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Worship with us on Sundays at 10:30 am
Nov 29 at 10:30 am - Advent 1 - Jason Byasee of Vancouver School of Theology preaching.
Report of the Stewards and Financial Statements for the year ended June 30, 2015 are now available.
Videos of the Worship Service
Recent videos are now available:
* Sunday, November 22 - Eric Stephanson preaching.
* Sunday, October 25 - Karen Hollis preaching.
* Sunday, October 18 - Eric Stephanson preaching.
* Sunday, October 11 - Eric Stephanson preaching.
Current News of the Congregation
Dear friends of University Hill Congregation
The great spiritual teacher and Catholic priest, Henri Nouwen, was once asked at the last moment to stand and speak to a large crowd on a theme related to Christian Spiritual Experience. The speaker who had been booked for the occasion had a sudden medical emergency only minutes before the event was to begin. "But I can't speak" Nouwen said: "I was to be a participant in this event, learning along with everyone else, and have absolutely nothing prepared that I would feel comfortable offering at the last minute like this."
The organizer looked intently at Nouwen in silence for a few moments, and then spoke slowly and calmly, saying: "But Henri, your whole life, 24 hours every day, is spent pursuing the spiritual life, and you have been doing this now in a variety of settings around the world for over 30 years. Your books have sold in the millions, and everyone here would be deeply grateful if you would be willing to step forward into our gathering, where our planned speaker is now unable to be with us at all. Would you just take a moment or two in prayer, and then consider whether you might have a word of encouragement to share? There are almost 1000 people who have gathered to take a further step into the life in Christ, and we don't want to send them away disappointed. Won't you trust that God will help you help us?"
Henri Nouwen remained quiet for a few moments, looking at a small group, then turned, walked to the microphone, and spoke for almost an hour about some of his own struggles and discoveries in the adventure of following Jesus. He was hesitant, vulnerable, and yet spoke with conviction about his challenges and practices, from the heart. At the end of his talk, there was hushed silence, and then a standing ovation.
* * * * *
The gift of this true story to me is the provocative insight that living the Christian life involves trust, vulnerability, and boldness. And while it is an honourable Biblical tradition to ask God to "send someone else", there are many times when God seems content to use what we consider our "second rate offerings", in ways that bring encouragement and inspiration to others.
Spiritual life in Christ is consciously opening ourselves to the reality that we are not God, but that through Jesus the Holy Spirit is at work in us, making us "good enough" for almost every situation in which we find ourselves.
The key is for us to trust God more than we fear being foolish in our own or others' eyes. It is possible to grow in grace, to develop working patterns of trust in the "still small voice", and to offer what is in our hearts and spirits freely, spontaneously, and humbly, as a gift to God. We do know more than we imagine. And God can use even our limited experience and insight and self-consciousness to accomplish the work of the Kingdom on earth.
Isn't that what our community in Christ at UHill is all about?
May the Holy Spirit encourage you this week ~ hope to see you Sunday.
This Sunday, October 25, Karen Hollis is speaking at worship on "Practice Brings Life".
Scripture we host this week: Hebrews 7:23-28; Psalm 34: 1-8, 19-22; Mark 10: 46-52 During worship there will be a brief covenanting ceremony with members of the Lay Supervision Committee recognizing Karen's work as an Intern this year in preparation for ordination next spring.
This Sunday we also gather to make one hundred and fifty sandwiches for the ministry of hospitality at First United Church. We’d be grateful for your help and loving hands.
Next Sunday we celebrate All Saints Day, remembering some of “our” saints, with communion and prayers for healing. Eric will preach ("No Singular Saints") with the following scripture for Nov. 1: Ruth 1:1-18; Psalm 146; Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 12:28-34. Little Ones: Genesis 12-17 (God promises to be our God).
The Food & Faith Community is the United Church student club at UBC. We gather on Monday evenings - 5:30pm at the Epiphany Chapel - to share food, pray, host the Christian story and practice acts of justice and mercy. For info speak with Karen Hollis or see www.foodandfaithubc.ca
Fall Evening Bible Study meets on Tuesday evenings, October 13, 20, 27, and November 3, at the home of Janet Reid. For more info, speak with Eric
Bible at Breakfast meets on Wednesday at 7:30 am at the White Spot Restaurant (Broadway at Larch). This week we begin reading Hebrews. Everyone welcome. For info, speak with Karen or Eric.
The 2015-2016 Salt of the Earth: A Christian Seasons Calendar is available today. Uhillians can purchase the calendar at the 40% discount of $11 (PST & GST included). Help is needed to to package calendars for shipping from now until December. If you can spare an hour or two once a week for the next while (or even just a couple of times), please speak with or contact Marjorie. 604-822-0638 or email@example.com. This is a missional and fundraising venture for the congregation and your help is very much appreciated to promote the calendar and assist with packing and shipping.
On November 15, our worship service will feature some lively Blue Grass music. A Congregational Meeting will follow worship, to hear financial reports.
To begin Advent, Nov 29, we look forward to welcoming as our preacher the Rev. Dr. Jason Byassee, the inaugural appointment to the Butler Chair in Homiletics and Biblical Hermeneutics at VST.
The Vancouver School of Theology Grand Opening is Saturday November 14, 10 am at 6015 Walter Gage Road, followed by a reception and an opportunity to tour our new home. Please RSVP to Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First United Church News
Current Needs: We are currently requesting donations for 9+ inch dinner plates, men’s small & medium tee shirts, casual pants & casual shoes (in great condition!), bars of soap, towels, blankets, and sheets. Please consider contributing to our inventory of winter wear: long-sleeved casual shirts & sweatpants, mitts, gloves, scarves & winter hats, and heavy coats. Call or email Jerri for more information: 604-700-7385 or email@example.com.
Attention folks with folks on the DTES: The first meeting of support group SHARE (a joint venture by First United & UGM to offer families of street-entrenched people a chance to share wisdom & experiences) was a great success! The next meeting is Tuesday Oct 27 at 7PM. Call 778-918-8787.
Did You Know? We serve up to 1000 cups of coffee a day.