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Westminster Chimes, March 2010 Westminster Chimes, March 2010

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Westminster Chimes, March 2010

Posted on Sun, Feb 28, 2010

Pastor’s Article

When I think of Lent, the number forty will usually come to mind. The number has a nice solid ring to it. In the Bible it is used to designate a fairly long period of time. It denotes the length of a generation. A man was considered to be fully grown at forty. Isaac and Esau married at that age. Jesus spends forty days in the wilderness; we spend forty days observing this season.

The number sounds about right to measure the length of time it takes to get something accomplished. Think about it if you are over forty; imagine it if you are not.

What did you think you were supposed to do by the time you were forty years old? Finish your education? Get married? Raise children? Establish your career? How successful were you in reaching those goals? They are/were all meant to make us feel better – to make us happy and accomplished. Did it happen that way for you? Or, did you encounter disappointment and failure along the way? You missed graduation; you family life was not the blissful fulfilling experience you wanted it to be; your chance for THE promotion went to someone else…the list could go on.

There is a saying that has gone around for some time- “If you want to make God laugh, tell him/her your plans”. Lent is not necessarily a time to laugh, or to try to entertain God, but it is a time to delve into the mystery of God, and to try to discern how we may better find our way through life. It is a time not just to face temptations or to deprive ourselves of some things that we like. Lent goes deeper than that; it is a time for us to do “soul work”- to assess our spiritual health and maturity and determine how we may become better servants of God as we focus on the teachings and the exemplary life of Jesus. It is a time to find his way for us and follow it. And we have forty days to give that task as much of our undivided attention as possible.

How possible is that for you? You have that nice round number of forty days to find out.


CASA Update

The members of Westminster Presbyterian Church who volunteer in our CASA Thursday night program would like to thank the Presbytery of Sierra Blanca for rewarding us with a grant of $1.000.00 to help us buy the food for the meals we prepare. The CASA mentors and boys also thank the Presbytery.

Phyllis Lester

Coordinator of CASA program

In Appreciation…

The Berckes family would like to send thanks to everyone for the calls, visits and cards. They also want to thank you for the food provided and for the beautiful reception after the service for Jane Berckes.

Worship News

The Worship Committee says Thank You to all who have given donations to the fund which provides flowers for the altar every week. The flowers are a beautiful addition and make the sanctuary more attractive.

But, did you know that you may bring the flowers of your choice? This gift can be designated for the birthday of a family member or friend, an anniversary or to honor any other special occasion.

At this time, we still have many blank spaces on the flower signup chart (located near the west narthex door). It is so helpful if the spaces are filled in so the names can get inserted on the Sunday bulletins on time.

Thank you for all you do to be of service at Westminster Church.

Marno Talbott

Worship Chairperson

Presbyterian Women

Westminster's Presbyterian Women (PW) met Monday, March 1, continuing the study of Joshua in the Horizon's Bible Study series. The scriptural reference for Lesson Seven was entitled God's Concern for Justice: The Cities of Refuge will be Joshua 20:1-9 and 21:13-41. This lesson was lead by Mary Puckett, and Veva Byrd served as hostess for this meeting. PW meets at 9:30 a.m. in our fellowship hall the first Monday of the month and all women are welcome.

Fellowship News

Valentine’s Day! What a wonderful Brunch (with a capital B) the Mitchams prepared for us! A large attendance was testimony to the expectation and delivery of most delicious food. Thank you again, Patti & Ray. Also, thank you, Russ, for making the red heart centerpieces.

January Survey Results:

  • Question #1 dealt with number of social events members would like to have per year. Half of respondents said 4-6, one-quarter said 1-3 and one-quarter said 7 or more.

  • Question #2 asked which occasions were most favored for fellowship. 100% mentioned Christmas and 75% noted Easter and Thanksgiving. Just a couple mentioned Mother’s and/or Father’s Day.

  • Question #3 sought to determine what types of programs were most desired. Those providing interesting speakers or those that were music related came out on top.

Future Programs: As a result of the survey, the Fellowship Committee has opted to plan 5

occasions for the calendar year 2010, as follows: Valentine’s Day Brunch, Easter, Summer Picnic (late afternoon), Thanksgiving and Christmas (in addition to the meal on Christmas Day).

