June 6, 2021

Dear friends and fellow disciples,

It. Is. Happening!

As I shared in last week's newsletter, we are moving towards worshiping together in person, and I'm eager to see you all.

This Sunday, June 6, we begin broadcasting our worship live on Sundays at 11:00am. You’ll still tune in to Westminster’s YouTube channel to watch, but know that it will be broadcast in real-time going forward so if you're feeling unwell or out of town you can still enjoy worship with us. We ask for your patience as we adjust to some new technology and have all the worship leaders live in the Sanctuary for the first time in many months. I promise you there will be at least one time I walk to the wrong place at the wrong time – we've got a lot of re-learning to do together!

We will return to worshiping together in the Sanctuary on Sunday, June 20, at 11:00am. Here’s what you need to know:

  • You can just show up on Sunday morning. No sign-up is needed.
  • Facemasks are required while you’re indoors on campus. Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask outdoors but are welcome to wear one if they choose.
  • Social distancing and capacity restrictions will no longer be required.

We’ll ask you to sign in on an attendance sheet before entering the Sanctuary for worship, so be sure to arrive a few minutes early for that. It will be a while longer before we can sing together, but there will be a small choir gathered in the chancel wearing special masks to sing the hymns, and we can all hum along.

I know a lot of you are fully vaccinated and have gotten used to not wearing masks much anymore – I celebrate that with you! But know also there are those among us who may not be vaccinated, particularly younger members who aren't eligible yet. We must do this as a community, tending to each other with compassion and care. Please be in touch if you have any questions about how it might work, and I'll be in touch or connect you with a member of our wonderful COVID-19 Operations Team.

We're jumping back into worship together with a summer sermon series I'm really excited about, "Faith, Doubt, and Good Questions." The pastors asked YOU for things you wanted us to think about, and it has been fascinating to dig into some of your excellent questions. This Sunday, June 6, I'll be preaching on "What do Presbyterians believe about the Bible?" So much of our faith rests on what we do with that holy, magnificent, and confusing book. The following week I'll preach on, "Is the Canon closed? Is the Bible finished?" The week after that, we'll tackle the Bible and slavery. There is lots to chew on, and it's energizing to return to worshiping together with topics like these to shape and inspire our shared life.

I'll admit this is a strange time - I'm both excited and anxious, hopeful and looking over my shoulder for something bad to happen. But, I'm choosing more to be optimistic. After the loss and hurt of the last year and a half, we now have a chance to re-make much of the world. What a remarkable opportunity! We have an opportunity to re-think our lives and our work, to re-think our church. So let's do it, moving together with excitement, towards the new thing the Holy Spirit has for us all. Let's do this. Together.

Peace to you, friends,
Chris
Westminster This Week – Quick Links

Worship at Westminster on June 6 – Second Sunday After Pentecost, Communion Sunday
Ushers, Lectors, and Acolytes, Oh My!
Worship Volunteers Needed

It takes an impressively large group of folks to make worship happen each Sunday. Won’t you be a part of it? We are currently in need of volunteers to fill these roles for the summer: Ushers, Acolytes, Lectors, Welcome Station Greeters, and more. Come, use your skills and give your time to serve your church family on Sunday mornings. Newcomers welcomed and encouraged - training will be provided. Sign up now!
Thank you, WPC TREE Callers!
An appreciation from Cherrie Barton Henry

In March 2020, our church was hit by a pandemic none of us was prepared for or could have predicted. And yet, as a church of Jesus Christ, we instinctively knew that we needed somehow to go through this together. Many things were put in place by many people to get us through the worst days. Some of those efforts are still going on. The generous and seemingly tireless commitment that all our members made to be faithful during this time was and is a gift to us all.  

On Sunday, May 23, with stories and worship and some socially distanced fellowship, we celebrated those who, at some point during the worst of the pandemic, answered the call to be a WPC TREE caller. Though we’ve now discontinued this ministry, we are deeply grateful for the work these callers did over the last year. It is still our hope to get TREE limbs together. . .perhaps in the Fall. For now, we celebrate those who jumped in and helped us stay in touch during this time. Some served the entire time, others subbed in later on, and ALL are deeply appreciated! You can view the complete list of TREE callers here. As you are able, please thank them for the call they heard from Christ to care in this way.
Dear WPC Friends and Family,

Friday, May 28, was my last day working at Westminster School for Young Children after many years as a teacher and director.  It has been a wonderful and fulfilling experience and hardly seemed like work at all.  The staff of the church, as well as the school, have been amazing colleagues.  

I just wanted to thank all of you for your love and support of our preschool program over the years. The kind words that you have shared with me in recent weeks have meant so much. Thank you, also, for the donations made to the Kathy Stickley Scholarship Fund.  Your donations will be used for scholarships so that any child will be able to enjoy the experience that WSYC has to offer. The donations will also be used for improvements to the playground when they become necessary.   

I will miss seeing you in the halls of Westminster this fall when the new school year begins. I hope our paths will cross again!

Kathy Stickley

Westminster Christian Formation Teachers are AWESOME!

In a most challenging year, our leaders of Church School, Confirmation, and mid-week study groups have kept many of us connected to our church family and growing in our faith. On May 23, we celebrated their gifts of teaching and leading with an event in their honor. After enjoying some delicious snacks, with thanks to Andy Dunk, we honored Muff Urbaniak who has been teaching the four- and five-year-olds for 42 years! Her co-teachers of 28 years, Helen Tharrington and Julie Hardison, enthusiastically talked of her joy, creativity, and love that have impacted hundreds of children. Our teachers also enjoyed the musical talents of Daniel Bear and Thomas Hill. Check out photos from the occasion.