Weekly e-communications from University Presbyterian Church  September 5, 2019



Sermon Series on Worship
Prayer of Confession

Guest Preacher Shanea Leonard preaches from

"Peace: Pass It On!"

The Chancel Choir sings words from John’s gospel: “Peace I Leave With You” by René Clausen.

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 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,

July 21, 2019, Seminary Intern Jeannie Shear, Marvelous Mysteries

More sermons are available in our sermon archive at
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!
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: the Reverend Shanae D. Leonard, guest preacher
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
We are excited that the Reverend Shanea D. Leonard, B.A., M.Div., will preach this Sunday, September 8. Shanea is currently the National Associate for Gender & Racial Justice for the PC (USA) in Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries for the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

About Reverend Leonard
Reverend Leonard is a pastor, teacher, consultant, community activist, and justice warrior. Shanea has been an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) for over twelve years.  A native of Philadelphia, she received her B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and M.Div. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She currently carries out her justice mandate as the National Associate for Gender & Racial Justice Pastor Leonard has done extensive work within urban areas to eradicate systemic oppression in the areas of race, gender, sexual orientation, and socio-economic despair, and has done international outreach in Africa, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. Shanea believes that God has given her a burden for people whom others have disregarded, oppressed, forgotten, or simply don’t even see. 

A modern-day abolitionist, Shanea is the founder & former pastor of JUDAH Fellowship, Western Pennsylvania region’s only predominantly Black affirming faith community. Reverend Leonard is also the founder of the Pittsburgh Clergy Consortium, the city’s inter-faith cohort of faith leaders with an affirming theology towards advocacy for the LGBTQIA community. Shanea has served other organizations as: past board chair of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, member of the Pennsylvania State ACLU Board of Directors, and chair of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s LGBTQIA Advisory Council, as well as leadership in other arenas around Western PA. Pastor Leonard is an often-quoted media contributor and an active, outspoken faith voice for justice. 

Shanea is also the founding director of Diversity Consulting, an organization that focuses on the education and coaching of individuals and groups around intersectional advocacy and issue- based leadership in the areas of faith, race, gender, and sexual orientation. She has received numerous awards including the recent 2018 Coro Pittsburgh Martin Luther King Jr, Leadership Award, the 2018 YWCA Racial Justice Leadership Award, and the 2015 National Black Caucus Innovation in Ministry Award. She resides in Louisville, Kentucky, but travels extensively for the cause of liberation of marginalized people. She lives her life by the mantra of Assata Shakur which sates, “…it is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win…we have nothing to lose but our chains!”
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.
Faith & Life Class
Sunday mornings
Coffee & fellowship 9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Class 9:30 a.m.- 10:40 a.m.
Room 201, upper level
Sunday, September 8, The Faith & Life class continues with the second of two programs led by Pastor Matt. We hope to see you then as we come together as a class for the first time following our summer break. Come early, 9:15, for fellowship, coffee, and breakfast treats.

Our fall theme is
Open Doors, Many Rooms

Jesus was hospitable. He was always inviting people in—to a meal, to a fellowship, even to a place to live. He told us to knock and have a door open, that his Father’s house has many rooms, and that his own bread and wine would be given to us for our nourishment. Throughout the fall, the Faith & Life Class will explore the challenges to our church and to us as individuals to learn the essence of the Christian practice of Hospitality. What does it mean for us to live the hospitable life to which Jesus calls us?  
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
Click the image above to download a PDF of the Invitation.
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
Chancel Choir is back in full swing. What a great anthem on Rally Day! There's room for you if you love to sing God's praises. The Choir rehearses Wednesdays at 7:00 p..m. in the Choir Room on the lower level. Sundays, the choir warms up in the sanctuary at 10:15, then sings a choral introit and anthem at the 11:00 a.m. worship service.

If you'd like to be part of the choir, please contact Ara Carapetyan 512/795-8699, ara.carapetyan@gmail.com , or speak to any choir member.
Now is the time to join the Laudate Choir!

Laudate, open to kindergarten through 8th grade, rehearses Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. in Room 210, then joins the BIG Hello in the Youth Room at 10. We sing the Introit at the beginning of worship Sunday, September 29, so come learn the music with us!

For more information, contact Austin Bradley at childrenchoir@upcaustin.org
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.
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 Peggy Miller, who died peacefully last Sunday, August 18, after a long illness. Maggi Miller is Peggy's daughter. A memorial service is planned for September 28, at 2:00 p.m. in the UPC sanctuary.

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 also 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.