March 11, 2021

Dear WPC friends,

As the Lent season finishes strong with our most vulnerable members becoming vaccinated, more of us getting our turn to roll up our sleeves, and Easter around the corner, we have determined that March will be the final month of contact by the WPC TREE.

On behalf of the WPC TREE, I want to thank you! Thank you for allowing us to invade your “space” via your phones, cellphones, and even your mail, to check in on you, to get some of your contact information correct, and hopefully, to help you feel that you are not alone, but are still connected to Christ’s family through your church. For all our successes in that effort, we are overjoyed. For all our failures at that mission, we beg your forgiveness.

For those of you who enjoyed every call; for those of you who helped us find alternative ways to check in with you via text or email or snail mail or by spacing out our contact; for those of you who felt shy talking to a stranger; for those of you who simply did. not. have. the. time. We thank you for it all. We believe and trust with all our hearts that God uses it ALL!

Thanks also for the brave people who took on this seemingly simple task of making contact with 8-10 of our WPC households. Their work was more difficult than might be assumed. There is no one (other than Jesus!) who fully knows everyone in this 900+ member congregation . . . not even your pastors! So picking up a phone, tapping out a text or email, or slipping a card in the mail with words you hope will be meaningful and arrive just when needed, takes more gumption than you might imagine. Some of our callers came to this task early, some came later to give others a reprieve, some stayed on much longer than they ever thought they would, none of us knew how long this would need to go on. If you have a chance, please take a moment or two to thank the person(s) who contacted you during this time. They are special people indeed.

Finally, we give our thanks and praise to God, who went before us, who mopped up after us, who used our willingness and our resistance to show us just how important we are to each other. It is our prayer that this is what will stay with us as we slowly –and safely – melt the icy hardness of our COVID winter and greet a new and hopeful spring.  
 
Courage and faith,
Cherrie
Westminster This Week – Quick Links


Worship on March 14 – Fourth Sunday of Lent
Daylight Savings Time begins this weekend. Don't forget to "spring forward"!
From Riley Meath: Thanks for a Successful Diaper Drive!
 
I just want to say thank you for all of your support for the diaper drive held this Wednesday at Iglesia Emanuel. I've tried to individually email and thank everyone who donated, but for those whose Amazon boxes didn’t include their name, please know that you have my gratitude. We were able to obtain and distribute more than 270 diapers to help lots of families! It was a major success thanks to the generosity of you, my church family. ~ Riley
Aperture on Wednesday, March 17, at 7:00pm
From Serbia to Bolivia to the American South – The Journey of a Skeptical Christian: What Does Micah 6:8 Mean to Me?"

“Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly.” These words have become Westminster’s vision for a full and demanding life of discipleship. But do we risk letting them deteriorate into a mere tag line with little significance? Known to his Sojourners classmates and friends as Chi, Dr. Chi-Cheng Huang has spent his life trying to live out this calling in all aspects of his life. Three years ago, when he and his family moved to the area, these very words drew him to become involved in Westminster, but it was a long and circuitous route to get here. Join our next Aperture to hear Chi’s fascinating story that took him to Serbia-Croatia, to the streets of Bolivia to help abandoned street children (see his book When Invisible Children Sing), to leave the church, and to return as a practicing Christian. Chi will share about his life journey, including the challenges of racism he has experienced here in our own community. Register now

Dr. Chi Huang has spent the last two decades as a practicing physician, health care leader, and social entrepreneur. Civically, from 1997-2015, he founded and ran the Bolivian Street Children Project/Kaya Children International, which addressed the needs of thousands of street children and child prostitutes. Dr. Huang has received numerous awards for his community service, teaching, and leadership such as the Harvard Medical School Golden Stethoscope Award, Boston University School of Medicine AAMC Humanism Award, and ACP Top Ten Hospitalist Award in 2018. Dr. Huang is currently an associate professor in internal medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, executive medical director of general medicine and hospital medicine shared services, and section chief of hospital medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Health System. He and his wife, Dr. Kristin Huang, have three daughters, two grandchildren, and two wonderful Australian Shepherd dogs. 
WPC COVID-19 Operations Update
From the COVID-19 Operations Committee: Andy Dunk, Kim Garcia, Jim Ketch, Russ Lange, Helen Tharrington, Chris Tuttle

At the start of 2021, group activities at Westminster were suspended due to worsening COVID-19 conditions as we followed the guidelines of a January 6 North Carolina Health Directive. With increasing vaccinations and falling infection rates, North Carolina rescinded the Directive on February 26.

