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CHIMESFebruary 2014 Westminster Presbyterian Church westminstergr.org
Our new hymnalComing to Westminsters pews this month
CHIMESA publication of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
47 Jefferson Ave SE Grand Rapids MI 49503 616-456-1456
Q&A about our new Presbyterian Hymnal 6Whats new and different about the new Glory to God hymnal
Why were preaching on the hymns of the church 7Rev. Chandler Stokes gives background to the current series
Contribute a new hymnal to the church 8Hymnals make a great memorial gift
Youth ministry 9
Work on sanctuary roof to begin this month 4
Watanabe window featured as part of traveling exhibit 4
Meet our mew high school youth director 5
Support group for FASD relaunched with new facilitator 5
a brief note about chimes and where to find informationWe did not print a January Chimes in December order to give full attention to worship during Advent. Going forward, we want the timing of Chimes publication to be thematically oriented.There are three places to find regular, up-to-date information about our life together at Westminster:
Sunday bulletins: The bulletin contains a calendar of the coming weeks events and announcements about programs and small groups.
Email: The Westminster Weekly email comes each Monday and lists the weeks major events, as well as a link to the Sunday bulletin. Sign up to receive this email at www.westminstergr.org/contact.
Website: Our websitewhich is accessible from smartphones and tablets as well as computershas a calendar, a news section of events and announcements, and our weekly worship schedule.
Christian Bell, minister for communication [email protected] or 616-717-5568
Westminster Presbyterian Church | Chimes 3
Celebrating the hymns that hold us together
IntroductIon from the senIor pastor
Dear sisters and brothers,On February 9, we plan to introduce you to a new
resource for worship: Glory to God, the new Presbyterian hymnal. I believe it will prove to be a rich part of our worship for many years to come.
Last October, Helen Hofmeister, our minister for music, Bruce Klein-Wassink, our outgoing elder for music, and I attended a workshop on the hymnal, and we came home convinced that this new collection of hymns would be a great blessing to Westminster. You will find Helen and Bruces Q&A on pages 67 of this Chimes with further information about this new resource. I love the metaphor of the family album, as it relates to the hymnal. This album has all of your favorite relatives in it, and some of the new generation as well. Note that we will formally introduce the hymnal during the Sunday education hour, 9:4010:40a, on February 9.
There have been times in my life when the hymns of the church were what held me together. I remember especially when I was with my brother and his wife, Amy, while she was in hospice care. The nearby church in Setauket, NY, became a haven for me on Sundays. They sang our hymns there, the great hymns of the churchand those words and that music gave voice
to my breaking heart. Even though I knew no one in that congregation, singing those hymns with them I felt known and blessed, part of something much larger and much older and much stronger than myself alone. What an extraordinary gift. There are few things in this life that can hold us firm on so many levels.
I invite you to join us as we continue the preaching series on the hymns of the church, and as we introduce a new family album to our church. We certainly hope that, if you are able, you will purchase one of these hymnals to honor or remember someone in the life of Westminster, or in your own life. And it also occurs to me that you might want to buy one for your home. Simply reading the texts is a great devotional tool.
Great blessings to you all.
Grace and peace,
Rev. Chandler Stokes, senior pastor
february 2: God the Creator: GraCe and SinCommunion Sunday; Cherub Choir at 8:30a, Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a. A sermon on Genesis 1:15, 2631, and Romans 1:1623. Hymn: Immortal, Invisible.
february 9: God in JeSuS ChriSt: inCarnationOrdination and installation of officers; Carol and Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a. A sermon on John 1:15, 14 and Daniel 4:37. Hymn: Be Thou My Vision.
february 16: GraCe: SoCial JuStiCeMidwinter THAW concert at 8:30a and 11:00a. A sermon on Matthew 25:3146. Hymn: God of Grace and God of Glory.
february 23: GraCe: livinG with the end in SiGhtWestminster Womens Choir. A sermon on Revelation 4:911. Hymn: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.
Worship schedule february 2014the hymns of the church
4 Chimes | Westminster Presbyterian Church
Work on sanctuary roof to begin this month
Watanabe window featured as part of traveling art exhibitWestminsters building is full of artistic and architectural treasures, one of which is the large stained glass window on the west wall of the chapel. This window, affectionately called the Watanabe Window, was created by the renowned 20th century Japanese artist Sadao Watanabe.
