October Events at Westminster: Celebrating the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen 

World Communion Sunday & Global Partners Celebration

Sunday, October 1 | 10:30am | Sanctuary and Westminster Hall 
Charanga Tropical offers music during worship and a celebration of our global partnerships, featuring food, music, and a special presentation follows in Westminster Hall

Bluegrass Sunday Worship

Sunday, October 8 | 10:30am | Sanctuary 
Featuring Monroe Crossing offering The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass by Carol Barnett 

Enduring Hope Celebration

Sunday, October 15 | 11:30am | Westminster Hall 
Following worship, celebrate the progress of the Enduring Hope campaign and the strong future of Westminster 

Cantus Sunday and Congregational Meeting

Sunday, October 22 | 10:30am | Sanctuary 
Worship with Cantus and special bagpipes music, then a Congregational Meeting and shortbread at Coffee Hour 

Wednesday Ta‍izé Worship and Reception

Wednesday, October 25 | 6pm | Westminster Hall 
Dancer Eve Schulte and the Westminster Choir will join Wednesday worship and a special reception will follow 

Reformation Sunday & Farewell Celebration

Sunday, October 29 | 10:30am | Sanctuary and Westminster Hall 
The Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen’s final Sunday will include a brass quintet in worship and a reception event in Westminster Hall following worship 

Thank you to the Celebrations Committee for planning and organizing these events along with other ways to honor and celebrate Tim’s ministry at Westminster:  

Working committee members: Jock Donaldson, Cathie Fischer (co-chair), Kathy Fisher, Meghan Gage-Finn, Sarah Hall, Betty Heefner, Joan Hyde, David Koehler, Janet Leick (co-chair), Megan MacFarlane, Terry McEowen, Marcia Morine, Maggie Mukete, Wendy Ott, Nathan Petersen-Kindem, and Janice Teliczan. Advisory committee members: Barbara Brown, Carmen Campbell, Joan Dayton, Alice Mortenson, and Nancy Ulvestad. 

Global Partners Celebration

by Westminster’s Cameroon, Cuba, and Palestine Ministry Teams

As Christians around the world celebrate World Communion Sunday on October 1, Westminster will celebrate our special relationships with congregations, church governing bodies, and educational institutions in Cameroon, Cuba, and Palestine. These three global partnerships were established under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen. Covenant documents with each of our Global Partners bind us in special ways now, and with plans to strengthen them in the future. We connect across cultures and circumstances, to learn, grow, and work together in hope toward a just, loving, joyful, peaceful, and sustainable world.

The 10:30am worship service on Sunday, October 1, will include special music from Cuban music ensemble Charanga Tropical, featuring Westminster member Doug Little on flute. After the service all are invited to Westminster Hall for the first of the October programs celebrating Tim Hart-Andersen. We’ll celebrate our partnerships with information tables; an ethnic food tasting from the three partnerships, including items prepared by the Cameroonian team; and a short program featuring partnership highlights, messages from and to our Global Partners, and a special moment with Tim.

Moving Ahead: Celebrations, Ministry and Mission Study, Transitional Senior Pastor

by Barbara Brown, Succession Planning Team member

This summer three areas of the pastor transition process have moved ahead. First, the Celebrations Committee made plans to celebrate the Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen’s nearly 25 years of ministry at Westminster. Mark your calendars for the many October events.

In addition, the Ministry and Mission Study Committee dedicated August to listening to what people at Westminster say about the church and where they believe that we are being led as a congregation. The committee heard from people in facilitated listening sessions, and an online survey. At Coffee Hour people were invited to write and draw their ideas and give us a short video clip, if they preferred. Listening sessions with youth, staff, and small groups brought in more ideas. The next step is to weave these ideas together with other information about the church and present a first draft to Session on September 21, with a final report due to them in October. Thank you to everyone who has played a role in this important work.

Finally, the Personnel Committee for Staff and Ministers (PCSM) posted the job description for the Transitional Senior Pastor. PCSM will lead the hiring process, reviewing applicants and interviewing candidates. A final candidate will be recommended to Session for approval. The hope is to have a Transitional Senior Pastor in January, but PCSM will be flexible with dates in order to find the person called to lead Westminster during this transition.

Please visit the website to find past updates on the transition process and to view a graphic of the overall estimated timeline for the transition phases.

