Westminster Messenger
February, 2021
Have you ever noticed how our faith can feel very cyclical? Despite our best intentions and desire for change that we still mess up over and over and over AGAIN. Even on the positive side things can get repetitive. After we do mess up God never stops forgiving, loving, and calling us to a better way of living – over and over and over AGAIN. And so it goes. We mess up - God forgives. We make a mistake - God loves. We hurt someone - God calls us to change our ways.

In a two-dimensional picture this could be maddening. The same pattern over and over AGAIN. And sometimes I wonder if, for many of us, our faith can begin to feel like that. Like we just keep going around and around and around and begin to wonder if there is any growth happening at all.

My hope for us as we journey through Lent together AGAIN this year is that we might take a look at this cyclical pattern at work in our lives and begin to see it with a third dimension. Not just as the same old repetitive circle that never goes anywhere, but to see the constant corrective love of God as creating a spiral or vortex shape in our faith that is bringing us into a deeper and more meaningful discipleship and way of living.

These two different shapes of faith can be seen in how we might say the phrase, “Here we go AGAIN.” In the circle shape we could mean it begrudgingly or with a sense of boredom. “Oh no, here we go AGAIN.” But with the spiral shape in mind, we could mean it with excitement and a renewed sense of commitment. “Here we go AGAIN! Let’s get even further along the path this year.”

As we journey the familiar path AGAIN this year from Ash Wednesday, through lessons on discipleship, the Crucifixion, and triumphantly to Easter Sunday, may we see our journey this Lent as not just starting at the same place we did last year. As a rut that we can’t get out of, or a circle we can’t escape. Instead, may we see the work of God work on us, reshaping, sharpening, or getting us into shape, so that we can see the progress we’ve made from years past, and see new things this year, and get ever closer to the center we all long to reach.

Here we go AGAIN!
Grace and Peace, Dan
Ash Wednesday
You're invited to one of the most special services of the year, here at Westminster: Ash Wednesday! We're so excited to announce that this year we are hosting another student led service about the reflection and remembrance that Holy Week and resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday! We have been working with a few students to take a look at their lives, what they have walked through, and to point out how God has been remarkably present to them and even still to this day! Our students are excited to be vulnerable with you and to encourage you this season of Lent! Join us on Wednesday, February 17 at 7:00pm – This service will be held on our live stream but will give details on whether or not we can host in-person as well. 
Report from the Transitional Pastor Search Committee
Shortly after the departure of Pastor Tricia Jacobs in late September, the Session of Westminster requested names from the WPC Standing Committees of individuals willing to serve on the Transitional (previously called Interim) Pastor search committee. The committee includes representatives from the following WPC committees: Finance, Christian Education, Personnel and Worship & Music. The committee of Harrison Cass, Margo Grimm, Amy Knoll, Charlie Lott and Angelina Patel began meeting. Our first task was to develop a Ministry Information Form (MIF) that described the ministries of Westminster and the specific qualities, qualifications and duties for the Transitional Pastor. The MIF was submitted to the Session for approval at their December meeting and was then forwarded to the Presbytery. The MIF was posted on the PCUSA website in January.
 
The Search Committee has received and reviewed applications generated by the PCUSA posting. We are conducting interviews by ZOOM and checking references. The pandemic has presented some challenges with this process but we are moving forward. 
 
When the Transitional Pastor Search Committee has agreed on a potential candidate, the candidate will be referred to WPC Personnel Committee for further action. We ask that each of you continue to pray for the Transitional Pastor that God is preparing for Westminster. 
Presenting the 8th Wonder of the World: The Backside of the Organ Pipes!
Although our 2021 budget made some serious cuts, thanks to the wonderful generosity of the Endowment Committee, we were able to have our organ fully tuned last week. There are just under 3,000 individual pipes in Westminster’s organ and each one of them was hand tuned one by one over 2 and a half days of work.

For the last several years our organ tuner had been using “touch up tuning” which is a tuning that only tunes about 1/3 of the pipes on our organ - and the same 1/3 each time, leaving 2/3 of the pipes in their same state for several years. Doing a complete tuning allowed everything to be brought into a beautiful tight sound which sings throughout the sanctuary. In addition to the pipe work, several repairs were also made to the organ console to keep it in tip-top shape for years and years to come.

