Weekly e-communications from University Presbyterian Church  August 29, 2019



Sermon Series on Worship
Prayer of Confession

Pastor Krystal Leedy preaches

"Martha's Confession"

The Chancel Choir sings “Lord, for Thy Tender Mercy’s Sake” by Farrant.

Bridge to Worship is an interactive experience for children ages 3-6 on Sunday mornings. Parents may take their children to Room 202, upper level after Time with the Younger Church.

August 25, 2019, Pastor Matt Gaventa,

August 18, 2019, Pastor Matt Gaventa,

August 11, 2019, Pastor Matt Gaventa,

July 28, 2019, Pastor Krystal Leedy,

July 21, 2019, Seminary Intern Jeannie Shear, Marvelous Mysteries

July 14, 2019, Pastor Matt Gaventa

More sermons are available in our sermon archive at
Subscribe to the UPC podcasts of sermons and other pertinent information. You can subscribe to our podcast through

Sunday Schedule

9:30 a.m.
Laudate Children’s Choir Rm 210, UL
Nursery childcare infant-3 years
Room 1, Lower Level
Sweaty Sundays Service Project
Youth Room 212, Upper Level
Faith & Life class, Room 201, UL
Present Word Adult class, Room 3, LL
NEW Generation, Parenting & Faith
Room 7, Lower Level
10:00 a.m.
The BIG Hello Pre-K -5th grade
Youth Room 212, Upper Level
10:15 a.m.
Sunday School Small Groups
Almost Reading Kids Pre-K—2nd
Room 204, Upper Level
The Treehouse late 2nd—5th grade
Room 206, Upper Level
10:50 a.m.
Sunday School Classes Dismiss
11:00 a.m.
Worship in Sanctuary
Bridge to Worship (Godly Play) 
3—2nd grade, Room 202, UL
12:00 P.M.
Youth Fellowship , Room 212, UL
Confirmation , Rm 210, UL
begins September 15
12:40 P.M.
NEXT Generation , Room 7, LL
6:00 p.m.
UKirk Dinner & Games
Evening Worship begins September 8
This fall at UPC, we’re going to reflect a bit on how it is that we root in worship together, by using the different elements of our worship service as inspiration for the preaching moment. Instead of following the fall lectionary, we’ve crafted a sermon series that walks through elements of worship, like the Prayer of Confession, the Call for the Offering, or the Prayers of the People. We’ll choose scripture for each case that helps us get at why these pieces of our worship matter.


August 25         Call to Worship: Pastor Matt, Every Given Sunday
September 1      Prayer of Confession: Pastor Krystal, Martha's Confession
September 8      Passing the Peace: the Reverend Shanae D. Leonard, guest preacher
September 15    Prayer for Illumination: Pastor Matt
September 22    Sermon: Pastor Matt
September 29     Affirmation Hymn: Paul Hooker & Eric Wall, Music in Worship
October 6           Communion: Pastor Matt World Communion Sunday
October 13         Offering: Pastor Matt Stewardship 2020 Kickoff
October 20         Announcements: Pastor Matt
October 27         Affirmation of Faith: Savannah Demuynck Reformation Sunday
November 3       Prayers of the People: Pastor John All Saints
November 10     Charge & Benediction: Pastor Matt Stewardship Sunday
Worship @ 11 am
Anti-Racism Training @ noon, Great Hall
We are excited to announce our fall training on anti-racism will be conducted by the Reverend Shanea D. Leonard, B.A., M.Div. Shanea is currently the National Associate for Gender & Racial Justice for the PC (USA) in Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries for the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

Shanea will preach next Sunday, September 8, on the topic of Passing the Peace, next in our series on worship. Please plan to participate in the anti-racism training conducted by Shanea immediately following worship in the Great Hall.

About Reverend Leonard
Reverend Leonard is a pastor, teacher, consultant, community activist, and justice warrior. Shanea has been an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) for over twelve years.  A native of Philadelphia, she received her B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and M.Div. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She currently carries out her justice mandate as the National Associate for Gender & Racial Justice Pastor Leonard has done extensive work within urban areas to eradicate systemic oppression in the areas of race, gender, sexual orientation, and socio-economic despair, and has done international outreach in Africa, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. Shanea believes that God has given her a burden for people whom others have disregarded, oppressed, forgotten, or simply don’t even see. 

A modern-day abolitionist, Shanea is the founder & former pastor of JUDAH Fellowship, Western Pennsylvania region’s only predominantly Black affirming faith community. Reverend Leonard is also the founder of the Pittsburgh Clergy Consortium, the city’s inter-faith cohort of faith leaders with an affirming theology towards advocacy for the LGBTQIA community. Shanea has served other organizations as: past board chair of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, member of the Pennsylvania State ACLU Board of Directors, and chair of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s LGBTQIA Advisory Council, as well as leadership in other arenas around Western PA. Pastor Leonard is an often-quoted media contributor and an active, outspoken faith voice for justice. 

