Advent and Christmas
Advent & Christmas at Westminster
Begins Sunday, November 26
We anticipate the celebration of the birth of Christ with worship, fellowship, formation, and mission. Learn about the Boxwood Workshop, the Advent Devotional, the Alternative Giving Bazaar, Christmas Flowers, and more.
Sundays in Advent at wpcadvent.com or pick up a paper copy at the church
Use this weekly devotional to prepare for the celebration of Christ’s coming into the world. Written by the staff and members of Westminster, experience Advent through scripture, art, and prayer.
Alternative Giving Bazaar
Sundays December 3 & 10 in Fellowship Hall following the 11:00 AM service
Share gifts with loved ones that help those in need and donate to the agencies and projects supported by our local, national and international missions committees, including the United Orphanage and Academy in Kenya. Make donations or purchase fair trade coffees, teas, and chocolate, items from Africa to support the UOA, and goods from many organizations including Together We Bake, Just Neighbors, and Community Coalition for Haiti. If you cannot attend in person, you may also participate online.
Christmas Flowers Mission Project
Make your dedication by Sunday, December 10
Honor or memorialize loved ones with a dedication to the Christmas Flowers Mission Project. In addition to providing flowers in the Sanctuary, donations will support the United Orphanage & Academy in Moi's Bridge, Kenya. No minimum/maximum donation required. Please mark your gift for “Christmas Flowers.”
2024 Stewardship Campaign Update
Make your pledge today!
Thank you to all who have submitted a pledge for 2024! As of November 29, we have received pledges from 214 households totaling $1,650,903, bringing us to 71% of our pledge goal. To enable the church’s budget planning processes, we ask that you return your pledge card to the church office or make your pledge online at your earliest convenience.
End-of-Year Stock Gifts
If you are planning to make a gift of stock to the church to either fulfill your 2023 pledge, prepay a portion or all of your 2024 pledge, or make a special offering, please do so as soon as you are able. It could take a week or more from the time you request the transfer until we receive your stock donation. Transactions must be processed on or before December 31 in order to be considered part of our 2023 transactions and your 2023 giving record. When transferring stock, please send an email to Lavinia Davis-Laux, as the donor information is not always included in the paperwork received by the church. Westminster's account information can be found here.
Capital Campaign Updates
As part of Westminster’s upcoming Capital Campaign, the Session approved a motion on November 29th to contract with John Milner Architects to prepare an initial Facilities Master Plan study. This firm, located in Chadds Ford, PA, has much experience working with historic churches and renovations of public buildings and homes up and down the eastern seaboard. They have been selected by a small task force chaired by Session Member Spencer Dickerson.
The study will include the following:
- Provide an opportunity for Westminster to articulate our vision for ministry
- Assess space utilization
- Provide further information, visuals and pricing estimates, based on ideas from the recent focus groups
- Provide possibilities drawn from current expertise on security, technology, and environmental issues.
The study will enable the Session:
- To refine and finalize elements for inclusion in the public phase of the Capital Campaign
- To share with individual donors, in future years, who express interest in funding a specific project
- To plan for future campaigns as determined
This process begins immediately and will involve input from various groups in the church as well as from the congregation at large. It will conclude toward the end of February and will help determine the scope of elements to be included in our Capital Campaign in the Spring.
As part of its emphasis of alleviating hunger locally, WPC's local missions distributed nearly 249 grocery cards to local families through our mission partners. This Thanksgiving tradition is made possible by your Cents-ability donations, as well as funds budgeted through your annual giving. Also last week, the Westminster Weekday Preschool collected and donated 1,027 items of food to support the hunger programs of ALIVE. We are so grateful for all whose hands and hearts supported these efforts.
"At the River: A Memoir of Struggle and Grace in the Segregated South"
Sunday, December 3 at 7:00 PM in Haverkamp Room | Sponsored by the WPC Faith and Race Initiative
This film includes conversations with dozens of white Southern Presbyterian pastors who challenged the racial status quo during the middle of the last century. Some of these were ministers that our own Larry Hayward knew about as a young person attending a Presbyterian church in Memphis and participating in retreats at Montreat. Learn more about the film and watch the trailer at carolyncrowder.com.
The film will also be shown at First Presbyterian Arlington (601 N Vermont St) on Wednesday, December 6, at 6:30 pm. In January, we hope to schedule a time for a joint discussion of the film with members of First Presbyterian. Stay tuned for more details!
