This Sunday the university students lead both the speaking and the music in morning worship. Musically, we will hear two Jazz pieces written by Spencer Hadley for trumpet and piano. Spencer will be joined by Garen Dorsey on piano. The anthem will be Away But Never Gone written by the Wailin’ Jennys, a female trio of singer/songwriters. Daniel Grotz will play Jesus Christ Is Risen Today by Belgian composer Flor Peeters on the organ. Daniel has also arranged the African-American spiritual Let Us Break Bread Together which will be sung at the 11:00 service. The final hymn is Amahoro, written by Tracy Howe Wispelwey. All off the university students will join together to lead the final hymn.
Archives for April 2017
Ecumenical Advocacy Days is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community, and its more than 50 recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. Through worship, theological reflection and opportunities for learning and witness, EAD’s goal is to strengthen Christians’ voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues.
This year close to 1,000 Christians came to participate in the EAD conference, which is organized around the theme, “Confronting Chaos, Forging Community: Challenging Racism, Materialism and Militarism.”
I was honored to lead music and write liturgy for the event and I pulled heavily from MLK’s speech, “Beyond Vietnam,” from which this year’s theme had come (this is the 50th anniversary of the famous speech).
As most of the conference was live streamed, I wanted to share a few highlights with you.
Lobby Day included visits to legislators of all 50 states and a direct action on the senate floor in which 7 faith leaders were arrested for praying for the budget process. Read more and see pics HERE.
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!
On Sunday, April 30, from 2-4 pm, at CitySpace, Charlottesville Downtown Mall: All are invited to attend a film, “Making a Killing,” about people across the USA who have been affected by gun violence. This film is sponsored by the League of Women Voters, and will be followed by a panel discussion. Please contact Susan Shome, 540-250-5946, if you want more information about this event.
This year, University Sunday, a week given to our university students to plan and lead us in worship, falls at the very end of the semester when we also say farewell to our students for the summer, and send our graduating students with prayers and blessing. This year we have 5 graduating fourth year students:
Renée Colligan, Spanish (co-enrolled in Curry School M.Ed.)
Martha Fulp-Eickstaedt, psychology and creative writing
Claire Hart, Art (co-enrolled in Curry School M.Ed.)
Betsy Petit, Biology
Renée Ritchie, Architecture
The community has grown very close over this past year and so its our sadness at saying goodbye to friends that often hits first. But these young people have also grown so much and the world desperately needs the hope, faith and gifts that they carry. So we also send them rejoicing for the work God is doing in them.
The students chose community and communion as the themes for this Sunday’s service. In addition to celebrating communion together as a community, we will also be blessed by their creative offerings and reflections including original creative writing, poetry, music and choral arrangements! They are quite the talented group. They are also a joy and so I hope that you look forward to worshiping together this Sunday and celebrating our university students and this cornerstone ministry of Westminster.
Items of business will include: electing the Class of 2019 and 2020 Ruling Elders, Class of 2020 Pastoral Deacons, and the 2018 Nominating Committee Elders. Childcare will be available for infants through Pre-K.
Here is the slate of officers with bios:
Ruling Elders, Class of 2019
Christa Livermon has been a member at Westminster for 18 years. She is married to Randy Livermon and is mother to Billy (19) and Anna and Garrett (15) Livermon. She teaches second grade at Brownsville Elementary school and enjoys reading, running, and gardening in her spare time.
Candace Spence is a Charlottesville native, but left after graduating from UVA and settled in Fredericksburg, VA, where she raised her family. She was an active member at The Presbyterian Church in downtown Fredericksburg, where she taught Sunday School, led Vacation Bible School and worked with the Micah Ecumenical Ministries (homeless services) and Food Pantry. She returned to Charlottesville in 2012 and joined Westminster Presbyterian Church. She is married to Dave Spence and together have 5 children: Chip, Ginny and Branner Johnston, and Caroline and James Spence. She recently started a new job at S&P Global as a Business Analyst.
Ruling Elders, Class of 2020
Jim Cauthen was born and raised in Charlottesville and was baptized and confirmed at Westminster. He and his wife, Helen, moved back to Charlottesville about five years ago after stops in Kentucky, New Jersey, and North Carolina, where he was active in each community’s Presbyterian Church. Jim commutes to New York during the academic year, where he is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. At Westminster, he’s served as an usher and PACEM volunteer.
