Weekly e-communications from University Presbyterian Church  December 11, 2018
DECEMBER 16, 2018
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols tradition we share each year originated in close to its present form on Christmas Eve at King’s College, Cambridge, 100 years ago in 1918. It always begins with the same carol and tells in scripture and song the story of the loving purposes of God from the first days of our creation to the glorious Redemption brought us by the Holy Child. We pray your spirits are again lifted and warmed by this year’s retelling of this familiar yet wondrous story.

Matt Gaventa's sermon on the second Sunday in Advent:

" Two Coats "

You can find other UPC sermons at
Pick one up in the narthex or on the table outside the church office. The devotional, from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, is  Unwrapping Advent: Questions & Answers for Contemplation at Advent & Christmas.
Bring your favorite Christmas treat to the Great Hall December 24, 4:30 p.m., to share and enjoy fellowship. Children are invited to choose a costume for the instant pageant that will take place during the 5:30 pm Christmas Eve service. Free parking, University Co-op Garage. Invite friends and bring your extended family!
Celebrate the birth of the Messiah in a special candlelight service at UPC on Christmas Eve. Our early service at 5:30 p.m. includes an “instant pageant” with the children of UPC. At 8:00 p.m., our candlelight service includes communion and a candlelight procession to the courtyard. O come, let us adore him!
As Pastor Matt said in last week's sermon, many of us spend time in search of the perfect gift — the gift that communicates to friends and family how much we know and love them. We search our memories for indications of what gift might cause the faces of our loved ones to light up. We scour the stores and shops, hoping to come across the thing that will communicate a depth of love that our words cannot.

As important as gifts to loved ones are, we have an opportunity to give gifts that help many people we do not know through the Christmas Joy Offering. These gifts in particular draw us back to the manger and God’s perfect gift to us — Jesus Christ. Jesus came to live among us, bringing light into darkness, and reconciliation to God and to one another. A perfect gift from a gracious God.

During this Christmas and Advent Season, we celebrate leadership — past, present and future — through support of the Christmas Joy Offering. We do so because church leaders greatly impact our lives of faith, walking with us down the path to be more like Jesus. We want those church leaders and their families who find themselves grappling with a critical financial need to have the resources they need which are provided through the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions. We also support the offering to help our future leaders in the church and world, like those educated at our Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color. Supporting these students helps the whole church develop leaders who reflect the wideness of God’s intended diversity. For those supported through the Christmas Joy Offering, this help is truly a gift from above. May our gifts, and the leaders who receive them, point us always to the truth of the one whose birth we celebrate, Jesus Christ — the truly perfect gift.

Please give generously:

To learn more about the Christmas Joy Offering, please visit:

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary presents an Advent performance of
Olivier Messiaen's La Nativite du Seigneur "The Birth of the Lord"
Nine meditations for organ

Eric Wall, organist
Assistant Professor of Sacred Music
and Dean of the Chapel, Austin Seminary
wirh reflections by Austin Seminary Students

Tuesday, December 18, 2018
7:30 p.m.
University Presbyterian Church Sanctuary

You may know that our beloved UPC Chrismon Tree is getting harder and harder to assemble. This tree has served us well for many years, but what gets lost underneath the lights and decorations are the layers of wire, tape, and dreams that are holding it together. 

Your Worship & Music Committee would love to offer this tree a gracious retirement and order a new one at the conclusion of this Christmas season. Thank you to those of you who have contributed toward the tree's retirement. If you would still like to make a donation towards our new Chrismon Tree fund, please leave a check in the offering plate, with "tree project" in the memo line, or get in touch with the church office. Thank you!
Many thanks to all of you who have made pledges of financial support for the ministry of UPC in 2019! But we still need everybody’s help — no matter the size of the gift — to grow our ministry over the next year. If you haven’t yet had a chance to pledge, you can still drop a pledge card in the offering plate or click “Pledge Now” on the UPC website. And if you have any questions about your pledge, don’t hesitate to contact the church office. Thank you again for all of the ways in which you support our ministry!

REMINDER : As the year draws to a close, please note that contributions to the 2018 operating budget must be postmarked by December 31. Contact Trudi Capotosto if you have questions about your 2018 pledge.
With only one more Tuesday UPLift in 2018, the team is busy planning for a successful 2019. We could especially use H-E-B cards and snack bars to start January off right!
To make the soup that is served each week, we use 

  • 8 (14-oz) cans or 4 (28-oz) cans of diced tomatoes   
  • 3 to 4 (10-oz) cans of Rotel tomatoes
  • bag of rice
  • Leftover ham bones (Leave in downstairs freezer)

For peanut butter sandwiches:
  • jars of preserves or jelly

Thank you!!!!

The loosely organized UPC Panhandle Presbyterian Professionals, natives from the frozen north, are issuing a challenge to other UPC members (and friends) to remember Micah 6 for end of year donations. The PPP will match donations up to $2000, the amount needed to provide 3 weeks of food for the pantry. With your help, UPC can provide 6 weeks of food or more if the challenge is met or exceeded.

The PPP is led by Max Sherman; he is joined by George Henderson, Ken McWilliams, Lee Helms, and the Wofford Boys, David and Marvin. An ex-officio honorary member is former UPC pastor San Williams.

Please make checks payable to Micah 6 of Austin, write "PPP Challenge" in the memo line, and drop off in the Micah 6 mailbox in the UPC office. Thank you!
Sundays, 9:30 a.m.
Room 201, Upper Level

December 2 – 23, 2018
Advent draws us into a time of reflection, thanksgiving, and joy. We will be asking four questions to guide our reflections.

December 16: Matt Gaventa Prophecies and Hopes: What are the ways people (and Jesus himself) viewed his coming?

December 23: Bill Gaventa What Child Is This? “Who do you say that I am?” 

Join us for coffee and conversation at 9:15 a.m., with presentation and discussion beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Advent: Incarnation & Compassion
Parenting & Faith
Sundays 9:30 a.m.
Room 1, Lower Level

We're thrilled to welcome Dr. Bill Greenway to the Parenting & Faith class for three weeks beginning Sunday, December 2, for a new series entitled "Advent: Incarnation & Compassion."

Dr. Greenway is the Professor of Philosophical Theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, a fellow UPC parent, and is a speaker not to miss! Join us as we take a deeper look into what Advent and the coming of Jesus Christ is all about.
The Present Word
Room 3
Lower Level
Sundays 9:30 a.m .

The Present Word winter quarter topic is "Our Love for God." As we were taught as children, "We love because God first loved us." The lessons in this quarter challenge us to examine what this amazing grace means for each of us and what God's love may be calling us to do as individuals and as a church. We would love to have you come learn, share and pray with us.
Please pray for our UKirk students as they prepare for exams and make plans to travel home.
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.
If you'd like to be part of UPC's Prayer Chain, please  email the church office . You will receive emails asking that you pray specifically for people who have requested to be on the prayer list.
To download the Celebrations and Concerns folder for Sunday, December 9, 2018, click here . You may also pick up a copy outside the church office or in the narthex.