You can pick your friends…

There was, admittedly, some initial hesitation in proposing a combined youth/parent lock-in, but as I watched 5 adults slowly dancing around our Senior Pastor – who was wrapped up in a sleeping bag – gently showering him in colorful feathers – all to the sound of an extremely cheesy version of Kumbaya playing softly in the background, all of my misgivings melted away. Regrettably, this was also the point in the evening where my camera died.

The night of the youth/parent lock-in, however, was not all fun and games – mostly fun and games – but not all fun and games. Here’s a rundown of our evening and the next morning.

The night began with some fun and games – imagine that – and then we split up into three different groups to plan our worship service for the next morning. Each group was tasked with putting together and leading a song, a prayer, and worship session about family.

  • Group 1 put together a great presentation about how even though some of our family members are not always physically nearby – they affect our lives in so many positive ways and there is always a part of them that stays with us.
  • Group 2 was funny to watch as they completely expected Michael to lead everything since he’s the Senior Pastor! Needless to say, he was a great leader in that group and certainly didn’t do all of the work for them. They ultimately put together a great moment where they each talked about the unconditional love and acts of kindness that we receive from our family members
  • Group 3 – Had a bit of a bumpy start as they struggled to find any positive examples of family in the bible. Abraham and Isaac – EESH! Cain and Able – OUCH! Lot offering up his daughters! Esau and Jacob! In the end we recognized that the bible provides us with a somewhat realistic view of familial dysfunction. Each of us is imperfect and will always fall short in showing the same love that we receive from God.  Being part of family can be, and often is, a difficult thing. Thankfully, we have a wonderful loving Father in heaven that can, and always does, provide us with endless grace and love.

After worship planning we put together and decorated the lanterns that were on display in the Sanctuary this past Sunday. While we were decorating the lanterns we each shared stories of our family traditions, some difficulties that relate to our position in our families, and some our favorite things about our family members who were with us that evening. Once we completed our lanterns, we took them out and lit them on the steps of the church. Each lantern was decorated with some of our stories, words of encouragement, and even our personal struggles. It was our hope that the people passing by would see our lanterns, read our messages, and find comfort, encouragement, and a relatable story.

Following our lantern time we spent a good hour and half engaged in a sardines marathon. For those of you who have never played sardines let me assure you that it’s not an eating contest! Sardines is a game where a partner group goes to hide somewhere in the church, and it’s the other partner groups’ job to find the hiding pair and then join them in their hiding spot – packing in tight together like sardines – until everyone has found them. This is all done in the dark and no one is allowed to use their phone lights or turn on any lights in the church. The adults kept saying that they had the best places to hide, but were never part of a winning group – so we might have to give them a chance to hide at another lock-in!

At around 11:00 p.m. we spent some time back in the bible discussing the importance of the various genealogical references (Genesis 5, 1 Chronicles, Matthew 1, etc.) and how your family history was used to help identify who you were, what you did, what your were like, and where you were from. This was followed by Super-Secret-Fun-Time otherwise known as Kids vs. Parents! This was definitely one of the highlights of the evening and I have to hand it to the parents here because it was way past all of their bedtimes but they all did a great job with the skits, challenges, and finally – trivia! I don’t remember the final question but it may have been something about the legitimacy of Owl Cafes – where people can get a cup of coffee and pet live owls or it may have been about the legality of Kentucky’s bathing laws (everyone must take a bath at least once per year)! Our evening started to wind down after this and finally wrapped up with a few more rounds of sardines and a movie.

The next morning began with a breakfast of waffles and sausage biscuits, some quiet time with God in the sanctuary, and then we were off to worship. We hopped in the cars and made our way over to the Monticello Trails at the base of Carter Mountain. A few other parents joined and/or rejoined our group and we made our way up the short distance to the outdoor amphitheater where each group led us in their worship sessions!

All-in-all I would say a great time was had by everyone. I really appreciated the help and support of all the participating parents and it was great to see the youth interacting and guiding their parents through the norms of our lock-in environment. I can totally see this youth/parent lock-in becoming an annual event!


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Children’s Christmas Shop

Wednesday, December 11, 6:15 , where children can purchase gifts for their family members  for just 50¢ each.   Proceeds to go UBC Missions.

We are collecting small, attractive gift items (for men, women, and children) that our children can purchase as Christmas gifts for their families.  Bring your donations to the Preschool Department by Sunday, December 8.




UBC Missions and Community Outreach Fair

Sunday, November 10, After Worship

This coming Sunday UBC will be hosting our first Missions/Community Outreach Fair after worship.  Representatives from eleven community agencies and organizations will be stationed in the Fellowship Hall to share information about their mission.  This is a wonderful opportunity for you, your family, and/or your small group to get involved with one these organizations to make a difference in our community.  Light refreshments will be served.

For more information on the participating agencies click the accompanying link.
Alliance for Interfaith  Ministries (AIM)
Advancing Native Missions (ANM)
Big Brothers, Big Sisters
Blue Ridge Area Food Bank    blue-ridge-area-food-bank-thomas-jefferson-area-branch
Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
Habitat for Humanity
Hope House
Love INC (Love In the Name of Christ)
Meals on Wheels
Ronald McDonald House

UBC Fall Family Festival

Sunday, October 27, 3:00 pm
At the home of Robby & Judy Gough
Costumes, Food, Games, Prizes

Contact Bob Badgett if you can help with this event.

Yo’ Mama.

