November 24, 2021

Please, Lord, let them come! This had been my prayer in the week leading up to Westminster’s first all-church event in the new Fellowship Hall – our Christ the King Festival of Gifts. Thanks be to God, you did!

Last Sunday’s festival was a joy to behold. Young children decorated crowns while parents, grandparents, and teachers encouraged their artistic talents. Crafters of all ages circled tables, creating a beautiful display with a lamb, shepherd, king, and gifts. Some folks just enjoyed reconnecting with their fellow church members. Many of our youth assisted with crafts, while the amazing Katie Walker patiently oversaw the final assembly on boards cut by Walt Beckwith. Meanwhile, Betsy Mangum helped households put together Advent Wreaths with greens donated by many church members. Kudos to Katie for her planning (she makes it look easy) and all the preparation that went into this event!  
As we make the turn into the new Church Year, we move into the Advent season with expectation and hope. While we don’t know what the coming year will bring, we trust that our Lord Jesus is indeed with us, and so is our family of faith. The church is vital to our spiritual health and the healing our community and world so desperately need. So I invite you to continue to delve into the gifts of your faith community this Advent. We have several ways to do so. Some are for all ages, while others are more appropriate for adults and even youth. Here are some guidelines for how to choose. See complete details on our website.
Are you looking to connect with your church family of all ages this Advent?  
  • Advent GiFT: Generations in Faith Together, Sundays through December 19, 9:45-10:45am These gatherings for all ages take the place of Church School for most groups. Children, youth, parents, grandparents, and adults of any age are all very welcome! Each week we explore the narrative lectionary Scripture of the day in interactive, engaging ways.
  • Lovefeast – Sunday, December 5, 5:00pm
  • All Ages Christmas Pageant – Sunday, December 12, 4:30pm
  • Caroling for All Ages – Sunday, December 19, 6:00pm
Are you an adult - or perhaps a youth - looking to connect with others through an Advent Bible Study? Check out our "Mary Had a Baby" Advent Bible Study. Learn the stories behind four African American spirituals. These beloved songs “identify with those experiencing a world of cruelty, injustice, poverty, racism, and oppression.”  Sign up now.
  • Sundays, 9:45-10:45am in Room 205 and on Zoom. 
  • Wednesdays, 12:00-1:00pm in the Parlor led by Marietta, followed by a time of prayer in the Sanctuary.
Worship at Westminster

November 28 – First Sunday of Advent, Birthday Sunday
Come and sing in the Sanctuary once again!
Jeremiah 29:1, 4-14; John 14:27; Cherrie Barton Henry preaching
9:30am-12:00pm Infant & Toddler Nursery
9:45-10:45am Advent GiFT: Generations in Faith Together begins
11:00am Worship in the Sanctuary and on YouTube
12:30pm Christmas Pageant Rehearsal
Hot Cider and Doughnuts in the Courtyard
After Worship on December 5, 12, and 19
The Fellowship Committee invites you to stick around after worship in December to enjoy a warm drink, sweet treat, and fellowship with your WPC family of faith.
Christmas Eve Worship at Westminster

3:00pm Gathering for Scripture, song, and prayer – Courtyard
5:00pm Family Service of Carols and Readings – Sanctuary
8:00pm Full Service of Readings, Carols, and Lights with the Chancel Choir & Brass Ensemble. Preludes begin at 7:30pm – Sanctuary
Opportunities to Serve
  • Offering collection returns this Sunday, and the church really, really needs Ushers and Offering Counters! These are very easy, but very important jobs. Both are wonderful ways to meet others at WPC and serve your church family. View the guides for Ushers and Offering Counters, and/or sign up now
  • Volunteers are needed to help sort and transport gifts for Share Your Christmas. Sign up now (scroll to the bottom of the sign-up)
  • Sign up to serve with Iglesia Emanuel's weekly food distribution to needy families
  • Want to help kids improve their reading? Become a Y Learning Mentor at WPC
Westminster This Week – Quick Links

Friendly Request from the Congregational Care Committee: Are you an 18-22-year-old young adult, or do you have a young adult of that age in your family? If so, Congregational Care would like their contact information so we can send them cards and small care packages throughout the year. Please email their contact info to Amy Stanfield, and it will be added to the church directory. And stay tuned for the opportunity to "adopt a young adult" during Lent. 💚
Share Your Blessings, Share Your Christmas
December 5 is the deadline to bring your gifts
For more than 45 years, "Share Your Christmas" has provided holiday gifts to some of our most vulnerable Durham neighbors. This program is coordinated by the Durham County Department of Social Services and Triangle Nonprofit and Volunteer Leadership Center.

This year Westminster has committed to serving 145 people. Be sure to scroll through the sign-up to the end as there are multiple pages of individuals and needs. We're still in need of a few people to help organize and deliver the gifts to Yates Baptist Church on December 12 (these are the very last items on the sign-up – keep scrolling!). Sign up now to share your Christmas!

