(In The Life Of The Church)
The Importance of Owning a Mistake
I wrote these first two paragraphs back in January of 2014. I’d like to reclaim them and issue another apology.
As a child, I grew up tucked away on three acres on Mabel Lake. Cable television would have never (and still hasn't) reached that remote part of the universe, and a satellite dish was, at the time, about 13 feet in diameter and a luxury that a small town pastor's family could not afford. Our sole chance at being entertained was provided by a spotty antenna that delivered ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS in the spring.
As antennas improved, I was able to watch CBS on a small TV in my room. Though it was scrambled, I could hear clearly and made a habit out of listening to David Letterman. It became a ritual for me. Though I generally thought Leno had better guests, I loved Letterman's timing even if I didn't understand the socio-political state of the world was sometimes required to get his dry humor.
Ever since then, I have been a Letterman person, and, so I was disappointed back in 2009 when he was accused and found guilty of having an affair. I'll never forget, though, when he went on the air the weekend after the story broke and apologized. He was direct and to the point. He didn't try and pad the news or offer an excuse. He just owned it. Though his mistake remained, his apology was an anomaly in the world of celebrity. I found it inspiring. With professional athletes denying performance enhancing drug allegations and politicians covering up scandals, here was a guy who completely accepted his problem fully and publicly from the get-go. Growing up, when I'd witness something similar, I'd note to myself how I felt and determined that if I was ever in a position to offer an apology, I would.
This last Sunday I included information from a New York Times article to make the point that listening to those who disagree with us is an act of love. The article is about a book written by a Berkeley sociology professor who leans left in her politics. The subject of her book is a group of Tea Party supporters. I was moved by her generosity in writing about and in understanding them. Her research and writing stands out to me as an act of love in what seems like an otherwise loveless political climate.
To set up this example in my sermon, I made the following statement, “I picked this example because my guess is that most of the people here will either vote for Hillary Clinton or against Donald Trump.” I’m aware of how contentious politics can be and how important it is for the church to be a place that rises above that tension. For that reason, I usually give a lot of thought and am very specific in the language I use when I do talk about politics which is, in my recollection, rare. That being said, I didn’t put a lot of thought into my statement. I just jotted it down on Thursday afternoon trying to keep up with the stream of consciousness unfolding in my head.
Friends are people who care enough about you to help you see what you did not or cannot. I had a conversation with one of those friends this week. She told me that she thought the statement, however I might have intended it, probably had the effect of isolating folks in our community who will vote for Donald Trump. I had not considered that, so I sat with that thought for 24 hours, and after reflecting on it, decided she was correct. I could have preached the same point without that qualifying statement. UBC has entrusted me to speak about God. That is a gift I never want to take for granted. While I wish that meant I never got it wrong, that is not possible. What is possible, though, is for me to apologize. So I would like to apologize. I am sorry for not handling that moment with more thoughtfulness and care. I would also like to thank you all for listening patiently and for making room for me to grow in my own discipleship.
Leadership Team Nomination
Friends, one David "Doctor" Wilhite's stint on the leadership team is coming to an end. During his term, David got Wil-Care passed, helped balance the church budget and was instrumental in shaping for our foreign policy in Thailand as we withdrew from the Dominican Republic. Thanks for the years of service Doctor. That means we are looking for leadership team nominations. If you would like to nominate someone for the leadership team, please note the following and send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(A) Purpose. The Leadership Team shall be the primary decision-making body of UBC. The Leadership Team will oversee all the business and property of the church, as well as make the final decisions regarding hiring and dismissal of staff and the acquisition and selling of assets that are beyond budgetary provisions.
(C) Qualifications. Each member of Leadership Team shall have been a member of UBC for at least one year, exhibited an understanding and commitment to the mission and values of the church, and be willing to fulfill all responsibilities in the Leadership Team job description.
(E) Term. Members of Leadership Team may serve for a duration lasting up to three years. While they are encouraged to remain the full three years, members may voluntarily remove themselves from their position at any time.
St. Francis Day/Blessing of the Animals
On Tuesday, October 4, at 5:30 PM, we will have a short liturgy in observance of Saint Francis Day in the Backside. As a part of that liturgy, we will have a blessing of the animals. Since the service will be inside, we will not ask you to bring you animals in the flesh. Instead, you can either bring a photo of your pet, or email one to email@example.com.
The aesthetics team is gearing up for a re-design of the foyer and hallways. Since these spaces are the first you experience when you enter the building, we want to hear about what you value most about the current design so we can maintain those elements in the new design. You will find a design survey at ubcwaco.org/designsurvey, and it will be active until October 16th.
Parents Night Out
Was George W. Bush still president the last time you and your sig other had a night to yourselves? Do yourself volunteering to take the kids to practice just so you can sleep in the car? You need a night out. UBC is hosing a parents night out on Friday October 7th from 6-9 P.M. There will be sign up in the church lobby this Sunday or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know you are interested.
Made in Waco
We are just over a month away from Made in Waco, ubc's handmade market. If you are interested in being a vendor, please email email@example.com for more info and an application.
Free Health Care
We don't normally advertise for outside organizations, but we're including this one. CASA, which stands for court appointed special advocate, is an organization that develops leaders to lobby for the welfare of foster children in our judicial system. They, the good people at CASA, are hosting an extravaganza that is laid out in the nifty picture below. Please consider going.
Work is Worship
Coffee Makers: Chad
Mug Cleaners: Chase Potter
Money Counter: Justin Pond
- Sunday Sermon: Psalm 137 "The Place for Anger in Discipleship"
- Family Tailgate at the Soccer Game Night: Oct 14th
- SWCC Halloween Bash: October 19th
- Fall Retreat for Juniors and Seniors: October 20-23
- Order of Phoenix Game Night: Nov 4th
- Made in Waco: Nov 5th
- Thanksgiving Love Feast: Nov 20th
- Backside Event: Dec 2nd
- Order of Phoenix Dallas Event: Dec. 3
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have an emergency and need to talk to a pastor?
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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: email@example.com
Joy Wineman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stan Denman: Stan_Denman@baylor.edu
David Wilhite: David_Wilhite@baylor.edu
Bridget Heins: email@example.com
Sharyl Loeung: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma Wood: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Tilson: Anna_Tilson@jrbt.com
Doug McNamee: 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.
Maxcey Blaylock: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mathew Crawford: email@example.com
Rob Engblom: Rob_Engblom@baylor.edu
Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu
Jared Gould: firstname.lastname@example.org