September marks the halfway point in my Ministry Residency, and I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on the year and to say thank you to everyone at UBC for your feedback, your patience, and your friendship during the past year. I am especially grateful to Michael for his willingness to be open with me about what pastoral ministry is like from the inside, with all its ups and downs. I’ve also learned so much from working with Bob and Alba, and I am grateful to the entire staff for letting me truly feel like part of the team while I am here. The entire congregation has been incredibly gracious as we figure out together what exactly a Ministry Residency is and how it works at UBC. Finally, thank you to the Lay Support Team for your guidance and insightful questions along the way.
Looking back on the year, I am struck by the momentous events that punctuate my experience here: being ordained, baptizing one of our youth, leading a trip to Israel, officiating at three weddings, partnering with the Children’s Hospital to host the Touch-A-Truck event, and more. Yet I am equally grateful for the quieter moments: sharing meaningful conversations in the hallways, having lunch with college students, posting pictures on UBC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, presiding over the Lord’s Supper, hanging out with youth on the Mission Trip, and tinkering with meeting agendas.
This year has been an amazing introduction into church ministry, both the flashy parts and the humbler parts behind the scenes. With this year of experience beneath my feet, I am excited for the year ahead, as we continue to minister together to the needs of our congregation and our world.
on his Third Anniversary as the Senior Minister at UBC.
Many thanks for another wonderful year of leadership and ministry. We extend our thanks also to Beth, who has been a wonderful addition to UBC.
And we’re glad Thea and Wesley are here!
During September we also acknowledge as a church family the special contributions of
a very dedicated staff person who is celebrating his 33rd Anniversary at UBC.
Thank you, Thomas!
Faith In Action
Sermon: “Healing Prayer” – Dr. Michael Cheuk
Scripture: James 5:13-20
During September we will be supporting the Alma Hunt Offering for Virginia Missions and the Chaplain Service at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women. Our goal is $4,000.
One Virginia ministry that receives support from this offering is LUCHA, which stands for Latinos Unidos por Cristo en Hermandad y Apoyo (in English, “Latinos United through Christ in Solidarity and Support”). Led by Greg and Sue Smith, who serve with and among Latinos in the greater Fredericksburg area, LUCHA Ministries provide a Christian response to the question of immigration and the needs of the immigrant community.
This Sunday, September 6, we will distribute several orange bags to be filled with groceries (list attached to bag). These bags will be taken to the CBFVA Assembly on Friday, September 18, where they will be given to LUCHA Ministries to be distributed to welcome some of our Virginia “neighbours.”
On Wednesday, September 9, we will have more orange bags to be filled with food items that have been purchased with mission money.
Donations to UBC will be welcome to offset the cost of these groceries.
Faith In Action
Sermon: “Wisdom from Above” – Dr. Michael Cheuk
Scripture: James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a
This past Sunday, Jon and Tanya Parks joined us at UBC. They have been serving for three years as CBF Field Personnel in Košice, Slovakia, ministering among the Roma people. The theme for their ministry has been ‘Step by Step’. Throughout the past five years, they’ve “prayed with their feet,” as they followed God’s call to Slovakia, learning the language and meeting with Slovak leaders willing to confront unjust social systems against the Roma people. Step by step, they are working with staff and teachers at Roma schools to encourage education for their children. Step by step, they are engaged in life-changing ministries that spread the Gospel in impoverished Roma communities. If you would like to support the Parkses, you can receive updates on their website prayingwithfeet.wordpress.com and you can give to the Parks’ ministry at www.cbf.net/parks.
Also, last Sunday, Church Council approved the recommendation of its Nominating Committee to appoint the following individuals to serve on the Ministerial Relations Service Team: Jack Averill, Debra Bryant, Brad Groff, Alan Hendricks, Ed Lowry, Larry Martin, Amanda Ohlms, and Ed Smith. The members of this team will serve to facilitate communication between members of the congregation and the church staff. Therefore, the Nominating Committee sought individuals of both genders, covering a wide span of ages, touching on most of the major constituencies of the church. If you have recommendations or concerns which you do not feel comfortable relaying directly to a staff member, feel free to approach any members of this new team. Step by step, we seek to improve the communication between staff and members, all for the sake of spreading the Gospel here in Charlottesville and beyond.
~ Blessings, Michael
Faith In Action
Sermon: “The Power of Words” – Dr. Michael Cheuk
Scripture: James 3:1-12
Jon and Tanya Parks will be our special guests this Sunday. They serve as Cooperative Baptist Field Personnel among the Roma people in Kosice, Slovakia. Through personal relationships, partnerships with local Christians, and initiatives that support Roma education, they believe God’s people can together form a new future for people who have lived in poverty and oppression for generations. They have two daughters, Abigail and Kaitlyn.
The Parks will give a presentation of their ministry at 9:45 am in the Fellowship Hall after our church-wide breakfast at 9:00 am. They will also lead in our morning worship this Sunday.