The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Luke 4:18-19.
Westminster is a missional church. Mission is not just a program, but defines us as God’s people sent to follow God’s call to love our neighbors both near and far. We are called to be a blessing to all peoples. Westminster seeks to be a caring congregation actively committed, both communally and individually, to local and global concerns.
Here are some of the projects we support. Get involved!
Intergenerational Mission Trip
June 20-23, WPC members and friends will volunteer at Catholic Charities’ Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, providing hospitality and basic necessities to people in need. We’ll stay at the Best Western Rose Garden Inn in McAllen, just a mile from the HRC.
This trip is open to people of all ages. We encourage families to come together – even young children can be of service! Children must be accompanied by an adult; youth may ask Pastor Ellen to sponsor them.
Stay tuned for more details about cost, travel, etc. Email Pastor Ellen to express interest or with questions.
We are also collecting supplies to take with us. The HRC is always in need of shoes and clothes for people of all ages and sizes, baby supplies, toiletries, sealed snack food (granola bars, chips, peanut butter & cheese crackers, etc.), gift cards to purchase food items, phone cards, and drawstring knapsacks for sandwiches, snacks and water. Right now, the greatest need is for deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes. You may drop items off in the church office between now and June 19; please clearly label donations “Border Trip.” Or you can send items directly to the Center; shipping directions here.
Contacts: Ellen Williams and Jill Clark
Earth Care Congregation
Earth Care Congregations are congregations that have committed to the “Earth Care Pledge” and accomplished a specific number of actions toward caring for God’s earth in four categories: worship, education, facilities, and outreach. In 2016, Westminster Presbyterian Church became the first church in Mission Presbytery to earn Earth Care Congregation status.
Our faith urges us to strive for eco-justice: defending and healing creation while working to assure justice for all of creation and the human beings who live in it. This call is rooted in the human vocation of “tilling and keeping” the garden from Genesis 2:15, as well as Christ’s charge to work with and for the most vulnerable. Because of their love for Christ who is firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15), churches are challenged to live in a manner consistent with God’s call to not only care for creation, but commune with creation.
Contact: Cynthia Hanes
Faith and Grief Ministry
Mission: to provide ongoing comfort to persons who have experienced the death of a loved one.
Those in the process of grief and mourning benefit from an organized, significant event that delivers ongoing compassion. In response, Faith & Grief Ministries offers a luncheon program that provides a community where persons feel safe to express their grief. They are encouraged to speak their truth in love, even their doubts, while being offered measures of comfort, hope, and support by trained facilitators.
More information and newsletter sign up: click here.
Contact: Judy Skaggs
Manos de Cristo
This is a Presbyterian ministry that provides affordable dental care, a clothes closet, a food pantry, ESL classes, and citizenship classes.
Contacts: Jare Smith
How to Get Involved
Food Pantry: Volunteers work two hours per month sacking groceries to give to those in need. Manos de Cristo gives each client family enough food for several days in an emergency.
Back to School Drive: Each July, a Back-to-School event provides school supplies, clothes, backpacks, and love to children entering a new school year.
Tamale Sale: Tamales make a great holiday meal! Each fall, WPC participates in this annual tamale sale and fundraiser benefiting the Manos de Cristo dental clinic.
This organization provides affordable housing for over 2,600 families including 228 formerly homeless children, as well as on-site support services. WPC assists this transition by providing “Welcome Home” baskets filled with the essentials for moving into a new home. Click here to find out more.
Contact: Angela Oliver
Several times throughout the year, WPC partners with the folks at Trinity Center to lead worship and provide a meal to their downtown “neighbors” who live in shelters and on the streets. To learn more about the Trinity Center, go to www.trinitycenteraustin.org.
Contact: Angela Oliver
How to Get Involved
Volunteer to help set up the room for worship, attend the worship service, and serve lunch.
CROP Walk by iAct
This event fights hunger in Austin and around the world. Once a year, members raise money by walking, running, skating (and sometimes crawling) the course for pledges by friends and family. It’s a festive time while many local churches to join to fight against hunger. You can read more here.
Contacts: Nancy Ebert and Elise Ragland
Drive A Senior
Caregivers provide services like transportation to the doctor, visits to the store, and other errands for persons who can no longer drive. They also provide minor home repairs to enable seniors to continue to live in their own home. The typical time commitment is two hours a week or less.
Contacts: Jare Smith
Austin State School Christmas Party
Each Christmas season, Westminster hosts a party for two resident homes at the Austin State School, our neighbors across Exposition Blvd. We bring gifts, sing carols, and fellowship with the residents.
Contact: Randy Cain
Minter Alternative Gift Market
Every year we enjoy a joyous occasion while doing our early Christmas shopping. Lib Minter, a long-time Westminster member and missionary, was known to reach out to the poor, the sick, the bereft, the troubled, and the lonely. This alternative market is named for her giving spirit.
Shoppers have the opportunity to buy gifts, in honor of a friend or relative, that benefit local and global support organizations. Funds raised help educate women in developing countries, or assist in providing clean water for a rural village, or support local shelters for women living on the streets in Austin.
Other Projects We Support
Christmas Benevolence Fund: Westminster has received a gift fund that keeps giving. Each church member has access to $300 from this fund to help people with needs at Christmas. Do you know someone who needs help with rent, groceries, or medical care? Do you know a family who needs help providing Christmas for their kids? Can you help respond to requests to the church office?
Contact: Elise Ragland or the church office