Westminster Presbyterian Church • 1200 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403-2419 • 612.332.3421 • www.eWestminster.org December 18, 2009 • Vol. 43, No. 21 New Orleans New Year—Keepers of the Flame By Melanie Ohnstad, Minister of Music and the Arts I t will be a happy entry into the new year when Charlie Devore and the Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band lead us in worship on January 3, 2010. That Sunday we observe Westminster is linked to this story: in the late 1960s, associate pastor Tom Zemek spoke to Westminster mem- ber Peggy Tillit. He was looking for an enthusiastic volun- Epiphany and will accompany the magi as they follow teer to gather a group of people to go hear the great music King Herod’s charge to “Go and search diligently for the at the Emporium. Tom had begun a task force on religion child.” Many of us can point to an “epiphany” in our own and race. He thought the jazz growing out of the Black lives, an encounter that brought new awareness or that set church in America was incredible. Peggy called about 80 us on a new path. folks, many of whom are still with us at Westminster. Westminster member Charlie DeVore, had a water- What evolved was a twenty-year fellowship based on shed epiphany in 1956. After serving in Japan during the potluck dinners in members’ homes followed by dancing Korean War, the navy stationed him in New Orleans. at the Emporium. While there he met the most significant mentor of his life, I like Charlie’s story a lot. It is filled with purpose and William Russell. Bill was an ardent historian and devotee dedication. It has many parallels in the history of our con- of jazz. He owned a record shop and knew many of the gregation and in the message of the Christmas. It does local musicians who were developing a new style of play- belong to all of us to keep the flame alive. ing music. Bill took Charlie around to meet these musi- cians. Their tenacity, philosophy of life, and approach to music reached deep into Charlie’s heart and being. The young service man rented a cornet and learned to play. Charlie no longer felt like a drifter; he knew his life from then on would be dedicated to emulating the New Orleans musicians in the best way possible. This journey took him to jail twice—arrests that he wears with a great deal of pride. In August 1956, Charlie was jailed for listen- ing to music in a segregated African-American nightclub. He was acquitted. Five months later, he found himself in Christmas Eve jail once again. This time he was arrested for playing with African-American musicians in what was to become at Westminster Preservation Hall. After the judge told him that they don’t “mix cream in their coffee” in these parts, Charlie was 4:00pm acquitted. Family Worship Service & Pageant Charlie returned to the Twin Cities later in 1957 and began the business of keeping the New Orleans jazz flame 8:00pm & 10:00pm alive. He played in the Hall Brothers Band at the Jazz Candlelight Worship Services Emporium in Mendota from 1968-1988. Butch Thompson joined this band at age 18 and became another keeper of Westminster Choir the flame. The flame has passed to young Tony Baliff, Jeffrey Van, guitar clarinet, who will carry the style forward when the local senior gentlemen of jazz are no longer able to play. It is a Free Parking on Christmas Eve in the Orchestra Hall remarkable story. Ramp at 11th Street & Marquette Ave. Page 2 The Westminster News Seminarian Sunday, Dec. 27 Faith Nixon Symposium By David Braden, Chair, Church Vocations Team By Barb Thomas, Women’s Ministries O n December 27, Seminarian Sunday, we will be privi- leged to be led in worship by Karin Craven, who has been under the care of Westminster’s Session as she has P lan to attend the annual Faith Nixon Symposium: Women of Faith on Sunday, January 17, from Noon to 2:30PM. prepared for a call to ministry of word and sacrament. A We welcome Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman, graduate of Luther Seminary, Karin exemplifies the cal- Senior Rabbi, Temple Israel Minneapolis iber of the future Presbyterian clergy that Westminster as we explore Everything You Wanted to nurtures. Know about Judaism, But Were Afraid to We are blessed to have under Westminster’s care six Ask. Marcia outstanding individuals who are actively pursuing God’s This day will be a great opportunity Zimmerman call to pastoral ministry. Ready to receive calls are: Karin, to learn more about differences between Don Hanna, Sarah Brouwer, and Sarah Chamberlain. Christianity and