Please spend a minimum of $65 per individual on new items. Be sure to wrap your gift(s), include a gift receipt in an envelope inside each package, and attach the name and case number securely onto the outside of each gift. Gifts can be delivered to the bin in the church office at the following times: Sundays before or after worship; Monday -Thursday, 9:00am - 5:00pm; Fridays, 9:00am - 12:00 noon; and Sunday, December 5, 5:00 - 6:30pm (gift delivery deadline). If you’d be willing to help with sorting and/or delivering gifts, please contact Emmy Huckabee.
From WPC Youth: You're Invited to Love Feast, Sunday, December 5, 5:00pm
Another well-loved Westminster tradition returns! Join the WPC Youth Group for an evening of carols and candles as we observe a traditional Lovefeast in our Sanctuary. Derived from the Moravian tradition, our Lovefeast is a celebration of the Incarnation of Christ, an embrace of the Christian belief that Christ comes to us in the simple form of warmth, bread, and community. Our youth group offers the Lovefeast service each year to show gratitude for the church family that prays and cares for them. Organ preludes begin at 4:30pm.

Attention, WPC Youth and their families: Did you know that Youth Group has its own listserv? If you are not receiving emails about Youth Group activities and would like to, please contact Jeff Young, and send him a list of email addresses you'd like to have added. Thanks!
Greet & Gift at Bull City Fair Trade, December 6, 6:00-8:00pm
The WPC Global Missions Committee encourages you to make shopping at Bull City Fair Trade part of your Christmas tradition and invites you to a special shopping event next month. For those who are new to the area, Bull City Fair Trade (formerly One World Market) is a nonprofit retail store, focused on providing fair wages to low-income craft persons. They work with artisans who live in more than 70 developing countries and the US, giving them access to the US market to sell their handmade crafts. All of the artisans are paid under Fair Trade standards, ensuring that they make a livable wage for their country. Visit their website to get an idea of the variety of gifts available. New on the website is the heading “Shop by cause.” If you especially want to purchase eco-friendly merchandise or products that empower women, fight human trafficking, aid refugees, keep families together (the list goes on!), you can find them here. 

While it’s fine to order through the website, there is more in the store than what’s online. Come enjoy some in-person browsing on Monday, December 6, 6:00-8:00pm. The store will be opened exclusively to WPC members and friends. Bull City Fair Trade is offering a 10% discount on all items purchased at the Gift & Greet event or online (on December 6 until 11:59 pm). The code for the online discount is WESTMINSTER.

Not only will you have a chance to purchase gifts that help change the world, but you’ll also get a chance to greet the WPC staff you may not have seen in a while. You can come and go anytime during the event, but do stop by to say hello to our hard-working staff who have been dealing with so much this year and miss seeing you!   
Annual Christmas Pageant – A Beloved Tradition Opens to All Ages! Sunday, December 12, 4:30pm
The pandemic has given us opportunities to become more flexible and adaptable with our church traditions. Our beloved Christmas Pageant is an important way for all ages to experience the story of the birth of Jesus. This year we are inviting all ages to participate in an intergenerational performance. Ages 2-99 are welcome to share in creating a meaningful and unforgettable pageant on Sunday, December 12, at 4:30pm, in the Sanctuary.

Musicians and instrumentalists, as well as artists, are invited to take part! We will wear masks and do our best to keep everyone safe. We will have only three rehearsals (or less, depending on the selected role) and provide costume support, snacks, and the opportunity to make new friends. This may be the only chance you have in 2021 to show WPC members a side of your talent they have not yet discovered! It would be wonderful to have our junior and senior high youth, our mature members, and of course, the children join in this worship event. Please sign up now, or after worship on Sunday. Questions? Please contact Susan Ketch or Marietta Wynands.
Honor a Loved One with a Poinsettia & Donation to the WPC Flower Guild
You are invited to offer a poinsettia in memory or in honor of a loved one this Advent season by making a $10 donation to the WPC Flower Guild. Please submit your donation and honorarium/memorial by Sunday, December 5, to have it included in the bulletin for the Christmas Eve 8:00pm worship bulletin. Poinsettias will be available for pick-up after Christmas Eve 8:00pm service. Please contact Bonnie Derr with any questions.
Art & African-American Spirituals by Candlelight 
Aperture: Third Wednesdays ~ December 15, 7:00 - 8:15pm
In contemplation of the mystery and wonder of the season, Ruth Caccavale will lead a discussion of African-American art, paired with insights and music rooted in African-American Spirituals led by Monica Rossman. Childcare will be available for ages 4 and younger. Register now.
A member of Westminster, Ruth taught art at Rutgers University and currently works in the education department at the Nasher Museum. Monica has been an active church musician for many years, serving as Associate Chapel Organist/Assistant Director of Choral Activities at Duke and on the music faculty at Ohio State before joining the staff at Westminster in 1994.

There’s still time to make your 2022 pledge of giving if you haven’t yet. Pledge now by clicking any of the options below. Your commitment of financial pledges is critical to Westminster’s mission and ministry and the future of this church. Thank you for all the ways you support WPC!