Chris 2021 headshot
January 13, 2022

Hi friends,

Just when we thought things couldn't get more strange...there is a winter storm coming our way. We don't know exactly what this storm will bring, but it does look like some wintry precipitation will begin falling early Sunday morning. So, to keep everyone safe, we are moving in-person worship to Saturday at 11:00am. Yes, you read correctly! We'll gather on Saturday, January 15, at 11:00am in the Sanctuary. Please come, wear your mask, and we'll worship together. The Rev. Dr. Vanessa Hawkins, Transitional Executive Presbytery for New Hope Presbytery, will be our preacher – She is great!

We'll record Saturday's worship and broadcast it on our YouTube channel on Sunday at 11:00am, the usual time. We're hopeful this arrangement is a win for everyone and keeps everyone safe. I look forward to seeing some of you at worship on Saturday and others of you on Youtube on Sunday. Grab a blanket, make another cup of coffee, send a note to someone you haven't seen in a while and ask them to join you. Thanks for your flexibility and your grace.

Peace to you all,
Chris
This Week's Quick Links

Worship at Westminster
SATURDAY, January 15: 11:00am Worship in the Sanctuary
SUNDAY, January 16: 11:00am Worship on YouTube
Guest Preacher: The Rev. Vanessa Hawkins, Transitional Executive Presbyter/Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of New Hope; sister of the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins

Special Thanks from Families Moving Forward
Thank you, thank you to everyone that filled a stocking or donated to the Families Moving Forward stockings. Your generosity is amazing. You all made the children's Christmas a little brighter! 🙂
Montreat's 2022 College Conference was a hit with these young adults from WPC!
Sue and Don Hallen loved being visited by WPC carolers last month ❤️
Children's Winter Coat Drive – Runs Through January 20
The Local Missions Committee is organizing a coat drive for Hope Valley Elementary School. They need a range of sizes – here are the specific needs: 
  • Two girl’s jackets, size 5 (kindergarten)
  • One boy’s jacket, size 5 (kindergarten)
  • One girl’s jacket size 6 (1st grade)
  • Three boy’s jackets, size 6 (1st grade)
  • One girl’s jacket, size 7 (second grade)
  • One girl’s jacket, size 8 (3rd grade)
  • Two boy’s jackets, size 8 (3rd grade)
  • A handful of boy’s or girl’s jackets to fit a 4th or 5th grader will also be helpful.
Please bring any gently used or new coats to the green donations bin in the Mission Center reception area. You can drop off your donation during church office hours: Monday – Thursday, 9:00am-5:00pm, and Friday, 9:00am-1:00pm. Please contact Carolyn Davidson (919-614-6223) or Don Hertzog with any questions. Thank you very much for your support of our neighborhood students!
Practicing Our Faith in The New Year
by Marietta Wynands

In preparation for an upcoming family book exchange, I scoured my at-home stash for a meaningful devotional that might support my son and his wife in their life of faith. I came across a book from the ‘80s by Cornelius Plantinga called Beyond Doubt. Typical of the faith education materials of that time and particular faith tradition, it sets out a devotional response to questions of faith in a very organized fashion, with a Scripture and creed for each of the 150 questions.  

Beyond Doubt… the assumption being that our comprehension and acceptance of these creedal truths will move unbelievers and doubters to certain belief and a faithful response of Christian living. In a time of pandemic, racial reckoning, societal anxiety, and depression, is such a certain faith even possible? In this new year, how might we hold on to – and perhaps even deepen – any shred of faith that we have left? Even while holding onto our questions and doubts, how might we open ourselves to the hope that we hold in this God whom the scriptures assure us “does not faint or grow weary” (Isaiah 40:28)? How shall we live now? 

Perhaps we begin with a simple step. Perhaps we begin a new practice or return to one that has long ago supported us. After all, isn’t Christianity really a way of life? Isn’t being a Christ-follower simply (though it isn’t simple) following in the way that Jesus walked? Dorothy Bass, co-editor of Practicing Our Faith and author of several books on Christian practices, describes a Christian practice as “...a set of activities Christian people do together over time to address fundamental human needs in the light of and in response to God’s active presence for the life of the world in Jesus Christ.” 

