PATHWAYS FOLLOWING JESUS ONE STEP AT A TIME Winter Quarter JAN-MAR 2021 FIND A WAY TO BE TOGETHER!
Stepping Out! NEW WAYS TO REACH OUR COMMUNITY
Something for You MEN, WOMEN, PARENTS, YOUTH, AND MORE
In This Issue Adult Ministries ConneXions Bible Stufy for All Small Groups Alpha Meet the Pastors Essentials Faith & Literature Dear friends,
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Couples Ministry The Marriage Course Care & Outreach ESL Class Uprooted: A Virtual Cultural Immersion Experience Divorce Recovery Parent Support Group Youth & Children Cornerstone The Rock Foundation Campfire Solid Ground UPPC Kids Sunday School
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“Consider how you and your family might grow in your faith.. ” MIKE MOFFITT ASSOCIATE PASTOR
ord we hear frequently this time of year — NEW. Happy New Year! Every January we have think our priorities and habits, with the hope of getting a fresh start for a new calendar year. major challenges of 2020, I believe most people are more ready for a new year than usual!
e are also some new opportunities for discipleship. We’re in a new winter quarter, and rovided for you to peruse those opportunities as you consider how you and your family your faith, understanding, and habit of following Jesus. Alpha is a safe and fun place to questions about life and faith. The Marriage Course is being offered again for couples ready d strengthen their marriages. Stepping Out provides opportunities for you or your family to ur surrounding community. And on Sundays, Pastor Aaron and I are starting a teaching The Third Way,” diving into how the first Christians practiced their faith, and what they can t following Jesus today.
ple ongoing opportunities as well: ConneXions, Women’s Bible Study, Bible Study for All, The , and more! So grab your favorite warm winter beverage, sit back, and enjoy exploring how k on new pathways with Jesus this winter.
A NEW SERIES BEGINNING JANUARY 10
TOGETHER SUNDAY MORNINGS
9:30am Classic Worship 11am Contemporary Worship
ON LINE Watch live streams of all services every weekend! Visit UPPC.Online.Church to connect with your community, engage in service, and receive prayer from a live service host.
ONGOING ConneXions Sundays 9:30-10:30am | Zoom In this time of relative isolation, enjoy meaningful community around scripture, prayer, and discussion, following along with the sermon series. Come when you can, as you are! Email Jon for the Zoom info: firstname.lastname@example.org Bible Study for All Wednesdays 9:30-11am | Fellowship Hall Gather with Gwenn and friends for this mid-week time of study and fellowship. All are welcome! No registration needed, come when you can!
Small Groups Small groups are a great way to grow in faith and life with like-minded people. Explore these groups who are ready to welcomg you! Visit UPPC.org/smallgroups
JANUARY Alpha Mondays 1/18-3/29 | 7:30-8:45pm The Alpha Course has become a worldwide phenomenon, and millions of people have tried Alpha all across the world. It is free and open to everyone. No question is out of bounds, and participants are free to say as much or as little as they wish as they make up their own minds about the teachings of Jesus and questions like: Who is God? and Why am I here? to Why is there suffering? and Is God a delusion? Meeting via Zoom. To register and learn more, visit UPPC.org/alpha.
Meet the Pastors Sunday January 24 | 12:30-1:30PM Normally, we love hosting our Welcome Lunch for newcomers to UPPC and folks who have questions about the church. This quarter, the experience has moved online, but it’s still a great way to become more familiar with UPPC. Join our pastors, Aaron and Mike, in a Zoom conversation to learn more about who UPPC is as a church. Meeting via Zoom. Register at UPPC.org/events
FEBRUARY Essentials Saturdays 3/6 & 3/13 | 9-11am There comes a time when being a guest in a church community just isn’t enough. But what does the word “member” really mean? (Hint: it’s a lot different than Costco or country club membership!) Explore the meaning of membership as you learn about the history, theology, and values of UPPC. Meeting via Zoom. Register at UPPC.org/events Faith & Literature Wednesday February 3 | 7-9pm Participants discuss the themes and ideas from a selected novel, biography, or other work of literature. We have a lively and respectful discussion. Through the lens of our Christian faith as well as the lens of great literature, we search for meaning in our lives. Email Marion for details, email@example.com Meeting via Zoom.
