A Poem for Trinity Sunday by Pat Bennett
God be the road on which you travel:
She the mountains
on which you are tested and challenged
He the wells
at which you find healing and peace.
Christ be the light by which you travel:
He the vision
which informs and enlarges you
He the lodestar
shining in your darkest nights.
The Spirit inspire you as you travel:
She the restlessness
driving you onwards
She the stillness
leading you to the heart of God.
The Trinity, the Three,
go with you as you travel;
and may your journey
in the One.
Such. EXCITING. News! First and foremost, we have a tentative date and plan for us COMING TOGETHER AGAIN IN THE SANCTUARY AT 3500 W. PARMER LANE!!!! Your In-Person Team listened to you in the recent survey, the CDC documents, guidance from our denominations, and developed a plan that was presented to the Executive Committee on Tuesday night. That plan was approved!
We will need the next month to install and test our hybrid equipment as well as finish out some of our virtual worship plans. The 8:30 AM outdoor worship will remain as-is for the foreseeable future. Our 10 AM service will continue to be streamed online, however, it will be broadcast live from our sanctuary beginning in July -- the first Sunday being the 4th of July! That means that in short, worshippers who are masked and socially distant will be welcome to our indoor hybrid worship service in person.
I’m sure you have a lot of questions about all the details, and there are a lot. Your team and Executive Committee has thought through them all. They will be published very soon and we will also have town halls ahead of our June 27th congregational meeting where you can ask all of your questions.
Another equally exciting piece of news is that your Executive Committee voted to sponsor Meghan Trout as she goes through the process to become a licensed minister in the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ!!! As many of you know, Meghan has been working on her Masters’ Degree this year and discerning her call to ministry. So start practice saying the name “Pastor Meghan” because it’s a name I think you’ll be using in the near future! Please congratulate Meghan in this exciting new step in her vocation.
There are so many other exciting things happening right now around your church home, but I will spare you all the details. All that is to say, the future for United Christian Church of Austin is looking bright thanks to you.
Dearest Church Family,
Just about the time we had figured out all (or most) of the technology needed for online and virtual Vacation Bible School, things started to look better (yippee!) for some in-person possibilities. Our amazing VBS team started working diligently on figuring out how to make it happen and now…we are so excited to be offering a Hybrid VBS-2021!
Festivities will be happening online AND in-person from June 13th-June 20th. Just like last year, we will offer two ONLINE LIVE sessions daily: a morning greeting on Facebook and a closing worship time on Zoom. We will also have videos to share throughout the week, including Bible stories, Crafts, Books, Music, and Snacks.
In addition to the fabulous online content, we will be hosting in-person Open House evenings AT THE CHURCH!!! These evenings will offer self-paced, interactive, and child-centered activities for your family from 5-8 p.m. on the following dates: Sunday, June 13th, Wednesday, June 16th, and Saturday, June 19th.
Throughout the week, there will also be asynchronous activities available AT THE CHURCH: Storybook Strolls, Community Art Projects, Games, and other activities.
Families are invited to attend any activity at the church wearing masks, and distancing from other families. If attending in-person events is not yet comfortable or otherwise does not work for your family, we hope that you'll participate in some of the asynchronous activities at church and join us for the online events throughout the week. ALL are welcome to be a part of our VBS week no matter what your level of participation!
Thanks to the creativity of our fantastic VBS Planning Team, and the flexibility and grace of this loving and supportive congregation, our Hybrid VBS-2021 week will be a beautiful and spirit-filled week for our entire church community.
Won’t you join us in the celebration?
With a heart full of gratitude,
Emily Jamison Guerrero
Children's Ministries Coordinator
I’ve always known we are part of an incredibly generous congregation. Your heart for this church and all that we do shows in so many ways. The past 12 months have been no exception, through a pandemic we had a great stewardship campaign, and even ended up with a surplus at the end of the year! Well, thanks to your generous giving, we are able to put several important projects into motion.
I don’t know if (pre-pandemic) you’ve ever had a chance to be in the building on a Sunday evening while the youth are meeting. If you have, you’ve seen the wonderful problem we often run into: we can’t fit all of the youth into the youth room! When you try and get 20-25 metal folding chairs in the youth room, along with shelves for storing supplies, and a tv/stand combo, you quickly run out of space.
Well, thanks to generous giving and faithful pledging, space in the youth room is much more plentiful! Mark Simoneau, along with the help of youth Timothy, Chase, Patrick, and Gabriel, have worked to build new seating for the youth room. This two tier seating will allow for us to easily seat 18-25 youth. The seating also serves as handy and easily accessible storage of items that were previously housed on shelves. And finally, the seating can be rolled out of the youth room and into the sanctuary to be used for special events!
Another great project underway is our planning for hybrid worship. Chris Pascoe has been diligently researching much needed equipment for our sanctuary that will help us provide an inclusive worship both for those choosing to worship in person and those who choose to worship online. We have begun to purchase the all important items, and look forward to getting everything installed and ready for hybrid worship.
When you give to the general fund, you help not only make sure the lights turn on and bills are paid, but you help make sure the ministries of this church are as welcoming and inclusive as possible. And remember, if you would like to give online, or increase your pledge, you can do so here - https://www.uccaustin.org/give.html Thank you for giving generously!