In this new year, and as we move into this Martin Luther King, Jr weekend, let’s turn once again to the way of the Pilgrim – the way of following Jesus, a way of living that transforms us and the world we live in. Of course, you can choose your own practice for a more solitary journey. But Westminster offers a variety of ways to join your faith community in solidarity and support. Follow through on the invitation from our Local Missions Committee to take up the MLK Challenge. Explore the way of Pilgrimage by joining Cherrie in a new small group starting January 23 on Zoom, or sign up to learn more from the author Rev. Paul Lang in our January Aperture. Set an intention to join the Durham Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope in April! In this new year, may we join the psalmist in praying and practicing: “Make me to know thy ways, O Lord; teach me they paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me.”
Take the MLK Day Challenge!
Individual and corporate service for others is an essential component of a Christian life well-lived and an important part of who we are at WPC. Covid however, means greater risk for our usual MLK activities of large group projects and sharing a meal indoors. So instead of a single day of service to honor Martin Luther King Jr., Local Missions is proposing a whole Month of Service in honor of MLK.

On any day in January do at least a three-hour project in service to others. Like what? Here are some ideas:
  • Provide for the needs of someone who can’t – yard work, transportation, cleaning
  • Organize a service project for the kids
  • Serve at a community nonprofit, such as Meals on Wheels, Food Bank, local schools, etc.
  • Visit someone who's homebound or spend interpersonal time with others in need
  • Do a needed project around WPC

Maybe consider doing something new or different. When finished, Local Missions would like you to record your service on this Google form. At the end of the month, we will celebrate together all that has been done and the many ways our congregation cares for others in our community.
Aperture: 3rd Wednesdays – Rev. Paul H. Lang: Preacher, Teacher, Leader 
Wednesday, January 19, 7:00pm, on Zoom
Our first Aperture of 2022 brings to us the Rev. Paul Lang, pastor of Cary Presbyterian Church and author of several books, including The PIlgrim’s Compass: Finding and Following the God We SeekRev. Lang will encourage participants to engage in a “heartfelt, joyful, and passionate faith which takes the need for and the possibility of a deepening of love for God, neighbor, and one’s self as real possibilities.” He challenges the church to create a “community…through which we learn to hear the call of God and respond in faith, journeying together with friends on the path to a Spirit-led and joyful life.” The discipline of pilgrimage is key for this work, and Rev. Lang will explore the meaning of pilgrimage and suggest the ways this discipline has unique potential to help the Christian community in the 21st century. Books will be available for purchase for $15 each. Register now
Sunday Morning Elective – The Pilgrim’s Compass: Finding and Following the God We Seek 
Begins Sunday, January 23, 9:45-10:45am on Zoom!
Led by Cherrie Barton Henry
Faith is both personal and communal. Come gain a pilgrim's heart as we journey through Paul Lang's The PIlgrim’s Compass: Finding and Following the God We Seek and explore the adventure of Christian discipleship. This class runs through March 6 during the Church School hour. Register now and order your book
Enjoy the “Ministry of Flowers” with the Flower Guild
Interest Meeting on January 23 after worship
Do you see the glory of God in flowers? When you see the arrangements in worship, are you reminded of God’s love and the beauty of God’s created world? If yes, the WPC Flower Guild invites you to join us as we gather to put together the arrangements for Sunday morning worship.

Get started by attending our annual meeting on January 23, following the 11:00 service in the Mission Center Room 105. Here you will learn about scheduling and signing up to help and will get an overview of how the Flower Guild operates. No flower-arranging experience is needed! We learn from each other and find this to be a relaxing mission that serves God and the church. It is also a good way to develop friendship and comradery among church members.

If you like what you hear at the January meeting, then come on Sunday, February 13 to participate in “Flower Arranging 101,” a how-to workshop led by Marty Warburton on the basics of flower arranging. Mark your calendars for these dates and please consider joining the Flower Guild. To sign up or learn more, please contact Bonnie Derr.
Spring Women's Retreat, March 11 - 13 at Holden Beach  
Some say hospitality is a special gift that some people have and some don't. But God's love for us is the greatest example of genuine hospitality. At the Spring Women’s Retreat, you’re invited to experience hospitality to God, from God, to ourselves, and to each other.

The Women’s Spring Retreat program will be held March 11-13 at Southern Charm House at Holden Beach and led by Margaret-Jean Junkin (M-J). M-J is a graduate of HeartPaths DFW spiritual direction program in Dallas, Texas, and holds a master's in Christian education. She currently works as a certified spiritual director in Frisco, Texas. M-J has a passion for listening to faith stories, noticing our encounters with God, and being an advocate as we journey through this thing called "life."

The cost of the Retreat is $80 per person, plus lodging. Register online by February 25. Of course, all plans will depend on the Covid situation. Questions? Contact Carol Mansfield
A Note from the Finance Office
Your year-end contribution statements were mailed and emailed this week. Please review them carefully, and be sure to contact us with any questions.