Worship Blog

In A Day

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

We say, as Christ's body, that in our baptism that we have become Children of God. We quickly realize as we live into our faith, that the things that change us happen in a day and over lots of years. What has changed me? We continue to walk with that question as we reflect on Jesus' baptism.


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Worship Schedule for January

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Body Language

What has Changed?

 

What Good is an Epiphany?

January 4– Epiphany Sunday
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12  
Music: Leslie Wilkinsion, Violin, and Andrew Wilkinson, Flute at 8:30a
Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a

 

In A Day

January 11 – The Baptism of the Lord
Rev. Jen Porter preaching
Scripture: Mark 1:4-11
Music: Viviana Kloostra, Soprano at 8:30a
Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a

 

Courtney Smith and MissionMatters

January 18 – The Second Sunday after Epiphany
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching
Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20
Music: Nancy Patterson, Mezzo-Soprano at 8:30a
Chapel Ringers and Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a

 

The Day You Actually Want to Hear From John the Baptist

January 25 – The Third Sunday after Epiphany
Rev. Tom Are, Jr. preaching
Scripture: Luke 3:7-17
Music: Westminster String Ensemble at 8:30 and 11:00a Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a Annual Meeting following the 11:00a service

Sitting in Darkness

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Sermon Sermons Worship Worship Blog
Wednesday, December 24, 2014

“Sitting in Darkness" - God did not wait till the world was ready, till...the nations were at peace. … God did not wait for the perfect time. God came when the need was deep and great. Come celebrate with us the Birth of the Messiah, the Light of the World.


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The Light of Love

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Sermon Sermons Worship Worship Blog
Sunday, December 21, 2014

This week also gives us a chance to introduce an addition to our pastoral care team: a mental health referral panel that gives us some great confidence about making referrals for members of Westminster. It is a very comforting and exciting development.


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Worship Schedule for December

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Moving in the Darkness

December 7 – The 2nd Sunday of Advent
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching
Scripture: Isaiah 40:1-11
Music: John Nienhuis, baritone at 8:30a
Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a

 

The Light of Hope

December 14 – The 3rd Sunday of Advent
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching
Scripture: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Music: Peter Falb, cello, and Karl Falb, violin at 8:30a
Cantus, Cherub, Carol Choirs, Chapel and Kirk
Singers, and Sanctuary Choirs at 11:00a

 

The Light of Love

December 21 – The 4th Sunday of Advent
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching
Scripture: Romans 16:25-27 and I Corinthians 13
Music: Westminster Winds at 8:30a and 11:00a
Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a

 

Christmas Eve, Sitting in Darkness

December 24 – The Nativity of the Lord
4:30p – Family Service Music: Children’s Choirs
Rev Chandler Stokes preaching at 8:00p and 11:00p
Scripture: Isaiah 9:2-7 and Matthew 4:12-23
Music: 8:00p Sanctuary Choir, Kirk Singers, and
Alumni, 11:00p – Leslie Wilkinson, violin, and
Andrew Wilkinson, flute

 

Revealed

December 28 – First Sunday After Christmas
Rev. Jen Porter preaching
Scripture: Luke 2:22-40
Music: Sarah and Kate Huizinga, sopranos at 11:00a

Now What?

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Worship Worship Blog Sermon
Sunday, November 16, 2014

This is what Prof. Thomas Long says: We do not get to draw a line in the sand and say, “OK, God, when I get this problem of suffering worked out in my mind, I'll step over the line toward you.” Or, “OK, God, when you begin to honor my sense of justice, then I will trust you.” No, we have to step over the line and fall on our knees in prayer and faith. Only in the light of our trust in God is there anything to see.


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Why Is There So Much Hurt?

Sermon     Worship
Sunday, November 9, 2014

Asking God Why? Is the right thing to do; we can’t really help ourselves from asking. And asking this question keeps us in relationship with God—and that is good. But is God really responsible for all this suffering? The God of Jesus Christ enters suffering, and there are things in this world that are not the friend of God.


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Worship Schedule for November

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

 

Why Do We Pass It?

