Worship with us on Sundays at 10:30 am.
Dear friends of University Hill Congregation
We usually encounter the gospel stories in the context of worship, or as a reference point in our own spiritual experience. But when you look at the culmination of the story of Jesus from the framework of the history in the western world, it is even more dramatic.
From a long-term historical viewpoint, it seems that the death and resurrection of Jesus lit a fuse which exploded 7 weeks later across the Mediterranean. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the revolution of Christian faith and life flew quickly outward from Jerusalem in concentric circles across the known world.
Consider the numbers: Jesus drew considerable attention to himself when he began to speak and act publicly in Israel. We know that of the disciples he specifically called to follow him, he spent more time with 3 : Peter, James, and John (Luke 9:28). However, after identifying the 12 (Luke 6:12), and delegating power and authority to them (Luke 9:1), Jesus also sent out 72 others (Luke 10:1) who returned reporting their experience of the ministry of Jesus "with joy" (Luke10:17)
In Acts 1:20, Peter spoke after Jesus' resurrection to a gathering of 120 believers; a few days later, over 3,000 people were baptized; however, please note that these 3000 came from countries all around the Mediterranean! (Acts 2:5-11) They had come to Jerusalem for the religious festival of Pentecost, no doubt returning within days or weeks to their various home countries taking with them the experience of transformation "in Christ Jesus", and sharing within their many communities what they had seen and heard and experienced of the Holy Spirit with the early disciples in Jerusalem.
Very quickly, the power and influence of Jesus, risen from the dead, multiplied the number of followers and the places where the early church began to be planted.
Apart from the theological significance of Jesus' death and resurrection, we see ripples of transformation coming from that singular moment in all of history, similar to an explosion. In this case, however, instead of destruction, we see the gradual yet progressive impact of "the presence and power of the Risen Christ" in people of many different linguistic, cultural, and ethnic background, across the known world.
To trace this part of the gospel story is to track the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, and the changes brought through this tangible expression of "life in Christ". (to follow up, please see *** below for a head start.)
As we move in our worship life from the strange new world after Jesus' resurrection towards the "birth of the church" through the action of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, I wonder whether we are as willing to identify the presence of God's Holy Breath in us, as the early disciples were. And would it not be a worthy target for us as a community of faith to open ourselves as a seed-bed for the Holy Spirit to plant and bring to life new initiatives to lead us forward as a church? What would it be like if God were to prepare us for a "new pentecost", where "the earth would be full of the experience of knowing the Lord (and the glory of the Lord), as the waters cover the sea"? (Habakkuk 2:14; Isaiah 11:9 )
*** To track the story of the Holy Spirit, read through Luke and Acts, and circle every reference: e.g. Luke 1:35, 41,67; 2:25; 3:22 ~ the Holy Spirit on Jesus; 4:1, 14, 18; 10:21; 12:12; 24:49; Acts 1:4-5,8; 2; 4:8, 31; 5:32; 8:14; 9:14; 10:14; 11:24; 13:2, 52; 15:8, 28; 16:6; 19:2; 20:22,23,28. To see the complete picture, do the same, for example, with the letters to the Corinthians.
Our new minister
We are pleased to announce that, effective July 1, 2016, our congregational minister will be Rev. Aaron Miller, presently serving Faith Centennial United Church in Selkirk, Ontario. Aaron and his family will travel west over the summer.
Christian Seasons Calendar
We are looking for contributions to next year's calendar from Christian artists. Please see the calendar website for details.
Salt of the Earth: A Christian Seasons Calendar holds an unusual depiction of the seasons. We keep time from Advent to Christmas to Epiphany to Lent to Easter to the end of the Christian year.
The art is contributed by artists from Christians in the Visial Arts. This year they are from the United States and Great Britain. The CIVA artists have supported this ministry for many years, and we thank them for this new contribution.
The calendar is for sale at $12.95, with discounts for orders of 10 and 25 items. The calendar makes a nice gift at Advent or Christmas. Please join us in celebration of this wonderful gift of God's presence among us!
United Church Campus Ministry at UBC
This ministry is a partnership between the congregation and BC Conference of the United Church of Canada. Our campus minister is Karen Hollis. Learn more at the Food and Faith Community, the United Church campus club, which meets over dinner every Monday at 5:30 pm for food and conversation about living the Christian faith.
During the next year, Karen will spend one-quarter of her time as congregational intern, in preparation for her ordination next May.
The annual meeting of University Hill Congregation will be held after worship on Sunday, May 15. Please have a look at our annual report. It is not planned that we will print copies of the report for distribution at the meeting, in an effort to reduce our paper consumption.
If you would like a printed copy, please email the church office.
Please note that this report and meeting will be concerned with the spiritual life of the congregation; our financial affairs are reviewed in October each year.
Where we are
The Chapel of the Epiphany is located at 6030 Chancellor Boulevard on the campus of the Vancouver School of Theology at the University of British Columbia. Here are directions to the chapel.
Reach us by phone.
Eric Stephanson is at 604-822-9374; Karen Hollis is at 604-827-4301 and Marjorie Morrison Ross, our church secretary, is at 604-822-0638.
Videos of the Worship Service
Recent videos are available:
* Sunday, November 29 - Rev. Dr. Jason Byassee preaching.
* Sunday, November 22 - Eric Stephanson preaching.
* Sunday, October 25 - Karen Hollis preaching.
* Sunday, October 18 - Eric Stephanson preaching.
* Sunday, October 11 - Eric Stephanson preaching.
FAQs - answers to frequently asked questions
Rites of Passage
We welcome inquiries about baptisms, marriages and funerals . . . more.
Art for the banners on these pages is from the artists of the Christian Seasons Calendar for 2015-2016.
Thanks to William Butler, ULalo Garcia, Kerri Jones, Laura Kestley, Andrea Kraybill, Aletheia Schmidt, Cornelia Schmitter, Gill Sakakini and Virginia Wieringa.