A Word from Us…

Below you will find thoughts, updates, and articles from our staff.

A Word from Alba

Please join us this Sunday, June 28th, at 1:30 pm, for the Summer Choir presentation of ‘Celebrate Life!’, the musical pulpit-drama by Ragan Courtney and Buryl Red about the life of Jesus, from prophecy through His birth, ministry, death, burial and resurrection.


Summer Choir 2015

Celebrate Life!

A Musical Pulpit-Drama
by Ragan Courtney and Buryl Red
Sunday, June 28, 1:30 pm

A Word from Michael

BldgBrdgs180x180So much has taken place in the past couple of weeks.  I’d like to use this column to offer a few words on various matters.

First, at our called church conference on June 10, the church voted to approve the changes to the Constitution, By-laws and Leadership Manual.  The updated documents have been uploaded onto our website.  I’d like to express my appreciation to JARC (Joint Administrative Review Committee) for their good work in reviewing these important documents and making these revisions.

On the same night, the church agreed to sell our bus to Beaver Dam Baptist Church.  We will use the proceeds from the sale, as well as budget savings (allotted for the upkeep of the bus), to rent vans to serve UBC’s needs for specific trips or events.

Also at that meeting, the Personnel Committee described how we will create a search committee in light of Bob’s retirement.  Before we post the position or interview candidates, we will engage the congregation in clarifying the mission and ministry priorities.  We will then finalize the skill set and job description of our next Associate Minister.

Last week, Will and Erin Brown and I joined one thousand others at the CBF General Assembly in Dallas.  This year’s theme was “Building Bridges,” to span the various ways people are divided from one other, beginning in our local communities.  One reason for these divisions is racism, and the whole assembly lamented over the victims of the Charleston church shooting.  “The true sense of bridge building is that the bridge itself doesn’t belong to either side,” said Gary Simpson, one of our speakers.  “Perhaps the most radical thing [we] can do is sit down and listen.”  This week, may we all find time to listen — to God and neighbor.

~Blessings, Michael



Sunday, June 21st


Sermon: “Conquering Giants” – Dr. Michael Cheuk.  Taken from 1 Samuel 17: 1a, 4-11, 19-23, 32-49

Ministry Intern Report – Randi McFarland

As my iMcFarland,Rnternship at UBC comes to a close, I would like to review some of the highlights and report on upcoming events.

I have benefited from all the Bible study classes, for each one has very dedicated and knowledgeable teachers.  I have had the privilege of attending Pam Johnson’s and Jack Averill’s Sunday Bible study classes on a regular basis and have been blessed with the sound biblical teaching in both.  All the seniors have shown their support in numerous ways, and I am so grateful for the meaningful relationships that have been formed!
My interaction with the seniors culminated in a wonderful time of food and fellowship during an outing to Michie Tavern in May.

Other experiences have also served to assist me in my journey.  The choir has been an integral part of my time at UBC.  Alba was gracious enough to allow this rusty-voiced newcomer to sing with his accomplished choir and musicians.  Participating in VBS was fun, and I will never forget the part I played as “Woman at the Well.”  How engrossed the children became with the drama.  I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with members who are home-bound, for these are some of the most devoted Christians I know.  Of all the activities I participated in, assisting with ESOL classes was the most engaging.  It was a first for me, and I hope to continue volunteering in the future.

Meeting with Michael weekly and with the Site Team on a monthly basis during the past year has been edifying.  They have been so helpful, and I am deeply appreciative of the time and effort they have contributed to my learning and ministry journey.  The Site Team included Linda Smith, Pam Johnson, Irene Norvelle, Bob Badgett, and Will Brown.  We will be meeting on June 28 for an Ordination Council session which will also include Jeff Cranford, Greg Smith, and Michael.  If all goes well, there will be an ordination service on August 2!

In August, I will be moving to Lynchburg, where I have been accepted into the Chaplain Residency Program at Lynchburg General Hospital for the 2015-16 year.  I am thrilled to have been called to this place of service and am eager to begin my term there.

