Westminster offers a number of ways to heed God’s call to mission – and to inspire others to do the same.
Below you’ll find descriptions of some of the serving opportunities within our church, our local community, and across the globe. From the “Green Team” to our congregation-wide days of community service, from small groups to leadership roles or mission projects – there are many ways to connect with your church family and join God’s call to service in the community.
“Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
– Matthew 25:40
Submit Outreach Hours
Use this simple form to submit your time spent on community outreach on behalf of Westminster.
Community Outreach Opportunities
At Westminster, numerous mission programs and projects draw us together as faith community. Take love into the community by serving food, sharing carpentry skills or using your God-given skills and talents.
Community Blood Bank
Volunteer to give blood once a year or on a regular basis. To make an appointment, call the Community Blood Bank at 402-486-9414. When you make your appointment, request your donation be credited to the Westminster donor list.
Serving Lincoln and the surrounding area, Friendship Home offers shelter and support for battered women and their children. You can help close the door to domestic violence.
The Gathering Place, located at 1443 E Street, is a south-central Lincoln family support center. Westminster members and friends help serve a hot meal on the second Friday of the month. Volunteer to serve once a month or have your name placed on a calling list when volunteers are needed.
Habitat for Humanity
Assist low-income, Lincoln area families become new home owners. Volunteer to serve on a work crew when a new home is under construction in the Lincoln area. Other volunteer opportunities include donating services, building materials and lots; preparing and/or serving a meal and refreshments at the construction site; participating in special events and fund raisers; and volunteering to serve on a Habitat Lincoln committee.
The Lighthouse strives to raise youths’ (ages 13 to 18) self-esteem in order to lower their participation in risk behaviors. In striving toward this goal, Lighthouse provides a safe and nurturing environment for teens through programs addressing their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
The Teammates program matches an adult with a student for an hour per week. The mentor and student meet at school. It has been proved that mentoring can change young people’s lives.
Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach
Westminster members purchase, prepare, serve, visit and clean up at an evening meal on the 1st Friday of each even month.
Once a week, Westminster members fill a standing order for emergency food boxes. Each week volunteers pack for one family of four, two families of three and three families of two. These boxes are picked up by People’s City Mission for distribution.
St. Nick Project
St. Nick is a Westminster inspired Christmas project that affords Westminster members and friends the opportunity to purchase gifts for rural Nebraska families who are in need. Since being established in 1987, many thousands of individuals in more than 100 Nebraska communities have received gifts from Westminster families. Giving opportunities include purchasing gifts, making a financial contribution and/or helping wrap gifts at our Gift Wrapping Party.
Care Giving Opportunities
If you know of any care giving requests or needs, please refer them to Dr. Andrew McDonald, Rev. Ellen Davis or Marge Tomlinson. We want to help.
Cook ‘n Carry
Cook n Carry is an opportunity to provide “food for the soul.” We reach out in caring to those who have experienced the joys and concerns in life. If you would like to befriend someone who needs a lift by providing a meal or if you know someone who would appreciate such a gift, contact Rev. Ellen Davis.
Deacons – Bereavement
Our Deacons reach out to care for our church family through prayer support and assistance with a meal or refreshments following the memorial service of a loved one. To offer your help in this ministry, contact Rev. Ellen Davis to contact our bereavement support team.
Deacons – Visitation
Caring for our members who are unable to worship with us in person on Sunday morning is carried out in two ways. First of all, we offer a tape-delayed viewing of the worship service from the previous Sunday on digital channel 71.13 each Thursday at 12:30 p.m. and each Saturday at 1:00 p.m. We also reach out to these home bound members through our Deacon ministry of visitation. If you are interested in this ministry or if you know of someone in the congregation who is not receiving our care, please contact Rev. Ellen Davis.
Do you enjoy writing notes and sending cards to others? We can put you in touch with senior Westminster members who no longer live in Lincoln to help them remain connected with the Westminster congregation through Easter and Christmas notes mailed during these holiday seasons. Contact Marge Tomlinson for more information.
