Weekly e-communications from University Presbyterian Church    November 6, 2018
NOVEMBER 11, 2018
The Reverend Matt Gaventa
preaches from Mark

"Everything She Had"
The Chancel Choir sings an anthem by the late Minnesota composer, Stephen Paulus, setting the poem, “Pilgrims’ Hymn”, by Michael Dennis Browne.

Our Handbell Choir brings us three pieces during worship: "Fanfare and Alleluia," by Douglas Wagner as the prelude, "Hymn of Promise," arranged by Martha Thompson as the offertory, and "Fantasia on Forest Green," arranged by Lloyd Larson ad the postlude.

  • Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17
  • Psalm 127:1-5
  • Hebrews 9:24-28
  • Mark 12:38-44


Read / listen to Matt Gaventa's final sermon in the Job series:

And, if missed any of the series on Job, you can find all four sermons at

Over the past few weeks, we’ve all noticed Barbara Litchford missing from our hospitality desk and we’ve all missed her consistent presence in our life together. As many of you know, Barbara was hospitalized in mid-October presenting with issues related multiple health conditions, and after several rounds of in-patient care, she has now transferred to Encompass Rehabilitation Hospital in Round Rock. 

Some of you have asked about what you can do to help Barbara, and I so appreciate the community of care that has sprung up here in support of her. To be sure, you can go to the hospital and visit her, or write to her (c/o Encompass Rehabilitation Hospital, 1400 Hesters Crossing Rd, Round Rock, TX 78681). I also want you to know that during her many years here Barbara has accumulated a quantity of sick leave that we are granting her to the fullest extent possible, so that she has the support of her employer and not only of her congregation.

Of course, while Barbara is in the hospital, we are having to make adjustments in order to keep a presence at our hospitality and security desk. This need originally emerged from the regular employee performance review process that Staff Support initiated last fall. One of the things we noticed was that in some mission-critical areas, we needed to build in some redundancies. In case of emergency, we need somebody besides Jan who knows how to print the bulletin, or somebody besides Frank who knows how to turn on the HV/AC.

We also needed at least one other person who knows how to make a security sweep and generally manage the hospitality desk. And so this fall, we took the opportunity to hire Austin Stephens, who has been working our Sunday evening hospitality desk shift, and who arrived in fact just in time to help as Barbara’s hospitalization created the need for precisely the level of redundancy that we had previously identified.
Because Austin can’t cover every shift, we’ve also worked to bring a few other new faces into our pool of hospitality desk workers for this fall. On Wednesday evenings, Session, Deacons, and the Chancel Choir will be greeted by UT student Don Daniel. And Sunday mornings, be sure to stop by and say hi to to another UT student, Caleb Hurd , at the hospitality desk. You can read more about them below.

Understandably, the hardest shift for us to cover is the Saturday night shift, during which the Students in Recovery group meets at UPC. If you know of somebody who might be interested in helping at the desk on Saturday nights, please let us know.

More broadly, if you have any questions about any of the above, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or to Julie Miller , chair of the Staff Support Committee. I hope you’ll have a chance to welcome the new folks at the desk, to reach out to Barbara, and of course to keep her in your prayers. Many thanks to all of you for the prayers and the support you offer to our whole family. 
Meet Don Daniel
Don Daniel is a junior at the University of Texas majoring in economics. He currently holds customer service oriented work study jobs on campus, while maintaining at 3.5 GPA. He's tutored Dobie Middle School students in math, science, history, and English, and has been a volunteer at the Austin Public Library. Don was born in Haiti, but emigrated to Austin when he was very young, so considers himself a true Austinite.
Meet Caleb Hurd
Caleb Hurd is a junior at the University of Texas majoring in both finance and history. He is currently an outreach intern with the David Project through the Texas Hillel Foundation, with the responsibility of establishing and strengthening alliances among various communities. A native of Houston, Caleb spent last summer as an English as a Second Language tutor, working with Syrian refugees served by Paper Airplanes, a nonprofit dedicated to bridging the gaps in education, skills, and language experienced by conflict affected individuals.
Stewardship 2019 Celebration Sunday is November 18.
UPLift Needs for the Grocery Cart
You, the congregation, have blessed UPLift with your generosity. Thus, our list for this week is very short. 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
  • Jar of preserves or jelly 

Thanks for all you do for our UPLift clients!
It's time to order tamales from our partner in service Manos de Cristo . To order online, go to