MMS and Celebrations Committees Continue Work

By Meghan Gage-Finn, Senior Associate Pastor

As the congregation anticipates Senior Pastor Tim Hart-Andersen’s retirement this fall, two committees have been working this summer to prepare for celebrations and to ready the community for a strong future of shared ministry. Cathie Fischer and Janet Leick are co-chairing the Celebrations Committee, which will help us offer gratitude and thanks to God for Tim and Beth’s 25 years of service at Westminster. The committee is imagining October as offering special opportunities in worship each Sunday and through other gatherings that will highlight unique aspects of Tim’s contributions to the church and wider communities. Beginning with World Communion Sunday, October 1, we will recognize Westminster’s Global Partnerships. On Tim’s last Sunday, October 29, we will have an extended service and reception to send off Tim and Beth with love and blessings.

The second committee, the Ministry and Mission Study Committee, led by co-chairs Gretchen Musicant and Leigh Niebuhr, is well into its work to engage the congregation in conversations that both reflect on where we are today as a church and help us imagine the future that God is calling us to. They will gather input through a survey and listening sessions, which will be rolled out in August with in-person and virtual options. To achieve its purpose, the Committee is also incorporating existing data and strategic directions, like our Hope for the World statement, that will complement the input received in August.

We give thanks for the individuals who are leading the congregation through this season and look forward to your participation!

Pastor Transition Update from the Rev. Dr. Meghan Gage-Finn

Dear Friends,

As you read from Ed Cunnington, chair of the Succession Planning Team, this summer the congregation will engage in a self-study process as part of the transition time in anticipation of Tim’s retirement and in preparation for welcoming Westminster’s next Senior Pastor. The Ministry and Mission Study (MMS), as it is referred to, invites the congregation to discern God’s call for present and possible developing ministries. It will assist the congregation in knowing where we have been, where we are, and where God is leading us into the future. This awareness will help inform the eventual work of the Pastoral Nominating Committee. We are grateful for Co-chairs Leigh Niebuhr and Gretchen Musicant, along with the strong committee they have assembled, for their faithful leadership.

The time of transition certainly encourages this reflective study, but as we gain a better understanding of what it means to be a post-pandemic community of faith, the MMS will create ways to evaluate new and newly apparent community needs and realities. The MMS will ask you to consider questions, such as:

  • What are the pastoral needs of the congregation?
  • How does the congregation feel called to engage in the spiritual formation of its members and the community?
  • Who are the church’s neighbors and what are their needs? • How might our listening help shape the ministries of the church going forward?
  • Have there been significant changes in the congregation or in the communities Westminster serves?

Too often, congregations engaging in this self-study exercise are doing so in a time of conflict or upheaval over a pastor’s departure. We rejoice that this is not the case for Westminster, that there is much to celebrate as the congregation gives thanks to God for Tim’s long tenure and leadership in the church and beyond. That said, the MMS will encourage the congregation to listen, learn, pause, and prepare, all of which will build a strong foundation for the coming search process. There is great momentum in the movement of the Spirit in our worship and shared life together! As part of that energy, I invite you to be an active participant in the coming Ministry and Mission Study to offer your voice, wisdom, and perspective!

Grace and peace,

Meghan Gage-Finn
Senior Associate Pastor

Presbytery Liaison Named; Committees Begin Work

The Succession Planning Team (STP) continues to meet and prepare for the Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen’s retirement in October. The Presbytery of the Twin Cities has assigned the Rev. Cader Howard, senior pastor at First Presbyterian in Stillwater, as the Presbytery liaison. The team met with Cader in June and will continue to liaise with him throughout the transition. Cader will also be the Presbytery liaison for the Pastor Nominating Committee.

The Ministry and Mission Study Co-Chairs Leigh Niebuhr and Gretchen Musicant met with a consultant in early June to begin planning the format for their work. The committee will lead the congregation through a selfstudy process to reflect on where we are and where God is leading us. The process will include in-person Listening Sessions later in the summer as well as surveys to ensure as many people as possible can participate in the work. The committee members are: Emmanuel Ablorh, Phil Asgian, Sean Costigan, Jacque DeBuse, Thomas Halverson, Kathleen Janasz, Abby Karels, Karen Kraemer, Bill Kruskop, Louis Davis, Ed Sootsman, Sarah Swindle, Jace Wilde, Elaine Wilson, Sandy Wolfe Wood, and Rani Murdoch Zappa.

Finally, Cathie Fischer and Janet Leick will co-chair the Celebrations Committee. They are in the process of selecting other committee members and are beginning to determine the scope of their work. The committee will plan activities and events to celebrate Tim’s ministry. We invite the community to stay up to date on the pastoral transition process through the website.

© Westminster Presbyterian Church | 2023