Jesus called twelve disciples together. It quickly grew to 70 and 120 and more. Our Lord always seemed to draw people together. After His death and resurrection, the scriptures reveal that the earliest group of Christians gathered to worship, eat meals, organize assistance to the poor and share their faith experience with others.
Certainly, all are welcome here for worship and our other activities. Yet “belonging” means much more. It means that commitment made first to Jesus Christ is lived in a greater commitment to His people – the family of God – here at Westwood First. With this larger commitment, you offer your fuller participation, leadership and sharing or your gifts and talents. You commit to sharing of your time, energy and financial support. You offer to serve and lead alongside other Christians.
It is living out what Christ expects of us.
Worship – each week, with God’s family, sharing in thanksgiving praise to God while praying for one another.
Fellowship – caring and sharing with one another, in laughter and tears, in listening and sharing, in the fun of knowing others who also share in Christ’s family.
Ministry – we believe, everyone has been given gifts and talents from God. Some are simple. Some are deeply spiritual. All are needed. We lead our church through such gifts as hospitality, administration, music, teaching, sharing our faith with others and loving one another. We show this as we show compassion to one another, lead the ministries of this congregation, help others to grow in faith and thanks before our Lord and pray.
Education – members seek to grow in their faith. This is not so much a noun, a thing, as a verb, a process. We learn through sermons, classes and leading others as teachers and advisors. We grow in small groups leader and as class teachers. All who study and teach, learn.
Outreach – we care about our world. It is often a hurting place, a needy place for many people. In so many ways our members make a difference in helping the world outside our doors to be a better place for others. Christ sent His disciples “into all the world. “
Several times each year, we offer an Inquirer’s/New Member Class. Usually over three Sundays mornings, our Pastor helps everyone understand more about the Christian faith, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the life of Westwood First.
We encourage all, of any religious or denominational background, to participate in these classes. You receive all materials in writing. You meet our Pastor and several members. You decide whether this important decision of joining our church is important for you. We encourage it. There are no pressures. Learn about us. Then, decide.
After the three Sunday morning classes, those who make that decision to join will affirm their faith in Jesus Christ and their commitment to His people here by meeting with our Session. The Session of our church are lay people who greet you and vote people into membership. This is done with Sponsors who introduce you to us and continue that introduction to many of our members and activities. After meeting with the Session, you are publicly received in Sunday worship. This is not a show but a time to again affirm your faith among the very people who have done the same. Those who have not been baptized are baptized. We will also teach you about this sacrament.
In turn, our members promise, by their welcome, to include you in their various activities and prayers. The Christian “welcome mat” is out!
Please consider the greater meaning of membership in Christ’s Body, His Church, here at Westwood First.
Tell us if you would like to receive our newsletter, the Parish Bell.
Call us if you have any questions.