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From news and announcements to events and serving opportunities,
find out what’s happening at Westminster.
Members of the Westminster community are welcome to submit material for publication.

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  1. News & Articles : Lent, Holy Week, and Easter at Westminster

    You are invited to take part in a variety of spiritual practices and challenging social justice conversations during this Lenten Season. On Ash Wednesday, worshipers will have the opportunity to confess sins, symbolically releasing them to our merciful God by writing them on a slip of paper and then tossing them into a fire pit upon departure. Even as we let go of that which holds us back from full communion with God, we are also challenged to take on the habits that bring about a transformed life.

    What spiritual practice might you take on this Lent? Perhaps it will be one of the four “quiet” practices explored in our recent Church School elective:  Breathing, journaling, silence, and meditation (learn more). Perhaps you will commit to attend all four sessions of our Tuesday Conversations challenging us to join Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove in “learning from the witness of Ann Atwater.”  Take a look at all the offerings below – Learn more about each of these practices and make your commitment by signing up now.

    SUNDAYS in LENT   Supporting Each Other on the Journey of Being a Quiet Christian

    Sundays, March 8 – March 29, 9:45 – 10:45, Room 204

    Commit to a new spiritual practice this Lenten season! Perhaps it will be one of the practices explored in the series “On Being a Quiet Christian.” Or perhaps you’d like to try something different.  Whatever it is, make your commitment. Then, if you choose, join others to check in and pray for one another throughout the season of Lent.

    TUESDAYS IN LENT   Continuing the Conversation: “Learning from the Witness of Ann Atwater” 

    What can we learn from the life and faith of Ann Atwater? How then shall we live? On the first Tuesday in March, we  will show the powerful documentary, “The Best of Enemies.” The following four Tuesdays, a different member of Westminster’s staff will lead conversations using the Lenten curriculum  “Reconstructing the Bible with the Best of Enemies” developed by Jonathon Wilson-Hargrove. If you are interested in going deeper, a limited number of The Best of Enemies books are available to purchase for $15 near the Welcome Area. To order your own copy, please contact Marietta Wynands.

    Movie Viewing:  “The Best of Enemies”

    March 2, 6:30pm, at the home of Cherrie Barton Henry   Cherrie can host 10 people in her home. If you’d like to join this movie showing, please RSVP here.

    March 3,  6:30 – 8:45pm, Music Room (The movie will begin at 6:45 No sign-up needed)

    Can’t make either date? Consider hosting a movie night at your house. The movie can also be rented through RedBox or borrowed after March 3 by contacting Marietta.

    March 10, 7:00pm:   Recognizing Racial Habits, facilitated by Marietta Wynands

    March 17, 7:00pm:   Encountering the Wisdom of Ann Atwater, facilitated by Alex Stayer-Brewington

    March 24, 7:00pmPracticing Fusion Politics, facilitated by Cherrie Barton Henry

    March 31, 7:00pm:   Holy Disruption, facilitated by Chris Tuttle

    LENT FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES

    Ash Wednesday, February 26   Join us for an evening of fellowship, reflection, and preparation for Lent:

    • 5:30 pm Children & Families Event:  “Preparing the Way” – Parlor
    • 5:45pm Pancake Fellowship Dinner – Youth Suite  Please RSVP by Feb. 24 at 12:00 noon
    • 7:00pm Ash Wednesday Worship Service with the imposition of ashes – Sanctuary

    Palm Sunday, April 5   Children gather in the Courtyard 10 minutes before each service for the Palm Sunday Parade with their Fish Banks for One Great Hour of Sharing.  During the 11:00am service, children ages 4 through 2nd grade will sing following the Procession.

    Good Friday, April 10   A variety of Prayer Stations will be available in the Parlor on Good Friday, from 7:00am – 3:00pm. Come anytime, on your own or with your children, youth, or grandchildren. These prayer stations will engage your whole self, encouraging you to focus deeply on the story of Jesus’ life, suffering and crucifixion, and resurrection and victory over death.

    HOLY WEEK & EASTER WORSHIP SERVICES

    Maundy Thursday Service, April 9 at 7:30pm   Come remember the intimacy of the upper room and the Last Supper as we gather around the table in communion. We will remember the words Jesus gave us as he departed, his agony in Gethsemane, his betrayal by Judas, and his final hours on the cross.

    Good Friday Service, April 10 at 12:00 noon   Join us for a meditative service with prayer, readings, and music for reflection.

    Easter Sunday – Resurrection of the  Lord, April 12

    8:30am & 11:00am Easter Worship – Sanctuary   With special music by Chancel Choir and Brass Ensemble

    9:45am Potluck Easter Brunch – Youth Suite   Bring your favorite breakfast dish to share; beverages will be provided.

    Come join in the celebration with family, friends, and guests. All are welcome!

     

     


  2. News & Articles : Spiritual Practices for Quiet Christians

    Spiritual Practices for Quiet Christians

    “In the morning, while it was still very dark, [Jesus] got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.”  Luke 1:35

    As followers of Jesus, we are called to seek out a quiet place to reconnect with our Creator. Try these practices to center yourself in the stillness. 

    BREATHING

    Take this practice with you wherever you are. You can practice breathing with intention in your home or in the midst of a busy, people-packed day. 