Judaism, to explore the increase in num- Anna Kendig has finished seminary and is continuing her ber of female rabbis and its impact on the faith and on process, while Megan Cochran has recently entered semi- Zimmerman personally, and to hear about models for nary. women in non-traditional religious roles. We will also Westminster is a denominational leader in both the receive insights on understanding of Judaism and what number and caliber of future pastors who come through struggles have been faced in the journey. our care. Our commitment to this ministry led to the for- Rabbi Marcia A. Zimmerman has been the senior mation of a committee of the Session, the Church rabbi of Temple Israel since 2001. She is the first female Vocations Team for just this purpose. Members of the rabbi at Temple Israel and the first female rabbi to serve a team include David Braden, Abigail Karels, Bob Leick, congregation of Temple’s size—one of the ten largest syn- Lorene Liddle, Burt Nygren, Don Ristad, Cindy Vekas, agogues in the country. Rabbi Zimmerman works pas- Gretchen Wrobel, and Meghan Gage-Finn. sionately to heal individuals and our community within a These individuals are members of Westminster, to Jewish context, to advance women’s issues, and to sup- whom the church has made a special commitment. Yet, port individuals and families as they experience end of due to their seminary locations, church field assignments, life issues. With compassion and wisdom, she cares for or job necessities, we rarely see them in our midst. We more than 5,000 congregants who are part of the Temple hope you will worship with Karin on Dec. 27, and sup- community. Rabbi Zimmerman is married to Minnesota port our future pastors in their journeys. State Representative Frank Hornstein and has three chil- dren; Rebecca, Naomi and Max. For over 30 years, the Faith Nixon Fund has spon- Meisel Scholar Grant sored these annual Forums, presenting issues of crucial By Barbara Mauk, Librarian interest to women, children, the church and community. We are blessed to use these funds to welcome Rabbi T he Donald M. and Eleanor Meisel Scholar Grant is available to students ages 17-26, who are currently enrolled in college and who have a connection to the Marcia Zimmerman again to Westminster. Our time together will begin with a delicious lunch choice of salmon or chicken salad. All women and men are wel- Westminster Community. The Meisel Scholar Grant come! The $10 fee will cover lunch costs. Register on Program was conceived in 1988 to encourage young peo- Sundays in the Heller Commons from December 27 to ple from Westminster to share their talents, follow their January 10, or contact Dan Franklin at 612.332.3421, or convictions and expand their education outside of the tra- email@example.com. ditional college classroom by participating in volunteer projects, study programs, social action campaigns, and focused travel in the spirit of the church’s Mission The 2010 joint Kwanzaa/Westminster Statement. While the Meisel Grant does not pay tuition Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend fees, students may also apply to support academic year speaker will be Shvonne L. Johnson. volunteer projects. The Independent Scholar Grant allows Johnson is a Bush Foundation Fellow students to develop their own program. The Community and a Deacon at Kwanzaa who has Partners Grant places students in internships with social studied and written about the history action agencies in the Twin Cities. The annual application of race and racism in America. She date for 2010 summer grants is April 15. For an applica- will speak Saturday morning, January tion contact Erin Swenson eswenson@wpc-mpls. For ques- 16, at Westminster and will preach at Westminster and tions or to discuss your ideas, please contact Barbara Kwanzaa on the 17th. Stay tuned for more details! Mauk 612.377.9034 or firstname.lastname@example.org. December 18, 2009 Page 3 From Our Pastor WESTMINSTER CLERGY & STAFF The Rev. Dr. Timothy Hart-Andersen Senior Pastor and Head of Staff Dear Friends, Kathy Fisher, Executive Assistant Mary Hess, Director of Legacy Giving PASTORAL CARE The Rev. David Liddle, Interim Associate Pastor Claudia Kapitan, Administrative Assistant W hen I was growing up The Twelve Days of Christmas was not my favorite song. It was long and repetitive, and I could never FAITH IN ACTION The Rev. Douglas Mitchell, Associate Pastor Dan Franklin, Coord. of Discipleship Ministries remember whether the lords were waiting EVANGELISM & FELLOWSHIP The Rev. Annika Lister