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					Volume II, Number I February 15, 2009 1st Quarter 2009 915 Glenburnie Road Richmond, VA 23226 Office: 804-288-3223 Fax: 804-288-7136 Email:


Abundant Living
Pastor’s Pen


Jesus Came So That We May Have An Abundant (Full) Life. John 10:10
I pray your hearts were filled with warmth as you celebrated the birth of Jesus. Hopefully you expressed the real reason for the season and created new memories as you fellowshipped with family and friends.

Pastor A. Michael Black
Radical Hospitality Passionate Worship Intentional Faith Development Risk Taking Mission and Service Extravagant Generosity

In reflecting on the year that has just passed, the human eye notes the challenges faced by so many. We witnessed two wars, excessive fuel costs, recordbreaking unemployment, crippling real estate markets and a failed financial structure. Despite the year’s challenges, God is still in control. We are truly blessed to see a year we have never seen before. It marks a new beginning, a time for each of us to “refresh and renew” ourselves. As we embark upon this new year, may we each engage in the service to others, spiritual development and Christian discipleship that leads to the fruits of Abundant Living. Quite literally, Abundant Living means “richly supplied existence”. A further examination reveals Abundant Living is a full supply of all that sustains life. Abundant Living is to life what a reservoir is to a pool. Jesus says, I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly. This is the year to allow Jesus to be your reservoir to Abundant Living. Through faith, our spiritual eyes represent the gateway for transforming our view. God promises to supply all our needs according to His riches and glory. We must distinguish between our plans versus His plan. When we focus on what God calls us to do, He provides all we need to realize His vision.
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Table of Contents
Pastor’s Pen Chat and Chew with Pastor and First Lady Black Westwood Photo Gallery In The News Inauguration Day for Xavier Young Calendar of Events A Day With My President February: The Month for the Heart

I believe 2009 will be an exciting year, both individually and collectively. I encourage you to join me in focusing on spiritual development; moving beyond our present state, and drawing closer towards God’s plan for our lives. Let us commit ourselves to finding simple, yet effective means for utilizing the resources God provides. My prayer is that Abundant Living will be manifested in our lives, our ministries, our church and the Westwood community. To God be the glory! Grace and Peace,

Pastor A. Michael Black

Chat and Chew with Pastor and First Lady Black
Since his arrival Pastor has said he wanted to get to know his sheep and hear what’s on their minds for the future of our church. Short of visiting each member at their homes (what he really wanted to do); it was suggested that each Deacon would host a fellowship time for Pastor, first lady Black and people. Hence the idea of “Chat and Chew with Pastor and First Lady Black” was created. The first one was held January 13th and hosted by Deacon Lynda Sharp Anderson. Alphabetically each Deacon will host a Chat and Chew over the next several months. Both Deacon Carter and Ford have since hosted a “Chat and Chew.” So when you receive your invitation please respond favorably of your plans to attend!!!

Chat and Chew photos courtesy of Revardo Pretlow

Pastor Black's First Anniversary Celebration November 2008 John Bradley Emeritus Program November 2008


Anniversary & Emeritus photos courtesy of Rudolph Powell

In the News
Deacon Lynda Sharp Anderson On July 16, 2008 Governor Timothy M. Kaine named Lynda Sharp Anderson Director of the Virginia Department of Business Assistance (VDBA). VDMA is the economic development agency devoted to the growth and success of the Commonwealth's business community. Prior to her gubernatorial appointment, Mrs. Anderson served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Business League (MBL) for ten years. Mrs. Anderson, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, is a 2006 graduate of the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education "Driving Government Performance" program. While her professional awards and accomplishments are too numerous to mention, she has also served in many capacities at Westwood Baptist Church. In 1996 while serving as Sunday Church School Superintendent, she told The Voice newsletter, "God has provided for us many tools in preparation of our personal relationship with him." Mrs. Anderson was ordained Deacon in 1998 under Rev. Linda D. Stevens.

Calendar of Events
February 14 Youth Ministry Black History Celebration February 15 Joint Ushers Recognition Day 3:00 pm February 21 Leadership Retreat 8:30 am - 5:00 pm February 28 Women's Day Fellowship Prayer & Praise Service 9:00 am - 10:00 am March 8 Pilgrim Journey Baptist Church Missionary Day 4:00 pm March 14 Tuckahoe Association Women's Prayer Breakfast 8:00 am March 14 and 21 VUU Leadership Conference 9:00 am - 12:00 pm March 20-21 Youth Ministry Eagle Eyrie Retreat March 28 Women's Day Celebration Retreat 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Inauguration Day for Xavier Young
Xavier Young is a thriving thirteen year old who had the opportunity to attend the historical Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. Xavier attended various inaugural activities as part of the Junior National Youth Inaugural Conference. The five day conference gave scholars the opportunity to learn more about the history of the electoral process and the presidential inauguration. Scholars also had the opportunity to hear speakers General Colin L. Powell and former Vice President, Al Gore. Xavier’s experience at the Inauguration was good, but not what to be expected. Due to the magnitude of people and the many security changes, some scholars were not able to attend some activities such as being on the National Mall to view the swearing-in. He did have the opportunity to hear General Colin L. Powell and former Vice President Al Gore. Overall, it was good to be in D.C. and to be in the atmosphere and part of history. Xavier gave his life to Christ at the age of nine and was baptized at Westwood Baptist Church. Xavier is an eighth grade student at John Rolfe Middle School. He is a well rounded person who is well liked by faculty and peers. Xavier enjoys participating and learning new things. He played recreational football for four years and basketball since the age of six with the most recent being two years of AAU basketball. Xavier is currently into soccer in which he has been a starter and captain for his middle school team. Xavier likes staying busy and loves to shop. Parents, Gary and Melissa Young, are very proud of Xavier. He is a good kid and we could not ask for a better child. He is very outgoing, listens, and loves to have fun. Our main objective is to teach, guide, and seek the many opportunities the world has to offer so that he may have a rewarding life. We feel very blessed to have been given the responsibility to ensure that foremost he is spiritually grounded and that he can achieve all things, no matter how small or large.


