Summer Pot Luck Supper

There will be a summer pot luck supper held Wednesday, August 6, in the Fellowship Hall starting at 5:30 p.m.

Please bring a main dish, a side dish, or a dessert to share.

At 6 p.m., there will be a Town Hall Meeting to present information and invite congregational discussion about our proposed Ministry Residency Program.

Thinking Out Loud

thinking-out-loudWhat a wonderful morning of worship we experienced last Sunday at our Summer Choir Program! I am so grateful that four of our former Ministers of Music — Carl Beard, Len Willingham, Mike Norris and Kevin Holland — spanning three decades of service, all returned to UBC last Sunday. What a joyful reunion to see them and their families! These four directed our Sanctuary Choir in an “extended musical sermon” preaching the love and grace of God in Christ! Also, many thanks to Alba Beasley, Barbara Moore, our Summer Choir and instrumentalists for their leadership in worship. We are blessed to have such musical talents at UBC!

In other matters, I want to give you an update regarding my proposal for a “creative worship service.” As I continue to receive feedback, you have helped me realize that I had been unclear regarding why I spent two sermons giving details about this proposal before the Church Council had given its approval. While the ministerial staff, Deacons, and members of the Personnel, and Finance committees were already engaged in conversation with me about this proposal, they too have not given me their final approval. That gave the perception that I was not following our usual process for congregational decision-making.

I want to affirm our church’s process for vetting and approving major, new endeavors through both the Deacons and the Church Council before bringing it up to the church for a discussion and vote.  That is our standard process of congregational decision-making and it is a good one. We take a question or issue, step back and take time to process it, and then come back with an answer or well-thought-out and detailed plan. As an introvert, that’s my default methodology. read on

Exciting Developments

A lot of exciting things are happening at UBC! Last week, we held a very successful Vacation Bible School in which we had an enrollment of 86 children, with an average attendance of 79 for VBS and 33 for the afternoon camp session. I was especially gratified to know that 18 of the children were from the community with no connection to the members and families of University Baptist. Many thanks to Erin Brown, Bob Badgett and others for leading and volunteering at VBS this year!

In my sermon on Sunday, I gave more details regarding my proposal to launch a second worship service here at UBC. You can read the sermon here.

In my sermon, I tried to explain how that second service is part of our new vision and mission venture to minister to people outside our congregation, including the community at the UVA Medical Center. I also mentioned the cost and sacrifice needed to launch this venture. read on

Summer Choir Program

Join us this Sunday (June 29)  in worship at 11:00 a.m. as our Sanctuary Choir presents its annual summer choir program!

Four of our former Ministers of Music — Carl Beard, Len Willingham, Mike Norris and Kevin Holland — will join Alba Beasley in directing the choir during the worship service.

It promises to be a wonderful morning of worship through music, and a joyous homecoming for our beloved former ministers of music.


Dying for Rebirth

Sermon preached by Michael Cheuk, on June 22, 2014.  Taken from Matthew 10:24-39.

This morning’s New Testament lesson from Matthew is a challenging word. I didn’t choose it. It was the assigned Gospel lesson for today in the Revised Common Lectionary. This passage is a hard teaching of Jesus that challenges my tendency to see him solely in comforting, pastoral terms. But Jesus declares some sobering realities to his disciples. In the beginning of this chapter, Jesus had just sent out his twelve disciples to the nearby Jewish towns and villages on a mission of preaching and healing. Gone were the comforting days when these students were nestled in the cocoon of Jesus’ protective care, being fed by Jesus, watching and learning from Jesus their teacher. Now, Jesus is pushing his students out into the world, and Jesus is preparing them to face resistance and persecution as a result of the mission. This resistance will come not just from outside, from those who are not yet believers. No, the resistance may also come from within, from family members, and yes, even from themselves. Many times, “resistance” is too strong a word. “Concern” might better describe the feelings of those who need more information, who need greater clarity before going on mission. After all, Jesus himself advised his followers to “count the cost” before embarking on an important venture.

In the past couple of weeks, I have received comments and thoughts from some of you regarding my idea of launching a second service for the purpose of reaching out to the university community. Thanks to your input, I’ve come to realize that I need to explain and clarify more about what I’m proposing. Allow me to offer these thoughts for your consideration. read on

Thoughts about a second service

In my sermon last Sunday, I attempted to make a case for launching an alternative worship service as part of our missional strategy to reach out to the university community and a younger generation. You can read my sermon here.  I welcome your thoughts via email, personal conversations and/or anonymous notes slipped in the mail slot of the church office door.

