Last Week's Sermon
Strangers and Friends
The Reverend Matt Gaventa
A Reading from the Gospel of John: Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip …
At UPC we currently enjoy considerable diversity. We are a congregation well represented by young families, singles, long-time members, college and graduate students, children and youth, seminarians and others. Our members are spread throughout the Austin area—from Liberty Hill to Dripping Springs, from West Lake Hills to Manor, from Georgetown to South Austin.
While we celebrate the diversity that currently constitutes our congregation, we are far from satisfied. Several years ago, our Session adopted a Multi-cultural Resolution (see attached link), and we currently have a Multi-cultural Task Force that is helping us discover ways to welcome people of various ethnicities, races and economic levels. Our worship, while generally adhering to the biblical and historic pattern for Christian worship, utilizes litanies and music that represent various styles and cultural identities.
We value our relationship with our sister church, Corinth Missionary Baptist Church. We share worship and fellowship with them several times a year. Each week we welcome into our facility a wide variety of folks. To mention a few: International wives gather in our Fellowship Hall on Monday: folks needing emergency assistance with rent, utilities or food come to our UpLift Ministry on Tuesday morning; street youth meet upstairs on Tuesday; a Girl Scout Troop for children of incarcerated parents meets here; a Gospel Choir rehearses in our building each Thursday; around 500 people visit our Micah 6 Food pantry on the lower level of our facility each Thursday evening and Saturday morning.
Hospitality to a wide spectrum of God’s people is central to the ministry of this church. We are prayerfully and intentionally seeking to welcome and befriend an ever widening circle God’s people.
Multi-Cultural Task Force
Considering the 2004 Session Resolution published by the UPC Session regarding our being a multicultural church, the Membership Ministry proposes the following:
- The Session of UPC create a Multicultural Taskforce of four months’ duration for whom the assignment is to determine what ‘multicultural’ means at UPC, what goals the church should pursue, and then educate the Session committees on the matter in order for each committee to be able to write concrete objectives for reaching those goals.
- The task force should consist of a member from each of the following committees: Adult, Campus, Children’s, Mission and Service, Worship and Music, and Youth. In addition, any interested non-Session members would be invited to participate as taskforce members.
- The task force duration would be from August 1 to December 1.
- The task force would invite participation from outside ‘experts’ in educating itself on possibilities and trade-offs in becoming multi-cultural. After determining a goal or goals for UPC in this regard, the task force would ask the Session to approve them.
- After Session approval of the goals, the task force would then educate the committees involved and ask each one to write itself concrete objectives for incorporating Session’s goals into the life of each ministry.
Download our Multicultural Affirmation (PDF).