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Last Week's Sermon

In the Event of an Emergency

The Reverend Matt Gaventa
Matthew 18:1-14

A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, ‘Truly I tell …

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UPC Austin Is an Inclusive, Welcoming Congregation

UPC Session Approves Affirmative Inclusion Statement

At its regular meeting February 20, 2019, the UPC session approved a statement to govern UPC in its ministries of hospitality and welcome. The statement reads:

University Presbyterian Church strives to embody God’s love for the diversity of creation by affirming the dignity of all persons as created in God’s image. We welcome people of all races, cultures, sexual orientations, gender expressions, and socioeconomic status in all ministries of the church.

In bringing this language to the session, the Christian Formation and UKirk committees spoke of a need for UPC to be a place where people in our midst could ask the questions they need to ask and be assured they are in a safe environment. This statement is intended to define the measure of that safe space. It is not meant to be the end of building. It is, instead, a commitment to doing together the work required of us as we seek to embody God’s broad welcome in everything that we do.

Click here to read the pastoral letter from Matt Gaventa, Krystal Leedy, and John Leedy.

UPC Joins the Covenant Network of Presbyterians

In June 2019, UPC Session voted unanimously to join the Covenant Network of Presbyterians. The mission of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians is to strengthen the church of Jesus Christ, with the help of God’s grace.

We are called to achieve this goal by working for the unity of the church, furthering the inclusion of LGBTQ persons, seeking understanding and reconciliation, and joining with others seeking a still more just and inclusive church.

Pastor Matt Gaventa was appointed to the Board of Directors of CNP in January 2019.

Click here for the announcement of the 2019 board.

Click here for a sermon preached at UPC March 2019 by Brian Ellison, executive director of CNP.

UPC Joins More Light Presbyterians 

Immediately after the adoption of our inclusivity statement, which came from two committees of the church, UPC Session voted unanimously to join More Light Presbyterians.  As network members, UPC subscribes to the mission of More Light:

Following the risen Christ, and seeking to make the Church a true community of hospitality, the mission of More Light Presbyterians is to work for the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) people in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and in society.

UPC Austin wants to go beyond a “welcoming” congregation to be a “wanting” congregation. We want members of the LGBTQIA+ community to feel welcomed, included, and wanted at our church because the Table of God is bigger than we have thought of it in the past.

For more information about More Light Presbyterians, go to