Rev. David Baak
Surrounded by evil and violence, we sometimes find it easier to close ranks with those just like us, rather than seeking peace and reconciliation for our world. Yet, we are reminded in our confession “that God has revealed God’s self as the one who wishes to bring about justice and true peace among people…and God calls the church to follow… standing by people in any form of suffering and need…" (Belhar Confession, 4.) This Sunday we look at Psalm 85 to help move us beyond despair or analysis toward the time when “justice and peace will kiss each other.” Rev. David Baak, preaching: “Bending Toward Justice, Becoming Allies.” Diane Helle, violin.
This text is really quite compelling, especially when situated in its large context. It is held in parallel with the Healing of the Blind Man and in contrast to the Rich Man. So the narrative of Zacchaeus depicts a person who is able to gain a newness of sight, a vision for living that isn’t contingent upon his wealth or status. Unlike the Rich Man, however, Zacchaeus is able to make the move down from his power position and privileged mentality, which I’ll symbolically connect to the sycamore tree. It is interesting that, upon meeting Jesus, Zacchaeus, perhaps for the first time, really hears the cries of the people around him, those whose suffering he has benefitted from, and responds to them by sincerely giving of himself. For Luke, “salvation” is pretty much synonymous with “healing” and “wholeness.” So the story ends with a “healing” and “wholeness” coming to the home of Zacchaeus as a result of his literal and figurative climbing down the tree. What might that look like for us? How might that affect our discussions around BLM?
Rev. Sarah Juist
Mary Oliver, the beloved American poet, wrote: “For a while I could not remember some word / I was in need of, / And I was bereaved and said: where are you, / beloved friend?” Words have an immense and somewhat mysterious power over us--power to shape us, to convince us, to bring us joy and fear alike. Somehow, that power outlasts our memory of the words themselves. This week, we'll hear Moses entreat us to choose life and love--but where are such words to be found these days? Could it be that the words we seek are nearer to us than we realize?
Rev. Jen Porter
This Sunday in Worship: Rev. Jen Porter preaching. "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is- that she is a sinner." Of course, Jesus was The prophet. And Jesus did know. E. Stanley Jones encourages us to keep the prophet alive in our souls. "Without them we sink from the "Is" to the "Was."" Join us Sunday for communion. Come, to be renewed again in Christ's Sprit.
Rev. Karen Stokes
We welcome Rev. Karen Stokes as our guest preacher this Sunday. She is a native of Oakland, California. After college, where she majored in music, she attended San Francisco Theological Seminary, receiving her MDiv in 1982 where she also met and married Chandler Stokes. She has served several congregations in Northern California and following her move to Michigan in 2010, has served as an interim pastor in UCC and PC(USA) congregations; currently she serves as Interim Pastor of Parkwood Presbyterian Church in Jenison. Karen loves living in Michigan, with its humane pace, dramatic seasons, and natural beauty. Her message on Sunday will be “Return No One Evil for Evil” based on Genesis 45:1-9; Matthew 5:38-48. Join us at 10:00a.
Rev. William A. Evertsberg
We welcome former pastor Rev. William A. Evertsberg as guest preacher this Sunday. Bill is the Senior Minister at the Kenilworth Union Church in Kenilworth, Illinois. He has also served congregations in Abington, Pennsylvania; Greenwich, Connecticut and here at Westminster from 1990-1997. He has degrees from Calvin College (B.A.) and Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.) He will preach on Philippians 1:1-7; 2:1-7; 4:13 titled “Paraclete”.
Rev. Paul Timothy Roberts, Sr.
We welcome as our guest preacher this week Sunday June 12, the Reverend Paul Timothy Roberts Sr. He is President of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA. Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary is one of the ten theological schools of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the only one that is historically African American. Paul is a graduate of Princeton University and Johnson C. Smith. He is also an Academic Fellow of The Ecumenical Institute at Bossey in Celigny, Switzerland. He is an author and a popular speaker who has preached at the NEXT Church Conference, the Montreat Youth Conference, the Mid-Winter Lectures at Austin Presbyterian Seminary and at congregations around the country.
Rev. Dr. John Stewart
We welcome former pastor Rev. Dr. John (“Jack”) Stewart as our guest preacher on Sunday, June 5. Jack is retired as a professor of Practical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. A graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (M.Div) and the University of Michigan (Ph.D), he has taught at Hope College and Yale Divinity School. He has served as pastor in two congregations in Western Pennsylvania and from 1974 to 1989 he was the Senior Pastor here at Westminster. His message on Sunday will be “When Some Plus More Equals Infinity” based on John 4.
Rev. David Baak
The story of Elijah at Mt. Carmel (I Kings 18) is well known and is also disturbing: Whose God? is the question and the answer is quite clear. Not so much in Luke 7 with Jesus' interpretation of the Roman centurion’s request for Jesus to heal a servant: “…I’ve not seen such faith as his…" The contrast prompts us to think bigger than ourselves, our own understanding, and our expectations for what is “true.” Join us for one service this Sunday, at 10:00a; Rev. David Baak, preaching.
Rev. Dr. Randal Jelks
We welcome Rev. Dr. Randal Maurice Jelks this Sunday, May 22. Dr. Jelks is Professor of American Studies and African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas. He is an ordained Presbyterian clergy (PCUSA) and part of the Westminster congregation. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, McCormick Theological Seminary and Michigan State University. His sermon on Sunday, at both 8:30a and 11:00a is “Iniquities With Cords of Falsehood” based on Isaiah 5.18-23.
Rev. David Baak
Rev. David Baak preaching on Acts 2 The Third Face of God” at 8:30a.
Rev. Jessica Tate
Rev. Jessica Tate is the Director of NEXT Church (www.nextchurch.net) and will be preaching at both services. NEXT Church is a network of leaders across the Presbyterian Church USA who are discerning together how to be the faithful church in the 21st century. She has served a congregation in Virginia and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Her sermon is “Suit Up,” the scripture for which is Matthew 28.16-20.
Rev. Leanne Pearce Reed
The Rev. Leanne Pearce Reed serves as pastor of Montevallo Presbyterian Church in Montevallo, Alabama. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and McCormick Theological Seminary. In her first call, she served as a Presbyterian mission co- worker with our partners in Central America. Her sermon this Sunday is “Love, In the Flesh” based on Song of Songs 2.8-17. She says: “I'll explore the Song of Songs as an affirmation of our embodied life and the importance of embodied love.” The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated at both services.
Rev. Kamal Hassan
Rev. Kamal Hassan will preach at both services. Rev. Hassan serves as Pastor/Teaching Elder at the Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church in Richmond, California. His message will be “Counting Sheep” based on Ezekiel 34.11-16, 20-24. He asks: “Could it be that the main problem of American religion in the 21st Century is that churches are full of domestic sheep?” Join us this Sunday.
Rev. Tom Are Jr.
Rev. Tom Are Jr. from Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, KS will be leading us in worship this Sunday with his sermon, Hey, Are You Saved? Rev. Tom will be preaching on John 3:1-16.