I have been richly blessed by the opportunity to serve at UBC.  I pray God will continue to bless you as you seek His direction for this church.

— In Christ’s Love, Randi


Touch-A-Truck 2015 Recap!

On Saturday our church co-hosted a Touch-A-Truck event for families in the community, partnering with the UVA Hospital and Shenanigans toy store. It was a huge success. There were well over a thousand people who came to the event over the course of the morning. Wow! This event exceeded all of our expectations!

We had eight trucks at the event, three across the street and five in our front parking lot, and everyone had a blast exploring those trucks. Yet, as fun as the trucks were, it was even more exciting to see hundreds of children and their families just walking through our parking lot and interacting with our church members.

We celebrate the success of the event, and we thank all the volunteers who made it possible. Over twenty UBC members helped in a variety of ways: welcoming children and giving them passports for the event, helping kids in and out of trucks, distributing free T-shirts, supplying coffee to the parents, giving away prizes, showing the way to our church restrooms, helping with crafts, and more! Thank you all for your help on Saturday! In addition, we thank the entire UBC congregation for their prayers and financial support, which made this event possible.

Finally, one of the most exciting parts of this event, from my perspective, was that it was truly a partnership with the hospital: a bridge reaching across West Main Street. Last fall, as our church began exploring ways to do more with the UVA Hospital, I began having conversations with Jan Allaire at the Battle Building. We talked about the possibility of doing something together as neighbors, and I mentioned this idea of hosting a Touch-A-Truck. In the months to follow, others at the hospital came on board, and the event began to take shape. My hope is that this event will be the beginning of a stronger and deeper relationship with the Battle Building and all of our neighbors in the UVA Health System.

NBC29 covered the event (see below or click on this link).

Thank you all for your help this weekend! Below are a few pictures from the event… enjoy!

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A Word from Michael

2015TouchATruck graphic - trucksOnly 180x157

This Saturday morning, an important event will take place in the life of UBC. For the first time that I can remember, we will be partnering with the UVA Medical Center (specifically, the Children’s Hospital) and the toy store, Shenanigans, to offer a jointly sponsored event for our whole community.

I’m really excited about “Touch-a-Truck,” because it gives us an opportunity to offer something fun to the children and young families in our neighborhood, and we do so in partnership with others. I truly believe that partnerships with other organizations and churches are ways that we can promote the common good.

Partnerships imply that we don’t have all the answers, that others have resources that are beneficial to all, that we can work together to accomplish something that we can’t achieve alone.  I’m so grateful for the work that Will Brown did to bring it all together.

Of course, we do this because of our belief that God calls us to find ways to express God’s love to our community.  I hope you can come by this Saturday morning to witness this event.  Even if you can’t come, please pray that those who attend will not only touch a truck, but be touched by Christ’s love!

~ Blessings, Michael


Trinity Sunday, May 31

TrinitySunday 177x112Worship at 11:00 a.m.

Sermon:  “A Faith Worth Questioning” – Dr. Michael Cheuk, with Lindsey Belt and Emily Morris. Taken from John 3: 1-17


A Word from Michael

YouthSundaygraphic194x150“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young.”  So writes the apostle Paul to his young protégé, Timothy (1 Timothy 4:12).  This word of encouragement can apply to our middle and high school students as they lead our worship service this Sunday.

Our youth group will lead and participate in almost all aspects of the service, from readings and prayers to musical offerings — both sung and instrumental.  Lindsey Belt and Emily Morris will engage in a sermonic conversation with me entitled, “Faith Worth Questioning.”  They will talk about the challenges they’ve faced in their life and in their faith, the parts of Christianity that they’ve most questioned, and the ways the church and others have helped them grow.  It promises to be an inspiring service.

We are very blessed to have such wonderful youth as they are led by Erin Brown this year.  Let us keep them in our prayers as they prepare to lead us in worship this Sunday!

~Blessings, Michael


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