(In The Life Of The Church)
Easter 2 - by Taylor
The Gospel text from the Lectionary this week is John 20:19-31. It’s the story of Thomas the Doubter. V. 24-31 say the following:
“But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.” But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.” Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.” Thomas said, “My Master! My God!” Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.” John 20:24-31
T the story of Thomas might be one of my favorite stories because it is such a reminder of how I often interact with God in my own life. Because I like to think of myself as someone who is fairly good at dealing with authority. I like to think that I don’t have issues taking direction or listening to input from other people. And honestly – you know – I can say I have grown in those areas over the past several years (although there’s plenty of growth to come). But those things do not come easily.
It’s easy to see (now) that those things stem from a sense of pride – from my own sense that I am definitely right and that my ideas are the best ideas in every situation. That’s obviously not a great (or healthy) way to walk through the world – but it does help me understand Thomas’ point of view here. It would be hard for me to believe my friends or coworkers if they told me that something impossible happened if I had not witnessed that thing for myself. And I also have a tendency toward the dramatic (in case you haven’t noticed), so I can practically here myself saying, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.” I can imagine that seemed like the most reasonable thing to say at that particular moment.
But I also have been surprised by God in so many big and generous ways (none of them even coming close to the size or generosity of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection) and in those moments I have found that my reaction is always similar to Thomas’ reaction upon seeing Jesus. “My Master! My God!”
I love so much that Jesus walks Thomas through that moment. That he says to him, “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.” Because those are the words I so often need to hear. Don’t be unbelieving – Believe. And I love even more that Thomas doesn’t need to stick his hand in Jesus’ wounds – in the presence of the risen Christ Thomas has no use for hyperbole because the most wonderful and extravagant thing is right in front of him. Belief comes easy.
But that is not always the case as Thomas and Jesus and the author of the Gospel of John remind us – “These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.” – there will be plenty of days when belief is hard to come by. And that’s ok. But as we continue walking through this Easter season, let us strive to be a people of belief so that in the act of believing we might have real and eternal life in the way that Jesus personally revealed it.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about any of this, feel free to email email@example.com.
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Parishioner of the Week
Adair McGregor for an incredible job preparing flowers for our Easter extravaganza this Sunday.
There will be a town hall after church Sunday April 15. The meeting will happen after church and last about 30 minutes.
Backside - April 20
If you are a musician, poet, storyteller, visual artist, baker, or otherwise creative type, we are having an open mic/open wall/open table event at 7pm on Friday, April 20. If you are interested in participating, sign up in the lobby on Sunday, or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Graduate Luncheon - April 22
If you are graduating (hs, college, masters, or phd), we would love to have you stay for lunch after church Sunday, April 22nd. The service that day will be our annual graduate commissioning service, and we would like to invited those are graduating to stay for lunch with the staff. There will be a sign-up sheet in the foyer the next two Sundays. If you have any questions, please shoot email@example.com an email.
On April 29 - just over three weeks from now! - our kids are going to be leading us in worship at UBC! We are so excited for them to have the opportunity to lead us in worship because we think that it will be a formative moment for them as well as a formative moment for our entire congregation and we are very excited about it! If you have any questions feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask!
Cesar Chavez Teacher/Staff Encouragement
We are providing lunch to the folks at CCMS next week to encourage them during testing, and in addition to lunch we are writing an encouraging note. If you could take some time before or after the service on Sunday to write an encouraging note to the folks at CCMS, that would be wonderful. The notes and basket will be on the foyer table. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com
Leadership Team Nominations
First we'd like to applaud the fearless Stan Denman, Sharyl Loeung, and Jon Davis for their leadership these last three years. Their stints are coming to an end this April. In addition to their departure, one of our student positions are being vacated as well. Leah Reed is graduating and moving onto bigger, but not necessarily better things. As a reminder, the student positions are on year commitments that can be renewed up to three years.
So that means we are looking for new folks to serve on the leadership team. Here is some information for you to consider from the bylaws.
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.
Nominations begin now. So if you'd like to nominate yourself or anyone else, please use this link.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Ricky & Rose
Coffee Makers: Emmy & Caroline
Mug Cleaners: Cooleys
Money Counter: Hannah Kuhl
Welcome Station: Kerri & Melissa
- Sermon Text: Acts 4:32-25
- 4-13 Date Night
- 4-13&14 College Spring Retreat
- 4-15 Town Hall
- 4-20 Backside
- 4-22 Mr. Rogers Sunday
- 4-29 Chidren's Sunday
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Byron Griffin: email@example.com
Stan Denman: Stan_Denman@baylor.edu
Adam Winn: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridget Heins: email@example.com
Sharyl Loeung: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Davis: email@example.com
Student Position: Samuel Moore: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
JD Newman: JD_Newman@baylor.edu
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.
Rob Engblom: Rob_Engblom@baylor.edu
Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu
Jared Gould: email@example.com
Rebekah Powell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristen Richardson: email@example.com