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The Link Westminster Presbyterian Church, Ann Arbor, miVolume 24, number 6: June 2011
in this issueEvents & announcements, 2
A Prayer Walk in the Woods, 3
Presbytery service project, 3
June calendar, 4
Introducing elders, deacons, 5
Rejoicing Always: It Is Possible E very week, like most parents, I check my children’s homework. In doing so, I assist them with assignments, encourage them in their learning and education, challenge them with new information and ways of seeing the world. And in the process, I am sometimes challenged with new ways of doing math and new lessons in history that I either forgot or never learned. I also assist them with their weekly spelling words and definitions. Coming up with ways to remem-ber the meaning of some words is a good way to ensure you’ll secure them in your head.
In May, during worship, everyone was encouraged to memorize a few verses of scripture. Memorization is not an end in itself–though when we’re laboring to lodge something in our memory, it sometimes seems pointless and a chore. When the situation arises that we need what has been stored away, then we’re grateful (or should be) that we have the tool that fits the occa-sion. I recall reading Benjamin Weir’s book Hostage Bound, Hostage Free about his experience as a hostage in the Middle East. He was kept isolated and a politi-cal prisoner by terrorists for well over a year. After his release he later became Moderator of the PC (USA). In his book, he tells that while he was a hostage he relied on the passages of scripture he had memorized and hymns he remembered. They were for him a lifeline providing hope and a connection with God and the community of faith.
There are some people who are gifted at memoriza-tion, but all of us have the ability if we put a little effort into it. The verses we were challenged to memorize (if you haven’t already) were 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NRSV)
The last phrase gives purpose behind the effort of what we are challenged, even commanded, to do in the first three phrases: It is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus. In other words, God wills these things for us and opens the possibility of them through Jesus Christ–without Christ, we could not rejoice no matter what, we could not remain connected to God at all time, we could not give thanks in everything. Yet that’s what God wants and wills for us. Why? Because God loves us and knows
there is blessing in rejoicing, praying, and gratitude. The opposite of rejoicing, praying and gratitude–or
even their absence – is a frightful thing. We remain prisoners of the circumstances and emotional reactions to the circumstances of our lives. That is why it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that we practice rejoicing, praying and giving thanks no matter what.
Is it easy to rejoice always, to pray without ceasing, to give thanks in all circumstances? No, it is not–especially if we are not regularly exercising the resolve to do so. Even those who have a natural pro-pensity to be joyful or see the glass as half full, have their days and times when life is a challenge. God, however, does not leave us without the resources to face the challenges. There are other passages of scripture that let us know what those resources are. Which is good rea-son to read scripture daily and routinely study and memorize passages –not so that we can spout them off like a recording, but that by their presence in our hearts and minds the Holy Spirit might con-tinue to shape us into the likeness of Christ.
As we enter the sum-mer months, keep up your Bible reading, join or form a group to study scripture, pick a book of the Bible to read through and take to heart and then daily follow your plan. And practice what we are liberated for: re-joicing always, praying without ceasing, giving thanks in all circumstances . . . for this is what God created and redeems us for in Jesus Christ. Just think of the blessings you’ll enjoy and the witness you’ll provide by doing so!
. . . read scripture daily, and routinely study and memorize passages–not so that we can spout them off like a recording, but that by their presence in our hearts and minds the Holy Spirit might continue to shape us into the likeness of Christ.
Parables, Potluck and Practicing Faith TogetherJoin Pastor King on Wednesday nights in June and July at 6:30 pm on the east lawn of the church for a casual picnic and conversation as we explore the parables of Jesus together. What are the life lessons found in them? How do we practically incorporate them into our lives?
No homework, just come as you are. Bring a blanket, a dish to share, and an open heart. Children are welcome to come eat and play.
Looking ahead to fall:
Exploring Christian Faith Together Join Pastor King on Wednesday nights beginning in September for an in depth look into the core beliefs of Christianity. Using the Bible and the book Christian Doctrine, by Shirley Guthrie, we’ll systematically cover
such topics as the Trinity, evil, sin, atonement, resurrec-tion, the Holy Spirit, the Church, Reformed tradition, reading and interpreting Scripture, Christian hope and more. For new or life-long Christians–you won’t believe how much we’ll learn together.
