Youth Retreat at Smith Mountain Lake

This past weekend, 19 youth and 4 adults enjoyed a wonderful retreat at Smith Mountain Lake. We played, swam, kayaked, paddle-boarded, canoed, flipped off of an inner tube pulled behind the boat at top speed, and ate a lot of delicious food. But most importantly, we took 24 hours out of the back-to-school craze and all the stressors inherent in that transition, to just enjoy life. We spent the weekend talking and playing together, and took time to rest, breathe, and appreciate the wonder of God in our natural surroundings and in each other.

Food Help Needed on Sunday Evenings starting August 30th.


We need volunteers to provide a light supper on Sunday evenings for the Youth Group and Jubilate beginning Sunday, August 30.  There are signup sheets in the narthex and the first floor lobby.

Contact Alba Beasley for more information.

Coming Up In August – Mark Your Calendars!

August 2

Hot Dog Cookout, Pool Party & Homemade Ice Cream Social on Sunday, August 16, 3:00 pm /

 Youth Retreat at  Smith Mountain Lake at 9:00 am, Saturday, August 22 until Noon, Sunday, August 23 /

 Wed. Supper & Programming resumes on Wednesday, August 26, 5:00 pm.

Called Church Conference, Wednesday, August 26, 6:15 pm


Touch-A-Truck 2015 Recap!

On Saturday our church co-hosted a Touch-A-Truck event for families in the community, partnering with the UVA Hospital and Shenanigans toy store. It was a huge success. There were well over a thousand people who came to the event over the course of the morning. Wow! This event exceeded all of our expectations!

We had eight trucks at the event, three across the street and five in our front parking lot, and everyone had a blast exploring those trucks. Yet, as fun as the trucks were, it was even more exciting to see hundreds of children and their families just walking through our parking lot and interacting with our church members.

We celebrate the success of the event, and we thank all the volunteers who made it possible. Over twenty UBC members helped in a variety of ways: welcoming children and giving them passports for the event, helping kids in and out of trucks, distributing free T-shirts, supplying coffee to the parents, giving away prizes, showing the way to our church restrooms, helping with crafts, and more! Thank you all for your help on Saturday! In addition, we thank the entire UBC congregation for their prayers and financial support, which made this event possible.

Finally, one of the most exciting parts of this event, from my perspective, was that it was truly a partnership with the hospital: a bridge reaching across West Main Street. Last fall, as our church began exploring ways to do more with the UVA Hospital, I began having conversations with Jan Allaire at the Battle Building. We talked about the possibility of doing something together as neighbors, and I mentioned this idea of hosting a Touch-A-Truck. In the months to follow, others at the hospital came on board, and the event began to take shape. My hope is that this event will be the beginning of a stronger and deeper relationship with the Battle Building and all of our neighbors in the UVA Health System.

NBC29 covered the event (see below or click on this link).

Thank you all for your help this weekend! Below are a few pictures from the event… enjoy!

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UBC’s VBS and Camp: July 6-10, 2015!

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University Baptist Church Vacation Bible School and Afternoon Camp!!

July 6-10, 2015

Vacation Bible School:  8:30 a.m. to 12 noon

Optional Afternoon Camp:   12 noon to 5:00 p.m.

A FREE program for children who have completed grades K-5


8:30 am to 12:00 noon: Morning VBS Program 

DSC_0134A Vacation Bible School program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. each day. The program will consist of songs and skits in a group setting, as well as rotating stations of games, crafts, snack, Bible stories, science experiments and more. This year we will be climbing Mt. Everest, as we learn how we can conquer challenges with God’s power!


12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.
(Optional Afternoon Camp — FULL!!)

Lunch: Each day a kid-friendly lunch will be provided, as well as an afternoon snack. Please let us know on the registration form if your child has any allergies or dietary needs.

Afternoon Camp (FULL): Each day following lunch we will have some down time (reading, quiet photo 1 (1) (1)games, video), then we’ll take the church bus to a different location! Many afternoons we will be swimming at a private pool. We will also spend one afternoon hiking. A certified lifeguard will be present during all pool visits, and adults trained in child first aid and CPR will accompany the children on all afternoon trips. A detailed schedule of afternoon activities will be provided to those registered the week before camp.


Packing List for Camp:

**Please make sure every item your child brings to Bible School and camp are labeled with his/her name.

  • Every day, please send a water bottle, hat and sunscreen in a backpack, and make sure your child is wearing sneakers or other close-toed shoes for walking/running.
  • On days we will be swimming, please send a bathing suit, towel, pool shoes, water bottle and sunscreen in a backpack.
  • Please do not send snacks (morning and afternoon snack are provided), electronics, or toys.



