A Word from Laura: New Things Happening

Western has so many new things happening that I don’t know where to start:

  • New classes of elders and deacons had their first meetings with the session and board of deacons this past week, after a Saturday leadership retreat and installation on Sunday. We also have a new moderator (Nancy Campbell) and vice-moderator (Kathy Hankins) of the deacons, along with other officers – and new clerk of session (Nicole Wallace)!
  • Leaders looked at the scope of ministries and programs on the “sticky board chart” in the Courtyard Room, beginning the conversation that the session continued around organizing ourselves beyond committees, for the sake of more opportunities for sharing ministry rather than just “doing things.”
  • Different members are organizing and involved in opportunities for living faithfully during the inauguration weekend. [Check out the “Stand for Justice” worship on Wednesday, Muslim student welcome on Friday, Unity Shabbat at Temple Sinai Friday night, and Women’s March on Saturday.]
  • Deacons and others are involved in pastoral care teams, and training to begin a ministry with those who want personal prayer following worship on Sundays.
  • The Action Team for the “Faithful Future” process is helping to plan a ministry festival that will coincide with our annual meeting, where everyone will get to find out more and further consider the ministry areas where you are called to serve as individuals.
  • Crossroads Anti-Racism training is the first weekend in February. Have you signed up?
  • The staff is doing all they can to publicize, make copies, coordinate and support everything else going on, in the midst of their usual work and duties.

You get the picture; many of you already had it, given your own involvement in one or more of the areas of the church’s life.  All of this on top of the usual choir practices and others like ushers, chancel and flower teams, hospitality hosts, Free Inquiry class, Sunday school, Miriam’s volunteers, finance committee working on the 2017 budget… The questions, for me and for you:

  • How will we remain grounded in our call to be faithful to Christ while keeping an eye on the larger vision, in our call to be about God’s business, “to glorify God and enjoy God” to borrow the words from our Westminster Confession that one of you quoted on Saturday?
  • How will we breathe in and experience the energy of the Holy Spirit in the midst of it all?
  • How will we remember Ben Evans’ encouragement from New Year’s Day, to get out of our comfort zone, for the sake of social justice and all of ministry?

Even as these questions shape our life as a church, they may also shape the rest of our lives, as we prepare for a week marked by both the celebration of Martin Luther King and the inauguration of Donald Trump.  I hope to see you on Sunday, as we hear together Isaiah’s words regarding how faithful people go about God’s business.

Blessings for this weekend and always,