Committees and Teams
Welcome to the page devoted to the Committees and Teams at Westwood United Methodist Church! Click on the name of the team for the policies and procedures of the team (where indicated*).
Being an acolyte is an opportunity for children in 2nd grade and beyond to serve in the church during 2nd service. Acolytes bring the Light in the sanctuary and light alter candles, and help with offering. At the end of service Acolytes carry the Light out of the sanctuary. How to help your child become involved: Call the church office to contact Acolyte Leaders for bi annual meeting times.
The Altar Team provides the proper Altar arrangements (flowers, paraments etc.) for the services. The altar team is looking for new members. Most work is performed on Saturday. How to Get Involved: Call leaders to be trained and or share ideas with members of the team.
Operate the audio equipment during Sunday worship celebrations and special worship celebrations.
Board of Trustees
The primary task of the trustees is to supervise and maintain all property belonging to the congregation so that the ministries of the congregation can be effective. In our case this task must be carried out for the church and education building, Epworth, and the parsonage.
Children's Ministry Team
The Children's Ministry Team was formed in January 2013 to support young children and their parents at Westwood UMC. The CMT helps the church reach out to children in the community as well. CMT oversees the Sunday morning children's activities from nursery and preschool to Sunday School and Children's Worship. Working alongside other committees, CMT organizes and promotes special events such as Vacation Bible School and Trunk or Treat.
The primary task of the Church Council is to lead the congregation in long-range planning and in carrying out its programs so that people are received into its fellowship, encouraged in strengthening their relationship with God, and supported as they seek to live as Christian disciples. The purpose of the church council is to plan a program of nurture, outreach and witness; implement the plan; provide an administrative infrastructure; align the plan with the mission of the church; evaluate the effectiveness of the plan; act as the administrative agency of the charge conference. All leadership of all ministries and administrative committees and any interested church member are welcome. To become involved, attend church council meetings – all members have a voice and a vote; Participate in the spiritual gifts class to identify your gifts and passions; Participate in the planning activities of the council as well as the “Circles” opportunities for problem resolution.
A few years ago a wise woman wrote a book called It Takes a Village, about just how many people are involved in raising a child and the responsibilities surrounding that involvement. For The Congregational Care Team that book could be re-titled It Takes a Congregation. Essentially that is what this team is all about—the responsibilities we all share in caring for our members and making sure each one can feel the love that is so rich in this congregation. Jesus tells us to love one another as He has first loved us and we on this team are dedicated to doing just that. If one of Jesus’ flock is lost He searches until he finds it and brings it back into His fold, and it is the mission of this team to do the same. The church has prayer chains, Senior Shepherds, small groups and many other ministries already in place but sometimes there may be someone you know of who could use some extra care and support. That is how everyone can assist the Congregational Care team members. It really does take a congregation so if you know of someone who could use some extra love, prayers or TLC, and is not connected by any of the afore-mentioned groups we are here to help. You can help us by contacting the church office to let us know of this need. Please don’t let anyone “fall through the cracks.” Let them know that Westwood is a congregation that cares.
The purpose of the team is to facilitate communication by producing the newsletter, overseeing the website, and assist other teams with ideas and help with ideas to promote their events.
Dinner with Friends
This program was developed to help each of the members and regular attendees of Westwood UMC connect with others at the church in a social setting. Groups of 8-12 people meet approximately once a month to have dinner, socialize and have fun. All are invited to become involved with this ministry.
Emmaus Community of Westwood
The Walk to Emmaus is a world wide, once in a lifetime, weekend faith building retreat. It is a time of learning about God’s grace and His endless love. The Kalamazoo Area Emmaus Community plans two of these events per year. The Community also has a monthly worship gathering, held at different churches throughout the year. Westwood UMC is one of the host churches for these monthly gatherings as well as for the weekend retreat planning team meetings. We also host a few of the Emmaus “Fourth Day” Study groups. These groups meet weekly for fellowship, bible study and prayer time.
Click here for the Foundation Form. Complete and email to church office.
