With the local peach crop now in full season there is a limited-time opportunity in the next three weeks to assist The Society of St. Andrew in gleaning peaches to share with the hungry in our community! The task involves transferring peaches from large commercial bins to smaller containers appropriate for household distribution. Volunteers are needed at the Crown Orchard Packing Shed located on Route 29 about 15 miles south of the I-64 interchange. Please contact Jim Hassmer at (434) 466-4375 for more information including dates and times.
We are the Family of God
Westminster Presbyterian Church-wide Retreat
All of the family of God! Every age! Every stage!
September 21-23, 2018
From 5p.m. Friday evening through 11 a.m. Sunday morning
Massanetta Springs Conference Center
Worship * campfire * kickball * creative fun * free time * Meditative movement * walking trails *
time to rest and relax
Because this is something new for Westminster Church, we need to know who is interested in coming, so planners can order supplies and begin imagining all the fun. So, look for bulletin inserts July 22 – August 5 or email Lynne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March For Our Lives: Road to Change Town Hall, Friday August 3, 2018 at 6pm.
March For Our Lives and the students from Parkland, FL will be holding a town hall in Charlottesville on August 3rd, at Westminster Presbyterian Church. This event features students from Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School, Moms Demand Action Charlottesville, and Charlottesville Coalition for Gun Violence Prevention. There will be an audience Q&A, and Civic Access is generously providing ASL interpretation. The event starts at 6pm, but doors open at 5pm. Please come early as no entry will be allowed once the hall is filled. Parking is available at Westminster, as well as the parking garage on Culbreth Road. More info here.
Charlottesville Civil Rights Pilgrimage: Reporting Back, Sunday, August 5, 5-7pm. Jefferson School African American Cntr Auditorium, 233 4th St NW
Ninety eight people left Cville in early July and embarked on a pilgrimage with two purposes: to carry soil to Montgomery, AL, from the site of John Henry James lynching, and to understand the relationship between Cville’s summer of hate and the country’s long history of racial terrorism. Join the group as they recap this monumental trip. You must RSVP HERE to be in attendance.
As the anniversary of last year’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville approaches, several related community events are being offered that you may wish to attend:
Why We Protest Panel, Tuesday, August 7, 7-8:30pm, Jefferson School African American Heritage Cntr, 233 4th St NW
Anti-racist orgs and activists will discuss why they don’t “just ignore” white supremacists and will explain the importance of visible & vocal protest, and direct action, in thwarting the spread of fascism. Sponsored by Black Lives Matter Charlottesville.
Lawyer’s Panel on “Free Speech” and Anti-Racism. Wednesday, August 8, 7-8:30pm. Jefferson School African American Heritage Cntr, 233 4th St NW.
This panel will include a frank discussion of how platitudes about “free speech” are used to undermine anti-racist work. Panelists include representatives of the National Lawyers Guild-Central VA, BLM-Cville (Black Lives Matter), and SURJ-Cville (Showing up for Racial Justice).
Food and Water Collection at First United Methodist Church
Monday through Thursday (Aug. 6-9) from 9 am to 12 pm
FUMC is accepting food and water donations as it prepares to be a Safe Space once again on August 12. NOTE: All food must be packaged (e.g. Kind bars, Lance crackers, etc.). No fruit, unpackaged cookies, cakes, etc.
Prayer Gathering @ Market Street Park – August 6-10, Mon-Fri, 6-6:30am and 12-12:30pm
The Clergy Collective is sponsoring informal Prayer Gatherings at 6am and 12 noon at Market Street Park, Monday through Friday, August 6-10.
Clergy Collective Interfaith Service – Thursday, August 9, 7 pm at The Haven
“Making Our Way Together: A Service of Gratitude, Repentance and Hope”
As the anniversary of last year’s white supremacists’ rally in Charlottesville approaches, the Charlottesville Clergy Collective has been planning an evening worship service to focus on gratitude, repentance, and hope. The service will include leaders from various religious communities and will be held at 7:00 pm, on Thursday, August 9, at The Haven, 112 Market St, Charlottesville.
Kabbalat Shabbat service at Congregation Beth Israel, Friday evening, August 10.
CBI is planning to hold a special Kabbalat Shabbat service, open to the larger community, and which will focus on the themes of the anniversary of August 11/12 through the lens of prayer and song.
