e-communications from University Presbyterian Church  September 12, 2019

SEPTEMBER 15, 2019


Sermon Series on Worship
Prayer for Illumination

Pastor Matt Gaventa preaches from

The Chancel Choir sings words by Bianca da Siena in a setting by William H. Harris, “Come down, O Love Divine”.

Bridge to Worship is an interactive experience for children ages 3-6 on Sunday mornings. Parents may take their children to Room 202, upper level after Time with the Younger Church.

7:00 PM, Fellowship Hall
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September 8, 2019, the Reverend Shanea Leonard Peace: Pass It On!

September 1, 2019, Pastor Krystal Leedy

August 25, 2019, Pastor Matt Gaventa,

August 18, 2019, Pastor Matt Gaventa,

August 11, 2019, Pastor Matt Gaventa,

July 28, 2019, Pastor Krystal Leedy,

More sermons are available in our sermon archive at
UKirk is the way we say “campus ministry” at UPC, and being in service to Christ at the University is foundational to our mission as a church. We hope you will join in that mission! We welcome all college students to our Sunday evening program. In the coming weeks, our regular schedule will be:

5:00 p.m. The Gathering
6:00 p.m. Dinner in Fellowship Hall
7:00 p.m. Worship in the Fellowship Hall chapel

One of the best ways to get to know our college students is through cooking dinner for UKirk on Sunday evenings, when we have our campus ministry. A member of our UKirk Committee will gladly greet you on Sunday nights and help get some of the auxiliary stuff set up for dinner like plates and napkins, and serving dishes.

Anything that you want to cook is fine, but please also provide a vegetarian option as we have at least one vegetarian student. We serve dinner on Sunday evenings at 6:00 p.m., and we do our best to be prompt. After you cook or bring dinner, we would love for you to sit with our students as we get to know them together.

Want to sign up during the academic year? Just click the orange button below or contact Kay Bryant at kaybryant56@gmail.com!
During the academic year, UPC offers a contemplative Taizé service on the last Sunday evening of each month (excepting December), at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary chapel at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome.

This service consists primarily of scripture, song, and prayer, and the music is led and accompanied by cantors and instrumentalists. The music is simple, melodic, and repetitive - if you can sing the melody line of a hymn, you can lead Taizé music! And all kinds of instruments can join in.

I invite you to consider contributing your talent, as a singer and/or instrumentalist, even if only occasionally, or just once to give it a try. Or, if you meet a new member or student with musical interests, please tell them about this wonderful opportunity.

If you are interested or have questions, please contact Kim Vitray, 512-658-8587, kimvitray710@gmail.com. Or visit this year's first Taizé service on Sunday, September 29, at 7:00 pm (APTS chapel) to see what it's all about!
Photo from Presbyterian Outlook: Hurricane Dorian pummels the Bahamas on September 2, 2019
(Photo credit: European Space Agency, CC 2.0)
Last week, Hurricane Dorian ripped through the Bahamas, and Bahamians have experienced massive displaced at best. The destruction of a category 5 hurricane should not be taken lightly, and certainly this church takes notice when disasters happen.

Years ago, our very own Holmsten family lived in Freeport for more than three years, and many people have approached the Holmstens to ask how they could help. So, Stephanie offers these possibilities if you are inclined to donate to the relief efforts. She also wants to emphasize the resilience of the Bahamians. They will rebuild because it is a part of their character. And, we can also offer our support during this immediate crisis. 

Stephanie says,

"Certainly, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance could use donations as they are an organization that stays in place long after other relief organizations leave.

A local initiative you can support is The Grand Bahama Relief Foundation. In addition, we give to the Humane Society of Grand Bahama and the Grand Bahama Children's Home. World Central Kitchen has cooked meals for more than 5,000 people and plans to cook for weeks to come."

The Service Committee of UPC, out of its Disaster Relief fund, has sent $2,000 to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for hurricane relief on behalf of our congregation.

And on a pastoral note, please pray for the Holmsten family and for their friends. And certainly, we pray with the rest of the world for the Bahamas in this time of crisis.

-Pastor Krystal
This fall at UPC, we’re going to reflect a bit on how it is that we root in worship together, by using the different elements of our worship service as inspiration for the preaching moment. Instead of following the fall lectionary, we’ve crafted a sermon series that walks through elements of worship, like the Prayer of Confession, the Call for the Offering, or the Prayers of the People. We’ll choose scripture for each case that helps us get at why these pieces of our worship matter.


August 25        Call to Worship: Pastor Matt, Every Given Sunday
September 1      Prayer of Confession: Pastor Krystal, Martha's Confession
September 8      Passing the Peace: Shanae D. Leonard, Peace: Pass It On!
September 15    Prayer for Illumination: Pastor Matt
September 22    Sermon: Pastor Matt
September 29    Affirmation Hymn: Paul Hooker & Eric Wall, Music in Worship
October 6           Communion: Pastor Matt World Communion Sunday
October 13         Offering: Pastor Matt Stewardship 2020 Kickoff
October 20         Announcements: Pastor Matt
October 27         Affirmation of Faith: Savannah Demuynck Reformation Sunday
November 3       Prayers of the People: Pastor John All Saints
November 10     Charge & Benediction: Pastor Matt Stewardship Sunday
Sunday, September 22 after Worship
Please join us on Sunday September 22 after worship in the Great Hall to help honor Barbara for her many years of service to UPC as custodian and building monitor.

The Staff Support committee is collecting a Love Offering to support Barbara in her time of transition. If you would like to contribute, you can put a designated check in the offering plate or contact the church office. Please have all donations in by Sunday September 15.

