Kirkin’ 2017: Celebrating the Scottish Reformation
Save the Date! Westminster’s annual Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan will be held on Sunday, October 15th. The Kirkin’ is a special way of joining our Westminster family and friends together. Please do invite guests to come with you and be sure to introduce them to the Westminster family.
We will welcome Dr. Earl S. Johnson, Jr. as our guest preacher. He is looking forward to working with the people of Westminster again, especially in this time of change and reformation. Dr. Johnson is a retired PC(USA) pastor, Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at Siena College, and a member of Albany Presbytery Peacemaking Task Force. He also serves on the Social Justice Task Force for the New York State Council of Churches, is a member of the Mark Seminar in the Society of Biblical Literature, and is the secretary of the Board of Directors of Mountain Valley Hospice. His education includes a BS from Hope College, a BD from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a PH.D. in Biblical Studies from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Dr. Johnson has been a columnist for Presbyterian Outlook since 1988, and has written several books for Westminster John Knox Press. His most recent articles in the Outlook include a poem entitled “Count Me” and a study, “Fifty Years and Counting: The Confession of 1967.” His latest book is Matthew’s Gospel From Scratch, The New Testament for Beginners (with Donald L. Griggs, 2012).
Scottish Roots of Presbyterianism - Bagpipes, drums and tartan banners! But, what’s this worship service really all about? The Kirkin’ is a celebration of the Scottish roots of the Presbyterian heritage. Kirking, comes from the Scottish Gaelic word kirk, which means ‘church’ – and, in this usage, means ‘blessing.’ This celebration can be thought of as the gathering of families to enter into the House of the Lord to worship and praise. The colorful woven tartans that are displayed during the service are symbols of the love and togetherness of family. Worshippers are encouraged to reflect with thanksgiving on their own family and cultural heritage, whatever it may be, while asking for God’s blessings in the future.
Anyone who would like to carry a tartan banner during the Kirkin’ service should contact David and Sarah Hershey at (518) 462-4727. If you would like to bake shortbread (recipe provided if desired) or help with the reception, please contact Valerie Shanley at (518) 366-8747 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome your participation!
Valerie Willison Shanley is an Elder currently serving on the Westminster's Session. Due to her own Scottish heritage, she loves the opportunity to bring the Kirkin' o' Tartan event to others, continuing the tradition her Dad helped start at Westminster many years ago. In addition to volunteering at church, you can usually find Valerie enjoying family and friends, traveling, reading, fitness activities or time at her lakeside home.