Watanabes art is the subject of a traveling exhibit, Beauty Given by Grace: The Biblical Art of Sadao Watanabe, which will be at the Calvin College Center Art Gallery through February 22.
As part of the exhibit, visitors from across the country came to the Westminster chapel to attend a study session of Watanabes work on Thursday, January 30.
According to the Center Art Gallery, Watanabe was born in 1913, baptized at 17, and devoted his life to depicting stories of the Bible in a visual language understandable to the Japanese. Finding inspiration in the mingei (folk arts) movement, he worked with his wife to produce each stencil and print on handmade
paper. These intricately patterned images, in a variety of styles and formats, offer a panoramic view of the Bible beginning with the Garden of Eden in Genesis and concluding with angelic trumpeters at the end of time in Revelation.
Watanabes art is part of permanent collections in the British Museum, MoMA in New York City, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, and the Vatican Museum of Modern Religious Art.
The roof over Westminsters 129-year-old sanctuary will be reinforced and repaired in a project that will begin this month and is expected to last through summer.
As part of the project, the interior structure that supports the roof will be reinforced, after which the exterior shingles will be replaced.
The sanctuary was dedicated in 1885, and in the 129 years since, stresses such as snow loads and other ordinary stresses have caused the roofs support trusses to move. To prevent further movement, four steel tie rods will be permanently installed across the sanctuary ceiling.
After the tie rods are installed, work will begin on the roof itself. The original roof in 1885 used slate tiles, which lasted over 100 years before being replaced by asphalt shingles in 1990. The new roof will return to using slate tiles, not only for their longevity but also for their aesthetic and historical significance.
The work will be performed by Grand River Builders, the same historic preservation contractors who repaired the Westminster steeple in 2010. Grand River
Builders specializes in historic buildings, particularly churches, and has won several awards for its work.
To fund this project, the Board of Trustees thoroughly investigated cost estimates and received Sessions approval to draw on reserve funding and utilize a line of credit, with the anticipation that capital needs will be taken care of in the future.
Work on the roof will involve scaffolding in the sanctuary and may necessitate a short-term relocation of worship services in the Gathering Place. If this becomes necessary, it is expected that worship in the sanctuary will resume well before Easter.
Westminster Presbyterian Church | Chimes 5
One of our long standing commitments at WPC has been supporting those with special needs, particularly those within the FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) community.
Raising awareness and creating a space of welcome, there are two groups that meet at Westminster: an FASD support group for those diagnosed with or are passionate about the FASD community and an FASD parents support group for those who have children with FASD.
It is with great excitement that the FASD support group at Westminster is getting more attention and a new facilitator has been appointed! Michele Yaquinto is a full-time art teacher currently seeking her masters in clinical mental health counseling and will be serving as the new liaison for the young adult ministry.
My desire for this group is to offer an opportunity to share, reflect on, and grow from unique life experiences together, Michele said. This will be a place to work on building successful relationships both within the group and the community. I am excited to be involved
with this group and would encourage any individual who identifies as a young person with FASD symptoms to join.
The FASD support group will meet regularly (on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, 7:00-8:30pm) in the youth space of the church. The FASD parents support group will meet at the same time in the conference room.
Please contact Michele with any questions or interest in the FASD support group at [email protected] or 770-329-9563. Parents are free to contact Barb Wybrecht directly at [email protected] or 616-241-9126.
Support group for FASD relaunched with new facilitator
The Westminster youth program recently hired Sarah Workman as its new high school youth director.
Sarah was born in Michigan, but has been residing in Wisconsin since 2001. She graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology and biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Sarah has spent time with youth in various churches and camps and is excited to be a part of the youth ministry team at Westminster.
Most recently, Sarah spent 11 months as a missionary as part of The World Race, an interdenominational mission organization that sends young people to 11 countries around the world, including Cambodia, Thailand, and Mozambique. Sarah returned to the states in early December.
