July 3, 2020

Dear friends and fellow disciples,

Sunday, June 28, almost felt like old times at Westminster. Yes, we were on screens again, but the day was full of activity and LIFE, that energy I miss so much. A summary of the day will tell you some important things happening right now:

10:00am : I taught the final session of our Spring Inquirers' class. Some brave souls hung in there as we shifted from in-person to online. We talked about stewardship and the history and polity of the Presbyterian Church. You’ll have a chance to meet these saints as we welcome them into our fellowship later this month.

Also at 10:00am : Our Christian Education leaders checked in with families who participated in the first week of Mission-X. I enjoyed working through the materials with my children; you can sign up now for Mission-X weeks in July and August . I bet others of you were on Zoom at that same time with your Church School class.

11:00am : We worshiped together, with an hour of wonderful music, a great sermon by Alex, and a warm welcome for our confirmation class, teenagers who have decided to, after a year of study and conversation, join the church. Even from a screen, it was still a powerful thing to see.

5:00pm : Your Session gathered via Zoom and met those Inquirers'. (Can you imagine joining a church in quarantine? This is a bold act!) The elders then walked through some committee updates and heard preliminary results from the congregational survey on managing our campus in the time of COVID-19. Thanks to the 200+ of you who have participated; if you haven't yet, we’d love your input so please take the survey . Other items of note from the Session's meeting:
  • Campus Return Timeline: We have pushed our campus return back as case counts rise and in response to the Governor's extension of phase two. But we are working on processes for those who might want to gather small groups outside on our campus in a few weeks (Durham’s order presently limits groups indoor and outdoor to 10 people). I promise we will continue to proceed with caution and care.
  • Dialogue and Action on Racism: The Session voted to establish a special committee to plan and coordinate all of Westminster's antiracism efforts. If you are interested in being part of this team, please email Marietta and me. We’ll meet and get organized soon. In the meantime, I encourage you to take a look at the antiracism resources our staff is compiling.

7:00pm : A group met to discuss their participation in the 21-Day Race Equity Challenge , a compilation of resources that has helped us begin the journey of understanding systematic racism more fully. We decided we wanted to talk more and will meet again soon. I’ll email that group specifically about the date after the holiday weekend.

As you can see, the work of the church continues, ever re-formed by the Spirit. My goodness, I am grateful to be in this work with you! Blessings to you as we approach the Fourth of July. Let us give thanks for this nation - its gifts and its flaws - grateful to God for the chance to continue to work to be more faithful and more just, for all.

Peace to you,