White Memorial Presbyterian Church | Spring 2020
A SEASON OF JOURNEY..
Dear members and friends of White Memorial... I AM WRITING TO YOU ON THE 19th of March, 2020. This is the second cover letter I have written for this issue of the WMPC Word. The first one was written weeks ago, before the descent of COVID-19 into our lives. Since so much has changed so quickly, I write this letter even as I pray you are as well as you can be in these days of limited movement and social distancing. I’ll confess this much: when I wrote the first I could not have imagined having to write a second letter because our lives had been turned upside down by a pandemic. In a very specific way, this issue of the WMPC Word is obsolete. You will see items, events, and programs which either did not or will not happen. We have made a specific choice to go ahead and tell you what we had planned in order to help us remember the ministry we have enjoyed and that we shall enjoy again. For the foreseeable future please consult our emails, our website, and our newsletters before you come for any activity or program. In a very broad way, this issue of the WMPC Word is a reminder of the wonderful things that God is doing with us and through us. No church is perfect. But we strive to be ever more faithful. We hope to be ever more committed. We desire to be ever more attuned to our goals of worshiping, embracing, and serving in the manner of Jesus Christ. I recently saw a comment by Maya Angelou which stopped me in my tracks. Angelou said, “Every storm runs out of rain.” When I stumbled upon it, the words made a lump in my throat and my eyes misty. I cannot wait for this pandemic storm to run out of rain. I am quite sure if you are reading this you are with me. One of the most profound moments of the gospel occurs when Jesus and his disciples are overcome by a storm on the sea (Mark 4: 35 – 41). Jesus has been asleep and the storm arises all around them. When Jesus awakes he says, “Peace, be still!” Suddenly all is calm. Suddenly the storm runs out of rain. While we cannot know the day; while we cannot know the hour; while we cannot name the minute, our faith must be that this storm will run dry. God calls us to do our part until that time. We have seen and survived storms before. The task ahead is to stay in the boat while we keep watch for the calming of the waves and the ending of the rain. May calming grace abound,
Christopher H. Edmonston Pastor, WMPC 1 | WORD | SPRING 2020
WMPC WORD is written, designed and edited by the Communications Department and members of the church staff and congregation. For questions regarding this publication, contact Kathy Howell at 919-834-3425, ext. 236, or email@example.com. For address changes, contact Elizabeth Viohl at ext. 206, or firstname.lastname@example.org. WMPC WORD (PERMIT #333) is published three times a year by White Memorial Presbyterian Church, located at 1704 Oberlin Road, Raleigh, North Carolina 27608. Reference note: White Memorial Presbyterian Church (WMPC) Additional Editors: Colleen Aguirre and Karen Haneline Cover: Photo by Dave Yap on Unsplash Thank you to those who shared their stories for publication in the WMPC Word.
