(In The Life Of The Church) 

Ordinary Time

Always There

This is a good prayer in my opinion:

Give us eyes to see,

    Ears to hear,

        & Hearts to receive.

Matthew 13:16 (and then my own add on (yeah, I’ve read Revelation 22:19))

It’s Monday afternoon and my turn to write the newsletter again.  I don’t know what to write about.  This is not uncommon, but I’m driven by goals and I’ve decided that having the newsletter done was a goal.  So I’m forcing it.  

I go to an emotional space.  Three hours of Gregorian Chant from a youtube channel and pictures of beautiful places from my personal photo album.  

This summer I took my son camping on Lake Superior.  My emotional repressed enneagram 3 self has just discovered that trip was a blast.  I look at the pictures beaming at my own initiative.  Roy will love this forever.  

Then I scroll forward. September.  The weekend I went home to pack up my childhood home and move my mom out.    I see a picture I took of the lake I grew up on in September.  I’m taken with its beauty.  I’m a good photographer and I am humble.  The sun is setting.  The sixty foot pines stand like a chorus line arms around each other lining the lake.  The sunset resting on their shoulders.  The lake is a mirror disrupted by the lily pads.  The highest thing in the sky, the sunset, symmetrically stands at my feet by the shoreline.  I make the picture my background on my computer.

I give myself a minute to enjoy it.  Then I spot the remnant of a bog that broke off and drifted across the lake.  It settled just to the right of my parents property line about 30 feet out from a point.  This now small island played host to the nesting efforts of the summer loons who were my mother’s sole companions when we weren’t there to fill her home up with chaos and grandkids.    

For as much as I love nature, I don’t care much for birds.  Even my chickens annoy me.  The loon is something to behold though.  Yes, it’s beautiful, but even more intoxicating than it’s form is the sound it makes.  Click here for an existential experience.  

For as many years as I can remember I loved being put to sleep by the sounds of the Mabel Lake.  It’s the spring peepers after the first thaw.  Eventually they concede the stage to the bullfrogs who croak in chorus. Sometimes the bass supplement with splashing noises as they nip at mayflies, but the first chair of nature’s chorus belongs to the loon.   Her cry haunts the lake with beauty.  

The loons have been our friends all the years that the Carney’s lived at N10445 Pine Shore Ln.  We celebrated their arrivals in the spring and eventually noted their departures in the fall.  We were disappointed the few summers in those 32 years when they didn’t make it back for one reason or another.  

My mom went back to pack up the last of her house by herself after moving out, a few last things.   The loons also departed at some point in that second week in September.  My mom said they flew over the house and cried their goodbye.  

“Goodbye loons of Mabel Lake … forever.  You filled our ears and hearts with so much beauty. Thank you.” That’s a good prayer too because Psalm 66:4 says that the loons praise God.

In the midst of my hypnotic reflecting filled with Gregorian chant, Mabel Lake pictures, I stared at the white wall in my office and used my stupefied voice to report to Taylor the story about the loons saying goodbye.  

She asked a question.   Do you think the loons said goodbye every year and your mom just notice it this year?

I will tell you two things I know.

In Exodus 3 Moses sees a bush burning.  There, at that burning bush, God initiates Moses ...  telling him to take off his sandals because he is on holy ground.   There’s a rabbinical tradition that says the bush was always burning and Moses was finally able to see it.

Likewise … there is a tradition that says that after the transfiguration, the difference was not Jesus, but rather the disciples who could finally see that Jesus was radiating glory.

Yes, Taylor, I think the loons are always said goodbye.  We finally heard them

I’ll tell you one last prayer …

God awaken us to your already present presence.  Amen.

