I’m so thrilled to finally be able to write to you as your pastor, and I cannot wait to be in the University Baptist pulpit for the first time on Sunday! Thank you for all of your prayers and for your warm welcome this week. It is so good to be back in Texas and to be with you all (even if mostly online). As I walked around UBC on Monday, I was overwhelmed with gratitude — for the beauty of the space, for the brave history it represents, and for all of your lovely faces (which I imagined in the hallways and pews). I know you must be aching to get back to that space and to each other, and I’m aching for that, too. I want to assure you all that your health and well-being is my number one concern, and that getting us back together safely is a close second. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we continue to navigate this holy experiment together.
My family will be in Austin full-time starting this weekend, and I’m looking forward to spending time with you all. You can reach me at email@example.com or by calling the church at (512) 478-8559, ext. 208. I am available for pastoral care by phone, over Zoom, or in-person (following strict safety guidelines). Please don’t hesitate to reach out!
As we enter these last weeks of Lent, walking together toward transition and renewal both in the liturgical calendar and in our church family (with all of the excitement and grief, and anxiety that entails), I want to invite you to join me in a practice of gratitude. Find a moment to be still and take a few deep breaths. Give thanks for all the ways God has blessed and gifted UBC – through Amelia’s leadership, through Larry’s ministry, through moments of grace in difficult seasons, through the relationships you’ve built, and the courage you’ve shown together. Then give thanks for the promise and the mystery of all that is to come – for future potlucks and concerts and hugs, for the new relationships and opportunities that God is already cultivating in our hearts and in our community, for the ways we will continue to be transformed and to transform our corner of the world together. For all that has been, and all that is to come, we give thanks.
With love and gratitude for you all,