for 4H and then ate them if they didn’t get bred. Brutal, I know. Day in the life of a farm kid…

Hobbies: Loving on my family, being outside, cheering on the Baylor Bears, game nights with friends


Meet Our Newest UBCer 


Name: Wendell Lewis Carney

Birthday: April 1, 2014

Weight: 8 lbs 3 oz

Height 20 inches

Enneagram Number: 3


Dos de Mayo Date Night

Parents are you feeling like you'd like to rip out your hair?  Then bring your kids to UBC on Friday May 2nd from 6-9 PM and enjoy a night on the town.  It's free!  Interested parents need to sign their children up.  For more information email


Mentoring at UBC

This summer Michael Laminack will be mentoring at UBC.  Michael's mentoring is part of his program as a student at Truett Seminary.  You can read more about that program here.  We are excited to welcome Michael on our team for this summer.  He will be preaching on May 25th and again towards the end of July.  Please be in prayer for Michael that his experience is a good one and the he gains valuable pastoral experience.

We wanted to ask him a few questions to help you get to know him.


Why did you choose to do your mentoring at UBC?

There’s just something about UBC that excites me for ministry. It’s the first church I’ve attended that really pushes people’s boundaries in theology and practice. I love opportunities to grow in my understanding and experience.

Tell us something that we might not know about you and your wife Sarah.

Sarah and I have been together for going on 8 years – we started dating in high school, and were married in 2011. We have a tradition of camping with family every Easter, so we’re the opposite of C.E.O.’s (Christmas and Easter Only).

Tell us something about your faith journey.

I’m not sure I’d love God if not for Kierkegaard and Thrice. I’m not sure I’d respect Scripture or the Sacraments if not for Karl Barth. I’m not sure if I’d embrace beauty if not for C.S. Lewis. I’m not sure I’d live life to the fullest if not for Tolkien and Stan Lee.


I’m a fairly adventurous eater – I love trying new things. Good Indian food is one of my faves.

Sports teams?

I generally root for any Texas pro team, but if they play each other I lean toward the Dallas teams. I’m a big Dallas Stars fan. And Baylor of course – Sic ‘em Bears.


Senior Sunday – May 4th

If you are graduating from college or grad school anytime in 2014, we want to recognize you on Sunday May 4th. We would also like to invite you to lunch after church, so please sign-up in the foyer by April 29th, or email


Work is Worship 4-27-14

Coffee Makers: Jeff & Teri Watler

Coffee Cleaner Upers: Crystal Salizar & Dylan Adams

Greeters: Linda Taft

Shut Down Team: Boys



  • Sunday Sermon Text: John 20:19-31 
  • If you feel like the music is at times too loud, we have earplugs available next to the mints out front.
  • Our next leadership team meeting is April 30th. Please be in prayer for this meeting. If you have a concern you would like the leadership team to consider please notify a member of the team. contact information listed below.
  • During this Easter season UBC is offering 1 large Sunday School class in the backside.  The class will last three weeks and have a focus on participation or experiential.  It begins this Sunday.


Do you have an Emergency? Do you Need to talk to a Pastor?

254 366 9779

(please do not send texts to this number)


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: Jana Parker

Kristin Dodson

Kaley Eggers

David Wilhite

Austin Tiffany

Byron Roldan

Teri Walter


UBC Finance Team

Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.

Tom Haines:

Paul Taft:

Josh McCormick:

Chris Kim:

Tom McCarty: