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Sermon: Finding Our Way Into Hope

Rev. Jeremy Bork

Sermon    
Sunday, December 1, 2019

Rev. Jeremy Bork | On this first Sunday of Advent, Isaiah takes us up God’s holy mountain. At the summit, we find neighbors from all corners of the earth, and the violence within us transformed into unity and peace. But when we look around our world today, we know we’re not there yet. Join us in worship this Sunday as we locate ourselves on the journey toward the mountain and wait for the coming of Hope in the flesh.


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2019 Advent Preachers: Finding Our Way

 
Monday, November 25, 2019

Together we find our way into the promise of Christmas and into all the story holds. This advent, we walk through Isaiah’s imagery-filled witness of God and God’s people. “Come, let us go to the mountain of the Lord.” We step into hope. “They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain.” There will be peace. “The eyes of the blind will be opened.” And, oh the joy that comes. “God will give a sign,” a sign of pure unbounded love, love made flesh.

Along with our preachers, elders have been invited to pray us through this season. Households will call us into worship with the lighting of the advent candle and each week we will hear the scripture spoken both before and after the sermon. And, art created by members of the congregation for prayerful meditation will be on display in the chapel. What might we learn, notice, and receive along this way this year?

 

December 1—Advent 1 | Rev. Jeremy Bork | Minister for Youth and Their Families
Title: Finding Our Way Into Hope
Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-5


December 8—Advent 2 | Gene Ryan | Seminary Intern           
Title: Finding Our Way Into Peace
Scripture: Isaiah 11:1-10


December 15—Advent 3 | Rev. Jen Porter | Associate Pastor
Title: Finding Our Way Into Joy
Scripture: Isaiah 35:1-10
 

December 22—Advent 4 | Rev. Laurie Hartzell | Interim Executive Pastor and Transitional Leader
Title: Finding Our Way Into Love
Scripture: Isaiah 7:10-16   


December 24—Christmas Eve Services

4:30p Family Service
Nancy Greidanus | Minister for Children and Their Families
Rev. Jen Porter | Associate Pastor
Title: Witnessing Christmas

        
8:00p and 11:00p
Rev. David Baak | Executive Pastor?
Title: What, Really, Is the Point of Christmas?
Scripture: Isaiah 9:2-7

Sermon: The Problem of Good or Threatened with Resurrection

Rev. Riley Jensen

Sermon    
Sunday, November 24, 2019

Sunday, November 24 | TWO services at 8:30 & 11:00 | Rev. Riley Jensen | We look forward to welcoming Rev. Riley Jensen back to the Westminster pulpit this Sunday. Riley was our Senior Pastor and Head of Staff from 1998-2007. After retiring, Riley was part of the founding leadership team for “Presbyterian CREDO” (a health and wellness program for Presbyterian Clergy) until 2017 acting as a Conference Leader. He will preach on “The Problem of Good” or "Threatened with Resurrection” based on Mark 10:17-22. Please join us in worship for our Thanksgiving Ingathering for the Pantry and as we commission our volunteers.


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Sermon: All In

Rev. Amanda Benckhuysen

Sermon    
Sunday, November 17, 2019

Our guest preacher on Sunday is the Rev. Amanda Benckhuysen who teaches Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew at Calvin Seminary. She is currently researching and writing in the area of biblical ethics. Her most recent project is a short book on biblical perspectives on immigration and, additionally, The Gospel According to Eve: A History of Women’s Interpretation, was just released. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband Martin and her daughters Kiya and Syann. She will preach on Isaiah 43:1-7, a sermon titled “All In.”


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Sermon: Unfinished

Rev. Jeremy Bork

Sermon    
Sunday, November 10, 2019

Thirteen 9th graders wrap up their confirmation journey this weekend where they will be received as Westminster's newest members. After a feast on Saturday night with their families, mentors, and members of Session, we will celebrate their milestone in worship on Sunday at the 11:00 service. The lectionary this week offers strong encouragement from the prophet Haggai. Haggai's words of hope follow the destruction of the temple, and in the valley of not knowing what will come next, God's people are promised, "The latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the former." Join us as we reflect on our own deconstruction, rebuilding, and where we find ourselves today.


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Sermon: Impatient Patience

Kyle Nolan

Sermon    
Sunday, November 3, 2019

Sunday, November 3 | TWO services at 8:30 & 11:00 | Kyle Nolan | Feast of All Saints Observance | The Quaker peace activist and educator Elise Boulding taught her students to recognize that each of us touches a two-hundred year present. Join us in worship this Sunday as we wonder at the visions of the prophet Daniel, take counsel from Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain, and read aloud the names of the departed saints who have touched our own present.

Sermon: Called to Invest

Rev. David Baak

Sermon    
Sunday, October 27, 2019

STEWARDSHIP 2020 DEDICATION SUNDAY | The prophet Joel has something to say about God’s abundance and the power of God’s spirit among us. So does the reformer Martin Luther. Join us in worship as we reflect on how we are Called to Invest, especially this day as we bring our pledges for our congregation’s ministry in this next year.


