Westminster Messenger
March, 2021
The Longest Lent

The 6-week long journey of self-denial, self-examination, and added spiritual practices during Lent can feel like a slog even in a good year. But in many ways the length of that journey is worse than ever this year. A number of articles, blogs and posts I’ve come across have noted that it feels like we’ve been in Lent ever since the pandemic began. Or, as one church member joked to me on Ash Wednesday, “I’m not giving anything up for Lent this year. We’ve already had to give up too much.” Both of those assessments seem right, don’t they? This has got to be the longest Lent we, as a society, have ever had to go through.

In a normal year, Lent culminates in a joyful celebration of the promise of new life on Easter morning. Nothing would give me more joy than to say, even more so this year! But I’ve got to honest with myself and with you all. The Easter holiday will come. And the church’s season of Lent will formally come to an end. But we will still be in a pandemic and COVID will not have disappeared. In many ways, we will still be going through a season of denial and still waiting for the time when we will get to live a full, real and abundant life again.

Which got me thinking a lot about patience. It’s the spiritual discipline we were all forced to take up this year. We’ve all had ours tested, tried, and exhausted. But we’ve also been reminded how vital this classic virtue has been to keep us doing what is right in the face of adversity.

As we journey together through the dog days of Lent and the pandemic, I invite you read the verses below having to do with patience and allow them remind you how valuable a skill it is: producing hope, proof of the Spirit in you, a marker of love, and a sign of maturity. After you read them once, read them again. Maybe even more slowly the second time. Notice if you are drawn to one of them. If so, read that one again and again. Maybe even memorize it - so you can carry it with you as we see ourselves, our families, our church, and our community as safely as possible through what we hope is the final months of the longest Lent we ever hope to see.

· We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4 endurance produces character, and character produces hope. (Rom. 5:3-4)
· 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. (Gal. 5:22-23)
· 4 Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, 5 it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints (1 Cor. 13:4-5).
· 2 Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love,3 and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together. (Eph 4:2-3)
Worship with us!
Here is a look ahead at Worship. We are open, wearing masks and socially distancing. You are more than welcome to join us. But as always we will continue to broadcast the services live. You can find that through our webpage or directly through our YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe so it is easier to find.

March 7 – Again & Again, We Are Shown The Way
John 2:13-22 – Jesus Gets Angry in the Temple

March 14 – Again & Again, God Loves First
John 3:1-21 – Jesus Meets with a Pharisee Alone at Night
(Patrick’s Last Sunday)

March 21 – Again & Again, We Are Re-formed
John 12:20-33 – Jesus Again Teaches About His Death

March 28 – Again & Again, We Draw on Courage (Palm Sunday)
John 12:1-19 – Jesus Enters Jerusalem with a Parade
           Traditional at 9 am
           Contemporary at 11 am
Holy Week Services
Offered by the Cedar Valley Presbyterian Churches

-March 29-31 - Monday – Wednesday, online only at 7 pm

-April, 1 – Again & Again, We are Held Together
Maundy Thursday at Frist Presbyterian, Waterloo at 7 pm

-April 2 – Again & Again, We Find Ourselves Here
Good Friday at Westminster at 7 pm

-April 4 – Again & Again – The Sun Rises (Easter)
Mark 16:1-8 – Women Find Jesus’ Tomb Empty
           Sunrise Service at 6:30 am
           Traditional at 9 am
           Contemporary at 11 am
Register online at wpcw.org/easter

Pastor Dan
Prayer Wall
This Lent, we invite you to come to God in prayer again and again, weaving your prayers in with the prayers of your community to create a beautiful prayer wall. Woven together, your prayers will form the shape of an ampersand, representing God’s holy “and.” When we become weary from the motion blur chaos of our lives, God promises that there is always more to the story—death does not have the last word. When we feel helpless and hopeless, God’s holy “and” encourages us to lift our weary eyes to search for more. This Lent, let us practice the power of ‘and’ as we sink into the repetition and ritual of prayer.

Our prayer wall is located in the Welcome Center. Write your prayer on the strips provided and weave it into the wall.
Lent Devotionals
Devotional books and daily devotional cards on the theme Again and Again are available for pick up at the church in the Welcome Center.
Organ Recital
You are invited to 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
Easter Joy
Mark your calendars for our Annual Easter Joy festivities on April 3.  More information will come out as we get closer to this event. As of now we are planning an outdoor event complete with an egg hunt and some DIY crafts.
Prayer Vigil
The Deacons will host a prayer vigil on Saturday, March 27 from 8:00 am - 4pm. Sign up to walk the labyrinth, to pray at the church or pray at home. Sign up on Sunday mornings or contact the church office.
Wes Pres Wednesday!
Hey there! We are excited to be meeting in person for Wednesday nights! Masks are worn and we social distance for safety!
 
3 yr old – 8th grade and our Men’s and Women’s groups meet from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm.

Sr. High starts at 7:30.
Wes Pres Youth
We are so proud of all of our students who contributed to our Student Led Ash Wednesday service. Check out our social media platforms to re-watch our telling of Sarah Are’s poem, “Invited”, and our students goals of how they can deepen their relationship with God this Lent season!
While Lent is one of the most important seasons of the year for Christians all over the world, it can still feel tough to connect with God. We have begun our next Wednesday night series called, “Not Feelin’ It” that is continually reminding us that God is always faithful, even when we are not. Our emotions can betray us, but God’s promises remain true. We were created with a mind and emotions, and both can be used to worship and serve God. Jr. High kicks us off at 6 PM at Westminster with Sr. High follows at 7:30 PM.
ALL are welcome!
We are so proud of two of our upcoming confirmation graduates who met with our session in February. They were courageous in asking questions and filled with joy for their time at Westminster while sharing their memories. We are so grateful for their loving hearts and look forward to all they will accomplish in the future!

Erica Rissi 
Weekly Zoom Morning Bible Studies
Women’s Monday Morning Bible Study starting at 9am with Rev. Cathy Young. This group meets every other Monday. Next class is March 15.

Men’s Wednesday Morning Bible Study starting at 9am with Pastor Dan.
Contact jodi@wpcw.org to be added to the weekly Zoom link reminders.
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.

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                                         
From the Finance Department
Giving
If you would like to support the work of Westminster, you can do so at wpcw.org/giving any time.
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 have distributed food boxes to 178 individual households to date. We are averaging 50-60 per opening.
Worship In Person or Live Stream
We worship in person each Sunday at 10:00 am or you can view 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 March 21 - discussion on “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett.

On April 18 - “Where the Crawdads Sing” – by Delia Owens
Session Minutes
If you would like to read the Session minutes from the February meeting, click HERE
Tuesday, March 9Floyd Bumpers, Jr., LISW (Licensed Independent Social Worker) will present about "Religion, Spirituality, and Mental Health.” He has over 15 years of experience working with children, couples, and families. He is the founder of Hope Connection Counseling and Therapy LLC.; a Christian- focused, strength-based agency in Waterloo. 
 
PLEASE USE THIS EVENTBRITE LINK

TO REGISTER FOR THE MARCH 9 EVENT AND RECEIVE THE ZOOM LINK TO PARTICIPATE.
Visit us online at wpcw.org