Free Community Meals

Westminster partners with three other downtown Minneapolis congregations to provide hospitality and a hot, free community meal on Sunday evenings for our neighbors in need. We welcome guests to Westminster on the fourth Sunday of each month from 5-6:30pm in Fellowship Hall. Volunteers cook, set tables, serve meals, and clean up from 4-7pm.

Sunday meals are served 5–6 pm unless otherwise noted:

  • 1st and 5th Sundays of the Month, 4:30–6 pm: Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church 511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55403
  • 2nd and 3rd Sundays of the Month: Plymouth Congregational Church 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis MN 55403
  • 4th Sunday of the Month: Westminster Presbyterian Church 1200 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55403

For more information, contact act@wpc-mpls.org.

Westminster Main Kitchen Protocols

Any Main Kitchen use should be coordinated through the FUN Team/Laura Lee Moffet, and Nosh & Gather. Please include the following in an email inquiry:

  • Event name, date, size, brief description, etc.
  • How many people will be in the kitchen & for how long?
  • Will you need to use Westminster equipment, table ware or compostables
  • Will you need to use the dishwasher?

 

After you have received approval to use the Main Kitchen, please follow the steps below:

1. Add event in Mazevo: 

  • You may need to adjust the Nosh and Gather reservation.

2. If planning to use Westminster items, request a tour or walk-through beforehand.

  • Many items in the kitchen are not available to be used. None of Nosh and Gather equipment or food is available under any circumstances.*

3. Arrange all food and ingredients related to the event.

  • Any food found on-site is unavailable for use, unless marked/noted as such or otherwise communicated.*

4. Follow food safety protocols, e.g. hand-washing, glove-wearing, etc.*

5. Wash all used dishes.*

  • Dishwasher video available here: Westminster Dishwasher How-To-video.
    • If a large event needs to hire a dishwasher, contact Laura Lee or Eeva. Note: this will be charged to the event, department, or ministry area.
  • The three compartment sinks in both the main kitchen and warming kitchen are set up to be used to wash, rinse, and sanitize.
    • There are sanitizer tablets and red buckets at each sink.
    • The red buckets are to be used with sanitizer and the green with detergent.
    • Detergent and sanitizer buckets should be filled at the beginning of each event (Surfaces may look clean but that doesn’t mean that they are!).
    • The sanitizer should be changed every four hours.

6. Complete a full post-event clean-up and leave the kitchen in same or cleaner condition.*

7. If there is leftover food, please clearly mark it, send out communication if it is available, and make sure it is removed within one week if not consumed.*

 

Need more info or have questions? Contact:
Laura Lee Moffet, Kitchen Coordinator lmoffett@wpc-mpls.org
Liza Atkinson, Owner, Nosh & Gather hello@noshandgather.com
Eeva Savolainen, Events Coordinator esavolainen@wpc-mpls.org

*Pertains to all kitchens

Your Support Matters

By Kelsey Crouch-Dodson, Director of Stewardship

More than a decade ago, Westminster Presbyterian Church leaders saw an opportunity to create a bold future for our congregation and community. With substantial financial support, Open Doors Open Futures laid the foundation for the current Enduring Hope campaign.

Early in the Enduring Hope planning process, Session, Trustees, and the Campaign Steering Team chose a conservative total goal of $30 million, based on remaining debt from the major expansion project. The loan from the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program (PILP) is a 20-year mortgage with significant interest accruing over time. The short-term Thrivent loan had a large balloon payment. In addition, Westminster’s Session adopted campaign mission commitments of $2.2 million.

Thanks to the congregation’s generosity, the Enduring Hope campaign has shown better-than-expected results. Westminster was able to pay off the Thrivent loan more than a year early and payments toward the remaining PILP loan are being made more quickly than anticipated, which has lowered the amount needed to pay down the debt and make the investments in mission. The gap between all pledges and the remaining debt and mission commitments is currently $10.4 million.

As we move toward Westminster’s next chapter with the retirement of Tim Hart-Andersen, Enduring Hope cochairs Pete Cochrane and Joan Dayton invite Westminster members to join in helping close the gap. We all can be part of creating Westminster’s sustainable future by:

Every gift matters! If you would like to discuss your giving in more detail, please reach out to Kelsey Crouch-Dodson, Director of Stewardship. Thank you for supporting the church’s growth and helping our congregation continue to thrive for the next 100 years!

Campaign Progress

As we head into August, we are excited to report that we are well over halfway to our goal of $30 million for the Enduring Hope capital campaign. We began the campaign in 2022 with this mission: Compelled by God’s call, Westminster’s enduring hope is for a sustainable future for our church, and justice in our city and beyond.

Since the campaign began, we have focused on three areas: paying off debt, supporting mission, and renovating the chapel. In December, Westminster paid off early a Thrivent loan incurred to fund the building expansion project. In January, we began the chapel renovation project, which was completed this spring. Over the past year, the campaign’s Mission Component team has discerned how best to direct gifts, so they have the greatest impact. They recommended supporting 13 organizations that focus on advancing racial and social justice.

