(In The Life Of The Church)
The Patience to Listen
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said,
“The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love of God begins with listening to His word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God’s love for us that He not only gives us His word, but also lends us His ear… Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must always contribute something when they’re in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking. Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. He who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life.”
I will tell you a story about when I first began to listen. I was in college and a friend had invited me to a debate. The debate was between a Catholic priest and a Baptist pastor. I wasn’t Baptist, but it was clear from the content that I was in his corner. We understood the basics of salvation the same way. We (the Baptist pastor and me) agreed that no one was getting saved with any kind of effort. The experience was exhilarating. Every time I felt like the Baptist pastor had made an indisputable point, which was about every time he spoke, I’d look up for nodding heads and nonverbal amens. Tensions were mounting, and sides were forming. It was a microcosm of religious war right there in Bethlehem Baptist Church in downtown St. Paul.
We left that debate, my friend, his sister, his sister’s fiance and me. On the way home, I made a startling discovery. They were all Catholic. I tried to remember all of the comments and body gestures I had made over the course of the debate. Had I offended them? I was sure I had.
Despite what I did and said, my Catholic friends were generous. Brendan was the name of the soon to be brother-in-law. He gently and indirectly communicated that one of his favorite lines from Assisi’s instrument of peace prayer is, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” That was a powerful suggestion to me. Even though I had not done that, I resolved to start. I decided I was going to try my hardest to listen first.
This week, I read a story about a person making a political statement. I was annoyed. “Theatrics,” I told myself. I completely dismissed the content of his message. In fact, I didn’t even read it. I just judged. Later this week, I was reading an article about this political statement and then I read the comments. They were predictable. Two sides with opposite and sometimes visceral opinions talking past each other. No one used direct insults; they used condescension instead. I was taking the bait even though I didn’t write a comment. I was cheerleading the good ones in my head. And then I saw that someone had written Assisi’s words. “I don’t know a lot about this, I’m just trying to seek first to understand then to be understood.” It was so refreshing, and it was so convicting. His comment exposed the failure in my own discipleship.
I think we often worry about getting the argument right. And we should. We live in a real world where real ideas have real consequences. But there’s a wrong way to be right, and that is just as bad as being wrong. Let us, then, commit to being a community that seeks first to understand. Our listening matters. It is a gift.
Post-College Women's Group
Moms, grad students, and/or all the single ladies looking for sisterhood? On Monday, September 19th 8:00 Lindsay Carney will be hosting an evening to learn more about women's groups for the fall. Please email her email@example.com for more information.
Volunteer Training Day
1. CC Middle School
School is back in full swing! If you are looking for a way to get involved in our community ministries this semester, our partnership with Cesar Chavez Middle School may be a good fit.
We are looking for:
People to mentor a student weekly during the lunch hour
Commit one afternoon a week to hang out on campus between 4:30-5:30
2. Children's Ministry
It's that time again UBC! Sunday, September 11th we will be holding our annual UBCKids Volunteer Training! We have more need than ever for volunteers, so if you are at all interested in helping out with our kids ranging in ages of 0-10, please plan on attending on Sunday so that we can give you everything you need to get plugged in!
It should take about an hour and a half and lunch will be provided! Please contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns!
Do you like playing basketball? Do you like to slay the devil? Good news, UBC is putting together it’s first ever basketball team. If you are interested in playing, games will be on Thursday nights, starting on September 8th. There will be a sign-up sheet in the foyer after church. The South Waco Community Center is putting on the league for churches, and all proceeds go to support the Halloween Carnival. We call this a win win. If you have any questions, and if you a wanna be balla shot calla, holla at email@example.com
We are hosting the first of two Backside open mic/open wall events on Friday, September 23rd, at 7pm. If you are a musician, poet, storyteller, visual artist, etc., this is a night for you to share your gifts with the community. If you aren't a creative type, this is a night for you to engage the beauty that our congregation is creating. Also, there will be coffee and baked goods. So if you roast coffee or bake things, feel free to showcase those arts as well! If you have questions, or want to sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Common Grounds Show
Jamie is playing a show with a band called Tow'rs on Thursday, September 15th, at 8pm. You can learn more here.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Evie & the Walters
Coffee Makers: Chad
Mug Cleaners: Cooleys
Money Counter: Justin Pond
- Sunday Sermon: Revelation 13 "the call" Please be in prayer for our special guest preacher, Dr. Adam Winn.
- New Volunteer Training (CC Middle School and Children's Ministry): Sept. 11
- Common Grounds Show: Jameson McGregor and Tow'rs: Sept 15
- Mi Casa Leader Training: Sept 18
- Family Weekend Breakfast: Sept 18
- Town Hall: Sept 18
- New UBCer Luncheon: Sept 25
- Backside Event: Sept 23rd
- St. Francis Feast Day/Blessing of the Animals: Oct 4th
- Fall Retreat for Juniors and Seniors: October 20-23
- Made in Waco: Nov 5th
- Thanksgiving Love Feast: Nov 20th
- Backside Event: Dec 2nd
- Study Hall: Dec 7th
- We are gearing up for another school year which means we will resume our work with Cesar Chavez middle school. If you would like to mentor a student or serve the middle school in another capacity email email@example.com
Do you have an emergency and need to talk to a pastor?
254 413 2611
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- Jon Davis: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joy Wineman: email@example.com
Stan Denman: Stan_Denman@baylor.edu
David Wilhite: David_Wilhite@baylor.edu
Bridget Heins: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharyl Loeung: email@example.com
Emma Wood: firstname.lastname@example.org
UBC Finance Team
Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.
Josh McCormick: Josh.McCormick@dwyergroup.com
Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com
Justin Pond: email@example.com
Anna Tilson: Anna_Tilson@jrbt.com
Doug McNamee: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
Mathew Crawford: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob Engblom: Rob_Engblom@baylor.edu
Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu
Jared Gould: email@example.com