Our campus COVID-19 operations are linked to our state and local health guidelines. With the change in their guidelines and in consultation with the Session, the COVID-19 Operations Committee has now reactivated the campus usage application program. This includes the use of our new Fellowship Hall (up to 25 people) and Calhoon Cabin (20 people) and outdoor gatherings (up to 50 people). You can find WPC’s COVID-19 Guidelines and Activity Request Form here. Thanks for your support as we move forward and please share questions and comments as you have them.
Holy Week at Westminster
From Palms to Passion ~ Join the Journey
Sunday, March 28, 1:00-3:00pm, WPC Campus

On the liturgical calendar, the Sunday before Easter is known by two titles: Palm and Passion Sunday. This day begins with the bright exuberance of processions and palms, yet shifts rapidly to the shadows of Jesus’ journey to his death by crucifixion. On Palm/Passion Sunday, come to the Westminster campus any time between 1:00 and 3:00pm where you will find a number of outdoor stations to help you reflect on the stories of Holy Week. Each will offer a brief Scripture, a question for reflection, and a simple activity. A guide for young children will also be offered so the whole household can participate together. Bring new socks and underwear for men, women, and children for donating to Urban Ministries of Durham. Pick up all of your supplies for Holy Week and Easter at the final station. Those who have trouble walking or are short on time may choose to just drive through and pick up a complete set of supplies at the Preschool entrance. Our program staff and WPC members will be on hand to greet and guide you. We look forward to seeing you!
Film Discussion: The Mill & the Cross
Sunday, March 28, 7:00pm, Online  

This powerful movie focuses on a dozen of the many characters depicted in Bruegel's painting, “The Way to Calvary.” The theme of Christ's suffering is set against religious persecution in Flanders in 1564. Watch the movie ahead of time, then join the online conversation to explore the connections to Christ’s call to follow as we do justice and walk in alignment with the vision of the “Kin-dom” of God.  Sign up now 
Maundy Thursday, April 1, 7:30pm, on YouTube 
Remember the intimacy of the upper room, the Last Supper, the words Jesus gave us, and his final hours on the cross.

Good Friday Worship, April 2, 12:00pm, Courtyard
Join us for this quiet in-person worship service of prayer and meditation. Capacity is limited to 40; online sign-up is required.
Easter Sunday Events

Flowering the Cross & Easter Story Stations, 8:15am - 1:00pm (floating), Memorial Garden  
Come adorn the large cross in the Memorial Garden with spring flowers from your yard. Children may follow the path to read 'Twas the Morning of Easter, filling their Easter basket with a spring surprise at each station! (No sign-up needed)

Easter Sunday Worship, 8:30am, Courtyard
Worship the Risen Lord with your Westminster family. Capacity is limited to 40; online sign-up isrequired.

Easter Sunday Worship, 11:00am on YouTube  
Resurrection of the Lord, Communion Sunday, and special music
2021 Easter Offering Recipients: Urban Ministries of Durham & One Great Hour of Sharing

Since 1983, Urban Ministries of Durham has been working to connect with the community to end homelessness and fight poverty by offering food, shelter, and a future to neighbors in need. It operates a campus in downtown Durham to comprehensively address the emergency needs of the poor, hungry, and homeless. One Great Hour of Sharing is an ecumenical effort by the PC(USA) to provide relief to those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and assist in helping to empower the poor and oppressed.
You may give to the Easter offering on our website or through your myWPC account. Or, text WPCDURHAM Easter and the dollar amount you’d like to give to 73256 to donate to the Easter Offering fund using your text messaging (standard text messaging rates may apply). You may also mail a check to the church office or drop it into the church’s locked mailbox (next to the parking area by the Courtyard). Be sure to write “Easter Offering” on the check memo line. Thanks!
Westminster is Hiring!

Westminster School for Young Children is currently seeking a Director for our half-day early childhood education program for children 18 months through Pre-K. Ideal candidates will have a background in early childhood education plus administrative and managerial experience. View the job description and application details. Feel free to spread the word in the community! The Preschool Director Search Committee hopes to have a final candidate selected by May.
Nominations for Elders and Deacons 

The Nominating Committee has begun its quest to identify five new elders (four adults, one youth) and eight new deacons (seven adults, one youth) to serve in the class of 2023. Elders compose the Session, the main governing body in the Presbyterian Church, and are responsible for worship, programs, finances, and facilities. The Diaconate largely guides WPC's mission life and the way we care for each other. Both work in partnership with the staff to discern and lead the mission and ministries of this place as we seek to follow Christ together. This is an important opportunity to serve the church in meaningful ways and be a part of God's vision for Westminster. Individuals who have an interest are invited to self-nominate, and the congregation is invited to submit nominations; please email them to nominations@wpcdurham.org. Members of the Nominating Committee are Kim Garcia, Geoff Vaughn, Jami Howell, Bo Ferguson, Rachel Chang, Duck Rufty, and Rayner England. Please reach out to committee members directly if you have questions about Elders, Deacons, and the nominating process.
Help Our Finance Team Solve a Mystery!

In late January, Westminster received shares of a mutual fund as a donation, but the name of the donor did not accompany the paperwork from the institution, so the identity of the donor is a mystery. Was it you? If so, please contact Sharon Morgan so we can properly recognize your gift.