Peace and Justice at Westminster
…for he has appointed me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. - Luke 4:18
If these words of Jesus make your heart beat faster, we invite you to be part of our work for peace and justice at Westminster.
Our Ongoing Work
Every July for the last 10 years Peace and Justice has sponsored a multi-Sunday series focusing on a wide range of social justice issues, The series is held in July at 9:45 a.m. in the Galbreath Chapel.
This summer’s topic is Welcoming the Stranger: A Look at Immigration in the U.S. Visit the Westminster Seminars page to view/hear past discussions.
|2019 -- Caring for Creation: Faith, Science & Change|
|2018 -- Bringing Good News to the Poor: Poverty in the USA|
|2017 -- Many Faiths Doing Justice: Social Justice in other religious traditions: Catholicism, Judaism, Islam|
|2016 -- Thirsting for Justice: Israel/Palestine, Refugees, Hunger and Public Policy, Criminal Justice|
|2015 -- Who is My Neighbor: Discussions on Racism|
|2014 -- Creation Care: Our Footprints in Eden|
|2013 -- Pittsburgh Peacemakers: The Courage to Act (PIIN, Violence against Women, Gun Violence)|
|2012 -- Speaking the Truth in Love: Civil Conversations in an Age of Rancor|
|2011 -- Justice for the Poor (Sojourners DVD and study guide)|
|2010 -- Jimmy Carter’s book We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land|
Watch for upcoming Letter Offerings on nutrition (April 26) and immigration (September/October).
NOTE: Due to COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, the group is currently meeting online via Zoom, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Mondays. Contact Bobbie Hartman for the Zoom link and codes to join the next meeting.
On alternate Mondays a small group of Westminster members travels together to Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church, in the city’s Hill District, to meet with a group of their members. Growing out of a February 2016 Faith, Race, Justice and Mass Incarceration workshop at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary developed along with three inner city churches, this little community of black and white Christians has been meeting since May 2016 to share concerns and discuss issues of racial and economic justice. Because all of us care deeply about these issues but none of us are experts, we have been reading and learning together from a range of authors…below are the books we have discussed so far.
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story
|Nikole Hanna Jones|
|The Color of Compromise: American Church’s Complicity in Racism||Jemar Tisby|
|White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity||Robert P. Jones|
|African Americans in Pittsburgh||John Brewer|
|The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America||Richard Rothstein|
|This is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism||Don Lemon|
|The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Us and How We can Prosper Together||Heather McGhee|
|His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope||Jon Meacham|
|The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart||Alicia Garza|
|How to Be an Antiracist||Ibram Kendi|
|One Person, No Vote||Carol Anderson|
|So You Want to Talk About Race||Ijeoma Oluo|
|White Fragility||Robin DiAngelo|
|Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria||Beverly Tatum|
|White Awake||Daniel Hill|
|Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion||Gregory Boyle|
|The Common Good||Robert Reich|
|Rising out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist||Eli Saslow|
|Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI||David Gramm|
|The Souls of Black Folk||W.E.B. DuBois|
|Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust||Immaculee Ilibagiza|
|The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming Politics of Division and Fear||Rev. Dr. William J Barber III|
|Ministry for Prisoners and Families, The Way Forward||W Wilson Goode|
|Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America||Michael Eric Dyson|
|Ferguson and Faith, Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community||Leah Gunning Francis|
|The Other Wes Moore, One Name, Two Fates||Wes Moore|
|Executing Grace, How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why it’s Killing Us||Shane Claiborne|
|Urban Ministry, An Introduction||Dr. Ronald Peters|
|Letters to a Young Brother||Hill Harper|
|Locked Down, Locked Out, Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better||Maya Schenwar|
|America’s Original Sin, Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America||Jim Wallis|
|Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemption||Bryan Stevenson|
|The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness||Michelle Alexander|
At least as important as what we are learning is what we are becoming…a community of people who care for one another…we are learning about each others’ life experiences, fears, challenges, and hopes for the future. We are not colorblind…we are exploring the ways in which race affects all of these.
If you have an interest or a concern in this area you are welcome to join in. We typically ride together in Westminster’s van.
On the first Sunday in October we celebrate both World Communion Sunday and receive the PC(USA) Peace and Global Witness Offering We celebrate both by preparing communion breads from all around the world. The offering funds are used to provide honoraria for the Summer Discussion Series
Meetings: We meet on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. Come for the church family dinner and stay for our meeting! Watch for information in the Spire and bulletin about meeting spaces and upcoming projects.
Letter Offerings: Volunteer to staff an information table, help with stamping and addressing envelopes, research topics, help with publicity.