Who We Are & What We Believe
Our Vision Statement:
Westminster is a vital, engaging, inclusive
family of faith that serves God by:
supporting each other on our spiritual journeys,
sharing the gifts we have been given,
the love and justice of Christ
in our community and world.
We believe our mission is to
offer living proof of a loving God.
Westminster Statement of Inclusivity
The incarnation of God in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us our mission and understanding of membership. We become active members of the church through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and acceptance of His Lordship in all of life. We believe that any act or statement of injustice, discrimination or violence works against the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Accordingly, Westminster Presbyterian Church welcomes into full membership persons of every race, culture, economic status, age, ability, gender and sexual orientation. Confessing our own weakness, we commit ourselves to Christ’s ministry of love, justice and peace.
Click here to read a message about inclusivity from Rev. Julie Emery
Westminster is a More Light Presbyterians congregation, providing acceptance and assurance of safety to the LGBTQIA+ community.
Click here to learn more.
Westminster believes Black Lives Matter
and works to eradicate systemic racism.
We have been deeply grieved at the continued assault on Black lives throughout our country and our own community. We acknowledge our own complicity in the systems of white supremacy and confess the ways our congregation has benefited from those systems of power. We also acknowledge that our congregation members are at various places on the journey toward education and understanding. However, our leadership is committed to learning more, transforming hearts and minds, and working actively to undo systems of injustice in our community.
As a founding and dues-paying member of the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance (GHIAA) our congregation is actively at work in promoting justice in the areas of education, healthcare, housing, criminal justice reform, and gun violence. Each of these action areas seek to address the racism and implicit bias built into the systems and structures of power in our communities.
Click here to read the full message from Rev. Julie Emery
Click here to learn more about GHIAA
Our members come from diverse faith backgrounds
Many Members of our congregation were raised in other faith denominations or not attending church at all. We welcome worshipers from all faith backgrounds and look forward to walking with you on your faith journey.
What does it mean to be a Presbyterian?
Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him.Calvin did much of his writing from Geneva, Switzerland. From there, the Reformed movement spread to other parts of Europe and the British Isles. Many of the early Presbyterians in America came from England, Scotland and Ireland. The first American Presbytery was organized at Philadelphia in 1706. The first General Assembly was held in the same city in 1789. The first Assembly was convened by the Rev. John Witherspoon, the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin remain at the core of Presbyterian beliefs. Among these are:
- the sovereignty of God
- the authority of the scripture
- justification by grace through faith, and
- the priesthood of all believers.
What they mean is that God is the supreme authority throughout the universe. Our knowledge of God and God's purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ. Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God's generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments. It is everyone's job — ministers and lay people alike — to share this Good News with the whole world. That is also why the Presbyterian church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy and laity, men and women alike. Source: Presbyterian Mission Agency ()
Learn more at www.pcusa.org
Meet Our Team
Rev. Julie Emery
Minister/Head of Staff
Julie joined Westminster Presbyterian as our lead Minister in 2014. She brings creativity and a passion for inclusive worship and preaching and a heart for social justice.
Julie grew up in Michigan and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion from the University of Michigan. She received her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2004. Before coming to Westminster, Julie has served congregations in New Hampshire and New York, as well as serving as a chaplain for Hospice Care.
Julie lives in West Hartford with her husband Jason, and her two sons, Aiden and Chase and her labrador, Juneau. In her free time, Julie enjoys road biking, camping and hiking, reading, knitting and cooking. She is a self-described “hockey mom” and throughout the fall and winter is found quite often at the ice rink watching her boys play.