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in this issue 3 7 11 13 15
Auspicious Beginnings Visionary. Leader. Andrew Amodei We are a 4/4 Congregation Quick Bits: News and Happenings at WMPC Rooted in Love: A Celebration of Sisterhood
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Our Rotation Stations Program is Expanding! Twenty Somethings Growing in Faith Solar Power Journey to the Cross
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auspicious beginnings.... Community Table Rocks Edinburgh
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t seems fitting that the Edinburgh Building’s inaugural event on Friday, February 21 would be our youth fundraiser, Community Table. After all, that’s the vision of this space: Community. A place for yes, worship, but also for gatherings, fellowship, concerts, meals, movies, classes, meetings - a space that welcomes, gathers and embraces. This particular Friday night though belonged to the youth as almost 150 gathered for their annual mission fundraiser dinner, a mere two days after the new chairs had been delivered. Each year Community Table raises money for middle and high school students to go on a variety of summer trips ranging from Haiti and Puerto Rico to working in rural Appalachia. Monies from this event also send our young people to conferences like Montreat and Massanetta Springs. This year, the keynote was given by Lucas Jones, a third-year Columbia Seminary student who grew up at White Memorial. Many of you may even remember teaching him or his siblings in Sunday School or a youth group. The evening began as Jeb Jeutter, one of Lucas’ former youth advisors introduced him. Through discussing scripture and playing games at Sunday School and PYC Jeb got to know the curious and energetic Lucas Jones. But what seemed to cement a bond between Lucas and Jeb was sleeping on air mattresses on youth trips and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on hot summer days. Jeb painted such a vivid picture of those days one could almost feel and taste the toil of wrangling teenagers on a summer trip, and the sweet privilege of becoming friends and building community that happens so often on WMPC youth ministry trips. >
BY KATHY HOWELL Photography by Genevieve Brooks
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This year’s youth theme is ‘Draw the Circle Wide’. That is
exactly what happened on this February evening. A full-circle moment was so beautifully brought to life. Not only being in the new building so many had hoped and prayed, organized and fundraised for, but for taking a moment to reflect on the significance of hearing from a leader and former youth and the spiritual impact they had on one other, and then realizing that the youth is sharing what community at White Memorial looks like, what community at White Memorial meant to him, and encouraging a new generation of youth to be disciples. Indeed drawing the circle even wider. In his keynote, Lucas told the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 from the gospel of John. In John’s account of this story in Chapter 6 verse 9, it is a boy who has the five barley loaves and two small fish. That community in John’s gospel did not turn that boy away, they did not scoff at what little he had, they did not turn him away or ignore him. Instead, they helped that boy bring his gifts before Jesus to be blessed and do miraculous things. Lucas spent his college summers working with the Appalachia Service Project helping youth groups just like ours serve the people of rural Appalachia by helping their homes to become warmer, drier and safer. It is through trips like these that Lucas reminds us that the gifts of young people get seen, affirmed and can become part of the fabric of a church family. As we look back on Community Table as a wonderful fundraising event for youth we also see it as the coming together of our church to enjoy a meal in the new Edinburgh Building. An opportunity to thank God for the disciples who came before us with their gifts, big and small, who saw a vision for White Memorial and what this church family means to its members, to their children and the Raleigh community and beyond. We thank everyone who turned out for this inaugural event in the Edinburgh Building to support our youth and their ministry. We invite everyone at White Memorial to be active participants in our youth ministry, whether through donations, volunteering of time or chaperoning trips.
COMMUNITY TABLE ALLOWED US TO THANK GOD FOR THE DISCIPLES WHO CAME BEFORE US WITH THEIR GIFTS, BIG AND SMALL, WHO SAW A VISION FOR THIS CHURCH. 5 | WORD | SPRING 2020
After many meetings, conversations, and consultations, on December 8, 2019 at the stated meeting of the Session, a
motion to adopt Edinburgh as the name for the new building for worship, meals, fellowship and community events was made, seconded and approved.
Not only is this a nod to our Scottish Presbyterian roots but also White Memorialâ€™s history.
Some will remember that in the 1970s WMPC had a
fellowship space in the Granville Building (now Calvin) named Edinburgh Hall.
With our Imagine Campaign coming to life, we are well
poised for worship in the mid-century, while paying homage
Phase 2 Underway:
to the past. Glory be to God.
As we settle into the Edinburgh Building, Small Dining and
Outreach in Knox.