You can also order tamales after worship Sundays through November in the central courtyard. Karen Grice will pick the tamales up on Friday, December 7 and have them ready to pick up fresh by 3:00 that afternoon. If you prefer, you may pick up at the Alternative Gift Market after worship December 9.
By Their Fruits,
Ye Shall Know Them
Once again, UPC, in cooperation with the Northwest Austin Rotary Club, will be selling oranges and grapefruit to benefit Micah 6 of Austin. Fred Morgan will be in the courtyard on Sundays after worship beginning November 4, 11, 15, and 25 to take your orders. If you don’t want a personal box of fruit, you may order fruit boxes to be donated directly to the Micah 6 Food Pantry. Those who order can pick up your box of fruit on Sunday, December 9 in the Fellowship Hall. Micah 6 receives $10 per fruit box ordered.
During November, you may purchase poinsettias to decorate our sanctuary during Advent and Christmas Eve. Poinsettias will be available on  Sunday, December 2. Your purchase supports two great mission projects:  Down Home Ranch  in Elgin, TX, and the  UPC Youth Mission Fund . All of the poinsettias are grown locally at Down Home Ranch, a residential ranch that supports, trains, and gives meaningful work to adults with Downs Syndrome.

The UPC Youth will be caring for and watering the poinsettias twice a week throughout December to ensure that your plant is fresh when you take it home. You may take your poinsettias home on that Sunday, or leave them in the Sanctuary to add to the festive decorations. These beautiful red poinsettias, wrapped with green foil, are  $15 each .

Your poinsettia may be purchased “In Honor” or “In Memory” of someone special, to be acknowledged in the Christmas Eve bulletin. The poinsettias will be available for pick up after the Christmas Eve service. Any poinsettias left after Christmas will be taken to members under Covenant Care.

Please complete an order form and place in the offering plate, along with a check made payable to UPC. Designate “Poinsettia” in the memo line. Poinsettias must be purchased by November 25. Thank you!
 Saints Alive! 
Paradox and Possibility in
Life’s Act III
Sundays 9:30 a.m.
Room 201
An invitation to explore some new dimensions in ministry with older adults.  

Why is chronological age not always a reliable measure for this ministry? Why is Older Adult Ministry a two-way street?
Why can we not talk with frankness about “the elephant in the parlor” called “aging”? What is Jesus’ retirement plan?

November 11:   Bobbie will be joined by Winnie Gage of Covenant Presbyterian Church to examine some of the practical expressions and joys of being an intergenerational church. How do we bridge the gap between the generations so that each act of life’s drama is valued for what it has to offer?

Join us for coffee and fellowship beginning at 9:15 a.m., with discussion beginning at 9:30 a.m., Room 201, Upper Level.
Needleworkers Group Expanding

Needleworkers wish to invite anyone who might be afraid of needles or considers themselves ill equipped to do stitching hand work but might be open to “cutting up” or just “sticking around” to join us for fellowship and an handwork with paper!

Starting Thursday. December 6 at 7:00 p.m., we will have a table set up in the upstairs parlor to work on a UPC scrapbook from the 1940s which is being restored by the Heritage Team members. 

We can use additional hands and hearts for cutting out borders or newspaper articles and pasting or sticking them down on pages. We'll also need help coming up with a new name! Join us for fellowship and fun!
Parenting & Faith
Sundays 9:30 a.m.
Room 1, Lower Level

This Sunday, November 11, our very own Jon Eddison will continue the discussion in our Parenting & Faith series entitled,  "Decency in the Midst of Disorder." Our topic: Neighbors & Faith

Click here to read the short article from Presbyterian Outlook we are using as a foundation for the class.

Next up:
November 18 -  Kindness & Suffering

We hope you will join us for this timely class series on Sundays from 9:30 - 10:40 am in Room 1 on the lower level.
The Present Word
Room 3
Lower Level
Sundays 9:30 a.m.

The Present Word fall quarter topic is "God's World and God's People." In Genesis, the book of beginnings, God is revealed as the Creator, Sustainer, Judge, and Redeemer, who brought all things into being. The fall quarter surveys the Book of Genesis in developing sessions on God’s creation of the universe, earth, and people. It also details how God continues to co-labor with sinful humanity in reconciling and re-creating order in all things.

The class is led by Roscoe Overton. We would love to have you come learn, share and pray with us.
Celebrations & Concerns
Please pray for

the family of the Reverend Dr. Blair Monie, Zbinden Distinguished Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Leadership, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, who died early this morning, at home, after living for over a year with pancreatic cancer. A service in witness to the resurrection will be held at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, Dallas, November 17, at 2:00 p.m. Obituary may be found here .

Barbara Litchford, who is recovering at Encompass Rehabilitation Hospital, misses here UPC family, and would appreciate cards and visits.

Cameron Stephens, who is on the road to recovery following a hunting accident this past weekend. Cameron is the father of Austin Stephens.
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, November 4, 2018, click here . You may also pick up a copy outside the church office or in the narthex.
To request prayers for yourself or a loved one, email   upc@upcaustin.org .