Weekly e-communications from University Presbyterian Church       October 9, 2018

OCTOBER 14, 2018
The Reverend Matt Gaventa
preaches from Job

"What Job Always Did"
The Chancel Choir sings in English an anthem drawn from the Russian Orthodox liturgy, “Thou Life of Life” by Pavel Tchesnokov.

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Bring your favorite dish, whether salad, main dish, vegetable, or dessert, to the annual Stewardship Potluck, Sunday, October 14.

  Suzanne Freeman is organizing the potluck Please email Suzanne to volunteer for set up and/or clean up and to let us know what you’re bringing. Nothing beats an October Church Potluck! Let’s make this one the best ever! 
Blooming in Surprising Ways
More than a year and a half after moving here, there are things about Texas that I am still getting used to. Some parts of it came quite naturally — it turns out I’m pretty good at breakfast tacos, and entirely happy with brisket. My car knows the way to Mo-Ranch on its own, and my body didn’t miss northern winter at all. But one of the things about the rhythm of life here in Austin that is still surprising to me is happening right now, in early October, which is that all of a sudden all the gardens come back to life.

If you have lived in Texas your entire life, this may not seem unusual — in fact, it may just be the way that things are supposed to be. But every garden I’ve ever been a part of has worked quite differently: April is for planting; May and June are for growing; July and August are for harvesting; September and October are when the leaves begin to fall and this year’s garden turns into next year’s compost. But of course, here in Texas, there’s an entire growing season in the spring, and then the summer brings its intensity, and now here we are in October, and everything has come back to life.

Unexpected or not, it’s a season for growing here at UPC, too. The doldrums of summer have come and gone, and we are fully into the swing of our fall calendar, with Rally Day and Overflow the Cart behind us and Reformation Sunday coming soon and Advent and Christmas not so far away. But this season is not just about these signs of life; it’s about taking a moment to pause and reflect and give thanks for all the ways in which UPC is growing, and for all the ways in which UPC helps each of us grow in our own faith journey.
I would like to invite each of you to a potluck lunch after church this Sunday, October 14, as the UPC Stewardship Committee kicks off a season of growing and a season of thanksgiving entitled “Planting Seeds, Harvesting Hope.” For a series of Sundays following this one, we will take a few minutes during worship to give thanks for some way in which we are growing together; in the meantime, you should also receive at your home a pledge card with which to support the ministry of this church in 2019.

On Sunday, November 18, we will close this season in worship with an invitation for all those who can to offer their pledge cards as celebration, as thanksgiving, and as seeds for the ministry here yet to come. And in case you don’t hear me say it then: thank you, in advance, for all the ways in which you tend this garden. God’s grace blooms and flourishes in surprising ways and in surprising times, and I hope that God’s grace will continue to surprise each of us in this growing season here at UPC.
Last Sunday, October 7, UPC Session welcomed Jacob Collins into membership by reaffirmation of faith. Jacob is a student at APTS and has been looking for a church to attend. After visiting several churches, he felt most called to this church, especially given UPC's embrace of community.

Jacob is pursuing an M. Div. and hopes to be ordained.
“There was once a man in the land of Uz..." So begins the Book of Job, in language that sounds more like fairy tale or legend than Biblical account. In some ways the Book of Job really does feel like a story within a story — nobody knows where the land of Uz is; there’s no direct connection between any of these characters and anybody else in the Old Testament; and, what’s more, the whole plot feels just a bit too contrived to be real. And yet the experience of reading Job is the experience of reading some of the most human expressions of faith anywhere in scripture. The language can be melodramatic and gut-wrenching. But even when the story feels a like fantastical, there’s something very real about what happens in these pages.

For the next four Sundays, the lectionary is going to guide us through the pages of the Book of Job, and I’m going to hope to say something from the pulpit about how real this all feels. None of it is easy. Job’s life is destroyed by a cosmic bet, and so of course hearing the stories of his loss should be hard.

These are not stories that come neatly gift-wrapped. But in their messiness I believe they do have something to say about the messiness of our real lives before God and our real lives in messy times. And so I am looking forward to these weeks in these pages — starting this Sunday in chapter 1, and in four weeks sampling our way through to the end just in time for All Saint’s Day on November 4. I hope you will come along for the journey!
For the UPLift Grocery Cart This Week

You, the congregation, have blessed UPLift with your generosity. Thus, our list for this week is very short. 

Each week we use 8 cans (14 oz) or 4 cans (28 oz) of diced tomatoes to make our soup.  We also use 3 to 4 cans (10 oz) of Rotel tomatoes. A few more cans, and there will be soup for many Tuesdays to come!

Thank you for your incredible support of this UPC ministry!
Parenting & Faith
9:30 a.m.
Room 1
Lower Level

Join us this Sunday for a class fellowship in Room 1. Check out the calendar for upcoming topics. UP Next: Sunday, October 21, Jon Eddison leads a discussion about "Decency in the Midst of Disorder, Diversity & Integrity. "
I n this week's Christian Formation Update...

  • Coming This Sunday, October 14
  • Youth Camping Trip Info & Packing List
  • Parenting & Faith Class Topics Calendar!
  • Reformation Fair Sign Up
  • Stewardship Kickoff Potluck Lunch, October 14
Martha Circle Location Change
October 13, 11:30 a.m.
Home of Jennie Elliott
It's football season in our neighborhood, so Martha Circle has decided to avoid the crowds on October 13 and meet at Jennie Elliott's house. For directions, email Jennie at jlfelliott@gmail.com
Tuesday Evening Bible Study
UPC Fellowship Hall, 7:00 pm

Bible study in Fellowship Hall on Tuesday evenings is a long standing tradition at UPC. This fall, we will study Corinthians I and II and then the history of the Bible as we have it today from its known origins and sources. The study moves at the class’s preferred speed. All are welcome!

For more information, contact
Jon Eddison at 512-988-0333 or  jbeddison@mac.com
Sundays 9:30 a.m.
Room 201
This Sunday's Faith and Life class welcomes Rabbi Neil Blumofe. Rabbi Blumofe will discuss The Great Interfaith Civil Right Roadtrip of 2018.

Join us for coffee and fellowship beginning at 9:15 a.m., with discussion beginning at 9:30 a.m., Room 201, Upper Level.
The Present Word
Room 3
Lower Level
Sundays 9:30 a.m.

The Present Word background material is provided by the curriculum that gives the class its name. By using the scripture readings, we ensure that we are engaging with the whole Bible over time.

Our 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.
October 13 & 14 Redeemer Presbyterian Church
In this first concert of its World Tour of Baroque Music series, La Follia performs famous Baroque opera arias from Italy, France, Germany, and England. The program includes arias by Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Lully, Handel, and others, and features five stellar soloists with La Follia's 17-piece Baroque orchestra.

Among the soloists and orchestra members are Austin Critics Table Award winners Jenifer Thyssen, Bruce Colson, and director Keith Womer. KMFA radio personality Sara Schneider, host of nationally syndicated Early Music Now, will provide commentary during the performance.

Keith Womer directs La Follia Austin Baroque.

Celebrations & Concerns
Prayers of thanksgiving for the birth of baby girl Ballance , born October 6, 2018 to Ruth Marie and Jared Ballance. Lynn and Bob Bridge are the proud grandparents!

Please pray for

Barbara Litchford, who continues to improve at St. Davids North. She hopes to come home sometime this week.

The Reh family , who continues to be helped by our Refugee Welcome team as the school year gets underway.
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, October 7, 2018, click here or pick up a copy in the church office or in the narthex.