With Jubilate out of town for UVA’s fall break – the youth resorted to our finest foraging skills and made our way down the corner to Christian’s Pizza (see picture). It’s difficult to feed 14 people for $6/person and fresh hot pizza is always hard to turn down. Aside from the pizza promotion – I would like to take moment to address the catchy headline that I’m sure brought you to this post.

Tonight’s Youth Real Life topic was: “Yo’ Mama… and probably Yo’ Daddy

Yes, tonight we talked about our parents. We talked about the things we liked and loved about our wonderful providers and about the things that occasionally seem to creep under our skin… Needless to say, it was very engaging and lively discussion, all of which I have promised not to reveal too much of – but, I would like to highlight a bit of what was covered.

Indeed there are many positive aspects being kids that were offered forth – food, housing, a protective environment, an ever-present source of financial support, and LIFE ITSELF were all major points of agreement.  Likewise, we were able to concur on some of the common not-so-pleasant aspects of being an offspring – feeling ignored, unheard, over-protected, embarrassed, and bossed around. These themes, of course, run rampant in every generation as parents do their best to provide guidance and training for their children while, as we all know, children know everything they need to after the age of five!  All joking aside, the youth had an excellent moment of camaraderie and story telling, (which generally turns out to be the best part of my job – these kids are hilarious) each of them drawing closer to the others in the sharing of mutual struggles that are associated with being a child.

After our sharing time we addressed the different ways that we might navigate this relationship. It’s not often that we think about our parental relationships – for some of us they are as natural as breathing and something that just happens, while for others – they can be difficult and painful, fraught with fear or disappointment. We discussed our interactions with adults that we interpreted to be poor parental figures, our interactions with the children of these types of parents, and how the relationship between the parent and child is often crucial to the well-being and success of the child.

We then took some time to seek God’s word on the subject. After reading through a few choice verses from Proverbs and Deuteronomy (we decided we didn’t want to be stoned, or have our eyes pecked out by vultures for being bad kids) we settled in with Ephesians 6:1-3

  • Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Through discussing this verse, we were able to tie back to our earlier conversation about the kids who didn’t listen to their parents and some of the youth were able to share stories of drug abuse, and social/emotional problems that they saw in their classmates or friends.  God clearly has a plan for our familial relationships and any deviance from this plan can be disastrous.

Finally, we brainstormed ways to engage in God’s word and shared ideas for how we can honor our fathers and mothers. I think it’s safe to share this full list:

Way’s We Honor our Parents:

  • By what we wear
  • How we act (publicly)
  • Using our manners
  • Listening
  • Respecting their decisions
  • Being Truthful
  • Self Controlled
  • Open minded
  • Write a letter or email instead of continuing an argument
  • Being the Adult
    • We acknowledge that our parents are only human and may not always behave in the same manner that they expect from us…   

All in all, we had a very productive evening of fellowship and discipleship. I continue to be impressed by the level of maturity and engagement of all youth and feel blessed to be a part of this ministry. They are fine example of – and tribute to – the many wonderful families and parents we have at UBC.


Youth Pizza



Jubilate Variety Show

Jubilate Variety Show 2013

Jubilate, our collegiate student choir, presented their annual fundraiser this past weekend. The theme this year was “Broadway,” and they sang songs from well-known musicals such as “Godspell,” “Cinderella,” “Matilda,” and others.

For pictures, visit UBC’s facebook photo album.

William Underwood and Libby Grammer

UnderwoodWill&LibbyGrammer_directory croppedWe welcome William Underwood and Libby Grammer, a young married couple who joined UBC this past Sunday by transfer of their memberships from another Baptist church.

Youth Sunday Night Meals

We are now sharing our Sunday night meals with the wonderful students of Jubilate, and Alba Beasley has been doing a great job of lining up dinner providers.  We have been asked to provide a salad for these meals and I have put together an online sign-up form for our youth parents to help with this meal.  I think Alba will also use this form to help assign the meals but if there are parent volunteers who are willing to bring a salad for about 10-12 people — then we will be set!
SIGN-UP LINK    <—– Click it!
Along with the salad sign-up I wanted to take a moment to let everyone know about a new church policy that involves the safety of our youth.  While it has yet to be approved, the new policy will state that there must now be two adults present at all youth functions.  In the past we have always had two people of the opposite gender present on all trips and overnight events.  However, the new policy states that we would need two people to be present at all youth functions – which would now include Sunday Nights, Youth Pizza Nights, or other day related youth events.  I will meet and speak with the Youth Ministry Council early next month about how to best meet this new requirement — perhaps a rotation of parent volunteers to stay with us during youth events or even the same parent who provides the salad could serve in this role as well.  Something to think about.  Please let either myself or other members of the Youth Ministry Council know if you have any questions or comments about this change to the policy.
I think that’s all for now – please let me know if you have any questions!
Youth Ministry Coordinator

Youth Going Putt-Putting this Sunday

To finish out September,  I was thinking that our Real Life time this Sunday, September 29, should be spent out and about.  So, we will be spending our Sunday evening time at Putt-Putt!  The last time we went we were rained out so I still have our free game tickets and I was thinking we could order some pizza.  There are some drink and candy machines so if everyone could bring a couple bucks for a drink that would be most helpful!   We will NOT meet at the church.  I am asking that everyone be dropped off at Putt-Putt at  6:00 p.m.  and picked up at 8:00 p.m!

Phil Woodson
Youth Ministries Coordinator

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