To celebrate this tuning, we are having a hymn-based organ recital on March 5, 2021 at 6pm. This hour-long recital will feature familiar hymn-based melodies on the organ from the softest whisper of a few pipes to large fanfares that will celebrate our magnificent organ. Unfortunately, due to copyright restrictions this event will not be live-streamed. Reservations can be made at: wpcw.org/reserve

Patrick Marchant
Wes Pres Wednesday!
While our county remains in the orange level, we are going to begin meeting every week in person for all ages. A Zoom option will also be available for those that feel safer participating that way.
 
3 yr old – 8th grade and our Men’s and Women’s groups will meet from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm.

Sr. High will start at 7:30
Wes Pres Youth
We are jumping into a four-week series for our youth that examines several ways Jesus calls his people to be counter to the culture so that they can ultimately love it well. Jesus does not call us to simply oppose the culture or to blindly assimilate to it but rather to be a loving counterculture in the midst of it—a community that can look similar in some ways but also is distinct as it follows Christ. This begins with heart change and moves to our actions and behavior in such areas of courage, accountability, grace, and communion. 

Erica Rissi
The Grand Sweep Bible Study
This group continues its journey through the bible. The class is led by the pastors from the PCUSA churches in the Cedar Valley. The class meets weekly on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm via Zoom. Contact Pastor Dan or the church office and we will send you the recurring link.

Feb. 2  John 1-21               
Feb 9 Acts 1-28                
Feb.16 Romans 1-16                
Feb. 23 1 Corinthians 1-16                   

March 2 2 Corinthians 1-13                                                                   
March 9 Galatians, Ephesians                                                    
March 16 Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians
March 23 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon                        
March 30 No Class – Holy Week

April 6 Hebrews, James                                                                                    
April 13 1 & 2 Peter; 1, 2 & 3 John, Jude                                                
April 20 The Revelation to John                                         
Presbyterian Pantry
The pantry is open on the first Saturday of the month and the 3rd Thursday. We are always needing volunteers to help pass out food on these days but we also need help pre-packing the food the day or two prior. You can call the church office at 234-5501 if you want to come in and help pack. Go to wpcw.org/volunteer to help when the pantry is open.

We currently are serving 167 households which totals 429 individuals! Enjoy a few pictures from the Thursday evening pantry opening this past month.
Worship Live Stream
Just a reminder to join us Sunday mornings from the comfort of your own couch! You can watch Sunday’s worship service with us live, or any time after by visiting wpcw.org/YouTube. Our worship services are also saved to the Worship tab on our website.
Women's Book Club
The Westminster Women's Book Club meets via Zoom on the 3rd Sunday of the month at 6:00 pm. This group is open to all women! If you would like to be added to the Zoom invite list contact Sandy Lewis at sandycnm@cfu.net or 319-504-2802 or Vicki Grimes at vicki.grimes@uni.edu or 319-240-5296.
 
On February 21, 2021, discussion on "Searching for Sylvie Lee" by Jean Kwok.

On March 21, 2021 discussion on “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett.
Thank you to our church family for the many acts of kindness shown to us following the death of our son Andrew. We appreciated your prayers, cards, calls and visits. A special thanks to Patrick, Kristin and Neal for the beautiful music at Andrew’s memorial service and thank you to Pastor Dan for his visit.
With appreciation,
Larry and Ruth Weigle
Thank You's
December brought many opportunities of giving to those in our community. Through gift cards to the CASA children, our Christmas Eve meal and more. Your thoughtfulness reached many people. Click HERE to read some notes of thanks from those who were touched by your generous hearts.
Session Minutes
If you would like to read the Session minutes from the January meeting, click HERE
You are invited to join a virtual screening next week about the upcoming PBS program, The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song. In the film, Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. takes viewers on a journey through the rich and complex history of the Black church to reveal its profound impact on our nation's culture and history. There will be a 30 minute preview of the full film and will follow with a live conversation with Rev. Dr. Belinda Creighton-Smith from Faith Temple American Baptist Church in Waterloo as well as Rev. Abraham Funchess from Jubilee United Methodist Church in Waterloo. 

The virtual event will take place next, Tuesday, February 9 at 7 pm. 


Visit us online at wpcw.org