November 2 - The 31st Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on Communion
Scripture: 1 Peter 2:9-10
Music: John Schlafley, tenor at 8:30a
Joe Ivy, soloist, Cherub and Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a

 

Why Is There So Much Hurt?

November 9 - The 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Sacrament of Baptism
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on Suffering
Scripture: Matthew 12:24-30
Music: Cheri Reid, soprano at 8:30a
Cantus, Carol and Sanctuary Choirs at 11:00a

 

Now What?

November 16 - The 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Confirmation Sunday
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on Faith
Scripture: Hebrews 11:1-3
Music: Lee Copenhaver, cello and Helen Hofmeister, harpsichord at 8:30a & 11:00a
Kirk Singers and Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a

 

Thy Kingdom Come

November 23 - Reign of Christ Sunday
Rev. Jen Porter preaching
Scripture Matthew 25:31-46
Music: Westminster Winds at 8:30a & 11:00a
Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a

 

The Luminous Dark

November 30 - The 1st Sunday of Advent
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching
Scripture: Psalm 139:1-12
Music: Sarah Faasse, soprano at 8:30a
Chapel Ringers and Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a

 

Worship Schedule for October

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

 

10,000 Places, and more…

October 5—The 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Rev. Jen Porter preaching
Acts 8:26-40

 

Who is Jesus?

The Stewardship of a Human Life
October 12—The 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Third Graders receive their Bibles
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on Jesus Christ
John 1:1-5, 14
And the Word became flesh…
—John 1:14

 

Where Did All This Come From?

The Stewardship of Creation
October 19—The 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reception of New Members
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on the Creator
Genesis 1:1-4
And God said, “Let there be light; and there was light.”
—Genesis 1:3

 

How Do I Work This?

The Stewardship of What We Have Received
October 26—The 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reformation Sunday Stewardship Dedication Sunday
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on Scripture & Spirit
2 Peter 3:14-18
So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
speaking of this as he does in all his letters.
There are some things in them hard to understand…

—2 Peter 3:15-16

 

 

Stewardship: A Life Given By God (October 12-26)

  Worship Worship Blog
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Worship 2014
Within our Series on Confirmation:

Confirmation: Questions for a Lifetime of Faith

 

We have a three-week section devoted to Stewardship—

Stewardship: A Life Given By God (October 12-26)

Some years ago the following short hymn text was commissioned by Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. Throughout this confirmation series, we are singing this as a response during the presentation of the offering. It is particularly appropriate to the stewardship section of the confirmation series. These words say what may of us feel to be the way that God has blessed us, as we return our gifts to God on Sunday morning:

For the life that you have given,
for the love in Christ made known,
with these fruits of time and labor,
with these gifts that are your own:
here we offer, Lord, our praises;
heart and mind and strength we bring;
give us grace to love and serve you, 
living what we pray and sing.

 

The devotions, which I prepared for the October Chimes are also closely linked to the stewardship theme. The October issue of Chimes is available here.

Worship Schedule for September

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Teaching the Gospel

September 7—The 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
Commissioning Church School Teachers
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on
Matthew 28:16-20
Christian education is a matter of catching the aroma of hope in a place. 
— C. Ellis Nelson

 

A Special Sunday in the Life of Westminster

September 14—The 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Sacrament of Baptism
Candidate for Associate Pastor,
Rev. Jen Porter preaching on
Revelation 22:1-7
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God…
—Revelation 22:1

This Sunday, our candidate for Associate Pastor will preach her candidating sermon.
After the APNC’s twenty month’s search, we celebrate together their nominee and
follow our worship service with a congregational meeting to consider formally the committee’s nomination.

There is a river running through the middle of the city of God: a river
that flows and nourishes, a river that brings healing to the nations.  And one day, there, where God is,
"there will be...”  And so, together, we hold that vision. 

Rev. Jennifer A. Porter comes to us from Spring Lake Presbyterian Church, where she has served for nearly ten years.

More info here

 

Confirmation and Fall Preaching Series 2014 begins:

Questions for a Lifetime of Faith

 

Why Are We Here?

September 21—The 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Commissioning WCDC Teachers
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on
Micah 6:6-8
In keeping with our call to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God,
by God’s grace Westminster Presbyterian Church will be a servant leader in
worshipping God faithfully; serving God and others joyfully
creating a community of dialogue, nurture and learning;
and welcoming all in the name of Christ. 