Sarah is passionate about people, building relationships and sharing the truth of Gods love to anyone who will listen. Aside from being a spiritual leader and mentor to the high school youth, Sarahs responsibility will
Meet our new high school youth directorbe developing and maintaining the high school youth programming. She will lead prayer breakfast during the week, in addition to weekend retreats and the summer mission trip. Sarah will work collaboratively with Shelly Boeve, youth ministry coordinator, and Adam Swenson, middle school youth director, as well as the youth ministry volunteers.
Sarah loves opportunities to talk about the things she experienced during her time as a missionary, and encourages people to stop by and ask a question or two, or to email her at [email protected]
6 Chimes | Westminster Presbyterian Church
Q&A about our new Presbyterian hymnal
Glory to God! is the name of the new hymnal of the Presbyterian Church (USA), which will make its debut at Westminster this month, replacing the previous hymnal, which dates from 1990.
Last year, Helen Hofmeister, minister for music, and Bruce Klein-Wassink, outgoing elder for music, attended a national workshop on the new hymnal, which explained the process through which the new hymnal was created as well as the reason why its hymns were selected.
Following from that workship, Helen and Bruce present a list of commonly asked questions and answers about Glory to God:
What about my favorite hymn?
Chances are pretty good its still in there. The new hymnal retained 65% of the hymns in the old one.
Why do we need a new one? I like the one we have.
A hymnal is like a family album. You keep adding to it over the years. We also dont want to miss any good music that has been composed in the last 25 years.
Were there any young people on the hymnal selection committee? We want them to be involved.
There were 15 people on the selection committee, and two of those were under the age of 25.
How did they choose the hymns that are in the hymnal?
Thats a long answer. Youll need to come to the presentation between services on February 9 to learn more. However, they committee went through 10,000 hymns before they decided on 853 of them.
What are the new hymns like?
There is a variety of styles. Some are global; some are very old hymns which have been re-introduced, and some are new hymns in a traditional style. There is both new poetry to old hymns and new poetry to new hymns.
Are there any of the new hymns that we would sing at Westminster?
After a quick first look at Glory to God, Helen found 50-75 new hymns not in the 1990 hymnal which we could use at Westminster. After looking at it more carefully with Chandler and Sherrill, we found many more!
When we will get them?
They will be in the pews on February 9.
How much do they cost and how will we pay for them?
$25 per hymnal, which is quite a bargain considering how much music is in them. If you wish to donate a hymnal in memory or in honor of someone, that information will be printed on a plate which will be
The new hymnal retains many of the favorite traditional hymns, putting them alongside new hymns we will learn together.
Westminster Presbyterian Church | Chimes 7
affixed to the hymnal. You may donate as many as you wish!
How many hymnals are we getting?
We are buying 950 hymnals. 750 for Westminster, and 200 for Camp Henry. We are also purchasing hymnal companions, accompaniment editions for Westminster and Camp Henry, and an online resource edition for the worship planners.
Over the past few years, our worship in January-February has become a time when we focus on basics. Winter tends to be an introspective time, as we reflect on the core of the tradition. Usually I have linked this focus to our confirmation process. This year we are taking a one-year hiatus to delay confirmation to the ninth grade, where we expect to retain that process. Nevertheless, we will continue our focus on basics this winter.
Additionally, this year we will be introducing a new hymnal. So, I want to use some of the great hymns of the church to do our basics review. The pieces of music in this series are at once hymns that the wider western church has sung for many years, hymns that Westminster has sung with regularity over the past few decades, and hymns that say something about our particular faith here at Westminster.
For a long time students of the Church have noticed that hymns teach congregations as much about the faith as Scripture does. Truly. We sing some hymns more frequently than we read any passages of the Bible And we sing hymns; we dont just read them. They get into our bones, into our bodies, into our blood.
Ive picked seven hymns (with Helens important assistance) that fit the following criteria: They are among the most frequently sung by Westminster. Theyre all in the new hymnal as well. They are
musically strong, and they have powerful, intelligent, and well-crafted lyrics.
The text writers include Martin Luther, Isaac Watts, Henry Van Dyke, Harry Emerson Fosdick, and Charles Wesley. The texts are worthy of our close attention.