Phase 2 is in full swing demolition has begun on Pickard Hall, The
Connector and Geneva
Hall. Hereâ€™s a rough outline of what will be happening:
Asbestos Abatement and Demolition
Audio Visuals and Finishes
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ANDREW AMODEI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR |
BY PARKER GAGNIER Photography by Karen Haneline
ou might not know Andrew Amodei, Executive Director by name or sight, but you’ve almost certainly felt his impact since he arrived at WMPC in October 2018. It’s an understatement to say that he hit the ground running. With Gary Fulton’s retirement looming, Andrew was able to take over far more responsibility than his original job description. Armed with a skill set defined by his calling and experience as a teacher and preacher, Andrew expertly managed a multitude of details, from getting to know staff, elders, deacons, committee members, and congregational members, to working closely and negotiating with construction crews and contractors to make sure the Imagine Campaign project stayed onschedule and on-budget. This earned him the respect of those he worked with, both on staff at WMPC and those in contact with him on a multitude of committees. If you ever see Andrew and Pastor Christopher Edmonston together, you’ll immediately sense the genuine respect and camaraderie between the two. With over 15 years in ministry, first tenured in the United Methodist Church (UMC), Andrew has served as Senior Pastor, Associate Pastor, Youth Pastor and
elder. Andrew was also Chair of the Board of Higher Education, overseeing campus ministries and chaplains across seven colleges, and Chair of Church and Society, primarily advocating for environmental and economic justice. Justice and community support are important to Andrew, and he has spent a sizable amount of time lobbying for legislation in Washington, D.C. He’s led youth conferences across Tennessee, North Carolina and in Seoul, South Korea, and overseen church planting and revitalization efforts domestically and internationally. With a background in history and linguistics, Andrew spent much time internationally assisting seminary support, community development, pastor training, reconciliation work, and orphanage support. Additionally, he was a part of the group that founded the Peace and Reconciliation Center at Duke University. In 2015, Andrew left the UMC due to theological differences and itineracy, specifically the evolving debate of homosexuality and the means by which pastors are “called” to churches. “Leaving the UMC was a very painful decision,” Andrew said, “but the church of my upbringing was no longer what I believed it to be.” > SPRING 2020 | WORD | 8
Above: Andrew oversaw the installation of new campus lighting to increase visability at night and give an overall welcoming feel.
ANDREW FINDS INSPIRATION EVERYWHERE INCLUDING HIS REFRIGERATOR.
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Through his international work, Andrew gained experience in fundraising. When asked about his experience, Andrew said that “[his] fundraising background was born out of the need to procure funds for these [international] efforts.” After his tenure with the UMC, Andrew transitioned into professional fundraising. Prior to joining the WMPC staff, Andrew was the VP of Development for Easterseals UCP, where he oversaw an $80 million-dollar budget and 200,000 constituents over two states. He left in 2018 because of his calling to the church. Additionally, Andrew recently acquired his CFRE international certification in fundraising management. Andrew’s experience in Audio/Visual technology (A/V) comes out of a hobby and love for technology. Andrew believes that A/V works best when it helps without you knowing that it’s there. In the new Edinburgh space, Andrew has made sure that lights, sound, signage and presentation capabilities are seamless yet effective. Recently, low voltage lighting was installed on campus to make it safer at night. The digital signage you see across campus was designed from an idea Andrew and others saw on a refrigerator and replicated to be more usable for a broader purpose. He has the same set-up in his home kitchen. Along with safety, hospitality is a priority. The fine details, including cleanliness, décor and signage, are necessary for creating a church environment that people will be proud to belong to. >
Left to Right: Andrew and Parker Gagnier, Media and Communications Specialist at WMPC discuss lighting from the A/V booth in the Edinburgh Building. Andrew sharing thoughts on the new space.
To Andrew, how a family takes care of their house shows how they will take care of their people. We want people to know that they will be taken care of at White Memorial. While it seems like Andrew is moving at light speed to accomplish the many tasks that ensure WMPC’s campus runs smoothly, he is never too busy for a conversation or a
laugh. Ask him about his Spartan GoRuck, and military-style competitions, about his 4:00 a.m. workout routine, or his new Golden Retreiver puppy Cooper. On a final note, in the fall of 2019 Andrew and his wife Rachel became members of WMPC. The have two daughters, Gabrielle and Katie.
