A few weeks ago, I shared some thoughts with the Church Staff and Session that I’m now also sharing with you. I titled the thoughts “Reflections after a Year at Westminster,” or less formally, “Here’s what I’ve been thinking lately.”
There are five parts:
1. The Joy of Ministry at Westminster Presbyterian
2. Some Dominant Themes from the Past Year
3. Reflections about the Future of Westminster
4. Possible Landmines
This week: Some Dominant Themes from the Past Year.
When I look back over the last year of ministry at Westminster, there are a few areas have been recurring themes for me. We’ve spent considerable time talking about and praying about these three areas:
A. Healing. The 2½ year interim period was an important time for Westminster to begin healing after the end of the former pastor’s ministry. Things did not end well with her, and there were hurt feelings, disoriented leaders and members, and a shroud of uncertainty. Healing began in the interim period, and it continued after I arrived in June of 2015. A season of healthy ministry has been the balm WPC needed. I think we’re finding the rest for our souls the Jesus talked about in Matthew 11:28-29.
B. Evangelism and Mission. It is in Westminster’s DNA, and we are at our best when we are outward focused. I’ve seen it happening in the last year. When Rob Weingartner visited in June, he encouraged us to be the kind of church that does not exist to satisfy our needs and preferences but instead exists primarily for the sake of others. We are blessed to be a blessing, looking for ways to help people move into a relationship with God and with the Christian community. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about mission, and it shows in the efforts of volunteers in the community and significantly increasing our mission giving.
C. Focus. When we ordained and installed new Deacons and Elders a few weeks ago, I asked them to imagine a target with Jesus in the center and aim for him. We bear fruit when we are at the center, connected to him. Our focus, even in our discussions about peripheral matters, is Jesus. It is an idea stated beautifully in a hymn you’ve learned in the last year, In Christ Alone. “In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song; this Cornerstone, this solid Ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease! My Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand.”
From my vantage point, those are a few of the dominant themes from the last year. Next week, I’ll share some thoughts about the future of Westminster. Stay tuned!
Yours in Christ,