During this series, we will also be introducing some of the great new music from the new hymnal, Glory to God. The hymns that serve as the focus of this series are all European (German, English, Irish, and Welsh); they represent a very narrow band of history (15th to the 19th century) and music. So, they are not representative of the wider, richer Church or its music. Thus, we will also be introducing great new music as wellat least music thats new to us. Thats also part of our heritage: to reach toward the new. Obviously, all of these old hymns were once new, and over time we embraced them and they became formative parts of our worship.
As I mention briefly above, I hope to say something about how these hymns reflect the particular convictions and character that Westminster has demonstrated over the years, telling some stories from our past and talking about what these convictions might mean for our future. Join us as we explore some of our roots and review the basics of our Christian faith in January and February.
What will happen to our old hymnals?
If you donate a new one, you can take an old one home!
These new hymnals are for the use of Westminster Presbyterian Church and Camp Henry. If you would like a personal copy, you may order one at www.presbyterianhymnal.org.
This hymnal will help us as a congregation grow in our worship of God.
rev. chandler stokes: Why Were preaching on the hymns of the church
8 Chimes | Westminster Presbyterian Church
Donate a hymnal as a gift to Westminster
A new Presbyterian hymnalpresented as a gift to Westminster presbyterian church
(Please include information exactly as you want it to appear.)
In honor of: ______________________________________________________
In memory of: ____________________________________________________
Given by: _____________________________________________________
Amount donated ($25.00 per hymnal): ___________________________
Total number of hymnals being donated: ________________________
As we introduce the new hymnal, we are asking for your support in helping to pay the cost for this vital component of our worship experience and its a wonderful opportunity to honor the memory of someone you love.
The price for each hymnal is $25.
Hymnals can be donated in honor or in memory of someone. You may choose to donate however many hymnals you would like.
bonuS! If you purchase a new hymnal, you will get to take an old hymnal home with you.
Donations should be made by Sunday, February 9.
Note that these donated hymnals will be used at Westminster Presbyterian Church and Camp Henry. If you would like a personal copy, they can be ordered online at www.presbyterianhymnal.org.
Westminster Presbyterian Church | Chimes 9
The seventh annual Lets Eat Out! pasta dinner to support the high school and Kirk Singers trip to Montreat took place on Sunday, January 26.
The goal was to have 200 people and raise $5000. Thanks to the generosity of the Westminster community, the youth ministry program has raised $5,300. There were 183 people for dinner, along with 39 youth, as well as leaders and the kitchen staff. Overall, over 200 people contributed to the event.
All in all, the dinner was a success, especially given the circumstances with the weather, said Shelly Boeve, youth ministry coordinator. God is good!
Shelly attributes the success of the event to the congregations willingness to sign up and help out.
We did not have many signed up to help with take down or clean up. However, many pitched in and we had the dining room and kitchen looking like almost nothing happened in less than 45 minutes. It was a sight to see.
In addition to people helping the night of the event, generous contributions significantly decreased overhead expenses. 100% of the pasta, sauce, breadsticks, and dessert for the event were donated.
I was reminded what a special place Westminster is, Shelly added. We are blessed with generous support from the congregation. Thank you for helping the high school youth group and Kirk Singers raise money for their summer trip to Montreat.
Youth ministry raises over $5000 at pasta dinneranonymouS donor SponSorS one youthIn addition to money raised at the annual dinner, one anonymous donor contributed $600enough to sponsor the entire Montreat trip for one youth.
Money raised from the Pasta Dinner goes to subsidize expenses for the trip for all youth in the program, and the dinner is the primary fundraiser for that trip. In addition to the Pasta Dinner, there will be an additional fundraiser, Lets Eat Out! at Big Boy on March 23, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Montreat trip.
other youth miniStry newSThe middle and high school youth collected 143 winter coats for Burton Middle School. Both youth groups wanted a meaningful service project instead of just a fun holiday party. We did both. Congrats to all the youth for giving to others in need!