Shanea is also the founding director of Diversity Consulting, an organization that focuses on the education and coaching of individuals and groups around intersectional advocacy and issue- based leadership in the areas of faith, race, gender, and sexual orientation. She has received numerous awards including the recent 2018 Coro Pittsburgh Martin Luther King Jr, Leadership Award, the 2018 YWCA Racial Justice Leadership Award, and the 2015 National Black Caucus Innovation in Ministry Award. She resides in Louisville, Kentucky, but travels extensively for the cause of liberation of marginalized people. She lives her life by the mantra of Assata Shakur which sates, “…it is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win…we have nothing to lose but our chains!”
What an amazing Rally Day! It was so wonderful to be in worship with so many of you, and to enter into this season with such energy and fellowship!

One of the joys and wonders of being church in a vibrant downtown neighborhood is that, any given Sunday morning, we may have guests and visitors from all walks of life. Most of the time, this is a life-giving and joyful opportunity for us to broaden our horizons — but, every once in a while, we have a guest like the one we had on Rally Day, whose rhythms of worship were substantially distracting and disorienting. I have heard from a few of you conveying understandable concern about how we are called to respond to folks who are disrupting or disturbing the peaceful act of our worship together, and so I wanted to take a moment to say something to the whole church.

Hospitality is one of those words in the Christian faith that sounds so much easier than it is. The easy part is handing out brownie mix to visitors and putting up signs pointing to the restroom. The hard part is ensuring that everyone who enters into this space feels entirely recognized and entirely valued. The truth is that, in the name of hospitality, we could go so far in welcoming disturbing behavior that we would end up creating worship that was inhospitable to other folks in the pews. So I am profoundly grateful every time a guest finds themselves welcome in our Sunday morning worship — but I am also profoundly grateful for those folks in the UPC family who intervened and redirected our guest on Sunday so that all of us could feel welcome in the worship where we find our roots.
I want you to know that we are at work identifying the ways in which UPC staff, volunteers, and worshipers-at-large can and should respond in the case of guests who might disturb our worship rhythm. Your session formed last year a Safety & Security Task Force, which is hard at work thinking through the sorts of training and equipping we need so that we know exactly how we are meant to respond whenever some disturbance occurs. That Task Force includes Rey Legett, Julie Miller, Tommy McReynolds, and Sarah French, and is staffed by Pastor John Leedy. They would certainly be glad to welcome your comments or your feedback or your suggestions as we work to develop the procedures we need and to communicate them out the congregation as a whole.

Many thanks to each of you for the role you play in building up our common life, rooted in worship. See you on Sunday. 
On Sunday, August 25, we return to our tradition of a full processional, with crucifer (9th through 12th grade) and acolytes (2nd through 5th grade), our vestry team. We trained a great vestry team last Sunday after worship! There's another chance to be part of the worship team. Our next training is Sunday, September 1, immediately after worship for 30 minutes in the Sanctuary.

Can't make the next training? Email Pastor John to set up an individual training time!
Chancel Choir is back in full swing. What a great anthem on Rally Day! There's room for you if you love to sing God's praises. Fall rehearsals begin Wednesday, September 4, at 7:00 p..m. in the Choir Room on the lower level. Sundays, the choir warms up in the sanctuary at 10:15, then sings a choral introit and anthem at the 11:00 a.m. worship service.

If you'd like to be part of the choir, please contact Ara Carapetyan 512/795-8699, ara.carapetyan@gmail.com , or speak to any choir member.
Now is the time to join the Laudate Choir! Director Austin Bradley has some exciting plans & surprises for the new choir season here at UPC and we hope you'll join in the fun!

Laudate, open to kindergarten through 8th grade, rehearses Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. in Room 210, then joins the BIG Hello in the Youth Room at 10.

For more information, contact Austin Bradley at childrenchoir@upcaustin.org
Hello to all you potential handbell ringers out there! If you used to play, or would like to try playing, or have ever even thought or wondered about playing, we'd love to have you in the UPC Handbell Choir.

We only have enough ringers to play three of our five octaves right now, so more ringers would mean we could play more octaves and have more fun! Our fall start-up rehearsal will be Sunday, September 1, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

If you have questions, need more info, or would like to attend, please contact Kim Vitray, 512-658-8587, kimvitray710@gmail.com
New Format for
Parenting & Faith Class

Beginning Sunday, September 1, parents of children and teens have two choices:
Parenting & Faith: NEW Generation meets at 9:30 Sunday mornings and is for parents with infants through 5 th grade kids. Babies welcome!

