Committee on Return and Renewal
Plans for a return to our facilities
The nature of the current public health crisis poses significant barriers to returning to worship at Westminster as we knew it in February. Nearly every aspect of our Sunday worship experience is challenged by public health guidelines intended to reduce transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The timing and manner of a return to Sunday worship in the sanctuary therefore needs to be considered carefully and deliberately, based on the best available information and guidance from medical professionals, government agencies and others, and in a public health environment that continues to evolve.
On May 27, 2020, the Session approved the creation of the Committee on Return and Renewal, which will monitor and assess relevant information and recommend to the Session plans for a gradual or complete return to the facilities of Westminster, as well as the resumption of ministries and programs that occur beyond our facilities. In addition to recommending long-term plans, the committee may need to receive and advise the Session on shorter-term, specific requests as they arise.
When the people of Israel “returned” to the land after the exile, they renewed the covenant and shaped their worship and service to God in ways that were different than before, but reimagined and reborn (Nehemiah 8-10). The committee has been intentionally named “Return and Renewal” (as opposed to “Re-open”) out of recognition of the tremendous degree to which the ministry of Westminster has remained open – much of it digitally – through this time of pandemic, and out of acknowledgment that when we are able to return to the facilities, many of our ministries will have changed or need to be changed.
For the latest updates from the Session on our changing guidelines, click here.
Members of the Committee were appointed by the Session upon recommendation of Pastor Larry Hayward, who serves as the primary staff for the committee along with Director of Finance and Administration Lavinia Davis-Laux. To contact the committee, email [email protected].
Doug Anderson – Vice Chair
Associate Professor, Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University
Chair, Worship Committee
Associate Director of Communications and Marketing, Ford’s Theatre
Chair, Digital Ministries Committee
Former Chair, Christian Education Committee and Former Vice Chair, Congregational Life Committee
Assistant Teacher, Westminster Weekday Preschool
Chair, Westminster Foundation Board
Mike Donley – Chair
Chair, International Mission Committee
Former Secretary of the Air Force
Former Chair, Christian Formation Committee
Outgoing President, George Mason Elementary PTA
Vice Chair, Buildings & Grounds Committee
Project Manager/Architect with the Architect of the Capitol
Member, Youth Formation Subcommittee
President, Graduate Center, City University of New York
Vice Chair, Congregational Life Committee; Usher Captain
Certified Business Continuity Professional, Corporate COVID-19 Task Force, Marine Corps Chem/Bio Countermeasures Instructor
Chair, Congregational Life Committee
Retired Teacher, Alexandria City Public Schools
Below are resources that the Committee is using in their work.