Eighth graders have been serving as liturgists on Sunday morning. We asked our eighth graders to wait until ninth grade for confirmation class. This is an opportunity for them to learn more about the structure and leadership of the church.
new faCebook Group for hiGh SChoolerSThere is a new Facebook group for members of the high school youth group. Search Westminster Presbyterian High School on Facebook, or contact Sarah Workman at [email protected] to be added.
youth Sunday iS marCh 2Youth Sunday will take place on March 2. Stay tuned for more details about this wonderful worship service.
Families enjoy dinner and entertainment in the dining room during the Pasta Dinner on January 26.
10 Chimes | Westminster Presbyterian Church
With the beginning of a new year comes new opportunities, challenges, and blessings.
According to the news, Benton Harbor was the second-hardest-hit city in all of Michigan by Januarys winter weather, meaning the community was in shutdown mode for quite a while. Even so, it was not unusual to see neighbors walking in the bitter cold to stock up on a few basic items.
When I finally was able to get back to work, things got moving again. I am challenging myself to get on a deeper level with the youth that I mentor at Morton, the K8 school across the street from the church. These dedicated youth show up, week after week, to either serve in their school or learn more about how to become a better leader. As the school year progresses, I am determined to get to know these kids individually and encourage them to stay on the straight and narrow, despite all the setbacks they may face.
This past meeting I invited the kids on a field trip: well be going to a state park where a huge sand dune waits for eager sledders to take advantage of snowy weather. Little did I realize how excited they would be, for even though this park is only 20 minutes from where they have lived their whole life, they have only been there onceon a school field trip. This is, sadly, quite normal. I cant change everything, but I can do something. Hopefully this opportunity will bring joy, laughter, excitement, and a time to bond over hot chocolate and
games as we warm up at the church afterwards.
An exciting and encouraging event in our community was an interdenominational service that was held at a local African American church, Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. In one night, over twenty leaders from various churches across the county came together as one body to worship, learn and serve with our local brothers and sisters. I witness walls being broken down as our own Pastor Laurie, one of the guest speakers, spoke from her heart about how two African American woman changed her life. It was a beautiful and powerful moment and I am blessed to have been a part of it.
This is just the start of walls being broken down, as many more remain standing. It was only yesterday when I witnessed one of these walls still strong and intact and it broke my heart. I ask for prayers as I try to shed light, hope, and understanding as to why its not alright for a group of believers to kick an African American man out in the coldwhat if it was Jesus hiding behind those raggedy old clothes?
As this new year unfolds, I ask you to keep the Benton Harbor community in your prayers. First Presbyterian offers so much to this small city, and it is such an honor for me to work side by side with them. I pray that 2014 will be a year for bridges to be built, for walls to be torn down, and for Christs Kingdom to come.
Julie Brien is Westminsters resident for mission at First Presbyterian Church in Benton Harbor
Mission update from Julie Brien in Benton Harbor
Church leaders in Benton Harbor gather at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church for an interdenominational community service.
Westminster Presbyterian Church | Chimes 11
Food pantry creates new mnemonic for monthly food donationsThe Downtown Food Pantry is proud to announce new names for the months of the calendar. Coming soon is a new rendition of Neal Sedakas Calendar Girl:
January, Its about Mac and Cheese.February Soup, if you please.March is P. B. and J.April is Tuna, Oh yea!Yea. Yea. You know what I mean...we love, we love, we love the pantry every day.Every day, Every month of the year
With apologies to Mr. Sedaka.
At the risk of appearing blatantly forward and suggestive, in the month of Soup, please bring soup to the pantry every chance you get, and start on Souper Bowl Sunday, Soup 2. Lets build a pyramid of soup cans in the Gathering Place. That might lead to renaming the Wonders of the World.
Steve Pastoor, treasurer of the food pantry board
The Westminster Child Development Center (WCDC) recently received the following letter:
I have two children attending your center. I am a single mother working to support my two children on one income. My financial statue is very minimal to say the least.
I am currently hired in as a contracted worker for a large company. I started this contracted position hoping that I would be offered a full time position if I could show them my talents. Unfortunately it has become very clear to me that this company will not be hiring anyone for a full time position; they are allowing us to work up to 18 months and then they are contacting the temp agencies to find our replacements.