The C’ville Singout! – Sunday, August 12, 4 pm at IX Park
Rehearsal: 2 to 3:30 pm at Mt. Zion First African Baptist.
ALL are invited to join the choir! $5 to register online, or register in person at Mt. Zion First African Baptist, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Visit https://www.cvillesingout.org/ for more information.
A Service for Repair, organized by Congregate C’ville – Sunday August 12
4 to 6 pm at First Presbyterian Church, 500 Park St.
The service will be lead by 6 women of color, who will offer poetry, music, dance, contemplation and communal ritual. The space is intended to hold the pain of those who have continuously given themselves to the struggle for justice, offer healing, honor those who resisted last summer and also hold and challenge those of us who need to wrestle with and repent for our complicity in white supremacy. After the experiential service, we will break out into spaces of learning and repair. These spaces will provide folks with practical, actionable ways to enter into the work of justice making and repair.
Congregate Cville Religious Resources for August 12
Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and Humanist resources for communities and individuals to use on the weekend of August 11th and 12th, and beyond: https://congregatecville.com/religious-resources-for-2018.
“The only dependable test for gender is the truth of a person’s life, the lives we live each day. Surely the best judge of a person’s gender is not a degrading, questionable, examination. The best judge of a person’s gender is what lies within his or her heart. How do we test for the gender of the heart. . . ?” Quote by Jennifer Finney Boylan in Becoming Nicole
This morning, before heading off to Westminster Pres., I finished reading Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt. A few months ago, this book was recommended to me as an educational resource to understand the growing interest and issues related to transgender people. Becoming Nicole provides a clinical, sociological and psychological perspective on what it means to be a transgender man or woman growing up in America. And yet, Nutt’s book is so much more than these words imply.
In essence, this is a book about family. It’s about the people who are touched and transformed by a son or daughter’s personal struggle to come to terms with his/her/their identity.
It’s a book about a father who, in the beginning, resisted and reacted poorly to his son’s realization that he could no longer continue to live in the body from his birth. It’s a story about how, despite his own personal struggles, this same father never stopped loving his child. Indeed, Nicole’s father now travels across the country speaking out on Nicole’s behalf. He has become his daughter’s strongest advocate and admirer. He is, and always will be, Nicole’s dad.
It’s about a mother who fought for her child’s right to be herself in the public schools. Over the years, while others thought she was somehow mistaken or used poor parenting judgment, Nicole’s mother was convinced that, from an early age, Nicole was unique and deserving of dignity and respect. To me, her commitment to her daughter demonstrates, once again, that a mother’s unconditional love is stronger than another person’s lack of understanding.
It’s also a story about Nicole’s twin brother, Jonas. It’s about a brother’s steadfast love and support through good times and bad. “I never had a brother,” Jonas once said to Nicole, “You were always a sister to me.”
This book is as informative as it is simply beautiful. In some chapters, the reader will find him/her/themself immersed in pronouns, medical realities, and transgender politics. But in other chapters, a tear will come to the reader’s eye.
As Nicole once said, “Stories move the walls that need to be moved.” I wholeheartedly agree. If this issue has become a “wall” in your family or you want to know more about families facing this particular situation, put Becoming Nicole on your summer reading list. My prayer for all of us is that such earthy and personal stories will “move the walls that need to be moved” whether they exist in a cultural context or in our hearts.
FYI, Westminster Presbyterian Church will be hosting a pastoral care conference for pastors, chaplains, and spiritual caregivers, October 21-23. The conference will focus on how churches and pastors care for transgender persons and their families.
Last Friday, I was contacted by Rev. Gay Lee Einstein (Presbyterian Pastor) to see if Westminster Presbyterian Church would be willing to host the high school students from Parkland, Florida as they tour the country registering young people to vote and sharing their first-hand experiences of gun violence. Yes, this is the same group of students who spoke at the rally in Washington DC on March 24th of this year. And so, I am happy to announce that the Session of Westminster Presbyterian Church has approved the usage of our Fellowship Hall for this event.
On Friday, August 3rd from 6:00-7:30, The March For Our Lives: Road to Change tour will be having a rally at Westminster Presbyterian Church. This event is open to the public and I’m sure there will be a flurry of media exposure. What an exciting opportunity for us and Charlottesville. Please check out the link below for more details.
Let us continue to believe and pray that gun violence is not an unsolvable issue. Ken