One of the most beautiful stories in the Bible is the Hebrew people crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land. The culmination of this promise fulfilled generations upon generations in the making.
To incapsulate this moment, God instructed Joshua to pick up 12 large stones from the riverbed as they passed through the receded waters of the Jordan. On the other side, they stacked the stones to create a place of remembrance of what God had, was, and will be doing in their lives as a people.
As we embarked into 2020, we invited you to stack stones as to how you have seen and dream of God at work within and through University Baptist Church. Each of us inscribed on a tag and then hung it on the 20/20 Vision Tree.
Do you remember the stones you stacked, the tags you hung?
Dear Lord, please help the SGI team while they are preparing to help the church grow.
Pray that our eyes & heart can be opened to the direction you (God) want us to go. Show the way to reach all ages to lead them to Christ and keep the church doors open to all.
My prayer is that UBC will increase its ability to guide its members to follow God more closely through spiritual formation.
Dear Lord, continue to strengthen the members of UBC to care for our community.
I pray that God will use each person’s gifts and passions for the growth of our church.
Leveraging a culture of hospitality and care, Lord, helps us to draw others to our church to learn about you. Let us be walking witnesses of your goodness and salvation.
God, I pray that the church is able to carry out your vision for us successfully. That we may recognize our strength and the uniqueness that each member possesses.
May our worship be a heartfelt, genuine offering of praise.
Pray for a passion on behalf of UBC.
That God’s will be done for our church. Each one of us takes a more active role in helping this church to grow.
I pray that fear will not prevent us from taking meaningful steps toward a vision.
There are many more stones, many more prayers, and hopes for the present and future of University Baptist Church.
Remember these stones. Remember how God was at work in our past, is at work in our present, and will be at work in our future.
May these stones stir us to follow God’s leadership.
May 21: A Summer of Bridging Connections
Of the many things that one can say about this crisis, it has pushed us to our temperamental limits. Introverts are in paradise. Extroverts are at their wit's end.
Isolation has been an unwelcome bedfellow for many.
Unfortunately, as we wade through the challenging waters of the pandemic, we do not have much certainty as to when normal will return. And yet, we are earnestly working on ways that we can stay connected as a faith community.
We hope to host the first of three Summer Gatherings on June 28th. Centered on like-interest activities, participants will have the opportunity to explore various forms of art, dance, exercise, cooking, games, and more. Even if you want to sit around a table and share in a conversation with others, we’ve got you covered. The Gatherings will kick off at 4:30 pm, with over an hour of multiple activity options, and wrap up with dinner.
Our Connect Groups are an expression of community. Also centered on like-interest activities, participants are invited to join with others to do anything from reading and discussing a book, jogging, playing golf, enjoying a meal, playing a game, art expressions, and much more. We invite you to connect with an existing group or share with us ideas for a new group through www.ubc-br.org/CG.
Some Connect Groups are choosing to meet via phone and video calls. Let us know how we can support your group.
We are continuing to work on the Barnabas Project, a way of connecting members across an age divide. The hope is that those connected through the Barnabas Project will have two intentional touches per month. The first touch would be a deliberate gathering once per month, either over a meal or sitting down together during the 10:00 am Sunday Coffee & Community hour. The second touch would be simply a physical note or email to exchange words of encouragement and prayer. Each pairing would also be encouraged to spend time once per week praying specifically for their partner.
If you are interested in pairing with someone of a different age within the congregation, whether as an individual, couple, or family, please contact Deb McElgin (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact the office.
And outside of these formal ways that we are making connections among our members, we challenge you to share time outside of UBC: Collaborate on putting together a cook-out with a few other couples or families; setup a play day with your kids and other families; invite people out for a cup of coffee; continue to call and text those in your sphere of influence. Thoughtfully and intentionally consider how you can connect with other UBC members and people outside of our church.
Fostering a sense of connectedness in the days and weeks ahead will forge a stronger bond as we continue this journey together in faith.