Click here to see highlights of Westminster’s recent musical in worship: A Table for Five…Thousand.
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.
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
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.