October 1, 2019
 
Dear friends and fellow disciples,
 
What a difference a year makes! Around this time in 2019, I was writing to you during a period that felt pretty overwhelming. There was so much change, and it was tough to imagine how things would go. But, as many of you reminded me last summer and into the fall, the Holy Spirit was at work.  God has been preparing a place for us .

A plan many years in the making, through much hard work and so many of your generous gifts, is moving forward with the construction of our new Fellowship Hall. We gave thanks for the old space, and now a plot of earth has been prepared for something new to rise up. New staff is coming on board to help guide our ministries into the new year and beyond. It is an exciting time!
 
There are a lot of physical changes happening around us. But we sense something more happening at a deeper level, change that perhaps we can’t see as clearly. What is the posture of our hearts at this time? What is God doing in us as we get ready to live into this new season together?
God is preparing a place for us  â€“ shaping us, teaching us, guiding us – a place that is lasting and true, both seen and felt. God is a God who never stays still, but pushes and moves, creating and recreating, forming and re-forming us each day. The physical changes only matter if we do the internal, spiritual work needed as well, allowing Jesus Christ to continue to shape us into the people and community we are called to be each day.
 
This fall’s Stewardship program,  Preparing a Place , will be a time when we can reflect upon our common life together and listen for the Holy Spirit’s leadings. Westminster is a congregation of generous people, who have invested much time and energy and work, but commitments of financial gifts are critical to the work of the future; in fact, none of it happens otherwise. We must all step forward to ensure our beautiful campus is taken care of for future generations, our talented staff are well-supported, our children and youth programs are strong, and the support for our community partners remains robust.
 
Over the next few weeks, you’ll see members of the Stewardship Committee out in worship sharing important information and resources with you, including FAQs about giving and stewardship, a discernment guide to help you reflect upon Jesus’ personal call to you, and a giving worksheet to help you calculate your 2020 pledge, and more.

As we journey through this season, we will seal our hearts with  31 days of prayer for Westminster , as we listen for God’s call to us. We aren’t praying for money or larger pledges, but that God might work God’s own purposes out through each of us.  I encourage you to   download the Prayer Calendar   now and let’s begin praying together through this season We’ll also have paper copies available for you at worship on Sunday.

Finally, mark your calendar for  Commitment Sunday on October 27 , when members of the congregation will come forward during worship to respond to God’s call to live and give generously as we dedicate our pledges to God.

Stewardship is an invitation to participate in the work of the Spirit at Westminster. Pledges help us build and plan as we move forward into God’s future together. We need every person, every family, to make a commitment. Why? Because God is, in God’s own heart, One who gives. We are called, as followers of this same God, to be a people who do the same. How will we respond?

Grateful to be on the journey with you,