(In The Life Of The Church)
Of late I have found that I'm taken with spiritual memoirs. To name a few, I've enjoyed Barbara Brown Taylor's Leaving Church, Eugene Peterson's The Pastor, Nadia Bolz-Webber's Pastrix and right now I'm in the middle of Stanley Hauerwas's Hannah's Child. I find them easy to read and am grateful these authors are so vulnerable. When they offer the kind of honesty that they do, it creates a space where I can think about my own story and grow. It has been a effective form of discipleship in my life.
Stanley Hauerwas is a theologian. He spent time at Notre Dame and Duke (and a few other institutions). In 2001 Time named him America's best theologian. He responded by saying that "best" is not a theological category. That remark is an insight into Hauerwas. He has a loose tongue and a fierce commitment to truth and the scriptures. He can come across crass, but if you listen to what he says you will be confronted.
I remember when I first began to read some of Hauerwas's work and by that I should say that I mean specifically his work with Christian nonviolence. Whatever critique you might offer of him as a theologian you have to acknowledge two things 1. He uses his bible to do theology and 2. He speaks plainly. To be honest I was threatened by Hauerwas. His reading of the Sermon on the Mount raised the stakes of discipleship in my own life. He stated very clearly, that the gospel calls for my life ... all of it. I was not sure if I wanted to follow Jesus that far into my own formation.
I remember discussing Hauerwas in my Scriptures 4 class at Truett. Scriptures 4 is the class where you cover almost everything in the New Testament that is not Acts and the Gospels. My class was taught by Carey Newman. Dr. Newman is the director of Baylor Press. I was initially disappointed that I was not going to be taught Scriptures 4 by one of Truett's regular New Testament professors, but I quickly learned to appreciate Dr. Newman. He is smart, witty, and as you might expect a press director to be, extremely well networked. We'd read a theologian from the other side of the world and Dr. Newman would proceed to offer us insights gained from sharing cocktails and caviar off the coast of Italy with said theologian. I liked hearing those stories. It personalized the authors we were reading.
Back to my discomfort. I don't know about you, but when I feel threatened I lash out in anger. On this particular day my anger came in the form of suggesting that it was nice for Hauerwas to call out Christians to follow Jesus unto death, but wondering how that was going for him sitting in his office in the ivory tower at Duke University. Dr. Newman was not shy about sarcasm and thoughtful criticism. He enjoyed smart speech. I say that help you appreciate his response. When I made my comment I saw him put his head down and softly suggest that I should be careful about judging Hauerwas. His tone was not one of rebuke or even anger. It was soft. I could tell he was thinking more about Stanley Hauerwas than he was my comment. His response dripped with empathy, not annoyance. Emotional intelligence helped me discern that I should not press the issue.
I don't know why I remember that moment of the million that made up my seminary education. I guess because human care for another is memorable. In Hannah's Child, Dr. Hauerwas addresses many things. One of the largest issues he deals with is his wife's mental illness and the difficulties of loving her, being a professional theologian and raising their son. Anne, his wife, is an angry person. I'm not through the book, but he's yet to give a name to her condition. He has described her episodes on a few occasions. I can't imagine the kind of suffering love it would take to love as ruthlessly as he did.
To give you an idea of the eggshells that he walked on, I'll share this story from the book. Dr. Hauerwas and his son saved enough box tops to buy a plant ticket for his son to go with him to New York for a religion conference. Hauerwas describes how much fun they had taking city tours and doing all the things tourists do. I've been to these religious meetings. I've seen how important it is for academic professionals spend their time jockeying for their career. As I was reading this particular text and noting how tenderly Hauerwas was caring for his son in the midst of such difficult circumstances at home, I got a little teary eyed.
As they were about to leave New York, his son Adam realized he had forgotten the book he brought. Here I'll quote Hauerwas: "For the trip Adam had borough a book his mother had given him. On Sunday morning when we got to Richard's, Adam remembered that he had left it in the hotel room. We had already checked out. The incident marked the fear in which we lived. We were both afraid of what it would mean if his mother discovered that he had lost the book. Running can come in handy. I put on my shorts and ran back to central Manhattan and recovered the book. We returned to South Bend quite happy."
