Friends and fellow disciples,

Here is an update from me, but PLEASE read all the way down - there is a lot of exciting stuff in the works, friends. 

On August 17th, I emailed you with an update on our family (visit https://durhamtuttles.com/ for ongoing updates). It has been a difficult few weeks as our son begins chemo, but we have been buoyed by your support and love, over and over again. We are so grateful for your love, for food and gift cards and constant prayers, for texts and emails we haven't yet been able to return. As I said in last Sunday's sermon, Christian love in community absolutely changes the world. Thanks be to God for that, and for you.
 
I also told you in that email that I was working with the Personnel Committee to think about how to reduce my responsibilities for the next few months to be present with our family. Their support has also been a gift. My job basically falls into three buckets: Leadership & Coordination, Worship, and Pastoral Care. I will keep working in that first bucket - keeping connected with your wonderful staff, the Session and key committees like Ways and Means and Stewardship, as well as our continued planning in response to the pandemic and our collective long-term vision for WPC. As is possible, I'll be around in the office during the week some, and on email some as well.  
 
In the second area, I am not going to be leading worship at least through to end of September, to be more present at home as well as reduce our collective exposure to groups as his immune system becomes a bit more compromised. Cherrie and Alex will be picking up additional preaching and worship leadership slots, and we'll have several guest preachers throughout the fall. 
 
Alex preached this past weekend, and Cherrie will lead us during this Sunday’s Rally Day - which is a crucial day for all of us. I look forward to hearing about the celebrations as we re-connect and begin jumping into all the opportunities for faith formation that our Christian Education teams have been hard at work planning. Then on September 19 we'll welcome the Rev. Joe Clifford, from Myers Park Presbyterian in Charlotte, and on September 26 we'll welcome the Rev. MaryAnn McKibben Dana, a gifted pastor and author who also led our women's retreat a few years ago. Both are dear friends from my preaching group who are eager to help support us all in this time. And while I really want to stay connected with how you are doing, I'll step out of much in-person pastoral care, though that is more and more in the hands of your gifted pastors and the Congregational Care team.
 
We have an extraordinarily talented staff team, and your support of them, as they support all of us, means the world to my family. Please check on them, encourage them, ask them how you can help be a partner in the work they are doing. The Personnel Committee will tell you a little more of their plans and how you can help below. 
 
Another way for us to help each other is to decide that now is the time to actively step back into Westminster. To worship – live or livestreamed, to a class, whether it’s part of Rally Day or afterwards. As always, we need to support and care for each other as we celebrate that we are a community, and a covenant people. It is an important and exciting time, and the whole church needs your renewed commitment.
 
