Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed
private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.
With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great grace was upon them all. –Acts 4:32-22
The Stewardship theme for the 2018 Commitment season was Held in Common. Being of one heart and soul, and believing passionately in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and with abundant grace filling the community of believers, the writer of the Acts of the Apostles reports that the earliest church “held everything in common” (Acts 4:32). They did not give to the church; instead, it was in the act of sharing, that they became church. This year three children of the church were married at West Raleigh. Paulina Spencer, Robert Snyder and Emily Lamb were all baptized, confirmed and married in the sanctuary at West Raleigh. We celebrated the births of Phoebe Ransom Jones and James Sawyer Evans, baptizing Phoebe on the first Sunday of Advent. West Raleigh also buried eight saints of the church, giving thanks for the lives of Mary Cates, Wilma Hu, Betsy Sykes, Betty Brooks, John Brake, Douglas Haas Bennett, Polly Flowe, and Lewis Ford. Six youth participated in a mission trip and many of the same youth began their confirmation preparation in September. We hosted Family Promise for three weeks, and were a key congregation in another Habitat for Humanity home. We welcomed Artist-in-Residence, Elise Witt and were awarded a Hunger Grant from the Presbytery of New Hope that will help fuel and fund West Raleigh’s feeding ministry in 2019. We nurtured our relationship with Presbyterian Campus Ministry through a variety of worship and fellowship opportunities and began an extensive renovation project of the Student Center that included asbestos remediation, new lighting and flooring and a fresh coat of paint. We honored and celebrated Shelley Rubin’s ten years of service to West Raleigh and welcomed Anna Richardson Raab as the Director of Administration and Communications. The pages of this report are full of the pictures and stories of our common life.
West Raleigh also saw the completion of a project 20 years in development. Drawing on the gifts of Dorothy and Ezra Howell, Frank Weedon and Marjorie Foil as well as on gifts that had accumulated in the Memorial Fund, West Raleigh finished the courtyard restoration project that included a full renovation of the courtyard, updated lighting and signage and a columbarium. The restored courtyard features a structure that doubles as a natural children’s play space and a stage for outdoor concerts and is intentionally situated right next to the columbarium. Shortly after its completion and dedication, West Raleigh hosted an outdoor carol sing with our friends from Davie Street Presbyterian Church. It is our hope and commitment that this space be shared space, common ground where we can become church.
Thank you, West Raleigh, for another year of shared commitment, shared life and shared stories for through it all, we are becoming the Church of Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God,