However, there is more money to be raised to meet our goal. Before Senior Pastor Tim Hart-Andersen retires, we will celebrate the campaign’s progress in October. We would love to reach our goal by then. Please consider giving your first gift or increasing your pledge to the Enduring Hope campaign to help us meet our goal this fall. Donate to the campaign today through Realm. If you are interested in increas-ing your existing pledge to the campaign, contact Kelsey Crouch-Dodson.

Second Set of Distributions from Mission Component

The Mission Component team of the Enduring Hope campaign continues to discern sharing gifts from the capital campaign. The team recently recommended the second set of distributions: $200,000 to the Westminster Counseling Center and $200,000 to Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Session approved the recommendation during their February meeting.

The gift to the Westminster Counseling Center will support the implementation of the recommendations of the Westminster Counseling Center Taskforce. Westminster’s gift to Ghost Ranch will help the center advance racial and social justice in its mission, vision, community partnerships, and programming.

The first set of gifts were recommended and approved in November, providing $275,000 to four long-time Westminster global partners: Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church (Palestine); Dar al-Kalima University (Palestine); Iglesia Presbiteriana – Reformada El-Redentor/Versalles (Cuba); and Seminario Evangélico de Teología (Cuba). Session also approved $25,000 for Westminster’s clean water ministry in Cuba.

The Mission Component team is discerning opportunities to give $1.5 million, to support Twin Cities organizations and initiatives focused on closing the achievement gap and leadership development for Indigenous and African American children and youth.

Chapel Renovation Project Underway

Thanks to a $500,000 gift to the Enduring Hope campaign, the chapel renovation project is underway. The project began on January 9 and so far has included removing the pews and parts of the organ to storage; erecting scaffolding; and removing the sheetrock. Parts of the project yet to be completed include restoring the walls to their original design and updating the electrical wiring and lighting in the space to make it more energy efficient, as well as adding livestreaming capabilities. The project is set to be completed in April.

 

Third Age Fall 2022 Schedule

Join Third Age once a month in the Meisel Room for an informative forum, followed by a light lunch or watch via Livestream.

September 14 – Imagination In the Third Age

11 am–12:30 pm Westminster Hall

Westminster’s new Associate Pastor for Adult Ministries the Rev. Margaret Fox will introduce herself to Third Age and the Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen will explore Imagination In the Third Age. A light lunch will be offered at noon.

October 19 – FBI Overview & How To Be Safe In Cyber Space

11 am–12:30 pm in the Meisel Room

Come meet FBI Supervisory Special Agent in charge of the Regional Cyber Team. He will provide an overview of the FBI and discuss how to be safe online, delving into phishing scams, and how to protect your identity.

November 9 – Sounds of the 50s, 60s, and 70s

11 am–12:30 pm in the Meisel Room

Chuck Berry, Little Richard, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan – these are all musicians and bands that changed the world – and were the background of our lives. Andrea Leap from the MacPhail Center for Music will examine the musical innovations that captured the country’s imagination and changed American popular music.

Register on Realm, for in person and livestream attendance, to ensure enough chairs and food for everyone. Be eco-friendly by bringing your own coffee mug or glass to lunch. For more information or help registering, please contact Rev. Margaret Fox.

Q&A with the Rev. Margaret Fox

We asked the Rev. Margaret Fox, nominee for the Associate Pastor for Adult Ministries at Westminster, a few questions to get to know her better.

The APNC has described your faith story as unique. Would you be willing to share some of it?

I didn’t grow up in the church.  My first exposure to religion came the summer before my senior year of college, when I fell in love with stained glass windows while on a research trip to France. 13th-century Gothic cathedrals tell the stories of scripture in comic-book form–each panel a scene from a biblical story.  I learned to identify the characters through their iconography—Peter’s keys, Moses with horns, the virgin Mary dressed in blue. I was hooked. Back in the states, I started reading scripture, visiting churches, and taking as many religion classes as I could.

It took me some time to realize that this fascination with religion was not just academic interest but a stirring of faith and a call to ministry—and, like Jonah, I responded by running in the opposite direction.  While a first-semester law student (yes, I made it pretty far into the belly of the whale), a classmate who had grown up as a Lutheran pastor’s kid invited me to look around for churches.  We landed at First Presbyterian Church of New Haven, where I found a progressive congregation with strong biblical preaching and a commitment to the community. On the second Sunday of Advent, I was baptized, and became not just a curious onlooker but a member of God’s family. The story I was so interested in became my story, too.  In the context of community, what had been fascination transformed into faith.

At that time, the PCUSA was not yet open to ordaining LGBT ministers, but my pastors encouraged me to hang on. Sure enough, that very summer, the ordination standards changed. Thanks to the hard work and advocacy of churches across the country, including Westminster, the way was now clear for me to enter the process. I finished a joint JD/MDiv, then a hospital chaplain residency in Louisville, Kentucky. A year later, I was ordained, and my career in congregational ministry began.

Westminster’s mission says we are a telling presence in Minneapolis. What excites you about joining in that mission?