Dana Eastman has lived in Charlottesville for over two years. She lives in Redfields with her husband and 3 dogs. She is a retired school teacher and has worked for a private caterer. Her faith is inspired by her parents who were devout Presbyterians and taught her to serve. She has served on the Worship Committee, Children & Family Committee, Membership Committee and taught Sunday School.
Dan Heuchert has previously served Westminster as an elder (1999-2002) and deacon (2013-16), as well as a youth leader and member of the PACEM, IMPACT, Prism, Mission Endowment and Peace & Justice committees. On weekdays, he is Assistant Director of University News at UVA and is a co-chair of Albemarle County’s 5th & Avon Community Advisory Committee. He and his wife, Lisa, are the now-empty-nesting parents of Michelle (24) and Jonathan (20). Dan, 53, can often be found in the stands at various sporting events, attempting to slow the aging process at ACAC and occasionally playing church softball.
Will Hochstetler joined Westminster in 1986. He is ordained as an elder, served on the PNC for Ken Henry and the Interim-DCE Search Committee for Lynne Clements. He has taught the J2A and YAC+ classes, traveled with them on a Pilgrimage to Colorado and Mission trip to Charlotte, is currently serving on the Youth Committee and previously chaired the Administrative Division. Will and his wife, Beth, have three grown children, Ben, Jake and Rachel, and he works at General Electric.
Jeannie Miller grew up in the Shenandoah Valley with her three brothers, and was a member of the Greenmount Church of the Brethren. This denomination taught her about peace, simple living and the foundation that each individual can have a unique relationship with Christ. She did undergraduate work at Bridgewater College and graduate work at James Madison University. She joined Westminster in 2015 with her spouse, Keri. Their son Bode is 18 months old and loves the nursery and his good teachers here. They hope he, too, will make his own personal decision about his walk with Christ.
Alyce Outlaw became a member of Westminster in 1990. She and Mark were married here in 1991 and their 2 children, Mac and Caroline, greatly enjoyed the children and youth programs at WPC. Alyce has previously served on Session and she currently teaches the 3rd and 4th grade church school class, is an usher team captain, and is on the Financial Review committee. She works in software sales for IBM, likes to run and loves to visit national parks with her family.
Ken Young has been a member of Westminster for approximately 17 years now. Ken and Laura have been long time residents of Charlottesville and are pleased to call it home. His work experiences have been varied, but for the most part, he has worked for non-profit organizations that served people with disabilities, in addition to assisting aid and relief organizations. He’s very proud of his international upbringing and feels that it has broadened his spiritual growth and journey as a Christian. Westminster has been a wonderful church home to his family and the special people here have been a true blessing in his life.
Pastoral Deacons, Class of 2020
Debby Garth chose to be called ‘Nana’ by her four granddaughters who enjoy much of her attention since she retired as a nurse. First elected a deacon in Portsmouth, VA, she volunteers with International Neighbors and gardens with her husband David. They have four children, a son and daughter in Charlottesville and two sons in California. She looks forward to joining the pastoral deacons, an opportunity she has not had in the past.
Cheryl Oliver and Elton, and their children, Zach, Will and Dora joined Westminster church in 1994. Cheryl taught pre-school Sunday school and has been a teacher for the Open Doors class for several years. She has been a member of several committees including Fellowship, IMPACT, PACEM and the Nominating Committees. She has previously served the church as a deacon and elder. During her term as elder she was the Session liaison for the deacons.
Rob Smith joined Westminster in the 1990s with his wife, Crystal. Their daughter, Anna was baptized here not long after her arrival from China. He appreciates worshipping at Westminster and loves his Westminster family. He is active in church missions and on committees. He has taught Sunday School, he helped to lead a J2A class and has gone on a pilgrimage. He is an elder and has served as a deacon previously.
Leanna Whitmore joined Westminster in 2016, but she and her husband, Lacy, have attended Westminster for over 30 years. They have both been very active at Westminster and involved in different capacities such as teaching in the church school program and serving on Mission and Outreach committees.
The Nominating Committee for 2018:
Nicholas Bird, youth
Taryn Cowles, youth
Plus two outgoing elders to be selected.