A Joyful, Welcoming, Inclusive Community of Faith

Steve’s Slant

Two down, one to go.

Last month I wrote about how we were about to experience a rare and significant confluence of events here at WWPC. Two of those events have now occurred.

NEW WEBSITE

First, as most of you know, late last week we launched our new and improved church website (www.warrenwilsonchurch.org).  We believe this new site will greatly increase our ability to communicate who we are and what we believe and value to members of the wider Asheville community – particularly young people – who may be looking for a new church home.  But we also hope the site will become a go-to resource for our own members who are looking for up to date calendar information about the events that are happening here at WWPC.

NEW DIRECTOR OF MUSIC

Second, as you also surely know, this past Sunday we welcomed Vivian Hare as our new Director of Music.  It was a wonderful day from start to finish.  In case you were not able to be here (and per the point I made in the previous paragraph) you can find a description of it here.

NEW MINISTRY PLAN

The third major event – the rollout of our new Ministry Plan – will occur following worship on Sunday, October 16. For a more detailed account of what we can look forward to on that day, including how the rollout connects to and supports our annual stewardship season – or, as we have rechristened it this year, our Season of Gratitude and Celebration – please see the article by the Forward Planning Leadership Team on page 3 of this newsletter.

These are all noteworthy events, each in its own right. But between now and then, we also have something very special to look forward to, another kind of confluence that we celebrate annually. This one ranks among my favorite liturgical occasions of the year.  This Sunday, together with literally thousands of churches around the world, we will celebrate World Communion Sunday. In our case, this global event happens to fall on the Sunday of Homecoming weekend on the campus of Warren Wilson College.

See what I mean? Another confluence.

Understanding and appreciating what this particular confluence means puts me in mind of one of those visual exercises that starts with the camera lens zoomed in close on the subject at hand, and then steadily zooms out to reveal a bigger and then still bigger perspective. Only in this case the subject isn’t just a place; it’s also a time.

From this close-in perspective, we celebrate and remember who we have been, and the place we’ve come from: a college chapel sited on a gorgeous campus nestled in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, the spiritual home of generations of students. A time and a place that were both so meaningful that many alumni have said of their experience in the chapel that it changed their lives and saved their souls.

Zoom out just a bit and we see who are today: a Presbyterian church open to the wider community, now with its own unique mission, vision and values.  A congregation that is grateful for its shared history with our close neighbor, Warren Wilson College, and one that is excited about its future as we seek to become the best church we can be.

Zoom out still further and you see an individual congregation that is connected to a larger body, the Presbyterian Church (USA), a denomination that is engaged in an astounding range of ministry and mission around the world – work that our financial support helps make possible – and that has recently take a variety of bold, prophetic stands on the social issues of our time, from same sex marriage to gun violence to racial justice.

Finally, zoom out still further and you see that we are but one small, local incarnation of the world-wide Church, a global community to whom we are connected by the shared genetic strands of the body of Christ.

All of which is to say, it’s always a great day, this Sunday, a special kind of confluence that is unique to our congregation. So I hope you can be here to enjoy it with us.