The class will meet for 20 weeks. It is highly recom-mended that you purchase a book (available at Amazon.com) and begin reading over the summer. The book comes with these recommendations (among others):
“. . . this is the book to help you find your faith once more. One of the best quotes from the book is, ‘An honest doubter is closer to the truth than a superficial or dishonest believer.’”
“Why don’t we learn this stuff in church? This book radically altered my view of faith.”
Clothesline ReminiscencesSixty Plus Club, Friday, June 17, noonAnne Lawrence helps us remember “The Love and the Lure of Clotheslines.” RSVP to Bonnie Terpstra (734-668-8577) or Phoebe Vance (734-971-4870).
Westminster seeks an Office and Facilities Manager, a ¾-time position reporting to the Pastoral Head of Staff. Responsibilities include managing daily communications and operations, acting as the church’s representative to outside groups using our facilities, and working courte-ously with a variety of constituents. Knowledge of Word, Excel and data base management is required. Office management, facilities rental experience, and software development skills are desirable. Westminster Presbyte-rian Church is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Please send a resume to Gordon Beeman or Mary Hammond.
Westminster members and friends are cordially invited to celebrate Joan and Bob Piatt’s 50th wedding anniversary, July 1, at 6:30 pm. Please, no gifts.
Westminster finances are reportedApril 2011 Budget Actual
Pledges received 46,697 52,406Other income 9,244 +7,633Expenses 55,941 −47,469Receipts minus expenses = (deficit)
Year-to-date balance: $6,672
Questions or concerns? Please contact Jeff Kennedy, Treasurer or David Hammond, Financial Secretary.
Estate planning often includes charitable givingIn April, Gordon Beeman and Margaret Klammer pre-sented information to the Sixty Plus Club on charitable giving, with special emphasis on endowment giving. Westminster’s Endowment Fund, when fully funded at the goal level of $150,000, will provide a bedrock of financial support of Westminster’s mission work, pro-grams for children and teens, and building maintenance.
There are many ways to contribute to to our Endow-ment Fund, including living annuities and bequests. Please consider Westminster’s Endowment Fund in your charitable giving, including direct donations from an IRA, with no income tax imposed upon the gift. Infor-mation on this method of giving will be available soon.
Summer worship begins Sunday, June 19: one service at 10 amSummer Wednesday Night Live! and Prayer and Praise worship: June 29, July 13, August 17. Dinner at 5:45 pm; worship at 6:30.
Congratulations to Sis and John Kaufmann who were elected Couple of the Month for May, and crowned King and Queen for Mardi Gras at their home, Saline Evangelical Home.
A Prayer Walk in the WoodsInspired by the “Neighborhood Evangelism” class on sharing faith with our nearest neighbors–that is those who are S. A. F. E.–
“Spontaneous: people we ‘bump into;’ Ac-cessible: close proximity; Frequent: those we encounter (or could encounter) regularly; at Ease: they see us with ‘our hair down’”– my husband and I built a labyrinth in the middle of our neighborhood common woods. Our woods do not belong to anyone and there is no neighborhood association responsible for tending them, although there is a fairly well-groomed path along a creek which runs throughout. Children have built forts, bike jumps have appeared for teenagers, and dogs are free to roam. Now, built from downed limbs and stumps, with nothing living al-tered or moved, a prayer walk has emerged.
The design is circular and simple. An upright stump with a rock on the top sits at the cen-ter, with a stump on its side serving as a small seat. A downed tree lies at the opening providing a great place for contemplation prior to entering. It’s tough to find unless you know it’s there, but if you stumble upon it, it provides a sacred space to walk, think and pray. There’s a raccoon home inside a hollowed out tree just off to the side of it and the other day a deer ran by . . . and of course, there’s always the background music of birdsong and the rustle of other small critters. All around it stands a majestic timbered choir.
So now the question: How are we to share this gift? What’s beautiful about it is also what keeps it hidden. Off the beaten path and completely blending with its environment, it does not draw attention to itself. Once found, it’s easy to find again. Yet undiscovered, it is likely to remain that way.
A sign? Something seems wrong about that. Regard-less of what the sign might say, it seems to limit what the labyrinth could be. And a sign is a clear indication
that someone lays claim by definition to the space. So no, a sign just doesn’t seem right to me.
