Let’s Grow Something
Westminster is just down the street from Tecumseh Elementary School and we try to be good neighbors to the school. We help with school supplies in the fall and are ready to jump in and help with special projects. This year, we dreamed up an idea for a closer relationship: inviting classes at Tecumseh to take part in our community garden.
Thanks to the leadership of Tecumseh Principal Cathryn Petticrew, our garden project has grown beyond our wildest expectations. Originally we hoped a few classes from Tecumseh would want to plant something in one of our a straw bale garden spaces, but now, all classes K-4 are involved.
A team of volunteers from the church have been going into classrooms in pairs to present a short lesson about seeds and to have the children plant pumpkin seeds for their class. In May, the students will come to Westminster to plant their seedlings in a straw bale. The students will also learn about composting and native plants and will be welcomed to come visit the garden over the summer. In the fall, they will come back to harvest pumpkins. The teachers have been very receptive to us and it has been so fun to see the excitement of the students (despite the fact that when we told one classroom all our food is grown in dirt, their initial reaction was, “Ewwww!”)
We hope that in addition to some fine mini-pumpkins, we are also growing relationships between our church and the community we have been called to serve. We’d like to know more about what the families in our school need to help them grow strong, curious, healthy boys and girls. We’d like to be a part of the community network that supports teachers and schools. And we would like to pass along our love for the environment that God created for us all to share and enjoy.
Love Is Shown in Our Deeds
St. Benedict is reported to have said, “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words when necessary.” In that spirit, at Westminster we believe in putting some action behind the ideas we hold dear. Our Pass It On ministry, for example, has a project to provide beds for families who need them, literally lifting some people up off the floor and helping them get a good night’s sleep. (We sleep better knowing we have made a difference). We also are a praying church, and some of our prayers, like our weekly contemplative prayer time and our outdoor labyrinth, are ways to pray without words. We do some mission projects with the elementary school down the street and with the Elmcroft Retirement home nearby. And we have some ambitious plans for the coming year, including a community garden. Come grow with us!
Westminster's particular mission efforts include support for our neighbor, Tecumseh Elementary School, and our Pass It On ministry. Pass It On matches people who have needs with people who have the resources to meet those needs; for example, someone moving to a smaller home may have extra furniture that can help a family just starting out on their own. The Sweet Dreams Project of Pass It On raises funds to purchase beds and bedding. Over the years we have been able to help over 2600 families. To contact Pass It On with a donation or request, please call (937)971-1676.
Sunday School: Adult class 9:00 a.m., Children's class 9:15 a.m.
Bible Study: Mondays 6:30 p.m., Wednesdays 11:00 a.m.
New class starting in January: "Presbyterian 101." Class meets Sundays at 9:15 a.m., for those interested in membership, and for current members who want to learn more about the history, beliefs, and traditions of being Presbyterian.
In January, Pastor Melissa will be offering a new Sunday school class, "Presbyterian 101." This will be a great opportunity for those who have never joined the church officially to learn about the history, beliefs, and traditions of being Presbyterian. If you are a long-time Presbyterian and want a refresher, you are welcome, too. The class meets at 11:45 in the lounge from Sunday, January 14th through Sunday, February 11th.
We have a weekly centering prayer time before worship, an ongoing prayer chain, and occasional prayer services for healing and wholeness.
We also have a prayer labyrinth constructed from prairie grass and wildflowers on our property and you are welcome to walk it any time.
We've started a community garden with straw bales (great output, minimal watering, no weeding) and accessible raised beds (no stooping--great for walker or wheelchair users).
Boy Scout Alex H. constructed our pilot garden in 2017 as his Eagle Scout project. Thanks to Alex, Troop 165, and Lowes in Xenia which donated the lumber.
Please contact the church if you'd like to garden with us in 2018! Everyone is welcome (donations accepted)