Loris DeKay

Fellowship Committee Chair

Hungry Harold

When you’re next in the Narthex, you will be able to see Hungry Harold has changed his requests for the Community Kitchen for March.

This month, he’s asking if we can donate canned green beans, instant mashed potatoes or Jello. He really appreciates the support shown in the donations in February and hopes that support will continue throughout this year.

Home Care Items

Need any Home Care Items? Westminster has accumulated a variety of home care items, which are available for loan to our members at anytime.

The list of items is as follows:

Canes – single and 4 legged

Crutches – metal and wood

Walkers – std. and wheels


Electric life chair (stuffed)


Shower seats

Pickup stick (grabber)

If you need to borrow any of these items, please contact the church office and arrange to pick them up at the church.

Unless you have your own truck, the electric lift chair will have to be delivered by one of our volunteer crew. These items are for your use whenever you need them. When your need has ended, please return them to the church so others may use them.


is the art of transmitting information between individuals and groups. In order to improve communications at Westminster, the Session recently created the new Communications Committee as a standing committee of our church.

The purpose of the Communications Committee will be to organize and supervise all communications of Westminster Presbyterian Church in the following areas of responsibility:

  • Website – Maintain Westminster’s website, which includes establishing guidelines of operations, etc.

  • Advertising – Be the liaison for any newspaper, radio or television advertising approved by the Session.

  • Chimes Newsletter – Oversee the monthly publication and mailing of the Chimes Newsletter.

  • Membership Directory – Oversee the maintenance and publication of the Membership Directory.

  • Annual Reports – Work with committee Chairpersons and staff for the publication of the Annual Reports by Pentecost Sunday of each year.

Margaret Johnson is the chairperson of our new Communications Committee. Please communicate with Margaret via telephone, email, in writing or in person.

News from Session

The following are action items at our monthly session meeting on February 16, 2010:


  • The treasurer’s report had been previously submitted. M/S/P pending audit.

  • The Personnel Committee chair advised that Tom Berckes had submitted a letter to the committee expressing interest in the regular Choir Director’s position.  The committee recommended that since the Choir Director works closely with the pastor that the position not be advertised until a pastor is called.  M/S/P.

  • An adjustment was made on the terms of call involving the pastor's housing allowance. M/S/P.

Mission & Stewardship

Jesus said "Do you love me? Feed my sheep."  John 21:15-19 is the theme for the 2010 One Great Hour of Sharing Offering. During the month of March, we will be reminding you of the magnitude and scope of this offering through posters, bulletin inserts, bookmarks, and offering envelopes; and on Palm Sunday, March 28 we will receive and dedicate our gifts. 

One Great Hour of Sharing began more than 60 years ago in response to the devastation of World War II.  A Saturday evening nationwide broadcast asked Americans to give generously the next morning in their churches and more than 75,000 churches responded.  

The PC(USA) divides its offering gifts into thirds.  Each of three programs---Self-Development of People, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and the Presbyterian Hunger Program--receives 32% of the offering; the remaining 4% goes to the Hunger Program for its work on homelessness and affordable housing.  No portion of this offering stays in the congregation. It is reassuring to know that in the recent disaster in Haiti, funds and assistance were immediately available to Church World Service through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.  Read the inserts you will find in your Sunday bulletins for more information about the recipients of this offering.  Let us be generous this year in our One Great Hour of Sharing Offering.

New Adult Class

Beginning this coming Sunday (February 28), Dr. Harry began a new class which focuses on understanding how our church works, and how it can work better in the future. Join us in the fellowship hall following worship.

This is a totally new approach to understanding how even the simplest decisions and actions of church members really do affect the attitudes and behavior of the whole church--good and bad.  We will meet at the time of the Adult Sunday Class--11 a.m.--in the Fellowship Hall.  Please plan to attend--you will find it most informative and helpful as we move on in the search process for a new pastor!