OF PERSONAL NOTE Andrew received his MBA in 2015 in Organizational Leadership, specializing in Change Management Theory. He was named the servant leader of the year by his class. Andrew is a Lewis Fellow through the Wesley Theological Seminary, mentored by Adam Hamilton (author of many of WMPC’s teaching curriculums) and Peter Storey (Mandela’s chaplain at Robben Island) Andrew wakes at 4 a.m. each morning, exercises for 90 minutes to two hours, practices spiritual disciplines each day and fasts weekly. In November 2019, Andrew competed in a 32-mile Spartan Ultra – an obstacle course race designed to challenge strength of body, mind and spirit.
The Amodei Family Left to Right: Katy, Rachel, Gabrielle and Andrew SPRING 2020 | WORD | 10
WE ARE A
hat does it mean to be a Four for Four congregation? It means White Memorial chooses to respond to causes we care deeply about at every stage of life. The four churchwide Special Offerings are by PCUSA’s General Assembly as faithful responses to who we have known God to be and who the church is called to be. One Great Hour of Sharing, the Pentecost Offering, Peace & Global Witness and the Christmas Joy offering, draw us together — past, present and future. When we as a church participate in each of these efforts we celebrate God’s transforming work in the world. Content partially gathered from the PCUSA special offerings. 11 | WORD | SPRING 2020
|BY KATHY HOWELL| Photography by PCUSA
One Great Hour of Sharing Season of Lent February 26-April 12, 2020 One Great Hour of Sharing is when we share God’s love with our neighbors-in-need around the world. Each gift helps improve the lives of people in challenging situations through three impact programs: • Rebuilding Hope: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (32%) • Growing Food Security: Presbyterian Hunger Program (36%) • Partnering in Progress: Self Development of People (32%)
Pentecost Special Offering Season of Pentecost April 13-May 31, 2020 A foundation of faith established during childhood through young adulthood helps ensure lifelong faith and service. When we as a congregation give to the Pentecost Offering, we help provide opportunities for young people to grow and share in their faith in Christ • Supporting Youth in WMPC (40%) • Young Adult Volunteers (25%) • Guiding Youth (25%) • Advocating for Children at Risk (10%)
Peace & Global Witness Season of Peace September 6-October 4, 2020 The Peace & Global Witness Offering draws us together as active peacemakers and provides education and exposure to those who show us how to do this work well. • Responding to conflict in our community (25%) • Connective Mid Councils for Peacemaking (25%) • Advocating for Christ’s Peace & Justice (50%)
Christmas Joy Season of Advent November 29Decmeber 20, 2020 PCUSA reflects God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ, through the Christmas Joy Offering with generous gifts supporting church leaders who have pointed us to God. • Supporting past and present leaders (50%) • Preparing the way for future leaders (50%)
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News and happenings at WMPC
3rd Annual Men’s Retreat
Please note: Due to COVID-19, dated events will either be re-scheduled or canceled.
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS TASKFORCE WMPC has formed a Mental Health and Wellness Taskforce, whose mission is to support mental wellness by building and sustaining a culture of love, help, and hope through advocacy, support and education. The Taskforce intends to implement ways by which WMPC, as the body of Christ, can address mental health and wellness in our church and community.
On Wednesday, April 29, we invite you to join us as we present “Mental Health 101” in C200 at 6:30 p.m. This presentation will lead us into a conversation about the continuum of mental health from wellness to illness.
A LIFE WORTHY OF THE CALL What does it mean to live the life of Jesus in our lives? Can our lives really be the place Jesus lives? Explore this and more as guest speaker Franklin Golden, pastor, Durham Church (PCUSA), delves deep into the life and teaching of Jesus at our 3rd Annual Men’s Retreat. This year, we will gather on the WMPC Campus. We will start with a cookout on The Courtyard Friday evening followed by a presentation in the Edinburgh Building by Pastor Franklin Golden. You will be invited to examine your own life as we explore what it might mean to “live a life worthy of the call we have received”. (Ephesians 4:1) On Saturday morning we will enjoy breakfast before gathering in the Main Hall for worship. Afterwards, we will break into small groups followed by lunch. Throughout the weekend you’ll enjoy the music of Charles Pettee, a guitar and mandolin-wielding songwriter and founding member of the world-traveling group The Shady Grove Band and more currently FolkPsalm. Stay tuned. Date to be determined in the near future.
