Westminster Member Chad Quaintance Lives His Faith

After a lifetime of service that has taken him from the civil rights cauldron of 1960s Selma to the Minneapolis school desegregation battles of the 1970s and ’80s, former lawyer Chad Quaintance has settled into a role that even he did not imagine. But this new chapter is part of a natural progression that suits his heart, his temperament and his faith.

Twice a week, 80-year-old Quaintance walks from his home in Minneapolis’ Lowry Hill neighborhood to work as a volunteer chaplain at Hennepin County Medical Center. There, he comforts patients and their families who are dealing with life-or-death crucibles.

Learn more.

Westminster Launches Performing Arts Series in New Westminster Hall

Westminster launched a new Performing Arts Series featuring a unique array of music and dance, from Cuban jazz to South African gospel, Latin American early music to a holiday classic, contemporary choral to bluegrass.

“The Performing Arts Series extends Westminster’s telling presence in the city,” says Rev. Tim Hart-Andersen. “By celebrating artists and connecting them more closely with the community, the Series invites people to experience the beauty of the arts.”

All performances take place in Westminster Hall, named “Best New Music Venue” by the Star Tribune last year. “We are eager to explore how the flexible Westminster Hall can be configured to break the barrier between artist and audience,” says Amanda Weber, Minister of Music and the Arts, who is spearheading the series.


Nachito Herrera | October 11, 2019 | 7:30 pm
Pianist Nachito Herrera, one of the leading Cuban musicians of our time, kicks off the Series, with Cuban food accompanying his performance. As music director of both the famed Tropicana Club in Havana and the Grammy Award-winning Cubanismo, Nachito made his mark from an early age. He has played at many of the world’s finest concert halls and prestigious jazz festivals and has earned Emmy and Grammy awards plus City Pages’ Best Jazz Artist for four years.

29:11 | November 1, 2019 | 7:30 pm
The famous gospel ensemble from Capetown, South Africa, performing in Minneapolis on its iForgive tour, offers magnificent music of reconciliation and healing. This group of young vocalists and musicians is noted for providing “food for the soul” through their music ministry.

James Sewell Ballet: Amahl and the Night Visitors
December 13 | 7:30 pm | December 14 | 2 pm
The talented dance troupe brings the well-loved classic Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian Carlo Menotti to Westminster for two performances. Based on Italian folk tales of the Nativity and Epiphany, Amahl is a retelling of the story of the Magi from the point of view of a young boy who lives in poverty with his widowed mother near Bethlehem.

To learn more and purchase tickets, visit westminstermpls.wpas.

Westminster Joins Community Solar Garden

Westminster recently entered into a 25-year contract that requires Xcel to acquire electricity in an amount similar to what Westminster uses each year from a community solar garden run by ReneSola Power. A community solar garden contains solar panels that convert the sun’s rays into electrical energy. The advantage of a solar garden is that it allows the cost of solar panels to be distributed among the community of subscribers so they can be built less expensively than by individual subscribers on their own. Another advantage is the size of a solar garden.

Westminster’s city block is not large enough to provide all of Westminster’s electrical needs. In addition, portions of the block are shaded by neighboring buildings. Westminster consumes 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. It takes an area of more than nine city blocks of solar panels to generate Westminster’s electrical needs. ReneSola Power’s solar garden is 20 acres in size and is located near St. Cloud. The area had been farmland, growing a monoculture of corn. The farmer still owns the land, but leases it to ReneSola Power, which planted the land around the solar panels with native habitat for pollinators.

By subscribing to a community solar garden, Westminster is supporting solar development in Minnesota. Westminster will pay a flat rate for its electricity over the next 25 years and will save an estimated $1 million over that time as fossil fuel based utility rates continue to rise.

Subscribing to a solar garden can be more difficult for individuals because the average homeowner moves every seven years. The most environmentally friendly kilowatt hour is the one you don’t use! Energy efficiency and smart energy use can make a big impact. Check out Xcel’s Windsource or Renewable Connect programs for clean energy options.

An unusual model of church ministry

Each Monday morning, workers at Westminster Presbyterian Church cover up the religious imagery inside a few Sunday school classrooms to create a more welcoming space for their weekday occupants — young children of diverse faiths receiving group therapy.

An entire section of this landmark church building in downtown Minneapolis now houses a child health and development facility. Walk the hallways and you’ll find children getting speech therapy, physical therapy, mental health assessments and participating in an autism treatment program for East African youngsters.

While many churches house or operate child care centers, this type of partnership between Westminster and St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development is rare. Westminster spent more than $2 million to construct a beautiful addition for a nonprofit tenant during a recent renovation, and the diverse staff at each facility say it has been a mutually beneficial arrangement.

“We’re involved in a lot of community work but we’ve never done that work on site,” said the Rev. Tim Hart-Andersen, senior pastor at Westminster. “There’s something about having a mission partner working alongside us that is a wonderful experience. You see the difference the church is making right on site.”

Read More.

