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Westminster Presbyterian Church | Westminster Weekly Word | January 7, 2021
A Message from Gregory Knox Jones
As we take our first few tentative steps into 2021, I suspect most of us are expecting that the new year will be better than the last. It must be. Right? The pandemic continues to snatch lives and overwhelm health care workers, but help is on the way. The cavalry is coming in the form of vaccines.
Next Seven Days
TONIGHT: Thursday Evening Education Events Resume
Thursdays, January 7, 14, 21, and 28, 7:00 p.m. on Zoom
Join us each Thursday evening in January as Westminster member David McBride presents a four-part series, “Today’s Age of Conflict: Causes, Cures and Challenges,” offering insightful perspectives on the historical context of our current national conflict. January 7 – The heightened polarization and conflict of today is not unprecedented. It has happened in the past, and there are lessons to be learned about its causes, cures and the challenges to remedying it. Many believe those who disagree with them are the cause of the conflict, but this diagnosis misses the more fundamental causes that create the tensions evidenced by both sides.
Zoom Meeting ID: 860 2752 1655
“Bring It! Saturday” Details
Saturday, January 9, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. in the Westminster parking lot
This Saturday is our “Bring It!” collection event for Friendship House. Here are some additional details:
  • There will be three areas of collection: 1) Helping Hands: NEW gloves, mittens, and socks; 2) Clothing Bank Van: USED clothing and blankets; and 3) Coffee Supplies.
  • Park in the Westminster lot and bring your donations to the appropriate drop-off spot. There will be signs and balloons.
  • Remember to stay at least six feet apart and wear a mask at all times.
  • Donations of used clothing for the Clothing Bank should be in plastic trash bags.
  • Questions? Email Sandy King (sandyking@verizon.net).
Thank you for your support!
Worship Service in Our Sanctuary (January 10)
Sunday, January 10, 9:00 a.m.
Our sanctuary is open on Sunday mornings for one worship service at 9:00 a.m. Attendance is limited and an online reservation (one per family) is required. We have established a number of guidelines for your safety, which include social distancing and wearing a facial mask/covering. The liturgy will be emailed to you after you make your reservation to print from home and bring to the service or to pull up on your mobile device; a limited number of printed copies will be available. The decision to attend in-person worship rests with each individual. Livestreamed and recorded options continue to be available on our website.
A Special Education Opportunity
Sundays at 1:00 p.m. – January 10, 17, and 24 (new)
Much of the racial turmoil in our country today can be traced directly to elements of our history, even before the founding of the United States. Many of the racial stereotypes we hear – or hold – are a direct consequence of intentional economic and public policy. Understanding this history gives us a foundation for action to address the profound inequities that exist in our society today. This series of seven one-hour classes, hosted by The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew, includes both presentation and discussion. Please join us! (January 10: Mass Incarceration & The War on Drugs)
Do You Make Recurring Online Pledge Payments?
Are you one of our faithful who gives regular donations online? Please remember to update your periodic payment amount to reflect your 2021 pledge. You should do this by January 13, 2021. Go to www.wpc.org and click "Donate Now" to log in. Under "My Scheduled Transactions," click Edit and update the dollar amount only if necessary. Please do not add a transaction (unless you have deleted the existing transaction). Contact Colleen Falasco (cfalasco@wpc.org or 302-654-5214 ext. 131) if you have any questions.
Coming Up
Worship Service in Our Sanctuary (January 17)
Sunday, January 17, 9:00 a.m.
Our sanctuary is open on Sunday mornings for one worship service at 9:00 a.m. Attendance is limited and an online reservation (one per family) is required. We have established a number of guidelines for your safety, which include social distancing and wearing a facial mask/covering. The liturgy will be emailed to you after you make your reservation to print from home and bring to the service or to pull up on your mobile device; a limited number of printed copies will be available. The decision to attend in-person worship rests with each individual. Livestreamed and recorded options continue to be available on our website.
Join Discernment Team in Discussing God in our Midst
Sunday, January 17, 11:00 a.m. | Sunday, January 31, 1:00 p.m.
via Zoom
The Discernment Team is reading Grounded by Diana Butler Bass and wants to discuss the idea of finding God in the world and at Westminster with you. "Grounded ... an anthem to the sacred unity of the physical and the spiritual in the formation of human faith and in the maturation of the human soul." You can listen to Butler Bass' interview in the Washington Cathedral on YouTube. Hope to see you on January 17 and/or 31 with your beverage of choice for one hour of robust discussion on the future of Faith, Church and Spiritual Engagement.
Virtual Trivia Night Returns!
Wednesday, January 27, 7:00 p.m. on Zoom
Join fellow Westminster members in a friendly and fun competition via Zoom. January’s trivia theme will be all things DISNEY! We will use a game platform called Kahoot! No trivia experience necessary to play. All ages and families welcome! Two devices – phones, iPads, etc. – recommended for ease of game play, though not required. Questions? Email Jenn Blackford (blackfordj11@gmail.com).
