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Imagination & Love

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 30, 2016

Love one another, as I have loved you. This is love as in the story of God’s love for us. This is love along the trajectory of Jesus’ life. This is love in the shape of the cross, cruciform love, love given sacrificially. Jesus said, “Love one another, as I have loved you.” Nothing is closer to stewarding the love of God than to love in that way. This is not fantasy love, but real love in a real world.


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Pledge Commitment Letter

 
Monday, October 24, 2016

Dear Westminster Family,

Through God’s abundant gifts, this has been a remarkable year for stewardship at Westminster.  Our pledge participation and contributions are being sustained at record levels even as our MissionMatters capital campaign is achieving success.  Your generous, faithful stewardship has flourished as we have responded collectively to the needs of our church and its core missions. For all that, I am very grateful.

Westminster’s pledge process includes long-held traditions and practices that are effective, including providing financial information that is timely, clear and accessible, and remembering to personally thank all who pledge.

Our 2017 appeal for pledges is entitled Becoming Church: Learning Love.  In preparation for this appeal, three goals have been set with direction from the Stewardship Committee, Session, staff and others.

Goal #1: Establish and maintain a balanced budget, an annual imperative.

Goal #2: Motivate the congregation in continued support of our programs, staff, facilities and core missions.

Goal #3: Join in a call of church leaders, staff and our congregation toward justice, hospitality and compassion in our living and giving, supporting lifelong pursuit of our Christian identity through a stewardship lens.

A staff wage adjustment is the biggest cost factor motivating the Stewardship Committee to seek a 2.5% increase in pledge giving for 2017.  Please prayerfully consider increasing your pledge by 2.5%, which is an increase of $25 per congregation member.  If everyone does that, the increase will help us to support our financial obligations and a balanced budget.

Enclosed is your pledge card for 2017.  Please join me in making a commitment to Stewardship and Westminster.  Take time to personally reflect on the importance of Westminster to you and those you love, and respond with a pledge of financial support for 2017.

On Pledge Commitment Sunday, October 30, in keeping with our practice, your participation is requested in one of the following ways:

  • Bring your pledge card, included with this letter, with you to worship.  This coming Sunday you may choose to dedicate your pledges at either service.  A pledge card will be waiting for you in the pew if you leave yours at home;
  • If you are unable to attend worship in person on October 30, please mail your pledge card to the church office in the self addressed envelope enclosed; or

Thank you for your continuing and faithful generosity.  I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, October 30.

Roger Nelson

Elder for Stewardship

Investing in Love

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 23, 2016

Warren Buffet coined the phrase, "skin in the game" to encourage corporate executives to be better motivated and committed, by investing their own money in the companies they worked for and so would themselves be on the line financially. Wow. Money is more powerful than conscience. Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." I have been asking myself this week anew: what do I want to give my heart to?


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Integrity & Love

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 16, 2016

Matthew and Luke both call us to have integrity, to match up our words and our actions. It is essential to the gospel’s call. But both gospels also make it clear that integrity, per se, is not the goal. The goal for both is love. Integrity by itself is not enough. Love is required. Maybe G.K. Chesterton points us toward the right end when he said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”


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The Unimaginable

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 9, 2016

I believe that this is so often where we find ourselves—what is sung about Eliza and Alexander Hamilton: There are moments that the words don’t reach There is a grace too powerful to name We push away what we can never understand We push away the unimaginable Too often we indeed push away what is life-giving, but the grace is real. Come and join us and be reminded of that which is so hard to imagine.


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Ambassadors for Christ

Rev. Jen A. Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, October 2, 2016

Every single person on the planet is one for whom Christ has died and risen. There is nothing we can do to make God love us any more or any less that God already does. It is that truth that takes root deep within us and that we carry out into the world. This perspective enlarges our world and frees us to live into God's vision of a different time. Amen and amen.


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Chimes Volume 2016, #3: Going Out To Be The Church: Mission at Westminster

  Chimes
Friday, September 30, 2016

The Volume 2016, #3 issue of Chimes is now available. In this issue: 

  • MissionMatters
  • WPC Mission: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
  • Stories of Linking Lives
  • ServeGR.com
  • Much more!
Files Size

2016-09_Chimes.pdf

7 MB

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A Hope Not Hopeless But Unhopeful

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Worship
Sunday, September 25, 2016

Vaclav Havel wrote that “Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. ... It is a dimension of the soul, and it's not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. … it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons.” That is the authentic hope we have in God. Join us on Sunday as we practice hope together.


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There is a Balm in Gilead

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, September 18, 2016

After an injury, an illness, or a loss, we move, by grace, to a new normal--that's the word these days. And that new normal sounds a lot less full of grief and loss and sorrow than it truly is. When we affirm that there is a balm in Gilead, we remember that in the wake of healing are often scars. It is good news, and yet it is not cheap or glib.


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That Never Used to Happen Before

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, September 11, 2016

Once we receive the gift of attending worship, being in religious community, and of simply trying to follow God's leading, the New Testament tells us that receiving that gift makes us "righteous." And get this--Jesus then says: "...there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." Hmmm... More to ponder. Join us Sunday.


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The Cost of Life

Jeremy Bork

Sermon    
Sunday, September 4, 2016

Our two texts this week create fascinating tension when read alongside one another. Moses says to choose life and live while Jesus uses strong language against life. What’s up with that? This Sunday we will enter into this paradox leaning into hope, love, and life.


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Children’s Ministries Volunteers

 
Monday, August 29, 2016

We still need volunteer leaders, greeters, and teachers for both worship services and Education Hour! No experience required--the curriculum and routines are laid out for you, and training is available. We're looking in particular for Greeters, who assist our leaders and teachers by helping children focus on the story and providing an extra set of hands for projects and play--grandparents, non-parents, and high school students are especially encouraged to join us!. Must be able to pass a background check. Please contact Rev. Sarah Juist (sarahj@wpcgr.org or 717-5541) for more information. 

Children’s Ministries and Construction

 
Monday, August 29, 2016

Registration form: 

To help us ensure a safe and nurturing environment for your children as they learn and grow at Westminster, we've made some changes to our registration forms. Bonus: now, you can register up to three children on the same form! 

Registration Form

Programs/Locations:

Surprise! MissionMatters construction isn't quite finished. So, until we can move into our shiny new permanent spaces, we'll shuffle our program locations one more time. You'll also notice, beginning on September 11, a new check-in station in the Gathering Place. This is where you will drop off and pick up your children for ALL of Westminster's ministries for children (except for the nursery.) 

Program Cheat Sheet

Dates to Know/Choir Schedule:

This is where you can find the who/what/where/when of children's ministries, all in one place! 

Choir Schedule | Master Calendar

 

Please, Come In and Sit Down

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, August 28, 2016

Jesus calls us, no, really, Jesus commands us to humble ourselves. I think I may understand better why now, having spent so many hours with great providers of hospitality and time with Luke 14. How might we be inspired to appropriate humility? That's our question for Sunday.


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To Be Human Now

Rev. Dr. Riley Jensen

Sermon    
Sunday, August 21, 2016

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us….Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.


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