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TO THE GLORY... In flowers we see beauty. In flowers we experience our hopes as well as our sufferings. The use of flowers in the church is an expression of love to God and gives life to our worship. The Flower Guild invites members to dedicate flowers as a special way to honor loved ones marking special life events or as a thanksgiving for life’s blessings and to the glory of God. If you have a particular person or date you would like to recognize through flowers please contact Rebecca Turner, Pastoral Assistant at email@example.com.
BUILDING OUR HUMAN MUSEUM North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green invited all who gathered for her creativity salon (workshop) on Saturday, February 15 to join her in naming and probing the rooms of our lives for the stories that need to be told, things we choose to keep and that keep us, and what we may need to lock away or open up in the ongoing process she calls Building Our Human Museum. Ms. Shelton Green’s powerful narrative voice is a light in the dark places of the world today, encouraging us to listen compassionately with our hearts and to make time in our lives for self reflection and reconstruction.
WMPC CHILDREN’S CHOIRS PRESENT
LYRA VOCAL ENSEMBLE We hope you will join us Sunday, May 17, 2020, 3:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary as LYRA, an a cappella group of four professional vocalists from St. Petersburg, Russia, present Russian choral music for the last Sounds of Oberlin concert of the 2019-2020 season. You will hear everything from the sacred music of the Russian Orthodox Church tradition to Russian folk songs. Admission is free. All donations to and merchandise sales for LYRA must be made in cash only.
All are invited to our Children’s Choir Musical as they sing the daring, triumphant story of Esther on Wednesday, April 29 at 5:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Through song, the children will transport us to the Citadel of Susa where King Ahasuerus names Esther his new queen - and where Esther faces the decision of her life. Will wicked Haman prevail? Or will selfless Mordecai convince Esther to trust in God and save her people? With a nod to Broadway, Esther is filled with memorable melodies - from fun and whimsical reprises to expressive heartfelt ballads. SPRING 2020 | WORD | 14
ROOTED IN LOVE
A CELEBRATION OF SISTERHOOD |
BY KATY SMYTH Photography by Jessie Littleton
Left to right: Guest speaker Amy Julia Becker; Lunch RECEIVING AND PARTICIPATING at Pinehurst; Music IN THE ABUNDANT leaders Lee Baker, Emily LOVE OF GOD Bowen and members of the OnPoint House Band
ast month, 209 women traveled to Pinehurst for the 16th Annual Women’s Retreat weekend. Special guest, author and theologian Amy Julia Becker challenged us all to examine the role that the expansive love of God plays in our lives and in community with one another. What keeps us from love and how do we receive God’s love in our lives? How can we best love others and receive their love in return? There was plenty of time for fellowship and to deepen relationships with one another. Activities included small group discussions, chair yoga, centering prayer, amazing breakfast buffets and just time to unwind in the presence of God and one another. Thanks to the generosity of the retreat participants, $5400 was donated to Haven House Services, a Wake County organization providing community-based services to at-risk youth and
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their families. In addition, the retreat attendees collected crucial supplies to give directly to the youth that Haven House serves. These items included 164 duffle bags, 120 hair care products, 439 men’s and women’s undergarments, 79 packages of disposable razors and 65 cans of shaving cream and 201 deodorant sticks. We are so thankful for this opportunity to serve members of our community. It was a weekend full of spiritual growth, restoration and a celebration of sisterhood. Many thanks to the Retreat Committee and Co-Chairs, Ashley Silverman and Alex Flynn. Additional thanks to Music Leaders Emily Bowen and Lee Baker, to the members of the OnPoint band who led music at the closing communion service, and to our wonderful WMPC staff and Presbyterian Women who supported this event and made it possible.
