* Church Conference *
Wednesday, February 15, at 6:15 pm
in Fellowship Hall
• Committee Reports
• Affiliation Task Force Report concerning membership and proposed By-laws changes
Within the next two weeks, the Senior Minister Search Committee will have culled through its present search efforts to develop a great group of candidates.
The Committee will conduct in-depth reviews of these ministers’ resumes: their pastoral experience, education and training, and references. This will be a thorough review, conducted in as timely a manner as possible.
The committee asks for your continuing prayers for its work. As always, please contact any Committee member to express your thoughts, desires, concerns, or questions. Their contact information is listed in the 2016 Church Directory.
For the two weeks of January 28 through February 10, UBC will open Fellowship Hall from 6:00 pm until 7:00 am each night for about 40 men to have dinner, take showers, socialize, and spend the night. This ministry doesn’t happen without the generous support of YOU!
— Laura, Jennifer, and Katherine
We Are Still Collecting:
→ Adult men’s athletic socks
→ Hand warmers
→ $5 McDonald’s Gift Cards
→ Backpacks — new or gently used
→ Duffle bags
→ Toothbrushes, Toothpaste
→ Disposable razors, Shaving cream
→ Puzzle Books, Coloring books
This month the WMU is collecting
non-perishable food items and cash donations for the
Jefferson Area branch of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
⇒ Collection boxes are located in the First Floor Lobby
and Fellowship Hall.
The Youth will be collecting money for
Souper Bowl of Caring on Super Bowl Sunday, February 5.
Conversations can reconnect one with very old memories in the oddest ways. Dr. Bill Wilson’s presentation to us on Sunday morning, January 15, prompted me to vividly recall an image from my childhood in Martinsville. I was eleven, and it was a hot summer.
Our house did not have central air, but we did have a massive attic fan, a gray-steel monster mounted in the hallway ceiling just outside our second-floor bedrooms. We slept with our doors opened onto the hallway during the summer because of The Fan. Each night at bedtime, Dad would turn it on. The motor would start the big fan-blades revolving with a swoosh-swoosh-swoosh until it got up to speed and settled into a steady, deep, hypnotic hum. An excellent sound, by the way, for summer sleeping. There was just one problem with The Fan, though.
Our window screens had holes aplenty for any mosquito looking to get at us as we slept. Our attic fan, however, with its wind-tunnel effect throughout the house, seemed to suck in mosquitoes just passing by down the street! Flies and gnats that had settled down for the night found themselves unwillingly air born, snatched up by the jet stream The Fan created. Spiders, thank goodness, stayed securely anchored in their webs.
But—and here’s the point—we didn’t realize the sheer volume of bugs flowing through our rooms while we slept. Not until Dad brought home a new product from the fine folks of Shell Oil: the No-Pest Strip. The No-Pest Strip was a thick yellow slab of sure death for any insect that flew into its airspace, whether by choice or dragooned by The Fan.
This is my memory: awakening the next morning, standing up in my bed, peering into the gold-foil cardboard box that held the Pest Strip overhead, and seeing its yellow slab of sure death now absolutely slathered in insect carnage. It was a fascinating horror to ponder the mob of bugs which had flown through my room as I lay peacefully sleeping through the night.
Bill’s statistics about these daunting times for churches brought that memory to my mind’s eye. We all knew something was up causing this downturn in churches. We just had no idea there was so much flying around our heads, until Bill gathered all that data together in one place for us to behold. Perhaps you felt something like the shock I witnessed that early summer morning long ago…so, THIS is what’s been going on around us and most other churches in America? THIS is what we’re facing each Sunday as we sit in our sanctuaries?
Central air was a luxury few families afforded for themselves in my boyhood town of Martinsville. We settled for fixing window screens and cleaning out bug denizens from the window sills. But, the best solution? The best solution was to get a central air system installed, unimaginable for many of us back then but so essential and assumed by most of us today.
