Dr. Gale Watkins is the Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church.  He leads us in our walk with Christ and provides the pastoral care for every person at Westminster.  His Princeton Seminary background allows for a deep and rich understanding of the bible as it relates to modern day use.  As an avid marathon runner, including twice in the Boston Marathon, Gale ran in the World Vision Marathon this spring to raise monies for clean water.  Gale is the one running next to the line. 


Dear friends,
 Perhaps you too have noticed that there has lately been a good deal of discussion, and disagreement, about the news. The news media have come under attack and have vigorously defended themselves. Then there is the whole matter of “fake news,” and its presence and influence in social media.
 Some people have had it with the mainstream media and have turned to other sources of information and opinion. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say that they don’t take the paper anymore. I still read it every day, which make me old-fashioned and maybe behind the times. Quite often, one will remark that they’re sick and tired of all the bad news that is out there. Sure enough, whatever our preferred source of news, we’re bombarded with reports of shootings and deadly collisions just about every day of the week.
 One of the really important things about the Christian faith is that it claims to bring good news. We use the term gospel to summarize the message that we declare to the world. The word gospel simply means good news.
 One of my favorite books from a favorite author is N.T. Wright’s Simply Good News: Why the Gospel is News and What Makes It Good. Wright makes a distinction between two things: advice and news. All too often, he says, we’ve presented the Christian message as advice. Advice is great, and we surely need plenty of it. But it places the burden of responsibility on our own shoulders to change our ways. The gospel, Wright argues, before it gives us advice, is news. It’s an announcement of what God has accomplished for us in Jesus Christ.
 We could surely use some good news these days, good news that isn’t fake news, but reality all the way through. For seven or eight weeks, beginning on Sunday, September 2, I want to present sermons that lift up the good news. They will all be based on a short letter that Paul wrote, one of his earliest, 1 Thessalonians. The great theme of this letter is the gospel. The gospel is a message that is true, relevant, and life-changing. I hope that we will be given grace to hear the good news afresh. We could use some good news for a change!

God’s blessings on you.


Gale Watkins, Pastor