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Sermon: Called to Community

Rev. Jill Russell

Sermon    
Sunday, October 20, 2019

Rev. Jill R. Russell has been a congregational pastor for twenty-four years and has served as co-pastor at Hope Church, RCA in Holland, Michigan since 2008 and she consulted with our WPC staff this past summer. Prior to her ministry at Hope Church she was an Interim pastor who specialized in working in congregations during times of transition. She is a founding member and the administrator for the Holland Restorative Circles which began its work in 2009. She and her partner, Andrew Bunnell, are the proud parents of two children who have just started 3rd and 6th grade. Rev. Russell will continue our Stewardship series this Sunday.


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Introducing our November 2019 Guest Preachers

 
Thursday, October 17, 2019

November 3 | Kyle Nolan
Minister for Faith Formation & Mission

November 10 | Rev. Jeremy Bork | Confirmation Sunday
Minister for Youth and Their Familes

November 17 | Rev. Amanda Benckhuysen
Amanda teaches Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew at Calvin Seminary.  She is currently researching and writing in the area of biblical ethics. Her most recent project is a short book on biblical perspectives on immigration, provisionally titled, Loving our Migrant Neighbor. She is also author of the newly released, The Gospel According to Eve: A History of Women’s Interpretation. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband Martin and her daughters Kiya and Syann.

November 24 | Rev. Riley Jensen
Rev. Riley Jensen was our senior pastor and head of staff from 1998-2007. After retiring, Riley was part of the founding leadership team for “Presbyterian CREDO” (a health and wellness program for Presbyterian Clergy) until 2017 acting as a Conference Leader. He continues to preach, teach, and consult while carving out plenty of time to work on his golf handicap.

Sermon: Called to Steward

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, October 13, 2019

Rev. Jen Porter will begin our Stewardship Series with "Called to Steward" based on Psalm 23.


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Sermon: Let the Little Children Do What?

Sermon    
Sunday, October 6, 2019

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey is professor of religion and ethics at Drake University and author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America as well as Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation. In addition to preaching at Westminster, Harvey will join us during the Formation Hour for a discussion of Raising White Kids, and she will lead a public workshop on the book’s themes in the evening.


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October Guest Preachers

 
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

October 6 | Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey is professor of religion and ethics at Drake University and author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America as well as Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation.

In addition to preaching at Westminster, Harvey will join us during the Formation Hour for a discussion of Raising White Kids, and she will lead a public workshop on the book’s themes in the evening. If you have any questions or would like to register for the workshop, contact Kyle Nolan at kylen@wpcgr.org.

 

Stewardship 2020

“A Matter of Value: Our Call to Stewardship”

 

October 13 | Rev. Jen Porter | Stewardship Luncheon

Westminster Associate Pastor for Faith Formation & Pastoral Care

 

October 20 | Rev. Jill Russell

Rev. Jill R. Russell has been a congregational pastor for twenty-four years and has served as co-pastor at Hope Church, RCA in Holland, Michigan since 2008 and she consulted with our WPC staff this past summer. Prior to her ministry at Hope Church she was an Interim pastor who specialized in working in congregations during times of transition. She is a founding member and the administrator for the Holland Restorative Circles which began its work in 2009. She and her partner, Andrew Bunnell, are the proud parents of two children who have just started 3rd and 6th grade.

 

October 27 | Rev. David Baak | Stewardship Dedication

Westminster Executive Pastor

Sermon: A Claim that Claims Us

Rev. Doug Van Doren

Sermon    
Sunday, September 29, 2019

We welcome back our guest preacher, the Rev. Doug Van Doren. Doug was pastor of Plymouth United Church of Christ for forty years, retiring in 2018. He has chaired and served on many local boards including the Grand Rapids Urban League and Planned Parenthood of West Michigan and was co-founder of Concerned Clergy of West Michigan.


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A Letter from the Session: Mid-Transitional Update

 
Monday, September 23, 2019

On Sunday, September 15, the Session provided lunch and a “Mid-Transition Congregational Update” for more than 150 members who heard the update in person. We are excited to follow up with this information for those who were not able to attend and to include the additional information that we promised. This letter summarizes that gathering and introduces the Interim Executive Pastor/Transition Pastor who will join us starting December 1. Please let us know if you have questions and please continue to hold everyone involved in your prayers.

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Sermon: Beyond Justice

Rev. Doug Van Doren

Sermon    
Sunday, September 22, 2019

We welcome back our guest preacher, the Rev. Doug Van Doren. Doug was pastor of Plymouth United Church of Christ for forty years, retiring in 2018. He has chaired and served on many local boards including the Grand Rapids Urban League and Planned Parenthood of West Michigan and was co-founder of Concerned Clergy of West Michigan. Rev. Van Doren will preach on September 22 and 29.


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