Christmas Eve at Westminster by pengxuezhi


									Westminster Presbyterian Church • 1200 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403-2419 • 612.332.3421 •

                                                                                       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
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.
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-
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
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.”
     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   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 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
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
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
                                                               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.                       
    For more information and to register for the group,
contact Rev. Leah Rosso at Hennepin Avenue United
Methodist Church, 612.871.5303 or
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
                                                                     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 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, 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,
                          • Dan can be reached at 612.332.3421 or •

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     Global Choir, under the direction
If you’re college-age, RSVP to Erin, 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 or RSVP on the CSI Facebook page.

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