Stroope, Associate Pastor or the ladies leaping, and who was doing Melanie McCall, Coor. of Fellowship/Special Events the milking with all those French hen—and Claudia Kapitan, Evangelism Admin. Assistant how many were there, again? Dan Franklin, Fellowship Admin. Assistant Kristin Kieft, Publications Coordinator As Beth and I have gone through 25 CHILDREN, YOUTH & FAMILIES Christmases together, however, the actual The Rev. Meghan K. Gage-Finn, Associate Pastor twelve days themselves have taken on more Mary Alette Davis, Dir. of Children’s Ministries meaning for us. Ministers who serve con- Erin Swenson, Dir. High School and College-Age Ministries gregations find themselves with precious lit- Marie Kruskop, Coordinator of Early Childhood tle time in this season to settle in to the cele- Barbara Prince, Administrative Assistant bration of the nativity of Jesus—before it ADULT ED. & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT The Rev. Katherine S. Michael, Associate Pastor happens, anyway. We get caught up in the Kathy Fisher, Leadership Development Admin. Asst. activities in the church’s life—which is a good Tim Hart-Andersen Claudia Kapitan, Adult Ed Admin. Assistant thing—but it usually means we cannot spend Barbara Mauk, Librarian as much time gearing up personally for the big day. MUSIC AND THE ARTS Dr. Melanie Ohnstad, Minister of Music and I remember once frantically heading out after the 4:00PM Family Service on the Arts/Organist Christmas Eve, dashing down Nicollet Mall, to do some shopping downtown Dr. Jere Lantz, Westminster Choir Director Dr. Rodney Allen Schwartz, Director, before stores closed. I had realized that although I had a Christmas Eve ser- Westminster Gallery and Archive mon all ready to go, I had not done some crucial gift-buying. I laughed when I Barbara Prince, Program Assistant, ran into a Westminster member in one of the stores that evening doing the Worship, Music and the Arts Nancy Carter, Handbell Choir Director very same thing! Brad Ollmann, Early Childhood Music Hence, the twelve days of Christmas, which end on January 6, have Christopher Laumann, Youth Music Director become important for us as a family. On that day, which is Epiphany, we have ADMINISTRATION dinner together and give gifts to our children, in a much quieter, family-cen- Samuel G. Cooke, Director of Administration Sandy Wilson, Administrative Assistant/Scheduler tered way. Other cultures focus more on the twelve days; I think it is time for Jennifer Zenanko, Accountant all of us to consider marking them in our own ways. It allows Christmas to J D. Shaffer, Accounting Assistant play out more slowly in our lives; it also means that the rhythm of our reli- Paddy Jensen, Receptionist/Admin. Assist. Amy Riesenberg, Wedding Coordinator gious life is not being managed solely by the pre-December 25 rush. FACILITIES The Church feast day of Epiphany on January 6 traditionally commemo- Neale Holleschau, Facilities Manager rates the visit of the magi to Bethlehem—a day when the church celebrates the Todd Bushy, Christopher Glenn, Richard Wilder, Facilities Staff light of the “star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright.” EMERITI This year I encourage you to commence your celebration of Christmas at The Rev. Elizabeth D. Heller Assoc. Pastor Emerita worship on Christmas Eve—and then keep it up somehow over the next WESTMINSTER CAMP AJAWAH twelve days. If singing about the partridge and the turtle doves helps, fine; the Dave Moore, Director Emma Watson, Registrar important thing is to make room in your life for the one who has come among WESTMINSTER COUNSELING CENTER us! 612.332.7743 Merry Christmas! The Rev. Dr. Margaret McCray, LMFT, Executive Director The Rev. Ross A. Aalgaard, MSW, LGSW Grace and peace, The Rev. Dr. Leta J. Herrington, LPC The Rev. Mary Keen, LMFT Lori Churchill, Administrative Assistant WESTMINSTER TOWN HALL FORUM Susan McKenna, Coordinator PARISH ASSOCIATES (Volunteer Clergy) The Rev. Denise Dunbar-Perkins Westminster is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Visit www.pcusa.org The Rev. Dean J. Seal Page 4 The Westminster News WPC Happenings • • • WPC Happenings • • • WPC Happenings FEAST Plan to End Homelessness is pro- Adult Ed: Living the Faith Sunday, Dec. 27, 4:00-6:30PM Sign up gressing. All DCEH congregations Living the Faith in the 21st Century at the Reception Desk to serve and are invited. Monday, January 11, meets on Wednesdays at 5:30PM in celebrate a festive holiday meal with 6:30-8:30PM at Central Lutheran the Bates Room. The group is