A Message from Pastor Scott

Working as One


A powerful service took place this past Sunday on Pentecost. What spoke to my heart were the varied ways different ministries in the church continue to support and enhance one another. I was sitting in the Sanctuary, looking at the beautiful art pieces on the walls. Adults, preschool, church school students, youth, and others all working to present a unified theme for Pentecost worship. Then, the congregation was blessed with the opportunity of watching one of the youth present a liturgical dance. Worship, Music, and Arts, Christian Education, the Preschool, the youth program, and others working together with the Chancel Guild to provide spiritually meaningful Pentecost worship.

 

I’ve also experienced this multiple ministry support in our mission activity. Our Westminster Preschool has started going to Calvin Community and visiting the residents. Different preschool students have gone to visit Calvin Community on two separate occasions. They played games with the residents of the skilled and memory units. I was told it was too difficult to determine whether the preschoolers or the residents had more fun.

 

Working under a unified mission is key to the long term health of our congregation. The committees, units, and staff continue to work in harmony, as we work together for the overall mission of Westminster. We have committees offering to share their resources with each other. “We” continues to be more important than “I.” This humble mutuality is a faithful example of how God called each one to work toward the common good, rather than individual goals.

 

This mutual support continues with the ongoing study of issues, most recently related to immigration and refugees. The Social Justice Committee and the adult, youth, and children’s committees are working together on these issues. These ministries are doing a wonderful job of providing education leading toward a direction for mission in action. I am excited to find out where the Spirit is leading each one of us as we discern God’s leading in this challenging time.

Beyond all other goals, the mission of Westminster, or any other Christian Church for that matter, is to honor God through our worship, music, study, mission, care, compassion, and justice. These areas are not individual means of honoring God. We honor God when all these areas of Christian life work together to provide a systematic approach to glorifying the Almighty.

 

Continue to pray for our church as we move forward in faith. As you pray, ask the Spirit to continue to provide a guiding hand upon all the ministries of our church. Ask God to weave the “good news” through all the activities of the church. As the Spirit binds our ministries together, God is recognized in our midst. Remember, we are here not for ourselves, but for the glory and honor of our Triune God.

The Difference You’ve Made

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This past week I received a surprising and meaningful letter. It was from a woman Jill and I knew many years ago when I served a church in Indiana. She reintroduced herself to us and told us about her family. It was good to hear about how she and her three grown children are doing. We remembered each of them and it is strange to think of them now as adults in their 30’s and 40’s. The reason she sent the letter was to ask me to draw an outline of my hand on a piece of paper and send it to her.

On the surface, on first read, it seemed a strange request. Then she explained the reason for her request. Her daughter Becky was in Middle School when I was their youth director and student pastor in 1987. When I returned in 1993 as the pastor of their congregation, I continued to do activities with the youth. After a year or two, Becky went to college and went on to be a youth director. After serving as a youth director for many years, Becky went to seminary and is now graduating this spring. I was touched to learn that Becky’s mother is making her a worship stole with the hand prints of the people who most influenced her life and ministry. I was moved and humbled to be a hand on her stole.

The reason I am sharing this story with you is because you never know the impact you make on a young person that can positively affect the rest of their lives. We’ve come to the end of our church school year, and I want to thank all the teachers and leaders who have brought God’s love and example to our children and youth. Your commitment required sacrificing time for preparation and the activities themselves. Add to this, the time spent in transportation over the year, plus time just thinking about the lessons. It is a challenging commitment for people who are already extremely busy. All of us owe you a debt of gratitude. God bless you for your service to God and your church family.

When you provide for the needs of our children and youth, you are helping to mold their souls and their future. The many people who lovingly put a hand on Becky and influenced her soul not only made Becky a loving and more faithful person, but allowed Becky to faithfully care for the souls of many other people. When you care for our children and youth, you lay a healthy foundation that will influence generations to come. It is worth the effort! The children, youth, parents, and the rest of us are grateful for the hard work and faithful care you have provided our young people. You are a blessing to all. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

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