Home Communion Team
This ministry attempts to reach members and friends of WUMC who are unable to attend church with the Sacrament of Holy Communion – if they are willing to have laypersons bring it to their home or living area. The elements (juice and bread) are prepared in kits that are placed on the altar and consecrated by the Pastor during worship. The Coordinator prepares a schedule of assignments to the teams. The Pastor determines when Home Communion will be given – usually 3-4 times a year. To get involved, contact the Pastor if you are an interested recipient or want to become a team member. Training is available.
The Hospitality Committee provides snacks and coffee between the services on Sunday mornings. Our goal is to provide a welcoming environment for fellowship and community for our membership and our guests. Hospitality volunteers brew coffee, which is provided by the church, and set out the snacks the volunteers have either made or purchased. After the second service begins the volunteers clear the tables and tidy up the kitchen. Groups of two volunteers serve once every couple of months. We always welcome additional volunteers as many hands make light work.
Justice Team (ISAAC)
(ISAAC: Interfaith Strategy for Action and Advocacy in the Community) The ISAAC Core Team provides leadership to the congregation and works cooperatively with other congregations and organizations to promote social justice at the policy level. Because of our involvement in ISAAC, we can attend leadership training. To become involved, attend ISAAC core team meetings (Larry Oppigler or Eileen Schamehorn) or call ISAAC office (341-4213) and talk to the director.
Leadership Development Committee
This ministry team ensures that our congregation has a process for discovering, inviting, nominating, and supporting people for Christian spiritual leadership positions essential to the ministries of the local congregation.
Membership is open for all interested. We meet very irregularly to consider requests for memorial funds or to process large numbers of memorial donations. The task of the Memorial Committee is to receive and administer all gifts that are made to the Congregation Memorial Fund. In doing so, they provide a lasting value from those donations to the ministries of this congregation.
The purpose of the Missions Team is to inform, educate, and inspire our congregation regarding opportunities for loving response to local and global needs in the name of Christ. Response is encouraged in the form of monetary giving, donating needed items, and volunteering of time and talent to missions at home, in the United States and abroad as well as voicing our concerns and opinions to appropriate leadership and officials regarding social justice issues. There are many options to get involved. Become a team member. Serve at a fundraising dinner or help with other fundraisers. Tell us of your interest in going on a mission trip. The team will consider monetary requests for such a trip and help put you in contact with coordinators. Volunteer your time and skills to a local, national or international mission/ministry/outreach project. Let us know of your experience!
This is a group of people of all ages who enjoy being in community with each other through fun, fellowship and service. Watch for the announcement of the monthly activity. The activity generally takes place on the fourth Saturday of the month. All members of the church are welcome to participate.
Older Adult Council/55 Plus
The Older Adult Council oversees the programming of the 55 Plus. 55 Plus was formed to offer our senior members an opportunity for fellowship and service to others. Currently, opportunities for service include: a calling list to keep in touch with older members not in attendance and serving Home Communion to some of them; remembering our shut-in members and friends with a poinsettia plant or card, supporting the Love Fund and Loaves and Fishes with donations at Christmas.
The Outreach Team focuses on two areas: (1) Creating a welcoming and nurturing atmosphere for our guests and regular attendees and (2) reaching out to the community by inviting others to share God's love in Jesus Christ. Through facility evaluation; intentional, radical hospitality; and special events, we endeavor to welcome and embrace all persons. The team meets monthly.
Prayer Ministry is committed and dedicated to supporting WUMC as a House of Prayer. There are many ways to be involved in addition to your daily prayer time.
· Prayer Chain – requests and prayers of praise can be emailed or called into the church office to be included on the email/phone chains.· Prayer Shawl Ministry - The Prayer Shawl Ministry is an outreach of the United Methodist Women at Westwood. The shawls are prayed over as they are made and are prayed over by the congregation on the first Sunday of each month. A shawl can be given to anyone who is in need of prayer. May God’s grace be upon these shawls, warming, comforting, enfolding, and embracing. May this mantle be a safe haven, a sacred place of security and well-being, sustaining and embracing in good times as well as difficult ones. May the ones who receive these shawls be cradled in hope, kept in joy,graced with peace, and wrapped in love.