Through Alpha, I learned more about the Christian faith, experienced community and the beauty of prayer, as well as witnessed the Holy Spiritâ€™s work; I became more keenly aware of Godâ€™s hand in my life, even working in interesting ways to use the quarantine during Covid-19 as a blessing for my family. - Hiroko Yaguchi
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Men’s Monday Morning Bible Study Mondays | 6:30-7:45am Start your week with a fellowship of men devoted to living a life of prayer, fellowship, and truth through scripture. We will continue our study of the Old Testament books of Samuel. Email Bob for Zoom info: firstname.lastname@example.org. Meeting via Zoom. Men’s Wednesday Morning Bible Study Wednesdays | 9-10:15am Join a mid-week pick-me-up of prayer, fellowship, and truth through scripture. This fall we will be reading and studying our favorite scripture passages. Email Bob for Zoom info: email@example.com. Meeting via Zoom. Women’s Bible Study Thursdays 9:30-11:30am Does God Hate? We celebrate that God is love, and indeed he is. But does God also hate? And if so, exactly what does God hate? To tune in via Zoom, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Meet in Fellowship Hall, no registration.
JANUARY The Well Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm Every other Wednesday, beginning 1/13 Ladies! Come hang out with Lisa, Kathy, Randi and others to explore the Bible’s truth for your real, daily life. Our time includes video, group discussion, questions, prayer, and great fellowship! Come as you are, when you can! For info, email Lisa, email@example.com. Meeting online, no registration.
The Den Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm Every other Wednesday, beginning 1/13 Guys! Get together with other men to tackle some of life’s challenges together. This is about men helping men to be better, Godly men, through a gospelcentered vision of a life filled with truth, passion, and purpose! For info, email Ian, firstname.lastname@example.org. Meeting online, no registration.
“The opportunity for personal connection, even if only through online meetings, has been so meaningful in this time when connecting with others is so difficult. I’ve enjoyed diving deeper on sermons, spending time in scripture with others and praying with each other over the circumstances of our respective lives.” - Jon Koetje
Men & Women
We would love to hear how God is using UPPC to work in your life or in the lives of those around you. Share you story at UPPC.org.
Uprooted: A Virtual Cultural Immersion Experience Monday February 1 7-8:30pm via Zoom
See an opportunity youâ€™d like to know more about? Visit UPPC.org/events.
JANUARY The Marriage Course Sundays bi-weekly | 7-8:30pm 1/10, 1/24, 2/7, 2/21, 3/7, 3/21, 3/28 So many couples participated in The Marriage Course last Fall, we’re offering it again! This seven-week experience is meant to deepen and strengthen your marriage, and the content is great for dating and engaged couples too! The course is free and includes your book. Meeting via Zoom. Register at UPPC.org/events
“The Marriage Course was great because learning alongside my spouse and several other couples helped me see that all marriages require intentional effort. And that leads to more joy! Nicky and Sila were so easy to learn from that we felt like we got to know them personally!” - Matt & Kallie Williams
Divorce Recovery Thursdays 2/4 - 3/11 | 6:30-8pm Gain healthy insights and the courage to move forward on the journey of healing from divorce. This is one opportunity that can be the beginning of a new way of living and hoping! Meeting in Fellowship Hall. Register at UPPC.org/events
ESL (English as a Second Language) Friendship Class Thursdays 9-10am Open to all adults, English as a Second Language (ESL) exists to help people improve their written and spoken English. ESL beginners and advanced students are welcome to come and make new friends Special Needs Parent Support Group along the way! For details, contact Marion Tilley, Sunday February 7 | 12:15-1:15pm email@example.com. Parent Support Group is for those with children of Meeting via Zoom. any age living with special needs, different abilities, or sensory issues. Meeting via Zoom. Register at UPPC.org/events
