A Word from Laura

As we get ready to welcome Christian Brooks from the PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness for the Racial Wealth Gap Simulation on Sunday, I can imagine some of you thinking, “that’s a good idea, but I’m not sure what it has to do with church.” At last week’s session meeting, I was reminded by members of a Western anti-racism groupRead More →

As much as I love being a pastor, sometimes I want Tom Sietsema’s job.  Last Sunday at Western was not one of those times – I don’t know how food critics try so many dishes and still fits in their clothes. If you did not get to taste newcomer Susan Park’s sweet potato noodles lightly stir-fried with beef and vegetablesRead More →

This Sunday, come let God engage your faith at Western we join in solidarity with Christians around the globe to celebrate World Communion Sunday. Begun in 1936 in the Presbyterian Church and adopted by the National Council of Churches in 1940, the celebration reminds of our oneness with Christians in many cultures and environments. As we observe the universal Christian practiceRead More →

What does the cross of Christ mean to you?  When was the last time anyone – a friend, a relative, a colleague, a stranger – asked you about the cross, about how it shapes your life and faith?  How did, or would you, answer? I tend not to talk as much about the cross as some pastor, with the recentRead More →

Forgiveness.  In my memory, one scholar of religious traditions claims forgiveness is Christian faith’s distinguishing characteristic.  Forgiveness was Jesus’s dying prayer; it’s our prayer, too, when we pray using the words he taught his followers. But as one of you asked last Sunday, in the face of gun violence, how do we forgive?  How do we forgive those in powerRead More →

Friends, As our hearts continue to break with news of immigrants detained and families separated at the border, PC(USA) mission co-worker at Frontera de Cristo, Rev. Mark Adams, is coming to DC on behalf of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, which represents more than sixty organization working to improve life for those on the border. (Click here for more informationRead More →

Friends, Blessings to you, with prayers for our nation, as we find ourselves on the eve of the 4th of July. Here at Western we’ve reached the end of our month of “Engage Faith.”  Your leadership is getting ready to plan for this fall, and we need your help.  We believe Sunday mornings are crucial to our life together.  Sunday mornings aren’tRead More →

Friends, I’m looking forward to our potluck picnic on Sunday, and to sharing the “tastes of home” that you prepare. As we near the end of June, thanks also goes to those who helped organize and lead each of the sessions in the Engage Faith tracks.  Given that this is a new thing for us, and that we tried itRead More →

Dear Friends, This Sunday, as part of our Engage Faith opportunities, we’ve invited the DC Congregation Action Network – a partner of Sanctuary DMV – to host an accompaniment training for us and for anyone who wishes to join us in showing solidarity and support for our neighbors, friends and family at risk of deportation. Cindy Stevens and Betsy CarterRead More →

What are your hope points?  In a recent conversation with one of you about our national state of affairs, we were both hard-pressed to name anything.  The front page of yesterday morning’s Post didn’t help. But then I got to church: In the memorial service this morning, members of the Miriam’s Kitchen community gave thanks for those who have died,Read More →