This year Westminster will host the PACEM (People and Congregations Engaging in Ministry) men’s homeless shelter, March 9-23. Based on previous years, we will likely host 40-50 guests each night in Fellowship Hall. This ministry is one of the best ways that we can fulfill our Christian commitment to love all our neighbors. It’s a pleasure to get to know our guests and share time with them. To volunteer during PACEM, click here.
Archives for January 2019
Weekly Classes – Sundays, 9:30-10:30 am
Old Testament from Scratch (January, 20, 27, February 3, 10, 17, 24, March 3): This seven-week class provides an introduction to the books of the Old Testament (also known as the Hebrew Scriptures) from Genesis to Malachi. The class will explore the instructions to God’s people (the Law), the origins of humanity and the Hebrew people, the narrative of God’s mighty acts of salvation from the Exodus to the Return from Exile, the words of the Prophets and the varied collection known as the Writings. The class will use the book, The Bible from Scratch: The Old Testament for Beginners, by Donald L. Griggs, a retired Presbyterian minister and educator. The book will be available for purchase in class. The class will be led by Lynne Clements, Hal Collums, Rebecca McGregor and Barry Parks. (Library)
Louise Penny Book Studies (January 20, 27, February 3, 10): Penny says her award-winning crime novels are “not at their heart about crime, but instead about belonging, community, friendship, and love, in all its forms.” Join us for lively discussions of the author’s first novel, Still Life (2005) and her most recent mystery, Kingdom of the Blind (2018). We’ll explore how the main character Inspector Gamache’s deep-seated core values influence his decision-making when confronted with ethical dilemmas. And while both novels transport us to the small, charming Canadian village of Three Pines with its colorful and eccentric characters, they also promise to take us to spaces deep inside ourselves, quenching our thirst for the existence hope, goodness, and grace in our sometimes cruel and complex world. The discussion will be facilitated by Betsy Donohoe. (Room 209)
Poetry of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) (February 17, 24): This will be a two Sunday offering. On February 17, Jack Townsend will discuss historical background, including some of the oldest poetry in the Hebrew Bible, and some features of Hebrew Bible poetry. On February 24, Ken Henry will discuss how biblical laments connect with our own laments, griefs, and tears. (Room 209)
A Touch of Sage-ing (March 3): Sage-ing is looking at life in a new way as we grow older, a practice that involves sharing the wisdom of our lives, transmitting that wisdom as a legacy to future generations, and giving back through service. Join Lynn Moore, Ph.D., a certified Sage-ing leader, for this informative class introducing Sage-ing. (Room 209)
Coffee with the Pastors (March 10 or 17): Coffee and conversation with Ken and Lynne (Room 209)
Creating a Culture of Generosity (March 10, 17, 24): Dr. Deborah Rexrode, the Associate for Stewardship for the Presbytery of the James, will be leading this three-week class addressing the following questions — What does scripture tell us about our role as stewards of God’s generosity? What choices do we make to truly experience abundant life? What are the tangible and intangibles gifts you offer to God through your own ministry and calling? Deborah has served the Presbytery since fall 2015, working with congregations to enhance their Stewardship ministries. She has a Ph.D. in the Sociology of Religion from the University of Virginia, and her research was focused on stewardship. (Library)
The Use of the Bible in American Political Discourse (March 31) Professor Samuel L. Adams, Union Presbyterian Seminary: The Bible has been invoked throughout American history by political leaders, usually with different interpretations and aims. This session will consider the use of Scripture in American political discourse. After a brief historical retrospective, we will examine the ways in which the Bible is most commonly utilized in contemporary politics, not just the verses that are selected, but how they are invoked. Professor Adams is a professor of Biblical Studies at Union Presbyterian Seminary. He received his B.A. from Davidson College, M.Div. from the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D. from Yale University. As an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), he has served churches in New Haven, CT; Chicago, IL; and in Richmond, VA. (Library)
Ongoing Classes – Sundays, 9:30-10:30 am
Contemporary Theology: The class continues to read and discuss Constructive Theology: A Contemporary Approach to Classical Themes, edited by Serene Jones and Paul Lakeland. Subsequent studies will be determined by the class as we conclude the current discussions. (Room 207)
Faith and Family: No matter where you may be on the parenting journey, join us in an open conversation each week where we explore a variety of topics from screen time to cultivating gratitude and beyond. Together we will move through our collective hopes and fears, bolstered by fellowship and food. How can we guide our children to the light when it’s hard for us to see it? How do we raise our children to be caring, engaged members of the community in a society that emphasizes self-centeredness above all? Let’s look for answers together as we create a network of parents at WPC. Class leaders are Adrienne Kim Bird, Molly Peck, Elizabeth Schlipper, and Derry Wade (Lounge).
Opening Doors: The Opening Doors class welcomes all adults and is especially designed to accommodate those with mental and/or physical challenges. Music, fellowship, and sharing of biblical stories from both the Old and New Testament are the foundations of the class. Participants also have the option of sitting together during worship service. If transportation is needed, Jaunt service usually is available. Inclusion of all is the hallmark of the class. If you have questions, please contact Leanna Whitmore. (Room 208)
Classes Meeting during the Week
Learning from Life’s Transitions (Thursdays, March 14, 21, 28, April 4, 11 at 10:30 a.m.): Dealing with life transitions can be a daunting task. Whether it be a change in our health, moving into assisted living, adapting to our rapidly high-tech world, struggling with a change in finances, growing older (and wiser), or grieving the loss of a life partner or dear friend, we all face transitions. For five weeks during Lent, Stephen Pfleiderer and Ken Henry will be leading a small group which is open to anyone seeking spiritual support. Over the course of one hour, we will listen, learn, support, affirm, and lift each other in prayer. Please think about making this weekly commitment a Lenten discipline. (Lounge)
Tuesday Evening Bible Study: The Women’s Tuesday Evening Study Group meets on 2nd Tuesdays of the month at 7 p.m. in the Lower Lounge. The series continues through May 14, 2019 using the Horizon Bible study, God’s Promise – I Am with You by Amy Poling Sutherlan. The study books, by group agreement, are large print versions, and copies are available from Barbara Deaver for $15. For more information, call Barbara, 973-3819.
Westminster Prayer Shawl Ministry: The prayer shawl ministry meets the 3rd Mondays of the month from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Lower Lounge. For more information, contact Beth Hostetler.
The numbers cry for help: An average of 100 people die by guns every day in America, including six children. This year as usual our Virginia Capitol grounds hosted advocates on both sides of the gun debate for Martin Luther King Day. A handful of Westminster members were among 22 folks representing the Charlottesville Coalition for Gun Violence Prevention (CCGVP) at the Richmond rally for sensible laws to reduce gun violence.
Thanks in part to our congregation the bus ride was free. More importantly we’re developing common cause with other people from the League of Women Voters, Moms Demand Action, and others.
The argument over gun rights mixes religion, safety, sport and politics. The outcome depends on two factors: Which values have priority? And, can we listen to each other constructively? Christians can help the conversation when talk to each other as we want others to talk to us.