Psalm 8 declares, “You have set your glory above the heavens.” Praise, praise, praise—that our lives may be an expression of praise. We often say during worship, “It is right to give thanks and praise,” which is a doxology—a word that means “to speak praise.” Doxology does not deny the pain or other realities of the world, nor does it withdraw and ignore the pain, suffering and grief that await when worship ends. Just as worship names that which is worthy, it also dismisses the competing claims upon our loyalty.
Our music, too, will be full of praise: Westminster members Linda and Roger Nelson will play string music at both services along with our new harpsichord, and then at 11:00a the Cherub Choir, Carol Choir, and Sanctuary Choir will sing together.
And fon’t forget us at 9:30a for roundtable conversations! We’ll consider if violence is ever justified, and if Jesus always condemned violence.
Finally, follow on to the dining room for a special meeting after the 11:00a service to elect the newly-formed Youth Minister Search Committee (YMSC).
Bring a friend or neighbor and join us Sunday as we celebrate and give praise to the God who created and sustains us.
“We are trustees of the Lord’s bounty unto us.”
That’s how this 1959 pledge appeal from our archives puts it. As you can see, we’ve been doing this pledging thing for a while—just as we do it today.
Repentance can be a difficult subject. There’s a Shaker song, ‘Simple Gifts,’ whose lyrics say, “To turn, turn will be our delight ‘Til by turning, turning we come ‘round right.” What does it mean to “come ‘round right”? We’ll look at Luke 13:6-9 as we consider this. The American preacher Fred Craddock says of the text, “In fact, for Luke the gospel is the offer of repentance and forgiveness of sins…”
As usual, there will be beautiful music: The Westminster Winds will perform at both services, and be joined by the Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a.
And don’t forget education at 9:30a: Dr. Jeff Tyler, professor of religion at Hope College, continues our series ‘The Church and the Reality of Violence’ in the chapel.
The November issue of Chimes is now available. In this month’s issue:
- Focusing on our core missions: Westminster Downtown Food Pantry, WCDC, and Camp Henry
- Introducing the new Community Food Club
- Looking ahead to Advent
- ArtPrize 2013 wrap-up
- New members
Our worldwide missions team is in Cuba this week with First-Hand Aid, bringing medical supplies to three different hospitals. Please keep them in your prayers.
Photo by Simon Cocks.
This Sunday we celebrate All Saints Day.
Our faith is a song—we learn it from others, add our own voices to it for a time, and teach it to others so they can sing it after us. The basis of that song of faith is a call to remember not only the saints themselves, but the basis of the faith that empowered them: Christ has defeated death.
Friends, join us at 8:30a and 11:00a as we celebrate communion, hear songs from the choirs, and remember the saints who have come before us.
Rev. Chandler Stokes
“Whoever loves their dreams of the Christian community more than the community itself becomes its destroyer,” said Dietrich Bonhoeffer. There is a tension between what we long for the church to be, and what it actually is. But the heart of the Gospel is found with accepting those whom Christ has called—including new ones. We consider how to love an imperfect institution, and what discipline, hope, and love it takes to do so. A sermon on Isaiah 55:1-5.
Our focus this month is on stewardship. Why do we give? Quan and Gaëtan Gerville-Réache said it well in this video from Sunday.
October 20, 2013: A sermon on Isaiah 55:1-5, and the reception of new members.
Sermon: “Whoever loves their dreams of the Christian community more than the community itself becomes its destroyer,” said Dietrich Bonhoeffer. There is a tension between what we long for the church to be, and what it actually is. But the heart of the Gospel is found with accepting those whom Christ has called—including new ones. We’ll consider how to love an imperfect institution, and what discipline, hope, and love it takes to do so.
Music: The Cherub Choir and the Sanctuary Choir will sing at 11:00a.
Education: Be here at 9:30a for education for children and adults. In the chapel, Sherrill Vore continues our exploration of the book of Genesis.
- The young adults of Emerging Westminster, our ministry to young adults, in their own voice
- A mission report from Julie Brien in Benton Harbor
- An interview with U.S. Army veteran and conscientious objector Logan Mehl-Laituri
- How you can help with October’s countywide food drive
…and much more!
The new Chimes is a magazine-like design that is more visual, colorful, and illustrative of Westminster’s ministries. In this new format, we hope to better tell the story of our church, its members, and its ministries.
For this debut issue of the new format, we’re focusing on Westminster’s ministry with young people. You’ll find full articles on Sunday education, a new experiment with youth choirs, WCDC, Camp Henry, and the youth ministry, plus news and information from across the congregation.