A flyer to invite the neighbors to explore? I’ve thought about this and I’m still thinking . . . On the flyer I could explain a bit about the labyrinth . . . how they’ve been used throughout the centuries by a variety of spiritual traditions . . . Still I’d have a hard time describing how to find it unless I marked trees along the way, which is possible . . .
Word of mouth? I told one neighbor about it and invited her to explore it on her own. This led to a great conversation together about prayer and her habits of walking prayer, and she gave me a stone to take into the labyrinth to place at the center. She planned to go looking for it, but she might need a guide.
I’m praying about it. Like most things faith related, it is too good a secret not to share.
Handy with tools? Consider this opportunityDetroit Presbytery Men’s Service Project Saturday, June 11, 9 am–3 pm Help refresh and restore facilities for a Presbyterian start-up church serving the Hispanic community in Southwest Detroit. Work side by side with members of Comunidad Los del Camino to restore their building
on the southwest side of Detroit (formerly Southwest Presbyterian Church, 7354 Whittaker).
Bring sons and daughters; there’s plenty of work for all ages and skill levels. Please sign up in the entry to the fellowship hall. Contact Jack Collins for more information.
June 8 am Morning prayer
4:45 pm Riverside Community Gathering6:30 pm Word in Motion7:30 pm Westm. Choir
8 am Morning prayer7 pm Bell Choir and music ensembles
8:30 am Morning prayer
Worship with communion at 8:45 and 11:15 am; classes at 10 am10 am Cake reception for graduating seniors plus Prayer Pal Brunch 6:30 pm Parents of teens small group
8 am Morning prayer 8 am Morning prayerSenior Sojourn through June 9
8 am Morning prayer1 pm Ladies’ Bible Study4:45 pm Riverside Community Gathering7:30 pm Westm. Choir
8 am Morning prayer7 pm Bell Choir and music ensembles; Property Committee
8:30 am Morning prayer
9 am Detroit Presbytery Men’s Service Project
Con�rmation SundayCommissioning of Omega mission teamWorship at 8:45 and 11:15 am; classes plus cake reception for con�mands at 10 am6:30 pm Parents of teens small group
8 am Morning prayer6:30 pm Missional Monday* committee meetings
8 am Morning prayernoon Sarah Circle
Deadline for July issue of �e Link8 am Morning prayer1 pm Needlecra�ers4:45 pm Riverside Community Gathering
8 am Morning prayer7 pm Deacons
8:30 am Morning prayer
noon Sixty Plus Club
Omega mission trip through June 248 am Men’s Breakfast
Worship at 10 am11 am Reception for departing O�ce Manager Karen Neilson6:30 pm Parents of teens small group
8 am Morning prayer5:30 pm Vacation Bible School
8 am Morning prayer5:30 pm Vacation Bible School7 pm Session meeting
8 am Morning prayer4:45 pm Riverside Community Gathering5:30 pm Vacation Bible School
8 am Morning prayer 8:30 am Morning prayer
Omega mission team returns
Worship at 10 am6:30 pm Parents of teens small group
8 am Morning prayer 8 am Morning prayer 8 am Morning prayer1 pm Ladies’ Bible Study4:45 pm Riverside Community Gathering5:45 pm Wednesday Night Live! dinner followed by Praise and Prayer Worship
8 am Morning prayer
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday �ursday Friday Saturday
* Missional Monday committee meetings include Administration, Adult Education, Children, Endowment, Fellowship, Membership, Mission, Stewardship and Finance, Worship, and Youth and Young Adults. A few committees meet at other times.
Meeting locations and times are online at www.westpresa.org. See also Today’s Meetings on the church media center.
Please note: �e official church calendar is maintained in the church office by Office and Facilities Manager Karen Neilson. All event dates and room assignments in our building must be cleared with her.
On our web siteSign up online for Vacation Bible School, June 20–22. We welcome adult helpers any or all nights.
We’ve got stories to tell! You can listen to them at www.westpresa2.org/home/worship.html.
The Westminster Weekly, Sunday worship guide, plus sermon title and Sunday Bible readings are placed online on Fridays.
Follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/WestPresA2); join us on Facebook (http://on.fb.me/kI f j JT; Friends of Westminster Presbyterian Church–Ann Arbor MI).
Sign up to receive The Link via email on the web site home page.
followed by Praise and Prayer Worship: June 29, July 13, August 17
Dinner at 5:45; worship at 6:30. Come be refreshed and renewed!
