(In The Life Of The Church)
Who is Taylor Post?
This past Sunday we were blessed with a sermon prepared for us by Taylor Post. Taylor is a Truett student and spending this semester doing her mentoring with Toph. Because the feedback has been so overwhelmingly positive from her sermon, i thought i'd invite her to share something with us in the newsletter. Taylor is also a resident chaplain at Baylor. She serves in Collins Residential Hall. For that reason, and because UBC has a number of resident chaplains are part of our community, I've asked her to share about the ministry of presence and living incarnationally.
When I first asked my boss and Baylor’s University Chaplain Burt Burleson how to describe my job to people he told me to give them the 3 P’s. (Burt’s a good Baptist and an excellent preacher so he knows that people remember things better if they come in 3s and involve alliteration.) The 3 P’s stand for programming, pastoral care, and presence. Those are the things that all 14 of us who are Resident Chaplains do.
The first two can be explained pretty easily. The first P stands for programming, which means that I plan programs for the hall. I have a program called Waco 101 where I take residents from my hall (all freshmen women) and we go do different things around Waco – we go to Taco Tuesday at Rosa’s, we go to World Cup Café and talk about the importance of fair trade, we go to the Farmer’s Market and work in Baylor’s community garden and talk about the importance of knowing where our food comes from, we go to the zoo because the zoo is awesome, and we go several other places around Waco with the intention of getting residents out of the “Baylor Bubble” and giving them an opportunity to find places to get plugged in around Waco. I also write a newsletter called the Spiritual Flush that gets hung up in all the bathroom stalls – I’ve found it’s one of the only places where girls will for sure see it, but it also means I’ve been greeted more than one time with the phrase, “Hey you’re the girl from the bathroom!” which is not ideal to say the least – where I talk about homesickness, adjusting to college, balance, finding your identity in Christ, and other things that I know girls in my community are dealing with regularly.
The second P stands for Pastoral Care. Providing pastoral care in a residence hall means walking into hard situations with residents and providing spiritual guidance while walking with them during and after the things that shake up their world. Sometimes this means asking probing questions and sometimes it means sitting in silence. Sometimes this means listening and sometimes it means telling girls when they’ve been treated wrongly and encouraging them to advocate for themselves. Sometimes it means going to the hospital with a girl with a broken ankle. Sometimes it means creating a safe space for a girl to mourn the loss of a friendship, or a relationship, or a loved one. And sometimes it means letting them come and hang out with Ruthie, my dog.
Presence, however, has always been the hardest for me to describe to other people. I often say something about being a presence in the hall – about girls knowing where they can find me if they need me, spending time in the lobby and at the front desk, and letting girls play with Ruthie when they need some canine companionship. I sometimes talk about the idea that it’s my role to embody the presence of Christ to all of the girls who live in Collins – and to help them see the ways that the Holy Spirit is working in their lives. And other times I talk about the way that just being present for this much shared life experience is part of my ministry to the girls in Collins.
But at the end of the day I think that all of these things, all 3 P’s, are part of what the ministry of presence and living incarnationally are about. Philippians 2 has been a helpful guide for me here. Verse 5 says, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…” and it goes on to instruct us how to do that. We are supposed to love others the way that Christ loved them, and Jesus did not love the world from a distance. Jesus loved the world by becoming human. He rubbed elbows with the people that he was living for, the people for whom he would eventually die. The ministry of presence is about rubbing elbows with the people we serve. In UBC language it’s about living life to the fullest and sharing that with the people around you. In Collins I get to do a lot of that. Eating crepes with girls at the Farmer’s Market, walking the Bear Trail with them, eating meals with them, praying with and for them, laughing at silly Youtube videos when we should be studying, worshipping with them, sitting with them when they are sick or sad or lonely – this is what incarnational living looks like in Collins. But the ministry of presence has to look different in different circumstances because it has to be aware of the needs of those who are being served. I have been convicted that the ministry of presence does not just mean that I am present for important times (although that’s a big part of it), but that I am actively engaged in loving people with the love of Christ during those times and at all times. It is not my presence that I want the women of Collins to be aware of, but the presence of Christ, the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Great Comforter who is always with us. In this season of life I have been called to practice the ministry of presence with 600 freshman women in Ruth Collins Residence Hall, but in May when I graduate I’ll have to find a new place to live incarnationally, a new place to be present. We all have to find a place to live incarnationally and embody the love of Christ – where have you been called to practice the ministry of presence?
This from Liz (aka #chamion4thelord).
If we know anything at all, it's that UBC Women are CHAMPIONS. Come hang out and prove it TONIGHT (Friday, November 6th)!! We want to spend time playing Catch Phrase, eating snacks, and meeting new friends. ALL AGES are welcome and wanted. We will have a game and coloring section set up for the littlest of the UBC women (read: children) to enjoy and we will take turns playing and creating with them when we aren't on the court fighting for the title of "Girl's Night Champion" (read: best Catch Phrase team)...Please bring a fall themed snack to share if you can!
Can't wait to see you there!
email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions
Empty Nester Event
Our empty nester group is having a get together on Sunday November 15th at 6:00 PM @ Ninfa's. Come and fellowship and eat great food. Interested persons should email Teri @ email@example.com.
Made in Waco
UBC is hosting it's 3rd annual (and the original Waco) handmade market. Doors open at this Saturday @ 10:00 and the craziness goes until 3:00. We'd love for you to come fellowship, window shop or drop some big cash. It is the embodiment of pinterest, and it can be your riveting Saturday.
Children's Service Info.
Hello, UBCParents! On November 15th, your UBCKids will be leading our community in worship! We hope to include ALL of our UBCKids in one way or another, but if your child is in the Branch or Root classes and beyond (older 4’s - 6th grade) we have some specific opportunities for them to lead! If your kid would be interested in playing the Xylophone, reading liturgy, playing a role in a skit or interpretive movement, we will be practicing this week during Sunday School from 9:30-10:15! Please contact Emily for more info!
UBC Guy’s Night is this Friday night, November 13th! There will be a sign-up sheet in the lobby, and/or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for directions. We will be grilling out over a bonfire. UBC will provide drinks, chips, and smores; you bring whatever you want to grill. You can come out anytime after 4pm, we will start grilling around 5pm. We would love for you to come hang out, and meet other guys at UBC. Ages 0-99 welcome. If you have any questions, email Toph.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Rick, Kelsey & the Walters
Coffee Makers: Chad & Joel
Mug Cleaners: Whoever the Spirit provides
- Sunday Sermon Text: Matthew 14:13-21 "Favorite Stories from my Favorite Story Part 3: Blessed, Broken, Given"
- this Sunday we are excited to have the Digital Age lead us in the music portion of worship. please be in prayer for them as they prepare to rock the flock and jam for the lamb.
Guys Night, November 13th.
Thanksgiving Love Feast, November 22nd.
Advent Workshop, November 29th. email josh@ubcwaco for more details.
Backside event display the talent of local/UBC artists, Dec. 4th