A Word from Us…

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

Leadership Transition Team Update

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The LTT has drafted the following recommendations to help manage the leadership transition period for University Baptist Church.  These items have been approved by Church Council and will be presented to the congregation for their approval during a Called Church Conference on Wednesday, March 16, from 5:45 pm to 6:15 pm:

  1. Call an Interim Pastor to serve an average of 30 hours per week to provide a balanced ministry of worship, fellowship, pastoral care, organizational leadership, and transition management to support the work being done by our staff and congregation. The interim candidate should be trained and experienced in leading congregational conversations and self-reflection to help the church emerge from this transition with a clearer sense of God’s purpose for UBC.  Such a person would be able to coach and guide our church through the appropriate steps of a healthy transition and search process to prepare for calling the next Senior Pastor.UBC would provide a base salary without benefits for the Interim Pastor at a rate that is commensurate with a Senior Pastor’s salary.  The LTT, on behalf of UBC, would develop a task-specific, needs-focused covenant with the Interim Pastor that would include regular reviews via the Personnel Committee at three-month intervals for the duration of the interim pastorate, which shall last until UBC calls a Senior Pastor.  The Interim Pastor and UBC would each agree to provide at least 30 days’ notice prior to ending the covenant.The Interim Pastor will not be eligible for the Senior Pastor position.
  1. Ask the Personnel Committee to begin the process of forming a Senior Pastor Search Committee. Although the church is not ready to start the search process yet, it takes some time for a search committee to be formed and to be properly oriented in its task.  These preliminary steps can take place while the LTT continues its work.  When UBC is ready to begin the search process, there will not be any delays.

The LTT’s ideal timeline would see an Interim Pastor candidate selected (pending church approval) during April, a Senior Pastor Search Committee approved at the May Church Conference, and the search process for a new Senior Pastor initiated by late August.

Please contact any member of the LTT to share your comments or questions.  Thank you, and God bless!

Brent Wilson, LTT Chair

Contact the Church Office if you want a copy of the proposed Interim Pastor Responsibilities.

 

 

 

Lent: A Time of Spiritual Renewal

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Lent is the forty-day period (excluding Sundays) in the church year set aside for spiritual preparation for Easter.

Lent prepares you to participate more fully in the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is a time of self-examination and introspection as you rediscover your faith in Christ Jesus, your hope in His eternal promise of salvation and your love for Him and for all of His people. It is a time of penance as you confess your sins to the One who was your Sacrificial Lamb.

– adapted from Prayers for the Gathered Community by Don Skin

Faith & Justice Committee Update

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Last fall, a handful of UBC members attended the IMPACT annual assembly. We learned about IMPACT’s recent efforts to address the need for local residential therapy options for those struggling with substance addiction/abuse. We heard a report from the director of Region 10 regarding plans to build a new residential recovery facility that will serve women and their families. Currently, if women in this area need residential treatment, the nearest facility is 70 miles away, and if women want to remain with their children, the closest option for residential treatment is Virginia Beach. The Director explained that the new facility will be able to serve about 50 women each year, and will offer wrap-around services for other physical, mental, vocational and transportation needs. The land and developer have been secured, and Region 10 plans to have the facility open in January 2017!

Looking ahead, one of the big concerns brought to IMPACT’s attention through their listening process is elder care in our community. Preliminary research has shown that many people in our area are struggling to care for themselves, their spouses, and aging parents, relatives, or neighbors. Many elders have health problems that are very costly, and many seniors find themselves having to work into their retirement years in order to afford to live. In the Charlottesville area, nearly 1 in 10 seniors live on an income less than $11K per year. For those reasons, in 2016 IMPACT plans to focus on meeting community needs in the area of elder care. Their work and research has begun. More information will be shared at the Nehemiah Action meeting May 3 at 6:30 pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center. Everyone is invited to join with other congregations to show our support for bringing justice in our community for seniors and those struggling with substance abuse/addiction.

 

Update From The Leadership Transition Team

The Leadership Transition Team has met each of the previous Sundays to continue the work asked of us by the church, with ongoing input and participation from Rev. Alba Beasley and Rev. Will Brown. On Sunday, February 14, we discussed the various pastoral options available to UBC during this transition. We have decided to explore calling an interim pastor who will provide a balanced ministry of preaching, teaching, pastoral care, and organizational leadership to support the important work being done by our staff and members.

On Sunday, February 21, we met with Dr. Hugh Litchfield and Rev. Gary Dalton to get their perspectives on the work an interim pastor can and should do for a church in transition. Both Dr. Litchfield and Rev. Dalton have ample experience with interim pastor work, and their insights were informative for the LTT to better understand how to find a needs-focused, task-specific pastor to work with UBC at this time. We will next put together a description of this position and reach out to our denominational associations and other connections to find suitable candidates.

Our goal is to find an interim pastor who is trained and experienced in leading congregational conversations and self-reflection to help us emerge from this transition with a clearer sense of God’s purpose for UBC. Such a person will be able to coach and guide our church through the appropriate steps of a healthy, intentional transition process to prepare for calling the next senior pastor.

The LTT has asked the Personnel Committee to coordinate with the Nominating Committee to begin forming a Senior Pastor Search Committee. We are not ready to start the search process yet, but we recognize that it takes some time for a search committee to be formed and to be properly oriented in its task. We feel that these preliminary steps should be taking place while the LTT continues its work; that way, when UBC is ready to begin the search process, there will not be any delays.

The team is continuing to prayerfully discern the future that God intends for our church and are immensely grateful for your support. Please contact any member of the LLT if you have questions or comments. We welcome and value your insight.

Thank you, and God bless!
Brent Wilson, Chair Leadership Transition Team

A Note from Alba

When I saw the title of Tracy’s sermon for this Sunday – “Through It All” – I immediately began to hear the strains of André Crouch’s gospel hit from the early 1970’s. All the Youth Choirs in Montgomery, Alabama, were singing “Through It All” as an anthem or as an invitation hymn. We will be singing the refrain Sunday morning as the children come forward for the Children’s sermon. Here are the verses that precede the refrain:

I’ve had many tears and sorrows, I’ve had questions for tomorrow,
There’ve been times I didn’t know right from wrong:
But in every situation God gave blessed consolation
That my trials come to only make me strong.
I thank God for the mountains, and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through;
For if I’d never had a problem, I wouldn’t know that He could solve them,
I’d never know what faith in God could do.

As we wander through the desert of Lent this year, we can rejoice when we remember that the difficulties that we face are only signposts to God’s mercy and presence. We can joyfully sing, “Through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God. Through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word!”

A Word From Will

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Through the Wilderness

In my sermon last Sunday, I noted that our church is entering a new chapter in our life, coinciding with the beginning of Lent. As we follow Jesus into the Lenten wilderness, I am heartened to remember how Jesus emerged at the end of that difficult period — strong, clear, and prepared for the work he was meant to do.

In the weeks and months ahead, there will surely be moments that feel like the wilderness — confusing, uncomfortable, and exhausting. Even so, let us pray that our journey through this wilderness will also be a time of self-discovery, from which we can emerge stronger, clearer, and prepared for the mission God has set before us. Our theme for Lent will be “Through the Wilderness,” as we join together to follow wherever God may be leading UBC.

Let us begin this Lenten journey as we observe Ash Wednesday together this week.

— Will

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