Nov 19 – Stories of Thankfulness Join us as several members of the UBC family share their "Stories of Thankfulness" during this Thanksgiving season.
Nov 12 – Every Christian Is Called (1 Peter 2:9–10) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Nov 5 – Sacrificial Generosity (Matt 19:16-26; 2 Cor 9:6-15; Exod 35:21-29; Luke 10:33-35) Jesus said that the world would know his disciples by their love. Perhaps one of the strongest expressions of love is giving: giving care, giving attention, giving support, giving time, giving money, giving materials, giving encouragement, etc. (After all, God so LOVED the World, that he GAVE his Son.) And in the context of receiving these things and more from others, we receive love. At UBC we value living generous lives, giving of ourselves and our possessions so that the love of God might be shared with one another and made known to those who do not know him.
Oct 29 – Transforming Communities (Gen 18:18-19; Mic 4:1-2; Mk 4:26-34, 5:13-16; Lk 9:10-13) It is true that the work of God, through his people, is the work of redemption. And while individuals are being redeemed, they are not the only thing God desires to redeem. In fact, God’s plan is nothing short of redeeming ALL of creation, which includes families, cities, neighborhoods, systems, nature, and anything else that finds its creative origin in God (which is everything!). We value the Church’s role in transforming communities of every size and scope to become more of what God has created them to be. As such, we are deeply involved in our own communities for their good, and we seek to develop partnerships with other churches and ministries and help them in their own transformational work in their communities.
Oct 22 – Practicing Spiritual Disciplines (1 Sam 1:9-11; Isa 37:14-20; Matt 6:5-13, 16-18; Mk 1:35; 1 Tim 4:13; 2 Tim 3:14-17) The next UBC value that facilitates our Process of Becoming is the practice of spiritual disciplines. These disciplines, most frequently exercised individually but also practiced in groups, include things like fasting, journaling, solitude, etc. The two primary disciplines practiced in the Christian church are prayer and Bible reading. For us, the value of these disciplines is realized as we take ownership of our spiritual growth, and discover and practice those spiritual disciplines that foster an increased knowledge and connectedness to God.
Oct 15 – Encountering God In Worship (John 4:19-24) Corporate worship has been a shared discipline for Christians in every era going back to the first community of believers in Jerusalem. But throughout the centuries, every tradition of Christianity has struggled with preventing worship from becoming rote, empty routine or ritual. At UBC we strongly value the worship experience as a time and place to encounter God collectively. We seek to hear from him, speak to him, praise him, give to him, and feel his presence through the many facets of our worship services. It’s one key, corporate way we seek to move along in our process of becoming.
Oct 8 – Process of Becoming (Phil 2:1-11; 1 Pet 1:13—2:3; Gal 5:13-26; 2 Pet 1:5-9) It has almost become commonplace today to speak of the Christian life as a journey. Perhaps the intended thought is a temporal journey, as we manage to move through life, towards death, and into eternity. Perhaps its thought to be a spatial journey as this world eventually gives way to the “new heavens and new earth” of Revelation. And while both of these ideas have merit, the inner journey of the individual, within a faith community, toward Christlikeness, is a key value of UBC. We acknowledge that we all are called to be more like Christ, we all have a long ways to go, but we all have the potential to make progress in that direction. Hopefully, this “Process of Becoming” is a journey that every UBC member is on, and one in which we help each other along the way through example, accountability, challenge, and love.
Oct 1 – Mercy, Grace, & Forgiveness (Matt 7:1-5, 18:21-35; John 8:1-11, 21:15-17) Patience is another value of God that appears frequently in the Bible. God desires, even expects, his people to live holy lives in accord with his very own nature. But he also recognizes humanity’s constant struggle to leave behind their selfish nature to follow God’s own holy example. This struggle necessitates God acting time and time again towards people with the qualities of mercy, grace, and forgiveness, all of which are exemplified heavily in the life and ministry of Jesus. Because these qualities are valued by God, we find them valued by our church members as we seek to know God and walk with him. In our efforts to develop authentic relationships and to foster unity in diversity, we also recognize our need to love one another by extending grace, forgiving, and being merciful as we all seek to grow in our Christlikeness.
Sept 24 – Unity in Diversity (Exod 12:37-38; 2 Kgs 5:17-19; Isa 56:3-7; Eph 4:1-16; Gal 3:26-29; John 4:1-42) Most Christians recognize the importance of unity within the church family, and it would not be presumptuous to think that most Christians also acknowledge that their faith and salvation are made available to all people around the world. And yet, diversity as a reality in most churches is a rarity, and a practiced family unity is much easier said than done. Both Testaments in Scripture point to the value of God’s people consisting of any and all who want to know God and follow him, but living this out in the context of people with different opinions, theologies, backgrounds, practices, and cultures all coming together in one family under Jesus is incredibly challenging! Nevertheless, this is a key, tandem value of our church family: we seek unity within a celebrated diversity. We don’t value this just because. We value it because Scripture reveals that our God also values it!
Sept 17 – Authentic Relationships (Gen 1-2; Mark 3:31-34) The first thing that God declared “not good” was loneliness. We were created in his image, and part of God’s image is the desire, even the necessity, of relationships with others. Throughout the Bible this quality is apparent, in family relationships, friendships, the importance of cities and nations, relationships with those different from oneself, and God’s relationship with his creation. Relationships are seen at their very best, and, when selfishness is involved, at their very worst. As the first core value pertaining to our work of Belonging, we acknowledge the importance of authentic relationships to us as a church family, as well as the constant challenge of building them into our every day lives.