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We want to celebrate your generosity in participating in our Canned Food Drive! You gave a TON of food- Literally! Westsider’s contributed over 2000 pounds (1 ton) of food to stock up for our upcoming monthly Free Food Markets. Thank You for your kindness and your commitment to caring for others. 

Our March Free Food Market, in partnership with Neighbor Impact, will take place this coming Monday, March 22nd, 1:30-3:00pm. 

We will be distributing food to any and all individuals and families who need them. If you are in need of some supplementary groceries, we invite you to come to our drive-through food ministry at the Westside Church parking lot

You can find all the details at

Hi Westside Church family. As I thought about the most recent covid-restrictions, several ideas were rumbling around in my mind and spirit to share with you.

First, there are people genuinely worried about their and their loved ones well being. Second, there are people genuinely concerned about the limitations on our freedoms as American citizens and the impact of our economy’s restrictions. Third, we must continue to seek God’s voice and obey his leading.

From the very beginning, we have felt that God was asking us to stand in solidarity with our community. To even lay aside our rights as citizens of America if needed to love our region well. We have sought to follow Jesus and his way of love. The vast majority of our church has appreciated the careful and wise steps we have taken in returning to services, caring for our Faith community, and reaching out to the hurting all around us. We can do this. We can change how people see the church and respond to the gospel simply by responding with love and kindness to our community at this moment. How we serve them and lay our lives down for them matters.

In light of this, I wanted to let you know our plans at Westside. We will be moving back to an online-only Sunday service for the next few weeks. We encourage our home churches and small groups to continue meeting if they are able and comfortable but limiting their in-person numbers to 25. For groups that are not comfortable meeting, let us know. We can provide you with digital resources and support to help you continue meeting and connecting via Zoom.

I want to emphasize the importance of connecting during this season. Many are isolated and feeling the weight of that isolation emotionally. If that describes you, then please let us help you find a home church. We also have pastors who are willing to connect with you. Don’t walk alone. Please reach out if you need any type of assistance: physical, emotional, or spiritual.

During this unique season, God is faithful. He is building his church. We continue to hear amazing stories of how Westsiders are finding new and creative ways to connect, care for one another, and minister more effectively in our community.

How should each of us respond to this moment? I’m convinced the call to every Westsider is to extravagantly love those in your sphere and look for opportunities to love outside your sphere. Start with the people around you. Make sure they are ok. Encourage them. Share with them your faith and confidence in the Lord. Pray with them. And look for opportunities to help those outside of your sphere. We’ve all learned how to smile with our eyes. Do that. Everywhere. When I was a kid, I would pray to have the eyes of Jesus. I don’t know why I prayed that, but I wanted my eyes to exude the love of Jesus. This is a great time to ask for that and to practice it. Food drives. Not hoarding. Giving away anything extra you have—coats for the homeless, our giving tree launches online next week where you can digitally choose families in need and buy Christmas gifts for them. Asking everyone you meet, is there anything I can do for you, can go a long way.

1 Corinthians 13 says that perfect love drives out fear. The road forward for each of us is to not drive out fear with fear but with love. Anxiety is often crouching at the door of our hearts, but we don’t have to let it control us or rule over us. Let’s encourage one another, pray for one another (including our government officials, those working on therapies and vaccines, local businesses and those out of work or struggling financially, and for first responders who are bearing the brunt of the current rise of COVID cases).

The leadership team at Westside love you and pray for you often. Be strong in the Lord, steadfast, placing our hope in his enduring love.

Pastor Steve and Westside’s Leadership Team

Update: Results from the drive are in! A total of 201 bundles of clothes were created for kids of all ages in our community. Thank you for supporting these children through meeting this vital tangible need.

Families all around us are facing increasing levels of stress and trauma.  Sometimes this results in children experiencing unexpected transitions.  Our heart here at Westside is that every child would have a family to love them—and we are committed to being that family in every way we can.  

Our For the City Donation drive this month is focused on meeting an immediate need of children undergoing sudden, traumatic transition. Most often kids are placed in foster care with just the clothing they are wearing when the family crisis occurs. DHS has asked us to create clothing bundles for these boys and girls of all ages to ease that stressful experience.