You can register for VBS and/or camp by using the form below.

All participants must also turn into the church office a signed VBS Consent Form before dropping your child off the first day of camp.


Youth Ropes Course

Our youth had a great time last weekend completing the ropes course at Poplar Ridge!! Here are a few pictures:


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Youth Lock-In and Breakfast!

Awesome group!

What an awesome group!

The youth and I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who woke up early this Sunday to join us for breakfast! We know it was a sacrifice to rise early the same day you also lost an hour of sleep, and we appreciate your support, both this Sunday and always. Many of our youth ministries and activities happen solely because of your help and encouragement, and we are grateful for such an amazingly supportive congregation!  It was wonderful to see a packed fellowship hall full of smiling faces, and to benefit from the generosity of so many church members as we prepare for our mission trip this summer!

Though the youth did their best to match the smiles and enthusiasm of those who joined us for breakfast, after our Saturday night lock-in full of fun and festivities that lasted into the wee hours, some of us rocked the ‘glazed over’ look more readily than the ‘I’m-so-happy-to-greet-the-new-day’ expressions we were desperately hoping to achieve.

Saturday night, however, was a different story. That evening, 21 youth eagerly helped assemble breakfast casseroles or prepared in other ways for Sunday’s breakfast.  After these tasks were complete, we were free to enjoy racing scooters in the fellowship hall, playing multiple rounds of the hide-and-seek game “sardines”, devouring more junk food than you may think is humanly possible (and certainly more than is humanly advisable), and playing a game of Human Hungry Hippos, an adaptation of the childhood board game where brightly-colored hippos shoot out from corners of the board to “eat” as many marbles as possible. If you’re curious about what this looks like with teenagers instead of plastic hippos, take a look:

Saturday night we also spent some quality time with God and with each other in prayer. We discussed the difficult question of if/how God answers some prayers and not others, and the different ways we can pray that may or may not resemble the traditional spoken prayers we use in church. Then we took time to commune openly and honestly with God, in written and spoken prayer.

Sunday morning we continued our exploration of prayer, worshipping individually or in groups at different prayer stations. Everyone was free to pray in as many different ways as they wished… some explored a number of different stations while others remained in one particular type of prayer for the duration. The youth were invited to pray while doodling, similar to the idea of “praying in color” that Lynn Martin introduced to us a few years ago. We prayed directionally, lifting up people facing different cardinal directions (to the south: patients in the hospital, to the north: family in New York, to the east: Christians in Syria, etc.). We prayed through music, we prayed in different postures, we prayed molding play-dough into a representation of our prayers, we prayed writing letters to those on our minds and hearts, and we prayed for those people and needs recommended in our Lenten prayer guide, “Seek God for the City”.

While watching a slideshow of pictures displaying God’s amazing creation, several youth commented that because they often find active, spoken prayer difficult, it was meaningful and freeing to be able to sit back and experience, admire, and praise God without saying a word. Others especially liked praying with stones. Writing a particular need on a stone and holding onto it while praying provided a simple yet very concrete (no pun intended) expression of our prayer requests and praises.  Another teenager appreciated the station where he could write a prayer in the form of a haiku. He explained that he often gets distracted while praying, but writing a haiku required all of his attention, and through writing, he was able to fully concentrate on God. I will close with his words of prayer, as well as another gem of a haiku written by one of our amazing youth:

I pray for the poor
For people who aren’t happy
For people I love

God is the bestest
He is all-knowing and cool
Jesus loves all peeps

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We’re Not Racist, Are We?

im not racistLast Thursday, the film “I’m Not Racist, Am I?” was shown at the Paramount Theater downtown. The documentary follows a diverse group of 12 New York City teenagers as they engage in a yearlong process examining racism in their lives and communities. Six of our youth attended the showing (along with hundreds of other local teenagers and adults) and were so moved that they asked if they could share what they had learned at our next Real Life meeting.

This past Sunday evening, after we engaged in some general antics of merriment (devouring pizza, popping balloons, imitating both Taylor Swift and the author of Genesis, etc.), the youth who attended the film shared some of the stories and questions of the teenagers in the documentary, as well as their own reactions to the ideas presented in the film.  For the rest of Real Life, the group then embarked on an hour-long discussion of racism: examples of racial prejudice in their own lives or the lives of friends, the prevalence of racial slurs and why that is problematic, whether racism is an individual reaction or systemic throughout society, and what our role is as Christians, as followers of Jesus, in addressing racism in our community.  The youth asked great questions, answered honestly and thoughtfully, shared openly and poignantly, and throughout our conversation addressed an incredibly complex idea with amazing insight and maturity.

Long story short, UBC has an amazing group of youth. And when I say amazing, that’s an understatement.



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