—Westminster Vision

 

Who Are We?

September 28—The 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Commissioning Camp Henry Staff
Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on
I Corinthians 12
If one member suffers, all suffer together with it;
if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.  
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

—I Corinthians 12:26-27

 

A note about “Ordinary Time”

  Worship Blog Worship
Monday, August 25, 2014

The Sundays of August and September are all under the rubric of “Ordinary Time.” What does that mean? More than “ordinary” as opposed to “extraordinary," “ordinary” in the liturgical calendar really refers to “ordered” time, as opposed to “disordered” time. This old terminology is meant to remind us that God has ordered the world, that we are in good hands, as opposed to suggesting that there is nothing special about this time of year!

Questions for a Lifetime of Faith

  Worship Worship Blog
Monday, August 11, 2014

Questions for a Lifetime of Faith

Confirmation and Fall Preaching Series 2014

 

I’m sure you have heard this old quip: This is a test. This is only a test. Had this been an actual life, you would have been given more complete instructions.

When it comes to Confirmation, that quip suggests two implications. One: This is not a test. This is so not a test. Confirmation is not first of all a test that involves getting the answers right, but about how to live with incredible questions that will never have final answers. Confirmation is about growing in faith, not stopping with answers. Two: Confirmation is about your actual life; it exploring some of those “more complete instructions”—but they’re not so much instructions as they are questions.

The questions we explore in Confirmation are questions that can help build meaningful relationships, questions that can turn our lives inside out, questions that invite us to a greater sense of intimacy with God, and questions that can lead us into adventures we have not yet imagined.

The fall preaching series is closely linked to our Confirmation curriculum. In years past the series associated with Confirmation has been called Confirmation for the Whole Church or Confirmation for Everyone. This year I am calling it: Questions for a Lifetime of Faith.

Irvin Yalom, the psychotherapist and author, once wrote: The rational questions one can pose about meaning will always outlast the answers. Confirmation is not about answers to questions; it is about questions that form our faith. Yes, there are responses to these questions, both traditional responses and newer ones, and they are really good answers—time-tested and wise. But the answers change with our experience; they change over time. The questions persist, and they frame our lives. We do not stop asking questions, and they are an indispensible part of our faith.

Nearly everyone I know has experienced some time in their lives when questions about their faith overwhelmed them and seemed to shake their very foundations. That seems to be the nature of our journey in God. As Barbara Brown Taylor recently said: “For many years I thought my questions and my doubt and my sense of God’s absence were all signs of my lack of faith, but now I know this is the way the life of the spirit goes.”

Our hope in the Confirmation process is to culminate it by asking the confirmands: “What questions do you have now?” And in this process we hope to prepare them for the reality that their faith will be shaken; it happens in the normal course of growing in faith. We don’t fail when we question—we can and will come back to faith—we grow. Confirmation is in part about coming to that understanding.

And part of the confirmation process is to allow our questions to change, perhaps from Who am I? to Whose am I? From Why me? to What next? From What am I supposed to get out of this? to What do I get to offer? We will also ask these kinds questions: Why are we here—here at 47 Jefferson, here as part of a church? What or who is God, and how can I learn anything about God? How does this Bible really work? I just don’t get Communion: What is that all about? What is Love trying to do here? Why is there so much pain in the world?

As the confirmands will each be writing a statement of faith, we would like to invite all those in the congregation to join in that project. Over the nine weeks of this series, I invite you also to try your hand and stating what you believe at this point in your life. I hope that you will join us and our young people, as we explore these questions for a lifetime of faith. The series begins on September 21.

Worship Schedule for August

  Updates Worship Worship Blog
Friday, August 8, 2014

August 10: The 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

One Service at 10:00a

Music: Janlee Richter & Family

Sermon: “What’s Next for the Church: Embodied Faith” - Reverend Katherine Baker will deliver this week’s sermon and will be exploring our call to embodied faith--What does it mean? How is it demonstrated? Why does it matter? At the forefront of our congregation, what's next for the church? We’ll look to the greatest commandment to aid us in answering these questions.

