“Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home.” Isa. 60:4
We begin our stewardship season this Sunday, October 14, with a sermon and worship series based on Jesus’ parable of The Prodigal Son and exploring the theme, Finding Home. While we may think of “home” as a building or structure, home also includes a feeling of safety and security, a feeling of belonging, and a feeling of knowing that you are cared for. For many, the journey to find home is a struggle.
This feeling of home is overflowing at Westminster, present in God’s abundant and unconditional love for us, providing security, acceptance and forgiveness, and also empowering us to share God’s love and serve others. Whether through worship, music, our 20 Christian education teachers, our support of our immigrant neighbors, our home and hospital visits, our sharing God’s love with students and faculty at the University, our upcoming beyond Pink and Blue Conference, or our support of inmates in area jails and prisons – through all of these and more, your financial support helps us and our neighbors find home in God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness.
This week you will be receiving your annual packet of materials for the 2019 stewardship campaign. You will notice that the brochure is a little longer this year than it has been in the past. That is because the stewardship committee wants to ensure that you know in some detail how your pledges are supporting our many active ministries at Westminster (and the brochure could have been much, much longer!).
And what you’ll see in the brochure aren’t just any stories – these are Westminster stories. These are our stories in Music and Worship, Christian Education, Pastoral Care and Fellowship, Mission and Outreach – stories made possible because of your love of God and our neighbors. And, with your continued support in 2019, many more stories will be made, particularly as we call a new Associate Pastor to lead our social justice and University ministries.
Over the coming weeks, you will hear more details about these ministries and the Westminster stories that reflect our love of God and our neighbors, including an event in Fellowship Hall over the Sunday School hour on October 28. As we move toward Pledge Dedication Sunday on November 4, the stewardship committee asks that you prayerfully discern how you will practice stewardship this year. If you have not pledged previously, we ask that you faithfully consider whether, this year, you will be able to STEP IN to love God and our neighbors. If you regularly pledge – thank you, thank you! – and we ask that you faithfully consider whether you could STEP UP and increase your pledge for 2019 to an amount that reflects many of the blessings that God has bestowed upon you.
Your support this stewardship season will strengthen a feeling of home among us, welcome others to find their home with us, and help others to find their home through us.
To learn more about becoming a steward of Westminster’s ministries, please click here. We look forward to spending this stewardship season with you.
Jim Cauthen, on behalf of the Stewardship Committee
Join us on Sunday for Christian education at 9:30 a.m. and worship at 8:30 or 11 a.m. To start off the program year, you can choose from a variety of offerings, including a class on PCUSA’s 2018 General Assembly Gathering in June; a Group discussion of the novel, The Hate U Give by Angie Taylor; navigating the path of parenting with Faith and Family; or you may “sample the diverse and conflicting theological voices that vie for allegiance today” in Contemporary Theology. Our Opening Doors class welcomes all adults and is especially designed to accommodate those with mental and/or physical challenges.
PCUSA General Assembly
Sept. 16, Winston Barham, Room 209
Sept. 16 – Dec. 16, Chip Sanders,
Rev. Floyd Thompkins (and others)
Oct. 21, Library
Early Christians & their Jewish Milieu
Oct. 7 & 14, Earle Hilgert and Dick Riley, Room 209
Jesus’ Birth, from Tribal to Universal:
How Matthew and Luke Re-purposed Bethlehem for the World.
Dec. 2, 9 & 16, David Garth, Room 209
Tuesday Evening Bible Study
2nd Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 11,
7 p.m., Barbara Deaver, Lower Lounge
An Italian Journey: Sept. 30,
Ken Henry, Room 209
Your Brain and Spirituality:
Nov. 4 & 11, Abe Hostetter, Room 209
The Hate U Give: Group discussion of the novel by Angie Taylor
Sept. 16 & 30, Oct. 7 & 14,
Sarah Bedford, Zanne MacDonald, and Gail and Ron Wiley, Library
Food Justice: Is enough food to thrive a universal God-given right?
Oct. 28, Nov. 4 & 11, Jim Hassmer, Library
Prophets for Our Time: Speaking Truth to Power.
Nov. 18, Dec. 2, 9, & 16, Gene Locke, Library
Faith and Family: Sept. 16 – Dec. 16, Adrienne Kim Bird, Molly Peck, Elizabeth Schlipper, Derry Wade, Lounge
All Year, Room 208
Prayer Shawl Ministry: 3rd Mondays, 6:30 p.m., Beth Hochstetler, Lower Lounge
Westminster is a fully welcoming and inclusive Christian faith community serving the University of Virginia and the greater Charlottesville and Albemarle areas. [Read more…]
“Kirk” is the Scottish word for “church.” UKirk means university church.