begin- our friends and neighbors. Volunteer Church. ning a new book study with Anne servers are asked to wear black slacks Feed My Starving Children The Lamott’s Traveling Mercies: Some and a white shirt. Contact Dan Hunger Committee is looking for 100 Thoughts on Faith. Books are available Franklin for more information, volunteers to package food at Feed at the class. Dr. Chad Quaintance email@example.com or My Starving Children in Eagan on leads this thoughtful study and dis- 612.332.3421. Saturday, January 23, 11:30AM- cussion group. All are welcome. FEAST Gift Drive We are collecting 1:30PM. This is a great opportunity to new or gently used warm coats, hats, meet other WPC members while helping children in desperate need! Traveling Seminar 2011 Israel and gloves, thermal underwear, toys, and Bethlehem: A Pilgrimage of Faith other gifts for our FEAST guests. Sign up in the Heller Commons on Sundays, January 10 & 17 or call Amy and Partnership is tentatively sched- Donations accepted through Dec. 27. uled for January 9-23, 2011. Begin Your generosity is appreciated. Scott at 952.934.6585 to register. All participants age 8 and above are wel- saving your vacation for this trip of a Questions? Please call Amy Scott at lifetime and come to an information 952.934.6585. come. Hope to see you at FMSC! meeting on Sunday, February 28, WOW, Westminster on Wednesday TGOF, The Great Over Fifties 2010. If you would like to add your TGOF is very pleased to welcome name to the ‘interested’ list, contact is in recess for the Advent and Westminster Choir Director Jere Rev. Kathy Michael, 612.332.3421 or Christmas season. Please join us on Lantz on Sunday, January 24 for a firstname.lastname@example.org. Wednesday, January 6 when Tim Hart-Andersen will share a look at lunchtime gathering and program at the year ahead at Westminster. Info: Noon. Following lunch we will Daily Phone Devotions Linda Tellefsen at 763.493.2244. attend a special concert, presented by Phone 612.332.7087 the Westminster Global Choir, in the for the daily lectionary Faith in Action Events Chapel. More information to come in December 18................Psalm 80:1-7 Homelessness Workshop Sponsored the January 8 issue of the News. 19....................................Heb. 10:5-10 by the Downtown Congregations to Reserve your place on Sundays, 20........................Luke 1:39-45, 46-55 End Homelessness (DCEH) If ending January 10 & 17 in the Heller 21......................................Heb. 1:1-12 homelessness is just common sense to Commons or call Dan Franklin, 22 ............................I Sam 2:18-20, 26 you, from a moral as well as a practi- 612.332.3421. 23........................................Psalm 148 cal standpoint, but you feel you don’t 24..........................Luke 2:1-14, 15-20 know enough about the issue to talk Women’s Ministries 25 ......................................John 1:1-14 with friends, neighbors and elected Sunday/Monday Connections 26 .....................................Col. 3:12-17 officials with confidence, you are a Sunday/Monday Connections 27 ...................................Luke 2:41-52 good candidate for this advocacy returns to the Woman’s Club on 28..................................Isaiah 52:7-10 workshop! Come learn effective tools Tuesday, February 2. Our speaker 29.................................Matt. 15:29-31 to engage your elected officials, meet will be Thelma Hunter. We gather for 30 ...................................Psalm 9:9-20 others from the downtown faith com- social hour at 6:00PM, followed by 31....................................Isaiah 60:1-6 munities who want to use their voice dinner and program. More informa- January 1...............................Psalm 8 to end homelessness, and learn how tion to come! Register in the Heller 2....................................James 3:13-18 Heading Home Hennepin’s Ten Year Commons in January or by calling 3 .............................John 1: 1-9, 10-18 Dan Franklin at 612.332.3421. 4..........................Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 Women’s Spring Retreat April 30- 5 ........................................Eph. 3:1-12 IN MEMORY OF May 2, Presbyterian Clearwater 6.......................................Matt. 2:1-12 Freda Keith Forest. Women of all ages will travel 7......................................Isaiah 43:1-7 died December 3, 2009 together to beautiful Clearwater 8............................................Psalm 29 Robert Miller Forest for this very popular annual 9 ......................................Acts 8:14-17 died December 3, 2009 weekend of retreat and fellowship. 