Over the Road
Our Deacons will provide rides to Sunday morning worship and other special events. Please call the church office 402-475-6702 for more information.
Our prayer chain is both a phone and an email prayer chain that reaches out in support of members and friends who are in need of our prayer support. To join the prayer chain or request a prayer need, call the church office 402-475-6702.
Remember In Prayer
On Sunday mornings, worshipers at Westminster are made aware of prayer requests through the “Remember In Prayer” section of the Vine. You are invited to make your prayer request by contacting the church office 402-475-6702.
Fine Arts Opportunities
“Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob. Raise a song, sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp. Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on the festal day.” Psalm 81:1-3
The Westminster Ministry of Worship and Fine Arts presents the power of the Word of God through traditional and contemporary worship expressions. Planting and continuously nurturing one’s faith are at the heart of this ministry.
Westminster Choir Directed by Boyd Bacon
The Westminster Choir consists of approximately 30 volunteer and professional singers. The choir is occasionally accompanied by the Westminster Brass. Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
Westminster Brass Directed by Boyd Bacon
A volunteer quintet who rehearse at arranged times and perform on special occasions.
Westminster Carillon Directed by Dr. Masako Nakamura Bacon
A volunteer ensemble welcoming ringers of all levels of experience. The ringers perform at the 10:30 a.m. worship service on the first Sunday of the month. On special occasions, the ensemble supports hymn singing and anthems. Rehearsals are from 6:20 to 7:20 p.m. Wednesday evenings in the Sanctuary.
Youth Handbells Directed by Dr. Masako Nakamura Bacon
A teen ensemble for grades 5 to 8. The group plays at the 10:30 a.m. worship service on the fourth Sunday of the month. Rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings from 5:00 to 5:45 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
Alleluia! Amen! Choir Directed by Samantha Matulka
Grades K to 5. The Alleluia! Amen! Choir sings songs of joyful praise that include their own accompaniment instruments. Rehearsal is held from 6:30 to 7:25 p.m. in Room 210 during Westminster on Wednesdays (WOW) family program. This choir sings on the second Sunday of each month. The kindergarten singers begin the year with the Cherub Choir and are integrated gradually into Alleluia! Amen!
Cherub Choir Directed by Robert Lighthall
Ages 3 to 5. This choir works on movement, singing, listening, stories and activities. Rehearsal is held 6:30 to 7:25 p.m. Wednesday evenings in Room 210 during Westminster on Wednesdays (WOW) family program.
Jr. String Ensemble Directed by Dr. Masako Nakamura Bacon
Meets three Sundays and plays a simple piece together at 10:30 a.m. worship. This group plays 5-6 times per year.
High school to college. Share your musical gifts to praise God! Meet a few times and plays at 8:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. worship.
Guitars, bass guitar, percussion, woodwinds and brass are called upon occasionally to enhance worship services. Interested musicians contact Masako Nakamura Bacon.
Join the WPC Green Team Today!
Westminster’s Green Team is a loosely organized group that believes discipleship includes responsible care of Creation. When ways are discovered that Westminster can be more environmentally intentional, strategies are employed to raise awareness, eliminate waste, and reuse, recycle and reduce disposables. Notably, since 2007 the Green Team has helped eliminate use of Styrofoam drink cups on Sundays by organizing volunteer dish-washing.
Dishwashers are always needed! Volunteers spend 30-45 minutes of their Sunday morning, and are able to visit in the Garden Room between loads. For more information or to volunteer call Tom or Laurel Pappas at 402-484-8467. It’s such an easy way to make a difference!
A group meets four times per year for two hours Saturday morning to clean the sanctuary and chapel.
Garden Room Hospitality
Help Westminster become more “green” by signing up to wash cups and glasses on Sunday morning after fellowship time in the Garden Room.
Greet members and visitors on Sunday morning as they enter the Garden Room via the east entrance. Duties focus on extending a warm and welcoming greeting to one and all.