Parenting & Faith: NEXT Generation meets at 12:40 p.m. Sunday afternoons and is for parents of older children and teens.

Both classes meet in Room 7 on the lower level. Have kids in both age groups? Choose either class—or both!
Please join us on Sunday September 22 after worship in the Great Hall to help honor Barbara for her many years of service to UPC as custodian and building monitor.

The Staff Support committee is collecting a Love Offering to support Barbara in her time of transition. If you would like to contribute, you can put a designated check in the offering plate or contact the church office. Please have all donations in by Sunday September 15.
The Tuesday Evening Bible Class will resume on Tuesday, September 24, at 7:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. This fall we will be studying Mary, the Virgin Mary, Marian theology and imagery and related subjects. The course will stop for the holidays with the last class of 2019 being Tuesday, November 19. Depending in part on class interest, there is enough material to cover and discuss for a number of classes in 2020 before we move on to another subject. Look forward to seeing everyone again in a new study.

For more information, contact
Jonathan Eddison
jbeddison@mac.com 512-988-0333
Click the image above to download a PDF of the Invitation.
Zambia Zimbabwe Mozambique Network Invites You

It will be the pleasure and privilege of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Zambia Zimbabwe Mozambique Mission Network to hold its conference at University Presbyterian Church in Austin from October 16 to October 19.  It will be a dynamic time of worship, sharing, learning and looking to the future for all of us who share concern for these partners. We are hoping that many in Mission Presbytery will decide to join us. 

For more information you can contact Lucy Ogelsby who has been assisting us in our planning and also your Executive Presbyter, the Rev. Sallie Watson who has been a wonderful resource to us from the beginning. To obtain registration information you can click the link below.

We would be honored to have you attend our conference. 
Overnight Hosting Opportunity

As you've learned from the previous article, the PC(USA) Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique Mission Network is going to be holding their conference here at University Presbyterian Church on October 16-19. Several attendees are seeking overnight hosts during this time. Most of these attendees are PC(USA) mission co-workers, traveling internationally on limited budgets.

Are you able to provide a room and breakfast for three nights? It would also be helpful to provide transportation to the church each morning. If interested, please contact Barbara Ringk (ZZM conference logistics coordinator) at bringk@verizon.net for more details.

This is a wonderful opportunity demonstrate true Texas hospitality and to learn more about mission work being done in these three countries.
Covenant Conversation
UPC San Antonio
September 14

Join us Saturday, September 14, for a time of learning, sharing community and discovering together what it means to be a church that truly welcomes all.

The Covenant Network of Presbyterians is undertaking a new effort in partnership with congregations and councils around the country. Covenant Conversations will help Presbyterians live into a new day in the church's life, bringing communities together to talk about being church for ALL God's people.

Our next Covenant Conversation is in San Antonio, Texas, hosted by University Presbyterian Church in San Antonio. We'll gather on Saturday, September 14, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and you are invited. If you are anywhere nearby, we'd love to have you there. Lunch is included in the $10 registration fee.

UPC session voted unanimously to join the Covenant Network of Presbyterians at the June stated session meeting.


Thank you for your invaluable participation in UPC’s UPLift financial assistance ministry!

The following is a list of our current needs:

  • $10 gift cards from Walmart and HEB – needed for co-pays for critical medications that Insurance will not pay and for folks who have no insurance
  • snack bars/crackers – especially peanut butter crackers like the Austin brand
  • strawberry preserves
  • canned diced tomatoes
  • bag of sugar

Please bring your items any Sunday and place in the shopping cart during the offering. Thank you for your valuable participation in the UPLift ministry of UPC!
Please pray for

the family of Peggy Miller, who died peacefully last Sunday, August 18, after a long illness. Maggi Miller is Peggy's daughter. A memorial service is planned for September 28, at 2:00 p.m. in the UPC sanctuary.

To request prayers for yourself or a loved one, email   upc@upcaustin.org .
To have a deacon pray with you, look for the  Deacon of the Day  on the pulpit side front of the sanctuary any Sunday following the postlude.
Celebrations and Concerns of the congregation are published weekly and include prayers and people to pray for. You can download the folder here for Sunday, August 18, 2019 . You may also pick up a copy outside the church office or in the narthex.
UPC's Prayer Chain is a group of faithful prayer warriors who commit to praying for people throughout the week. If you'd like to be part of the Prayer Chain, click the button below. You will receive periodic emails (no more than one per day), with specific requests from members to pray. Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer.