(In The Life Of The Church)
Writing the Newsletter
I started the newsletter in November of 2013. I did it because the staff kept getting feedback that communication was poor. It seemed liked a natural next step, especially in the world of digital communication. It's a pretty routine process ... I get info from staff. I copy the template from the week before. I update the announcements and work is worship section. BUT there is alway the article. Like most things that demand creativity, it comes in waves. Sometimes writing is seamless. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth. I recently begun outsourcing some of the writing, mostly to Jamie, more recently to Taylor and soon you will find a pretty steady rotation in the newsletter.
That being said, I'm not feeling it this week and Toph told me that the article isn't why people read the newsletter anyway. So instead I'm going to post four thing here that I really like or that I think are engaging or thought provoking.
1. The Heineken Beer commercial. You may have seen this pop up on social media. Something like: "What Pepsi got wrong Heineken got right." I count almost every thing on the internet click bait, but Toph specifically emailed the rest of the staff this vide and said watch it. So i did. In short, it's about having hard conversations in a world that no longer wants to do that.
2. Rain, rain and more rain. I'm really sensitive to noise. It's not that I can't handle loud things, but if my ears find a noise unpleasant, it really grits me. Kind of like chewing on tin foil. So i have a routine now. In the evenings after my kids are in bed, Lindsay and I head to the screen porch with our books and i turn on my ten hour rain soundtrack. It's like living in Seattle without all the mud.
3. This piece on being pro-life and health care. I'm politically moderate. I don't say that to appease largest number of people or because I don't have conviction (though those things can both be true of me). I mean that i've voted for presidents of both major parties multiple times. My ballots are usually split. I find bi-partison efforts admirable. I like that our government has checks and balances. I also like when my suppositions are challenged. I've preached before on the role of the church in social justice issues. My perspective was challenged, sharpened if you will, by this article from a Wacoan published in the Washington Post.
4. Oil and Honey. I just finished this book by activist-professor Bill McKibben. In full disclosure it is decidedly leftist in it's environmental politics. But the book is also about Bill's two lives. The one as an environmental activist and leader of 350.org and the other as interested and aspiring apiarist. His journey is that of a concerned citizen and it reads like a memior. I loved it.
It has turned out to be a bad semester for a our regular sports writer Flip Majkowski to take a sabbatical. But let's be honest. After the deacon board made a unanimous decision to fire Slayer softball coach Byron Roldan after the '15 softball season, we thought there was little hope for the athletic department at UBC. So you can imagine our astonishment when, after quietly finishing off a regular spring basketball season and earning a four seed in the tourney, the mens basketball squad told a 30 for 30 type of Cinderella story.
With just 8 kids, barely enough behinds to the keep the bench room temperature much less warm, a shorthanded Slayer squad played valiant basketball. At midpoint this season, after a embarrassing loss to The Antioch Magi, Coach Whisnant decided what his team needed to do was run. Run they did. Wind sprint after wind sprint after wind sprint. Eventually, Slayers formed themselves into a pack of gazelles. They would not lose another game because of conditioning.
In the first game of the tournament, the Slayers handled the #5 seeded Episcopalian Liturgists, outscoring 18-4 in the fourth quarter. Shooting guard Shane Ward heated up and the rest of the team never cooled down. But what really alerted the ecclesiological sports world that a Goliath had awakened, was that the Slayers trounced the #1 seeded Pentecostal Pneumas. It was a game of strategy. Coach Whisnant identified that they needed to shut down all diocese first team point guard Joel Montanus and Pneumas offense would fall apart. What the Slayers lack in youth, they make up in wisdom. Montanus shot just 3-15 beyond the arc and the pentecostals were out hustled by the spirit of Mike Studer and Chad May.
So to the championship game the Slayers went taking on another local baptist giant. #3 seeded Columbus Ave. If you know your Baptist politics, you know what this game meant to the world around it.
The championship had pace. It had drama. It had the all diocese first team play of power forward Jason Phillips, but in the end it was Slayer small forward Jonathon White who couldn't be matched. White a Sr. transfer from China Spring, TX put on a clinic, shooting 59% from the field and finishing with one of the seasons few triple/doubles. What White didn't do on defense was made up for by the athleticism of Justin Begnoche. This game even reminded fans that geriatric medicine can work wonders, as veterans Doctor D. Wilhite and Trevor Carlson made significant contributions.
In the end it was a Slayer victory. Not just for a team of 8 ragtag kids from around the greater metropolitan Waco area, but an entire community that refused to give up hope. UBC is now a better place. UBC's had it's victories in the past. Crowder gave us a Dove award for the Light Bright video. In '15 we won WISD partner of the year. We've snagged a few golden apples along the way. But the pride the community wears with this victory is different. It's transcendent. It's a church basketball league trophy and likely approval from God that He loves our theology, because as the great theologians of the church have always maintained, those things always go hand in hand.
Sunday School has officially come to an end. Thank you to all of our leaders who faithfully gave of their time. We will resume with Summer Sunday School or triple S as I like to call it, in June. Stay tuned for riveting information.
Office Manger Search
UBC is looking for a new office manager. Our friend and collogue Amy Smith Carman is moving on to do Ph.D. work at TCU. Congratulations Amy! We are proud of you and grateful for your contributions to the UBC staff and the larger church. Amy is the second office manager who is leaving us to go do a PhD, so we feel like this position really opens doors for people. Person's interested in applying can find a job description and application here.
UBC is now accepting applications for the pastoral associate program. You can read more about the program and find the information needed to apply by clicking here.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Ricky & Juliet
Mug Cleaners: Zunigas
Money Counter: Hannah K.
- Sunday Sermon: Please be in prayer for our friend and pastoral associate Marshall Cook who will be preaching this Sunday.
- Our Thailand teams leaves this Sunday, 5-14-17. Please be in prayer for them as they travel and that God would do meaningful things with our presence there.
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