10........................Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 I am the Resurrection and the Life 11...................................I Peter 4:7-11 December 18, 2009 Page 5 Adult Education Opportunities: December into the New Year By Katherine S. Michael, Associate Pastor All-Church Book Read The Help The Role of Spiritual Disciplines in the Christian Faith, by Kathryn Stockett February 3. “Kathryn Stockett has written a wondrous novel. You This dynamic series will introduce us to unique will be swept away as her characters work, play, and love approaches to living as a person of faith and inform us during a time when possibilities for women were few but about new ways of ‘doing church.’ Each of our speakers is their dreams of the future were limitless. A glorious a gifted presenter and a recognized leader in his or her read.” So writes bestselling author Adriana Trigiani. The tradition. Help is one of those books you can’t put down as you are Plan now to attend each of these remarkable events drawn into the characters’ triumphs over hate and fear. and bring new life to your cold January and to your own January events will include small group discussions life in the Spirit. and speakers. Purchase your copy of The Help on Sundays in the Heller Commons for $15, and watch for details Movie of the Month Thérèse about ways to deepen your reading experience. Sunday, December 27, 11:45am, Meisel Room Heralded as one of the most inspiring films in recent Food for the Hungry Soul: Spirituality as an Ecumenical years, Thérèse recounts the life of Thérèse of Lisieux, the and Interfaith Experience most popular saint of modern times. A bourgeois girl Wednesdays in the New Year will feature speakers from from a Victorian French family, Thérèse journeyed to various Christian traditions and from other faith tradi- Rome to beg Pope Leo XIII for permission to enter the tions sharing their reflections on spirituality. This out- Carmelite monastery at the unheard-of age of 15. Through standing lineup include the rigors of monastic life, she made the surprising yet Rabbi Joseph Edelheit Doing It: Living as a Jew, January 6 simple discovery that holiness can be achieved by small Dr. Hamdi El-Sawaf Spirituality in Islam, January 13 acts of love and compassion—a spiritual path she called Dr. Tony Jones Spirituality and the Emergent Church, her “Little Way.” This film is a beautiful retreat into the January 20 world of a remarkable young girl who fell in love with Lisa Ebert Buddhist Spirituality: Cultivation of Kindness and God. A drama of tragedy and triumph, Thérèse presents Compassion, January 27 the true story of an ordinary girl with an extraordinary Greek Orthodox layman Paul Karos Growing in Holiness: soul. Light lunch will be available. Suggested donation: $7 Social Justice Forum: A Christian Approach to Making a Difference with Diversity By Bradi Baker, Social Justice Ministry Team J oin us on Sunday, January 10, 9:15am for the first Social Justice Forum of the new year. Have you ever been afraid of having real, honest con- from the Bible and a view of the Gospel from a diversity context, he will empower you to build relationships with people you don't know and strengthen your current rela- versations about diversity? If so, you aren’t alone. The tionships with your family and friends. fears are many and well documented: Will I be labeled? Jim Langemo is the Managing Director of Enso Will I be shamed? Will I lose friends? Will I get fired or Diversity Group. As the Director of Diversity & Inclusion miss a promotion? Will I be told to pull myself up by my at Best Buy, where he worked for 18 years, he started a bootstraps and work harder? Will my experiences be vali- diversity leadership program that was featured on NBC- dated? TV, ABC-TV and in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It was Fear keeps us isolated and prohibits us from building also the winner of the Diversity Journal’s Innovation meaningful connections with each other. Fear keeps us Award. He is currently creating a leadership development from realizing the real rewards a diverse, inclusive envi- program for the National Civil Rights Museum in ronment has to offer each of us: gay and straight, black Memphis, Tennessee. and white, Christian and Muslim, old and young, woman and man, conservative and liberal, rich and poor— PULPIT FLOWERS rewards that can improve our business and our relation- If you would like to donate pulpit ships in