Discernment Update from Jody Joyner

Last week, we discussed how our partnerships with Congregational Church of Austin (CCA) and University Christian Church (UCC) might be further strengthened toward a greater shared ministry in a broad conversation. As an extension of that discussion, about 30 UBC members met on Sunday morning to continue our series of church-wide discernment conversations with a focus on the following question: Who are our church’s other partners that will bring energy, expertise, and additional resources to the work of being a beneficial presence in our neighborhood parish?
In brainstorming for potential partners, the membership developed a vast number of possibilities, including…
– LGBTQ organizations, such as Qwell (possibly toward contributing to a community center)
– Umlauf Garden and the art community, in general
– Austin Interfaith
– Interfaith Hospitality Network
– Other churches beyond UCC and CCA (e.g. Gracepoint or those that might be different from us)
– Dell Medical Center (in association with the Factor Health program)
– UT Health and Science Center (possibly in the area of reproductive health or a clinic)
– UT School of Fine Arts (in relation to the musical aspects)
– Student government groups at UT
– Students at the University of Texas, including ESL and international students
– Lifeworks
– Lifetime learning and technical classes
– 12-step programs
– Adult daycare programs
– Meals on Wheels
– Classroom space at UBC for various uses, such as Kids Place,
– Neighborhood businesses/organizations around UBC, such as Callaway House
– Local newspapers, radio, and social media platforms (possibly as a collaborative portal to communicate needs)
As you can see, the list was quite wide-ranging in scope, but it certainly converged toward a few common themes. Almost all of the organizations were very local to UBC in affecting how we minister to the parish and they primarily targeted services for helping the marginalized and area students, while also offering ways in which we can be more efficient with utilizing our space and resources.  As we gain clarity through this discernment period and beyond, this list references opportunities to lean into future partnerships that mesh
with our vision for the work that is done on the corner of 22nd and Guadalupe.
Next week, we will resume our church-wide conversation series on Sunday at 9:30 AM in the Fellowship Hall with an emphasis on identifying the leadership structures and strengths that are needed to navigate UBC’s journey inward and outward as we move ahead. Be sure to join us to participate in this discussion, to share your thoughts, and to collectively listen for God’s call as He leads us.
Jody Joyner
Discernment Committee Member

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