Until further notice,
all in-person gatherings and services are ON HOLD.
Sunday’s virtual gathering will begin at 10:00 a.m
Susie explains her Sabbath Mondays here
Susie offers an anarchist Quaker’s prayer to soothe anxiety
You can listen to David Mulholland’s prayer of confession and sermon from May 10th here
Thursday prayer time: May 7, 2020
Susie reflects on her brief retreat, with a prayer by Teilhard de Chardin: May 4, 2020
You can listen to Susie’s sermon from May 3, 2020 here
Music (and other quarantine offerings from the congregation) may be found at “Muses in the interim“
The work of Christian activists, writers, and poets (of our time and other times) may be found here
Music made at West West for pre-lockdown services may be found here
Several centuries of sacred music made elsewhere may be found here
Thursday prayer time: April 30, 2020
Susie on Sabbath: April 27, 2020
Thursday prayer time: April 23, 2020
A Taize service posted April 21, 2020
Seven minutes with Susie on April 20th
Thursday prayer time: April 16, 2020
Early Easter morning, a service from the Iona Community
Rachel Hackenberg’s blog post “Sufficient“
Susie’s choice for this Easter Eve: Kelly Joe Phelps, “Roll Away the Stone“
This year’s Brattleboro Area Ecumenical Good Friday Service is here
(Susie’s sermon, the last one of the series, is here)
The music from the Maundy Thursday service is here
Susie revisits the sanctuary in West West: April 9, 2020
Susie introduces Holy Week from her back yard: April 6, 2020
Susie’s powerful Palm Sunday sermon can be read here or listened to here
(Sara Miles’ piece from “Journey with Jesus” is here)
Thursday prayer time: April 2, 2020
Office hours: March 30, 2020
Adrienne’s sermon from March 29th is here
Thursday prayer time: March 26, 2020
A reflection on Sunday, March 15th and a West Brattleboro sermon
An alternative suggestion for timing handwashing from Susie
Who are we?
We are a small band of progressive Christians supporting each other as we try to live as disciples of Jesus. We seek to learn from him, to follow and love him, and to live that love by loving the people Jesus loved – the last, the lost and the least.
We seek to be a blessing to all of God’s creation, to promote peace wherever we can, to work together with people of other faiths and of no faith. We believe that no matter who you are or where you are on your journey, you should be made welcome.
We try to live by that faith, to make our church a sanctuary in every way: a space for worship, a place of safety, and a place where souls are nourished and prepared for their work in the world. We think God is doing remarkable things here in Westminster West, and we’d love to have you be part of it.
What is our congregation like?
The United Church of Christ comes out of the Reformed (or Calvinist) tradition; our congregation is made up of people from that tradition and many others–we don’t require a particular test of faith.
Not many of us take the Bible literally, but all of us take it seriously.
As members of the United Church of Christ, we believe that God is still speaking, and that we need “ears to hear” that word. We believe that God’s wisdom comes to us through Scripture, but also through art and music, through conflict and joy, and on many other paths.
What are our services like?
We value serious thought and true diversity, to help us face shared questions and insights. We love silence as much as music or the word. Although our style of worship is notably informal (and although we believe God has a sense of humor and try not to take ourselves too seriously), our services seek to worship and honor God in every way. Our preachers follow the Narrative Lectionary, a four-year cycle of readings that begins with the Hebrew Scriptures and leads us through readings from the Prophets, Gospels, and Epistles.
For some time, we had no pastor; we all led worship and many of us preached. Some of us still do, but in 2002 we called Susie Webster-Toleno to be our pastor, and she continues to lead us today. We’re grateful for her rare loyalty, her challenging leadership, and her unfailing support of the life of our congregation.
Come worship with us!
Music is central to our worship experience.
We sing hymns mostly from the New Century Hymnal, occasionally from the Pilgrim Hymnal or the Sacred Harp or from the Taizé community. Our choir is a talented pick-up ensemble; they meet at 9 am on Sunday to learn new music and then sing it as the anthem during the service at 10. The anthem can be anything from Bach and Palestrina to Ellington and Amidon, from folk and gospel to jazz and world music. New voices are always welcome.
The music our musicians play for preludes and postludes is similarly wide-ranging.
We celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of each month.
The scriptures tell us that Jesus spent a good deal of his ministry feeding people and welcoming even the unlikeliest of followers, so we keep an open table:
All who wish to share in the bread and cup are welcome.
Thinking of joining us for a service?
You’ll find answers to some frequently asked questions here.
Want to know more about what inspires us?
Here are some useful links and resources posted by our pastor and members of the congregation: things that inspire us and that might inspire you.