real, sustainable and measurable ways. Jim Langemo will bring insights to how we as flowers in memory of, or in honor of a loved one, Christians can have honest conversations about diversity. contact Susan McKinley, He will inspire a curiosity that will make you want to 612.722.4411 or email@example.com. learn more, share more and reflect more. Using key texts Page 6 The Westminster News “Seeking Enlightenment…Hat by Hat”—A Skeptic’s Path to Religion By Marie Kruskop, Coordinator of Early Childhood Ministries S eeking Enlightenment…Hat by Hat by Nevada Barr is “the beguiling story of her journey from arrogance and atheism toward humility and a sense of being part of infants and toddlers, preschoolers and grade-schoolers, middle and high schoolers, the time and space and oppor- tunity to pause, to come together, to share our stories, to something greater than herself. Hat by hat (Barr is a col- explore our spirituality, not only as mothers, but also as lector and wearer of hats), step by step, Barr leads readers women. Hear what one participant has to say about down her path to enlightenment by sharing personal Moms Group: I am not even sure how I was introduced to episodes, some of them funny and revealing, others Moms Group at Westminster, but I am thankful to have found painfully honest. The author of the New York Times-best- it. Moms Group has been one place at Westminster where I selling Anna Pigeon mystery series beckons readers to have felt a real connection with other members, because we share her spiritual search for meaning in life. Each chapter share so many of the same values. The group has also been a offers a truth or an answer forged through experience and way for me to explore my spirituality with God in a safe and deep reflection, and a nugget of insight certain to encour- intimate setting. I have found that it is a time where I can focus age thought and discussion among readers, who may, in on me and my thoughts and feelings about God. And the mate- turn, find their own spiritual language.” rial we cover helps me reflect on my life with God in a way that Seeking Enlightenment… is the book selection for the I probably would not have otherwise. We explore and share real- winter session of Westminster’s Moms Group and an apt life experiences as well as our connections with God. one it is! Moms Group, in its current form, celebrates five The winter session of WPC’s Moms Group begins years this January! Our purpose, both then and now, is to January 7 and our book selection is Seeking build community among moms with children of any age Enlightenment… Hat by Hat by Nevada Barr. Please join us. in an effort to support and affirm one another along the We meet on Thursday mornings from 9:30—11:00 in the parenting journey. Our hope, both then and now, is to Nursery. There is no charge to take part though partici- provide an opportunity for conversation and fellowship pants do provide their own books. Childcare is provided as well as a place to be mindful of our spirituality. We, (please register so we know how many children to too, are seeking enlightenment by sharing personal expect!) For more information and to register, contact episodes, some funny and revealing, others painfully hon- Marie Kruskop, 763.535.8973 or firstname.lastname@example.org. est. Please note: Moms Group will honor the tradition of taking Like Barr’s experience in Seeking Enlightenment…, part in the Lenten Covenant Group readings and discussions in Westminster’s Moms Group has provided mothers of late February and March. New Opportunities at the Westminster Counseling Center Rebuilding: a Small Group Men’s Support/TherapyGroup Experience for Those Going Rev. Ross Aalgaard of the Through Separation or Divorce. Westminster Counseling Center will January 14—February 25 be conducting a support/therapy 6:00—8:00PM, Cost: $40.00, group for men on Mondays begin- (includes book) ning January 25. The group will Hennepin Avenue United consist of eight sessions over a nine Methodist Church week time period. The final session Mary Keen 511 Groveland, Minneapolis Ross Aalgaard will take place on March 22. Cost A small group experience to rebuild one’s life after a for the group is $45 per session or the sliding fee scale will separation or divorce, using Bruce Fisher’s book be used to make it affordable to as many as possible. The Rebuilding. The evening will begin with a “brown bag” group will meet from 6:00—7:30PM in the Bushnell Room. meal, followed by discussion and support. Facilitated by If you are interested in registering or