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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Holly Edwards to Speak this Wednesday

Holly-EdwardsHolly Edwards will be the speaker this Wednesday evening, October 22, at 6:15 as a part of our “Welcome to the Neighborhood” series. She will be sharing information about the Parish Nursing Program.

Edwards moved to Charlottesville in 1991 after accepting a nursing scholarship at the University of Virginia. She has worked as a nurse with the Jefferson Area Board for Aging at the Crescent Hall and Westhaven public housing sites. She also served as a program coordinator with Public Housing Association of Residents.

Holly is a former member of the Charlottesville City Council, serving from 2008 to 2011. She lives in Belmont with her husband and four daughters.


Feeding our Helpers

Logo_HotPinkIn last Sunday’s sermon, we considered how to move forward in the midst of these sad and troubling events here in Charlottesville.  According to Sunday’s text, one answer is to imitate Christ.

Sarah Wilson, a member of our church, has been working on a UBC project that perfectly captures the idea of imitating Jesus. She and others are organizing a meal for UBC to serve to police officers and others who have been doing the draining work of searching — not only for Hannah Graham, but also for the truth about her and other young women who have suffered violence or death in recent years in Central Virginia.

This idea was inspired by the group “Help Save the Next Girl,” founded by the parents of Morgan Harrington.

Initially, the plan was to serve lunch for forty, but the idea was so well received that the police asked if we could plan to serve seventy-five. The lunch will be served this Thursday, October 23.

Hardee’s has generously agreed to donate chicken for the meal, but you can also sign-up on our google doc.

to donate drinks, side dishes, desserts, or help serve the meal. Please drop off all food items in disposable containers to the UBC kitchen no later than 10 am on this Thursday.  If you want to make a donation to cover meal expenses, you can write a check to the church and write “search crew meal” on the subject line, or give online.

For more information, you can contact Erin Brown or Sarah Wilson.

I’m thankful for church members who have the passion and imagination to see what imitating Christ looks like even in the midst of tragic circumstances. I’m eager to learn other ways that our church can express the love of Christ, now and in the months to come.

 ~Blessings, Michael


Lunch for Search Personnel

Next Thursday, October 23, UBC is partnering with “Help Save the Next Girl”, a nonprofit organization coordinating meals for law enforcement personnel searching for Hannah Graham.  We will be providing a meal for approximately 40 searchers at the National Guard Armory, the headquarters for the continued search. While Hardees has graciously volunteered to donate chicken, we still need a few volunteers to provide side items/desserts. You can sign up by clicking here or contact Sarah Wilson or Erin Brown if you have any questions. All food should be in containers that do not need to be returned. There is also a need for donations of tinfoil, plastic utensils and condiment packets, as well as blaze orange clothing. Please drop all food items and other donations in the UBC kitchen no later than 10am on Thursday, October 23.

Thank you for joining with us as we continue to pray for Hannah Graham and her family and friends, and as we join the community-wide effort to Bring Hannah Home.

A Word from Will

RonaldMcDonaldA few weeks into my new position at UBC, I want to share with you about a conversation I had recently with Rita Ralston, the Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House.  Many of you may know her, and many more of you may be familiar with the work of the Ronald McDonald House, which was started by University Baptist and originally called “Hearthstone House.”

Rita Ralston told me that even though they have been “adopted” by the Ronald McDonald organization and are now a few blocks further away, UBC continues to have a special relationship as their “birth parent.”  She expressed gratitude for our historic relationship and optimism for our continued partnership.

In my conversations with Rita and later with the coordinator of the Hospitality House, we talked about the needs of their facilities, both of which provide housing for families of hospitalized patients from out of town.  As we talked I was struck by the many ways that UBC groups and individual members are already contributing to these organizations.

In addition to several individuals who have volunteered regularly, the Kittie Colvin Trail Circle faithfully supports the Hospitality House with food and supplies.  The Hospitality House director also mentioned what a blessing it is when their guests receive crafts and treats from our children.  Next Sunday the youth from our church are cooking dinner for the guests at both the Hospitality House and Ronald McDonald House.  I am sure that our church’s involvement extends beyond what I have mentioned or what I even know about, and both organizations were excited to consider further ways we may partner with them in the future.

As our church explores various new ministries with the hospital community, I find it encouraging to discover the rich heritage of ministry in our church’s history, as well as the many ways that members of our congregation are already involved in serving the needs of patients and their families.  It is important that we celebrate these vital ministries that are taking place quietly but faithfully behind the scenes. I look forward to the months ahead, as we dream together of how God might use our church to expand these ministries and the service we can bring to our neighbors just down the street.

