Staff Anniversaries

April is a special month at UBC as we acknowledge as a church family the wonderful contributions of these two dedicated staff members:

Sue Walton (30 years)
Barbara Taylor Moore (27 years)

We thank Barbara and Sue for their many years of loyal and cheerful service. We are truly grateful for the special talents and loving spirit that each brings to the life and work of University Baptist Church!

The Youth’s March Mission Madness Trip

Every spring the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia sponsors about 4 different mission weekends at locations all over the state. This year, our youth attended the one located in Blacksburg, VA.


When we arrived on Friday evening we were greeted with the castle-like campus of Virginia Tech, which prompted many UVA inspired comments and discussions from the youth about what we would all be wearing tomorrow (i.e. a Cavalier shirt or something else that was specifically blue and orange instead of maroon and orange)! We made our way up the street to Blacksburg Baptist Church which sits directly across from the Tech campus in a very much the same way our own church sits in relation to the UVA campus.  We stepped out of our cars and stretched before being welcomed and herded down into their fellowship hall to an outstanding dinner of burgers and hotdogs. Everyone from our group was really just excited to see that we wouldn’t be eating pizza and we quickly devoured our meals. The evening then moved into a time of worship and we gathered in the sanctuary for prayer and song. We were also excited to meet our work team members and get into our work groups for the next day.


Once our rooms at the Super 8 motel were sorted out, we all pretty much went to sleep, but since the first night in a hotel is always the roughest there were a few that ventured out early in the morning to track down a Starbucks. We traveled back to Blacksburg Baptist and heard a very moving story from Mark Snipes that provided some perspective for the day. One of the big take-aways from his sermon was that “it’s not about reaching down to help someone up to where you are, but recognizing that we are all equal in the eyes of God and it’s about meeting people where they are to be Christ to them when and where they need it.”

Our Youth were split up into 6 different groups and sent out to worksites all around the great Blacksburg and Christiansburg area. For most of the day our youth worked on the following projects:

  • Wheelchair Ramp/Platform – An elderly woman had been “trapped” in her home for about 2 years and had no means to get outside her house without some serious assistance. She had paid someone else to build her a ramp about a year ago and while they delivered some materials to her yard, they never even started on the construction. Working alongside a “Hearts & Hammers” program we built a ramp from her side door down into her yard. Another group worked to dig out a reasonably sized hole so that a concrete pad could be poured that would allow another woman to easily access transportation at her home. They also did a large amount of cleaning and yard work.
  • Retreat Center / Households – There is always much work to be done when any outdoor area is opened again in the spring, and our youth worked to paint and clean up a retreat center for the local community to use. There are also many people that need some assistance with painting, yard work, organizing, or general cleaning tasks around their homes and our youth were there to help them as well.
  • Pregnancy Center – We sent a group to a Pregnancy counseling center where they did a lot of cleaning and organizing. They also helped in stuffing envelopes and assisting with the mailing of information and materials that will hopefully be helpful to women who are struggling with difficult decisions.

Our Saturday concluded with a very filling pasta dinner and another worship service. Once back at the hotel we all debriefed and shared our experiences from the day and then most of us went to bed….   J


Sunday morning we rolled out to our final service at Blacksburg Baptist, worshiped with their 8:30 morning service members and made our way back home. A very successful trip for all involved!

It is only through the continuing support of the members at UBC that these types of opportunities can be offered to our youth. Not only are they growing and moving along their own spiritual path but they are also positively affecting the lives of all the people they interact with along the way. Thank you for your support of the youth ministry!


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CBF Easter Offering

Through the end of April, we will be collecting contributions for National Missions, with a goal of $3000.  UBC is again designating our Easter offering to the work of Paula Settle, CBF Associate in Nada, Kentucky.  This area is one of our nation’s 20 “pockets of poverty” identified by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship over a decade ago.

Paula has identified several areas of need that reflect the positive cultural shift taking place in Nada.  Three years ago Charlene Helton became the first Nada youth to attend college.  This fall there will be 5 college students from the Nada area.  All of these students are working part-time jobs, but Paula has suggested they all could use help with the cost of books, clothes and other supplies.

While our offering for this year is focused on helping the college students, we also want to give Paula the flexibility to continue to help with critical community needs.  Please give a generous gift to our CBF Easter Offering for National Missions.

For more information about Paula Settle’s work through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, please visit this link.


UBC Variety Show

Everyone is invited to attend our fun-filled UBC Variety Show, Saturday, March 22, 7 p.m., in our Fellowship Hall!  Enjoy acts performed by our members. Indulge in desserts! Hope to see you there!
UBC Variety Show - March 22, 7 pm


Meet Our New Ministry Intern

Randi McFarlandHello! My name is Randi McFarland and I am a May, 2013 graduate of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, VA. I am married to my husband Jim of forty years, and have three grown children, Mical, Jaime and Ashley. I also have five grandchildren with one on the way! I have lived most of my life in Nashua, NH, which is where my children were born and raised, but now they live with their families in NC, in NH, and in Florida respectively. We love to visit whenever we can.

