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11
Jun 2018
Celebrating Pride Month at University Christian Church

Why We are an Open & Affirming Church It is June. It’s Pride Month. And that’s important to us here at University Christian Church. But before I explain why, here’s some background information on Pride Month: “Every year, during the month of June, the LGBTQ+ community celebrates in a number of different ways. Across the globe, various events are held during this special month as a way of recognizing the influence LGBTQ+  people have had around the world. Why was June chosen? Because it is when the Stonewall Riots took place, way......

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23
May 2018
What is LifeWorks and How Does the Program Impact Austin?

Understanding UCC’s Continued Service to the Street Youth of Our City For decades, homeless young people have been attracted to the University of Texas (UT) environment, especially along Guadalupe Street, an area long known as “The Drag”.  They form the lowest socio-economic caste in our neighborhood, sometimes referenced with such derogatory names as “drag worms.” We prefer the term “street youth.” These young people became a specific outreach target of University Christian Church (UCC) when Micah 6 (founded in 2004 by UCC and eight other UT-area congregations) opened its Street Youth Drop-In......

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10
May 2018
A Litany for Mother's Day

When I think of worship and Mother’s Day, I’m instantly transported back to a time when I’m about 5 years old and the hymns in church are sung.  I stand as high as my mother’s waistline and the soundtrack of the memory is not the whole of the congregation’s singing, but my mother’s voice alone.  Pure, strong, beautiful. This picture is of my dear wife, Becca, holding our newborn grandson, Charlie, in St. David’s North here in Austin.  His brother, Forrest, was so excited to meet the little brother he’d been awaiting......

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26
Apr 2018
Community Spotlight: Micah 6 of Austin

“What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8 (MEV) The beginnings of something wonderful Several years ago, a group of compassionate, caring members of churches in the University of Texas area met to address the needs of hungry people in the UT area and in Austin. For over two years, these churches actively planned and strategized, with the ultimate goal of creating a cooperative food pantry for the Austin area. The product was Micah 6......

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12
Apr 2018

April 12, 2018 Friday, March 30, thousands of Palestinians participated in the first of several weeks of planned nonviolent demonstrations in Gaza near the fence with Israel. These demonstrations are expected to continue until May 15, when Palestinians mark Nakba (“catastrophe”) Day, remembering the 1948 displacement and dispossession of 750,000 Palestinians, and resulting in a Palestinian diaspora and a refugee population that today numbers over five million, including descendants. At the same time Israel will celebrate 70 years since its establishment on May 14, 1948.   More than 1.3 million of Gaza’s nearly......

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27
Mar 2018

Jim Wallis writes “On Ash Wednesday, a group of church leaders, all old enough to be called “elders,” met in a private retreat. We prayed. We experienced a deep sense of lament for the political and moral crisis we are in and for the ways it unfolded. We confessed on behalf of the churches and for our own complicity in the situation in which we now find ourselves. And we strongly sensed the need for repentance, realizing that word means much more than guilt and shame, but a “turning around” and moving......

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15
Mar 2018
Lenten Garden Reflection

Dear Friends, On Saturday, March 10, my grandson Charlie and I hacked and pulled the winter’s weed growth from our 5’X16’ raised bed garden. That day we planted cheery orange marigolds around the perimeter to keep some pests at bay. A couple of days later I planted four tomato plants and two squash plants, but have yet to decide on which other seeds to plant this year. In a few days we will find those right seeds. We will plant, water, begin weeding, staking, and all the other mundane but wonderful little chores that......

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23
Feb 2018

On Thursday, February 15th, we hosted the first event of our 2018 Serve. Love. Grow. lecture series. Entitled “There is HOPE: Understanding and finding solutions for today’s alcohol and drug addicted youth. ”The panel featured influential members of the University High School (Austin’s only sober high school) community, which is mostly housed on UCC’s second floor. Funding for the program was provided by UCC’s Endowment for Creative Ministry. Dr. Lori K. Holleran Steiker, Ph.D., ACSW kicked off the panel by giving an overview of the addiction epidemic. As a University Distinguished Teaching Professor in......

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16
Feb 2018

In preparation for my last Sunday at University Christian Church, I was asked if I had any particular requests for music in our worship planning. Immediately, I proposed Our Prayer by Brian Wilson. The following is the reasoning and rationale behind that request – I hope you get a chance to study this song (here’s a live version to get you started) in advance of Sunday’s worship! Between 1966 and 2004, a fair amount changed in our country. The It’s a Small World ride opened in Disney, Mao Zedong began China’s Cultural......

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15
Feb 2018
Helping Kids Cope with Tragedy

UCC Gives Back at Camp Erin Central Texas University Christian Church is excited to provide major funding support for Camp Erin Central Texas. Formerly known as “Camp Brave Heart,” Camp Erin Central Texas has been in operation for over 20 years, thanks to Hospice Austin, the only non-profit hospice care provider in Austin, TX. As a multi-day camp for children ages 6 to 17, Camp Erin Central Texas is the largest national bereavement program for children and teens grieving the death of someone close to them. It helps keep the family system......

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