Connect & Grow

Woven together in growing our faith


Westminster offers many opportunities for adults to connect and socialize and to grow and deepen our faith.

Learn and Explore

Second Hours

Several Sundays a month, we offer a program for adults for the time after our 10:00 am worship service when our children are in Church school. Often we use this time to hear about one of our outreach projects in the city or in West Africa. Our Earth Care team also organizes Second Hour speakers who help us connect our faith with environmental advocacy and stewardship.

Topic or Book Studies
In addition to our on-going groups, several times each year Westminster offers a short-term learning opportunity. Recent topics include “What Hope Means to Us,” “Spiritual Practices for Emotional Resilience,” “In Search of Civility,” and “The Ninefold Path” (a study of the Beatitudes).
Bible Study

Rev. Dave McMillan periodically holds Bible Studies in the church library on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am. Stay tuned for the next opportunity to learn and reflect together. Contact the church office to learn more:

Small Groups

Sacred Conversations

Sacred Conversations are structured, small group listening and sharing opportunities. Each “conversation” has five to nine participants, lasts for three or four meetings, and focuses on a series of questions designed to promote spiritual reflection, sharing, and listening to one another. We began meeting on Zoom late in 2020 and enjoyed this process so much we’ve kept going. At times we’ve had three Sacred Conversation Groups going simultaneously. For more information, contact Linore Southworth or Pastor Heather.

Prayer Line

Every Wednesday night starting at 7:00 pm members and friends of our congregation gather on Zoom to reflect on a passage of scripture, share prayer concerns, and pray together. Let us pray for you and with you! Anyone is welcome to drop in. See our Events page for the Zoom link.

Build Community

Fun Committee
Westminster takes fun so seriously we have a committee to make sure it happens! We’ve previously gathered for a Spring Party on the outdoor patio of a restaurant, an after-worship picnic in a nearby park, a night at the Park Playhouse in Albany, and an evening at the Warbler Brewery in Delmar (one of our members is the brewer!) and a couple bonfires at the home of a WPC member. Friends are always welcome to join us!

Children, Youth, & Families

Our program for children and youth has two goals:

        1. We want every young person to learn about God in a fun and safe environment.
        2. We want every young person to know that they are part of our community.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to be flexible and creative – but we have stayed committed to our goals!

Relationships are most important!

We commit to walking beside the children in our church, celebrating milestones with them and supporting them through challenges and difficulties. This year-in, year-out friendship is more important to us than any lesson or project!

Our Sunday Morning Program for Children and Youth
Once our church reopened for in-person worship in July 2021, we began offering a hybrid program for kids on Sunday mornings. Beginning at 11:15 am, any children who are in the sanctuary gather in our church library with Miss Belinda to join in conversation with their friends online. At this point, most of our children are joining us online.
Pray-ground Bags - Activities for children during worship
During the COVID pandemic, we have adapted our “Pray-ground” activity area at the back of our sanctuary where kids can draw or color or do other quiet activities while their parents are in worship. Now we offer each child their very own activity bag to use each week. We always have extras for visitors!
Christmas Pageant

Every year Westminster has enjoyed a Christmas Pageant staged by our Church School on the third Sunday of December. Enjoy our video pageant HERE. 

We don’t just talk about our faith with our kids–we act on it together with them! One of the ways we do this is through service. Even during the pandemic shutdown, our kids organized a successful food drive for the FOCUS pantry. We look forward to returning soon to more hands-on work and mission trips.
Intergenerational Events

As soon as we can gather together safely, we will begin a new series of intergenerational learning events after worship every few months (click here to learn more about the “Follow Me” curriculum). Each learning event is focused on a Christian spiritual practice such as hospitality, prayer, and seeking justice. The whole congregation can participate in exploring this practice through a series of interactive stations led by volunteers.

Youth Group
The Westminster Youth enjoy fun events together including: hiking Vrooman’s Nose, making videos to send to the youth in our partner churches in Ghana, bonfires and eating s’mores, barbeque, playing basketball, and a summer car wash! [Click here to see some photos…]
Safe Church Policy

In 2014 our Session approved a church-wide policy designed to protect our children and our volunteers when they are involved with church programs.

“Allow the children to come to me,” Jesus said. “Don’t forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children.”

-Matthew 19:14 (CEB)

These practices apply to children and youth, defined as ages 0-18, and may also apply in the case of others whose physical or developmental situation makes them especially vulnerable. 

Background Checks 

Teachers and leaders for youth and children, including staff and volunteers, undergo background checks. Occasionally, other volunteers assist under the supervision of the leaders. 

Six-Month Rule 

Volunteers working with children and youth must have been regular participants of the Westminster community for six months before being asked to volunteer.

Two Adult Rule 

Every effort will be made to have two adults present in classrooms and during activities. During church school, we also have a floater on the third floor with visual access to each room. 


Common signs of affections and age-appropriate nurture (e.g. hugs, pats on the back) or physical caretaking (e.g. diaper changing, helping small children in the restroom) are appropriate among caring Christians.


Every effort will be made to have at least three people in a car when transporting children (two adults and one child or one adult with two or more children). If this is not feasible one adult may provide transportation with specific approval from a parent or guardian for that particular situation. Age-appropriate child seats must be used when transporting children in order to meet the legal requirements.


All teachers and leaders who work with children and youth will go through an orientation and training on these practices once a year and sign a form indicating their commitment to adhere to these guidelines.

Education of Children

A short, age-specific education program will be offered to the children to teach them about appropriate boundaries with others. Parents will be informed ahead of time of the program and may attend.


Efforts will be made to raise awareness in the congregation as a whole about safe child procedures as well as appropriate conduct around children and youth. This brochure will be circulated and posted on the church website.

Reporting Procedure 

Any allegations will be investigated and properly resolved in accordance with Westminster’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Approach and Rationale

We are first and foremost a community of hospitality where all people are welcome, although not all behavior is welcome. Each one of us is a sinner of God’s own redeeming. Therefore, we are all loved and embraced equally in God’s eyes. In order for a community to be hospitable, it has to be safe for everyone. 

Children are full participants in the life of the congregation. Every time we baptize a child, the congregation promises to participate in that child’s faith journey.

In celebration of this pledge, we honor Biblical, ethical, and legal requirements. We follow and enforce these practices for appropriate behavior with children and youth.

The goal of our Safe Child Norms and Practices is to prevent physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of children and youth participating in Westminster activities in order to provide a safe, nurturing, Christian environment.

These practices were drafted with input from families, volunteers, and the Christian Life and Learning Committee and adopted by Session on April 8, 2014.

We, as members of the church of Jesus Christ, promise to guide and nurture the newly baptized by word and deed, with love and prayer, encouraging them to know and follow Christ and to be faithful members of this church.

-Baptismal Oath