The Pane: Let Us Strive Into Through Thriving by Serving in Missions
In 1982, the great Henri Nouwen composed these words that reverberate nearly four decades later: Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish.
Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless.
Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human. When we look at compassion this way, it becomes clear that something more is involved than a general kindness or tenderheartedness. (Compassion, pg4)
Stop and consider how the compassion of God has bolstered you into a new way of living and, therefore, a new way of loving neighbor.
Witnessed in the words, actions, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the incarnational God calls us to consider a more profound form of compassion.
The Gospel of Matthew describes it in this way: 35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:35-38)
The Greek word “compassion” used here in verse 36 is splachnon. So here is the best way to translate this word, “he was moved from his inmost bowels.”
Besides the fact that a literal translation sounds severely disgusting, what Matthew was trying to convey here is that Jesus didn’t just look at the crowd and say, “Oh, those poor people. Whelp, let’s get on with more important things.”
Instead, Matthew is trying to say that when Jesus saw the crowd, he was moved with a love that came from his deepest core. For God does not just love, God is love.
You see, the compassion of Jesus-this love that rises out the deep crevasses of our existences- propels us forward into a new way of loving God and others.
On Sunday, we experienced the incarnation of God’s compassion through the stories shared and the openness of our members to serve together. What a powerful experience we had together on Sunday. We are grateful for the faith of church members to try a new way of worship through learning and serving our community.
From packing 300 Kindness Bags to writing hundreds of encouragement cards to CBF missionaries around the globe to preparing a meal for Open Air Ministries service to those experiencing homelessness to those who worked alongside Open Air, what an incredible expression of God’s compassion and hope for the world, beginning with Baton Rouge.
We want to extend a particular word of gratitude to Martha Forbes, Trippe Hawthorne, and Glenn Linzer for leading one of the morning talks on the experience of homelessness.
If you did not pick up a Kindness Bag for your car, please drop by the office during the week or snag one on Sundays in the Narthex.
Let us continue to strive forward into thriving as a church expressing the compassion of Jesus through missions.
Save the Date for the Ecuador Fundraiser on February 6th
The Ecuador Mission Team will host a fundraiser meal on Sunday, February 6, along with a silent auction. Circle, highlight, and hold this date on your calendar to help raise support for the 2022 Ecuador Mission Immersion.
Silent Auction Luncheon February 6th
UBC is hosting a silent auction and luncheon on Sunday February 6th to raise funds for the Ecuador Mission trip in July. We are asking your assistance in procuring items for the auction. If you could ask for items or gift certificates from your employer, friends or family, it would be greatly appreciated. Gift certificates for spas, restaurants, grocery stores or any other retail establishment would be great. We are not limited to these type of items and would welcome art work, LSU merchandise, personal services or other items that people would be willing to bid on. To donate items or services contact Herb Bennett, email@example.com, 225-317-5898.
Soccer Academy Regular Registration Ends February 7
For more information about the Soccer Academy and to register, click on the image above.
Soccer Academy Volunteers Wanted
UBC's Soccer Academy returns in February. We need 12 different volunteers each Saturday to make the Academy function.
Sign up to help for one or as many Saturdays as you can. Volunteers can sign up here for set-up, player check-in, group guiding, coaching, snack distribution, and participant care: https://form.jotform.com/212913959293163.
Retirees' Luncheon - Wednesday, February 16th
Bring your own lunch and drinks and dessert will be provided.
Young Adults Night Out - Friday, February 18th
Our Young Adults Night Out will be on February 18th, 5:30-8:00 pm.
The group will gather at a local restaurant for outdoor dining. Realizing not everyone can arrive by 5:30 pm, plan on joining the group as you are able.
If you have kids, you can drop them off at the church, beginning at 5:15 pm, for dinner and activities for $10 for the first child and $5 for each additional child.
Please RSVP by Wednesday, February 16th here: https://form.jotform.com/220044191068145. The restaurant location will be texted to you.
Ecuador Support Project
All contributions should be labeled “Ecuador Support Project.” You can also donate online by clicking on the image above.
UBC Stained-Glass Christmas Ornaments
For informant how to purchase your ornament, click the image above.
Little-Big Things Question of the Week
During our upcoming “The Little-Things” series, Sunday School and Spiritual Formation classes are invited to engage in a weekly dialogue about how their small group can help UBC thrive by living out these expressions: Spirit-Led, Formation, Relationships, Volunteering, Intergenerational Connections, Missions, and Holy Imagination.
The hope is that your group will center the brief conversation on practical and tangible goals for your specific group.
Thursday Prayer Group is Back!
The group meets every Thursday over Zoom at 12:30pm. We will be reading The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri J.M. Nouwen.
Join us on Zoom.
Zoom ID: 570-645-5793
We Need Your Help as Our Church Grows
As out church continues to grow, we need your help. Consider volunteering for one of the above.
Choir is Back
The choir is back! We are currently rehearsing Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Music Suite. All are welcome. Previous experience not required. Safety precautions include masks and distancing. Join us! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
CHURCH OF THE NATIONS
Worship in the Sanctuary this Sunday
Contact email@example.com for more information.
Spiritual Formation Series
Please bring your children to join us for our current Spiritual Formation Series, “God’s Story for You and Me.” The series takes place in the Children’s Branch during Sunday school.
Save The Dates
How To Give
Mask Policy Update
Click on the image above to review our updated mask policy.