There is a quote that I like that is attributed to Plato, but in reality seems to come from nowhere. Anyway the quote is, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." I've crafted a sermon around this quote a couple years ago. I think I like the quote so much because I've painfully discovered this reality too many times. Two hundred pages into Hauerwas's book, I find myself wishing that I had not cast judgement all those years ago in seminary. I wish my instinct would have been to assume the best about him.
I suppose the silver lining this is that in discovering Dr. Hauerwas's story, I have been given grace again.
After spending some time with the decision of the leadership team, Toph has prayed about picking up the membership committee. He has agreed to take on this task. Toph will begin with 2 initial steps. 1. He will spend some time reviewing the document that Craig and the existing membership team created. In addition he will examine the amendments that the leadership team asked for back in our April 2014 leadership meeting. 2. He will spend some time interviewing the folks who served on that committee to get feedback and ideas for moving forward. More information to come.
CCMS Teacher Encouragement
All of the cards have been taken for the teacher encouragement, and thank you so much for those of you who took a card. Please remember to write a note of encouragement, put a $5 gift card in the envelope, and have them turned in by Monday, April 20th, at 5pm. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
UBC Finance Update
As of March 31st, 2015
THE PLAN: Our fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015) budget is $353,126. Fixed expenses (staff salaries, and building and office expenses) accounts for $302,441, or 85.6% of the total, and ministry expenses (the many things our church does for our community and for those who attend) accounts for $50,685 or 14.4%.
OUR EXPENSES: March was the ninth month of our fiscal year; so, we are 75%, through the year. In March, we spent approximately $44,500; for the year, our expenditures total a little over $242,000. That represents about 69% of our budget. As we mentioned last month, while this appears we are not spending as much as we had planned, our expenditures are not, in fact, evenly spread across the year.
OUR INCOME: Our income from tithes and offerings in March was about $43,600 and our annual income from tithes and offerings through the end of March totals $242,355. If our requirements were evenly spread across the year (which, as mentioned above, is not the case, but the assumption helps to gauge how we’re doing), we would have needed $264,845 at this point in the year. Income from other sources (building rental, the garage sale, and some designated gifts) totals a little over $19,000.
Remember UBC offers a few ways to give online. Here's a video that explains how.
We are going picnicking, but there has been a slight change in plans. Please go grab lunch after church, and bring it to Ms. Nellie’s Pretty Place in Cameron Park. We will hang out, have a good time, and enjoy one another’s company. UBC will provide drinks, so please don’t grab anything to drink when you are grabbing lunch. The weather should be wonderful, so make sure to join us after church.
Senior Sunday - May 3rd
If you are graduating from HS, College, GradSchool, or PhD, we would love to recognize you during the service. This is for anyone graduating in May, August, or December 2015. We will also have a luncheon after church for graduates and staff only. If you would like to attend the lunch, please sign-up in the foyer on April 19th or April 26th, or you can email email@example.com . If you have any questions, please contact Toph.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Tessa & Leigh
Coffee Makers: Logan & Allyson
Mug Cleaners: Team Kuhl
Shutdown Team: The Golden Glitter Girls
Sunday Sermon Text: Luke 24:36-48
Our next leadership team meeting will be on Wednesday 4-22. As of now no new items have been added to the agenda since our town hall on 3-22. If you have questions or concerns about that meeting please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the leadership team members listed below.
Marriage Seminar: Our good friends over at DaySpring Baptist Church are hosting a free marriage seminar on April 19th from 3:00-6:00 P.M. Childcare will be provided. The seminar will be run by Dr. Don Arterburn.
Study Hall May 4th-5th. More Info to come.
Do you have an Emergency? Do you Need to talk to a Pastor?:
254 366 9779
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: email@example.com
Jana Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristin Dodson: email@example.com
Kaley Eggers: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Wilhite: 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
Josh McCormick: Josh.McCormick@dwyergroup.com
Chris Kim: email@example.com
Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.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.
Maxcey Blaylock: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mathew Crawford: email@example.com
Callie Schrank: Callie_Schrank@baylor.edu
Michael Heins: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Walter: Jeff_Walter@ubcwaco.org