e-communications from University Presbyterian Church   December 4, 2019
DECEMBER 8, 2019


Pastor Matt Gaventa preaching from Mark 1:1-8
"Good News & Bad Taste"

The Chancel Choir sings an Advent anthem by Mark Sirett, “Thou Shalt Know Him”.

5:00 PM, UPC Fellowship Hall

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Find our sermon archive at
December 1, 2019, Pastor Krystal Leedy

November 24, 2019, Pastor Matt Gaventa

November 17, 2019, Pastor Matt Gaventa

November 10, 2019, Pastor Matt Gaventa

November 3, 2019 Pastor John Leedy

October 27, 2019, Seminary Intern Savannah Demuynck,

Join us this coming Sunday, December 8, at our annual Alternative Gift Market. You’ll find great gifts from more than 20 nonprofit vendors. The UPLift Kitchen Krew will offer a simple lunch, with proceeds benefiting UPLift. The Market is open immediately following worship until 2:00 p.m. in the Great Hall.

Christian Formation Booths
This year, our Children's Ministry will be selling our UPC Brownie Mix bags to benefit UPLift. Our Youth Ministry will be selling UPC swag items benefiting the Youth Mission Fund and animal donations for Heifer International.

Get your shopping done early and help worthy nonprofits at the same time!
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, 101 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. It's a great time to invite friends and family to worship with us!
The season of Advent is filled with anticipation and joy as we prepare for the coming Christ child. Yet, for many, this time is one of grief and sorrow. This year, UPC offers all those who need a safe space to mourn or to name a loss time and space to worship together. At 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 18, UPC will host a “Longest Night” Service of remembrance, mourning, and hope.

This service is a recognition that, alongside all of its joyful expectation, Advent can also be a painful time for those of us grieving friends and family members or other losses, and so we will gather in worship: a simple service of music, scripture, and poetry; and, a chance to mourn together even as we look forward to the coming of the Christ child.

We are happy to welcome the Bobek family - Alissa, Quinn, Vera and Luca - to UPC. The Bobeks joined us November 3, by transfer of membership / reaffirmation of faith from St. Philip Presbyterian Church in Hurst, Texas.

Alissa is a speech language pathologist who works in neo-natal intensive care as a dysphagia specialist. She grew up going on mission trips and attending Mo-Ranch retreats, and is very interested in being eco-friendly, reducing waste, and being a good steward of this planet. Quinn is a teacher / coach at St. Andrews Episcopal School. Quinn says they decided to join UPC because of the people, the pastors, and the feeling of being included. He sees UPC as leading and engaging our youth so that they feel valued and can be stewards like the adults of the church! First grader Vera loves to sing and play with her baby brother. She likes unicorns and rainbows, and looks forward to having communion at UPC. Two-year-old Luca has fit right in to our very busy nursery. Please introduce yourself to the Bobeks the next time you're at worship together.
Please join us on December 8 when Cindy Rigby will lead our first class.

UPC Room 201, Upper Level

9:15 a.m. Meet, Greet, Coffee & Eat
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Presentation & Discussion
UPC Deacons are once again planning a Roving Christmas Caroling Experience after worship Sunday, December 22, and want you to join them! Plan to meet in Fellowship Hall for a light lunch, plus special treats from John and Suzi Parker, who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on December 20. Then, we'll head out to Westminster Manor for a big sing. Finally, we'll divide up into smaller groups to visit with our members under Covenant Care and bring a bit of Christmas (Advent) cheer.

Look for the Deacons' table at the Alternative Gift Market and sign up so that Deacons will know how much food to prepare. Groups will be loosely organized geographically so the caroling will be more or less on your way home. Deacons will also be in the courtyard recruiting carolers after Lessons & Carols December 15. Now, that will definitely put you in the mood for more caroling!
Plan now to be with us Christmas Eve. Bring a savory or sweet treat to share at our Fellowship Reception, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. At 4:45, all children are invited to join adult leaders in Room 210 to get ready for the Instant Christmas Pageant during worship at our 5:30 Christmas Eve service in the sanctuary. O Come, All Ye Faithful!
As is our tradition, UPC offers two services Christmas Eve. Our early service features an instant pageant, with as many lambs, shepherds, wise men, angels, and stars as the kids choose, plus candles to conclude the service. If you have young family visiting for the holidays, they are welcome to come at 4:45 to Room 210 on the upper level to choose a costume to join in telling the wonderful story.

Then, at 8:00 p.m., we return to the sanctuary for our traditional communion service. We'll share in the light of Christ at the conclusion of this service, then, weather permitting, will process to the courtyard and sing "Joy to the World!" Children are always welcome to worship at UPC. Although there will not be childcare for this service, parents will be able to access the nursery on the lower level if needed. O Come, Let Us Adore Him!

Our annual Border Mission Trip in 2020 with Faith Ministry will again be during spring break. The dates: March 15-20, 2020.

Please consider going with us. If you have any questions, see Craig Deats or call him at 512-567-1419.

Don’t forget: everyone who goes needs a passport. So if you don’t have one, or it’s about to expire, now’s a great time to get a new one; the process takes awhile.
2019 UPC Photobook Now Available for Purchase

Once again, Karen Werkenthin has assembled a beautiful photo journal of our life together at UPC in the past year, from Rally Day through the youth mission trip to Cuba. She has gifted us a copy and you're welcome to stop by the the church office and take a look.

If you'd like to purchase a copy for yourself, you can click the link below. Thank you, Karen!

As the weather turns cooler, our neighbors who come to church on Tuesday mornings seeking food, warmth, and services also need warm knitted hats and gloves. The need is greater for men than for women. Please place items in the box just outside Fellowship Hall. Thank you for considering this opportunity to give to others.

UPC Service Committee
& UPLift Steering Committee
DID YOU KNOW? You can support UPC when you shop online throughout the Advent season at no extra cost to you. Simply shop through smile.amazon.com and choose University Presbyterian Church Austin as your designated charity. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases when you choose University Presbyterian Church as your charity.
Be sure to choose the University Presbyterian Church in Austin! Thanks!
Please pray for

The family of Mildred Edwards, who died December 2 in Athens, Georgia, after a long life. Eric Wall is Mildred's grandson.

Arthur Morris, who is recovering from cancer surgery earlier this week. Jessie Hsu is Arthur's daughter.

Barbara Litchford, who is being moved to Christopher House for hospice care today or tomorrow. Barbara's son John, and grandchildren Elizabeth, Chad, Daniel, Heather, Amy, and Ian are grateful for your continued prayers at this time.
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. Plan to pick up a copy for Sunday, December 8, 2019 in the narthex or outside the library on Sunday.
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.