Sunday Services are back inside!
Worship is moving back inside starting this Sunday, July 11th. Being in a safe and a highly vaccinated community (and state), we are confident that we will remain as safe as we reasonably can be worshiping indoors. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and, most of all, for your participation in creative, meaningful ways over the past 18 months to ensure quality community life. Here are a few ways we are moving forward together through worship:
We will worship inside at 10 AM on Sunday mornings starting immediately, using distancing, masking, or other guidance prudent for group gatherings. We will continue to offer digital ways to stay connected. Watch for emails for the latest updates and instructions to connect this way.
We will respect your choice to use or not use masks among us without judgment. Guidelines advise when masks should be used by all and worship leaders will remind us of those moments, as needed. This is how best we can stay well and remain connected.
We will be using Facebook Live to stream our weekly services,
but you do not have to have a Facebook account to join us.
Join the service on Facebook by clicking here.
The bulletin for July 18th will be on the FB page.
The summer issue of The Whistler is here.
With Vermont’s vaccination rate over 80% and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, we are planning the reopening of the church building. Silent meditation on Sunday afternoons will begin again soon. (Watch this space for more information!) The church will also reopen for community use soon, with some sensible guidelines in place, for everyone’s safety. For the new use guidelines, for information on fees, or to reserve a space, please contact Tom Griffith at email@example.com.
The West West Community Fair will be back
September 11th (take a look here)
You can make a contribution to the church through PayPal here:
When you click on the button and are connected to your PayPal page, please remember to “add a note”
to let the church know the purpose of your donation: whether it’s a pledge payment, or
a donation to the building fund or to the manna offering, or something else
Video and audio of sermons, service music, and prayer times may be found here.
More music, poems, and other offerings for the COVID era may be found here
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-COVID services may be found here
Several centuries of sacred music made elsewhere may be found here
The most recent West Parish Whistler may be found here
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 lost, the last 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.