Stewardship Emphasis

“What Shall I Return to the Lord?” – Psalm 116:12

In response to the many ways God has been generous in goodness to our church, we seek to be generous in returning our time, talents, and resources to the mission God has set before us. Your personal giving plan enables our church leaders to plan and implement our church’s ministries for the year 2015. Please be assured that this web form goes directly to Sue Walton, our office manager. No one else will access this information.

Your plan may be changed at any time by notifying Sue at the church office (293-5106). Thank you for your generosity in supporting our church's mission.

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Young Adult Brunch

Our young adult group is having brunch this Saturday from 10:30 to 1:30 at the home of Erin and Will Brown (4000 City Walk Way, Apt. 351). All are welcome! We may have some new faces with us this month, so this is the perfect time to join us. Childcare will be provided for those with young children. Feel free to email Will if you have any questions. Hope to see you there!

Real Ministry during Real Life

Last Sunday, our youth had the chance to prepare and serve dinner at both the Ronald McDonald House and the Hospitality House. It was a wonderful chance to learn about and serve with some of the ministries in our immediate community, as well as a chance to have fun and challenge the inner chef in all of us!

At the Ronald McDonald House, 2 adults and 6 youth had one hour to make tacos for 40 people. Our two sixth-grade boys bravely took on the task of cooking 9 pounds of taco meat. Despite the fact that it was by far the hottest job in the kitchen, they worked cheerfully and neatly the whole time. And by neatly, I mean that at least 85% of the taco meat actually made it to the serving tray. Not too shabby!  :)  The rest of us prepared rice, corn, chopped vegetables without losing anyone’s fingers, used more plastic gloves than anyone thought possible, and generally had a blast working together in the kitchen.

The staff person working that night took some time to explain to us about who the house serves, and we learned that it is not only children undergoing cancer treatments and their families, but also children awaiting heart and other transplants, and families at the hospital for other medical emergencies. As we served dinner that night and talked about the experience later, it hit home for the youth that even though we had a ton of fun cooking together, the meal we prepared was meeting a real need for families going through very difficult times, and several teenagers asked when we can go back and serve again.

At the Hospitality House, some of our older youth prepared spaghetti for the guests. After teaching one high school junior the important life skill of how to boil spaghetti noodles, and after said high school student sent shards of uncooked spaghetti flying all over the kitchen, the meal went pretty smoothly! One of the guests who ate dinner at the Hospitality House that night told our youth that she had just spent all of her money for the rest of the month on supplies for her child who is in the hospital. Before she got to the house, she didn’t know if she would get anything to eat that night, and was thrilled to arrive and find a spaghetti dinner waiting for her. When our group got back together later Sunday night, the youth who served her were excited to share with the others how they had seen God at work in that situation!

Overall, we were thrilled to serve at both the Ronald McDonald House and the Hospitality House this week. We had fun cooking together, and we also learned from the sobering but meaningful encounters with families we served. It hit us that there are so many families in great need, literally right around the corner from our church, and in one evening we were able to minister to them in a simple but significant way. We are grateful for the experience, and hope to serve in this way again soon!

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Sunday Funday

As the youth leader I often struggle with ideological practice of having everything we do relate back to a religious idea or practice. I will ask myself, “Does this further the Kingdom of God?” Most often the answer is a resounding YES! But as I strolled through the Wal-Mart aisles picking up dish soap, a few buckets, and tarp – I couldn’t help but think that the 45-foot-super-awesome-slip-and-slide might just be for our own enjoyment.

Ultimately, we could have connected our journey downhill to the concepts of hope, courage, and God’s divine protection. Like – I hope I don’t break my leg, or I will take courage and get a running start, or “Oh Mercy!” this is super fast (Jesus, take the wheeeeeeel ♫)! We could have also used it as an invitation tool to help facilitate other youth joining our group – which we tried! There were a few neighborhood children that came over to see what we doing but I think they were too overwhelmed at all of the awesomeness that was taking place and really only came over to get a closer look. A small number of my other neighbors also came outside to openly view our craziness, but most stayed indoors away from all of our giggling and screaming – I imagine they were all peeking out of their windows like Jimmy Stewart’s character L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries in the movie Rear Window, waiting for one of us to slip up (pun intended).

It wasn’t all fun games though… well… yes it was. There was pizza, water balloons, water slingshots (although they didn’t work too well), card games, some sidewalk art, and of course the biggest slip-and-slide in Charlottesville (at least for today), and after all was said and done there were only a few grass scratches and bumped knees – but as I explained to the kids, that’s how you know you had fun! And honestly, that’s really what it was all about – having fun. And you know what else? Having fun is great. I highly recommend it. In fact, I’m fairly sure 9 out of 10 doctors recommend having fun on a daily basis.

Now, if only we could find some biblical basis for all the fun we had…

(insert dramatic pause)

Boom. King Solomon comes through.

Yes, according to rabbinic tradition, the book Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon in his old age and I quote:

Ecclesiastes 8:15: So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun. (NLT)

There it is.

