Weekly e-communications from University Presbyterian Church  January 30, 2019
FEBRUARY 3, 2019


Pastor Matt Gaventa preaches from


The Chancel Choir sings Hall Johnson’s arrangement of the spiritual, “I’ve Been ‘Buked”. Martha Carapetyan’s viola joins the choir in John Ferguson’s setting of the Sylvia Dunstan text, “Who Is This?”

January 20, 2019, Pastor Matt Gaventa

January 13, 2019, Pastor Krystal Leedy

January 6, 2019, Pastor Matt Gaventa

You can find other UPC sermons at
Please plan to attend the congregational meeting this Sunday, February 3, which will be held in the sanctuary at the conclusion of worship. Following the meeting, everyone is invited to enjoy cookies in the courtyard, served by a grateful Session.
In recognition of Black History month, the Social Witness Committee of UPC is pleased to host a series of classes on Encountering Racism in Our Community, Our Church, and Ourselves. The four-week session will be held every Sunday in February in the Great Hall and will begin with breakfast at 9:15 a.m. All ages are welcome.

The class continues the conversation we began last spring with the series on Racial Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation. This year, we will explore racism in our community – both in the past and the present, and we will confront how even religion has been used and misused as a tool for racial domination. Most importantly, we will discuss the roles of forgiveness and grace in finding ways for more inclusive living and loving that allow us to transcend and transform unconscious racism in our community, church and homes.
Sunday, February 3

Nelson Linder, President, Austin NAACP, was born in Macon, Georgia in 1958. After serving in the United States Army, he moved to Austin in 1981, where he
earned a degree from Huston-Tillotson University and opened the first corporate insurance office in Northeast Austin in 1985. In 2000, he was elected President of the Austin Chapter of the NAACP. He’s long been an activist for social justice and self-empowerment. He advocates against police brutality and the disproportionate use of force against and
arrests of African Americans in our community. He was instrumental in establishing the African American Quality of Life Initiative in 2005, which led to the creation of the City of Austin African American Resource Advisory Commission in 2006.
February 10
Kevin Foster, Ph.D., Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas at Austin, "Racism in Education - Yesterday and Today"

February 17
UPC members share their experiences with racism
February 24
Stephanie Hawley, Ph.D., Associate Vice President of Equity and Inclusion at Austin Community College, "Transforming Unconscious Racism: Acts of Faith, Freedom, and Love” 
SUSAN & ROB COTTRELL , freedhearts.org
UPC Youth Room, 9:30 a.m.
This special series got off to a good start last Sunday. Please note the slight adjustment in the calendar below. You are welcome to join the conversation any time.

February 3
Defining: LOVE What does real love look like? What does love NOT look like? What does God call us to do?

February 10
Dismantling & Deconstructing: Unclobber the clobber passages -- faithful responses to the common arguments that hard LGBTQIA persons

March 3
Following Up & Stepping Up - open discussion and Q&A
Thank you for being willing to cook and serve dinner to to our college students. There are only two spots left in the spring calendar. If you can cook March 31 or May 12, just click the button below and sign up.

You may cook whatever you wish! Dinner begins at 6:00 p.m., and we invite you to sit with and converse with our lovely college students. We have enjoyed a wide variety of intergenerational conversations over the years, and we look forward to many more.

If you have questions, please contact Kay Bryant, a member of the UKirk committee, the coordinator of these meals. And thank you! 
UPC Women, mark your calendars for March 1-3 for the Women's Retreat at John Knox Ranch. More info to come. (We promise, you won't have to wear heels ;-)
March 17 March 22, 2019

Please mark your calendars now and plan to participate in UPC’s Border Mission Trip, scheduled for spring break 2019 from Sunday, March 17 to Friday, March 22. This will be a combined UPC/Campus Ministry trip involving both regular church members and our college students. Working with Faith Ministry, we will travel to Reynosa, Mexico, and build a simple cinder block / concrete home for a family that currently has no or inadequate housing.

How can you help? Two ways. First, come with us. You don’t need ANY construction skills. This is a wonderful way to experience God’s love working in the world, and to learn about our brothers and sisters in Christ from our neighbors to the south. Talk to any past participants, and you will learn it is a faith-enriching experience. To sign up, simply notify Craig Deats at: cdeats@ddollaw.com or 512-567-1419.

A second way to help is contribute toward trip expenses. Construction materials cost more than $6,000 per house; add travel, housing and food, and it’s a lot. We need your financial help. Place contributions in the offering plate clearly marked for the “Border Mission Trip,” or give them to the church office or Craig Deats. Any contribution, large or small, is greatly appreciated. And those who contribute $250 or more will receive a “thank you” email mid-week from a youth/college participant sharing about their experience.
Please bring your donations to church for the shopping cart on Sunday. All UPC donations will go to UPLift and the Micah 6 food pantry. Remember, canned goods, and canned goods only, count toward the challenge. Winner will be announced the afternoon of February 3. Let's help the UPC Youth Group become the 2019 champions!

After much consideration, we have decided to adopt a child through Presbyterian Children’s Homes & Services. We are excited to finally be at this step, and our adoptive parent profile has gone “live,” meaning that we are seeking a match with a potential birth parent. You may be asking yourself what this means for your two Associate pastors, and that’s an understandable question. In their wisdom, the Staff Support Committee set up a Family Leave Policy that includes not only parental leave for the birth of a new child but also the adoption of a new child. We will be taking that parental leave when our child has been placed with us, and we are grateful for the wisdom and understanding of the staff and that committee. What makes adoption unique is that we do not know when a child will be placed with us. It could be that we have 6 months of notice or it may be 48 hours of notice before our new baby is placed with us. Certainly, this can lead to some anxiety on the part of a church. However, we believe that you all are capable of stepping up for that time period in order to allow us to bond with our new child, just as you did when we had Lorelai. Lorelai is excited to be a big sister. As you know, she loves Daniel Tiger, so we have made sure she’s been watching episodes about having a sibling. “When a baby makes things different, find a way to make things fun!” has been a refrain in our house.

Matt, the UPC Staff, the Staff Support, UKirk, and Christian Formation Committees have all been made aware of this exciting news, and they are thrilled for us. We look forward to sharing this joy with each of you. And just remember, the “matching” phase of adoption can take months or even years, so when we know something, you’ll know something too!

Krystal, John, & Lorelai Leedy

The City of Austin plans to close the alley behind the church for 6 to 8 weeks in order to bury upgraded utilities. This means that the Central Texas Food Bank will be unable to deliver food to the pantry Thursday mornings.

The food pantry has an immediate need for two volunteer groups:

  • 2 drivers with pick up trucks to meet at the food bank Thursday mornings at 8:30 a.m., load the food purchased by Micah 6, and deliver it to UPC
  • 2 to 3 volunteers to receive the food beginning at 9:00 a.m. Thursdays. This shift will last about an hour.

To sign up for either of these opportunities, for one or more Thursday shifts, click the button below.

The good news? You don't have to arrive before 6:00 a.m., like John Parker, David Wofford, Byron French, and the rest of the Early Bird Team has for years!
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
  • Leftover ham bones (Leave in downstairs freezer)

For peanut butter sandwiches:
  • jars of preserves or jelly

Don't forget: the cans count in the Souper Bowl of Caring challenge. Thank you!!!!
Please pray for

The family of the Reverend Dr. Donald Bobb, who died January 21, 2019. A memorial service will be held Sarurday, February 2, at 3:00 p.m., Westminster Center. Obituary may be found here.

Karen Cappolino, hospitalized at St. David's Round Rock.
To request prayers for yourself or a loved one, email   upc@upcaustin.org .
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 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.
To download the Celebrations and Concerns folder for Sunday, January 27, 2019, click here . You may also pick up a copy outside the church office or in the narthex.