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Westminster Choir

The Westminster Choir provides musical leadership and choral anthems for the 9 a.m. Sunday sanctuary service from September through May; for the 10 a.m. Sunday sanctuary service in June; and for seasonal services and concerts throughout the year. Comprised of 30+ volunteers and a professional quartet of section leaders, the group sings a broad range of sacred repertoire spanning five centuries, from Bach to Bernstein.

The choir enjoys a long history of musical excellence and has presented concerts both in the U.S. and abroad, including five European tours: Austria (2000), Italy (2004), France (2007), Germany (2010), and the Czech Republic (2013). Two CD recordings have been made featuring the Westminster Choir: All Hail the Power, featuring favorite anthems and hymns; and Joy to the World, featuring carols and anthems for the Christmas season. Both are available through the church office.

Participation in this ensemble is open to high school students and adults. The choir rehearses on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m., and on Sundays at 8 a.m., September to May. The ability to read music is helpful; the ability to sing in time and in tune are expected. Full COVID-19 vaccination is required for all participants.

Westminster Handbell Choir

The Westminster Handbell Choir rings during the 9 a.m. Sunday sanctuary service seasonally, employing five octaves of handbells and three octaves of handchimes. Participation in this ensemble is open to high school students and adults. Rehearsals are on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., October to April. The ability to read music and a good sense of rhythm are essential. Full COVID-19 vaccination is required for all participants.

Westminster Tower Chime

Westminster’s 20-note tower chime is one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. and is the voice of the church in our community. Tower chime players offer the hymns of praise and bell peals before and after Sunday services and at other times throughout the year. Good upper body strength is essential. Skip the gym and get your work-out ringing Westminster’s tower chime!

Westminster Concerts

Throughout the program year, Westminster produces and hosts some of the most outstanding concerts you will experience in our region. Since 2020, Westminster concerts have been livestreamed and can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to our e-newsletter to stay in the loop on upcoming concerts, or check our online event calendar.

Westminster-by-Heart Storytellers

Westminster’s storytellers have embraced the discipline and spiritual commitment of learning the stories of Scripture by heart so that our congregation may experience the Bible the same way it was first heard – traveling to the hearts of believers on the breath of the teller. This ministry is offered throughout the year with expanded opportunities for participation at Christmas and during Holy Week. Westminster-by-Heart is open to any and all who share a passion for the story.

For Children and Youth

See Children + Youth for more information.

Structural Art

Stained Glass Windows

Stained glass windows have been created as expressions of faith and to inspire worship for centuries. The guiding principle in designing and executing these windows was to create something that would be a worthy addition to the house of the Lord and to the glory of the God we love and serve.

Westminster has nine stained glass windows in the sanctuary, a large stained glass window in Rodney Chapel, and several smaller stained glass windows in other areas of the building. The focal point of our sanctuary is the Resurrection Window, which dates from 1910–1911 when the sanctuary was built; the other eight windows were installed over the course of the following 48 years. To learn more about our stained glass windows, see our Stained Glass Windows booklet.

Sanctuary Cross Sculpture

Through the fusion of bronze, cherry wood, and stained glass, sculptor Barry Johnston created a cross embodying the tragedy of the crucifixion and the passion of Christ, while pointing to the glorious resurrection. Avoiding a figurative image of worship, rays of light explode out of an unseen spiritual center, bursting through a crown of thorns, and a halo of multi-colored stained glass.

Dedicated on June 16, 2002, the sanctuary cross has become a focal point for our worship life and emblematic of our ministry and mission in the community. Since then, a graphic version of this cross has become the logo for Westminster. The cross firmly roots us in our traditions, consciously reflects our present, and boldly points us toward our future as a people of God.

The sanctuary cross was donated to Westminster by Peggy Cartmell in memory of her late husband, the Rev. John A. Cartmell, who served as an associate pastor of Westminster from 1972 to 1984. In his closing remarks to the Westminster congregation, John said, “The deepest meaning of worship is what you do, how you live, starting from the moment you leave this church.”

Pipe Organ

Westminster’s pipe organ is the backbone of our music ministry. Built by Austin Organs Inc. (Hartford, Connecticut) and installed in 1966 as the firms no. 2444, the instrument is comprised of 53 ranks of pipes ranging in size from that of a pencil to a telephone pole. The organ includes three manual divisions (two enclosed) and pedal installed on both sides of the choir loft. Read the stoplist.

Rodney Chapel Mathias Memorial Cross Sculpture

The Rev. C. Frederick Mathias faithfully served Westminster Presbyterian Church as our Senior Pastor for 18 years (1965–1983). In 1996, Fred and his wife Cleta were tragically murdered. Our community of faith was devastated by the loss of these two gifted and compassionate saints. A team at Westminster was charged with developing a fitting remembrance of the Mathiases, and the creation of a memorial cross was one of the ways their lives were honored.

Artist Gregory Leavitt of Glen Riddle, Pennsylvania, was chosen to design and execute the cross that now graces the South wall of Rodney Chapel. His inspiration came from a visit to the Museum of Torture in the walled city of San Gimigno, Italy, in 1998. The artist said, “The symbol of the serpent/dragon is a clear metaphor for evil – unabashed evil. My thought about the dragon woven through three crowns of thorns is that through God’s love and forgiveness even evil . . . can be transforming.” The butterflies and lilies symbolize the faith of Fred and Cleta.

The Mathias Cross, dedicated July 11, 1999, is an enduring Christian symbol that inspires our worship in Rodney Chapel while reminding us of two beloved saints whose faith and example continue to minister to us. In further remembrance, the Mathias children donated a lovely watercolor of our church that had been given to their parents; it hangs in one of our conference rooms.