Uprooted: A Virtual Cultural Immersion Experience Monday February 1 | 7-8:30pm Join with friends of UPPC for an evening online hearing stories of refugees from Afghanistan. We will enjoy a bit of Afghan culture and history while learning a little about why someone from Afghanistan might apply to be a refugee and why the US created a special pathway to US citizenship for many Afghans. Our time will include discussion and Q&A with the participation of a local refugee. Register by Jan 25 to receive a goodie bag of tea and cookies. Meeting via Zoom. Register at UPPC.org/events
â€œDuring the middle of my divorce I found myself feeling isolated, rudderless, and without hope. That was also about the time I was invited to the UPPC Divorce Recovery class. I found myself with a group of people with stories just like mine. The class steered us through the maze of legal, emotional, and financial fog that clouds this topic. It provided non-judgmental encouragement and direction for the future. By the end of the six weeks I began to sense a light on the horizon. Attending this class became one of the best decisions of my life, in the midst of one of the worst trials of my life. It showed me that you truly can grow through divorce.â€? - Russ Post
Care & Outreach
Growing up, Carolyn Rzesutek was raised in the Christian Science church. While her father was a Methodist, her mother raised Carolyn and her sister as Christian Scientists. For Carolyn, not only did this mean she couldn’t visit doctors or take medicine, but she also felt uncomfortable at school when she couldn’t participate in hearing tests or dental checks along with her classmates.
When Carolyn’s good friend invited her to the Lutheran church’s membership class, things started to change for Carolyn’s faith. Her friend went with her to all the classes and really encouraged her as she began her faith journey and realized that Jesus Christ was in her. “I felt the Holy Spirit was in me and was stirring. It was amazing! The lightbulb came on,” Carolyn said.
When Carolyn was in high school, her mother’s adherence to the church’s tenets led to tragedy. “My mother was really, really sick and eventually, she went to the doctor for the first time and found out she had uterine cancer. They said if she had gone in much earlier they could have removed it,” Carolyn said. “She had surgery, but they didn’t get it all so she went in for a second time.” Carolyn was a senior in high school when her mom went in for the second surgery. While she was at school, her mother died of a heart attack on the operating table.
“The church wrapped their arms around me... I just felt so loved.”
“It was extremely disillusioning in so many ways. I was heartbroken… But, I wasn’t at all mad with God. I think I was confused more than anything. There was a lot of mourning,” Carolyn said. When she was 18, Carolyn met Steve Rzesutek at Tacoma Community College. After dating for three years, the couple got married in 1982 at a Lutheran church in Tacoma where Steve was a member. It was Carolyn’s relationship with Steve that opened her eyes to the fact that she didn’t have a relationship with God. “I knew that God was in my heart, but I didn’t know what to do with it,” Carolyn said.
Carolyn went on to become a member at that church. But, with her husband working nights as a security guard at Boeing he was not able to attend church with her and her young daughter, Allison. Over time, the Rzesuteks found themselves looking for a new church to call home.
In 1990, the Rzesutek family moved to University Place where they had their second child, Kyle. There, Carolyn met a family who attended University Place Presbyterian Church who invited Allison to a children’s program at the church. Allison came home in love with the Wednesday night program, so the family decided to start attending UPPC. “It was such a great transition. At that point, my husband was working days and we could all go. It was just so natural. I became really good friends with the gal who introduced me to the church. My daughter and her daughter became best friends. It was just God ordained, absolutely,” Carolyn said. As her children were beginning to get older, Carolyn started looking for a job. One Sunday, she was in service at UPPC when an opportunity arose. “I was sitting in the pew and I felt the sun showing on the little blurb about looking for a receptionist in the bulletin,” Carolyn said.