I was fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom while raising my children. While I realized that parenting was probably the most important job in the world, I had a longing to do something more. As a teenager I was called to be a missionary, but was side-tracked for a while thinking God had switched to Plan B, not realizing at the time that Plan A was still in place. I went back to school at the age of 42 to obtain a Master of Education degree with a concentration in Counseling. Beginning with my undergraduate degree in Psychology however, God had planted in me a desire to attend Seminary and although I made several attempts throughout the years, things did not fall into place until we moved to Virginia in 2005.

I commenced my seminary career with a CPE unit at UVA Hospital in the summer of 2008, and then began attending classes in Richmond in the spring semester of 2009 while traveling back and forth to school. My third and fourth years, I lived on campus in the dorm with the “thirty somethings” and what fun that was! Graduating from Seminary four and a half years later was a dream come true, but I wasn’t sure where it would lead me. I interned as a chaplain at Chippenham Medical Center in Richmond for seven months and was encouraged by my Site Team and Supervisor to continue in this line of work.

Presently, I am hoping to get a Residency position in the fall of 2014 either at MCV or UVA Hospitals. I also want to be very involved in the life of the church and am so grateful to Pastor Michael and you (the church) for agreeing to let me become part of your congregation while I am discerning God’s direction. Thank you for this exciting opportunity and I look forward to a wonderful relationship and experience with you!

“Through the Door” Documentary

On this Wednesday night (February 26, 2014), we will be screening “Through the Door,” a documentary that explore issues of faith and the prison system.  It is produced by the Center for Christian Ethics, and it tells stories of what goodwill Christians and faith-based organizations are doing in Indiana, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia to minister to prisoners, and their families inside and outside prisons.

Come this Wednesday night (6:15pm to 7:00 pm) in our Fellowship Hall to view a 30-minute clip of this documentary and to discuss and explore ways to do our part in putting our faith in action in this important justice issue.

Below is an online trailer for the documentary:

“Through the Door” ~ Online Teaser from EthicsDaily on Vimeo.

For more information, please visit Baptist Center for Ethics’ website.

A Word from the Finance Committee

As most of you are aware, the congregation recently voted to continue the 2013 budget for the first 3 months of this year rather than adopt a reduced budged for 2014.  This delay is to provide time for us to respond to a challenge from UBC leadership to raise an additional $75,000 in pledges for 2014.

Our January 2014 monthly budget needs were $55,839 and contributions were only $39,810.  Clearly we have a challenge to raise our commitments by increasing our pledges or pledging for the first time.  While we have this challenge in front of us, we have God behind us, helping us to meet it.  UBC has a history of “stepping up to the plate” when called upon to do so.

We have been blessed in so many ways and have been given abundant resources with which to achieve our mission as a church.  Now we need to renew our spiritual commitments and prioritize our financial resources to allow UBC to be the “vehicle” that God needs.  In his sermon on Sunday, Michael clearly portrayed the church not as a destination, but rather as a vehicle on our journey to spread the message of Christ.

The Finance Committee will revise the 2014 Proposed Budget during March based upon the projected revenues from the pledges, which I am confident will increase as a result of prayerful consideration from all of us.  We can meet the challenge of raising the additional $75,000 in pledges.  The UBC “bus” is continuing on its journey to spread the message of Christ.  Will you be on it?

                  ~ Larry Martin, Finance Committee Chair

Let’s Increase Our Budget by $75,000!

At our church conference on Sunday, February 9, the church voted to postpone a vote on our 2014 budget so that we can respond to a special challenge to raise our pledges by $75,000 by February 28, 2014. For more information about this stewardship challenge, please read Michael’s column and Michael’s sermon.

Please participate in this challenge by filling out the pledge form below. Please be assured that information from this web form goes directly to Sue Walton, our office manager. No one else will access this information.

Thank you for your participation in what God is doing through UBC to share the love and grace of Christ to the university community and beyond!

Get Your Act Together!

UBC Variety ShowThe Fellowship Committee will sponsor a Variety Show with wonderful entertainment and luscious desserts for the whole family on Saturday, March 22, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

If you would like to perform in this year’s show, contact Larry Johnson ( or Laura Morris (


Welcome, Rev. Allison Jackson

Rev. Allison JacksonOur guest preacher on February 9 is Rev. Allison Jackson.  She is a staff chaplain with Centra Hospice in Lynchburg, Virginia, serving people from Lovingston to Gretna.

Allison was born and raised in a small town outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, and has been a Baptist for as long as she’s been breathing. She went to Wake Forest University where she studied chemistry and biology intending to be a doctor.  Her plans changed when she met Patrick Jackson, who did became a doctor.  Allison was called to divinity school in her senior year and went to Yale Divinity School.  She was ordained by Wedgewood Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, in May of 2011 and married Patrick in June of that year.

Allison did her Clinical Pastoral Education (pastoral care boot camp) at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville.  She is Board Certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains and Endorsed by the Alliance of Baptists.  She and Patrick live in Charlottesville with their two cats.

We welcome Rev. Allison Jackson to the pulpit this Sunday!

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