The Faith In Action (FIA) Council of Westminster Presbyterian Church provides leadership and resources to put our faith into action, both corporately as a congregation and individually as members and friends.
Social Justice Forums
The Social Justice Ministry Team has recognized both the need to stand for justice
and the call to be loving in our interaction with family, friends, and neighbors
as we discuss controversial issues.
Forums take place in the Meisel Room of the church from 9:15–10:15am,
unless otherwise noted. Read more about the forums here.
Nicollet Square Donations Needed
The following items are requested for the residents of Nicollet Square:
Double bed sheets (flat and contour); double bed comforters and blankets; standard pillowcases; cookie sheets; pizza pans; tableware/cutlery (knives, forks, and spoons); serving ware (ladles, spoons, spatulas). All items should be new or gently used.
Please drop off the itesm across from the reception desk. The residents of Nicollet Square thank you for your generosity and support!
Financial Commitment to Mission (Faith In Action). Westminster's Session has adopted a guideline of committing 20% of the congregation's annual pledge total to Faith In Action's portion of the budget. With gratitude to the congregation, the Session has been able to meet that commitment each year since the guideline was adopted in 1998. An even more substantial commitment was made to mission as part of the church's 150th anniversary campaign, which resulted in significant designated gifts from members and other restricted funds.
Faith In Action Council Resposibilities. One of the Council's primary responsibilities is Westminster's support for the Presbyterian Church (USA), including the unified mission support and per capita expense. As part of its denominational commitment, Westminster has three important congregational partnerships with Presbyterian churches in Minneapolis. Westminster and its members have a very deep, long-term relationship with Kwanzaa Community Church in North Minneapolis, currently the only African-American Presbyterian congregation in Minnesota. Westminster helped establish Kwanzaa Church and has maintained an extraordinarily close working relationship with the church's leadership and community for nearly 15 years. Among a variety of shared ministries, for the past 9 years Kwanzaa and Westminster have celebrated the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through joint activities each January to coincide with the national holiday honoring King's legacy, and more recently have worked together on a comprehensive HIV/AIDS ministry. We also have newer, developing partnerships with Familia de Fe, an Hispanic new church development, and Lake Nokomis Presbyterian, a creative neighborhood church in South Minneapolis.
Ministry Teams. The Council comprises 5 ministry teams: Global Partnerships, Housing, Social Justice, Hunger, and Community Partnerships. Each year, these ministry teams expand and deepen the work of our congregation in the Twin Cities and beyond. Mission work that falls outside the specific scope of these teams, as seen in the examples in the above paragraphs, is managed directly by the FIA Council and designated committees.
Westminster's Community Partnerships Ministry maintains many of Westminster's local partnerships, some of which were formed more than 30 years ago. Our collaborations with local organizations help make a significant impact on the Twin Cities by focusing human and financial resources on the work being done through these partnerships.
The ministry is primarily coordinated through an Evaluation Committee, which receives and evaluates dozens of applications for financial assistance, as well as requests for a wide range of volunteers. Many Westminster members serve on the Boards of our partners and have been instrumental in nurturing relationships between Westminster and organizations serving people in need. Applications are received in January and the evaluations are completed by March as part of Westminster's annual budget process.
Currently, there are two internal Westminster organizations supported by Community Partnerships, Social Service and Boy Scout Troup 100. Some of the external groups Westminster is working with are African Health Action, Community Involvement Programs, Plymouth Church Neighborhood Foundation, Minnesota African Women's Association, Project for Pride in Living, Kinship of Greater Minneapolis and the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches.
Apostle Paul tells us: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of [us] are one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:26, 28)
Westminster's deep commitment to global partnerships is evident in our covenant relationships in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba and Palestine. We live in solidarity with people in those lands, deepening our faith and serving Christ together.
Westminster's Housing Ministry Team is focused on supporting the full spectrum of housing needs within our community, increasing awareness of homelessness issues and effecting change that will help end homelessness. It's a ministry that extends from pounding nails on a Habitat for Humanity project to advocacy before state and local elected officials. The church provides volunteer and financial support for homeless shelters, families in transition, house painting, affordable housing for youth, a center for daily resources, Project Homeless Connect and Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness. Nicollet Square is an innovative supportive housing development in south Minneapolis for youth aged 18 - 21 transitioning out of either homelessness or foster care. Click here to read an article about Nicollet Square from a recent issue of Presbyterians Today. Nicollet Square is a project of the Plymouth Church Neighborhood Foundation with funding and other support from Westminster.
Westminster's Hunger Ministry Team acts locally, nationally and globally to meet emergency hunger needs, support ongoing programs that address hunger among those who are poor and advocate for policies that reduce hunger and address global issues of sustainability and appropriate technology.
Social Justice Ministry
Westminster's Social Justice Minstry Team encourages and educates members and friends of Westminster and the larger community to work for peace and justice. Advocacy is carried out primarily through the Advocacy Committee and partnerships with M.I.C.A.H. (Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing), the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition and its Interfaith Coalition for Child Advocacy, which speak to policy issues in the name of its Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish and Muslim sponsors and Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) has established a long record of taking stands and speaking out on issues related to justice in society. Westminster Presbyterian Church's actions are informed by this history. Just as Westminster has spoken out on issues of concern within the denomination, the Social Justice Ministry Team guides the congregation, using its voice to encourage social change. The team develops policy statements describing specific topical areas related to eliminating oppression and seeking justice. The statements are acted on by The Faith In Action Council and then brought before Westminster's session for adoption. Examples are listed below:
Social Justice Advocacy Policies
On June 21, 2012, the Westminster Session adopted a Policy Position on A Call for Marriage Equality.
On June 15, 2006 the Westminster Session adopted a Policy Position on Affordable Housing.
On October 21, 2004, the Westminster Session passed a Policy Postion on Firearms and Gun Violence.
On May 15, 2003, the Westminster Session passed a Social Justice Advocacy Policy to guide the church as it makes decisions about its public advocacy of social justice issues.
Doug Mitchell, Westminster’s Associate Pastor for Faith in Action, can help match your talents and interests with a way to serve. If you are interested in any of the above areas, we encourage you to contact Doug by email or by phone, 612.332.3421.
Dan Franklin is Doug's assistant.