In the fall, step forward and nominate yourself or another member(s) whose service calling may be as a usher. Ushers are elected by the congregation and serve on the Board of Ushers for a three-year term.
Deacons are ordained to serve those who are in need — in a very direct and personal way. The mission of the Deacons of Westminster Presbyterian Church is “together to be the family of God to all people in Christ’s community, ministering with compassion and serving with joy.”
Elders serve on the Session of Westminster Presbyterian Church as the spiritual leaders of the congregation. They are the governing body of the congregation responsible for the work and worship, the mission and the ministry of the local church. Elders have demonstrated a proven record of wisdom, discernment and leadership skills.
The Session of Westminster Presbyterian Church is composed of the pastor and the elders in active service. Westminster has 30 active elders who are adults and 2 active elders who are confirmed young people. All members of the session, including pastor, co-pastors and associate pastors, are entitled to vote.
Elders serve on one ministry of Session:
- Adult Education
- Children & Families
- Member Care
- New Member
- Life Group
- Worship and Music
- YAYA (Youth and Young Adult)
- Administration and Planning
- Budget & Finance
- Buildings and Grounds
Elders also serve communion in worship and serve as greeters on a rotating basis.
Christmas Joy Offering
Celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ by giving generously to a Christmas season offering. 50 percent of the offering receipts provide assistance to retired and active church workers and their spouses and families. The other 50 percent supports eight Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges.
One Great Hour of Sharing
Since 1949, Presbyterians have joined with millions of other Christians through the One Great Hour of Sharing to share God’s love with people experiencing need. Your gift will support ministries of disaster response, refugee assistance and resettlement, and community development that helps people find safe refuge, start new lives and work together to strengthen their families and communities. At Westminster, this offering is received throughout Lent.
We are called as Christ’s people to be God’s peacemakers — as agents of reconciliation in families, individual lives, communities, churches, globally and in the whole of creation. Peacemaking is the human response to the divine gift of peacemaking. Your gift helps the whole church respond: 25 percent is retained by the Westminster congregation; 25 percent is used to support presbytery and synod peacemaking efforts; and 50 percent is forwarded to national and international Presbyterian peacemaking programs. At Westminster, this offering is received during the Fall.
The Pentecost Offering was established in 1996 by the 208th General Assembly. It is traditionally received on the Day of Pentecost. Forty percent of the offering is retained by congregations for local ministries with children at risk. The 60 percent that goes to the General Assembly is divided among child advocacy, Young Adult Volunteers and ministries with youth and young adults. Pentecost means “count fifty.” The Old Testament instructions about this “Feast of Weeks” is found in Leviticus 23:15-16: “And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat [meal] offering unto the LORD.”
Westminster Food Pantry
A community partnership to share food with those who are hungry.
Fact: Today in Lincoln, Nebraska, there is a growing need for food.
The reason for this growing need is the number of households living in or close to poverty. With little or no savings these families and individuals live in the shadow of a crisis or unexpected bill leaving them with no money to buy food.
As a response to this growing need, the Westminster Food Pantry was established in the summer of 1992. As part of the Emergency Food Pantry System of the Lincoln Interfaith Council, the Westminster Food Pantry serves emergency food needs only.
How does the Emergency Food Pantry system work?
A family or individual who is in need of food contacts one of the community’s authorized human service agencies. The agency then checks with the Lincoln Interfaith Council which keeps records of those who have been provided an emergency food box. Families are allowed to use the service only four times per year.
Volunteers play a key role at Westminster Food Pantry.
Once a week, volunteers gather at Westminster Food Pantry to fill a standing order for emergency food boxes. Each order is packed based on the number of individuals in the family. Each box contains a nutritionally balances seven-day supply of food.
After the emergency food boxes are packed, they are picked up and distributed to families through the People’s City Mission Distribution Center.
Volunteers also stock the pantry shelves and shop for food.
Where does the pantry food supply come from?
