(In The Life Of The Church)
The Children of the Kingdom
A few weeks ago my friend Brian preached a wonderful sermon based on Matthew 18:1-5. You can listen to that sermon here. The disciples are having an argument about who the greatest among them is and to make a radical claim about discipleship, Jesus pulls a child into their midst and says, "become like this one." I found Brian's approach to the text appropriate. He began by dismantling contemporary notions of Jesus and the children. That reading, the one where a caucasian Jesus snuggles with cute kids with baby lambs in the background, is clearly influenced by what our society has done with children, which is to elevate them to a near sacred status within society. Nothing could be further from the reality children faced in the Roman Empire.
To give us an idea of how staggering the difference in perspectives is, i've Amazoned and screen shotted this page from John Crossan's book Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography.
Brian's point was to show that in suggesting that we become like children, i.e. those without status, we embrace a downward mobility.
Though the status of children has changed, the amount of functional power probably has not. True, we now have mechanisms in society that protect children like CPS (praise be to God), but children or at least my children, still don't make many of the family decisions. My children don't plan the meals we eat. They don't select their extra curricular activities unless we help identify the possibilities for them. They don't pick their own bedtimes. They don't possess purchasing power. They don't pick their school. Children today are protected but they are not necessarily empowered. Part of the reason we don't give children this sort of freedom is obvious. The frontal lobe doesn't finish developing until around 25. To give children the keys to their own lives at a young age could be a disaster. And yet, I have discovered my children have a sort of unique wisdom.
Children haven't yet been crushed by the brutal realities of the world. Or if they have, they seem to have a resilience not worn down by the persistence of failure and the scorn of others.
I think it is the naive optimism that draws us in. It is this sort of hope that teaches us. Children really do have something to teach us about God. They have a way of helping us see the gospel in ways we haven't before or that we have forgotten. So join my in prayer for our kids as they prepare to lead us in Worship this Sunday.
Join us tonight for food, fire, and fellowship. UBC will provide the drinks and chips, you just bring whatever you want to throw on the grill/fire. Come out anytime after 5pm! This is for guys age 0-99. If you have any questions, or need directions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. See you tonight!
UBCKids Service Practice
Hello UBCKids Parents! The BIG DAY is almost here! UBCKids Service is THIS Sunday! But first, we've got to put on the finishing touches! Don't forget to join us THIS SATURDAY at 1:00 for a run through of the service, distribution of the t-shirts, and one last moment of encouragement for our kiddos! If your child is participating in a specific element of the service (instruments, interpretive movement, or skit) please arrive by 12:30 on Saturday for a warm up before the main practice! We understand that Saturdays can be tough, but please make every effort to have your children present for practice Saturday! If you can't make it, but your kids WILL be participating in the service Sunday, please let Emily know so that we can assign them a spot on the stage! If you have any questions or concerns, please email Emily at email@example.com.
Our annual Thanksgiving Lovefeast is coming up next Sunday night, November 22nd, at 6pm. UBC will provide the turkeys/ham, but we need some brave souls to cook them! If you are interested in cooking a turkey or ham, please let Toph know on Sunday, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be a sign-up sheet in the foyer if you would like to bring a dessert to the lovefeast. If you have any questions, email@example.com
Jesus Said Love Help
Our Waco City Team Leader recently asked me to put the word out that we need volunteers on: Security Team, Hospitality Team, Babysitter's Club, and Prayer Team. Most of these teams require very low time commitment (usually a few hours per month), but they are incredibly important to our ministry.
Security Team: Rides along with Club Team on monthly outreach, waits outside the club to provide a safety and protection for our team members.
Hospitality Team: Helps meet various needs throughout the month for dancers in need (meals, baby showers, etc.)
Babysitter's Club: Provides occasional childcare for team members and/or dancers
Prayer Team: Attends short time of prayer prior to monthly outreach
If you would like to help with any of these teams, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On December 4th, we're having an event in the Backside, appropriately titled: Backside. We'll have open mic for our poets and musicians, and an open wall for our visual artists. There will be a sign up sheet in the lobby this Sunday if you're interested in sharing some of your stuff with us. As for you people who don't want to share something: there will be snacks and drinks and good times in excess, so you should come as well. If you have any questions, contact email@example.com.
UBC Financial Update (from Tom)
UBC Financial Status
as of: November 4, 2015
THE PLAN: Our fiscal year runs from the first of July through the end of June. This year’s budget is $309,412. Fixed expenses (staff salaries, building and office expenses) accounts for $253,373, or 81.9% of the total, and ministry expenses (the many things our church does for our community and for those who attend) accounts for $56,039 or 18.1%.
OUR EXPENSES AND INCOME: Between July 1st and November 4th, we have spent $96,767, or about 31% of our budget. Those items considered fixed accounted for 89% of this spending. Our income from tithes and offerings during this period totaled $114,247. Tithe income from online methods (PayPal and EasyTithe) accounts for 43% of the total, with the remainder coming from Sunday morning collections.
OUR STATUS: UBC’s cash (checking account) balance as of the end of October was $32,363, with another $86,792 in savings. We continue to carry no debt.
As you can see, our expenses and income are very close and our cash balance covers a little less than two months of expenses. So we rely heavily on weekly tithes and offerings.
If you’d like to be a financial partner with UBC, you can sign up for monthly giving through EasyTithe.
Work is Worship
Coffee Makers: Emmy & Stephen
Mug Cleaners: The Cooleys
- Sunday Sermon Text: Matthew 5:1-11. Please be in prayer for our children as they prepare to lead us in worship this Sunday.
Advent Workshop, November 29th. email josh@ubcwaco for more details.
Least of These and Bradley Hathaway are playing a show at ubc on December 12th. It's free, and you should come.