If we stay on track with chemo, Heath's last treatment will be at the very end of December, which means this step of the process will consume the entire fall for us. Another one of the difficult elements of this is that we simply do not know what to expect. In each of the past few weeks we have had a couple of really good days, and a couple of really difficult ones. I am confident we'll need to continue to adjust as we move forward, and I'm grateful for your grace. This is a journey no one wants to be one - a journey I know some of you know intimately. But we take great comfort in our amazing medical team, and the love of saints like you all - and the God who holds it all.
Chris
 
 ~~~
 
Our fellow WPC members,
 
As we all continue to demonstrate to Heath, Chris, Carrie, Ella Brooks, and Wilson that we don’t go alone, the Personnel Committee has organized ourselves to help pick up some of Chris’ responsibilities. Most importantly, providing additional support and care for our wonderful staff so that they can lead us through these upcoming months.
 
Know that as our staff helps us, we have the great opportunity to help them and each other navigate the joys, complexities, and challenges of our intertwined lives. For our staff, who are not only dealing right now with Chris’ reduced role but also with personal situations that require their time and focus, the most immediate way of helping is having an extra order of grace in making church-related requests. Including the scheduling of activities, meeting room requests, supporting WPC’s covid guidelines, and the like. Providing extra time for our staff to respond and address these requests, will help everyone, and is greatly appreciated.
 
We can also use your help, talent, and time, especially now as we get ready for Rally Day and the weeks and months beyond. We’re actively seeking volunteers in areas that greatly need your support. Helping to publish our newsletter and other communications or serving in the roles needed for our worship services, support for our expanding set of office work needs, or simply proactively checking in and connecting with each other and the communities we serve. If you can help or would like to learn more about opportunities for connecting with others, please email us at connecting@wpcdurham.org.
 
In supporting each other and our staff, we’ll not only be helping each other and our fellow Westminster family, we’ll also be demonstrating our love and care for the Tuttles. Showing yet again, that we are a community, a covenant people, and that none of us need to go it alone.
 
Thank you,
 
Suze Bear, Dave Mountain, Bill Pogue, Jennifer Feiler, Mary Beck Sutton, Michelle Ferguson, and Russ Lange 
Are You Ready to RALLY? 

Westminster, it’s time to rally! It’s time to revive, restore, recover and reassemble as the community of faith, a community ready to do and be all that God has called us to! For many, Rally Day marks a new start, a restart, or a renewal of our commitment to the life of Christian discipleship. This year’s Rally Day, September 12, will be both celebrative and informative… and mainly outdoors! We hope you’ll come! 

Rally Day Schedule:
9:45am Lawn Games, community crafts, light refreshments 
     Registration & Information tables (courtyard + Fellowship Hall Terrace)
10:10am Welcome and introductions (courtyard)
10:30am Children’s & Youth Classes meet their leaders (outdoors)
   Adult Faith Formation Classes and Learning Opportunities
11:00am Worship for all ages
   Godly Play Begins (Parlor)
Westminster This Week – Quick Links

Worship at Westminster, September 12
  • September 12 - Rally Day / Genesis 1-2.4 "God's Good Creation"
  • 9:00am Nursery - Mission Center, Room G7
  • 11:00am Worship - Sanctuary and YouTube
  • Worship Bulletins and Weekly Devotionals
  • Westminster's YouTube Channel
  • The Narrative Lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. On the Sundays from September through May each year the texts follow the sweep of the biblical story, from Creation through the early Christian church.  If you want to learn more about the Narrative Lectionary that Westminster is using in our Sunday worship and Christian Education program go to: https://www.workingpreacher.org/narrative-faq

  • Thursday, Sept 16 at 7 pm Fellowship Committee meets via zoom (contact Tom Tolley)
  • Sunday, Sept 19 at 5 pm Deacons meet on the Fellowship Hall
Jerry Rozak, beloved husband of Nancy Rozak WPC's former DCE, died August 29th. There will be a Memorial Service for Jerry on Thursday, September 23 at Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church, Scottsdale, AZ at 10 a.m. Donations in memory of Jerry may be sent to Saint Barnabas Foundation. You can reach Nancy at 8151 E. Del Caverna Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85258, nsrozak67@gmail.com.  
Godly Play Returns This Sunday

This Sunday morning during the 11am service, children ages 4 through 1st grade are invited to come to Godly Play! Godly Play is a Montessori-inspired method of teaching and learning that draws children into the stories and invites them to experience the Holy through creativity and imagination. Godly Play uses storytelling, reflection, art, writing, singing, and imaginative play to invite children into the story of God’s people – our story! 

NEW LOCATION: To provide as much space and air circulation as possible, we will meet in the parlor! After worship, please wait outside, just beyond the parlor doors. After receiving a blessing, your child will be brought to you one by one. 

New Music Elective for Children

We are expanding our offerings for children to explore God’s gift of music - and all without ANY SINGING! Learning and making music together grounds children and all ages in the words and themes of the Bible. The melodies and words stick with us throughout our lives. On top of all that, children get to experience the church as a joyful community of God’s love and welcome!