    Beginning the Practice

    • Begin to pay attention to your breath. As you do, notice how your breathing begins to slow down.
    • Inhale through your nose. 
    • Exhale through your mouth.
    • Pay attention for five minutes in the beginning.  Expand the time as you are able.

    Deepening the Practice:  Box Breathing

    • Inhale for a count of 4. Hold for 4. 
    • Exhale for a count of 4. Hold for 4.
    • Repeat.  

    A Prayer for Opening or Closing Your Practice:  Gracious God, at my beginning, you breathed into me the breath of life, so that I would become a living soul. I offer you my thanks for continuing to sustain me, day by day, with that breath of life. Help me remember how precious a gift it is, and give me an awareness and attentiveness to my breath throughout the day. Keep me from being so distracted with life’s activities that I forget the one activity that makes all the others possible. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.

    More on the practice of conscious breathing

    JOURNALING

    Journaling can be a helpful spiritual practice that encourages deep reflection on the ways that our lives connect with the work of God.  Keeping a journal will be as individual as you are. Some ways to begin:

    Find a quiet place.  Begin by recording the events of your day along with your feelings.  What were the highs and lows? What may God be trying to help you learn through them? Your writing may turn into prayer at times.  At other times, you may find yourself breaking into doodles, drawings, or poetry. Journaling regularly gives you the opportunity to begin to see helpful or damaging patterns and habits in your life, as well as windows to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

    More on the practice of journaling

    FINDING AND ESTABLISHING QUIET GROUND

    Consider those spaces that allow you to quietly reflect on your life with God. Set up a quiet corner in your home.  Add a candle, a bible, and a book of two for meditative reading. Perhaps your preferred space is outdoors. Take a nature walk, unplug all your devices, and really pay attention to your surroundings.  use all of your senses to take in God’s creation. Get creative as you regularly seek locations that help you connect your spirit with the Spirit of God. Your Quiet Space may be a garden, a back patio, a library, or an art museum.  We will investigate how and where figures in the Bible did this, and how it helped them communicate with God.

    A book you may enjoy:  Ordinary Place, Sacred Spaces by Sister Evelyn Mattern

    MEDITATING

    There are many ways to meditate. Christian meditation involves giving focused attention to God in order to listen to the “still, small voice” of the Spirit. It often involves words of Scripture but may include other springboards into silence and reflection.   

    A basic introduction to meditation

    More on the Christian practice of being attentive to God

    Try this lovely guided meditation on the Light of God

    A variety of creative ways to meditate, including meditating with art, music, and poetry, can be found at Explore Faith


  3. News & Articles : Rise Against Hunger with Hope Valley Baptist, March 7

    Rise Against Hunger Meal-Packing Day
    Saturday, March 7, 10:00-12:00 noon
    Hope Valley Baptist Church Gymnasium

    We’re excited to be partnering with the congregation of Hope Valley Baptist Church to pack meals for Rise Against Hunger on Saturday, March 7, 10:00-12:00 noon, in the HVBC Gymnasium.

    Over the years, WPC has worked with Rise Against Hunger on 11 events and packed 114,324 meals!

    At just 34 cents per meal, 80% of Rise Against Hunger’s meals are distributed through global partners that administer school feeding programs, orphanages, health clinics, and vocational training.

    Make plans to take part in this fun, educational, highly-interactive, highly-impactful event. Meal-packing is suitable for ages 5 and up. Please consider also donating toward the cost of the meals. You can register or donate toward our $3,451 event fundraising goal (or both). Thanks!


  4. News & Articles : Aperture: Third Wednesdays, February 19 at 6:30pm

    “Learning from the Witness of Ann Atwater” with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
    Wednesday, February 19, 6:30pm l Music Room

    The 2019 documentary, “The Best of Enemies.” tells the story of how Ann Atwater, a civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis, a local leader of the Klu Klux Klan in Durham, ended up co-chairing a committee in 1971 to help desegregate Durham’s local schools.

    In February, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove returns to Westminster to share his experiences of “Learning from the Witness of Ann Atwater,” drawing from the documentary and his deep personal relationship with this remarkable woman who transformed this city. This Aperture event introduces WPC to our Lenten series. Details coming soon!


    Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a celebrated spiritual writer and sought-after speaker. A native of North Carolina, he is a graduate of Eastern University and Duke Divinity School. In 2003 he co-founded Rutba House, a Christian intentional community in Durham’s Walltown neighborhood. In 2006, he founded the School for Conversion, a popular education center committed to “making surprising friendships possible.” He taught workshops there alongside his mentor and freedom teacher, Ann Atwater, until her death in 2016.

    ContactMarietta Wynands, Director of Christian Education


  5. News & Articles : Mission Day – February 9

    Mission Day is February 9 – Focus: Homelessness

    Join us for Mission Day on Sunday, February 9, 9:45-10:45am, as we learn more about homelessness from our community partners.

    On Mission Days, we feature a single mission focus across all our Church School classes. The goals are to get all our members excited about the important work our church does, and equip you with ideas and opportunities for hands-on involvement.

    Come and hear what some of our community partners are doing to end homelessness in Durham and how you can help.

    • preK-–2nd grade – Families Moving Forward
    • 3rd-–4th grades – Urban Ministries of Durham
    • 5th-–7th grades – CASA + Housing for New Hope
    • 8th grade thru Adults – Families Moving Forward

     

     


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