2022 FALL CELEBRATION DIGITAL NEWSLETTER
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JOURNEY INWARD to JOURNEY OUTWARD

A theme of exploration for 2022-2023.

We are yearning.  Moving into a new chapter of life, post-pandemic, we are asking new questions.  Many of our priorities and assumptions have been challenged.  But we believe our faith can help us discern what life should look like!  

If we are to be Jesus’ hands and feet out there, our work must flow out of a deep center that's grounded in God’s love and grace.  Our journey inward is what nourishes and equips us to go outward!  In that process we are transformed. 

This inner work is what inspired Dietrich Bonhoeffer, motivated Dr. Martin Luther King, and can continue to feed and shape each of us who want to make our faith active in love. 

  • Where do you experience God in your busy everyday life? 

  • How might you know God’s love for you more deeply?  ​

We will explore these questions SO THAT... 

  • We might see God more clearly at work in our ordinary lives. 

  • We might join what God is already up to in the world!

From September 18 – October 23 we will explore this path of spiritual formation in worship, small groups and through spiritual practices.  We have put together a Guidebook to use on our journey that will come out week by week as Small Group Curriculum. Sign up for one of the six-week Small Groups below!

Our fall schedule.

Note that our fall schedule is slightly different from past years.

  • Sept 11, Rally Sunday 

    • ONE service at 10am with a Party and Picnic outside to follow at 11am!

  • Wednesday evenings

    • 5:00-6:30 Community Meal 

    • 5:15-6:00 Cantemus Choir 

    • 5:30-8:00 LIFT (for students gr. 1-8, learning/hang out space)

    • 6:00-6:30 Messy Worship  

    • 6:15-7:15 6th grade Pre confirmation 

    • 6:30-7:15 Worship (beginning Oct 5)

    • 6:30-8:00 Parent/Student Learning (once a month)

    • 7:30-9:00 A Cappella Choir (starting Sept 7)

    • 8:00-9:00 Senior High Youtherans (starting Oct 5)

  • Sept 18, we return to two Sunday worship services.

    • 9:00a Worship 

    • 10:00 Coffee hour and Westwood U 

    • 11:00a Worship

    • 9 and 11: The Message, for kids preschool-elementary.

Mark your calendars.

Some key dates for the fall:

  • Sept 18: Vote on constitution and by-law changes and finances/staffing 

  • Sept 25: Ministry Fair Sunday (see below)

  • Oct 2: Celebration of Cindy Folin's Ministry (between services & worship)

  • Oct 9: Congregational meeting re: Senior Pastor Vote

  • Oct 14 & 15: Outreach Inc Food Packing

  • Oct 12 & 16: Flu Shot Clinic

  • Oct 18: Synod Band Coffee Concert

  • October 29: Trunk or Treat 10:30-noon

  • Nov 2 & 6: Fall New Member Classes and Received in worship (on Nov 13)

  • Nov 10: Veterans’ Celebration

  • Nov 19 & 20: Holiday Fair (see below)

Easy ways to engage at Westwood.

Join a Small Group this fall.

This fall, small groups will run for six weeks from the week of September 18th through the week of October 23. Groups will meet once per week, and Anna Martinez has put together wonderful curriculum on the theme of “Journey Inward to Journey Outward: A Path to Transformation.” Each week there will be Scripture readings, other texts, and prayer practices, along with discussion questions for the group to follow.

If you want to be part of a small group, but you don’t see one that fits for you, contact Stacey Rudolph at s.rudolph@westwood.church or 952-767-5560.

Learn and connect with Westwood U
congregational and intergenerational learning.
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The learning that takes place here is called Westwood U. We have a strong belief that our hearts and hands must accompany our heads in our journeys of faith.  This model of learning creates opportunities for faith exploration by tapping into the life experiences of multiple generations with the understanding that the content of faith has no traction outside of faith-based relationships. 

 

Everyone is invited, kids of all ages, parents, grandparents, friends... EVERYONE! 

FALL WESTWOOD U CATALOG AVAILABLE
RALLY SUNDAY.
Be part of the fun with CYF!
(Children, Youth and Families)
It's time to register for CYF!

Here are the various options available for children, youth and families:

  • The Message

  • Messy Worship

  • Pre-confirmation (6th grade)

  • Confirmation (7-9th grades)

  • Youtherans (Senior High)

  • Cantemus Choir (6-12th grade)

  • Children's Choir (K-5)

The Message

Sundays | 9 + 11AM 

We kick-off September 18!  