A Day With My President
By James Watson Every four years something special happens in Washington D.C. This inaugural year was a year to remember. It was the very first time in history an African-American was ever sworn in as President of these United States of America. As my mom, my Aunt Omega and my two younger cousins, arrived at Union Station the night before the Presidential Inauguration and flagged down a taxi to my Aunt Bronwen’s house in north west DC, I could feel the excitement, not just inside me, but in everyone. Although the train ride had been boring, I was so pumped up for the next day’s activities I could hardly eat or sleep. The following morning we all rose very early and instead of taking the Metro to the inaugural activities, the adults decided that we should walk. It was six o’clock in the morning dark. It was ice cube cold. And the walk was very, very, very far. And I do mean far. But, believe it or not there were several other people walking with us. I thought to myself, “Wow, now this is pretty cool.” Of course, as the only teenager of the group, I was the leader of our tribe. So I pretended I knew where I was going and I walked and walked and walked until we all arrived at the Capitol. When we arrived there, it was total chaos. Hundreds of thousands of people were everywhere and I was just one of them. Even the police were everywhere. What I found really interesting were the vendors. They were everywhere and they were selling everything from Obama t-shirts and buttons, to Obama dollar bills and even bottles of Obama hot sauce. One vendor tried to sell me a pair of Air Jordans with Obama’s face on it. O.k. now. Although we left early enough, we embarked on a jam. It was a big jam of people sort of like in traffic, but instead of cars there were people all jammed into one another. All sizes, all shapes, all races of people, but mostly African-Americans. It was so beautiful to see my people coming together at a time like that. The atmosphere out there was just amazing. There was so much noise and anxiety just to see one man, I thought I would explode. When we finally got out of the two hour long people jam we were searched by security before we could enter the National Mall. There we stood in place for hours, waiting for the activities to begin. Although I was wrapped up very well, I think the best way to describe how cold I felt, is by saying I was standing in the middle of the north pole, wearing only a pair of swimming trunks. I mean it was that cold. Hand and foot warmers could only do but so much. Regardless of the weather, I was determined to stay focused on my goal, which was to see the 44th president of the United States of America. Because we were so far away; I reluctantly didn’t get a chance to actually see President Barack H. Obama deliver his speech. But I got something even cooler than that. As I was standing in front of the crowd, President Obama’s car drove by me, he looked directly at me. He waved and I waved back. There was something in the way he looked at me that said, “Hey son, you too can do this. You too can go anywhere your mind can possibly imagine.” Although he never uttered a word, those were the words I heard him shout out to me. That was a very humbling experience. I had already seen First Lady Michelle Obama, Barbara Bush and her son, Former President Bush drive by, but seeing our 44th President was like having the icing on the cake. Although I didn’t want to miss a day of school, I was glad my parents insisted that I be apart of that day. I would not have changed my experience for the world. After my life altering experience on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, I believe that as a young African-American male, I have been handed a baton that requires me to keep on running, to keep on pushing, and jumping over hurdles, no matter how high; no matter how difficult the race. Who knows, one freezing cold Tuesday in January I too may be delivering an Inaugural Address as another one of America’s African – American presidents.

February: The Month for the Heart
Coronary heart disease is the number one cause of deaths in the United States. Thousands of people die each year from this disease and never knew they had it. The cause of heart disease is due to the hardening of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. These arteries then build up plaque, which narrows the pathway for blood flow to the heart. In some cases the plaque breaks off from the artery completely blocking the blood flow. The symptoms of a heart attack vary for men and women. Some will experience the tightness in the chest with pain radiating down the left arm. Others may have chest pain at

rest or upon exertion. However, women in particular, symptoms vary from discomfort in the chest, pain in one or both arms, jaw pain, nausea, dizziness and an outbreak of sweating. There are several things you can do to prevent or slow down the progression of coronary heart disease. A lifestyle change may include: stop smoking, regular exercise, eat healthy, loose weight, reduce stress and regular check ups. Change is difficult. We challenge you this month to make a change and take care of your heart. The Health Ministry
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