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.
On Thursday, June 27, at 7:30 p.m. you are invited to be part of a concert at Westminster. We need performers of all ages and abilities to create this unique evening of music for our community. Following the performance, there will be ice cream served in the courtyard. This is a fun opportunity to share your talents and enjoy fellowship. Contact Dana Patek, , if you have questions and to get your name in the program.
This summer, from August 19 through August 31, I attended the Smarano Organ Academy in northern Italy. The Academy began this year in the Netherlands, at the Grote Kerk in Alkmaar, where Pieter van Dijk led masterclasses on that church’s two very famous — and fabulous — organs: the 1511 van Covelens organ and the 1636/1723 Schnitger organ. From there we flew to Smarano, a tiny village in the mountains of northern Italy, where courses were led in organ and harpsichord by Edoardo Bellotti, Sietze de Vries, Joel Speerstra, and Enrico Baiano. A special highlight was the visit of Montserrat Torrent, the 92-year-old (!) Spanish organist, who played a concert and taught a masterclass. Despite a very intense schedule (8 am to 10 pm every day, with short breaks for lunch and dinner), the high caliber of teaching combined with excellent instruments and a gorgeous location made the Academy a truly special experience. I am very grateful to the church for the time off and financial assistance that allowed me to attend the Academy.
In case of snow, sleet, or freezing rain, we will air any cancellation on local radio and TV stations. Bear in mind that there are Westminster Presbyterian Churches in many other cities—including Waynesboro, Lynchburg, and Richmond. Please be sure you hear the announcement for Westminster in Charlottesville.
In addition, our website will have up-to-date information: www.westminsterva.org. Any weather-related changes to the worship schedule or other activities will be posted on the main page of our website.
The church’s voicemail message will also announce any cancellations due to inclement weather. People who have specific responsibilities—like church school teachers, ushers, musicians, sound system engineers—should check one of the above resources if there is inclement weather.
We hope we won’t be having inclement weather on Sundays, but please keep this information in mind if bad weather comes our way on the weekend.
As I begin writing this e-News article, it is with a heavy heart. I suppose, with the dawning of a new year, I should be more optimistic and full of vigor in light of the challenges of 2017. But yesterday, after getting word that Peter Ham had passed away, I felt like a balloon rapidly deflating, losing its air, the hiss of escaping breath. So, as I enter into 2017, my feelings are a mixture of gladness and sorrow. After all, in my two pastoral visits to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital to visit with Peter and Karen, I discovered a kindred spirit. Peter and I talked about the places we both visited in Alaska, the movies we loved, and music we listened to in our growing up years. On my second visit, I brought my guitar and sang a few songs. Peter told me the music helped him forget where he was. I sang some Kenny Loggins tune while doctors, nurses, family, and technicians filled the small room. We said a prayer together and I left hoping to see Peter again . . . and some day, I will. As I reflect on my all too brief relationship with Peter Ham, the words of Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 come to mind:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
As we embark on this new year, crafting our resolutions and plans, let’s not overlook or forget the contributions of people who have touched our lives. Remember, we are who we are because someone listened, nurtured, and encouraged us to follow our dreams. We can never underestimate how another person’s actions and words shaped and molded us. Peter Ham was one of those guiding lights. But there are others who have also “fought the good fight and finished their race” (see 2 Tim. 4:7). Certainly, Martin Luther King Jr. left a legacy for us to follow. Who gave you the strength to carry on? Who inspired you to love and care for those around you? Who helped you find God? As we enter into this new year, give thanks to God for that special person and be glad. For like the wise words of Ecc. 3 ff. state clearly: “there is a time to weep and time to laugh; a time to mourn and time to dance.” Thank you, Peter. Thank you for giving us your time. Ken