January 15, 2019

Friends and fellow disciples, 

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King wrote these words on April 16, 1963, in the Birmingham jail. A court in Birmingham had ordered that King could not organize protests in the city because he was, as a resident of Atlanta, considered to be an “outsider.” “I am here because injustice is here," he wrote, “I would agree with Saint Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’”

He was part of the leadership of an effort to help us understand more fully who God had created us to be. The Civil Rights Movement found its heart in the church, in the words of the prophets and the ministry of Jesus, calling us all towards the beloved community. The better we understand each other, the better we can reach towards all people in love, through barriers like race that keep us so painfully divided. King invited us to explore questions like: Who has God made me to be? How can I be a part of God's redemptive work? Can I do more? It is about all of us, together.

MLK Day of Service, January 21   Honor Martin Luther King's legacy of serving others by serving our community alongside our friends from the Divan Center, a mosque and Turkish cultural center in Cary. We'll gather at WPC on Monday, January 21, at 7:30am for a light breakfast, then head out to serve in various locations in Durham (Habitat for Humanity, NCCU Food Pantry, Threshold, and Hope Valley Elementary School). We'll return to the church around noon to enjoy lunch and fellowship together. Sign up here . Signing up in advance helps us organize our teams and project deployment. Contact: Amy Hill

Durham Congregations in Action   Chuck Byrd has been active in this group for a few years now and encourages you to do the same. He invites you to join him at DCIA’s Annual Banquet on Tuesday, January 29, 6:00-8:00pm, at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Durham. The keynote speaker will be Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, the PC (USA) Director of the Office of Public Witness. The cost is $16 per person. Please contact Chuck if you’re interested, and RSVP by January 25 to  dcia@dcia.org .

A Conversation About Presbyterians and Race   Unable to attend the DCIA banquet? You’ll have a second opportunity to catch Rev. Hawkins on Wednesday, January 30, 6:00-8:00pm, at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Durham. His talk is titled, “The Color of Race,” and promises to be a helpful conversation. A light supper will be served ($8 per person). RSVP to the Presbytery of New Hope by emailing Rene Baker .
I'll be at both the DCIA dinner and the dinner at Covenant, and I'd love to sit with you as we explore these vital issues with a gifted guide like Rev. Hawkins, who served here in Durham until a few years ago. If you'd like to join me, please be in touch.

Also, TOMORROW, I'd love to see you at Aperture for “Celtic Spirituality in Music & Art,” at 6:30pm. By looking at some Celtic traditions in art and music, we can learn to see and experience the presence of God all around us, in our ordinary, everyday lives. And who doesn't want more of that? Our speaker, Kristen Leigh, is a professional musician and singer/songwriter who has studied extensively in Ireland and Scotland and holds a Master's in Theology & the Arts from Union Theological. Dinner will be served at 5:45pm, and we’ll have plenty of fried chicken on hand. Join us! It promises to enrich the mind, heart, and spirit.

Finally, thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the survey on staffing models that was circulated last month. The Session and the Personnel Committee have reviewed all the feedback and are now drafting job descriptions. The Session will discuss these matters at their upcoming Retreat and will have information to share with you in early February. 

There's a lot going on! As we crank into 2019, know I'm grateful for all you all continue to do. You serve, sing, give, and step up, over and over again. It truly takes everyone, as we listen for Christ's call. This is going to be a big year, as we move towards calling new staff and continue to make campus plans from your generosity through the Making Room capital campaign (more about those plans soon). There's a lot to do, and new programs keep unfolding, and you all keep serving and caring for each other. What a gift. Thanks be to God!

See you soon -