Churches in America, and I suppose UBC on the Corner too, are past what a little fixing and tidying up can remedy. We need a new “system” to replace whatever is the church ministry version of my boyhood house attic fan; something different to offer effective Christian witness and to build communities of faith into the upcoming decades of the 2020’s and 2030’s.
At the cornerstone laying for University Baptist Church in 1928, Dr. J.W. Cammack said “reckless faith” had made UBC possible. The time seems to have arrived again for reckless faith.
Your Senior Minister in the Interim,
I entitled my first column as your new Interim, “A Bridge Across”. Borrowing from one of our NYC visits Karen and I had made with our daughter, Emily, I included a personal photograph of the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s still pictured most weeks, as above. On the surface, my photo is like countless tourists’ photographs of this iconic landmark, snapped at this very same vantage point on the Brooklyn side of the East River.
My photograph is unique, not in its visuals but in memories it brings to us from that weekend visit. Same viewpoint, same vista, different meanings; interim transitions are like that for congregations. What has this interim passage meant for you so far? You likely have much in common with other members of UBC in their experience of our ‘interim bridge across.’ You’ll also have your unique take on these past nine months.
There’s a further twist of the bridge metaphor to consider. We’re constructing this bridge as we go (with only the vaguest notion in the beginning of where lies the other shore!). Lots of Baptist folks have done the same work. We’ve benefited from their gathered, sifted, and refined experience. However, this is UBC’s bridge with our own labor invested, and our own shoreline to find.
When you’ve got your head down hard at work, how do you know when you’re at least midway across the interim bridge or even further along? I think it’s one of those, “I’ll know it when I see it.” sorts of things.
Listening to Dr. Bill Wilson’s several presentations this past Sunday morning, it clicked for me: we’re into the second half of our interim construction project. I believe I see the other shoreline coming into view, still somewhat indeterminate in detail, but it’s taking shape.
On this Wednesday evening, January 25, at 6:00 pm, I’m hosting us in a shared time of assessing where we are. My title for the evening clues you in on where I think we are: “On the Backside of the Bridge.” That’s where I think we are.
During this Wednesday evening’s program, we’ll revisit some of Bill’s bullet points from his January 15 presentations. We’ll unpack some of what he told us, not only about ourselves, but what he described of this time and place in America for churches like UBC. I hope you’ll make a point of adding your view from this ‘interim bridge’ we’ve been building on together.
Your Senior Minister in the Interim,
Baptist Churches in a Rapidly Changing Culture,
presented by Dr. Bill Wilson,
Director – Center for Healthy Churches.
9:30 – 10:30 AM in Fellowship Hall |
Guest preacher for 11:00 AM Worship Service.
Please attend this significant church-wide presentation by Dr. Bill Wilson. Dr. Wilson, who is assisting the Senior Minister Search Committee in its work, will describe the far-reaching shifts in American culture now affecting all Baptist congregations, including University Baptist Church. Dr. Wilson will highlight both the challenges and the creative opportunities now before us in ministry and mission. He will also be preaching in the morning worship service.
Dr. William “Bill” Wilson founded The Center for Healthy Churches in January of 2014. This followed his service as President of the Center for Congregational Health at Wake Forest Baptist Health since 2009. Bill brings over 33 years of local church ministry experience to CHC, having served long-term pastorates in two churches in Virginia and on a church staff in South Carolina. Bill led each of the churches he has served into a time of significant growth and expansion of ministry. His denominational leadership has been extensive, including serving as the President of the Baptist General Association of Virginia in 1998. He is a certified coach and facilitator and has experience as a consultant in numerous settings.
Sunday, January 15 |
9:30-10:30 am — “Baptist Churches in a Rapidly Changing Culture” – Fellowship Hall |
11:00 am — Guest Preacher
This is an inter-generational mission project hosted by our young families. All ages can participate, even the smallest helping hands!
Sign up HERE to bring items for bags .