— Will


Garrett Trent to Speak on Venable Neighborhood

GarrettGarrett Trent will be our guest speaker this Wednesday night as part of our “Welcome to the Neighborhood!” series.

Garrett is a deacon at All Souls Charlottesville helping to facilitate Shalom partnerships in the community.

His day job is working as the Volunteer Manager for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville.

Garrett has lived in Charlottesville for 8 years, first attending UVA and then working for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship with Greek IV.  He currently lives in the Venable neighborhood.

Fun Fact: Garrett was a member of the Black Voices Gospel Choir during his time at UVA.

Circle of Caring 2014

circleofcaringThe “Circle of Caring” is a UBC-Deacon led Team Ministry serving the UBC family, friends, and community.

It is an opportunity for church members to share their gifts, talents and passions with others in the church and in the community.

If you want join a team, please call the church office (434) 293-5106, or email Circle of Caring.

Below are the teams and team members for 2014-2015.

Bereavement Ministry

This team works with the ministerial staff to offer support, comfort and fellowship to our members as they go through times of grief or loss. In each situation a team member will contact the family to seek out how they might assist them, pray with them, listen to them, and determine how the church might help.

Leader: Martha Wood
Members: Colleen Baber, Patti Barretta, Alice Batten, Pam Beasley, Sima Brown, Nettie Chewning, Marcia Parker, Randy Scruggs, Clara Belle Wheeler, Margie Howell

Celebrations Ministry Team

The Celebrations Ministry seeks to acknowledge the many causes for celebration that arise in the lives of our church members. We recognize such causes for celebration and thanksgiving as birthdays, wedding anniversaries, births, baptisms, graduations and other joyous events by sending cards, making phone calls or through other appropriate actions. This is a ministry of rejoicing!

Leaders: Martha Ballenger & Lynne Gardner
Members: Diana Ames, Charlotte Bailey, Betty Bromwell, Shirley Clark, Gail Ellen, Audrey Garnett, Pam Hallissy, Sterling Hudson, Pam Johnson, Mary Jo Licero, Mary Ella McCauley, Louise Marchi, Aimee Marshall (Youth),
Donna Marshall, Karen Minor (Youth), John Morse, Margie Morse, Judy Shah, Anne Smith, Nell Tiller, Shirley Wagoner, Anne Wilkerson.

Comfort Food Ministry Team

This team will provide food and paper products to UBC families who are focused on other issues in their lives. We try to minister to these members in their time of need; our goal is to help take some of the stress off of them in their time of need.

Leaders: Donna Marshall, Michelle Proffitt
Members: Mary Baldwin, Martha Ballenger,Jen Bates, Debra Bryant, Sarah Buchanan, Shirley Clark, Katherine Hamel, Linda Hendon, Sterling Hudson, Larry Johnson, Carolyn Lowry, Sandra Manning, Lynn Martin, Rachel Miller, Margie Morse, Barbara Murray, Judy Scruggs, Linda Smith, Ji Song, Lynda Tweel, Nelda Vaughan, Jennifer Wagoner, Sarah Wilson

Congregational Care Ministry Team

The purpose of this team is to stay in touch with our members by phone, email or visit as requested. The team will also follow up with visitors, contact those who have been frequently absent on Sunday mornings, and help with orientation of new members.

If you want to have a team member assigned to you, either call the church office or contact Debra Bryant at (434) 295-6754. If you thought you were signed up, but have not been contacted, please also call the church office.

Leader: Debra Bryant
Member: Jo-Ann Averill, Erin Brown, Shirley Clark, Judy Gough, Jackie Lockwood, Donna Marshall, Judy Shah, Mildred Spicer, Lynda Tweel, Nelda Vaughan

Homebound Ministry

This team seeks to serve and communicate with confined members on a consistent basis. We will ensure that homebound members as well as people in nursing facilities are contacted through the following modes of communication: personal visits, notes and cards and/or phone calls.

Leader: Jackie Lockwood
Members: Betty Barker, Alice Batten, Cindy Bryant, David Hendon, Gail Ellen, Sterling Hudson, Debby Johnson, Lou Long, Jeanne Nye

Hospital Visitation Ministry

This is a ministry of visitation for those in the hospital for short or long-term stays. The team assists the ministerial staff by visiting members in the hospital. After a visit the member will report to the church office about the visit and whether any other teams need to be involved. They will also attempt at least one follow up visit or call to the home or rehabilitation facility.

