January 3, 2019

Friends and fellow disciples,

I pray that you have gotten a bit of rest over the holidays, filled with good times with people you love. Happy 2019!

 The start of a new year is a time for reflection. At this time last year, I couldn’t have possibly guessed all that would happen at Westminster in 2018. It was a year of much change! We said farewell to some beloved staff people, welcomed new ones, and completed a successful capital campaign and beautiful Sanctuary renovation. So many of you stepped up to serve, care for, and support this church and its people, as well as the broader community. I was continually amazed (but not surprised!) by all the ways God was at work here in 2018. Change can sometimes feel burdensome, but it is through change that God opens up new possibilities.

At the start of this new year, who knows what God is up to? Join me in waiting for and watching God do extraordinary things at Westminster in 2019. I’m excited about the possibilities, and I hope you are, too. Now, let’s get to it!

  Sunday: Advent Lessons & Carols  The snow last month postponed this wonderful service, but we will get to enjoy it this Sunday, January 6, at both the 8:30am and 11:00am services. Come and hear the beautiful music of the Chancel Choir and instrumentalists, featuring choral selections and Scripture to inspire hope in any season.

NEW Church School Elective: “What Do We Tell the Children? Talking to Kids about Death and Dying"    In this class, our own Geoff Vaughn, who’s a medical family therapist with the Duke Cancer Center, will help adults examine their own perspectives on death, dying and grief, and how such perspectives impact their ability to help children experience loss and grieve. Geoff will also share ways to discuss these topics with children in developmentally appropriate and spiritually open ways. The class begins this Sunday, January 6, at 9:45am and runs through February 3. Contact: Kristina Gilbert

Register for the All Church   Retreat    I want you to join me and my family in Montreat, February 8-10! Our theme this year is God's gift of creation and our own creativity. There will be time for hiking, reading, napping, snow-tubing, and exploring Black Mountain on Saturday afternoon. We'll have a BBQ dinner and square-dancing on Saturday evening and conclude the weekend with a casual worship service on Sunday morning. Please come – the mountains are beautiful, the fellowship is fantastic, and it's a very special time of rest. The cost is $85 per family or $40 per person and includes Saturday’s meal (but does not include lodging costs). You can register right now at  http://bit.ly/myWPCevent. Hurry, Sunday is the deadline! Contact: Kristina Gilbert

We'll have more good info to share with you on Sunday, as well. Get ready for a great year at Westminster!

 Grateful to be on the journey with you,