Our weekly Wednesday Night Live! resumes in early September
Wednesday Night Live!
Connie George is a deacon helping to serve the Adam Care Group.Connie grew up in Saline and still lives there with Gor-don, her husband of 22 years, and daughter, Kristin, a senior at Saline High School.
Connie graduated from the U-M School of Nursing. She currently works at St. Joe’s Hospital in Labor and Delivery. In the 18 years she has worked there, she has helped deliver over 1200 babies. She feels the best part of her job is welcoming a new baby to the world.
Connie joined Westminster in 1994. She is a mem-
ber of the Westminster Choir and the Alleulia Ringers.
In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering as a Girl Scout leader. Reading and cross stitching are also favorite pastimes.
Together, the George family enjoys attending sporting events at U of M, vacationing at Myrtle Beach, and camping up north.
Jennifer Wilson is a deacon serving the David Care Group.She was born in Illinois but grew up and attended school in Ann Arbor after moving here in 1976.
Jennifer and her husband Shaun have four children: Caleb, 16, Jada, 11, Marcus, 6, and Lia, 4.
Jennifer is a manager in the Revenue Cycle Divi-sion in the U-M Health System. She has worked there for sixteen years. During that time she has worked on several projects, including the Activation Committee for the new Children’s and Women’s Hospital. Shaun is also employed at UMHS in the Anesthesiology Department.
Jennifer was raised in the Presbyterian Church. She has attended Westminster for most of her life as have her parents, Lyn and Jerry Brown. She feels it is a blessing to
have been raised “in a wonderful community of Christians and to now see my children having that same faith experience.”
Although her life is busy, when she has spare time Jennifer enjoys playing the piano, singing and reading. Her most cherished times are those she spends with her family. Attending her children’s activities is a pleasure to her, even though having four children in four different schools can be a scheduling challenge.
The family’s favorite vacation spot is Disney World. They travel there almost every year and Jennifer de-scribes the family as Disney fanatics.
Marjorie McRoberts is an elder and a member of the Mission Committee.Marjorie was born on Long Island, then moved to northern New Jersey and grew up there. She attended Hobart and William Smith College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and history of religion.
Marjorie started her career helping build prototypes and laying out printed circuit boards. She came to Ann Arbor for what was to be a six-month job at the U-M Space Physics Research Laboratory. She was only the second woman on the technical staff there. Because funding for space research was not consistent, Marjorie eventually moved to the Human Resources Department where she remained until her retirement in 2004.
During her time at the Space Physics Research Lab, she met her future husband, Alan. They married in 1974 and had two daughters, Katharine and Suzanne. Katharine is married, with two children. Marjorie enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and sharing ad-ventures with them. Suzanne lives at home and attends Washtenaw Community College. Alan died suddenly in
2003. Marjorie credits Westminster for helping her through that most difficult of times.
Upon seeing a telecast of a Billy Graham crusade when she was young, Marjorie began her faith journey. As a teen and young adult, she rejected some things, but returned to faith in Christ later in college. She has attended various mainline Protestant churches and has found that the Presbyterian Church works best for her. Marjorie feels that, “Doubts are not the enemy of faith, ennui is. Honest questioning can lead to a stronger and deeper faith, but it is not easy.”
Marjorie’s interests range from camping, SCUBA div-ing and canoeing to fiber arts, including knitting, weav-ing, tatting, bobbin lace making, and basket making. She is involved in the Needlecrafters group at Westminster.
She is active in Girl Scouts and has held many posi-tions in her 50 years of participation. Marjorie would like to see Scout troops at Westminster.
Introducing our newly-ordained elders and deaconsContinued here is our several-month-long series telling us about our new class of elders and deacons.
Westminster Presbyterian Church1500 Scio Church RoadAnn Arbor, Michigan 48103
Sunday worship, June 5 and 12: 8:45 and 11:15 am; Classes for all ages, 10 am
Sunday worship, beginning June 19: One service at 10 am
detroit 2011westminster presbyterian churchlistening sharing creating growing
Detroit Mission TripJoin us for the week, a day or
an afternoon, July 17–22.
All generations are welcome, including families with
For more information, please contact Greta Buck
([email protected]) or Pastor Cathi King