(IN The Life Of The Church)
I remember when I first came to UBC back in the fall of 2004. There were many values that I fell in love with, but one that I remember poignantly was the language they are using to dissolve the dichotomy between the sacred and secular. What that meant for me was that they weren't just admitting that they loved U2 and Garden State, they were finding Christian messages in those forms of art that were aiding in their formation.
That was new for me. And it was also cause for pause. While I loved this newfound appreciation for a world what was often withheld from me as a child, I had also had enough bad experiences with "worldly" things to know that being desensitized was a real spiritual phenomon. On one of our old websites we included a conversation about this that was authored by our former pastor Kyle. I remember the first time I read it. Kyle had anticipated and calmed my fears. This isn't verbatim, but he said something like, "nothing is secular does not mean nothing is sinful."
Good ... he understood me--now I was more confident that I could get on board.
I was thinking about this moment from my past because this issue is coming up yet again as I prepare for Sundays sermon on worship. Interestingly, though this value is so deeply engrained within our DNA, I'm still not completely sure how to work out all of the kinks. I haven't found all of the right language.
For example, our staff was recently doing an interview with some former UBCers who were undergoing an ordination process. The purpose of our interview was to talk with them about the church side of that process. One of my questions went something like this, "we believe that sacred/secular division is a poor one and yet when we read scripture we are taught both that God created this world good and that in certain instances God does things like tell Moses to kick off his sandals ... because was standing on holy ground. Was that ground sacred or more sacred than the ground next to it?"
I haven't answered that question, but I believe in the merit of the discussion.
I once heard a friend say that "secular" was a term used by the church fathers to describe the state of affairs between the fall and 2nd coming.
Lucky for UBC the man that is considered an academic wrangler of church fathers goes to our church ... so I called him to talk about it.
He pointed me to Augustine's City of God. In this book Augustine argues that city of man exists within the city of God. It's best not to think of these as geographic locations but rather spiritual realities. Brokeness exists within God's good creation. The word secular comes from the Latin word saeculum which means "generation, lifetime" or I think in Augustines case "age." What Augustine suggests is that this broken saeculum exists within God's saeculum--or this broken age exists within God's age, just like city of man exists within the city of God.
Which brings me full circle. After the respondents fielded my question about the sacred and secular in that ordination interview, Craig reminded us that Kyle used to talk about that which has been redeemed and that which is in need of redemption.
There is a sort of dualism that pervades our experience. I just want us to be careful about what language we use because I think it matters.
When Paul was contending with the philosophical juggernauts on Mars Hill in Acts 17, he identified the unknown god as the one he knew. It was a savvy move. To bolster his case he did theology by quoting a pagan poet from the island of Crete, "in Him we live, move, and have our being," Paul says in verse 28.
Here's why I think this matters. Had Paul been convicted that there were sacred and secular dualisms present he might have been inclined to present his Greek counterparts with Truth packed in Jewish presuppositions and experience ... and that would have landed flat and the whole thing would have ended poorly. But because Paul believed that creation was good and the God was so awesome that Greeks couldn't keep him out, he was able to identify the holy longing behind the pagan poets quote and bring a statement was partially redeemed into full redemption.
This is a difficult and beautiful task the church has been called to. I hope you'll join us in it.
Marfa Trip reflection by Joshua Blake
Did you see any snakes? No. Coyotes? No. Roaches? No. These are the first questions people ask after I tell them I went camping in Marfa. On the contrary, I saw beautiful things which pretty much sums up the trip and the town of Marfa, where unexpected beauty exists. Marfa is a desert town, however, it’s anything but sterile and desolate. It has out-of-place art, stars for days, and terrain unlike any I’ve seen in Texas. And to think that I almost didn’t go on the trip, because I thought I was too busy. When the trip was first pitched, I thought there is no way I can go with my schedule, and then my friend/coworker Dustin pressed me to go. Long story short, everything worked out for me to go and I am so grateful it did. I did not realize how much I needed to breathe cool, dry air, experience west Texas sunrises, view and listen to art (even if they were dressed up in Halloween costumes), feel a sense of accomplishment from a hike, and share all of this with new and old friends. On the drive back, I realized that God wanted me to go on the trip, but at first I didn’t believe/think that God would want it for me. I thought he wanted me to work and take care of business at home. He does want me to care of my responsibilities, but he also offers opportunities of rest and rejuvenation. He offers living water and some times that water comes from unexpected places at unexpected times. I truly hope that UBC makes this an annual trip, so everyone has the opportunity to embrace beauty (in unexpected places) and live life to the marfullest (even when we think we are too busy).