August 17: The 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

One Service at 10:00a

Music: Frank Van Haven and New Revival Jazz Band

Sermon: “Rocks and Words” a sermon by Rev. David Baak on Exodus 2 and Matthew 16 — two conversations that we overhear; words about important events, but also stories that are critical points in our faith history:  Moses is rescued by his sister’s quick words for the Princess who takes him from the river and it is he who later delivers his people; Peter the disciple says out loud who he believes Jesus to be—the one who will deliver his people.  These are stories that help us “check our words” and help us explore the will of God, challenging each other to understand what following Christ means.   

August 24: The 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

One Service at 10:00a

Celebration of the Ministry of Jackie Schoon

Music: Viviana Kloostra, Soprano

Sermon: “Trace Evidence” Rev. Chandler Stokes will be preaching on Matthew 11:2-6. This is one of those sermons back by request. By reflecting on a story by Jorge Luis Borges and the work of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, we will look for the trace evidence of the world changed by Christ’s presence “…not through proofs or arguments, not by ceasing to question or doubt,” but by listening for and following that voice that seems out of place in this world, listening for and heeding that discrepant note: the tenderness and exaltation, the silence and the mitigation of this often harsh world.

August 31: The 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

One Service at 10:00a

Labor Day Weekend

Music: Al Exoo, guitar and voice

Sermon: “No God in There?” Rev. Chandler Stokes will be preaching on John 1:1-14. This is the last of the sermons back by request. In the midst of tragedy and suffering, we often struggle to find where God is. We will explore the hopeful meaning of the Incarnation in the midst of a world of hurt.

Worship and Communion at Camp Henry

Music: Sanctuary Choir

Sacrament: Communion

Sermon: “Lost and Found” a sermon by Rev. David Baak on Exodus 3 and Matthew 16.21-26.  Losing and Finding each produce strong emotions and interesting behaviors.  The mundane looking through the camp dining hall for that elusive shoe can be a metaphor for the sublime theological attempt to understand how losing can be finding a whole new life—and both are strengthened by community.

Worship schedule for May

  Updates Worship Worship Blog
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

May 4: The second Sunday of Easter

Music: Hannah Nelson, clarinet at 8:30a, and the Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a.
Sacrament: Communion and reception of new members.
Sermon: ‘Fleeing in Terror,’ Ryan Donahoe preaching on Mark 16:1–8.
What do we do when we wake up after Easter and it appears as though the resurrection never happened—that the world is exactly the same as it was on Palm Sunday? The good news is that we know what to do—even when our faith is lacking, our doubt is overwhelming, and we don't comprehend what took place on Easter morning

May 11: The third Sunday of Easter

Music: Rev. Chandler Stokes at 8:30a, Haydn’s Harmoniemesse at 11:00a
Sacrament: Baptism at 8:30a
Sermon: ‘Namesake,’ Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on Matthew 1:18–25.
“So, Gogol changes his name to Nikil. While not a name common in Kansas, it is a name that sets him free. But in time he discovers much to his amazement that there is too much Begali in him to be completely at home in America. He is … caught between two worlds….”

May 18: The fourth Sunday of Easter

Music: Min Jin, tenor and Hyun Ji, cello at 8:30a, and the Sanctuary Choir at 11:00a
Sermon: ‘Dirt in Our Shoes,’ Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on 2 Kings 5:1–14.
Like Naaman, we all live in the shadow of the house of Rimmon. Call it Syria, Washington, DC, Jerusalem or Bethlehem, with an incarnational God, we are called not to rise above these houses, but to find the holy ground within them.


Summer worship schedule begins May 25: One service at 10:00a


May 25: The fifth Sunday of Easter

Music: The Sanctuary Choir
Sermon: Rev. Dave Baak preaching at Westminster, and Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching at Camp Henry.

June 1: The sixth Sunday of Easter

Sacrament: The Lord’s Supper
Sermon: ‘Closing the Distance,’ Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on Matthew 26:47–58.
Blessed are the pure in heart? Peter walking on the water: he sinks but he’s out of the boat… It’s trust and a lack of trust at the same time. Faith is not black & white. We are a mixture. I follow, but only at a distance.

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