Come enjoy a traditional service of Lessons & Carols led by the Choristers and Singers choirs. Readings and carols retell the story of Christ’s birth, with candlelit singing of Silent Night. Gather for a potluck meal and carol singing in fellowship hall afterward.
Join us to prepare the way through Advent — and celebrate Christmas: from the Advent Workshop on the First Sunday of Advent, all the way to Christmas Eve with a child-friendly service at 5 p.m. and a traditional candlelit service at 8:30 p.m.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 1
First Sunday of Advent
Worship at 11 a.m.
Advent Workshop, 9:45 to 10:40 a.m.
Wednesday, December 4
Fellowship on Tap, 5:30 p.m.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8
Second Sunday of Advent Worship, 11 a.m.
Session Meeting, 12:30 p.m.
Christmas Kick-Back, 1 p.m.
Open Study Hours begin, 2 to 10 p.m., and run through December 16
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10
Tuesday Evening Study Group, 7 p.m.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 15
Third Sunday of Advent Worship, 11 a.m.
All-Youth Brunch, 9:30 a.m. Common Grounds
Lessons & Carols, 5 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. Gather for a potluck meal and carol singing in Fellowship Hall afterward.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19
Christmas Eve Choir Rehearsal, 6 p.m.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20
Youth Christmas Party, 6:30 p.m. Common Grounds
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22
Fourth Sunday of Advent Worship, 11 a.m.
No classes for adults, youth, or children.
Christmas Eve Choir Rehearsal, 9:30 a.m.
Caroling, 3 p.m. All are welcome to join in song and share carols with those in our congregation in need of Christmas cheer. Directions and song sheets available when we gather in fellowship hall.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24
Christmas Eve Worship, 5 p.m. This child-friendly service includes carols and candlelight.
Christmas Eve Worship, 8:30 p.m. Share the joy of the season in a communion service with carols and candlelight on this holiest of nights. Organ prelude begins at 8 p.m.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER, December 29
First Sunday of Christmas Worship, 11 a.m.
Guest preacher, Colleen Earp
SUNDAY, JANUARY 5
Epiphany of the Lord Worship, 11 a.m.
Pick up a star word to guide your spiritual practice this year!
God willing, this Sunday afternoon I’ll be installed as one of your pastors! It’s hard to believe we’ve already been in ministry together for more than three months, and the energy of this University town in fall has made the time fly. Thank you for your prayers and support as the Spirit leads us all in the soulful work of advocating for peace, justice, and inclusion, and engaging our University Mission anew.
We are in a rebuilding phase, with the excitement and challenges that come with seeking to re-envision a deeply contextual approach to campus ministries. So far, our incarnational ministry among UVA students has involved a lemonade stand on UVA’s first day of classes, a welcome dinner at Common Grounds, biweekly 20/30 CreW Wednesday Wind-Downs, many one-on-one coffee meetings with students, a Mac-n-Cheese-Off during Parents’ Weekend, creating a climate-justice-themed visual arts devotional for the 2019 UKirk Advent devotional (which you can download or subscribe to here), and the development of a new interfaith collaboration through United Ministries and Virginia Interfaith Coalition. Other long-term plans are in the works as well.
For the immediate future, we look forward to Friendsgiving dinner next week and hope you’ll help us provide a welcoming space at Common Grounds for students as they face the stress of exams. It’s not too early to sign up for a two-hour shift during Sunday, Dec. 8, through Monday, Dec. 16! If baking is your love language, you can bring cookies for Christmas Kick-Back on Dec. 8, from 1 to 2 p.m.
In addition to worship this Sunday morning, I hope you’re able to attend the installation service at 3 p.m. A mentor, former colleague, and friend to the Charlottesville community, Rev. Jay Sanderford will offer a reflection on how 2 Cor. 3:1–11 calls us to be a letter of Christ to the changing world around us. I look forward to how his insights will encourage us in our ministry together!
As of this week, 161 households have returned their pledge cards as part of our financial stewardship campaign. Thank you so much for your faithful and generous response supporting the ministries and programs at Westminster as we work to provide a place at God’s table for everyone. We extend a special thank you to those who pledged this year for the first time, including our new members, and those who increased their pledges. Again, many, many thanks.
The 161 pledges received thus far represent just over 65% of the households that pledged last year and slightly more than 80% of the financial goal set by the Stewardship Committee to support what we are called to do in 2020 to love God and our neighbors. So, if you have not yet returned your pledge card, we ask that you please do so. If you’ve misplaced it, you’ll find pledge cards and stewardship brochures in the pew racks, in the narthex and in the Gathering Place, or you can call Kate Brinkley in the church office and she will be happy to mail you another pledge card or full stewardship package. You also can pledge online through the Giving section of www.westminsterva.org.
Last year at this time, the Stewardship Committee asked you to support, through your 2019 pledge, our call of a new Associate Pastor for University and Social Justice Mission. On Sunday, in the sanctuary filled with
Westminster members, Dorothy’s family and friends, and representatives of the Presbytery, Dorothy was installed as our new Associate Pastor. If you heard Dorothy speak at the stewardship lunch a few weeks ago or read last week’s newsletter, you see that, in only her first few months, she has had a significant impact on the life of Westminster, re-envisioning our University Mission and working with many of you in our numerous peace, justice, and inclusion ministries. Your pledge for 2020 will strengthen and expand our University and social justice work and much, much more.
As we’ve gone through this financial stewardship season, the Stewardship Committee hopes you’ve gained a deeper understanding of the significant impact your practice of stewardship has on all the ministries and programs at Westminster. For those who have not yet pledged, please join us and the many others in the congregation in this spiritual practice. Together, let us commit a portion of what God has entrusted to us to serve Christ and provide a place at the God’s table for everyone, a table filled with love, grace, and acceptance.
As we sang together on Dedication Sunday, “God will delight when we are creators of justice and joy, compassion and peace.”
On behalf of the Stewardship Committee, thank you for your faithful practice of stewardship.
I joined Westminster about 50 years ago because it was a leader in desegregating Charlottesville.
A Place at the Table is a perfect metaphor for the Benevolence Committee. We invite “guests” (agencies) to our “table,” bring “food” (funding) to nourish their work, and “feed” the programs.
Twice a year we invite area organizations to bring their financial needs to our table and share their mission and plans for the upcoming year. In the spring we provide funds to many agencies from the annual budget, usually around 20% of our pledges. In the fall, we share the income from an endowment fund. Most of the agencies we fund are also supported by the volunteer work many of you do throughout the year. Many of the funded programs have shared their work throughout the year as part of adult education.
Among the twenty or so agencies thus nourished at our table are Sin Berraras, the Charlottesville Health Program (CHIP), Habitat for Humanity, La Leche League, PROSAMI, and AIM. All the agencies provide much needed assistance to those in our community who are in need of help.
Our ability to nourish the guests at our table depends on our generosity. Our willingness and ability to provide the “food” at the table nourishes those in need in our community.
Westminster has a history of generosity at the Table, please carry it on as you consider your pledge this year. Complete the circle of sharing from our support to the agencies to our neighbors in need.
Nancy O’Brien, Benevolence Committee