Sunday is a fun day for kids, ages preschool- elementary! Here’s how it works: 

  1. Check-in at The Message table found in the sanctuary entrance

  2. Sit together in worship as a family.

  3. After the storytelling in worship, kids follow their Message leaders to the youth room (downstairs) for kid-centered faith-talk and activities.

  4. The Message kids return to you in worship after the sermon. 

  5. Repeat weekly with your Westwood friends!  

 

Register today—and join us any time! (Middle and high school helpers are always needed.)

Messy Worship

Wednesdays | 6:00-6:30 PM, Westwood Room 

We're back September 14!  

Messy Worship is an energetic service for young families with toddlers, preschoolers, and/or elementary-aged kids! Kids have active roles in worship: sharing, singing, dancing, reading, acting, leading, crafting, & more! We ‘get messy' in bible stories, interactive prayers, and hands-on faith activities. Pastors share a brief 'all-ages' message, there’s open communion, and bluegrass music too! Come meet and connect with other Westwood families!

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Confirmation

Confirmation is an engaging and creative journey with monthly Parent/Student Learning and elective-based courses called Westwood U. This model offers flexibility and choice of study topics and class times, as well as intergenerational learning and growing. 

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Orientation Schedule from 6:30-7:30 PM 

September 14  |  8th & 9th grade 
September 21  |  7th grade 
September 28  |  6th grade 

Confirmation (grades 6-9) begins in October from 6:30-8 PM 

 

Full calendar is provided at orientations.

Youtherans (9th-12th grades)

Wednesdays | 8-9 PM, Youth Room 

Begins Wednesday, October 6

*Register above and stay tuned for more info

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News of note.

The fall is full of change this year. The council is proposing constitution and by-law changes to help us be digital savvy as a church, and we'll take a congregational vote to call Pastor Jason Van Hunnik as senior pastor. Details are below. We invite all members to participate.

We also invite you to find a place to be involved in the mission of the church. As outlined below, our blessing of the ministries takes place on Sunday, September 25th, and includes a fair where you can learn and engage.

Sunday, Sept. 18, between services: A vote to update our Constitution. 

To bring our Church’s governance into the 21st century and to prepare for the upcoming pastoral transition at Westwood, the Church Council reviewed Westwood Lutheran Church’s Constitution and By-Laws.  The Council is proposing constitution and by-law changes that allow meetings and votes of the Congregation, the Council, or committees to be conducted in-person or remotely through technology.  These changes effectively empower the members of the congregation for greater participation. 

 

The Council provided a detailed summary of the changes in early July and the full constitution with proposed changes is also available online at https://www.westwood.church/constitution-update  or can be requested through the Church office.  

The vote on this Constitutional “update” will be on Sunday morning, September 18, between services.

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Sunday, Sept. 25: Blessing of the ministries and ministry fair. 

Blessing of the ministries and ministry fair on Sunday, September 25: learn about the vast number of activities and ministries that occur throughout Westwood. This is a great time to both see all that happens at Westwood and discover a great match for sharing your own time and talents.

See below for ways you can engage in the mission of Westwood as a volunteer.

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Sunday, Oct. 9: Congregation call of Pastor Jason as Senior Pastor. 

The congregational meeting to call Pastor Jason Van Hunnik as Senior Pastor will be held on Sunday, October 9, also between services, but—assuming the vote passes to update our Constitution—voting will be both in-person and also available online for one week. 

 

Prior to the Oct 9 vote, there will be “fireside chats” to ask Pastor Jason any remaining questions on Sunday, Oct 2 and Wednesday, Oct 5. 

Volunteer opportunities in search of
hearts, hands and voices.

Join us in a variety of Caring Ministries that strengthen our community.

Lay Visitor

Provide monthly visits and communion to our home-bound members and those in long-term care settings. Spend time sharing stories and build a friendship. Volunteer as an individual, couple or family. Contact: Sara Moran

You can be part of the many worship ministries at Westwood.
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We'd love your light
in worship.

Whether coordinator, musician, greeter or technician, we have a place for YOU in the ministries of worship, music, and the arts. There are many opportunities to offer joyous praise to God as you serve the community and develop new skills while strengthening your faith in fellowship with others.   

