What a month we had in September… What a month we have ahead. As you will see in this edition of the Communicator, we do not lack for activity! Please take time to carefully read and take note of the many opportunities for missional service, congregational fellowship, and times to learn and form together in the Way of Jesus. We also have our Second Congregational Meeting on October 25. We had about ninety participate in the first meeting, and I am hopeful we will have another good turnout for the next conversation about UBC’s future. In the coming days, all of us will receive a homework assignment that will enrich our conversations on October 25 as our attention turns to the local community.

Over the past three Sundays, sermons have focused on tasks that will aid us in the process of visioning and living into the promises of our future.

“Tilling Together”
In the second account of creation, we learn that no plant grew upon the face of the earth until God crafted a creature capable of tilling and keeping the ground. Creation could not be all that God intended it to be without people to nurture the land and the many gifts of creation. A church is a lot like that first garden of creation. The church is brought to life by God, but it also requires people committed to till and keep it so that it can become all that God intends. Like a garden, the work of tilling and keeping is ongoing, with every new season of life comes a renewed call to work together. How might you give of your abilities to till and keep UBC?

“Laughing Together”
God promised Sarah and Abraham that they would become the parents a great family of faith that would come to number as many as there are stars in the night sky. Yet Sarah was in her 90s and Abraham 100 when their first child was born. The news of new life breaking into their barrenness caused them to laugh and laugh and laugh… and so they named their son “laughter” which in their language is Isaac. Even as we till and keep, we cannot forget that Jesus came to bring life in abundance. The good news of the Kingdom of God is a joyous thing. As a church, we need to laugh together—to take time to enjoy time with one another and our neighbors. Have you laughed recently at UBC?

“Wrestling Together”
Jacob came to a crossroads in his life. After wrestling away the birthright and blessing that were due his brother, he fled his home and lived for many years with his uncle and father-in-law. Now, after many years he was returning home and afraid that is brother would seek revenge. On the night before he would meet his brother, he prayed and sought solitude—time to reflect on all the pain of his past and the uncertainties of his future. In that place of solitude, God suddenly appeared and wrestled with Jacob for exhausting hour after exhausting hour. Finally, as daylight was about to break, God changed Jacob. He was blessed, but he also had a new limp. Sometimes, when we wrestle most faithfully with God, we find we are simultaneously blessed and limping. Will you commit to pray for UBC as it journeys into is unknown future? Will you be willing to wrestle with God as we seek to live into the promise that God will bless us so that we might be a blessing to our
broken world?

Journeying Together,