Leader: Alan Hendricks
Members: Lori Conklin, Wayne Ferguson, Elsom Johnson, Ed Lowry, Joe May, Sylvie Moore, Laurie Pallini, Lily Pallini, Raynell Stokes

Small Jobs Ministry
This is a ministry to UBC members and individuals who need hands-on help with home maintenance or small repair projects. The team will provide home repairs and maintenance for those with special needs or circumstances. Typical small jobs may include: clean and repair gutters, replace light bulbs and fire alarm batteries, rake leaves, shovel snow, repair steps and railings, etc.

Leader: Larry Johnson
Members: Gordon Anderson, Chris Baldwin, John Buchanan, Sarah Buchanan, Thomas Dykes, Ray Gaines, Robby Gough, Bill Jesser, Jimmy Li, Brett Lissenden, Katelyn Lissenden, Don Long, Page Mann, Scott Miller, Barbara Moore, Jim Moore, John Morse, Tom Mundell, Bill Murray, Ed Smith, Richard Smith, David Wagoner, Barry Wilson

Transportation Ministry Team

This team will help UBC family members and others with transportation in order to attend church services on Sundays and Wednesdays or other special services. The team will also provide, within reason and enough notice, transportation to medical and other important appointments.

Leader: Peter Ohlms
Members: Gordon Anderson Gordon Anderson, Jack Dowdy, Johnny Ellen, Ray Gaines, Brad Groff, Barbara Jesser, Elsom Johnson, Anne Keith, W.C. Keith, Janice Mann, Page Mann, Joe Zhu

Rev. Hodari Hamilton to Speak

Hodari-Hamilton_webWe welcome Rev. Hodari Hamilton as our guest speaker this Wednesday night at 6:15 p.m. as part of our “Welcome to the Neighborhood!” series.

Rev. Hamilton serves as the Senior Pastor of the Historic First Baptist Church on Main Street, the first African American Church in Charlottesville. Under his leadership at First Baptist, many Deacons and Trustees have been added as the membership has more than doubled. Multiple programs have been added including the Summer Enrichment Program, the After School Program, and many other ministries.

Rev. Hamilton earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Morris Brown College and his Master of Divinity from the Virginia Union University, Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology.

For almost 13 years Hodari has been married to the love of his life, the Rev. Khadijah Hamilton.  They have four children.

Youth Awesomeness

On Sunday after church, the youth headed to Riverview Park for an aptly named Afternoon of Awesomeness. After sharing a picnic lunch outside on the most beautiful day God has graced us with this fall, the fun began.

There were team competitions. Boats were made from aluminum foil and tape, and raced down the Rivanna River. Impressively, one boat even remained intact! Relays were attempted, with the sole purpose of getting each team over the finish line in absurdly hilarious fashion…. How would you attempt to get a team of five people across a field, letting only 4 feet and 2 hands touch the ground?

Then there were challenges for the whole group. Do you think it’s possible to fit 10 teenagers into a circle 1.5 feet across? They didn’t either…. at first! But through lots of varying input and ideas, many failed attempts and re-attempts, the group managed to get everyone on board, and stay balanced there long enough to sing a rousing rendition of The Muffin Man. I’m not sure anyone knows why we chose this song to celebrate.  :)

We had the chance to discuss the importance of trusting each other and trusting God, and explored some of what the Bible has to say about this (not always what you would expect)! And finally, each of us had the chance to live out that trust, falling backward off a picnic table into the waiting arms of the rest of the group. Though initially some of us were hesitant, everyone had the chance to experience the thrill of falling, and the reassurance and support of being caught by 20 or so outstretched arms.

It was fun! It was a chance to get to know each other in a different environment, and celebrate strengths and abilities in each other that we didn’t necessarily know were there. It was a chance to laugh, and then fall over, and then laugh some more. It was an opportunity for some of the younger members to let their voices be heard, and lead the group toward success. It allowed the group to affirm each member, quite literally catching her as she plummeted to the ground from atop a picnic table. It was a chance to eat two entire packages of Oreos over the course of the afternoon. It was a chance to fellowship in God’s creation on an absolutely beautiful day.

Did I mention that it was awesome?




This Sunday: A Youth Afternoon of Awesomeness!

This Sunday, October 5, the youth will gather after church to share a meal, and then head to Riverview Park for an afternoon of team-building games and challenge activities. We’ll make and race boats, see how many people we can fit in 2 square feet (let’s shoot for EVERYONE), do trust falls, and get everyone up and over an invisible wall, all while learning the significance of trusting God and trusting others. Come join us!  (We’ll return to the church by 3pm).

There is also a brief youth parent’s meeting this Sunday, immediately following church, in the choir lecture suite. We’ll discuss upcoming events and sign consent forms for the year! See you there!

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