February Presbytery

First Presbyterian Church – Roswell (FPCR) hosted the January 29 & 30 meeting of Presbytery. During the worship service the Rev. Dr. Hugh Burroughs was installed as moderator and Virginia King as vice moderator. Dr. Harry Cole delivered the message at the Saturday morning worship service, noting interim ministry often did not provide such an opportunity. In the stated clerk's report it was recommended that WPC's records be approved without exception (hats off to Larry Loy, our clerk of session); FPC-Artesia called Daniel Phelps as minister of the word and sacrament, a report on dissolving the pastoral relationship between FPC-Tucumcari with the Rev. Margaret Koontz; and WPC-R's clerk request for HAE (hunger in action) funds for CASA and 2-cents a meal for the food bank ministry at Iglesia Hispana. The Presbytery of Sierra Blanca 2010 budget is posted in the copy room during the month of March. The contract for the sale of the Chimney Springs property is still in place. Dorinne Lykins replaced outgoing PWP treasurer Dorothy Straley on January 1st. See PWP article for more information from Dixie Loy's report. The Nominating Committee reported vacancies on various committees: Faith in Action, Congregational Support, Steward'sp & Interpretation, Faith Development, Admin. & Finance, Self Development of People, and NM Conference of Churches. We voted on were two Overtures to the 219th General Assembly: 1. from the Presbyterian Foundation (which carried) submitted by FPCR to PSB (Presbytery of Sierra Blanca) on January 22, 2010 which stated that all undesignated funds flowing from the Presbyterian Foundation to the GA level of PC(USA) be allocated to individual presbyteries for direct dispersal to particular church of that presbytery as each presbytery determines; and 2. Adopted by the session of FPC—Dexter (this was defeated) to propose changes in the wording in the Book of Order and subsequently the Book of Confessions in defining marriage. The next Presbytery meeting will be held in Las Cruces at First Presbyterian Church on April 23 & 24.

Music Notes

Our cantata will support worship on Palm Sunday this year. It is act a mix of two: one from previous years called Song of the Shadows and a new one called Praise the God of Resurrection. In addition to the choir cantata, the Handbell Choir will support worship as well. If you love to "make a joyful noise unto the Lord," come join us. The bells meet each Wednesday at 6 p.m. and choir rehearsal follows at 7 p.m.

In His service.

Tom Berckes

Thank You Quilters

All of us appreciate your contribution of twenty-eight quilts for the fourteen new bunks and your collection of gently used linens, etc., for the Rivers of Life Outreach Shelter for Women. As soon as the liability insurance is purchased, the facility will be ready for occupancy. We know you will be proud of what we have all accomplished working together.

Remnant Piece Keepers,

Brothers 'N Sisters in Stitches,

Coordinating Partner

Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery

The theme for 2010 is "Hands of Christ—our Simple Gifts." March 5, 2010, is the World Day of Prayer, when Church Women United host meetings throughout the Presbytery. Westminster will host a local meeting on the 5th in our fellowship hall. A light lunch will be served. We will take a special offering to send to Pres. Disaster Relief for aid to Haiti and Chili. March 7 on the liturgical calendar is "Celebrate the Gifts of Women" Sunday. In April, the Spring Gathering of PWP will be hosted by Las Cruces PW groups with mailings to go out this month.

Set Your Clocks

On Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States.

Daylight Saving Time is four weeks longer since 2007 due to the passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005. The Act extended Daylight Saving Time by four weeks from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November.

Called Joint Presbytery Meeting in Santa Fe

A meeting of both the Sierra Blanca Presbytery and Santa Fe Presbytery was held on February 27, for the purpose of acting on a recommendation of the Regional Presbyter Search Committee for the candidacy of the Rev. Dr. Sallie M. Watson as Regional Presbyter/Stated Clerk. Kate DeBraose attended the meeting as alternate commissioner.

The Rev. Watson is a native of Dallas and a life-long Presbyterian. She received a bachelor's degree with a major in English and a minor in music, and in 1987, she earned her Master of Divinity degree from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Her Doctor of Ministry degree came from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago in 2007. The Rev. Watson and her husband Paul have two children, Alex (12) and Meredith (10).

March Ushers

Elaine Hanson, Marno Talbott., Ray & Patti Mitcham

The best use of life is to invest in something that will outlive life. Remember Westminster in your will.

In Sympathy

Our sympathy goes out this month to the family of Jane Berckes, beloved member of Westminster, to Hazel Wolgamott on the death of her husband, and to the families of Bob Miller, Juanita Owen, and Helen Seager all former members of Westminster.  

   Discussion: Westminster Chimes, March 2010

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