Carolyn served in the position of church receptionist for 20 years, retiring in April 2016. “It was just a privilege and a joy. I loved going to work. I loved taking care of the congregation, however that looked, and helping the pastor and staff. My theory was, if I can help you do your ministry better, even by pouring you a cup of coffee, then I would do it,” Carolyn said.
The Rzesutek’s son, Kyle, struggled with mental health issues since junior high. While Kyle and his father didn’t “see eyeto-eye” for a while, Carolyn is grateful that when Steve was nearing the end of his life, the two were able to come to terms and reconnect. Sadly, soon after Steve passed away, Kyle began to really struggle with his mental health.
For her, UPPC became a place where she was able to build meaningful relationships through women’s ministry, children’s ministry and singing in the choir.
“My son had a mental illness that would take over. But, when he had the joy of life, he loved music and there were so many things he loved. When his cloud was away and he had some sun, he loved God just as much,” Carolyn said.
In February 2018, Steve passed away from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after an 18-month battle. “When Steve got sick, he wasn’t going to church. So, if he had any faith inside of him, he wasn’t expressing it,” Carolyn said. A year after the diagnosis, Steve was in the hospital for a month while being treated with chemotherapy. On Christmas Eve, the Rzesuteks were surprised with a visit from Pastor Aaron Stewart. “In between the five Christmas Eve services, Pastor Aaron sat with Steve and he rededicated his life to Jesus,” Carolyn said. “As Steve got a little bit better, we started going to church. He was a different person and it was beautiful.”
In April 2019 at 30 years old, Kyle took his life. “Two losses, big ones, and people ask me how am I doing it. I don’t know... I am meant to be here, I am meant to do something and I would like to figure that out for Kyle,” Carolyn said. One idea that has been on Carolyn’s heart is finding a way to help create change in the mental health care system in Washington state, so people like Kyle will get the help they need and be treated better. Carolyn, who is currently an elder at UPPC, is grateful for her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren, whom she sees often. Not to mention, her dog, Ari.
Two months later, Steve passed away peacefully on hospice with his family surrounding him.
Amidst all the pain and heartache, Carolyn finds herself in a new season.
“I couldn’t believe it. He was only 58 years old and just found out he was going to have his second grandchild. The church wrapped their arms around me and nobody tried to rationalize it. I just felt so loved by the church,” Carolyn said.
“I have more to give,” said Carolyn, who is 59 years old. “It is hard though because the clouds are definitely there. Some days, both deaths really hit me. I am thankful for my faith in Jesus and who He is in my life. He is walking alongside me and he mourns just like I do.”
Soon after, when she suffered another major loss, the church family was once again there to comfort and support her.
Recently experiencing two major losses, Carolyn Rzesutek has seen God show up in many ways to comfort and sustain her -- often through the church body being His hands and feet.
Youth & Children
NO REGISTRATIONS NEEDED!
Cornerstone (Grades 10-12) Wednesdays 8-9pm Hang out with friends, de-stress, and play exciting games. Discover who God is and learn life tools to build an identity around the true cornerstone: Jesus Christ. Meet in the Youth Room.
Foundation (Grades 5-7) Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm Discover who God is and what that means for you. Hang out with friends and play fun games! Meet in the Youth Room.
The Rock (Grades 8-9) Wednesdays 8-9pm Hang out with friends and play fun games. Discover who God is and who you are in Christ. Meet in The Lodge.
Campfire (Grades 1-4) Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm Learn about Jesus, play crazy games, create art, and make friends. Meet in The Lodge.
