The last 17-months brought world-altering change to our lives, communities, and church. For most, we could not see those for whom we care deeply and participate in activities that give us life for an unbearably long time. And when things seem to be getting back to a new normal, we face another wave of this pandemic.
Despite the many challenges, you, along with other members of our congregation, faithfully pivoted to meet this uncertainty with faithfulness and participation.
Many of our Spiritual Formation and Sunday School Classes grew while meeting virtually. Our livestream worship service touched lives well beyond Baton Rouge. Meeting the needs of our community came to the forefront as we provided meals and school supplies, sent disaster relief resources, resourced our Ecuador partnership, grew fresh vegetables for local food pantries, provided Christmas gifts for Highland students, and on and on. Our MDO is expanding even in the face of the challenges of educating children while using necessary safety precautions.
While many of our family and friends were faced with the insecurity of economic hardship, you remained faithful to the mission and vision of UBC by contributing your offering, time, passion, and goodwill. Although we ended the financial year under the budgeted contributions, we also underspent the budget in cost-saving and faith-centered decision-making.
As experts begin to see the positive effects of vaccinations in our area and country, leading to the reopening of our new normal way of life, University Baptist Church is moving forward in bold faithfulness to God’s calling. As we face “next” together, we will do so with courage, strength, and openness as we seek to fulfill the good work of redeeming God’s world through the Gospel ministry.
God is doing great things in and through UBC. Opportunities for spiritual formation and discipleship are blooming. The Mother’s Day Out program expansion will give us the ability to reach dozens of new families. Our aging building electrical and air condition systems are being updated. The Soccer Academy continues to reach over 70 children per season. The expansion of retirees, young adults, college, youth, and children’s programs will allow us to grow the church. And our continued community-centered events and small groups are building upon our ability to develop authentic relationships within our church, neighborhood, and city. We are growing!
My prayer is that each of us will examine how we can bring God the bounty of our best selves by sharing our strengths, time, resources, passions, and offerings for the excellent work of Jesus through UBC. Now, more than ever, we need collaborative partners to support the growth of this church.
Thank you for being a part of seeing this vision become a reality by contributing to University Baptist Church. As Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, “I thank God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”