SWCC Halloween Festival
This week, we are helping our friends at SWCC throw the biggest party this neighborhood has scene. There will be food trucks from all around Waco, inflatables, games, and lots and lots of candy. This is our second annual SWCC/UBC Halloween Festival, and we need your help. We still need people who are willing to help run a game from 6-8pm, and we also need folks who are willing to bake a cake/pie/brownies/cookies etc... for the Cake Walk. If you can help out, and you haven't signed up yet, email firstname.lastname@example.org or sign-up on Sunday. The festival is this Wednesday night, the 29th, from 6-8pm at SWCC. If you are a family with kids at UBC, we would love for you to come out on Wednesday, bring the kids, and just have a good time. We can't wait to see everyone at the party this Wednesday!
Jesus Said Love Outreach
This coming Friday, October 31st, we are sponsoring our first outreach with Jesus Said Love. We will have two prayer services for the outreach on Friday: 7:15am and 12:15pm. Both of the services will be 30 minutes long, and we will spend time lifting up the outreach team, the dancers, and the clubs in prayer. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com
Meet Our Newest UBCer
Name: Graham Porter Gonzales
Weight: 7 lbs 9 oz.
Height: 20 1/4 in.
Enneagram Number: 6
Last Soccer Game of the Year
We’d like for you to have an opportunity to fellowship in the Lord and support are very awesome friends Paul and Marci Jobson. The womens soccer team plays Texas at home this Sunday night.
Game starts at 6, but Josh McCormick is tailgating starting at 4.
Here are a few notes from him:
Come join us for the official unofficial UBC Baylor Soccer Tailgate. This is the seasons last home game. We will have a gas grill and serving table either in parking lot or grassy area by baseball fields. Get there early and get ticket for free t-shirt.
What to bring: -Loud voice -General disdain for UT -Anything you want to cook -any sides made famous by someone's great grandmother -whatever you want to drink -chairs if you like to sit
Work is Worship: 10-26-14
Coffee Makers: Logan & Allyson
Mug Cleaners: Byron & Jacob
Greeters: Joy & Graham
Shutdown Team: The Blue Flames
- Sermon Text: 1 Samuel 7:7-12
- The UBC youth group will be going to Jump Street in Dallas on October 25th. Interested persons should contact Craig@ubcwaco.org.
- UBC Girl’s Day, Saturday, October 25th @ 11am: Meeting at Farmer’s Market, getting pumpkins, then heading back to UBC for pumpkin carving and fellowship
- Wednesday, October 29th, UBC partners with South Waco Community Center for Halloween Festival. Those interested in volunteering should contact toph@ubcwaco.
- Friday, October 31st Jesus Said Love Outreach … more information to come. MADE in Waco will be Saturday, November 15th more information to come.
- Advent Workshop will be 30th after church. More info to come.
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: Teri Walter: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jana Parker email@example.com
Kristin Dodson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaley Eggers: email@example.com
David Wilhite: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamie McGregor: email@example.com
Byron Roldan: Byron_Roldan@baylor.edu
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Taft: email@example.com
Josh McCormick: Josh.McCormick@dwyergroup.com
Chris Kim: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom McCarty: email@example.com
UBC HR Team
If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.
Lacy McNamee: Lacy_McNamee@baylor.edu
Callie Schrank: Callie_Schrank@baylor.edu
Jeff Walter: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Heins: email@example.com