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Stories from Westminster, Patricia Tuttle

Both Austin and I grew up in Allentown, PA. When David was one year old, we transferred to Rhode Island, then Richmond, VA and back To Allentown. Austin had an office job and we felt settled and wanted another child and had Christopher. We loved our life and we were active in our church.

Then in 1979, another company bought out Lehigh Portland Cement. Changes were made and Austin’s division was being discontinued. He was offered this transfer to Waynesboro, VA. It was this job or no job. At his age Austin felt it would be difficult to find comparable work. We prayed for days, considering all options but knew if we accepted, God would provide. It was a difficult time for all of us and we were not active in any church for the first few years. We visited many but didn’t find a good fit. Then we attended a funeral at Westminster and subsequentially came to a service on the next Sunday. It was clear this was the church for us. The beauty of the sanctuary and the friendliness of the people made that clear. We both became very active members giving of our time and financial support.

I first became aware of what generosity means when Austin was on session and would bring home the needs of the church and mission. Westminster always supported Mission but in faraway places and it was hard to relate how the money was used. When April became our Pastor mission took on a whole different meaning. There was not only global but so many in our areas who could benefit from generosity. Blessing Box, Clothes Closet, Youth, Summerlee, Baja Mission, the M family, Scouts, Prayer Teams, Warm Shelter, Food Pantry, Disciple’s Kitchen. Endless opportunities to reach out and spread the love of Jesus Christ. It has changed my perception of generosity. It can be small amounts, but given to glorify God, it makes a huge difference in the lives of so many. I encourage everyone to support these missions in any way possible. It is the serving that God wants us to do.

When Austin was diagnosed with cancer in 1995 and died in 1998, this church surrounded me with all the love and support I could ever want. I stayed very active but widowed at 62, left my financial resources very limited. Now age and mobility limit what I can contribute in way of service. As long as I am able, I will financially give what I can.

Being accustomed to a more traditional service, the blended changes in the sanctuary are challenging. However, I realize change is necessary as the congregation attracts a new generation. I will continue to support Westminster and I want to see the church grow and prosper. What I get back in my spiritual growth is not dependent on the surroundings, but the love for Jesus Christ I see in all the members that helps my faith.

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