“…And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19
Left to right: Women’s Retreat Pinehurst, NC
PLEASE MAKE PLANS TO JOIN US NEXT YEAR FOR THE 2021 WOMEN’S RETREAT: JANUARY 29-31 IN PINEHURST!
Left to right: Co-chairs Ashley Silverman (l) and Alex Flynn (r) with speaker Amy Julia Becker (c)
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Above and right: First through fourth graders explore Bible stories through Games, Drama, Prayer, and Art Stations.
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Our Rotation Stations Program
Is Expanding! |BY LYNN SPRINGFIELD|
otation Stations, the experiential approach that enhances learning through different modalities, has been hugely successful for our 1st – 4th graders’ Sunday School this year. We’ve received such overwhelmingly positive feedback about our Drama, Art, Prayer, Games, and Music Stations – and numerous requests for next year’s 5th graders to join Rotation Stations – that we are going to add a Science Station next year and offer this program for next year’s 1st – 5th graders! The third floor of Knox will vibrate with fun! SHEPHERDS AND STATION LEADERS There are two ways that the adults in our congregation are invited to join in this faith-filled learning adventure for 2020-21. One is as Shepherds, who serve as storytellers and relationship builders. The other is as Station Leaders, guiding the children
through activities that help them experience the Bible story. Both types of leaders serve twice per month, September through May. And both types of leaders are provided all of the planning notes and materials that they will need, making it easy to prepare and to serve. The more intergenerational our leadership can be, the richer the experience for the children and for the leaders. Do you feel called to help in nurturing the faith formation of our church’s children? Wouldn’t you like to join in the fun? I would love to talk with you about a leadership role that will be enriching for you and for the children, that will tap into your gifts, and that will put a smile on your face each Sunday. I invite you to contact me at 919-834-3425, x. 232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Growing in Faith and Fellowship
| BY GRIER BOOKER RICHARDS |
hat a joy it has been to watch our 20’s @wmpc ministry take off! From social events like our Low Country Boil Kick-Off to our February Oyster Roast to weekly Bible studies and faithful conversation about grace, doubt, and how our faith actually matters for our everyday decision making — this has been Above and Right: 20-somethings gather on Tuesday evenings. 19 | WORD | SPRING 2020
an extraordinary year of growing in faith and fellowship together. Each week a group of 15-25 WMPC 20-somethings and their friends gather at the homes of various church members to check-in, pray with and discuss various issues relevant to our lives of faith and lives of being busy young professionals. >
This year, our 20’s @wmpc group has spent time reflecting on the following questions and diving into the following themes: • Why Church: Does it matter, do we matter, and how does our faith affect the ways we can be in community with and for one another? • Grace Matters: What it is and how it works • Eugene Peterson’s study on the book of Psalms • A Sanctified Art’s Art, Poetry & Prompts for the Wilderness of Lent You will notice this faithful group of young leaders worshiping regularly at White Memorial, praying for one another, attending retreats, serving as church officers, and looking ahead for even more creative ways to continue to connect to the life of our church outside of our 7:00 p.m. Tuesday small group time.
WE ARE ESPECIALLY GRATEFUL FOR OUR WMPC MEMBERS WHO HAVE SERVED AS “HOME HOSTS” FOR OUR 20’S @WMPC GROUP. THESE FOLKS HAVE OPENED UP THEIR HOMES, AS WELL AS THEIR HEARTS, TO PROVIDE THE SPACE NECESSARY FOR THIS MINISTRY TO GROW AND FLOURISH!
Diane & Cliff Britt Brenda & Wesley Jones Annette & Fred Anderson Kim & John Towles Angie & Mickey Faulk Ashley & William Silverman Debbie & Chip Morris Grier Richards Anne & Ernie Simons Jane & Joe Jordan Mary Clark & Erwin Williams
WE ARE ALWAYS IN NEED OF MORE FOLKS TO JOIN IN THIS MINISTRY OF HOSPITALITY, PLEASE CONTACT GRIER AT GRICHARDS@WHITEMEMORIAL.ORG OR LEVI AT LBANNERMAN@WHITEMEMORIAL.ORG IF YOU ARE WILLING TO HOST OUR GROUP AND PROVIDE SOME LIGHT REFRESHMENTS ON A TUESDAY EVENING FROM 7:00-8:30 P.M.