Taste of Guatemala: Virtual Chocolate Tasting and Celebration
Thursday, January 28, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
The Guatemala Partnership of New Castle Presbytery invites you to an evening filled with sweet bites, celebration and camaraderie! Registration is $52 per household. This includes: four hand-crafted Guatemalan/Nicaraguan chocolate bars from Triangle Roasters and Diego's Chocolates (delivered right to your front door), an interactive tasting with chocolate sommelier Estelle Tracy of 37 Chocolates, a virtual journey to visit with our partners in Guatemala and see their work in action, and a $20 tax-deductible donation. Makes a great "date night" or "family fun night." All are welcome!
Sarah and Her Sisters – New Book by Member of our Church Family
When newly married Sarah Smith arrived in Beirut in 1834, she was appalled by the ignorance and ill treatment of Arab women and girls. Well educated for her times, she was not content just to keep house for her missionary husband. Rather, having taught Mohegan Indians in Connecticut, she opened a school for girls that began the transformation of education for Arab females. Our own Bob Stoddard has written this extraordinary book that tells the history of Lebanese American University.
Sanctuary Flowers Needed
Dates available in January and February
Consider giving the flowers for Sunday worship to remember or honor loved ones or to celebrate an event, while expressing praise and thanksgiving to God. Please contact Linda Watson during business hours at (302) 571-6719 or lwatson@ycst.com. The next available dates are January 31; February 7 and 28.
Featured Photo
Westminster member Baden Saathoff works in the new video equipment area for our livestreamed worship services. Many thanks to all of our videographers – Chip Pfleegor, Roger Reinicker, Baden Saathoff, Aaron Wemhoff, and Sophia Wolff – for their dedication and expertise!
News to Note
Plastic Bag Ban
Delaware's plastic bag ban is now in effect. Large stores and small stores with three or more locations in Delaware may no longer provide plastic bags. Customers may bring reusable bags; DNREC recommends disinfecting these after use. Affected stores may offer paper bags or thicker reusable plastic bags. They must also offer an At-Store Recycling program for single use plastics such as newspaper bags. The intent of the ban is to help the environment by reducing the number of plastic bags on our roads and waterways and to help recycling facilities, which have to shut down when plastic bags get stuck in the machinery.
"Clark House" is Dedicated
On Sunday, December 13, a small group gathered to dedicate the Westminster property at 1307 N. Rodney Street as “Clark House,” our third transitional housing location in partnership with Friendship House (FH). This dedication honors late Westminster member Jim Clark, whose commitment to FH and our Burton House Program was pivotal in establishing our shared outreach to those experiencing homelessness in our community. Jim’s wife Jeannice and their daughter Sally were present, as were FH founders Bill and Marcy Perkins. Westminster members and FH Executive Director Kim Eppehimer shared thoughts, and Greg Jones offered a dedication prayer. How blessed we are to serve those in need.
Transforming a House Into a Home
The property Westminster acquired at 1307 N. Rodney Street this past July has been transformed into a warm and welcoming home, ready for the residents who will live here as they continue their journeys to independent living. We are so grateful for the incredible work of Joyce Ruston, Director of our New Life Furnishings ministry, and her “team” of Jim and Polly Pyle-Carter, Mike and Shelley Gnade and Jeff Lippincott, who received and arranged all the donated furniture and household goods. We express deep gratitude to everyone whose donations made this transformation possible.
Cope Purple Information
Code Purple, which provides sustenance and shelter to the homeless on frigid nights, has changed this year due to COVID-19. Friendship House has been asked to coordinate the entire program for New Castle County, an exciting but enormous undertaking. On December 10, an information session was held (via Zoom) to provide the details on Code Purple. This session was recorded and now available for you to watch. In it, Friendship House Executive Director Kim Eppehimer outlines the new Code Purple and answers questions from attendees. It is enlightening and informative and provides the background so that we as volunteers can answer the call to serve.
Did You See Our January/February Newsletter?
The January/February 2021 issue of our newsletter, The Westminster Chimes, is available online! We are starting off the new year with hope, inspiring news, a column from Greg Jones on lessons learned in 2020, and much more.
Did You Know?
You can get to our YouTube channel in one click from the homepage of our website. Go to www.wpc.org and click on the red YouTube icon on the right side of the page. Our YouTube channel has all of our posted services, the livestream for Sunday mornings, Time with Our Children videos, the Bible Box series, adult education, peace and justice offerings, and more. It is a wealth of content. Just go to www.wpc.org and click once!
Photo Prayer
Me and the Fish
 
The fish looks up at me and I look down at it, but I doubt that it looks up to me as any kind of role model, and I certainly do not look down my nose at it. If anything, I admire wild things. No clothes, no possessions, nothing put away, accepting whatever nature gives them, wholly reliant on chance or, I say, mercy and grace. We, too, are wholly reliant on you, Lord, but our dependence is often obscured by the many other things we rely on — family, community, civilization, and the ten thousand things we own. What shall we do? Throw it all to one side and live hand to mouth, never knowing what our next meal will be or where we might sleep? Would that make us more aware of your mercy and grace? No — we hold onto things and people, yet we pray anyway for that awareness — that life is tentative and precious, a blessing granted moment by moment.
 
Photo of fish in Lake Mead, Nevada.
Photo © 2015; text © 2020 Danny N. Schweers
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