Worship at 10 a.m. each Sunday during the summer. Then come to fellowship hour to enjoy conversation and coffee with everyone. Summer is a great time to get to know each other better! The summer schedule continues until September 8 when we return to worship at 8:30 and 11 a.m. On September 8, we’ll have Frances Taylor Gench as our guest preacher.
The mission of the Adult Christian Education Committee is to develop and provide educational opportunities for members of the congregation that will help them grow spiritually, that will respond to needs within the congregation and the wider world, and that will foster growth-seeking questions and a better understanding of our faith.
During the 2018-2019 Christian education year, fifteen classes were offered in the fall and eighteen were offered in the spring, some meeting over the entire year and others meeting on a single Sunday morning, a series of Sunday mornings, or a weekday evening. The committee extends its deepest thanks those who lead or organized an adult Christian education class during the year; their efforts contributed significantly to the spiritual development of members of our congregation: Abe Hostetter, Adrienne Kim Bird, Barbara Deaver, Barry Parks, Beth Hochstetler, Betsy Donohoe, Cheryl Oliver, Chip Sanders, David Garth, David Strider, Derry Wade, Dick Riley, Earle Hilgert, Elizabeth Schlipper, Gail Wiley, Gene Locke, Hal Collums, Jack Townsend, Jim Cauthen, Jim Hassmer, Kathy Redding, Ken Henry, Kobby Hoffman, Leanna Whitmore, Lynn Moore, Lynne Clements, Molly Peck, Peter Gates, Rebecca McGregor, Ron Wiley, Sarah Bedford, Winston Barham and Zanne McDonald.
We were saddened to learn of the passing of Chip Sanders, who worked closely with us and contributed greatly to adult Christian education offerings at Westminster through his faithful leadership of the Contemporary Theology class.
The committee is finalizing the fall schedule of classes and welcomes any comments and suggestions about adult Christian education at Westminster.
Submitted by the Adult Christian Education Committee (Betsy Donohoe, Hal Collums. Jack Townsend, Jana Surdi, Jim Cauthen and Laura Young)
On Saturday, May 25, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Lynn Moore, PhD, will facilitate a workshop on Sage-ing. This spiritual practice involves harvesting the wisdom of our lives and finding ways to transmit that wisdom as a legacy to future generations. The workshop is limited to 12 participants, so register soon. There’s a $25 fee for materials. To r.s.v.p., contact Lynn, or 828.280.6075.
Sage-ing is a spiritual practice that involves harvesting the wisdom of our lives and finding ways to transmit that wisdom as a legacy to future generations.In developing an elder spiritual practice we pursue the path proposed by Rabbi Zalman Schacter in his seminal book From Age-ing to Sage-ing which involves, through introspection, the following:
- Examining our attitudes and fears about aging and our culture’s stereotypes and claiming our rights to promoting and practicing a new paradigm
- Connecting to our inner wisdom through growth techniques of psychology and spirituality including meditation, contemplation, journaling and spiritual intimacy (sharing)
- Learning to nourish ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually
- Drawing on the wisdom of what we know now, examining our past through a ‘life review’ process and ‘life repair’ exercises
- Gaining an understanding that forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves, we learn to forgive those who have offended us, ask forgiveness of those we have offended and practice self-forgiveness above all else
- We face our own mortality with courage and serenity
Westminster church currently has two service opportunities with Habitat for Humanity. Our crew of builders meets on the second Saturday of the month to work on homes in various stages of construction. Habitat’s model of late is to build clusters of duplexes and even six-plexes in Charlottesville, to help with land acquisition costs and promote in-fill. Currently the building activity is located at Harmony Ridge, off 5th Street South, where ten families will move in later this fall.
The builders partner with other Presbyterian congregations in the area to form a group of typically 15 workers. Thanks to Westminster’s builders within the past year: Aurora Nichols, John Kleinschmidt, Ron Wiley, Noah Oakland, Winston Harmon, Colin Lee, Sage Bradburn, and Steve Wilson. Contact Steve if interested in participating.
At the same time, Westminster is hosting Community Conversations, a monthly community-building effort with the families that will occupy the homes of Harmony Ridge. Billie Best coordinates a meal for the 60 some Habitat families, Habitat staff, and volunteers who gather. After dinner, the adults work with staff members to create a shared set of values for the new neighborhood. Lucy Burnette and Carolyn Brown lead activities designed to help children become friends before they become neighbors. And, Kathy Stacy heads up child care for the youngest. Over 25 Westminster folks join these four to form a caring loving team. Thank you to all!
The Haven is open daily with breakfast, laundry, showers, personal box, living room area, computers and works with several agencies and programs to connect guests to the resources they need to find housing and stabilize their lives. The Haven offers housing support and assistance through Housing First programs. Guests are eligible for rental assistance if: they are at risk of needing to stay in a shelter within the next 14 days, OR are literally homeless (living on the street, in an emergency shelter, in a vehicle, or another place not intended for habitation).
Building Goodness Foundation (BGF) builds for nonprofits which work to improve health, education, and economic outcomes in impoverished communities, both in the U.S. and abroad. These nonprofit partners receive a custom-built facility or renovation which boosts their ability to serve their community, at lower than market cost. BGF builds to improve shelters from locally Barrett Early Learning Center to 900 families in Haiti who now have a home when they were formerly homeless or living in a tent. This also includes 35,400 patients each year who are seen at BGF-built medical clinics and 1,977 students each year who attend a BGF-built school.
Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build and rebuild homes and communities while catalyzing new pathways to safe, decent, affordable housing. There is the construction where the individual or family who will benefit work on building their own houses as well as other houses and in the end have no interest mortgage loans and there is the building of community for a new neighborhood. Westminster has been involved for many years In constructing homes and in the last year also in building relationships between people who will be living together in a neighborhood. Future neighbors are bought together for meals and play to build relationships and a strong sustainable neighborhood.
Piedmont Housing Alliance creates affordable housing opportunities and fosters community through education, lending, and equitable development. Their education efforts focus on counseling for home ownership and to build family financial stability. This includes HUD-approved housing counseling program of one-on-one coaching and group classes for home buying, credit improvement, debt reduction, savings programs, fair housing and foreclosure prevention. Lending to help individual homebuyers with down payment and closing cost assistance and for affordable housing development projects throughout the city and five counties of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District. They also acquire and rehabilitate and/or renovate existing properties and develop new affordable rental housing, which they often manage, and produce affordable single family housing through neighborhood revitalization efforts.
We are looking forward to this opportunity to explore the providing of shelter in our community where we know it is very difficult, pricey, and there is little vacancy.
Kobby Hoffman on behalf of the Benevolence Committee