IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH
A WEEKLY NEWSLETTER FOR THE PEOPLE OF UBC, WACO, TX.
(During the summer months, while Josh is away on vacation, Craig will be responsible for the newsletter. If you have anything you would like to include, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday morning. )
SUMMERS AT UBC
In the spring of 2001 I had been at UBC for almost a year and wanted to know how to get more involved in the life of the church. I was on the "Clean Team" which came to consist of one member-- me, but I didn't really have another way to make any meaningful connections with people from the church. Part of this was due to demographics. At the time UBC was roughly 98% college students. Most of the other 2% were Baylor grads who had been at UBC during their undergrad years and were sticking around for various reasons. I was neither.
What I did have was a lifetime of experience in "putting myself out there," inserting myself naturally into a community that wasn't trying to keep me out, but hadn't quite learned how to make newcomers feel welcome either.
The small community I grew up in began its slow, three decade transition from "rural town" to "bedroom community" in the mid 1970's. My parents were, back then, what has now become a cliche'-- those who wanted to raise their children in a community that had a small town feel, good schools, and was safe enough for a young child to roam freely throughout town. (Well, 2 out of 3 has now become cliche, as the stereotype has become small town, good schools, and well-lit back yards with privacy fences.)
What they may not have thought of, however, was that towns like this, at the time, were NOT made of "Johnny-Come-Latelies" who were looking for these things. They were made up of families whose ancestors had established the town, and whose descendants had become rooted into its soil and into its life. It was a "family town" in the sense that everyone in the town was family, in one way or another, with each other.
The parents of my classmates had been classmates with each other. I may have lived in the house I grew up in from the age of 2, but many of my friends lived on land purchased by their forefathers over a hundred years ago. I had free reign to roam the streets all over town with friends who shared last names with the names of the streets we were roaming.
Some of the children in my boat saw this reality as an injustice, regardless of how benevolent the citizens of the town tried to be toward newcomers. These children became the "I've got to get out of this one stoplight town as soon as I graduate" teenagers. They threw around the phrases "small town politics" and "hick town" like weapons.
Others, like me, took another tact-- We acted as if OUR grandparents built the town, and the streets we were roaming were named after US. Those who know me well will say this was probably an early sign of my enneagram "6ness" coming out, latching on to a place I could be loyal to. Perhaps this is true. Or perhaps my childhood naiveté helped me figure out instinctively what adults forget over time-- EVERYONE is looking for connection of some kind, even the descendants of the town's founders.
Which brings me back to the Spring of 2001.
I asked our pastor, Kyle Lake, what I could do to get more connected. He told me we were having a garage sale to help us stay afloat financially during the summer, and that it would be good if I could help out with that. I said yes, and began helping Kevin and Julie Morris sort the garage sale items that were crammed in the garage sale closet. (Back then this was the closet next to what used to be our food pantry. The amount of items we now collect would fill that room up five times over.)
Through working the garage sale I met others in the church-- Kris Freeman, Tracy Kelley, Wesley Carlin, John and Darby Perkins, Blair and Jordan Browning, to name a few. These were people who had arrived at UBC long before I had and who had, literally and figuratively, built the church. (Heresy hunters relax, I know God builds the church. But about ten times out of ten God uses humans to help the process along.) They also had already established relationships with each other. These UBC'ers were the equivalent of my friends back home who were the "legacy" of our town and what I discovered about both groups was similar. They wanted to "belong" as much as I wanted to.
So what am I saying? That if you want to get involved in the life of UBC then the only foolproof way to do so is to sign up to help with the garage sale?
But not really. The truth is there is no guaranteed way to ensure that you feel like you belong here. In fact, I'll let you in on a little secret: UBC can be a hard place to feel like you belong. Another secret I have found is that some of the people MOST connected to the life of the church are those who feel that they are not no the "inside." These are all complicated realities that we are working hard to address and remedy.
But I do know this: A large number of UBC'ers who have found meaningful connections here have done so over the summer. And so I would encourage you to get involved in one way or the other. If you see people on the fringes, invite them out for sno-cones. If you are on the fringes, invite someone you don't know to a movie. For some of you this may feel like a risk. Well, it is. But I think it is a risk worth taking.
In addition to helping with garage sale (which you can sign up for in the foyer) here is a little about a couple of other opportunities... http://ubcwaco.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/summer-formation-opportunities/
UBC Camp In
Attention all UBCkids who are entering 1st grade! Congrats! You have dominated your first official year of school and to reward you, UBC is granting you entrance into the exclusive Root Class! As a celebration of this momentous event, we will be hosting our second annual UBCKids Camp-In for current and incoming members! On Sunday, May 25th at 6:00 PM, we will gather at Camp YooBeeCeeKinakaah (UBC) to have a night of campfire meals, obstacle courses, crafting, community-building and sleeping under the stars (***these will be artificial, as we will be indoors!***), all with the purpose of welcoming you into our fold! Your parents can pick you up on Monday, May 26th at 10:00 AM *sharp* (for the sake of our Camp Counselors!!!)
Here is the link for the evite.
Work is Worship 5-24-14
Coffee Cleaner Upers:
Shut Down Team: Boys
Sermon: Michael Laminack There will be no sunday school the weeks of May 18th & 25th. Sunday school will resume in the first week of June. More information to come. In case you missed it, Craig posted about the UBC summer opportunities on Friday. You can view those here. Do you have an Emergency? Do you Need to talk to a Pastor?
254 366 9779
(please do not send texts to this number)
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