March 26, 2021

Dear friends and fellow disciples,

I have two quick things to share with you in this crazy time.

Number one: Come see us during Holy Week. It's the most important week of the year for Christians, and we have a wonderful set of ways to be drawn into the drama and majesty of it all. On Palm Sunday, come to campus for our "Journey to Easter" event from 1:00-3:00pm, to experience a series of prayer stations, see staff and members of your church family, and pick up supplies for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. 

On Maundy Thursday, tune into YouTube for worship at 730 pm. On Good Friday, you can come back to campus for a meditative service in the Courtyard at 12:00 noon. Sign up here.

On Easter morning, we'll welcome you to the Courtyard again for worship at 8:30am, with the same liturgy and sermon as the 11:00am online service and a trumpet to greet you! Please sign up, and make plans to join us.

With state and local restrictions relaxing, we can have more people at our outdoor services – 75 now! If you have been waiting to sign up or worrying about taking a space from someone else, you can set that worry aside. Please come and join us. I very, very, very much look forward to being together.

The second thing: We come to this Holy Week with grief. Grief in our lives, grief because of COVID-19, layer upon layer of grief for what we have missed, and everything has changed. But, as we saw last week in Atlanta and this week in Boulder, some particularly horrible things have never left us. We stand with our Asian-American and Pacific Islander siblings in Christ against racist hatred. We stand with our friends in Boulder, families with broken hearts and torn lives. And we yearn for a world in which this kind of violence no longer occurs, in which there is no longer such easy access to weapons, in which we no longer shrug our shoulders and so quickly move on.

Let's bring all of this to God as we approach this holiest of weeks, praying for the Spirit to guide us.

Westminster This Week – Quick Links

Worship on March 28 – Palm/Passion Sunday
Holy Week at Westminster
SUNDAY: From Palms to Passion – Join the Journey to Easter, 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. This afternoon, 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! (No sign-up needed)
SUNDAY: Online Discussion of "The Mill & the Cross," 7:00pm 

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. We've expanded attendee capacity – sign up now!.
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 Morning Worship, 8:30am, Courtyard
Worship the Risen Lord with your Westminster family. Newly expanded capacity – sign up now!

Easter Sunday Worship, 11:00am on YouTube  
Resurrection of the Lord, Communion Sunday, and special music
Please support Westminster's 2021 Easter Offering Recipients
Join the Westminster CROP Walk Team to Fight Hunger 
An invitation from Neil McElroy, WPC Team Captain

Hello, Westminster Friends! This is Neil McElroy with an important message. It's that time of year again – well yes, March Madness – but I'm here to talk to you about the 47th annual Durham Crop Walk for Hunger. The Crop Walk is an annual event that raises money and awareness for the hungry individuals here in Durham and for those throughout the world. Like last year, this walk will not be an in-person event as a congregation, but will be at your own pace, on your own time, and for any distance from April 10-18.

Sign up as a walker on the WPC Durham team or make a donation today to this wonderful cause! In past years, Westminster Presbyterian Church has led the charge in donations, and we are hoping to raise more than $10,000 in 2021. We can't do it without your help, so please click the button below to support CROP Walk as a team member or as a financial supporter. Thank you!
NEW: Westminster Allies Workshop
Mondays, April 19 - May 16 at 7:00pm

Race and cultural diversity are part of everyday American life. The complex and dynamic realities of every individual walking around on this planet is constantly pushing and challenging against a greater responsibility – to walk in the light that Jesus intended for us. 

Talking about race can bring up feelings of discomfort, shame, fear, and confusion. Westminster affirms the obligation to Christ to actively participate in the work required to challenge and dismantle racism. Led by Stacy Whiteknight, the Westminster Allies Workshop will be an interactive workshop-style class providing a brave space to learn, explore, and discuss the facets of contemporary racism. At the end of this five-week class you will:

  • Understand the differences between bias, diversity, equity, equality, racism, justice, and so on.
  • Explore “whiteness” and the outcomes and behaviors that cause harm to others.
  • Define concepts of “blackness” and how we see and interact with BIPOC bodies in our world based on a historical stigma.
  • Explore our relationships and how we use our positions of power to oppress others.

As we understand our roles and contributions to white supremacy, this brave space provides the opportunity to create a solid baseline of understanding. Whether these concepts are new to you, or you consider yourself an ally or activist, all are welcome to participate and contribute in this space. By attending this class at Westminster, you will find a supportive community where we champion a humble and curious approach to pave an actionable path to pursue social justice.
About the Facilitator: Stacy Whitenight is actively engaged in antiracist work between work and community. In addition to facilitating this class, she leads a Latina Women Leadership chapter, co-hosts the Bossy Bees podcast, and is a commissioner for the City of Durham Human Relations Board.