Christian Formation: Trailblazers
Sunday Mornings for Adults, Children & Youth
The time has come for us to be “Trailblazers.” We will honor those that blazed their trails before us, while dedicating ourselves to follow Jesus down new paths and discovering fresh experiences of faith blazing the trail together.
9:45 AM Adult Formation in Haverkamp Room & live on Zoom
See the fall schedule and get the Zoom link here.
9:45 AM Youth Formation on the 4th Floor (Grades 6-12)
10:00 AM Whole Family Children’s Formation on the 3rd Floor (Nursery-Grade 5 & Families)
Episode 8: The Joy of the Creative Process with Ellen Hamilton
The podcast where we explore the brilliant minds that have inspired brilliant minds. Hosted by Rev. Dr. Jacob Bolton, each episode will be full of imaginative thinkers, theologians, scholars and leaders -- and while we will learn a little about each guest, we will also explore the amazing folks that have inspired them. Listen now!
Now Available: Sign up to dedicate Sanctuary Flowers in 2024
Donate the flowers that beautify the sanctuary during worship! Flowers may be donated in honor or memory of loved ones, and your dedication will appear in the bulletin. $50/arrangement; you many dedicate one or two arrangements each Sunday. Payment can be made online or by check or cash to the church; please mark payment for "sanctuary flowers."
Conscious Discipline Parent Education Class
Discussion sessions in 2024: January 11, February 1 & 22, March 14, April 4 at 8:00 PM
Your home (for watching the videos), Haverkamp Room (with hybrid Zoom option) for discussion sessions
WWP teacher Pam Beard and Director Carolyn Burke lead this lecture series and group discussion. Participants watch two videos before joining Pam and Carolyn for a discussion on the “assigned” videos for that session. No cost, thanks to a grant from the Alexandria Rotary Club!
Flying Solo Singles (60s and above)
Christmas Party | Saturday, December 9 at 6:00 PM at the home of Nancy Harper | We will need everything from appetizers to entrees to dessert. Please RSVP online to say what you would like to bring, or contact Nancy. Note: there will be no monthly dine out on December 11.
Cross-Roaders Third Sunday Lunch
Sunday, December 17 at 1:00 PM | RSVP to email@example.com
Join us for lunch at Ramparts Tavern & Grill in Alexandria. Meet at the restaurant, or meet us in the Fellowship Hall after church to ride together. Cross-Roaders is a group for adults in the “middle" including single adults, single parents, and couples without children.
A Task of Greater Magnitude: The Mission of the Maine Seacoast Mission
Friday, December 8, 8:00 -9:30 AM in Fellowship Hall
Rev. Scott Planting, recently retired President of the Seacoast Mission and soon-to-be WPC Director of Adult Formation, will speak about its long history of compassionate service and mutual trust, which has sought to strengthen coastal and island communities along the eastern coast and coastal communities of Downeast Maine. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Winter Gathering: Spiritual Centering for the New Year
January 3, 2024 at 7:00 PM in Haverkamp Room (with option to attend by Zoom but not recorded)
Join the women of WPC for an evening of spiritual centering with the Rev. Dr. Beth Friend. Guided by the Ignatian prayer of examen, a daily prayer practice formulated by Ignatius of Loyola in the sixteenth century, we will reflect on the graces of the year that has passed and learn ways of listening for the leadings of the Spirit for the year to come.
February 16-18, 2024 at Hallowood Retreat Center | Reformed Patriarchs – The Lives, Times, and Ideas of Four Key Figures in Reformed Protestant History with Dr. Bruce Douglass
All men are invited to join us for a weekend of programming, food, and fellowship led by Dr. Bruce Douglass, former Director of the Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington and long-time associate professor and Chair of the Department of Government at Georgetown University. Registration forms are available at the Men of Westminster table in Fellowship Hall after the 11:00 AM worship service, the church office, and online. Contact Dudley Schadeberg at email@example.com for more information.
Coming Soon! New Online Connection Tool
In September 2022, our current online giving and membership database provider, Blackbaud Church Management, let us know that they would be discontinuing the product. The church office is currently in the process of completing the transition to a program called Realm. In the next few weeks, we will be rolling out access to Realm to the staff and to the congregation. Realm helps our church connect with you and you connect with us: including the ability to update your contact information, give one-time or recurring gifts and view details about your giving history, connect with fellowship groups, and more.
Online Gifts and Payments
During the transition, you will still have access to Blackbaud for the member directory and making one-time gifts. We ask that you please refrain from setting up recurring gifts for 2024; please stay tuned for more information on how to set those up in the new system. Thank you for your cooperation during this time!