My two-year-old son has severe asthma and often struggles to breathe, meaning that we frequent the hospital or doctors office on a regular basis to get breathing treatments. On the occasions that I have to miss work to take him to these important appointments, I go without pay, again leading me
further into a financial bind. In the recent months I have had to miss several days of work meaning that my checks have been smaller.
I am requesting a scholarship from WCDC to help reduce my tuition for a short time until I can gain full time employment with benefits. At the current time I am making only $12 an hour and all of my state benefits have been denied because I make too much to qualify. I am hoping this is a short-term need and that your center would be able to assist our family. We love being a part of the WCDC family and I would not feel safe with my children anywhere else.
This letter is a true testimony to the many families with which the WCDC Tuition Assistance fund can support.
The Board, Staff, and Parents of WCDC would like to thank everyone who donated to our 2013 tuition assistance fund. We were able to raise over $3,600. Your donations go a long way to ensure families will have financial support when needed. Again, we would like to thank you for making our assistance fund possible.
WCDC: Testimony about scholarship support
12 Chimes | Westminster Presbyterian Church
Session is the governing board of Westminster Presbyterian Church, made up of church members and led by the senior pastor. At its December meeting the Session took the following actions:
Approved a recommendation from the Trustees to fix the sanctuary roof.
Received an update on the stewardship campaign from the Stewardship Committee.
Discussed the summer service at Westminster-by-the-Lake.
Approved the purchase of Glory to God, the new PCUSA hymnal, for use in worship.
Noted that the current Westminster membership stands at 1335.
Session did not meet in January due to the weather.
december SeSSion report
valentine day Gift baG proJeCt update
This will be the last year for the Valentine Gift Bag Project for women in transitional housing. The Presbyterian Women of Westminster (PWW) group is inactive therefore there wont be anymore fund-raising for this project. However the good news, we have enough money for 2014! Look for the red donation box by the coat room and save Saturday morning February 8, 2014 for assembling and delivery.
Please contact Jane Hedges at 616-450-8117 with any questions.
So often we hear that we are less than what we really are. In particular, for young people they are bombarded with messages that cause them to think that they less than the ideal not thin enough, not smart enough, not beautiful enough, not fast enough, and not worthy. At Camp Henry, we are committed this summer to reversing that message and saturating campers with the message You are More!
Imagine driving down Gordon Avenue, in the back of your parents car, on your way to Camp Henry this summer. As you get close to camp you see people alongside the road with homemade cardboard signs that say You Are Awesome You Are Beautiful You Are Amazing You Are Loved. After getting checked in and meeting your counselor, you head to the Theater where you are welcomed with messages telling you that You Are More Valued, Special, Unique, Awesome, Worthy, Cherished, and Loved. As a camper, you continue to hear these messages every morning during chapel every evening during vespers with your counselor and through the songs and activities all throughout the week.
Camp Henry theme for 2014: You Are More
You begin to realize that you are more than a grade point average, a dress size, or a bank account balance. You more deeply understand that God made you beautifully and wonderfully unique and loves you just as you are right where you are. As the week wraps up, and you get ready to pile back into your parents caryou actually begin to believe that You Are More.
This is our theme for 2014and our vision for how we intend to change lives at Camp Henry, both this summer and beyond.
Westminster Presbyterian Church | Chimes 13
People encounter God under shady oak trees, on riverbanks, at the tops of mountains, and in long stretches of barren wilderness. God shows up in whirlwinds, starry skies, burning bushes, and perfect strangers. When people want to know more about God, the son of God tells them to pay attention to the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, to women kneading bread and workers lining up for their pay. People can learn as much from a love affair or a wildflower as they can from knowing the Ten Commandments by heart. Barbara Brown Taylor An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
We are officially in the thick of the winter season and the New Year is underway! Resolutions have been made (and likely readjusted). Family time has been had (and likely brought new memories). And, finally, were allowed to just calm our schedules and enjoy the waking of change! In the season of award shows, Super Bowls, Black History Month, Valentines, March Madness, Lent preparation, etc., lets remember to encounter God in every aspect of life.
Emerging Westminster events during FebruaryIn February, look forward to these opportunities for Emerging Westminster:
Pub Theology: Interfaith Dialogue at Harmony Brewing Co.
