All Posts

The Baptismal Cord

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My colleague Doug King wrote: “Baptism is not about inoculation, it is about destination.” And our destination is hinted at both in baptism and in Easter. This is a traditional service that will provide an opportunity for us to recommit ourselves to our faith at the beginning of Lent and to discern what particular spiritual work we may be called to for this season. Please join us.

Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF

Claiming and Reclaiming the Bible

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

“Claiming and reclaiming the bible” will continue on Wednesday evenings: February 17 & 24. Please, bring your questions, and I will hope to respond to them. In addition, “I will explore the nature of the Bible itself and various responsible ways to explore its riches. We will meet from 7:00p to 8:15p in the Sanctuary. I hope you will join us.” - Rev. Chandler Stokes 

Glow in the Dark

Westminster Youth

Sunday, February 7, 2016

THIS Sunday, February 7th, please join us in this annual celebration as our high school and middle school youth lead worship during both our 8:30a and 11:00a services, including sermons preached by the senior class of 2016.

Listen to Sermon Audio

An Appeal to Christians in the United States

Monday, February 1, 2016

To those who have signed “An Appeal to Christians in the United States,” 

We have self-consciously refrained from bombarding you with follow-up emails regarding the Appeal, but we are writing now to give you an update on developments and ask for your continuing help in its dissemination. The public rhetoric that occasioned its development has only gotten more strident and abusive, suggesting that the message of the Appeal deserves to be brought to the attention of as many who would want to join its affirmations as possible.

Here is a summary of what has happened thus far. As of this writing 2,618 church leaders and members have signed the Appeal. They represent many different backgrounds and denominations--small town pastors and pastors of large city churches; lay leaders; presidents of eight Presbyterian theological seminaries; a variety of other seminary presidents; Hispanic evangelical church leaders; Episcopal bishops; Mennonite pastors and church members; Pentecostals and evangelical leaders; African American church leaders; Lutherans from Minnesota and Calvinists from Michigan; Catholic friars and sisters; activists for the homeless; distinguished theologians, biblical scholars, and historians; Baptist pastors and Methodist leaders.

We are beginning to get the Appeal before the public. It is on a number of Facebook pages and websites--including the websites of several seminaries. At their request, it has been sent to White House staff. The Christian Century has published an announcement of the Appeal and it has appeared in the Nebraska City NewsPress, the Asheville Citizen Times and the Raleigh News and Observer. More recently an article in the Presbyterian News Service referenced the Appeal.

Please continue to do what you can to get the word out to friends and colleagues. Those of you working to get the Appeal in your local papers, please continue to make contacts and do what you can to have reporters see the Appeal and the diverse backgrounds of those who have signed it. In case they might be of use to you, a series of quotes from a variety of signers appears at the end of this communication. In your personal and media contacts let people know that the Appeal can be signed online via this link, andthat the names of signers can be seen via this link,

Thanks again for your commitment and help.

The Clergy Appeal Team

Some statements by signers 

"Daily we face a clamor of voices filled with fear and pride that presume our security means harming those we label 'other' or 'enemy.' I choose life and peace with all those signing this "Appeal to Christians in the United States." 

Weldon Nisly, Mennonite pastor, Seattle, Washington

"Thank you so much for this timely and significant effort to create a collective Christian voice on this important matter.
I am signing on."

Rev. Dr. James L. McDonald
President and Professor of Faith and Public Life
San Francisco Theological Seminary

"Like many other United Methodists, I have been concerned by the barrage of political rhetoric we have been subjected to in the past few weeks. I’ve received some great sermons from pastors attempting to help their congregations think like Christians about matters of terrorism, immigration and our responsibility to our sisters and brothers in other faiths. Of particular concern is that some candidates are invoking, in utterly inappropriate ways, the Christian faith as a rationale for their words and deeds.

So when my friend Erskine Clarke of Columbia Seminary assembled some of his friends and wrote an eloquent appeal to their fellow Christians, I was honored to sign on. I think it is a great act of witness. Now I share the appeal with you and hope that many of my Ministry Matters friends will find hope and help through these words."

Will Willimon, Methodist Bishop in Alabama and former Dean of the Chapel, Duke

"As an Evangelical Christian I wanted to be sure to express to the rest of the world that our primary allegiance is to the gospel. This gospel requires of us to love the stranger, welcome the refugee, and denounce othering in every form."

Rev. Dr. Gabriel Salguero
Pres., National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Pastor, Lamb's Church

"This statement addresses the most powerful idol holding sway over the world today: fear. I signed as an act of resistance. As Christian people we are called to live in faith, hope and love. Those who lead (and seek to lead) must be held to this same high calling."

Scott Black Johnston, 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church, NY

To sign the petition or receive more information, click here.

