Blog


20
Nov 2017

According to the Mass Shooting Tracker, which locates news stories on any shooting event that involves 4 or more people, America has seen 388 mass shootings so far in 2017. Three hundred eighty-eight mass shootings since January – even if there wasn’t another shooting the rest of the year, we’d still average more than 1 a day. Of course, some of these shootings stand out far above others on a national level. An event like Las Vegas where 59 people were killed will stand out above even the four people injured in......

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01
Nov 2017
Recap: To Puerto Rico with Love

This past Saturday, University Christian Church came together to raise funds for our neighbors in Puerto Rico who are in desperate need of help after two devastating hurricanes. The benefit concert, “To Puerto Rico with Love” was a beautiful tribute of classical music by a group of highly talented local musicians. To date, we’ve raised $7,000 to go directly to United for Puerto Rico, an organization spearheaded by Puerto Rico’s First Lady, Beatriz Rossello, to help residents rebuild their homes. This is only a small dent compared to the scale of this disaster......

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26
Oct 2017

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, plenty of us in Austin had family and friends that needed our help. Houston, Corpus Christi, Victoria, Port Arthur, Port Aransas, Beaumont, Rockport – these are places we know and love, and it was easy to justify spending our days in an emergency shelter for evacuees and planning day trips to help with clean-up. The need was real, and we felt it. Hurricanes Maria and Irma, however, didn’t hit Texas. But even though the areas they hit are much further away, and even though far less of......

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26
Jul 2017
A group of Japanese protestors walk and push wheelchairs in a wide file down the street while several hold a large yellow banner.

What happens when we forget? What happens when we refuse to acknowledge pain and struggle and heartache and loss? What happens when we lose track of those who weep, when we turn away from those who cry out, when we forsake those who display their wounds in public? One year ago today, a group home for adults with significant disabilities was attacked by a lone terrorist. Before breaking in and murdering 19 residents, Satoshi Uematsu (a former caretaker in the facility) wrote a manifesto condemning the service and care of those with......

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02
May 2017

Approximately 1/5 adults will experience mental illness each year. Everyone can benefit from having strategies to address mental health needs. From depression and anxiety to a recent specific trigger, finding an outlet is key in establishing and maintaining mental wellness. UCC is committed to our community by helping to make these connections to local resources. You are also welcome to seek counseling from UCC’s ministerial staff, who are willing conversation partners. They will also default to referrals for everyone who requires a higher degree of professional care. Resources UT Counseling and Mental......

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16
Feb 2017

Take action today to tell Congress and President Trump not to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, not to permit any U.S. Ambassador to live and work outside Tel Aviv, and not to green-light Netanyahu’s plan to expand settlements and remove any chance for a Palestinian state and for peace between Palestinians and Israelis. http://bit.ly/2kDAL53...

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25
Jan 2017

It’s true, I’m just not on Shakira’s level, I suppose. What I mean by this is that I’ve had some gnarly hip pain on several of my training runs, dating back before Christmas. It’s been really disheartening to cut runs short, cut back on my weekly mileage, and to watch my times slowly creep back up. I think I’ve managed to move past it with a regimen of stretching, strength-building, yoga, and rest, but hip pain belies an unfortunate truth when it comes to running a marathon – I’ve never done this......

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27
Oct 2016

Pastor Chuck’s Recommended Books 2017 Links to book or author page on Amazon Devotional Howard Thurman (The Inward Journey; Meditations of the Heart) Carlo Carretto (Letters from the Desert; The God Who Comes; I, Francis) Joan Chittister (Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today) Reuben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck (A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants) Ecology and Economics Bill McKibben (Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future; The End of Nature; Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age) Stewart Brand......

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14
Oct 2016
On Being Political, without the Politics

Election years are hard on churches. And it isn’t just that congregations end up divided on important issues. We are 501(c)3 organizations, which means that we have certain perks afforded to us by the government, ostensibly because we offer to the community services which increase their value and quality of life. Essentially, the government recognizes that some things are better done by smaller organizations, and that those same organizations should get certain treatment in order to help them survive in a capitalistic society. Of course, being a 501(c)3 also comes with a......

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02
Aug 2016
Pokemon Go, Nostalgia, and Young Adults in the Church

If you have looked outside recently, you will have noticed that hoards of young people are walking aimlessly throughout the parks, streets, and even maybe your lawn, all over the city. This is a country-wide epidemic, in fact, stretching far beyond Austin and into even the furthest reaches of America’s beautiful lands. Though it may look like the zombie apocalypse has hit us, the reality is far more intriguing. Pokemon Go, a very simple app, has taken the 30-and-younger crowd by storm. Parent company Nintendo has gained 20 BILLION in revenue, and......

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