In other matters, I will be away this Sunday as we take Thea to Dulles airport for her three-week trip to Guatemala. Please welcome Brian Williams to the pulpit this Sunday!

~ Blessings, Michael


Welcome Rev. Brian Williams

Brian WilliamsOur guest preacher on Sunday, June 15, will be Dr. Brian Williams, Pastor of Missional Communities at Spring Hill Baptist Church in Ruckersville. He has served as pastor of churches in Hampton Roads along with serving as an adjunct professor of biblical studies at Bluefield College, Regent University, and the John Leland Center for Theological Studies.

Brian earned a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in biblical studies from Baylor University. He is married to Donna, and they share in the joy of two grown daughters and a grandson.

We welcome Brian to the pulpit this Sunday.


Different Gifts, Common Good

Sermon preached by Michael Cheuk,  for Pentecost Sunday, June 8, 2014.  Taken from Acts 2:1-21; 1 Corinthians 12:3-13.

For those of us who are parents, we remember the birth of our children. On the morning of the day that Thea was born, Beth and I went to visit a church friend at Martha Jefferson Hospital because she had just given birth to a son. On the way back home from the visit, Beth’s water broke, and I turned the car around and hurried back to Beth’s obstetrician. Thankfully, his office was right across the street from Martha Jefferson Hospital (the old one on Locust Ave.), and he immediately admitted Beth to a room. The nurses at the birthing wing were surprised to see Beth again, this time sitting in a wheelchair and in full labor! An hour or so after we casually visited our friend’s new baby, we had one of our own!

For me, that experience was chaotic and disorienting, as I felt like a helpless bystander in a whirlwind of activity. I tried to support Beth the best that I could, but there was little that I could do. Beth’s labor came so quickly, she didn’t time for an epidural. So she experienced the full labor and the full pain of childbirth. But when the nurse brought Thea into the room for Beth to hold in her arms for the first time, we saw that living miracle and we knew that our lives would never be the same.

Little did we realize just how much our lives would change! read on

Hearing from UBC

This past weekend, Ruben Swint met with approximately one hundred church members representing all age groups, and members of Church Council, Deacons and the Stewardship and Finance Committees.

Here are some comments from church members about this weekend.

Ruben’s comments were informative and particularly helpful as he emphasized the importance of targeted communication to various age groups.”  – Ed Smith

Having someone from the outside to help us achieve clarity on our mission/passion and then structure accordingly is a vital process throughout an organization’s life cycle. … We will leverage the unique lens Ruben provides to revitalize and refocus our efforts.”  – Brad Groff

In the coming weeks, Ruben will be writing a report of his findings and that report will be available for all members to read sometime this summer.

At my debriefing breakfast meeting with Ruben this morning, he shared with me that he observed positive and enthusiastic participation from the groups that met with him.  University Baptist is in a good position to enter into a fruitful future.  The church is blessed with a fine facility that is well-kept, clean and functional.  Ruben observes that our church has a strong capacity for generosity — in the giving of our time, talents, and finances.  The challenge is to clarify our vision and mission in order to focus our resources toward that goal.  Finally, further church-wide conversations are needed to leverage our excellent worship and music ministries toward accomplishing our mission.

I want to thank everyone who participated in these sessions.  Your input and thoughts were crucial in helping Ruben assess where we are and where we can go as a congregation.  I’m excited about the journey!

~Blessings, Michael

Welcome, Ruben Swint!

ruben_swintCongregational Coach Ruben Swint will be visiting UBC, beginning on June 1. During Ruben’s time with us, he will meet with various groups in the church to learn more about us — our strengths and opportunities, as well as our challenges and weaknesses. It will be a time of envisioning God’s future for University Baptist.

Below is a schedule of meetings. We invite you to attend the one scheduled for your age group. But if you’re not available at that time, feel free to join another group!

SUNDAY, June 1

8:30 – 9:30 am………Ruben meets with Church Council & Deacons (Choir Suite)

9:45 – 10:40 am……..Ruben meets with Young Couples & Young Families

11:00 am……………..Ruben joins us in morning Worship

12:15 – 2:00 pm……..Ruben meets with Finance & Stewardship Committees (Fellowship Hall — Light lunch served)

6:00 – 8:00 pm………Ruben meets with Median Adults (Fellowship Hall)

MONDAY, June 2

11 am – 1 pm…………Ruben meets with Senior Adults (Light lunch served)

3:00 – 4:00 pm……….Ruben meets with Church Staff

7:00 – 8:30 pm……….ALL church members and regular attenders are invited to meet Ruben (Fellowship Hall — Light refreshments are served)

Please attend one of these meetings and make your voice heard!

~Blessings, Michael


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