(In the Life of the Church)
On Mary and the Magnificat - by Taylor
I have been obsessed with Mary this Advent season. I just can’t stop thinking about her. Which – admittedly – is a little strange because before this Advent season I hadn’t spent much time thinking about Mary at all. For a handful of class sessions in seminary maybe – but not much outside of that.
I very rarely remember talking or hearing about Mary in church much growing up – and if we did talk about Mary it was mostly just to mention that she was the mother of Jesus. Maybe to mention her involvement in the “water into wine” miracle. There was very little talk about who Mary was – about how Mary might have been thinking or feeling about being the mother of God. Was she scared? Was she excited? As she watched Jesus grow up was she anxious? (I don’t know any parents who don’t bear some anxiety about their children – so I imagine she was.) Did she understand what she was getting herself into? Or was she winging it – taking it day by day?
When I was younger I had a tendency to read books with strong female characters – Jo March in Little Women, Matilda in Matilda, Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, and Hermione Granger in Harry Potter. As I have gotten older I have undertaken a concerted effort to seek out female characters (in books or in films) that are full, round characters – characters who remind me of actual women that I have met in real life. Women who are smart and strong and kind and angry and capable and competent. Women who make mistakes and apologize for them – who care for the people around them and women who are passionate about their work. Women who look like me or my mom or my sister or my friends.
But I think for much of my life I have struggled to find myself (or women who seem familiar to me) in the biblical narrative. And it is not because they’re not there but because I have not been given a lens through which to see them. But this Advent season when I read the Magnificat (sometimes known as Mary’s Song – which she sings after being greeted and blessed by Elizabeth in Luke 1) I thought, “This is a woman that I know. This is a woman who is familiar to me.” In her song Mary says:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
And I’m not exactly sure what it means that I am just now beginning to find the women within the biblical narrative – because I’m sure that if you’d asked me 10 years ago I would’ve confidently been able to tell you plenty about the role of women in Christianity. But I’ll tell you this – I am glad to have Mary as my guide on this leg of the journey. I am beginning to see that I have much to learn from her – and I’d love it if you want to learn together.
You can let me know if you have any questions or if you’d like to talk about any of this by shooting me an email here.
MiCasa Chili Cookoff - January 27
Get ready for our first ever Micasa Chili throw down. If you are in Micasa, you are invited to our Chili Cook-off on Sunday, January 27th, at 5:30pm. We will have special guest judges, and a prize for the best chili. Look for more information in the new year. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com
Christmas Eve Service
Christmas Eve service will be at 5:30. There will be no child care at the service, but that is because the children are going to be a significant part of the service. We hope that you’ll make UBC part of your worship plans on this holiday season because we think it’s going to be awesome.
Christmas Eve Service - Parents and Kids
Hey UBC Families! It’s Taylor. We are going to be doing a Kid’s Nativity with our UBC Kids this Christmas Eve! If you are planning on being there could please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can have a general idea about how many kids we are going to have present and participating! All kids 4yo-6th Grade will have an opportunity to participate and I would love to have some youth helpers! So if your kids are any of those ages and want to participate or help please let me know! Thanks!
ITLOTC, our beloved newsletter, which many have argued is on par with The Onion in entertainment value, will be taking a two-week break. So please step away from your computer screens on Friday December 28 and January 4 and quit holding your breath. We will be back with riveting material on Friday January 11. Should information arise within our community that needs to be shared before then, we will commission someone to produce a special edition of ITLTOC.
Leadership Team Member
UBC is looking for a new leadership team member. If you this is something you are interested in or would like to nominate someone in our community for please use the following link to do so.
Here is some information from our bylaws about the leadership team.
Section 1. Leadership Team
(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. Members serving as student member commit to a year with the chance to renew up to three years.
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Parishioner of the Week
Val Fisk for winning outstanding student at Truett Seminary and for landing a sweet pastoral associate gig in Knoxville, TN. Thanks for all that you have done or us Val. Go in the power of the resurrection.
Sermon Text: Luke 2:39-55
Work is Worship
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- Adam Winn: email@example.com
Byron Griffin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kerri Fisher: Kerri_Fisher@baylor.edu
Bridget Heins: email@example.com
Jeremy Nance: Jeremy Nance
Joanna Sowards: firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Position: Samuel Moore: email@example.com
Student Position: Anna Carol Peery: 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.
JD Newman: JD_Newman@baylor.edu
Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com
Justin Pond: email@example.com
Doug McNamee: firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Ballas: 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.
Josh Blake: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu
Jared Gould: email@example.com
Rebekah Powell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristen Richardson: email@example.com