obtaining more Rev. Mary Keen, a marriage and family therapist from information, please contact Ross at 612.332.7743 or raal- Westminster Counseling Center. email@example.com. For more information and to register for the group, contact Rev. Leah Rosso at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 612.871.5303 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Scholarships are available. December 18, 2009 Page 7 This year the middle school youth cele- brated Christmas together by heading across the street to the YWCA for a pool party! Youth enjoyed jumping, splash- ing, water basketball games, and just floating in the pool, despite the frigid temperatures outside. A big thank you to senior high youth who served as leaders: Tori Carter, Lucy Donaldson, Evan Moe, and Kathryn Wrobel, as well as adult leaders Elsa Kendig and Beth McCabe. The Anatomy of a Crèche By Rodney Allen Schwartz, Director, The Westminster Gallery and Archive T he University of St. Thomas is hosting an exhibition of art from our collections titled: A Season of Joy: the Nativity in Global Perspective, as part of their 2009 Sacred before the birth of Jesus. The baby never Arts Festival, Call to Prayer: a Global Yearning. I spoke at really looks like a the opening reception recently; this article reflects some of newborn. Often my comments from that lecture. time he seems The author Matthew Powell, in the introduction to his more like a toddler book: The Christmas Crèche: Treasure of Faith, Art, and than a baby. Theater, describes his first encounter with a crèche, when Renaissance babies at the age of eight he was given an inexpensive plaster look like minia- crèche in a cardboard stable purchased at Woolworths. He ture adults. Retablo, bread dough molded figures in instinctively knew that these statues were not toys, and The shep- a wood box, Peru, ca. 1990. yet more than Christmas decorations. He explains that herds were the first to offer their adoration to the child. But, from the Catholic point of view that they were sacramen- we generally see the wise men arriving at the same time. I tals, having their basis in the reality and mystery of the don’t see a problem with this—but it is curious that every- Incarnation. When the invisible God became visible in thing seems to happen all at once. And what about these Jesus, Christian imagery naturally followed. wise men? Traditionally, there are three, one white, one The Anatomy of a Crèche black, and one Asian. This fits nicely into our modern day What should a crèche look like? We weren’t there so understanding of ethnic diversity and encourages ecumeni- can only imagine. Was there shelter? Well, the night was cal and inter-faith dialog. cold. We are told that the baby was laid in a manger. This The shepherds bring sheep. An Italian crèche usually implies animals. We generally see an ox and an ass. Were includes a dog. Mexican and Central American crèches they animals that Joseph had brought with them to pay probably include chickens. his enrollment tax? Were they the animals that lived in And of course, the nationality, ethnicity, and cultural this place of shelter? We find them clustered around the characteristics of the people making the crèche are reflect- baby and the assumption is that their breath kept the baby ed in the figures and architectural elements. I find great warm against the night cold. joy in the representation of each of us in God’s image and What does the shelter look like? Many crèches have of the baby Jesus looking just like us, and like everyone wood-framed structures that seem to be a variation of a else in God’s creation. barn or feeding crib. Is this form accurate, or conveniently This exhibition runs through Friday, January 15 at the designed to showcase the nativity figures? There are a lot University of St. Thomas, O’Shaughnessy Educational more rocks than trees in Bethlehem. Current thinking Center Lobby Gallery, 2115 Summit Ave, St. Paul. For points to a cave and not a barn. Some early crèches show a location and parking information visit lean-to against the mouth of a cave. Occasionally there are www.stthomas.edu/campusmaps or call Susan Focke, classical ruins depicted nearby to symbolize the old world 651.962.5560. For further information or to arrange a tour of the current exhibitions, the building, or the archive contact Rodney Allen Schwartz, email@example.com or 612.332.3421. Page 8 The Westminster News CALLED TO DISCIPLESHIP By Dan Franklin, Coordinator of Discipleship Ministries “When you go to a graduation ceremony and see how