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Solar er Pow
STALLED THE IN E W E C IN S S ENTAL BENEFIT OUR ENVIRONM TREES PLANTED 7 .2 2 3 7 TO TE PANELS EQUA AVED 2 EMISSIONS S O C F O B L 5 .9 AND 29,073
hen we installed the 100-killowatt array of solar panels on the roofs of the Luther and Knox buildings back in November 2019 we put clean energy into motion. After only a couple of months, we are seeing an impact on energy production and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The dollar savings we realize will be able to be redirected into funding our vision, ministries and outreach programs. Want to keep tabs on our energy savings? Or see how much energy we are producing? Or how much we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions? On each display board throughout our campus, youâ€™ll find the current savings or, on our website or app, under Environmental Stewardship you will find a link that shows you the numbers as we continue to create a more sustainable ministry for generations to come.
BY KATHY HOWELL Photography by Karen Haneline
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JOURNEY TO THE CROSS
|BY CHRISTOPHER EDMONSTON|
In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time; all the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime.
here is not a pastor or a theologian — male or female, living or dead — who has not pondered and prayed over the shame and majesty of the cross. Each time we ponder or pray about the crucifixion of Jesus, we are on an individual journey to the cross. At least once a year, every Christian person should join along on this journey. The cross hangs on the walls of nearly every church on this planet. In one form or another the cruciform image literally towers over us. The cross is ancient: a symbol from a time far removed. And yet the cross becomes the defining witness of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The Apostle Paul tells us repeatedly in the New Testament about the power of the cross and its importance in understanding Jesus and his love. We can say with confidence that it is impossible to fully understand who Jesus is and what he means to his followers with our yearly journey to the cross.
Calvary’s mournful mountain climb; there, adoring at his feet, mark that miracle of time, God’s own sacrifice complete;
“It is finished” hear him cry; learn from Jesus Christ to die. Early hasten to the tomb where they laid his breathless clay: all is solitude and gloom. Who has taken him away? Christ is risen! He meets our eyes. Savior, teach us so to rise. It is also the cross which points us to the promise of Easter. Easter does not happen in a vacuum. Instead the wonder of Easter Sunday is understood in reference to the cross of Good Friday. The journey to the cross defines our deeper understanding of our own need for Easter’s miracle.
The Yellow Christ by Paul Gauguin, 1889 Albright-Knox Art Gallery
In the New Testament, Easter and crucifixion are two sides of one coin: they each presuppose and inhabit the other. Is Easter essential? How many times can we say “Yes!” But the journey to the cross is equally essential. To ignore our need for the journey is to ignore a need for Jesus and the grace he chooses to give away. The journey is before us. The journey to the cross ultimately defined Jesus’ life. It is glorious enough to guide our faith, too. In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time; all the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime. SPRING 2020 | WORD | 22
1704 Oberlin Road Raleigh, North Carolina 27608 (919) 834-3424 | whitememorial.org whitememorialnc
Service Times 8:00, 9:30, & 11:00 a.m. Sanctuary 11:00 a.m. OnPoint@1704 in Edinburgh Building - Main Hall The 9:30 & 11:00 a.m. Sanctuary services stream live every Sunday at whitememorial.org. Sunday School 9:30 a.m. for all ages Change Service Requested
In this issue of the WMPC Word you'll get a glimpse of the excitement that was shared as Community Table hosted the first event in the Edinb...
Published on Mar 26, 2020
In this issue of the WMPC Word you'll get a glimpse of the excitement that was shared as Community Table hosted the first event in the Edinb...