 In addition to our wonderful “Strings and Sounds” program, which returns for our preschoolers (age 3 through Kindergarten) every Sunday morning from 10-10:15am, we are offering a new short-term elective called “Joyful Noise Music-Makers”. This fun opportunity will give children in Grades 1-4 the opportunity to explore chimes, bells, and other percussion instruments including BOOMWHACKERS! This 7-week series begins October 3 from 9:30-10:00am and will conclude with an informal sharing time on Christ the King Sunday, November 21 at 10:00am. The playground is available for parent-supervised play-time for siblings. Music-Makers Leaders are Janet Whitaker and Ellen Vogel. Sign up here!
Fall 2021 Worship Volunteers Needed – Many Opportunities to Serve!

WPC staff and worship leadership are deep into fall worship planning and need your help! It takes a lot of volunteers to make worship happen! Please visit our online sign-ups to check out all the ways you can serve your church on Sunday mornings. We’ve grouped the volunteer needs by worship dates (rather than by role) to help you find multiple ways you can serve and maybe also partner with friends and/or family members to serve together. Sign up now at www.bit.ly/F21WorshipVolunteers11am.

We are especially in need of sound technicians and live stream technicians for our newly expanded Audio-Visual Team. Training is provided by experienced volunteers. Please contact Mark Hill (cmhill@gmail.com) if you are interested.
From the Racial Equity Team
Holy Circles: An Opportunity to Connect with the Spirit in Community

A Holy Circle is a way to listen to what the Spirit is saying around a particular subject area. It is a way of sharing what is in our own heart about the matter and listening for what is in the hearts of others. Circles are open to all members of the congregation on a strictly voluntary basis. You do not have to do anything to prepare for a Holy Circle. Simply sign up if you feel drawn to the topic that is the focus and come with an open heart. People speak what is alive in them around the topic and listen when others speak. There is no discussion, no agreements, or next steps at the end. There is simply giving sacred space for the Spirit to speak through us and to us. The Holy Circles convened this year are part of the Racial Equity Team’s effort to bring God’s guidance to efforts to end racism and bring God’s will to earth.        

The focus for our September Holy Circle will be what troubles us about race, the wisdom we already have, and what support we still need. Sunday, September 26 from 3:00pm - 4:30pm. Register here or contact Eileen McAvoy

This Fall: It’s ALL about Pauli Murray!

Join us as we do a deep dive into all-things Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray! Read more about them here or listen to this NPR podcast. Next, choose any of these great options to learn more:

  • Pick up a library copy of Pauli Murray’s biography, Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family. Contact Ruth Caccavale.
  • Proud Shoes Bag-lunch Conversation: October 17 after worship
  • Aperture with Jesse N. Huddleston on Pauli Murray: Wednesday, October 20
  • Visit to the Pauli Murray House: October 23 or 24 (tbd)

WPC Outing! Experience the Black Farmer’s Market! 

Join your WPC friends on a trip to the Black Farmer’s Market after worship on September 12! If you’re interested in carpooling, meet in the back parking lot near the basketball hoop at 1pm and sign up here. The Black Farmers’ Market happens rain or shine bi-monthly rotating between Durham and Raleigh to provide access to fresh foods from farms directly to customers. Questions? Contact Melinda Vaughn (mggj.vaughn@gmail.com).

Black Farmer’s Market Durham Location: Golden Belt Campus, 930 Franklin St., Durham, NC 27701
Praying for Others

Please consult the prayers & cares list to pray for many in our congregation who are having difficult times - and those who want to celebrate good news in their lives. Visit https://bit.ly/InOurPrayers to see the list of those who need prayers.
WPC Youth Group: Gearing Up for a Brand New Year!

Our leaders are planning a year’s worth of fun opportunities for our youth to connect in solidarity and fellowship. Mark your calendars now!

First Youth Group Meeting of the Year: Sunday, Sept. 12, 6:00pm-7:00pm
Sunday School and Youth Group are back! We’ll get together for an evening of reconnection and good times. We’ll have a youth parents’ meeting in the Sanctuary while the young folks are playing outside. We’ll discuss summer trips, Covid protocol, and answer all your questions about everything that Westminster has to offer for young people. If you’re the parent of someone in the Youth Group, please plan on attending.

High School Beach Retreat: Friday, Oct. 15-17
Hey high-schoolers, we’re headed down to Wrightsville Beach for a weekend of rest and reflection! Space on this trip is very limited. Registration begins Monday, September 13.

College Conference @ Montreat: Jan. 2-5
This year, all former youth who have graduated from high school are invited to attend Montreat’s College Conference. It’s sort of like the high school conference, only smaller and catered to an older crowd. We’ve rented a beautiful house and are looking forward to reuniting with you in the mountains. If you’re interested in learning more, please shoot Alex an email (alex@wpcdurham.org).

That’s only a small slice of all the things we’re cooking up for our WPC Youth Group, so get excited! Many prayers are going up for all of our youth starting a new year of school. Alex would love to hear how it’s going so far – call or text him today.
Youth Suite Renovation

Do you have couches, rugs, or throw pillows you are no longer using?
 
The Middle and High School Youth are working hard to renovate the youth suite. Most of the furniture is very old and worn and needs replacing. We are fortunate to have so many youth regularly attend Sunday evening youth group that we need additional seating. If you have any of the following items you would like to donate to our Youth Suite, please contact Wyndi Phillips at wyndi_mp@yahoo.com or Alex at alex@wpcdurham.org.
- Couches
- Large floor rugs
- Bean bags
- Throw pillows, pillow covers, or inserts
- Folding ping pong table
 
Thanks!
WPC Youth
Important Update on Iglesia Emanuel’s Food Ministry

Don’t forget! Beginning in September, Westminster’s volunteer sign-up will merge with Iglesia Emanuel’s main sign-up for its food ministry. The need for food has not gone away, so please continue signing up to help weekly or monthly. Sign up and details: www.bit.ly/IglesiaPresEmanuel