A Word from Us…

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

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

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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


Pentecost Sunday, May 24

PentacostGraphicSermon: “Spirit for All” – Dr. Michael Cheuk.  Taken from Acts 2:1-21

“Godspeed” to the Badgetts!

Badgett.B&PphotoWhat a wonderful evening we had celebrating Bob Badgett’s retirement last Wednesday!  Over 170 people gathered in the Fellowship Hall for a delicious fried chicken dinner and ice cream sundae dessert (Bob’s request).  After dinner, folks expressed their appreciation for Bob and Patti’s ministry with us for the last twelve years.  Former Senior Minister Tom Leland, Betty Barker, Lindsay Marshall, Barbara Phipps, Barbara Newlon, Ray Gaines, Seamore Zhu, Diane Mundell, Chris Owens, Alba Beasley, and others spoke about how much Bob and Patti meant to them.

During the ceremony, I presented to Bob and Patti a church gift of season tickets to attend the UVA 2016 baseball games.  Another gift is a framed photograph of the church with its mat filled with our comments and well wishes.

As many of you know, we are also collecting a love offering for the Badgetts. So far, over $2,500 has been received, and we will continue to receive donations until this Friday.  Checks made out to UBC can be mailed to the church office, or you can donate via our webpage:  http://universitybaptist.org/resources/giving/.  We will present the love offering check and the framed picture at a later date.

At the end of the evening, Bob gave this advice to our young children and even to our adults:  “Just be yourself. God made you the way you are.  You are wonderful.  You’ve been wonderfully made and created.  Allow the Spirit of God to express your self and your gifts in the way that God made you. . . . My philosophy of life has always been: ‘It’s no big deal.’  We serve a God who is sovereign, who knows everything about us.  He made this day, and He knows everything that is going to happen in it, so we don’t need to make it a big deal…  It’s no big deal.  It’s going to be OK.  God will provide for you, even after we’re gone.”

It is a big deal that Bob and Patti Badgett will no longer be with us.  We will dearly miss them.  But we trust that God will provide for us in the coming days as we continue the ministry and service that the Badgetts so faithfully offered to UBC for the glory of God.

~Blessings, Michael

A Word from Michael

Friday will be Bob Badgett’s last day with us before his retirement.  I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks to Bob and Patti for their ministry at University Baptist.

In his almost thirteen years as Associate Minister, Bob has served faithfully in the area of Christian education.  As the years went by, he became the “utility infielder” among the staff, taking on a wide variety of tasks with a joyful and willing spirit for the good of UBC.  In doing so, he has endeared himself to all of our members, but especially our children and senior adults.

Similarly, Patti has educated a generation of our young children in Sunday School and has been a stalwart member of our Sanctuary Choir.  Furthermore, every Sunday morning, you will find both of them setting up our “breakfast table” — making coffee, putting out donuts and baked goods — so that all of us can enjoy a time of fellowship before Sunday School.

Although I am grateful for all the things the Badgetts did for UBC, I am most grateful for who they are.  UBC will not be quite the same without “Mr. Bob” and “Miss Patti.”  We will miss their bright smiles, their playful sense of humor, but most of all, their abiding faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Even though we are sad to see them go, we wish them God’s blessing and grace as they enter into a new phase of their lives.  We celebrate the fact that they will now have more time to travel to see family, to be more involved in the lives of their grandchildren, to do more things as a couple.  I pray that this will be a deeply freeing and enriching time for them both.

Sunday, at the end of worship, I presented to Bob a picture of UBC with a wide matte for members to sign their names.  That picture will be available this Wednesday in the Fellowship Hall and this Sunday in the main lobby for people to sign their names.

Finally, I hope you can attend the farewell reception for the Badgetts this Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. held in our Fellowship Hall.  Let us all take this opportunity to express our personal thanks and well wishes to Bob and Patti.  Godspeed in the next chapter of their lives!

~Blessings, Michael


Welcome, Rev. Rachel Johnson – Sunday May 10

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Rev. Rachel Johnson

Our guest minister on Sunday, May 10, will be Rev. Rachel Johnson.  Rev. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree from UVA and an MAR in Theology from Yale Divinity School.

Rachel has worked with churches, non-profits, denominational groups, and political organizations to develop strategic outreach campaigns on a wide range of issues, including creation care and climate change, nuclear security, human rights, international development and peace building, domestic poverty, healthcare, and the intersection of faith in the public sphere.

Beginning in June, Rachel will join the senior staff of the Riverside Church in New York to head up their communications and press work.

We welcome Rev. Rachel Johnson to the pulpit this Sunday.


Hope in the Living God

HopeWhat an amazing “Operation Mission Madness” we had last weekend! Around 230 youth and their chaperones descended upon UBC Friday night and spent an incredible 48 hours worshipping, working on twenty-nine mission projects throughout Charlottesville and Albemarle county, prayer walking around UVA grounds and the medical center, and just having fun.

This weekend would not have been possible with the leadership and participation of many people. Many thanks to Mark Snipes of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia for providing organizational leadership in this their sixth year of offering Mission Madness. Many thanks to Erin Brown, Phil Woodson, and John and Sarah Buchanan for taking the lead in organizing UBC’s part of hosting a Mission Madness site this year.  They did an amazing job morphing our traditional “Operation Inasmuch” day of community service into this much larger event.

I cannot even begin to name the many volunteers who spent parts (or all) of the weekend registering and feeding our guests, loading and unloading supplies, taking out trash, serving as site leaders, and working alongside the youth. In this Word, you’ll find a selection of pictures and a list of projects accomplished this weekend.

The theme this year was “Hope,” and throughout the weekend, during worship times and out in the community, we were all invited to see how the hope of the risen Christ is made known. It reminded me that Christian hope is not passive, merely waiting for God to work, but dynamic and active.

Finally, in light of Bob Badgett’s resignation letter last week, I want to express my deep appreciation for Bob’s faithful ministry at UBC for these past twelve and a half years. Bob’s can-do attitude, good humor, and faithful servanthood will be greatly missed. We wish Bob and Patti the best, and I encourage all to express your thanks to the Badgetts when you have a chance. We thank God for the Badgett’s joyful labor among us, that witnesses to their hope.

In light of Mission Madness and Bob’s announcement, we remember the words of 1 Timothy 4:10: “That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.” Let us continue to put our hope in the living God!

~ Blessings, Michael

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