"See, now is an acceptable time; see, now is a day of salvation!” In the frenzy of our daily lives, the urgency of Paul’s invitation to be reconciled to God can strike us as odd, intrusive even. There is so much to do…can’t that wait? Ash Wednesday is an invitation to intrusion, to stillness, and most of all to freedom. It’s a reminder of the fragile, precious passage of our lives. Join us at 7pm for a traditional service of the Imposition of Ashes — an ancient rite of repentance and preparation for our long lenten pilgrimage to the cross.
Sunday, March 3 | TWO services at 8:30 & 11:00 | Gene Ryan | Gene is the Middle School Ministries Coordinator and Seminary Intern at WPC. A student at Western Theological Seminary, he holds a degree in Religion from Hope College. Join us for worship this Sunday as we hear how "The Luckiest Moment Was Not Enough."
Rev. Jen Porter
Rev. Jen Porter | When we read the great litany of faith in Hebrews 11, we find a list of fairly absurd, ridiculous and even unbelievable acts of faith. The list includes repeated sacrifice and hardship and many steps into what is unknown. And, none of them even received what they had been promised. And, that is the good news. Join us Sunday as Rev. Jen preaches about our faith and as we welcome another group of New Members into our congregation. Again, this week we will be a different church. Praise be to God for all the names and stories and lives that we share in this life of faith and at WPC.
Rev. Lynn Barger Elliott
Rev. Lynn Barger serves as Affiliate Faculty at Calvin College in the Congregational and Ministry Studies department where she leads the Ministry Leadership Fellows program. She is also on the staff at Mayflower Congregational Church where she directs Youth and Family Ministries and coordinates Pastoral Care. From 2006-2007, Lynn was on staff at Westminster as the Interim Director of Youth Ministries. While she was at Princeton Seminary, she did ministry internships under two of our previous pastors, Bill Evertsberg and Riley Jensen. Lynn and her husband Mark have three children and live in East Grand Rapids.
Rev. Jessica Tate
Jessica Tate is the Director of NEXT Church (www.nextchurch.net), a network of Presbyterians who are discerning how to be the faithful church in the 21st century. Prior to coming on board with NEXT Church, she served as Associate Pastor of Fairfax Presbyterian Church in Northern Virginia. Jessica is a lifelong Presbyterian, in fact, a joyful preacher’s kid. Upon graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Jessica served as a Young Adult Intern for the PC(USA) at the denomination’s Washington Office. From there she went on to seminary at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, where she received a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Christian Education. Jessica and her husband John live in Washington, DC with their infant son, Huw and rescued chocolate lab -- both of whom regularly keep them humble with their gregarious affection.
Rev. Dr. Riley Jensen
Sunday, January 27 | Two services at 8:30 & 11:00 | Rev. Dr. Riley Jensen, Pastor Emeritus | This Sunday Riley Jensen concludes the series “How My Mind Has Changed”…with “About the Trinity.” The Cappadocian Fathers of fourth century eastern Turkey used the metaphor of the circle dance to describe the Trinity. Whatever is going on in God is a flow, a radical relatedness, a perfect communion among Three – a circle dance of love. God is not just a dancer; God is the dance itself. Join us in worship!
Rev. Riley Jensen
This Sunday, we continue with the series "How My Mind Has Changed." Riley Jensen returns to preach his second of three sermons "How My Mind Has Changed: About How God Saves." Father Richard Rohr reminds us that "Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity. Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God." Join us for worship as we also commission the group traveling to Cuba.
Rev. Riley Jensen
Riley Jensen, our senior pastor from 1998-2007, returns for a three week series titled: How My Mind Has Changed. Preaching from Jonah and 1 John, this week's sermon is "How My Mind Has Changed: About How God Changes God's Mind." Join us for worship as we celebrate the sacrament of baptism.
January 6th is Epiphany Sunday. It marks the close of our season of Advent/ Christmas by inviting us to think once more about light and gifts, surprises and mystery. We'll read the story of the visit of the three wise men to the little family in Bethlehem and wonder together about how amazing it was that those visitors recognized the light of God there, before them. Indeed, that is the nature of an epiphany--to see God revealed in a moment of time, in a concrete experience and know what it is that you have seen.
Christmastide, or the "twelve days of Christmas," is a period of time in the church calendar celebrating the gift of God brought to us in a the dirt of manger in Bethlehem. To us, perhaps, it's better known as the season of gift returns, last minute impulse buys, and the countdown to a New Year's resolution. With the days still dark and the distractions and obligation of the season looming large, how do we live into the hope of Christmas in the very places we find ourselves today? Jeremiah offers us an image of life in light of resolute hope as he purchases something completely unexpected... Spoiler: it's not a partridge in a pear tree!
Rev. Jeremy Bork
Rev. Jeremy Bork is preaching this Sunday, and in place of a typical sermon, he'll offer a first-person, creative retelling of Matthew 1:18-25 from the perspective of Joseph. Jeremy will wonder his way into the story as this soon-to-be husband who learns he's a soon-to-be father. And just maybe, by leaning into our own imagination, perhaps each of us will find ourselves somewhere in the story, too.
Rev. David Baak
The message of John the Baptist is a hard word in Advent but it is also clear about the one who is to come: “he will baptize you with the Holy Spirt"…So, John “...proclaimed the good news to the people.” But, the people’s question still was (and is): “What then shall we do?” The answer (from the prophet): “Rejoice and exult with all your heart.” As Walter Brueggemann says, “...especially exultant is that joy which is completely unexpected, or which breaks suddenly into the midst of our gloom.” Join us Sunday at 8:30 or 11:00 for music from harp and choir and a word about...turning toward Joy.
“There is no way to peace along the way of safety,” wrote Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe.” The great theologian, pastor, and prophet who died in a German concentration camp toward the end of the Second World War longed for peace in his own time. He didn’t live to see it. Had he outlived the war, it’s possible that he wouldn’t have called what followed “peace.” “Peace,” he said, “is the opposite of security.” Along with second Sunday of Advent comes another prophet, John the Baptist, who might seem an unlikely herald of peace. But if we are to take the words of his father seriously, that’s precisely what he was preparing us for: the One who would "give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Join us.
Rev. Jen Porter
This first week of advent we turn toward hope. In the midst of a world that appeared to be falling apart, Jeremiah brings a declaration of comfort and hope. We can see differently. What is coming is of God. God brings new things to life. In advent we begin again. Join us for worship, Rev. Jen preaching on Jeremiah 33.