An invitation from the Neighborhood Missions TeamMLK Day

Happy New Year! As we turn the page on probably the most exceptional year many of us have experienced, we give thanks for our health, our friends and family, our church, and all that we have. The Neighborhood Missions Committee invites you to join us on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 18, to reflect on the past year and set a faithful intention for the year ahead.

Because of Covid-19, we won’t be able to follow the MLK Day model of past years, but we’ve come up with an alternative we hope you’ll find engaging. We’ve organized options for Westminster members to perform both virtually and “together/apart,” or you may choose to do something else that’s meaningful to you. The day will have a two-fold structure:

  • In the morning, from 10:00-11:30am, members of WPC’s Racial Equity Team will lead a virtual teach-in. There will be a brief introduction to share the work they’ve done since August, then we’ll break into smaller groups to discuss Dr. King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, which he gave the day before he was assassinated. We invite you to read the text of the speech or listen to it on YouTube before participating. This teach-in is appropriate for anyone middle-school aged and older. A discussion group for the youth will be facilitated by Melinda Vaughn and Alex Stayer-Brewington. If the day is anything like the discussions the Racial Equity Team has had over the past five months, the time will fly by and leave you feeling thoughtful and empowered to help our community and nation heal.  Register for the Virtual Teach-In
  • In the afternoon, we invite all ages to participate in Westminster’s book drive with Book Harvest. Book Harvest is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting lifelong literacy and learning. Please donate new or gently used children’s books, and deliver them directly to Book Harvest, 2501 University Drive in Durham (across the street from Q-Shack) on the afternoon of January 18. Or, you may deliver books to the 2021 Dream Big Book Drive at Durham Central Park, between 12:00-4:00pm. Note that Book Harvest cannot accept books of a faith-based nature. They particularly appreciate books with diverse characters and have a wish list that can help you with your donations.
  • Also in the afternoon, you may create cards of encouragement for patients at Duke Hospital (a great project for families), or write letters to persons imprisoned for political dissent. View the address list and sample letters to help you get going. Please provide your own stationery and stamps. Handmade cards for hospital patients should be generic (due to privacy concerns), and may be dropped off in the plastic drop-off bin outside the Mission Center.
  • Interested in participating in a project of your own choosing? We encourage this as well! Be sure to take a photo on the day and email it to so we can share it with our church family.

 Thanks so much for your support and participation in a year that has demanded constant adaptation and flexibility. If you have any questions, please contact Rev. Cherrie Barton Henry. We look forward to seeing you virtually on January 18!