Q: What kind of Presbyterian church is Westminster?
A: Westminster is a member congregation of the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO). ECO is a relatively new movement of Presbyterians founded in 2012. ECO formed around four priorities. First, to be a body of believers in covenant relationships of accountability with one another. Both pastors and churches are asked to join with three or four others pastors/churches who commit to meet regularly for spiritual and programmatic ‘check-ups.’ Second, we are an order – by which we mean it is our intent to lived lives ordered by Scripture both in what we believe and how we live. Third, we are evangelical. This is a great but frequently misunderstood word. It simply means people committed to sharing the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the hope that many would come to put their trust in Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. Finally, we are Presbyterians. We trace our heritage back to the great French reformer, John Calvin. As Presbyterians we seek to continue the heritage of sound biblical theology and warm, Spirit-filled living.
Q: If I want to know what Westminster believes where do I go?
A: As a member of ECO we are bound by what we call ECO’s Essential Tenets, which are found by clicking here. What you will discover is that Westminster fall squarely within the historic understanding of who God is, how he has revealed himself to us in Scripture and through Jesus, and that salvation is by God’s grace through faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross when he paid the death penalty for our sins.
Q: How many members do you have?
A: Currently Westminster has 430 members and average 250 in our two services and 150 in Sunday school.
Q: What does Westminster believe about the Bible?
A: The vast, vast majority of global Christians understand the Bible to be God’s Word and without mistakes in all that it teaches. Westminster believes this as well. For us the Bible is like a pair of glasses that bring into focus what is true and what is good in a world where culture suggests there is no truth and there is no right. We consider it our privilege to conform our lives to what the Bible teaches, painful as that may be at times. Cultural truths come and go; the Bible has stood the test of time for nearly 4000 years. We think that’s a pretty good record!
Q: What is Westminster’s children’s ministry like?
A: First, we are highly committed to children’s ministry and have recently hired a half-time Director of Children’s Ministry, Mrs. Elizabeth Still. She will serve us for the next six months or so as we completely reorganize and bring alignment to our children’s ministry – crib room through fifth grace.
Second, we run Sunday school classes year round for all ages. Our third grade class in particular takes students through the entire Bible giving them a basic understanding of the Old and New Testaments, the books of the Bible, and how Jesus shows up from the beginning to the end – using the Jesus Storybook Bible as the basis.
Third, we run a four day Vacation Bible School during the summer which is a great and fun way to teach children about Jesus.
Finally, we seek to involve children in worship in two ways – through our children’s choirs and through Children in Worship – a program for 4 year olds through second grade that they attend during the second half of worship each week.
Q: What is Westminster’s Youth Program like?
A: As with our children’s ministry we are excited about our middle and high school youth programs. We are one of just a handful of churches in the country who have partnered with Young Life for our youth ministry. Young Life has had its Charlotte offices on our campus for close to thirty years and we have supported their ministry for at least that long. However, in the past year our relationship has deepened as we hired two Young Life staffers to work with our middle and high school students. All of our students now are able to attend Young Life weekends, Campaigner weekends (for deeper discipleship), Young Life summer camps, and local Young Life events. And all this is in addition to our own weekly ‘Club’ (Wednesday nights) and ‘Campaigner’ (Sunday school) meetings. If you know Young Life you know that it is a highly one on one, relational approach to sharing Jesus with kids and that is our goal – that every child in our church will have the chance to know Jesus personally because someone cared enough to tell them. Finally, our goal for our young people is that as they head off to college, the military, or into the workforce they will continue in their walk with Christ without missing a beat.
Q: What is Westminster’s worship style?
A: Worship is the single most important thing we do together as a family of faith.
Currently we have two services each Sunday. Our 8.30am service uses the Second Rite of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper weekly during this service. As you might expect it tends towards the contemplative and uses the great liturgies of the church to lead us into God’s presence.
Our 11am service might best be described as a blend of liturgical from the Presbyterian tradition along with contemporary musical elements. Our goal is that everyone who attends worship will leave knowing they have been in the presence of the living God, have heard him speak through the Scriptures, the preaching of the Word, the songs, prayers, and responses and will ask always this question: ‘Was God pleased with what I gave to him today of my mind, heart, body and soul in worship today?’
Many in the congregation are gifted musicians and we use them as often as they are able to bring joy and beauty to our services.