Solid Ground Sundays (When adult services are meeting in person) Grades 5-12: 9:30-10:30am Grades 5-7: 11am-12pm Students gather together for a service designed for youth. and be challenged to learn more about Jesus. Meet in the Youth Room. UPPC Kids Sunday School
(When adult services are meeting in person)
Sundays 9:30-10:30am & 11am-12pm Every Sunday morning children will participate in a fun Bible lesson, sing worship songs, and engage in other fun activities. It’s our goal to make learning about Jesus an exciting and interactive experience. Early Childhood (4m-3yr) in the Nursery Elementary (1st-4th grade) in The Lodge
“Our eldest son, Jack, looks forward to Sunday School and Campfire every week. He retains the lessons he hears and will often bring up different points or even share his knowledge with his younger brother. Best of all, Jack asked to be baptized this past year. When I asked why he wanted to be baptized, Jack said that he wanted to show God he was dedicated to him. I believe it takes a village to raise children and a whole church to raise them in faith. I’m so thankful for all the children’s ministry team members who are guiding children, like Jack, into their own faith.” - Lindsay Furber
Youth Alpha Grades 5-9 | Wednesdays 1/13-3/31 Students will have the opportunity to ask tough questions about life and the Christian faith in a lowpressure environment. Each Wednesday will include snacks, a talk exploring the basics of Christian faith, and discussion time in a small group setting. If your student is not attending large group on Wednesday nights, they can still participate via Zoom! Please let us know if your student would like to participate online using the online registration (no registration needed for those attending in person). Learn more at: UPPC.org/Foundation UPPC.org/TheRock
Learn more about each group: UPPC.org/Cornerstone UPPC.org/TheRock UPPC.org/Foundation UPPC.org/Children
Sharing the love of Jesus one step at a time.
Engaging our world through service is a fundamental part of following Jesus (i.e. discipleship) – we are to be engaged in our world, but unique from it. One of the best ways to to do this is to treat the way we serve and care for others as an act of worship. In fact, from God’s point of view, loving our neighbor is an inherent part of worship. We cannot love God without loving the things that matter to God, which includes our fellow human beings… no matter how much they annoy us (Mark 12:29-31). While COVID has made it a little more complicated to “enter into” others’ lives, there are still plenty of ways we can be a source of light and hope for others. The activities mentioned on the following pages are just a few suggestions on how you can share the love of Jesus during this challenging season. I encourage you to select one of the activities listed and do it by the end of March. it will brighten someone’s day - and we may find that our own lives become a little brighter in the process. Praying for a year of hope and light,
Lisa Woicik Lisa Woicik Outreach Minister
Encouragement The pandemic has heightened the sense of fear and isolation among families living with HIV. Let these families know they are not alone by writing an encouraging note and preparing a small basket of goodies that can be delivered to a family served by REACH Ministries. Contact Pam Wenz (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information and go to https:// reachministries.org/about-us/living-with-hiv/ to learn more about the impact HIV has on families. Become a pen pal to an adolescent with special needs connected to Young Life’s Capernaum ministry. Contact Karen Hogman (253.223.4440; email@example.com) to get connected to a child. Write an encouraging note and deliver it with snacks and drinks that can be shared at Young Life’s study center for middle and high school kids. Contact Robbie Griffin (253.720.5387; firstname.lastname@example.org) to coordinate a drop off time. Write an encouraging note and prepare a small welcome gift to a family fleeing domestic violence. Email staff at Family Renewal Shelter (email@example.com) for more information.
Collect and donate new or gently used twin-sized bedding or a set of white bath towels, hand towels and washcloths for homeless youth. Email Julie Judy (firstname.lastname@example.org) for instructions on where items can be dropped off. Collect and donate diapers (sizes 4, 5 & 6) baby wipes, and laundry detergent to give to at-risk children and families served by Olive Crest. Email email@example.com to arrange a drop-off time. Collect items and put together a Welcome, Back to School or Travel Kit for a local refugee. Kit lists can be found at https://worldreliefseattle.org/build-a-kit. Attach list to kit and drop off at UPPC during office hours.
