Westminster is a
Matthew 25 Church
Beginning in January of 2023, Westminster embraced the call to be a Matthew 25 church. This denominational initiative encourages churches to live out one of Jesus’ final calls to discipleship in the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew 25:31-46 may be a familiar passage to many. It calls all of us to be actively engaged in the world around us, displaying our faith through our actions and how we treat our neighbors. Briefly, it tells of Jesus praising those who in life had shown him compassion by feeding him, giving him water, welcoming him, clothing him, caring for him when he was sick, and visiting him in prison. Shocked, the righteous do not remember doing any of these things for Jesus, to which he replies, “I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these siblings of mine, you have done it for me.”
These words from Matthew 25 will serve as our focal point for 2023 and beyond: serving others IS serving Christ.
The PC(USA)’s initiative invites churches to be involved in one of three areas: 1- Building congregational vitality, 2- Dismantling structural racism, or 3- Eradicating systemic poverty.
Our Session has chosen to begin by learning about and working toward eradicating systemic poverty. We are already at work meeting the needs of some of our neighbors who are experiencing poverty or food insecurity. We support our own food pantry, the weekly Food of Faith meal, the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army, which all work in this area.
“I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these siblings of mine, you have done it for me.”
One question that we don’t often think about when we donate food, or pack grocery bags to hand out to those in need is, “Why?” Why is there such a great need? Why do hundreds of people walk through the doors of the Salvation Army every month to get help with groceries? Why are we serving close to 200 meals a week at Food of Faith now? Once we start to learn about the reasons behind systemic and generational poverty, we can then begin to ask another important question, “What am I going to do about it?”