integrated services to people living good those kids feel about themselves, you know it was in nearly 900 units of affordable worth every hour, every minute that we put in.” That is rental housing; Economic Advancement, which Westminster member Walter (Rocky) Rockenstein quot- includes classroom instruction, counseling and PPL- ed in 1954-2008 Loring Nicollet-Bethlehem Community operated businesses where participants set and achieve Centers, Inc., published by Project for Pride in Living, job-related goals; Youth Achievement, giving young which merged with Loring Nicollet-Bethlehem people access to resources and relationships that will Community Centers (LNB) in 2008. help them succeed in school and in life. Westminster’s association with LNB began in 1961 A recent PPL newsletter tells the story of Seth, a and many Westminster members have been involved in job-training participant. Seth had visited the staff at the years since. Vince Thomas is quoted in the book PPL to tell them he had four job interviews scheduled with these words: “We need faith and education. We and that since completing his training he feels confident need people to take control and responsibility, and the and ready to get back to work. He also recently com- resources must be there to support those efforts.” pleted a successful housing search for himself and his Through the Community Partnership program and daughter. Seth’s PPL employment training manager other mission activities, Westminster is committed to cites him as an example of how far hard work and per- being a “repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to severance can take someone. live in (Isaiah 58:12).” Now that LNB has merged with Isaiah 58:10 says, “if you offer food to the hungry Project for Pride in Living (PPL), Westminster’s com- and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light mitment to the work the combined organization is shall rise in the darkness and your gloom shall be like doing remains as strong as ever. PPL’s operating phi- the noonday.” Please give your light a chance to shine losophy is “helping people help themselves” and they by volunteering at Project for Pride in Living. There are concentrate their work in four Impact Areas: Housing a number of different activities in which you can be Stability, creating new and renovating existing single involved. For more information, please visit their web- and multi-family housing; Family Stability, providing site, www.ppl-inc.org. • Dan can be reached at 612.332.3421 or firstname.lastname@example.org • High School & College-Age Events By Erin Swenson, Dir. High School & College-Age Ministries High School/College-Age Adults Serving at Books for Africa Did you know that in many countries in Africa, twenty to thirty students share one textbook? Many young children in Africa are not even able to learn how to read because they can not afford the books needed. Westminster Global Books for Africa is in organization that started in St. Paul and has grown Choir Concert to be the largest distributor of donated books to many countries in Africa. Unless you frequently worship at Books for Africa relies heavily on volunteers to sort, box, and prepare books to the 8:30AM Sunday service, you be shipped. On Saturday, January 2, high school and college-age youth are probably don’t get to hear the invited to volunteer their time at the Books for Africa warehouse. We will Westminster’s marvelous Global meet at Westminster at 11:30AM (please eat lunch before you come) and will return Choir very often. at 2:30PM. Your chance is coming up! The If you’re in high school, registration forms are online at ewestminster.org. Global Choir, under the direction If you’re college-age, RSVP to Erin, email@example.com. Registration of Jere Lantz, will offer a rare deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 23. Hope to see you there! musical treat for the entire Chipotle and a Movie for College-Age Adults Westminster congregation on Join your friends for lunch and a movie! All college-age adults are invited Sunday, January 24 in the Chapel to spend a day out at the movies on Monday, January 4. We will meet at the at 1:30PM. Plan now to attend! church at Noon, have lunch together at Chipotle, and then head over to a More information in the January 8 movie at Block E. If you are interested in coming or if you have any questions, issue of the News! contact Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org or RSVP on the CSI Facebook page.
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