A Word from Us…

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

A Word from Will

Will_BrownSeptember marks the halfway point in my Ministry Residency, and I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on the year and to say thank you to everyone at UBC for your feedback, your patience, and your friendship during the past year.  I am especially grateful to Michael for his willingness to be open with me about what pastoral ministry is like from the inside, with all its ups and downs.  I’ve also learned so much from working with Bob and Alba, and I am grateful to the entire staff for letting me truly feel like part of the team while I am here.  The entire congregation has been incredibly gracious as we figure out together what exactly a Ministry Residency is and how it works at UBC.  Finally, thank you to the Lay Support Team for your guidance and insightful questions along the way.

Looking back on the year, I am struck by the momentous events that punctuate my experience here:  being ordained, baptizing one of our youth, leading a trip to Israel, officiating at three weddings, partnering with the Children’s Hospital to host the Touch-A-Truck event, and more.  Yet I am equally grateful for the quieter moments:  sharing meaningful conversations in the hallways, having lunch with college students, posting pictures on UBC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, presiding over the Lord’s Supper, hanging out with youth on the Mission Trip, and tinkering with meeting agendas.

This year has been an amazing introduction into church ministry, both the flashy parts and the humbler parts behind the scenes.  With this year of experience beneath my feet, I am excited for the year ahead, as we continue to minister together to the needs of our congregation and our world.

~ Will


Happy Anniversary!

fireworks2Congratulations to
Michael Cheuk
on his Third Anniversary as the Senior Minister at UBC. 

Many thanks for another wonderful year of leadership and ministry. We extend our thanks also to Beth, who has been a wonderful addition to UBC.
And we’re glad Thea and Wesley are here!

During September we also acknowledge as a church family the special contributions of
Thomas Hill,
a very dedicated staff person who is celebrating his 33rd Anniversary at UBC.

Thank you, Thomas!


Thank You!


Thank you to everyone who helped fill bags with grocery items to be delivered to the CBFVA General Assembly last week.  The bags, along with those from churches all over the state, will be given to LUCHA Ministries to be distributed among Hispanic immigrants in Virginia.


Alma Hunt Offering for Virginia Missions!

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During September we will be supporting the Alma Hunt Offering for Virginia Missions and the Chaplain Service at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women. Our goal is $4,000.

One Virginia ministry that receives support from this offering is LUCHA, which stands for Latinos Unidos por Cristo en Hermandad y Apoyo (in English, “Latinos United through Christ in Solidarity and Support”).  Led by Greg and Sue Smith, who serve with and among Latinos in the greater Fredericksburg area, LUCHA Ministries provide a Christian response to the question of immigration and the needs of the immigrant community.

This Sunday, September 6, we will distribute several orange bags to be filled with groceries (list attached to bag).  These bags will be taken to the CBFVA Assembly on Friday, September 18, where they will be given to LUCHA Ministries to be distributed to welcome some of our Virginia “neighbours.”

On Wednesday, September 9, we will have more orange bags to be filled with food items that have been purchased with mission money.

Donations to UBC will be welcome to offset the cost of these groceries.

















A Word from Michael

FaithInAction-icon w textThis past Sunday, Jon and Tanya Parks joined us at UBC. They have been serving for three years as CBF Field Personnel in Košice, Slovakia, ministering among the Roma people.  The theme for their ministry has been ‘Step by Step’. Throughout the past five years, they’ve “prayed with their feet,” as they followed God’s call to Slovakia, learning the language and meeting with Slovak leaders willing to confront unjust social systems against the Roma people. Step by step, they are working with staff and teachers at Roma schools to encourage education for their children. Step by step, they are engaged in life-changing ministries that spread the Gospel in impoverished Roma communities.  If you would like to support the Parkses, you can receive updates on their website prayingwithfeet.wordpress.com and you can give to the Parks’ ministry at www.cbf.net/parks.

Also, last Sunday, Church Council approved the recommendation of its Nominating Committee to appoint the following individuals to serve on the Ministerial Relations Service Team:  Jack Averill, Debra Bryant, Brad Groff, Alan Hendricks, Ed Lowry, Larry Martin, Amanda Ohlms, and Ed Smith.  The members of this team will serve to facilitate communication between members of the congregation and the church staff.  Therefore, the Nominating Committee sought individuals of both genders, covering a wide span of ages, touching on most of the major constituencies of the church.  If you have recommendations or concerns which you do not feel comfortable relaying directly to a staff member, feel free to approach any members of this new team. Step by step, we seek to improve the communication between staff and members, all for the sake of spreading the Gospel here in Charlottesville and beyond.

~ Blessings, Michael


Special Guests Jon & Tanya Parks – September 13!

Jon&TanyaParksFam178x180Jon and Tanya Parks will be our special guests this Sunday.  They serve as Cooperative Baptist Field Personnel among the Roma people in Kosice, Slovakia.  Through personal relationships, partnerships with local Christians, and initiatives that support Roma education, they believe God’s people can together form a new future for people who have lived in poverty and oppression for generations.  They have two daughters, Abigail and Kaitlyn.

The Parks will give a presentation of their ministry at 9:45 am in the Fellowship Hall after our church-wide breakfast at 9:00 am. They will also lead in our morning worship this Sunday.

A Word from Michael


As we celebrated Labor Day yesterday, I thought about our society’s relationship with work and rest.  We are a culture that values productive and fruitful work, and some even subscribe to the notion of “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”  At the very least, many of us, in our busy and hectic lives, find ourselves in need of a time to rest from our work.

In the beginning of the book of Genesis, there’s an account of how God created the heavens and the earth.  As each “day” of creation progressed, a refrain is repeated for each one:  “and there was evening and there was morning.”  For the Hebrews, the day begins not in the morning, but in the evening, when activity ceased and people spent time with family, eating meals and sharing stories before going to sleep.  In God’s creation, a rhythm of rest comes before fruitful work.  In fact, after God created the first human beings and told them to be “fruitful and multiply,” humanity’s first “full day” was a day of rest in the presence of God.

Is it possible that God designed human beings to work from our rest, and not vice-versa?  Jesus had the same perspective when, in John 15, he used the image of the vine and the branches to illustrate the need to abide in him before bearing fruit.  Unfruitful branches are pruned so that more nutrients can be channeled to other branches.  Even fruitful branches are pruned periodically so that they can be even more fruitful.

As you reflect on your life and the life of UBC, ask yourself these questions:  “Are we working from rest, abiding first in Christ before becoming fruitful?  How might we intentionally enter into a season of rest?  What needs to be pruned and cut back so that we can be even more fruitful?”

These are questions to ponder coming out of this Labor Day weekend.

~Blessings, Michael


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