HappyOUR at GR Brewing Co. Roller Skating Rock Climbing Bowling Mission opportunity with the First Presbyterian
of Benton Harbor Soul Feast
Are you on Facebook? Join our group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/emergingwestminster
Westminster Presbyterian will be teaming up with PARA (Programs Assisting Refugee Acculturation) an extension ministry of Bethany Christian Services to help relocate refugee families.
According to Church World Services, a refugee is a person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country.
After worship on February 9, well gather for an informational session to learn about the organization and how were connecting.
At WOW! on February 12, well host an interactive conversation on the opportunities in which we can connect and help sponsor families.
Maybe youd like to be an English tutor, give someone
a ride to the grocery store, coordinate housing, assist with medical advice, network for employment, provide counsel for budgeting and finances, or something else! Maybe you have furniture or clothing youd like to donate! Maybe youd just like to assist with the move!
important dateSFebruary 9: General information Sunday after worship
February 12: WOW! Wednesday night for people
March: Look for reminders in the bulletin and in Chimesmotivators for furnishing the apartments April: After spring break, there will be sign-up sheets in the gathering place
End of April/beginning of May: Arrival and move-in!
your help iS neededContact Linda Paul with questions or interest by email at [email protected] or by phone at 616-682-9340.
Help team up to assist with refugee resettlement this spring
14 Chimes | Westminster Presbyterian Church
adultS: converSationS about life and faith February 2 Discipleship: The Way of Jesus, Part 2We started our year considering what it looks like to be the people of Godwhat characteristics would identify such people? We continue to explore the notion of what it means to claim the people of peace identity. On February 2 and 16, well consider the comfort and challenge of claiming the identity of followers. Leader: Sherrill Vore, Minister for Education
February 9 Introducing our new hymnal! Meet in the sanctuary to learn about how the new Presbyterian Hymnal was devised and do some singing! Leaders: Helen Hofmeister, Minister for Music, Bruce Klein-Wassink, Elder for Music in 2013
February 16 Discipleship: The Way of Jesus, Part 3
February 23 People of Peace in a City with Challenges: Guns, Gangs, and Grand Rapids When we spoke together about gun violence last fall we surfaced a number of questions about our own city to which we did not have ready answers. This week Mayor George Heartwell will join us to both provide some statistics and certainly, some reflections as to our challenges and our hopes.
WOW! WESTMINSTER ON WEDNESDAYMovie night: Wednesday, February 5, 6:008:00p Acting for peace in the face of violence is not an easy choicenor always a clear path. We will watch an award-winning documentary that tells of the life and choices of Deitrich Bonhoeffer, pastor, theologian, pacifist and a leader in the resistance movement in Germany during World War II. Well have some time for discussion/reflection following the movie.
February 19: The Feminist and Womanist Theology Group might be a newer conversation at Westminster but it has been ongoing in many of our lives and has been active in the widespread community. We are looking for strong women in leadership, we are looking for real women in the media, and we are looking for missing women in our gospel story.
In our time together, were seeking to learn from women past, encourage women present and empower women of the future by being in energetic dialogue with one another and with ourselves. There might
Educational programs offered for all agesalways be a glass ceiling and a sticky floor; leaning in might feel more like passing out, and class systems might always complicate our identity and ambitions, but change can be effected inside and out.
In February, we will highlight the Mary, the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, navigating themes of discipleship and salvation.
Join us for Westminster on Wednesdays (WOW!) on Wednesday, February 19 from 5:307:30p!
thurSdaY morninG StudY GroupSome years ago a group met regularly on Thursdays to study the Bible and explore various theological questions and concerns. If you are interested in meeting for conversation and wondering, please join us! This group will meet 9:30-11:00 during February and March. Well begin in February with a look at the book of Ruth and will use a DVD called Uppity Women of the Bible as a jumping off point
Leader: Sherrill Vore, Minister for Christian Education
Questions? Contact Sherrill at [email protected] or 616-717-5541.
