Welcome to University Hill
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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. Eric Stephanson photoThe 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.

Eric Stephanson

Congregational News

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 uhilladm@shaw.ca. 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 shannonl@vst.edu.

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 jerri.morrick@firstunited.ca.

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.

Christian Seasons Calendar now at the printer
The calendar team is pleased to announce the arrival of the 2015-16 edition of Salt of the Earth: A Christian Seasons Calendar. In this unusual depiction of the seasons, we keep time from Advent to Christmas to Epiphany to LentChristian Seasons Calendar cover image 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 $15.95, 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!

New this fall
The Session is pleased to announce that, effective September 1, Rev. Eric Stephanson will join us as our congregational minister, serving through June 2016.

After graduating from VST, Eric and his wife Carol were involved in a bilingual church in Val d'Or, Quebec, in campus ministry in Edmonton, and in several university-area churches in Victoria and Vancouver. Most recently Eric has worked at Chown Memorial and Chinese United Church in Vancouver for the past 16 years, and also with Canuck Place Children's Hospice. About the year to come, he says "I am delighted to join with members of U Hill congregation in their engagement with the gospel in our everyday experience, and especially during this transition year after the retirement of Ed Searcy. I hope to encourage a continuation of the strong patterns of Ed's ministry, and look forward to new developments blossoming from the deep roots which are here."

Eric and Carol are parents of four eclectic adult children, and enjoy regular play-dates with their two grandchildren.

United Church Campus Ministry at UBC
This ministry is a partnership between the congregation and BC Conference of the United Church of Canada. Karen Hollis photoOur 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. Please call her if you have pastoral concerns over the summer.

On Wednesday, July 22 we hosted the Native Minstries Consortium Summer School for dinner. This is our 18th year of our effort to visit with the summer school students, share stories and songs, and catch up with friends. Here are some pictures, taken by Doug Goodwin.

Find us
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.

We've moved again, back to VST
We have been at Carey Theological College over the summer, but we are now back at Vancouver School of Theology, in room 321 of the new building.

New phone numbers
As a result of our office move please note these new phone numbers for Karen Hollis at 604-225-5913 and for Marjorie Morrison Ross at 604-822-0638.

Sunday Worship
Our life is rooted in worship. The bell rings each Sunday morning to signal our 10:30 gathering. Some come dressed up, others dress casually . . . more

Who we are
We are an all-ages Christian community of hospitality, a diverse church that travels light, a pilgrim people following Jesus ... more

View some photos of the congregation here and more here.

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.

Banner art is taken from the Christian Seasons Calendar. Thanks to our artists for 2015-2016