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On Being Church - a blog

by Beth Harris

As many of you know, this past month I visited and worked in central Poland with the Habitat for Humanity Global Village program. Due to the generous support of many church members I met my fundraising goal in support of Habitat’s international building projects. I offer my heart-felt thanks for your support of this project, not only financially but also your interest in the project and West Raleigh’s ongoing support of Habitat and affordable housing in Raleigh.

To even embark on this trip took a leap of faith. A friend of mine had gone on several similar trips to India and Romania but on this particular trip she would be the team leader. I decided to take that leap and join her team. I really liked the idea of traveling and helping people at the same time. What I didn’t expect was how much this trip would help me.

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Dear Members & Friends of West Raleigh,

On behalf of the Rick-Miller village, thank you! We just returned from two weeks of Sabbath. We started in Montreat, North Carolina, where we shared a house with my sister and her family. All of the children enjoyed Clubs, while the adults read, worked and met up with lots of Presbyterian friends and colleagues. Then, we headed to the beach for a week of hot sand and rolling waves. We returned refreshed and renewed, at least until Ruth went back to school at 7:25am Monday morning! As we find our groove again this week, we are grateful for the time apart and glad to be home again.

Switching gears, but sticking with the theme of gratitude, I also want to thank you for your financial generosity in the first half of 2018. This week’s newsletter contains a financial summary for the first half of the year, prepared by Hank Taylor, West Raleigh’s Treasurer, for the Stewardship & Finance Committee. Scroll down to read the report, review the numbers and study the graph. It is, as Hank says in his first line, an excellent start to the year. As we repeat in the monthly Stewardship Matters message, the heartbeat of generosity lives at West Raleigh Presbyterian Church!

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Contributed by Henry Wynands

Recently WRPC has fallen back on old ways - and formed yet another committee.  When in doubt, form a committee - right? Well the new established committee isn't all about the old ways; rather than doing things the Presbyterian way, decently and in good order, we have decided to be RUDE.  No we are not being rude to each other, or even unpleasant - we get along quite well actually.  But RUDE is the acronym for Room Use, Decor, and Effectiveness.  And if you prefer the term Room Use, that's OK too.

With the name decision out of the way, we needed to try to clarify our purpose. Two aspects were apparent:

  • WPRC, our familiar church building, has aspects that may not be welcoming.  A visitor or newcomer views the space and place differently than those of us who may have long ago accepted these aspects (or the quirks may have bothered us for years).  Ensuring a welcoming space is part of our goal. 
  • Room use and decor have not risen to the top of the list for Building and Grounds Committee very often - repairs and infrastructure improvements tend to be on the top of that list. 

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Written by Piper Baucom

What do we need for abundant life? This is the question the Raleigh Youth Missionaries were asked on our first night of this week-long mission trip. Well, not quite a “trip”, we’re staying in a room at First Presbyterian Church only a few minutes away from West Raleigh. However, mission has already been a major component of this week. We’ve volunteered at the Shepherd’s Table, a local soup kitchen, hung out at the Ruth Sheets Center (an adult day care center), toured the women’s center called Healing Transitions, and ran through the rain to deliver flyers to immigrant families who may need food support. These activities were interesting to me. I didn’t imagine I could serve at so many different places in my hometown.

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During This Season of Sabbath, a Must-See Documentary
Written by Mark Zaineddin

Love is at the root of everything … all learning, all relationships; love or the lack of it.

-Mr. Rogers

As Margy Whitmer, a producer of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, suggests, Fred Rogers bucked the common norms of contemporary society. In a world that highly values the latest technology, fast-paced action, a “just do it” attitude, and a “me-centered” focus, Rogers presented a very different picture. A simple set … a slowed-down delivery … a nondescript star … and a basic, yet profoundly radical, message: a message of steadfast kindness and unconditional love.

These were the elements that Fred Rogers made use of in his children’s television program, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. And now Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, an intimate and critically acclaimed documentary that explores the that ideas and meaning of Fred Rogers and his show has come to town. I was able to see a special preview, and, I do not say this lightly, you have to see it.

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Move Beyond stereotypes. Enter hope.

We are visual creatures. What is your first memory? What are some of your favorite memories? What memories come into your mind’s eye when you think of a favorite grandparent, aunt or uncle? Now, what images come to mind when you think of Palestine? One of the risks of being such visual creatures is that we can let a small number of discrete images shape our overall impression of a person, a region, even a people. So many of the images of Palestine and it’s people are ones that other people have taken – often intended to tell the story of Palestine from one perspective or another. But one of the marks of liberation is the opportunity to tell one’s own story. And that is the opportunity and purpose of the photography exhibit that opened last weekend in the Voice of the Spirit gallery, located in the fellowship hall.

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