This year the theme for the Worship & Music conference at Montreat is “Then Sings My Soul.” Please consider attending this exciting conference in North Carolina exploring the riches of God’s love, expressed in worship and music. The conference is open to adults and youth (rising 4th grade and up), with child care and camp experiences for infants and children too young for the conference. Housing can be found in college dorms, Assembly Inn, or in rented houses. The conference is offered twice: week 1 June 18-23 and week 2 June 25-30. Megan, director of Fine Arts will be attending week 2 along with our organist, Jonathan and their son Paul. Please email Megan for more information, or visit this webpage: http://www.presbymusic.org/montreat.html. Registration is currently open.
In case of snow, sleet, or freezing rain, we will air any cancellation on local radio and TV stations. Bear in mind that there are Westminster Presbyterian Churches in many other cities—including Waynesboro, Lynchburg, and Richmond. Please be sure you hear the announcement for Westminster in Charlottesville.
In addition, our website will have up-to-date information: www.westminsterva.org. Any weather-related changes to the worship schedule or other activities will be posted on the main page of our website.
The church’s voicemail message will also announce any cancellations due to inclement weather. People who have specific responsibilities—like church school teachers, ushers, musicians, sound system engineers—should check one of the above resources if there is inclement weather.
We hope we won’t be having inclement weather on Sundays, but please keep this information in mind if bad weather comes our way on the weekend.
The Congregation is urged to attend the Annual Meeting and Lunch
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Worship will be shortened to allow time for the Congregation’s Annual Meeting; childcare will be available for infants through Pre-K.
Items of business will include:
- Hearing a report on the 2017 budget;
- Election of two Trustees;
- Division Reports for 2016;
For your information:
- Covenant pastor’s contracts have been renewed for 2017;
- Pastor’s initial terms of call are set for 2017 as negotiated in 2016;
- There will be another congregational meeting scheduled in the spring to elect elders, deacons, and nominating committee;
- The Fellowship Committee will provide soup and beverage. Please bring bread, cheese, or fruit to share.
Please join us for information, food and fellowship!
As I begin writing this e-News article, it is with a heavy heart. I suppose, with the dawning of a new year, I should be more optimistic and full of vigor in light of the challenges of 2017. But yesterday, after getting word that Peter Ham had passed away, I felt like a balloon rapidly deflating, losing its air, the hiss of escaping breath. So, as I enter into 2017, my feelings are a mixture of gladness and sorrow. After all, in my two pastoral visits to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital to visit with Peter and Karen, I discovered a kindred spirit. Peter and I talked about the places we both visited in Alaska, the movies we loved, and music we listened to in our growing up years. On my second visit, I brought my guitar and sang a few songs. Peter told me the music helped him forget where he was. I sang some Kenny Loggins tune while doctors, nurses, family, and technicians filled the small room. We said a prayer together and I left hoping to see Peter again . . . and some day, I will. As I reflect on my all too brief relationship with Peter Ham, the words of Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 come to mind:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
As we embark on this new year, crafting our resolutions and plans, let’s not overlook or forget the contributions of people who have touched our lives. Remember, we are who we are because someone listened, nurtured, and encouraged us to follow our dreams. We can never underestimate how another person’s actions and words shaped and molded us. Peter Ham was one of those guiding lights. But there are others who have also “fought the good fight and finished their race” (see 2 Tim. 4:7). Certainly, Martin Luther King Jr. left a legacy for us to follow. Who gave you the strength to carry on? Who inspired you to love and care for those around you? Who helped you find God? As we enter into this new year, give thanks to God for that special person and be glad. For like the wise words of Ecc. 3 ff. state clearly: “there is a time to weep and time to laugh; a time to mourn and time to dance.” Thank you, Peter. Thank you for giving us your time. Ken
Announcing #EAD2017 National Gathering & Lobby Day
Confronting Chaos, Forging Community
Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice (EAD) is pleased to announce the theme for its 2017 national gathering, April 21-24, 2017. The theme is titled, “Confronting Chaos, Forging Community: Challenging Racism, Materialism and Militarism.” The theme builds open Dr. Martin Luther King’s final book and the fiftieth anniversary of his historic, final speech at Riverside Church in New York City.
“When Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. posed the question, “Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?” in his book of the same title 50 years ago, no one could have imagined that we would still be wrestling with this question today. In that same year on April 4, 1967, a year to the day before Dr. King was assassinated, he spoke at Riverside Church in New York addressing the intersectionality of “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism” as the principal challenges of the time. Five decades later, Dr. King’s prophetic insights and challenges – and the stark choice between chaos and community — are incredibly current.
Sadly, we have witnessed chaos in many of our communities, challenging us as people of faith to speak and act boldly and courageously to end racism, materialism and militarism.
Over the past year, our nation has experienced a divisive election in which racism, xenophobia, and religious bigotry were a constant. We still find racism an open wound in our nation, resulting in the disproportionate killing of black and brown bodies and stunting their lives through unjust economic and social structures. The militarization of our police is a reflection not only of broken communal values, but also a lopsided foreign policy that spends drastically more on defense than diplomacy or development. Militarism continues to be the United States’ overriding approach to resolving conflict, despite studies that show the effectiveness of peacebuilding and the power of non-violence. Extreme materialism threatens our souls and our very planet, as prosperity narratives and unchecked capitalism spreads despite overwhelming scientific evidence that our current path is unsustainable. As in Dr. King’s time, we teeter precariously between chaos and community.
A new time calls for new strategies. The dynamic movement of people of faith and conscience today to challenge these “giant triplets” of chaos is taking different forms from those of the civil rights era. But the same courage and commitment to bring about national and social transformation animates the new generation of activists. This year’s EAD gathering will address racism/white privilege, economic injustice and militarization at home and abroad.
Join us in Washington for “Confronting Chaos, Forging Community” from April 21-24, 2017 to grapple with the intersectionality of racism, materialism, and militarism, and learn more about the impact they have around the world, in our communities, and in our own lives. Through prayer, worship, advocacy training, and networking with other Christians, we will face the current manifestations of these ‘triplets’ and together advocate for change in public policy that better reflects the Beloved Community about which Dr. King spoke. After a weekend filled with education and training, Ecumenical Advocacy Days will culminate with a Lobby Day on Monday, April 24, 2017, where participants will converge on Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress. We seek to renew this revolutionary spirit as we affirm the vision of a day when ‘Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.‘” (Isa: 40:3)