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Sermon: It is like…

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, July 30, 2017

Last year, I read the Chronicles of Narnia to my three boys. A favorite character emerged, Repicheep, the mouse. Many are drawn to this soul who is small in stature but mighty in faith, courage and devotion. Jesus tells us again and agin, "the kingdom of God is like". Repicheep too invites us to seek this kingdom and to faithfully step toward the promises of God.

Sermon: Patience in Ambiguity

Rev. David Baak

Sermon    
Sunday, July 23, 2017

This week’s scripture, Matthew 13.24-30, 36-43, gives one of the “kingdom parables” that teaches how to live in this beautiful, conflicted, joyful and confusing world. Wheat that is nutritious and life-giving and darnel or “tares” (weeds that are deceptive and noxious), growing together and indistinguishable from each other. We are called to let God be the judge and we are called to be patient with what is ultimate while faithfully working to find the right and the good. Rev. David Baak preaching on “Patience in Ambiguity."


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Sermon: Good Dirt

Kyle Nolan

Sermon    
Sunday, July 16, 2017

There are subtle but marked tensions in the Parable of the Sower: between the mystery of God’s will and the possibility of its faithful anticipation, between the word of the prophets and the experience of the church, and between the title of the parable and it’s real focus, the soil. Join us as we explore the promise, possibility, and challenge it offers


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Sermon: The Capacity to Choose

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, July 9, 2017

In this passage, Jesus addresses 'this generation.' This of course is not our generation, but sometimes as William Goettler reminds us, too much rings true. There is within us however, a capacity to understand, a capacity to follow, even a capacity to surrender. What will we choose to cultivate?


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Sermon: The Wisdom in Uncertainty

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, July 2, 2017

My colleague, Erin Keys, writes, “There is an aspect of human nature that is forever trying to create a dichotomy, forever trying to make things black and white, forever trying to create a worldview based on two opposing forces, when the truth is always far more complex…. Anytime we are given two opposite views, the reality is that neither one is totally true. The life-giving gift of the Spirit is to be found in the wisdom of uncertainty; of wading in to a reality that is vague and often confusing, but one that offers an alternative to seeing things as either one way or the other.” That is the wisdom in uncertainty.


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Sermon: How Can I Keep From Singing?

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 25, 2017

Here is the point of Luke's story in Acts 8: The Spirit is not a commodity to buy and sell. Luke is clear: commercial interests do not mix easily with the Spirit's movement in the world. The Spirit is not a power one can possess without first being possessed by it. (David Lewicki) That is an unsettling notion...


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Sermon: Without Jesus

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Two thoughts from Rowan Williams drive the meditation this week: One: For most of our time, we belong to groups and societies and to individuals we love. In all these contexts we use the common coinage of words and ideas and concepts and accept the compromise and imprecision of human communication. Nor is this wrong: it is, indeed utterly necessary to us… But it is not everything, and … if we think it is everything, the results will be the grossest hollowness and unreality in our selfhood. Two: In our failure at the level of word and understanding not everything is lost. Through the unhealed pain of [not communicating, while] looking despairingly at each other there can still be trust that there are other levels of which to communicate. There is deep hope and deep honesty in these words, which I hope to unpack for us on Sunday. Join us.


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Sermon: And it was so…

Sermon    
Monday, June 5, 2017

Brene Brown challenges us with this questions: how can we find rest and play if we tie ourselves to what we produce? We were not created to produce and making space for rest and being helps us discover who God is and who we are. We are invited to play and to create.


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Sermon: Rejoicing in the Power of the Holy Spirit

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 4, 2017

The notion of progress has been pretty well smashed by the evils of the twentieth century, but sometimes the “progressive church” gets trapped in the notion of increasing good, simply because that church is an American phenomenon. We hardly know who we are without the notion of progress. Rejoicing in the Holy Spirit is rooted in something other than progress. And it is something we can see and touch and taste… albeit in a world that is broken and bitter. Join us for joyful feast of the people of God.


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Uncommon Power

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, May 28, 2017

The key to this week’s service is in this short passage from Frederick Buechner: As for making a human being be what I want him to be, without at the same time destroying his freedom—only love can make that happen. God’s power is a very different power than the world uses and values; it is the power of love.


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Abiding Love

Rev. David Baak

Sermon    
Sunday, May 21, 2017

8:30 “Abiding Love” is the theme of this sixth Sunday of Easter and our exploration of Unanticipated Love. The gospel of John (14:21) assures us that we will know the mystery that “[the Spirit] abides in you and … [Jesus] in the Father, and you in me, and I in you” and from the apostle (Acts 17:28) that “in [God] we live and move and have our being.” Rev. David Baak, preaching.


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WPC Art Gallery - Alan Adsmond

  Art Gallery News Updates
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The WPC Art Gallery is currently featuring the work of Alan Adsmond. Alan is a member of Rivertown Artists’ Guild whose watercolors have been juried into area art shows for many years.  Alan studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art, served in World War II and then studied at Los Angeles Art Center school.  He was employed as a commercial artist for 40 years and concentrates, in retirement, on watercolor landscapes, figure work and portraits.


An Integrated, Team Approach to Adult Faith Formation

 
Monday, May 15, 2017

The Search Committee has enthusiastically chosen Rev. Jen Porter and Kyle Nolan to share the Minister for Adult Faith Formation position beginning August 15. This concludes more than a year of discernment by Session and committees as they’ve listened carefully to the congregation’s voice and longings for spiritual growth. Jen and Kyle sharing this position also creates a reallocation of current staff that emphasizes each of their gifts, interests, and experience.

The Search Committee reviewed several applicants, then overwhelmingly endorsed Jen and Kyle’s proposal for an integrated, team approach to adult spiritual growth through the lens of faith formation rather than education alone. Jen and Kyle bring complementary strengths in theological education and spiritual direction, plus experience with missions, youth, and educational models. All of this is enhanced by their relationships built in their years at Westminster. Their joint ministry will be deeply enriched by Jen’s continued involvement in pastoral care and Kyle’s new role in missions.

On August 15, Jen will become the Associate Pastor for Faith Formation and Pastoral Care; her former mission responsibilities will be transferred to Kyle. Kyle will become the Minister for Faith Formation and Mission, joining the mission team led by Heather Colletto, Minister for Mission. In addition, part-time middle school director Jeremy Bork will become our new Minister to Youth. Rounding out the education team is Nancy Greidanus, Minister for Children and Families. The middle school position will be filled by summer’s end.

Unanimously approved by the Personnel Committee and Session, this position is funded by a five-year decreasing grant from the Memorial Trust Fund.

Take the links, below, to read Jen and Kyle’s proposal for the shared position; the MAFF position description; and, the background of this decision. Take the video link to Rev. Chandler Stokes’ sermon on October 23, 2016 “Investing in Love.”

Position Background | Position Description | Team Proposal

Rev. Chandler Stokes, Investing in Love — October 23, 2016

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