Food to stock the Westminster Food Pantry comes from food and cash donations from Westminster members, supporting congregations, and fiends. The cash donations are used to buy food through the Lincoln food Bank. Food items not available at the Food Bank are purchased from local grocery stores.
How much food is required weekly to operate the Westminster Food Pantry?
Currently 305 items of food (with a retail value of $280) are needed every week to help families served by the Westminster Food Pantry.
What goes into an emergency food box?
The items that make up a Westminster Food Pantry emergency food box include:
- Peanut Butter
- Canned Meat
- Canned Vegetables
- Canned Fruits
- Pork and Beans
- Other Beans
- Spaghettio’s/other Canned Meals
- Macaroni and cheese Dry Cereal
- Hot Cereal/Oatmeal
- Instant Potatoes
- Soda Crackers
- Stew, Chili, etc.
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Pancake Mix
- Noodles; Other Pasta
- Tomato Sauce/Paste
- Toilet Tissue
- Hand Soap
Sharing food with others: a special outreach ministry
The Westminster Food Pantry provides an opportunity for people of all ages to work together to fight hunger.
Here is how you can help:
- Donate Food: The need for food is ongoing. Your food donation can be dropped off at a special wooden box located at the top of the stairs near the east parking lot door at Westminster Presbyterian Church or at the church office. Supporting congregations may wish to designate a specific pantry Sunday each month or hold special food drives during the year.
- Contribute Funds: Cash contributions supplement the food donations to provide a nutritionally balanced supply of food. Checks or cash of any amount are welcome. Checks can be made out to Westminster Presbyterian Church and designated for the food pantry. Your contribution can be brought to the church office or mailed to: Westminster Presbyterian church, 2110 Sheridan Blvd., Lincoln, NE 68502
- Adopt-A-Food: Adopt a nonperishable food for the pantry by adding it to you weekly grocery list and remember the Westminster Food Pantry each time you shop.
- Volunteer Time: Volunteers are needed to pack food boxes, stock shelves and shop for food.
- Walk for the hungry: Walk and encourage others to walk in the annual CROP Walk or sponsor walkers. The Westminster Food Pantry receives a portion of the money raised from the CROP Walk.
Mission Trips, including youth and adult opportunities, are an important part of Westminster’s global outreach.
Some of the notable mission projects Westminster has been part of in the past decade:
Westminster members visit the town of Moore, Oklahoma, twice a year to help with the ongoing clean-up and re-build efforts following the 2013 tornadoes that struck the Oklahoma City area.
The House that Fish Built
100 of our members brought out their creative skills for a fun fund-raiser. After making 100 of the most outrageous fish ever seen, we displayed them in a local art gallery and auctioned them to the highest bidder. This creative arts project helped us build two Habitat for Humanity homes.
When the tornado hit Hallam, Nebraska, it destroyed both homes and trees. Insurance covered most homes, but Westminster provided 100 trees to help this nearby community heal and grow.
First we provided housing for a refugee family. Since then, we have sent five work teams to Louisiana to help rebuild homes and lives.
The Lost Boys of the Sudan
For young men whose families were killed and who were driven from their country, we provided a new home and support in beginning again in a new land.
When a tornado destroyed the town of Greensboro, Kansas, we sent one of the first response teams allowed in to bring aid and help clean up.
Iowa Cedar River Flood
One of our Eagle Scouts led the congregation in bringing a team to Iowa to help clean up homes buried in mud from what was termed a “1000 year” flood.
Lohmen Church Germany
Since 1987, Westminster has had a “sister” church relationship with the Lohmen Church, Lohmen, Germany. The two congregations exchange visits on a regular basis. In addition, Westminster members have contributed funds to help support the ministry of the Lohman church, including funds to aid victims and support disaster relief related to the major flooding in Europe during the fall of 2002.
This 20+ year old international relationship broadens our understanding of faith and the world. Seventeen youth and 10 adults were welcomed and toured Dresden, Berlin, Munich, Dauchau Concentration Camp and went on to Geneva, Switzerland.