The Importance of Sabbath

At the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly I attended a couple of weeks ago, I heard Dr. Guy Sayles, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Asheville, NC, speak on the importance of rest and Sabbath.  While I was familiar with most of the arguments and benefits of Sabbath-keeping, Dr. Sayles cited one quote from Wayne Muller’s book, Sabbath:  Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives, that caught my attention:  “If we do not allow for a rhythm of rest in our overly busy lives, illness becomes our Sabbath.” (p. 20)

I know first-hand the truth of that statement.  In a culture where our worth is mostly based on our productivity, I need to be reminded of another quote from Muller:  “Sabbath is not dependent upon our readiness to stop … Sabbath requires surrender.  If we only stop when we are finished with all our work, we will never stop – because our work is never completely done” (pp. 82-83).

I pray that we all will engage in the holy practice of Sabbath in these coming weeks of summer!

                                                                               ~Michael

 

Celebrations Ministry

We think of our University Baptist fellowship as a family of faith, and as in any family we rejoice in the milestones and successes of our family members. 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. We would welcome the participation of anyone who is willing share in the writing of notes or other means of acknowledging occasions for celebration that occur within our church family. This is a ministry of rejoicing! Please contact Lynne Gardner, 296-8086, or Martha Ballenger, 296-3480.

~Jackie Lockwood

 

Summer Choir Program

The UBC Summer Choir presents
A Program of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Sunday, July 7, 11:00 a.m.

The Book of Psalms, also referred to the Psalter, is a collection of 150 poems and prayers. Many were written by David, but there are other authors of the Psalms. There are occasionally directions given that seem to indicate a particular tune that would be familiar to the ancient Hebrew community, but no tunes exist in written form today.

Gospel HymnsA hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification. The word hymn derives from Greek ὕμνος (hymnos), which means “a song of praise.” The roots of Christian hymnody has the Psalms as it basis for texts. Since the Reformation, authors like Martin Luther wrote hymns prolifically that were both hymns of testimony and hymns that teach particular tenets of the Christian faith.

The Spirituals are a purely American form of music – they are the earnest prayers and pleas of the slaves who, taken from their homeland and forced into servitude at the hands of cruel task masters, found a faith in kinship with Christ – forsaken by his own, misunderstood and mistreated. The stories of the Old and New Testaments were wells of inspiration and hope for a people who found little of either in their daily lives. But their songs live on, and inspire us to overcome our spiritual social and political turmoil, and to get on board the gospel train bound for heaven!

As we share in a service of Psalms, Hymn and Spiritual Songs, we will experience the power and testimony of each as we worship the Lord who inspires us to live in His Grace! Come join us Sunday, July 7, at 11:00 am, for a musical journey into the heart of God through the Psalms, the testimony of the post-reformation Christian church through the hymns, and the deep emotion and sheer joy of African American spirituals!

~Alba Beasley

 

A Brief Report on the CBF General Assembly

Last Thursday and Friday, Bob and Patti Badgett, Anne Keith, Lu Overbeck, Tom Leland and I attended the CBF General Assembly in Greensboro, NC. Over 2,300 registered attendees unanimously approved the new organizational and governance structure, and we formally welcomed Suzii Paynter as the new CBF Executive Director. It was very encouraging to be at a place where old and new friends were so glad to see each other, where diverse people assumed leadership roles and where a spirit of love and joy filled the air. I’m glad that UBC is a part of the CBF. Exciting days are ahead!

~Michael

PS – Recaps and videos of the General Assembly can be found at the CBF Website.

UBC Hosts IMPACT Celebration

Last night, University Baptist hosted an IMPACT Justice Ministry Celebration. Around two hundred people from twenty-four different congregations gathered in our sanctuary to receive a report on the progress being made in youth unemployment and homelessness.

Of particular interest to me is the report from Rev. Al Horton of First United Methodist Church, who serves on the Homelessness Research Strategy Committee. One of the committee’s findings is that while there are many agencies that work on the challenge of homelessness, there is very little cooperation among these agencies to move over 200 homeless adults and 500 homeless children into permanent housing.

At the Nehemiah Action gathering last April, the City Manager and County Executive committed to gather leaders from these agencies to form a round-table to reduce homelessness. That roundtable convened a couple of weeks ago, and the group decided to make centralized intake and service referrals a top priority, so that agencies can share information to get their clients the services they need. Also, representatives from the City and County will be added to the board of Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless (TJACH) to offer additional oversight and accountability. Lastly, both the City and County committed to providing funds that will support centralized intake and collaboration, which is something that IMPACT did not ask for.

IMPACT has become a catalyst for our government officials and our agencies to work together in coming up with a systemic solution to a systemic problem. It has the potential of making a long-term, positive contribution to the men we serve during PACEM.

I’m grateful for the work of IMPACT in this area, and for the involvement of our church members who give their time and money to this cause as an expression of their faith. If you have any questions about what IMPACT is doing in addressing homelessness, please feel free to contact me!

~ Michael

 

Lou Long

Lou LongWe welcome Lou Long, who joined UBC this past Sunday by transfer of her letter from a sister Baptist church. Lou is the mother of Don Long and grandmother of Davis and Landon.

 

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