Help teachers at Manitou Park prepare supplies for students to pick up and take home to use as part of their learning. Contact Assistant Principal Lauren Taylor (ltaylor1@Tacoma.K12.Wa) to arrange a time. Work must be done at Manitou Park Elementary Serve at our local foodbank or at the afterschool program run by Families Unlimited Network. Learn more at FamiliesUnlimitedNetwork.org/volunteer. Become a mentor, prayer partner or volunteer with UPPC’s Youth and Children’s Ministry. Learn more HERE. Become a relational ministry volunteer with Tacoma Youth for Christ serving kids (in person and virtually) through Tacoma Rescue Mission City Life at Adams and Tyler Family Shelters. Contact Andrew Kruse (360.550.2553; firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info. Become an ESL assistant in a virtual English class offered by World Relief. Learn more at WorldReliefSeattle.org/ eslclassroomassistant. Temporarily host a newly-arrived refugee, asylee or immigrant leaving the NW Detention Center. More information at WorldReliefSeattle.org/hosthomes.
Learn what it is like to be a child in Kenya by reading “The River and the Source” by Margaret A. Ogola or watching the film “The First Grader.” Pray for families served by UPPC’s Cherish Ministry partnership in Meru, Kenya. More information about the ministry can be found at CherishMeru.org. Learn what it’s like to be a refugee by reading or watching one of the books/films listed at WorldReliefSeattle.org/readinglist. Pray for the more than 70 million people who are currently displaced from their homes. Learn about youth homelessness in Washington State by visiting TheCoffeeOasis.com. Pray for the youth that will be served at Coffee Oasis’ new location in Tacoma and the staff and volunteers serving there. When kids are out of school, they are disconnected from a safety net like teachers, school counselors, and school administrators who can alert authorities to potential abuse and neglect. Pray for families in tough situations and are not getting the help and support they need and for children who are facing neglect and abuse and have no one to turn to for help. Find UPPC’s weekly prayer list at UPPC.org/events. Pray for at least one person on the list every day until you get through the entire list. Contact Jill McMullen at email@example.com to be added to UPPC’s email prayer chain. When you receive an email with a specific request, stop and pray for that request.
Have a story about your experience sharing light and hope with others? We want to know about it. Tell us how you saw God working through you at UPPC.org/ShareYourStory.
UP PC Staff Pastors Rev. Aaron Stewart Senior Pastor Rev. Mike Moffitt Associate Pastor
Worship & Music Rev. Dr. Diana Greene Minister of Worship Loren Tucker Director of Cont. Worship & Technical Arts Melinda Tucker Director of Contemporary Worship Dan Konicek Director of Media Lisa Todd Director of Music & Arts Institute Care & Outreach Rev. Dr. Martha Greene Parish Associate Jill McMullen Minister of Care and Welcome and Connect Kathy Goertz Welcoming Coordinator Lisa Woicik Minister of Outreach & Mission Youth & Children Rob Clark Minister of Youth & Children Robin Fawcett Director of Middle School Julie Mangrum Director of Elementary Laura Richardson Director of Early Childhood Lexi Barnett Y&C Administrative Assistant Operations Mike Bates Executive Minister Randi Downs Executive Assistant Kate Evarts Director of Communications Janie Brooksher Scheduler Kaylee Fowler Financial Administrator Kristen Laramie Stewardship Coordinator Campus Care Taylor Conrad Campus Care & Wayside CafĂŠ Manager Chuck Benedict Lead Custodian Mawiir Deng Custodian Chris Lange Custodian
UPPC ELDERS Session Support Lori Jacoby Continuity & Communication Lorina Meade Continuity & Communication Rob Adams Nominating Carolyn Rzesutek Nominating Worship & Discipleship Nancy Keay Worship Ross Parker Worship Leslie Hensley Discipleship Rick Todd Discipleship Care & Outreach Emily Bosh Outreach & Missions Jim Linewaver Outreach & Missions Robert Arial Welcome & Connect Jim Goertz Welcome & Connect Karen Crosby Care Mitch Sagers Care Youth & Children Holly Bray Youth & Children Mary Pubols Youth & Children Operations Grant Blinn Human Resources Kathleen George Human Resources Cynthia Darland Finance Krista Wallace Finance Campus Care Russell Post Facilities Dan Small Facilities
Find ways to grow in your relationship with Jesus this winter!