July is Meet-N-Greet Month at United Christian Church
Including a Change to Worship @ 10am
We're trying something new at UCCAustin this summer. During the month of July, we will have just one worship service each Sunday at 10am. That means July 2, July 9, July 16, July 23, and July 30--every Sunday in July--we will gather for worship at 10am, with no separate faith formation classes for adults or children. (There still will be a children's sermon and "Worship & Wonder" time during worship each Sunday.) In addition, there will be a special Meet-N-Greet fellowship time each Sunday following worship.
This change for the month of July accomplishes several good things:
First, it gives our children's department a much-needed break. Our director, Emily, and our faithful volunteers work hard to staff our children's programs year-round, and July is the very hardest month for them to pull that program together, given everyone's schedules. Now they can relax a bit after Vacation Bible School in June and before starting a new school year in August.
Second, it simplifies scheduling for our other professional staff, who are in and out of town throughout the month of July on their own well-deserved vacations and opportunities for continuing education.
And Third, it gives our congregation--both those of us who usually worship at 9am and those who attend at 11--a chance to get to know one another better. We'll declare a Meet-N-Greet amnesty, giving us grace to ask the names of folks we think we ought to know already or are not sure we don't. Ask away! Introduce yourself once more! Reconnect and get to know one another all over again! (That means it's also a great time to start wearing your nametag again... or ask the office to make you another.)
We're going to have an opportunity to do all that over delicious food after worship all month long. July 2, bring something to share for a potluck picnic. July 9, 16, and 23, the coffee hour will be hosted by groups in the church. And July 30 will be our celebration of baptism, including an opportunity afterward to enjoy God's good gift of water with a run through the sprinklers or a trip down the slip-n-slide.
Make plans to join us and Meet-N-Greet every Sunday in July @ 10am.
Continuing to Make Our Church a Safe Space… for Everyone
March 28, 2017
At United Christian Church of Austin, we have a longstanding commitment to making sure our church isn’t just welcoming, but also safe for the most vulnerable among us. Up to this point, that primarily has meant living into a very robust Safe Church policy regarding our children and youth, requiring background checks for everyone who works with kids, providing volunteer training annually, ensuring we have the right ratio of adults to kids at all our events, etc.
But recent events have alerted us to the particular safety needs of another vulnerable population: transgender folks. Despite the rabid protestations of the proponents of so-called “bathroom bills” such as SB-6, recently passed by the Texas Senate, trans people do not present a danger in restrooms; rather, they are the ones in danger—in danger of being arrested, beaten, even killed, simply for being who they are: not “men in dresses” but in fact women, not “women dressed as men,” but in fact men, or more simply, just people who need to use the restroom.
At our March meeting, the Church Council voted unanimously to affirm that you, the members, friends, and guests of United Christian Church, are free to use the bathroom that is right for you; specifically, the bathroom that matches your gender identity. For most of us, that means nothing will change. We will continue to be able to use the bathroom in safety. But for those who do identify as trans, we hope this policy and the accompanying notices, posted alongside the current “Men” and “Women” signs (see below) will help you feel welcome, respected, and cared for here. And safe.