“Have fun.”

So much of what our youth have to look forward is not always going to be fun – being an adult is hard. You can ask one, I’m sure they’ll tell you all about it! Jobs, money, bills, work, etc. Think about the first things that adults talk about when they see each other! They are very rarely in the market for having some fun. There’s a great quote from the children’s book The Little Prince written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry that illustrates the adult conundrum:

“Grown-ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?” Instead, they demand: “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.

If you were to say to the grown-ups: “I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,” they would not be able to get an idea of that house at all. You have to say to them: “I saw a house that cost $400,000.” Then they would exclaim: “Oh, what a pretty house that is!”

Now, I’m only 30 years old – but this already hits home with me and speaks to how I sometimes view the world.

Thankfully, I have a job – well, 2 jobs actually – that keep me young. I am regularly reminded of the necessity to not take things too seriously or get too upset about the adult method of doing things and I am so very thankful that in this moment, on this day – we can fly down the hill and roll over backwards with laughter. Thankful that we are able to create memories that will bring a smile to our face when we’re feeling down and when we’re working hard – because, ultimately, God does want us to work hard. I dare say he needs us to work hard – we are told that the mountain is steep and the path is narrow.

So for now, while we can, let’s have some fun.

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Report on Church Council Meeting

Last Sunday, I met with our Church Council and Deacons, and together we discussed the job descriptions of a “Ministry Resident” (a two-year position for a seminary-trained graduate to explore and gain experience in congregational ministry) and a “Director of Creative Arts” (a part-time position for a musician with theological training that can assist in the musical, audio-visual and participatory aspects of our creative service).  I also presented an initial description of the creative worship service that I’ve been proposing. Those who attended the meeting asked good questions and provided valuable input.

One point that was made repeatedly was the importance of providing more information to the congregation and garnering wide support for this venture. Our leadership is working on revising the job descriptions, and they will be distributed in time for a church-wide town hall meeting in August.

Stay tuned for more details later.

I will be on vacation from July 14-27. While I’m away, please welcome our guest preachers, Rev. Elizabeth Dowdy on July 20 and Rev. Lynn Litchfield on July 27.

~Blessings, Michael

 

Parking this Sunday (5/18)

Parking SignPlease be forewarned!

Due to UVA’s graduation, the 14th St. Garage will charge for parking this Sunday.

Free parking is still available in the Stacey Hall lot.

 

“Spring into Motion!”

It’s Spring!  And on Wednesday nights from April 30 through May 28, we will “Spring into Motion.”  After dinner, at 6:15 p.m., we will leave the dinner table and go to the activity of our choice.

Choose a different activity each week, spend a couple of weeks at a couple of activities, or spend all five weeks at the same activity.

When you arrive for dinner, sign up for the activity of your choice for that night.

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Holy Week & Easter Services

maundy_smMaundy Thursday Service

Thursday, April 17, 7:00 p.m.

You are invited to a Maundy Thursday Service here at UBC, this Thursday, 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

Maundy Thursday commemorates the last supper that Jesus ate with his disciples, and the commandment that he gave to them to “love one another.”

We will have a symbolic foot washing service as well as a communion service.

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good-friday-smGood Friday Service

Friday, April 18, noon

We will hold a Good Friday Service on Friday, April 18, at 12 noon.  This service remembers the death of Jesus on the cross for the forgiveness of our sin and the redemption of the world.

Afterwards, there will be a soup and bread lunch served in our Fellowship Hall.

 

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Easter SundayEaster Sunday Service

Sunday, April 20, 11:00 a.m.

You are invited to attend our Easter Sunday Service, April 20!

In addition to celebrate our risen Lord, we will also celebrate the baptism of three new disciples of Jesus.

Parking Easter Sunday

Please park in the 14th Street Parking Garage or at Stacey Hall if you are able to walk those distances. Remember that the front parking lot at the church is reserved for visitors, those with walking difficulties and parents with small children.

 

Daylight Saving Time Ends

Daylight Saving Time Ends Sunday, November 3
Set your clocks back 1 hour.

Mission Opportunities This Fall

Hygiene Kits for Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women
(Deadline: Wednesday, November 20)
1 individually wrapped toothbrush
1 tube of toothpaste (6 oz. or less)
1 solid deodorant stick (2.4 oz. or less)
1 bottle of lotion (15 oz. or less)
1 bottle of shampoo (15 oz. or less)
(Place all items in a one-gallon Zip Loc bag or bring individual items.)

Greeting Cards & Stationery for FCCW (Deadline: November 20)
Greeting cards for all occasions (including Hanukkah and Christmas)
Writing paper, envelopes
“Forever” postage stamps
Wooden pencils (unsharpened)

Operation Christmas Child
Pre-wrapped shoeboxes and gift lists are available in Fellowship Hall, in the narthex, and in the church office. The deadline for bringing filled shoeboxes is Wednesday, November 20.

Collection boxes for all items are located in Fellowship Hall and outside the Church Office.

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