 

Everyone has a place—you can sing, play your instrument, serve as an assisting minister or usher, participate in reader’s theater, assist with camera operation, video creation, and much more!  

 

We hope you will read the options below and choose a way to get involved with our ministries of worship and music this fall! Please contact Phillip Shoultz or the person indicated below if you would like to join or receive more information. 

NOTE: Scroll through the box below for music organizations' schedules, key contacts, and first rehearsal dates. Please reach out with inquiries or to find out more.

Looking for friendly folks

Do you have the gift of hospitality? Do you enjoy checking in to make sure everyone feels welcome? If your answer is “yes,” then we would LOVE to have you join our team of Greeters and Ushers. Contact Lisa Boers for more.

Engage in the work of Racial Justice and Equity.

We see racism as one of the most urgent issues throughout history and today. Our commitment is rooted in the belief that all God’s children are valued in furthering our vocation and call to live into beloved community. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, we strive to live as “repairers of the breach.” 

- from Westwood’s Racial Justice Statement 

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The time is always now to recommit to anti-racism work thru inside-out self-reflection, learning inclusive history, and being part of a community that is committed to continue disrupting white supremacy. With our ongoing Racial Justice and Equity focus, we are continually working to make an uneven world more fair.

 

Westwood offers individual deep dive work through the IDI (Intercultural Development Inventory, https://idiinventory.com/), focuses on inclusive worship and programming, and partners with community non-profits-- including CLNE (https://www.clne-mn.org/) to challenge our growth and community organizing. Sign up to learn more about the IDI.

Join our ongoing commitment to LGBTQIA+ 
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In God's church we find rest, safety and strength.  Whether we have been here minutes or decades, we are called to be ourselves across every spectrum imaginable—sexuality and age and race and gender and culture and stage of our faith journey—knowing we are loved, embraced and held up as precious.  This is the place of rest and safety and source of strength we seek to create in all we do at Westwood. 

- from our Reconciling in Christ Statement 

Supporting the LGBTQIA+ community is part of Westwood’s ongoing commitment, both to those here in our church family as well as in our greater community. Our LGBTQIA+ team builds church-wide educational opportunities, hosts Westwood’s Pride, partners with RIC, and strengthens inclusivity for all in worship.

To be part of the LGBTQIA+ team or to find out more, click on the button to email Jennifer Mohr.

Support vital missions by volunteering with Holiday Fair.

Each year, over 200 adults and kids are needed to help make the Holiday Fair happen—netting around $25,000 for grants to organizations locally and worldwide.  Examples of recipients include STEP, Global Health Ministries, Amazing Grace Ministries, Westwood ministries, Community Meal, library, prayer shawl ministry, quilters, scholarships for WECC and youth camps.  

  

Here's how you can help:

  • Turn the treasures you are not using into dollars to help others.  Items that sell best include Christmas décor, dishes and glassware, linens, toys, purses, jewelry, and quality kitchen items. Watch the enews for fall drop off dates. Contact Gail Dahl 952-546-5023. 

  • Creative?  We would love your hand-crafted items for the very popular Westwood-Made shop. Customers love woodworking, needlecrafts, neutral baby afgans with caps, leg warmers, photography and greeting cards. 

  • Donate to the Silent Auction.  Vacation homes, tickets to events, and valuable collectibles are ideal offerings.  Or offer your talent, skill or a service:  home repairs, carpentry, legal/financial planning, or perhaps a kransekake-making lesson. Contact Claudia Kroeck  952-938-0035  

  • Or give of your time as one of our many volunteers. Contact Margo Chesley 952-925-5241 or Peggy Moeller 952-657-5464. 

The Holiday Fair this year is November 19 & 20 so watch for weekly updates and opportunities in the eNews.

A great place for great starts.

Westwood Early Childhood Center (WECC) is an integral part of Westwood where we foster the development of young children within a quality Christian atmosphere. Inspired by the educators of Reggio Emilia, our nationally accredited program uses elements such as natural materials, open-ended activities, and the arts to create a wonderful environment to nurture and grow.

WECC is an in-demand program, so we encourage parent tours and getting on our waiting lists for openings.

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This fall, consider an easy way to honor a place you love.

The Foundation at Westwood enables members, friends, and family to leave legacy gifts that benefit the church’s programming, its mission, and its outreach to others. It's a wonderful way to sustain an organization that has been as central in our lives as it has been vital and necessary in our communities and the world.