· Prayer Vigil – be willing to pray for an hour during a prayer vigil for our congregation.
Special Events Team
The Special Events Team contacts families and plans meals and support for anniversary, birthday, funeral and wedding events, and serve other meals and snacks when requested. New members with a flexible daytime schedule are needed as well. Training is available. How to Get Involved: Pray for the work of the Service Team during times of need. Monetary donations can be directed to the church office.
Staff-Parish Relations Committee
The primary task of this ministry is to enable effective ministry within the church. This is accomplished through the hiring and directing of Lay staff, the counseling and partnership with the pastor, and listening and responding to the needs of the congregation.
Do you feel like you need help? If you desire a Stephen Minister, please contact the church office. Do you often feel that you would like to help someone but aren’t quite sure how to go about it? Stephen Ministers are trained to listen and pray with someone needing help. If you would like to become a Stephen Minister, please contact the church office.
Stewardship & Finance
The task of this ministry group is to help people understand the meaning of Christian stewardship and the need to practice it in all of life. They are to propose, raise, manage, and distribute the resources of the congregation to support and strengthen the mission and ministry of the congregation. Some of their responsibilities include: building an annual budget, develop and carry out plans to raise income, to carry out instructions about allocation of funds, and to guide the work of the church treasurer and financial secretary.
United Methodist Men
A Men’s Small Group – a weekly small group which meets on Saturday mornings to learn and discuss how to be better men of God through His word and discussion.
United Methodist Women
The purpose of United Methodist Women is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church. Two circles meet monthly at the church: Early Eves and Faith-Hope Circle for a program and fellowship as well as a meal or refreshments. All women are invited to attend one of these circles.
United Methodist Women - Early Eves
Early Eves is a Women’s Circle within the frame work of the Kalamazoo District and the West Michigan Conference of United Methodist Women. The Circle meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month, except August, to share a meal, devotion and a program. The Circle is a community of women who want to know God, to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ, to develop a creative supportive fellowship, and to expand concepts of mission to participate in the global ministries of the church. Early Eves was originally formed to fill the needs of working women but now serves women of all ages at Westwood.
United Methodist Women - Faith Hope Circle
This is a lunchtime fellowship women’s circle within the frame work of the United Methodist Women.
Assist congregation at worship celebrations by performing duties, such as collecting prayer requests and forwarding to Pastor or Lay Speaker, distributing bulletins, attendance registration, and guest gift cards, assisting with seating, searching for lost articles, count and record number of attendees. How to Get Involved: Talk to one of the Ministry Leaders. Sign up for an Usher Training Session or ask to be trained. Sign up to usher for a worship celebration.
Operating the projections during Sunday worship celebrations and special worship celebrations using Easy Worship software.
Weather Related Closures - PASSED 5/23/11
If Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) has cancelled school due to weather, then the church office will be closed. If KPS is not in session, office hours are up to the pastor’s discretion, and he is to notify staff. When evening activities are scheduled, the pastor will decide by 2:00 p.m. if events are cancelled. When events are cancelled, they will be announced via voicemail header message, posted on the website, sent out via email, and announced on local television station (WWMT, Ch 3). The pastor will work with Communications Team to ensure all communication avenues are taken. Regarding Sunday weather closures, that will be up to the pastor to decide taking into consideration the safety issue of driving to church.
The Greeter Team works each Sunday to ensure that all members and guests are welcomed to worship. Providing a smile and a handshake, the Greeters are also equipped to answer questions or point people to those having the answers. Greeters pay special attention to connect new people to existing members. We are always in need of volunteers to be a part of this team. Serving means arriving 10-15 minutes before the service and the teams of two serve on the average of 2-3 times over a 4-month period.
The Foundation is responsible for accepting gifts to the congregation, which are intended to be lasting gifts for the church. They therefore safeguard these gifts and provide for their growth and the distribution of that growth to the ministries of the congregation. This is a dynamic and growing ministry involved in the growth and development of the church.