Faith and Family Night

UBC is partnering with Baylor to support the first Faith and Family night for the women’s soccer team.  The game is at 7pm on October 20th.  We will be tailgating before the game starting at 6, just outside the baseball stadium.  Tickets are only $3!  There will be time for the kids to get on the field during halftime and participate in some games, and we will have a special time with the players afterwards hearing some of their testimonies, and UBC will gather around them to say a word prayer over them.  Make sure to put this on your calendar.  If you have any questions, email toph@ubcwaco.org or taylor@ubcwaco.org

South Waco Halloween Festival

We are helping our friends at the Community Center to throw the biggest Halloween party in Waco (last year we had over 5000 people).  The festival will be on Wednesday night, October 25th, from 6-8pm.  We would love for you to bring your family out to the event.  We also need a lot (I mean like 80 people a lot) of volunteers.  There will be a sign-up sheet the next two Sundays in the foyer.  Volunteers will need to arrive at 5:30pm, and will be done at 8pm.  Volunteers will receive a volunteer shirt to put over their costume for the festival.  If you have any questions, please contact toph@ubcwaco.org

Sunday School for Fall Break

Champions, due to fall break, 2 of our 3 Sunday School classes will be cancelled Sunday morning. The mental health in the bible class and the Old Testament classes will not be meeting this Sunday.  Cheers, the class where everyone knows your name and also the class studying the book of Acts WILL meet this Sunday as scheduled.  

In addition to our regular Sunday School Classes, our OAR Sunday School class focusing on the history and values of UBC, begins this Sunday.  This class will last three weeks. 

Town Hall

We will have a town hall this Sunday after church.  I'm going to be honest, at this point i'm waiting to get something back from our architect.  We talked last Thursday and he said they are working overtime to have stuff ready for this deadline.  So i'm not sure how long it will take, but regardless, we'll meet right after church.  

McLennan County Orphan Care #2

Our second meeting of this semester in which we are investigating how we can care for the orphan here in McLennan County, will take place on Wednesday October 18.  The potluck will start at 6:00 PM.  So bring a dish to share and ears to hear.  In this second meeting we will hear from Arrow Child and Family Ministries.  They will talk to us about foster care and adoption.  Child care will be provided.    

Drummer Auditions

UbcMusic is looking for a new drummer!  If you are interested in auditioning, email jamie@ubcwaco.org, or sign up in the lobby on Sunday.

Parents Night Out

UBC Kids is having a Parent's Night Out! From 6:30-9:30pm TONIGHT bring your kids to UBC for some supervised fun and games. Dinner is not provided. Please sign up this Sunday after church! There will be a sign up sheet by the front door, or you can email taylor@ubcwaco.org.

Auditions for a Christmas Production by InSite

UBC is hosting a Christmas production from InSite, a new arts organization presenting performing and visual arts around Waco. "The Second Shepherds Play" is a hilarious 500-year-old English nativity play, like the one Shakespeare would have grown up seeing. Performances are December 15 and 16, and UBCers are invited to audition! Visit www.insitewaco.com/2shep or write to luannpjennings@gmail.com for info. 


Work is Worship

Greeters: Richardsons 

Coffee Makers:  Kim & Val 

Mug Cleaners:  Andrew Sabonis-Chafee

Money Counter: Doug M. 


  • Sunday Sermon: Exodus 32, "What Moses Learned About God" 
  • Mclennan County Orphan Care 2: Arrow Child and Family Ministries 10-18
  • SWCC Halloween Festival 10-25
  • Quarterly Leadership Team Meeting 10-29
  • The Big Meeting: our annual meeting with Finance, HR and Lead Team, 11-1
  • College Retreat, 11-3-15
  • Finance Team Meeting 11-9
  • McLennan County Orphan Care 3: CASA, 11-15

Do you have an emergency and need to talk to a pastor? 

254 413 2611

Leadership Team

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- Emma Wood:  emmaj.wood@yahoo.com

Byron Griffin: byrontgriffin@gmail.com

Stan Denman: Stan_Denman@baylor.edu

Adam Winn:  adamwinn68@yahoo.com

Bridget Heins: bheins@hot.rr.com

Sharyl Loeung: sharylwl@gmail.com

Jon Davis: jdavis83@gmail.com

Student Position: Samuel Moore: samuel_moore2@baylor.edu

Student Position: Leah Reed: Leah_Reed@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.

Josh McCormick: Josh.McCormick@dwyergroup.com

Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com  

Justin Pond: pondjw@gmail.com

Anna Tilson: Anna_Tilson@jrbt.com

Doug McNamee: douglas_mcnamee@baylor.edu


If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.

Rob Engblom: Rob_Engblom@baylor.edu

Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu

Jared Gould: jared.gould1@gmail.com

Rebekah Powell: rpowell671@gmail.com

Kristen Richardson: wacorichardsons@gmail.com