Message from Jo Forrest -- May 2021

To endow is to provide with a quality, a resource, or an asset as in “God endowed her with the gift to sing.” To endow is also to fund with financial resources to ensure future viability.

We rejoice in the ways members have endowed Westminster with their vision and talents. In 1995 a few visionary members of Westminster met to imagine an endowment fund and begin the work to secure funding, define fiduciary oversight, and work tirelessly to doubly bless our future with collective wisdom and a source of funding for those projects to further the mission and ministry of this church.

In April, the Endowment Committee recommended to fund the following projects, which were unanimously approved by Session.

  • During the pandemic, Westminster leapfrogged forward to create online worship and spread the gospel through social media. To continue to build and strengthen our capabilities, four communications and information technology projects will begin: an upgrade to the software to support financial and program management; a design refresh of Westminster’s brand and presentation in print and digital media; an upgrade to core technology for security and video conferencing; and an installation of audio equipment needed within the sanctuary and WROC.
  • The Bridge continues its vital worship with in person and online engagement and will receive funds to improve signage to welcome worshipers to the WROC and to upgrade the lighting and furnishings.
  • Mission remains vital to the intent of the endowment and funds will be distributed to support three initiatives dear to congregation members. Sangli Technical School in India may continue building construction for over 100 students served in vocational training. The Homewood Oasis Pre-School will receive funds to seed a campaign for a critical early learning center, led by pastor John Wallace at the Bible Center Church. Ethiopia Small Business Grants for Vulnerable Women may fund women-owned, new small businesses that work cooperatively under Westminster's mission partner, Hawassa Hope.

In addition to these grants, made possible by the investment gains realized by the Endowment, the P.J. Dick family has authorized the P.J. Dick Bequest Fund to pay for the extensive and necessary renovations to the columbarium and south courtyard. The Property Commission may proceed to renovate masonry walls, replace courtyard doorways, create handicapped accessibility, and install new post lights.

The McClintock family has directed half of the Dorothy McClintock Memorial Library Fund to Westminster’s operating account and will be earmarked to cover the monthly budgeted loan repayment to the endowment and any remaining amount to be applied to the principle.

Our cup runneth over with such generosity and practical leadership.

We express our deepest gratitude to all who imagined a bright future for Westminster in creating the Endowment and Special Gifts Fund as well as those who crafted the specific requests. We also extend our thanks to members of the Endowment Committee: Janis Davis, Brian Eccher, Carolyn Kerr, Phil Kocher, Jeff Rex, Ken Rapko, Bill Rogers, Linda Serene, Lois Singleton, and Rob Wagner (chair) for their prayerful work.

– Jo