Why so many Twin Cities clergy members bicycle religiously

For a growing number of Twin Cities clergy members, biking is part of the ministry. One is a Lutheran pastor who pedals a sleek, speedy, three-wheeled enclosed bike called a velomobile. Another is a bike-commuting Baptist minister who writes blog posts about how churches should encourage cycling. And then there’s the seminary student who thinks using his bike instead of a car makes him more likely to be a good Samaritan.

Read more.

Westminster Bells

The Paccard Bell Foundry, in Annecy, France, will forge a six-bell peal for Westminster. Westminster’s bells – the largest will weigh 9,000 lbs. – will be installed in the new “Rose Tower” in 2020.

Windows into Palestine: Looking Ahead

Friday, May 10, 6:30- 8 pm
Westminster Hall

A stimulating program, tasty desserts, and a beautiful space!

In May 2018, Westminster and other local churches and organizations presented a three-day festival celebrating elements of Palestinian music, art, film, cuisine, and sport. Windows Into Palestine expanded awareness and outreach beyond our walls and supported our partners at Christmas Church and Dar al-Kalima University College in Bethlehem. We were privileged to hear from 20 Palestinian friends.

On May 10, we’ll gather again to look at our next steps. Join the Bethlehem Partnership Committee to:

  • Hear a message from Mitri Raheb and view new videos about WIP
  • Envision next steps to support our partnerships
  • Explore possibilities for future action locally and beyond

RSVPs appreciated to Vanessa Uzong


WIP Overview | WIP Events | WIP Interviews

The Body of Christ is Global

For many years, Westminster has maintained partnerships with faith communities and nonprofit organizations in Cameroon, Cuba and Palestine. Our partners inspire us as they continue to witness and serve in circumstances of scarcity and conflict.

In Cameroon our primary partners are the Kumba Town Presbyterian Church and AIDSCARE Link—which funds micro-loans to help persons living with HIV/AIDS build small businesses and become financially independent, and provides resources to individuals displaced in the wake of continuing violence. Through our relationship with the National Synod of the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba, home-based churches are thriving, lay leaders are being trained and the hurricane damage to the national camp is nearing completion. Our partner congregation in Bethlehem, Christmas Evangelical Lutheran Church, hosted seminarian- Madeline Hart-Andersen- in January 2019 for an internship, and our travelers delivered suitcases of Christian education material.

Gifts to the annual Global Partnership offering support these relationships and travel scholarships for Westminster members to visit our partners. We will receive the offering on Sunday, May 19.

At the end of May Rev. Alanna Simone Tyler will join a group representing the PC(USA) to visit the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan. The travelers will see firsthand the work of SSEPP (South Sudan Education and Peacebuilding Project) as well as the ministries of PCUSA mission co-workers and mission partners.

Westminster Wins Improvement Award

The Mpls Downtown Improvement District (DID) announced its 9th annual Greening & Public Realm Award winners, a group decided by an interactive public vote.

The Greening Awards aim to showcase greening efforts by organizations and companies that help beautify the downtown area through enhancing our urban landscape. This summer’s voting turnout was the largest in Greening Awards history, nearly doubling the 2017 voting numbers.

Westminster Presbyterian Church, which last won a greening award in 2012, won two awards this year, claiming top spot in the Small Green Space and Public Realm Improvement categories.

“The emphasis on quality public realm spaces we’re seeing from downtown businesses, organizations and individuals is extraordinary,” Mpls Downtown Improvement District President & CEO Steve Cramer said. “Congratulations to this year’s DID Greening & Public Realm Award winners, and thank you for being shining examples of how added greening helps enhance the vibrancy of everyone’s overall downtown experience.”

Winners will receive a commemorative Greening Award created by Wood from the Hood, a Minneapolis-based company that reclaims discarded trees from urban neighborhoods and creates high-quality wood products. Each award will display the year the award was issued. Winning locations also received a Greening Awards winning logo placed on site.

The Mpls DID accepted public nominations for green spaces throughout August, and finalists were announced on August 28. Voting for finalists remained open through September 14.

The finalists, nominated by the public, were selected by members of the Mpls DID staff based on criteria including overall year-over-year enhancements as well as continued excellence in adding vibrancy to the public realm.

Women Leading

A panel of local women entrepreneurs will discuss their fascinating array of work at TownTalks Thursday, November 29. These young, innovative women are setting the stage for future women entrepreneurs, small business owners, and CEOs. Hear what motivates them to write, form businesses, and express creativity in fresh, dynamic ways. Panelists include Melissa ColemanAshley MaryCarly Van Veldhuizen, and Alex West Steinmann. Minnesota Public Radio reporter Marianne Combs will moderate the discussion.

Happy hour begins in Westminster Hall at 5 pm with appetizers and a cash bar, followed by the panel discussion at 6 pm. The event is free, and no registration is required. Learn more here.

November 29 \ 5 pm Happy Hour \ 6 pm Panel Discussion
An initiative of the Westminster Town Hall Forum, TownTalks is a new program engaging young adults in reflection and dialogue on the key issues of our day.