I’m not going to lie—your stained glass windows are a big draw! But so are the clear glass walls of the new building—opening the life of the congregation out onto the city, and vice versa. There’s a strong connection, at Westminster, between the story of God and the life of the community, the call to faith and the call to justice, the work of the church and the welfare of the city. It’s thrilling to imagine being at that point of intersection.

The other major draw is the chance to serve as part of a robust and vibrant staff team. I tend to be at my best when I’m part of a group—the Sea Scouts in high school, women’s rugby in college, my diverse, beloved cohort of fellow chaplain residents. My two solo pastorates have given me invaluable experience in very different contexts, but I’m really excited at the prospect of serving as part of such a capable, committed team.  I’m looking forward to collaborating with colleagues and learning from Tim and Meghan’s leadership, and I’ve been a Matt Skinner fan ever since I started listening to the “Working Preacher” podcast.

What ideas do you have for Adult Ministries at Westminster?

Westminster strikes me as incredibly strong on education at points of intersection: faith and social justice; faith and public life; faith and anti-racism; Christian faith and other faiths; faith, music, and the arts. Working alongside my colleagues and the adult education committee, I would look to expand and deepen these interfaith, intercultural, and multi-disciplinary learning opportunities that make Westminster such a rich and vibrant place.

At the same time, all of this intersectionality creates a real opportunity.  Because of its many programs and partnerships, people come to Westminster who might otherwise have no reason to set foot in a church. This is a place where my own experience as an adult convert may be of some use. When you come to church without prior exposure, there’s a lot that can feel confusing or even intimidating. What’s happening during the worship service? What does communion mean? Do I believe the “right things” to belong here? How do I pray out loud? How do I pray at all?

In addition to learning about “faith and…”, there’s also a real need for opportunities simply to learn about faith itself. And from conversations I’ve had with people who did grow up in the church, this may be true of cradle Christians as well as newcomers. We’re all lifelong students in the school of faith. My hope for my work at Westminster would be to develop opportunities for people to learn and grow in faith in contexts that are open and nonjudgmental.

Candidate for Associate Pastor for Adult Ministries

By Barbara Brown and Andy Peterson, Co-chairs, Associate Pastor Nominating Committee

In 2005 a college student joined Habitat for Humanity’s bicycle challenge to bike from New Haven, Connecticut, to Seattle, Washington, staying in churches and working on build sites along the way. The group stayed at the YWCA across the street from Westminster.

About 14 years later in 2019, that same college student returned to Westminster, but this time as an ordained teaching elder and a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Board of Pensions. The board met in Minneapolis and toured Westminster’s sanctuary and brand-new addition.

A few weeks ago, that same individual returned as a candidate for Westminster’s open associate pastor position and received a unanimous recommendation from the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee. The committee is pleased to announce the selection of the Rev. Margaret Fox as the nominee for the Associate Pastor for Adult Ministries at Westminster.

With a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and a Juris Doctorate and Master of Divinity from Yale, the committee easily recognized the Rev. Fox’s academic qualifications, and quickly realized in conversations with her that she was much more than stellar academics.

Committee members described her as warm, approachable, curious, empathetic, and collaborative. In reviewing sermons she has preached and classes she has taught, the committee saw the depth of her faith and the unique way she is able to make the Bible relevant today.

The Rev. Fox currently serves as the pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, Florida, and was previously a pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Perrysburg, Ohio. She continues her role on the Board of Pensions and has been elected to become chair following the 2022 General Assembly.

Westminster will hold a Congregational Meeting following the 10:30 am Worship on Sunday, May 29, when we will formally introduce the Rev. Margaret Fox and act upon the recommendation of the APNC to call her to Westminster.

Read a Q&A with the Rev. Margaret Fox.

Returning Safely and Keeping the Vulnerable Safe

A Note from Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen about the Latest Wave of Covid Infections

Dear Westminster friends,

As Covid infections rise in our state and across the nation, I want to reiterate that Westminster has protocols in place that are keeping those involved in church activities safe. Our Responsible Building Use Task Force closely monitors local Covid rates and is confident the church’s approach is serving our congregation well. To our knowledge, in 18 months we have not had a single Covid infection resulting from participation in a Westminster activity.

Those who are vaccinated, wearing a mask properly (closely fitting over both mouth and nose), and keeping a distance of at least six feet from others will be safe in worship at Westminster. I encourage you to join us for worship as we all adhere to the safety protocols.

This latest wave of infection is especially hard on our children and their families. We have had to “dial back” plans to have church school in-person in September. Classes will now be held via Zoom. I am aware of and grateful for the tremendous effort by our staff team, teachers, lay leaders, families, and children to make this pivot. I also know that families face anxiety as children return to school this fall. I urge us all to pray that our children will be protected from the pandemic – and to do what we can to keep them safe.

If you have yet done so, please get vaccinated as soon as possible as a tangible sign of our Christian commitment to those most vulnerable in our midst.

See you – safely – in church.

Grace and peace,
Tim Hart-Andersen

© Westminster Presbyterian Church | 2024