World Communion Sunday

WorldCommunionSunday1This Sunday is “World Communion Sunday,” when we acknowledge the almost universal observance of the Lord’s Supper by Christian churches throughout the world.

According to, this day was first observed by a Presbyterian church in 1936, and later adopted by the Federal Council of Churches in 1940. Since then, this celebration has grown into an international ecumenical celebration of Christian unity.

We will observe World Communion Sunday with the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, which remembers the night when Jesus broke bread with his disciples for the last time before his betrayal and crucifixion. We also celebrate the fact that the movement Jesus began over two thousand years ago in Palestine now covers all corners of the earth. On this Sunday, we unite with Christians world-wide in observing the Lord’s Supper, acknowledging our unity in Christ as gathered by the power of the Holy Spirit, even as we recognize the diversity of customs, traditions, languages, and liturgies in which we worship our living God.

Prepare to worship this Sunday as we join with Christians world-wide to celebrate our oneness in Christ!

~Blessings, Michael

“Thank you!” from Randi McFarland

Randi_McFarland_webI want to thank all of you for your outpouring of love and support for my sermon on Sunday, September 21! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement, for telling me specifically what you liked, and what I could improve. I want to especially thank Michael for his many suggestions, and my Site Team for their valuable input.

As I continue my internship, I want to thank everyone for their attentiveness and smiles as I looked out over the congregation and for laughing at my attempts at humor. You have all been so gracious in so many ways, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This is a wonderful teaching congregation, and I am blessed to have the privilege of doing an internship here. I will always have fond memories of this church and am so glad that my very first congregational sermon was here at UBC!

— Randi McFarland

“Fresh Expressions” by Travis Collins

Travis CollinsTravis Collins will be our speaker this Wednesday evening, October 1, at 6:15 in Fellowship Hall. He will be sharing with us information about Fresh Expressions, new forms of church for our changing culture, focusing on people who are not yet part of any church.

Travis Collins serves as Director of Mission Advancement and Virginia Regional Coordinator for Fresh Expressions. He previously served Bon Air Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, as Senior Pastor from 2002 until March 2014.

Travis’s twenty-five plus years of ministry have included missionary service in Venezuela and Nigeria. He is a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and earned the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Travis and his wife, Keri, have three adult children.

Introducing Our New Ministry Resident

Will_BrownWill Brown is our Ministry Resident for 2014-2016.  Originally from Gretna, Virginia, Will came to Charlottesville to attend the University of Virginia, where he received a degree in Religious Studies and Music.  While at UVA, he was involved in the Baptist Student Union, Jubilate and UBC, where he met his wife, Erin, who was also involved with Jubilate and UBC.

After a short time working in the office at UBC, Will attended Yale Divinity School and earned his Master of Divinity degree.  Will and Erin lived for a year in Nazareth, Israel, as Venturers through the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, serving a small Arab Christian seminary before returning to Charlottesville.

After returning to the states, Will completed both a hospital chaplaincy internship and residency at UVA Medical Center.

You will find Will honing his skills in all aspects of pastoral ministry here at UBC.  In addition, Will’s residency project is to help connect UBC to the UVA Medical Center.  We welcome Will Brown to the staff of UBC!

New Beginnings

BrownsSunday will be a day of new beginnings at UBC.  During worship, we’ll have a service of Deacon ordination and installation, as we ordain Erin Brown and Peter Ohlms and install John Buchanan, Elva Ferguson, Larry Johnson, Carolyn Lowry and Barbara Jesser (in absentia) to the office of Deacon.  I am so grateful that they have agreed to begin a three-year term of service as spiritual leaders of our church.  (Pam Johnson will also be installed as a Deacon to serve Joseph Johnson’s unexpired term.)

In addition, we will officially welcome Will Brown as Ministry Resident.  As part of his residency, he will work in all areas of congregational ministry, including regular opportunities to preach. Due to his training at Yale Divinity School and as a chaplain at the UVA Medical Center, Will also brings fresh and innovative ideas.  Let’s give Will the freedom to explore new ways of ministry both in the church and in our outreach to the hospital.

Finally, this week marks a transition in our youth ministry as Phil Woodson wraps up his time with us, and Erin Brown begins her service with our youth.  How blessed we are to have such capable leadership in both these young people!  Phil is now serving as a worship leader at First United Methodist Church in Charlottesville.  We wish Phil (and Ellen and Cooper) all the best as he begins a new chapter of ministry!  And let’s offer our support to Erin as she establishes her own ministry.

~Blessings, Michael

State Mission Offering

Alma-HuntDuring September we will be collecting the Alma Hunt Offering for Virginia Missions and the Chaplain Service Prison Ministry of Virginia, Inc. (specifically, Chaplain Julie Perry at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women).

Our 2014 goal is $4,000, to be divided evenly between these two mission efforts.So far, we have collected $2702.

For more information   go to and

You can make a donation during the worship service, by check, or by online-donation.


Persecution of Christians in Iraq

Many thanks to Ambassador Nat Howell for the information he shared with us about the persecution of Christians in Iraq.

The video of his presentation shown below.


The Baptist World Alliance has issued a call for Baptists and other Christians to provide funds to help Iraqi Christians displaced by war. The funds are earmarked for food and other urgently needed relief supplies for Christian families who recently fled Mosul and Karakosh and are now in Irbil, a city in Kurdistan.

ISIS fighters have terrorized towns in northern Iraq, amassing power and laying down harsh Sharia law. Christians were given the option of paying exorbitant taxes, converting to Islam, or fleeing. Many families fled their homes without their possessions, including clothing. Money, jewelry and other valuables were stolen or confiscated.


On August 29, the Associated Baptist Press published the article BWA allocates funds for persecuted Iraqi Christians.

Donations for this relief effort may also be made to “University Baptist Church” and earmarked for “Iraqi Christians.”

You can write a check to “UBC, 1223 W. Main St., Charlottesville, VA, 22903″ or you can donate online.

All of the money we collect will be sent to the Baptist World Alliance fund for Iraqi Christians.

Randi McFarland to Preach

Randi_McFarland_webOur guest preacher on Sunday, September 21, will be Randi McFarland.

Randi is a graduate of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and is currently doing an internship here at UBC.

She sings in the Sanctuary Choir (when she’s not preaching!) and is very involved in the life of the church.  She hopes to be ordained soon and wants to get a hospital chaplain residency position.

Randi and her husband, Jim, have three grown children (Mical, Jaime, and Ashley) and six grandchildren (one which just arrived!).

We welcome Randi to the pulpit this Sunday.

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