Absolutely everyone is welcome at Westminster

Because we’re a Christian church, absolutely everyone is welcome. We don’t assume or presume you to be Christian; we only hope to be Christian towards you. In our culture, there’s a lot of public misuse of Christian and religious language; we hope that won’t delude or exclude you from joining us.

It’s not necessary to know anything in advance of visiting—simply come and join us. If you’d like to know more in advance of visiting, though, you’ll find information below.

Watch Rev. Chandler Stokes' sermon below about the Westminster Welcome.

 

Sunday worship services: 8:30a and 11:00a

We hold two services on Sunday during the program year. The services are held at 8:30a and 11:00a in the main sanctuary and absolutely everyone is welcome. The service will last about an hour.

Our style of worship

The audience of worship is God. Our style of worship is a serene and captivating experience with a traditional structure—but it is not a performance, nor is it designed to overload or bombard you. The order of each worship service is printed in the bulletin.

Music

Music is a foundational part of worship at Westminster. From our Sanctuary Choir and Westminster Winds ensemble to symphonic orchestras and solos, Westminster is a congregation united in praising God through music and song.

Every service at Westminster includes hymns from the purple hymnal in the pew. The numbers of these are printed in the bulletin, and you’re invited to sing along.

Seating

Seating in the sanctuary pews is open, and you’re invited to sit wherever you feel most comfortable. Seating is available both on the main level and in the balcony, which is accessible via stairs at the back of the sanctuary. If you’re unable to locate a seat, simply ask an usher to locate a seat for you.

On occasion, a few rows of pews may be marked with a braided rope; this indicates those pews are reserved (typically for families during baptisms, for children’s choir seating, or other occasional parts of worship).

Passing of the peace

Our worship service also includes a “passing of the peace,” where the congregation shakes hands with each other and greets them by saying, “Peace of Christ,” or “Peace be with you,” to which the usual response is, “And also with you.” But don’t worry about getting the words right; the point is not the words, but rather to bless and be blessed by each other’s company.

You say “everyone is welcome,” but am I really welcome here?

Emphatically yes. No matter who you are or what you carry with you through the door, we hope to welcome you, just as we ourselves have felt welcomed. We hope and pray that we will serve you with Christ-like love, humility, and integrity.

We provide a safe place

We advocate for all who worship with us—regardless of history, lifestyle, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.—to have a safe and welcoming place to worship the risen Jesus Christ. Westminster is a place where we hope people can be free from fear. You won’t be judged here.

We are open and welcoming towards members of the LGBT community, many of whom are longtime members at Westminster. If you’d like to know the scriptural and theological reasons behind our affirmation of LGBT members, see our document ‘A Visible Sign of the New Humanity’ or Rev. Chandler Stokes’ statement on Michigan’s recent same-sex marriage ruling.

Do you have doubts or uncertainty about faith? Join the crowd. Questioning and skepticism are welcome here. You don’t have to believe everything—or anything—we talk about and teach to be part of Westminster.

Does that mean you don’t take the Bible or faith seriously?

Not at all! Exactly the contrary: You’ll find that Westminster takes Scripture, theology, and the history of the church very seriously through thorny issues. We don’t put Scripture aside when they’re in conflict with our views; rather, we read, struggle, and study it through every turn, question, and doubt.

We will pray for you

Prayer is central to our life of faith. We invite you to bring your concerns, fears, and spiritual needs to our pastoral care team. We will hold them in confidence, and we will pray for you. You can also submit prayer requests online—anonymously, if you prefer.

Where we’re located

Westminster Presbyterian Church is located at 47 Jefferson Ave SE in downtown Grand Rapids, near the corner of Jefferson and Fulton.

Our parking lot and main entrance is off Jefferson Avenue, across from State Street and the old Public Museum. The entrance will bring you into our Gathering Place, classrooms, and sanctuary. Our sanctuary is located at the corner of Weston and LaGrave, and on Sundays you can also park in the Spectrum Health parking lot and enter through the sanctuary doors on LaGrave.

View a map of and directions to our location

You can also take a virtual tour of our building (or view this larger).

Children are welcome

We welcome children at Westminster! They are an important part of the worshipping community. All children are welcome to stay through the entire worship service and worship aids are available. There are worship notebooks for 3rd-5th graders and worship bags for younger children, located in the narthex on the bookshelf and in the basket.

Infants to age 3: Nursery

Infants through three year olds are cared for in the nursery rooms, located down the hall to the right of the parlor.

Young preschoolers: Nurturing Center

Children ages three and four may leave the worship service at the time of blessing for stories, songs, and free play.

Preschool through 2nd grade: Worship Centers

Children four years through second grade may also leave at the time of blessing to complete their worship experience in an interactive worship setting.

Taking the next step and becoming a member

New member orientation sessions are held throughout the year. Please contact Susan Jennings at (616) 717-5542 or susanj@wpcgr.org for more information.

Accessibility

Westminster Presbyterian Church is a handicap accessible facility. Handicap parking spaces can be found in our parking lot. Large print hymnals, Bibles and personal hearing devices are available from the ushers. We also provide a T-coil-compatible hearing loop system in the sanctuary; ask any usher for assistance.

Getting help

If you have questions or need help during your visit, look for anybody with a nametag, or stop by the greeters’ desk inside the lobby. There is also a welcome center located in the Gathering Place, where you can find additional information about the life and ministries of Westminster.