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Stories from Westminster, Rebecca Rider

Growing up in an evangelical church, money was talked about a lot. From my spot on the scratchy, padded pew, doodling rabbits on the back of the bulletin, I recall hearing many sermons about tithing, stewardship campaigns, money for a new church, and so on. I didn’t have any money, so I didn’t really pay attention.

In college I bounced around churches a lot. I wasn’t sure what I believed theologically and doctrinally so I didn’t commit. I didn’t see a reason to give money (now I had a little) to any of these churches that I wasn’t really committed to. “When God asks us to give to the church the universal church counts!” That’s the argument I gave to my roommate when we debated the topic. (I was in Bible college; where you have weird conversations.) I found causes and missions I believed in related to The Church but not A church. This continued for many years. It continued because I didn’t have a scratchy, padded pew to call mine. This is not to say those other causes aren’t good and worthy. They are, and I still give to them as well. But now I understand that my college roommate was right. We need to give to and support the church that we are a part of to sustain that body.

My family found Westminster on our third day living in Waynesboro after moving here from Pennsylvania. We never even looked at another church. Westminster is where my husband and I found our first church together after 6 years of marriage. Westminster is where I was challenged to not get so caught up in how the Bible says something that I miss what it is saying (John T). Westminster is where I found a pastor who cares so deeply about each and every person that enters the doors that it creates a family (April). Westminster is where I feel it’s okay if my kids are a little loud in the service and take off their shoes and don’t let me brush their hair (Bettie). Westminster is where we found a group of people sharing the same stage of life as us who have become some of our closest friends (young adult class). Westminster has shown me what A Church is and what The Church is. And, I’m thankful the pew pads aren’t scratchy.

-Rebecca Rider

“I like seeing my friends, I like going to church. When I go to the nursery we get snacks from Miss Erin. Mr. Ed is the glitter man and Miss Katrina is the craft queen. Miss Erin tells us what God wants us to do. He tells us to run because it’s fun. We give money to our church because we talk about Jesus there.”

-Winnie Rider age 5

“I like to see my friends there. I have fun with all the crafts. I learned that God sacrificed himself for our sins. We give money to church for donations for people who don’t have any money. Our church helps people who don’t have homes or enough food.”

-Louie Rider age 7

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