This week the choir sings two anthems, the first “Rejoice, Rejoice, the Savior Comes,” by William Tans’ur and arranged by Michael Burkhardt. Tans’ur was an eighteenth-century music teacher, bookseller, and composer in rural England. Born Tanzer, as an adult he changed the spelling of his surname and styled himself a “musico theorico.” His music has a forthright and somewhat unrefined character typical of rural English music of the time. The second anthem is “Mary’s Magnificat,” by the modern English composer Andrew Carter. The piece features a soprano solo, sung this week by Ellie Weikle, a Westminster member currently studying music at James Madison University, as well as a violin solo by Leah Patek, a junior at CHS.
Last week, as I was tapping out my sermon, I lifted my head and noticed where I was. I was in a student study carrel over in Alderman Library. But when I took note of my environment more carefully, I began reading all the student graffiti scrawled around me. Several anxiety-ridden UVA students had sat where I now sat. Writing papers and studying for exams, he or she had written (in pen and pencil and carved into wood and cinder block) existential musings. So, I composed this student psalm using their words:
Student Graffiti in a UVA Study Carrel
I need drugs.
I want nachos.
Why hast thou forsaken me?
Get busy living or get busy dying that why I’m busy studying.
God, I love physics.
I just want to graduate.
I’m here more than any other place.
Next year will be better, I hope.
Dear future UVA students who seek hope
Within the premise of this seat-
Good luck. You are going to need it.
Don’t forget to pray for our college students as they take exams and prepare for life.
Sunday, December 11—Lessons & Carols, 5:00 p.m.
Come and enjoy a traditional service of Lessons and Carols led by the Choristers and Singers choirs. Readings and carols retell the story of Christ’s birth, with candlelit singing of Silent Night. Following the service gather for a potluck meal and carol singing in the Fellowship Hall.
Sunday, December 18—Caroling, 3:00 p.m.
All are welcome to join in song and share carols with those in our congregation in need of Christmas cheer. Gather in the Fellowship Hall to get directions and song sheets. We will head out in cars to various locations and end up at Jackie Brownfield’s house for one last caroling stop and refreshments.
Saturday, December 24—Christmas Eve Worship Service, 5:00 p.m.
This child friendly service includes a pick-up Christmas pageant and candlelight. Arrive at 4:45 and gather in the Fellowship Hall to find costumes if you want to participate in the pageant. Young and old will enjoy this lively retelling of the Christmas story.
Saturday, December 24—Christmas Eve Worship Service, 8:30 p.m.
8:00 p.m. Organ prelude
8:30 p.m. Share the joy of the season in a communion service with carols and candlelight on this holiest of nights.
Sunday, December 25—Christmas Day Worship, 11:00 a.m.
Gather to celebrate the birth of Christ. Come hear the story and sing carols in morning worship.
Christmas Eve Choir
Join in the fun of being in the choir for Christmas Eve. Adults and youth grade 5 and up are invited to participate in a special choir that sings at the 5:00 p.m. service on December 24. Rehearsals are Sunday, December 18 12:15-1:15 p.m. and Thursday, December 22 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the Choir Room. On the 24th we will gather at 4:00 p.m. before the 5:00 service.
Thank You to the many church members who have already returned their pledge cards for the 2017 budget. As of November 28th, we have a total of $870,112 pledged from 214 of our members/families. The average pledge has been increased by 6% over last year’s amount.
We still hope to receive pledges from some of our new members and from over 42 of our members/ families who pledged last year. While we are most grateful for the support we have received to date, we are still short of our Stewardship Drive goal by $84,000 and will need to adopt a budget and modify our program plans for next year in early December based upon the pledges we have received by that time.
In the event that you have not made your pledge yet, there is still time! You may mail your pledge card to the church or place it in the offering plate during our worship services, or you may send your pledge to Steve Brown, our Financial Administrator, in a confidential e-mail at , or you may pledge on-line by going to the church website, www.westminsterva.org , and click on the “Giving” tab.
Thank you for your prayerful considerations and commitments for the coming year.
Lee Lewis and Steve Sherman
Stewardship & Budget
A string quartet heightens our worship experience this week. The lively Capriol Suite by British composer Peter Warlock appears in movements for the opening voluntary, communion music, and closing voluntary. Our opening hymn Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence will feature the strings and a choir descant on the last verse. The choir will also sing Prepare the Way, O Zion by Kenneth Dake with violin and organ.