If you'd like to write a personal note or card to Barbara, there will be a basket at the reception. Or contact the church office for Barbara's mailing address.
UPC Room 201, Upper Level
9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.: Meet, Greet, Coffee, & Eat
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.: Presentation & Discussion
Calling all Austin-area young adults! Are you concerned by the news reports of the treatment of asylum-seekers at our borders? Are you confused about what is really going on and seeking to better understand the situation? Do you want to have a faithful conversation with others about what we can do to help? 

Come and join us for our second installment of “La Mesa”, a meal and conversation around the table with Presbyterian young adults about faithful responses to important issues. We’re starting this fall with immigration. 

We will meet at 6:00 p.m. on Monday September 23 at University Presbyterian Church (2203 San Antonio St, Austin, TX 78705) in the Fellowship Hall. Food, wine, and child-care will be provided. We will be exploring what the Bible has to say to us about immigration and welcoming the stranger with an Austin Seminary professor.

We will continue to have monthly conversations around the topic of immigration throughout the fall, hopefully culminating in some meaningful action together. 

Let us know if you’re coming so we can plan child-care and food. Bring a friend (or three!). See you there!

Free parking is available at the UT co-op parking garage.
The Tuesday Evening Bible Class will resume on Tuesday, September 24, at 7:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. This fall we will be studying Mary, the Virgin Mary, Marian theology and imagery and related subjects. The course will stop for the holidays with the last class of 2019 being Tuesday, November 19. Depending in part on class interest, there is enough material to cover and discuss for a number of classes in 2020 before we move on to another subject. Look forward to seeing everyone again in a new study.

For more information, contact
Jonathan Eddison
jbeddison@mac.com 512-988-0333
Hello to all you potential handbell ringers out there! If you used to play, or would like to try playing, or have ever even thought or wondered about playing, we'd love to have you in the UPC Handbell Choir. We only have enough ringers to play three of our five octaves right now, so more ringers would mean we could play more octaves and have more fun!

We rehearse most Sundays from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Childcare is provided if needed. If you have questions, want more info, or would like to visit a rehearsal or join us, please contact Kim Vitray, 512-658-8587, kimvitray710@gmail.com
Zambia Zimbabwe Mozambique Network Invites You

It will be the pleasure and privilege of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Zambia Zimbabwe Mozambique Mission Network to hold its conference at University Presbyterian Church in Austin from October 16 to October 19.  It will be a dynamic time of worship, sharing, learning and looking to the future for all of us who share concern for these partners. We are hoping that many in Mission Presbytery will decide to join us. 

For more information you can contact Lucy Ogelsby who has been assisting us in our planning and also your Executive Presbyter, the Rev. Sallie Watson who has been a wonderful resource to us from the beginning. To obtain registration information you can click the link below.

We would be honored to have you attend our conference. 
Overnight Hosting Opportunity

As you've learned from the previous article, the PC(USA) Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique Mission Network is going to be holding their conference here at University Presbyterian Church on October 16-19. Several attendees are seeking overnight hosts during this time. Most of these attendees are PC(USA) mission co-workers, traveling internationally on limited budgets.

Are you able to provide a room and breakfast for three nights? It would also be helpful to provide transportation to the church each morning. If interested, please contact Barbara Ringk (ZZM conference logistics coordinator) at bringk@verizon.net for more details.

This is a wonderful opportunity demonstrate true Texas hospitality and to learn more about mission work being done in these three countries.
Pastor Matt Gaventa Keynotes Covenant Conversation
UPC San Antonio
September 14

Join us Saturday, September 14, for a time of learning, sharing community and discovering together what it means to be a church that truly welcomes all.

The Covenant Network of Presbyterians is undertaking a new effort in partnership with congregations and councils around the country. Covenant Conversations will help Presbyterians live into a new day in the church's life, bringing communities together to talk about being church for ALL God's people.

Our next Covenant Conversation is in San Antonio, Texas, hosted by University Presbyterian Church in San Antonio. We'll gather on Saturday, September 14, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and you are invited. If you are anywhere nearby, we'd love to have you there. Lunch is included in the $10 registration fee.

UPC session voted unanimously to join the Covenant Network of Presbyterians at the June stated session meeting.
Hope Presbyterian is planning a wonderful event that all Presbyterian women will enjoy. Pastries will be provided upon arrival and a light brunch will be served about 11:00 AM.  

Please RSVP to Sherry Ousley  sherryo1990@gmail.com or contact Eve Lawrence for more information.

Thank you for your invaluable participation in UPC’s UPLift financial assistance ministry!

The following is a list of our current needs:

  • $10 gift cards from Walmart and H-E-B – needed for co-pays for critical medications that Insurance will not pay and for folks who have no insurance
  • snack bars/crackers – especially peanut butter crackers like the Austin brand
  • strawberry preserves
  • canned diced tomatoes
  • bag of sugar

Please bring your items any Sunday and place in the shopping cart during the offering. Thank you for your valuable participation in the UPLift ministry of UPC!
Please pray for

All those affected by the destructive forces of Hurricane Dorian. Our best response in times of disaster is prayer. Pray that through the response of the faith community, survivors and those offering assistance will be reminded of the hope that is found in Christ. Click here for a call to prayer in the wake of a hurricane from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

the family of Patrick Richard Flanagan, who died September 2, 2019, following a series of cardiac events. Debra Flanagan is Patrick's sister. A memorial service was held September 2 at St Michael's Episcopal Church.
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 request prayers for yourself or a loved one, email   upc@upcaustin.org .
Celebrations and Concerns of the congregation are published weekly and include prayers and people to pray for. You can download the folder here for Sunday, September 1, 2019 . You may pick up a copy outside the church office or in the narthex.
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.