Words In Your Mouth

Rev. David Baak

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Jeremiah was called to be a prophet and protested that he was “only a boy” and didn’t have the ability to speak out. God assured him that God would put the “words in your mouth.” We are called to be prophets in our day and God assures us that we will be given the ability, the courage, and the words to be able to speak. That is especially true for our officers—elders, deacons and trustees—who will be ordained and installed and are charged to serve the congregation with "energy, intelligence, imagination and love” into the understanding of our calling. Info for those who have signed, or would like to sign "An Appeal to Christians in the United States" can be found here:

Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF

Worship Schedule for February 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Glow in the Dark

February 7 - Transfiguration of the Lord Sunday
Youth Sunday
Scripture: Ephesians 5:8-9
Music: Kirk Singers

The Baptismal Cord - Lent 2016

The Baptismal Cord

February 10—Ash Wednesday
Imposition of Ashes & Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on
Isaiah 43:1-7
Music: Sanctuary Choir
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
-Isaiah 43:1

Love is Eternal

February 14—The First Sunday in Lent
Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on
1 Corinthians 13
Music: Lee Copenhaver, Cello at 8:30a;
Sanctuary Choir & Cherub Choir at 11:00a
Love never ends. - 1 Corinthians 13:8

Dual Citizenship

February 21— The Second Sunday in Lent
Annual Meeting
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on
Philippians 2:1-5 & 3:17-4:1
Music: Hannah Tripp, Soprano at 8:30a;
Sanctuary Choir and Cantus Choir at 11:00a
But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Philippians 3:20

North Star

February 28—The Third Sunday in Lent
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on
Jeremiah 31:31-37
Music: Westminster Winds at 8:30a & 11:00a;
Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a
Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day
and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night…

-Jeremiah 31:35



Grace: A Discussion of the Actor’s Theater Performance

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Leader: Church member, Bernice Houseward and guests from Actors’ Theatre.

Join representatives from the cast and production team at Actors’ Theatre for a discussion of this powerful play focused on inter-faith relationships within families and the global community. Performances are January 28-30 and February 4-6. Visit Actors' Theater Grand Rapids for details.

When the Waters Rise

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The hard truth about global climate change can be deeply dis-heartening. There is a great deal in motion that we will not be able to stop. That is where hope comes in. We are a people defined by hope. We believe in a God Who raised Jesus from the dead. We believe in a God Who turns the shadow of death into daybreak. We are called to live into that hope.

Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF

The 2015 Annual Report & Meeting

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Each year, Westminster produces an annual report of its life and ministry during the past year. The purpose of this report is to inform and remind us of the multitudinous ways in which God has been faithful in the life of our congregation. We’re pleased to announce that the 2015 Annual Report is now available.

2015 Annual Report | 2015 Financial Report


We invite you to join us at the annual all-congregation meeting on Sunday, January 24 following the 11:00a service—lunch is provided! You can ask questions of principals from staff, Trustees, and session, hear an update about our MissionMatters capital campaign project, celebrate the Lord’s faithfulness and generosity, and remember the saints from our congregation who have passed into the fuller life of the Church Triumphant.

Black Lives Matter

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Of course, all lives matter. The session has recently reviewed and approved a document that includes the following: Black Lives Matter is contextual. To insist that black lives matter is not less than insisting that all lives matter. It is the necessary affirmation of the same conviction in a particular circumstance. Precisely because all lives matter, we must be prepared to affirm even more loudly the worth of those lives harmed by injustice—the lives of any who have had reason to question whether society values them at all. We insist that black lives matter, then, because the historical and contemporary injustice done to people of color demands it.

Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF

A Stream in the Desert

Rev. David Baak

Sunday, January 10, 2016

We see the world sometimes through our hope and confidence in God, and sometimes through our fear and doubt. We return to the Word, to center us again in God's covenant and in whose we are. Gregory Jones reminds us that "God's forgiveness requires us to confront our tendencies to see the world either as "lighter" than it is or as "darker" than it is." We gather, and listen for God to speak.

Listen to Sermon Audio

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Join us Monday, January 18, 2:00-4:00p in the Gathering Place. We will have music, fellowship and a few other activities. We will have music and fellowship as well as a few other activities. If you haven't experienced Westminster during the week, this is the gathering for you! All are welcome. We will need volunteers to help out and to provide light, healthy snacks

Be the Match Registry

Monday, January 4, 2016

Our own Health and Wholeness Committee is sponsoring a Be the Match Registry THIS SUNDAY, January 10, in the Gathering Place. Be the Match Registry connects blood cancer patients searching for a cure to life-saving donors like you. It's simple to join; with some simple paperwork and a self-administered cheek swab, you could potentially save the life of someone you’ve yet to meet. Stop by the Gathering Place after either service to join the registry. The cure for blood cancer looks like you. ‪#‎bethematch‬‪#‎teamcheekswab‬ ‪#‎missionmonday‬

First Hand Aid Dinner & a Movie

Monday, January 4, 2016

Although about baseball, as the story unfolds A Lesson in Diplomacy is really about the change from a focus on baseball to the GVSU players beginning to understand the importance of their mission: representing the United States in their baseball playing and their work in Humanitarian efforts through First Hand Aid. It is an amazing film.  The team also spent time in Guines at the Presbyterian Church, also a Westminster partner.  The movie runs about 1hour and 20 minutes (in the Chapel). RSVP for dinner to Erin: 717-5530 or


The Fragile Word

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The word, especially when it comes in the form of a prophetic challenge is fragile; it is easily rejected or ignored. It is not only Jesus’ words that are rejected, but he himself. His rejection comes well before his trial in Jerusalem. Please join us during January for this exploration of the prophetic word. It will not always be comfortable for us. It will not always be easy for us, but it will always proclaim God’s hope for the world.

Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF

Page 16 of 36 pages ‹ First  < 14 15 16 17 18 >  Last ›