ChildrenS eduCation and ChoirOur Preschool and Kindergarten classes will explore stories about the ministry of Jesusthe call of the disciples, healing and preaching. Teachers for this month are:
3 and 4-year olds: Durelle Evans and Jeanne Early
Kindergarten: Katie Van Haven and Suzanne McCune
Choir: Cara Hyink, director, and Lisa Duitman, accompanist
Upstairs groupsFaithSteps As we continue our focus on those characteristics that identify the People of God we will learn about the disciples called by Jesus to travel and teach with him. Who is called and how are their lives changed when they respond with a yes?
Teachers for this month: Heather Lunt, Shannon MacKeigan, Chuck Russell, Ted Duncan, Choir Director: Jackie Schoon
Westminster Presbyterian Church | Chimes 15
February 5: Rev. Paul De Vries, Senior Pastor of Brookside Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids. Kingdom Leadership.
February 12: Rev. Calvin Vander Meyden, HR, Pastor of Congregational Care, Cutlerville East CRC, Cutlerville. Postures of Prayer.
February 19: Lt. Col. Shawn Harris, U. S. Army Active Reserve and Recipient of Walter Coe Award for Public Service. Sharing Challenges and Lifes Lessons.
February 26: Rev. Dr. John Stewart, HR, Presbyterian Pastor, Princeton Seminary (Emeritus) and church consultant, Grand Rapids. Futuring the Congregation.
G.a.l.S. in pinkSince October of 2013, the G.A.L.S. in Pink Breast Cancer Support Group at Westminster has been providing loving support to many women who have been or are currently going through the journey of breast cancer. These women have formed a unique bond of friendship through their shared experiences and continue to welcome newcomers who are in need of support, love, advice, and understanding. If you are in need or know of someone who is in need please contact Judi Stroh at 616-822-7075 or [email protected] for more information. Our next meeting will be February 13 at 6:30pm in the church parlor.
weStminSter womenS retreat 2014The date for the Westminster Womens Retreat is set! It is Friday evening through Saturday afternoon, October 10-11, 2014, at Camp Henry. We will have a wonderful opportunity to spend time with each other, nuture our relationship with God, and enjoy Camp Henry.
I am asking you to help with the retreat. A couple of women have volunteered to help, but, as you know, we can never have too much help. Our first meeting will be held in mid-to-late February. We need to engage a speaker, plan the retreat and coordinate a fundraiser, a new component this year. The fundraiser is going to cover our deposits for Camp Henry and our speaker. We are hoping to sell butter braids at the end of March.
Please consider volunteering. If you feel called to help, please contact Chris Dugan at [email protected] or 616-245-7147.
fiCtion book GroupThe Westminster Fiction Book Group meets on the third Sunday of the month at 7:00p for fellowship and lively discussion.
Our book for February 16 is The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman. Or, get a jump on our March selection: We will be reading and discussing Gruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker on March 16.
elizabeth CirCleThe Elisabeth Circle will meet on Tuesday, February 18, at 1:00p in the Parlor. Our discussion will be on Satan: High-jacker of a Planet from Listening for God, vol. 3. Bring your own lunch and meet at noon for fellowship. Visitors and new members are always welcome.
Contact Lois Waldecker at 616-784-0900 with questions.
weStminSter preSbyterian adultSWPA is a group of vibrant adults, ages 55 and up. We meet the second Thursday of February, March, April, September, and November, with a festive Christmas feast in December and bus trips in May and October.
You are invited to join us on Thursday, February 13, for a luncheon at church with punch bowl and fellowship at 11:30a, followed by lunch at 12:00p. Our guest speaker will be church member, Milt Rohwer. His topic will be The Transformation of Grand Rapids, Observations of a Participant Observer.
To make a reservation please contact Jan Dildine at [email protected] or 616-866-9281.
lookinG ahead family Camp dateSThis year we will try something new! Well gather at Camp Henry on Labor Day Weekend for a time of fellowship, fun and rest before the fall begins. DATES ARE: Thursday afternoon August 28 through Sunday afternoon August 31. Lots of details to come!
weStminSter family bowlinG outinGSave the date: Saturday, March 1, 2:00-4:00p Everyone is welcome! Stay tuned for more details.
midweek ChurChmenS lunCheonWeekly buffet luncheon Wednesdays at 11:30a, followed by fellowship and meditation, led by Rev. Don Gordon.
Small group news and events
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