This building, this sanctuary, our Church Home, where we are gathered this morning on Pledge Dedication Sunday is truly sacred space.
This church building has been constructed for the glory of God and for the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This $8.6 million-dollar facility is used in so many ways, both by our member congregation and the community at large. Westminster has been exceedingly generous in making our church available to so many organizations in support of our social justice, peace and benevolence programs. Some of the organizations making use of these buildings include; our child care center, PACEM, A-A local and regional meetings, Virginia Organizing, Mediation Charlottesville, Congolese midwife program, Immigration Peace and Justice Meetings, UVA’s after harvest program, concert benefits and many, many others.
For more than 50 years, our Common Grounds building has been the beginning home for Shelter for Help and Emergency, SARA, JABA, Jaunt, Aids Support Group, Habitat for Humanity, Building Goodness, Charlottesville Peace Center, and the city’s English as a Second Language program. We should be proud of our sharing of this unique sacred space with those in our community that call it home.
And let’s not forget that we baptize our children in this sanctuary, that we provide life grounding educational opportunities for youth and adults via our Sunday school program, that we provide wedding ceremonies for all persons, that we celebrate the lives of members and that we provide a lovely columbarium in our court yard.
Sometimes when we are so involved in our activities, we forget that this church is sacred space, dedicated to God’s honor and glory. And, sometimes we forget that it costs serious money and commitment to maintain this sacred space. In fact, the utilities and maintance costs together are a significant part of our budget at almost $140 thousand dollars, none of which is included in our benevolence budget.
We are extremely fortunate to have sextons Tom Mullen and Alonzo Williams under the guidance of Sandy Wilcox, our Church Administrator, who provide us with expert and timely maintenance and repair of our buildings and grounds.
So how will you serve and support our church home? Today I humbly ask you to remember the needs of this sacred facility as you contemplate your pledge for the new year. May all of us be good stewards of these sacred facilities that have been entrusted to us.
Let us pray…
Eternal God, whose glory cannot be contained by any building, may we be faithful in careering for this sacred space. And may this space offer a welcome to all who seek you here. May this sacred space be used as a gathering place for all people of goodwill. When we worship, let us worship gladly; when we study, let us learn your truth. May every meeting and gathering held here meet with your approval, so that these buildings may stand as a sign of your Spirit at work in the world and as a witness to our Lord and Savior. Amen….
Irv Cox, Chair of the Session’s Administration Division