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,

 

I had the opportunity to attend a conference on bioethics that was held at Grand Canyon University on Monday, September 17. The keynote speaker was Joni Eareckson Tada, a remarkable Christian woman who has lived as a quadriplegic for fifty years. Among other things, she has developed a worldwide ministry to disabled people, "Joni and Friends." I found her presentation to be one of the most moving that I have ever heard.

If you would like to hear it for yourself, you can use this link: https://youtu.be/m3qcvjF0-Hc. That will take you to a video. Joni’s part begins at about the 24 minute mark and goes on for about 30 minutes. If you can access it, I think you’ll be richly blessed.

Joni called our attention to a familiar gospel passage, in which Jesus says, "When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you" (Luke 14:13-14). In other words, she told us, reach out to people who are disabled and invite them to be part of the Christian community.

I was reminded of the words of a seasoned worker in campus ministry, Jim Berney, who in the 1970s told us that when he visited a student group, he looked for two things: prayer, and the presence of disabled people. I think that the same thing goes for a church. I hope that Westminster will continue to be a church that prays and gladly welcomes people who come as they are, with all their abilities and disabilities.

 

God’s blessings on you.

 

 

 

 

Gale Watkins, Pastor