All Posts

Sermon: Turning the Corner: Fear, Protest, or Thanksgiving

Rev. David Baak

Sermon    
Sunday, November 19, 2017

Life is a series of turning corners—as we walk along life’s pathway we easily abandon the past after we’ve turned the bend, especially if it’s been difficult. We’re certainly not able to see the future around the next turn. So, we live in the present. But, we should not forget the meaning of the past nor fail to anticipate the future with hope. Matthew 25 pairs with the Thanksgiving reading of Deuteronomy 8 and they show a way to live with thanksgiving. Rev. David Baak preaching on “Turning the Corner: Fear, Protest, or Thanksgiving”


Listen to Sermon Audio

A Message from Westminster

  News Updates Security
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hello,

We are reaching out to let you know that Westminster Presbyterian Church received a threat of violence that led us to close our doors yesterday. However, in close collaboration with law enforcement, we are fully open as usual today.

Late Monday afternoon, the Grand Rapids Police Department informed us that Westminster was listed as a primary “target” alongside other faith communities within a suspicious package discovered in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. We did not open our building yesterday (including Westminster Child Development Center) until we could learn more about the nature and severity of the threat. At this point in the open investigation, local and federal authorities have told us that Westminster does not appear to be in ongoing danger.

As we recently shared with you, Westminster is making every effort to be proactive in preparing for and responding to critical incidents. For a year now, Westminster has worked closely with Secure Education Consultants, a firm that designs customized emergency and critical incident response plans and training. Our staff and volunteers recently completed a lengthy, interactive safety training; WCDC staff did the same training specialized for their space. As of last week, printed emergency plans are posted around the building detailing various emergency responses, and we encourage you to review them. We also have trained volunteers serving on a security team every Sunday morning.

We are a downtown congregation with our doors open to our community during the week, always mindful of a balance between hospitality and security. We are steadfast in our commitment to creating a hospitable and gracious environment for our city and neighbors, while doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our staff and daycare families.

If you have any questions, please contact Heather Colletto, Director of Communication and Mission, at (616)717-5536 or heatherc@wpcgr.org.

A personal message from Rev. Chandler Stokes:

I’m in Texas leading an event for the denomination, but staff have kept me actively in the loop. My confidence in them has only grown through this incident, but it’s not easy to be away from you now. You are never far from my heart, and you have the prayers of the people here. I will be glad to be reunited with you. This type of threat is something that other perpetually marginalized faith communities have dealt with for a long time, far too often. We pray to continue our witness undeterred in our commitments to interfaith solidarity, justice, and peace among people. By God’s grace, we will continue to go into the world in peace, have courage, and hold on to all that is good.

Stewardship 2018 Pledge Commitment

  stewardship Stewardship 2018
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

 

 

 

 

Sermon: Connection in the Chasm

 
Friday, November 10, 2017

For the past couple of months, we've been exploring the idea of connection. This Sunday, our text from Luke shows us the devastation of disconnection. We'll wonder together about the chasms in our own lives and the ways we might try to cross them. We'll explore illusions of connection and consider how we might live more authentically connected to God, one another, and our own truest life.​

A link to the live stream of our 11:00a service can be found by navigating to our Youtube feed, or by clicking here. The link will be labeled as 'Westminster Presbyterian Live Stream', and will become available approximately 5 minutes before the service begins. Instructions on how to subscribe to the channel are found here.

Files Size

Bulletin-2017-11-12.pdf

2 MB

View File

Sermon: Stones in the River

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, November 5, 2017

Last week I talked about how we, as a congregation, have offered and can offer glimpses of that Promised Land. This week, I want to talk about how certain individuals do. Barbara Brown Taylor once talking about going to libraries as a child and how she was drawn to “biographies because [she] was a child and needed lives to grow into.”


Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF

Sermon: We Don’t Get There

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 29, 2017

The story is that none of those who escaped Egypt eventually crossed over into the Promised Land—none of them. It was the next generation who finally made it. We are those who have inherited this promise of deliverance from and destiny in the heart of God. What does the fact that that first generation did not cross over mean for us as the inheritors of the promise?


Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF

Sermon: God’s Elusive Presence

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 22, 2017

So, if God must remain elusive, how then with our words, our human language, our very limited ability to speak, how do we maintain God’s transcendence and not reduce God to our ideas about God? How do we avoid the very easy way that words about become idolatrous and end up trapping God in our words? Well, that is one of the reasons that we very intentionally use more than one gender for God. We really can limit God’s ability to touch us, if we get overly limited in our speech. What will we newly receive from God, if we remember that God is portrayed as Mother as well as Father? What love might be waiting for us in the heart of that elusive God?


Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF

Sermon: While We Are Down the Mountain

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 15, 2017

Walter Brueggemann says that the Israelites choose “an available, produced God [over] the sovereign one who is not immediately available and who is not made with human hands.” Israel “cannot tolerate the risk of faith (exemplified by the absence of Moses), so it incessantly seeks to reduce that risk by domesticating God to manageable proportion.” And we have the same temptation. Nevertheless, we carry on the legacy of those who, like the early Christians, the abolitionists, and those who supported ordination for women and LGBTQ+ folks, have chosen to reject idols and follow that living, liberating God.


Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF

Sermon: We Walk in Freedom

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 8, 2017

This week we will sing, Jesus Loves Me, to open the service. As our third graders receive their Bibles, we want them to know that they already know something about what it says: Jesus loves me. And this is a song they already know. And every week, we offer a summary of the law. We remember that when Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment, he didn’t recite the Ten. He reminded us of the law of love.


Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF

Sermon: Even When We Don’t Like It

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, October 1, 2017

Israel quickly moves from celebration at their deliverance across the Red Sea to quickly complaining at the fate of their lives in the wilderness. As we listen to the story of Jonah, this theme echoes clearly again. God delivers him to safety, and he too quickly moves from gratitude to anger. This is our story of human relationship and connection.


Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF

Sermon: We Walk in the Wilderness

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, September 24, 2017

I know that, when we are in touch with the amazing, persistent love of God, we are made glad. We become joyful. We celebrate. An old teacher of mine used to say that Israel had two ways of being—off the land (in the wilderness or in exile) and on the land (in the Promised Land). When they were off the land, he said, they celebrated. All the feasts were wilderness feasts. When they were on the land…, he said, …they worried. And I have to confess that I can go for long periods of time when I’m far better at worry than I am at celebration. Join us as we seek the source of celebration.


Listen to Sermon Audio

Sermon: Into the Water and Out

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, September 17, 2017

Maybe the grace that gets us through our crossing of our Red Seas should be held the way Maya Angelou lays out her sense of grace: We, unaccustomed to courage, exiles from delight live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us to life.


Listen to Sermon Audio

Chimes Volume 2017, #2: Faith Formation

  Chimes Faith Formation Youth
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Volume 2017, #2 issue of Chimes is now available. In this issue: 

  • Adult Faith Formation
  • Youth 2017-08: Weaving God's Word with Their Own Lives and Experience
  • Children's Ministries Focus on Becoming God's People
Files Size

2017-08_Chimes.pdf

7 MB

View File

Sermon: The Call

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, September 10, 2017

We will be talking about “connection” this fall—our connection to God, to our neighbors, and to our truest selves. This Sunday a poem by Mark Halliday will help us experience that collateral blessings in taking hold of God’s hand. Why the HG Is Holy The Holy Ghost was browsing in his or her library one day in the future, unaccountably bored, oddly querulous, vaguely wanting something that would be quietly unfamiliar. “It doesn't have to be great,” said the Holy Ghost with the faintest note of exasperation in his or her voice, “just so long as it has its own special character.” Gliding along the billion shelves, incredibly graceful despite his or her mood. Then the deft and lovely hand of the Holy Ghost lit on a slim volume of poetry - it was your book. It was your book. The first poem caused the Holy Ghost to frown; ah, but not with disdain, rather with curiosity! The second poem brought a brightening of divine eyes. And the page was turned as if by a pensive breeze. Maybe it happened after your death, but so what? It happened. “I'm taking this back to my perfect desk,” said the HG. “This is really something.”


Listen to Sermon Audio

Page 1 of 30 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›