Watch this video as Melissa Williams, Director of Every Child Central Oregon explains:

If you would like to help with this critical need, please do the following:

  • pick an age (teen sizes are especially in high demand)
  • purchase socks, underwear, pajamas, and outfit that coordinates with that age 
  • bundle the items in one bag of any kind
  • you can also purchase individual items to donate, or feel free to work together as a Home Church to create bundles.

All Kids Clothing can then be dropped off at the Westside Church Drop off station on July 14th, from 8:30am to 6:30 pm. Together- we can show love for our city and extend care to a vulnerable child.  

Questions? Contact Chris Earwicker at 

Partnering with Aloha Produce to feed those in need in our city—we are providing fresh produce and dairy to any and all families in need on Thursday, July 9 at 5:30 pm.

We will have a Spanish language host present at this food distribution event, and it will take place in our parking lot. Please join us by picking up food for your family, or sharing this information with friends and neighbors in need.

Interested in volunteering?

Food boxes for our Produce & Dairy Distribution were provided by Aloha Produce through a federal grant that they received. In order to get boxes for future events at Westside, Madras and Warm Springs, we need to help pack boxes for community-wide distribution. Volunteer opportunities are as follows:

  • Wednesday July 1st and 8th, volunteers are needed from 12:30 pm until 3:30 pm to pack food boxes at Aloha Produce (20485 Murray Rd, Bend). This is an assembly line where volunteers add items to the boxes as they pass by on rollers. Easy, fun and team-oriented! 
  • We need volunteers for the July 9 Produce & Dairy Distribution day, to prepare goods, help with parking and loading of cars, from 4:00pm to 6:30pm.

Please contact Gonzalo at to volunteer.

Be sure to follow Iglesia Westside Church on Facebook for a live broadcast of this event, and share with others who may be able to benefit.

The Bookers are Westside missionaries with YWAM in Sydney, Australia. Here’s an update from Adriel about how they are managing the pandemic and important cultural issues.

Hi Westside! As we’ve been watching the events unfold in the USA (and around the world) recently, we’ve been deeply challenged to examine issues of inequality that have emerged from COVID-19 as well as racial inequality and pain, including our own context with Aboriginal Australians. We’ve had some vulnerable and constructive times with our team, unpacking hard issues, asking questions that have no easy answers, and offering our lament and commitment through worship and prayer. We feel more convinced than ever that the way to address pain is through the eyes and action of Jesus and we’re trying to faithfully lean into him as we continue to serve in our own local context.  

The biggest blessing from the pandemic season is our daily “house church” with our team of amazing young people. Through worship and prayer we feel more full of God’s heart for our own city and the nations we serve through our work here. While we’ve had to curb some of our community activity due to pretty tight restrictions in Australia, we’ve also had time to reimagine what reaching our community looks like with creativity as well as online avenues. We’ve been supporting those in our community who sleep “rough” with warm take-away meals. (We really miss getting to eat together though—take away meals don’t lend themselves as much to genuine relationship as sharing a table does!) We have also expanded the Our Scarlett Stories ministry to bereaved families and are currently supporting 80+ women with grief care online. Something that might sound “boring” that is a huge breakthrough for us is that we’ve also achieved government certification for our training which means we can welcome more young leaders to our team through student visa program (when our borders re-open). This has been a major pandemic breakthrough for us! When borders open we have five staff waiting to join our team as well as our next Discipleship Training School starting in September. Please pray our borders will safely open soon! 

As we find ourselves in a sensitive time during this cultural moment, our prayer for ourselves and for you is that we would stay both tender and tenacious, engage from a place of hope (rooted in Christ), and always be open to new ways to love our neighbors well. Focused, faithful, fruitful—this is our prayer. 

Love to you, Adriel & Ryan  

Brent Earwicker, Global Outreach Outreach Coordinator and Founder of Bold Ventures, gives a Thank You to Westside for the support of Bold Ventures Relief Fund—and update on what’s happening in Lake Victoria right now.

Your generosity is a huge blessing and it’s multiplying to help a lot of needy people in East Africa. Thank you so much for giving to Bold Ventures. God bless you! To join in and get relief to even more families, visit

In May, we all partnered together and resourced four community organizations who are directly caring for those in our city who are struggling. Thank you so much for your generosity, it was a great success! This month, we are preparing for our June food distribution event—Free Food Market. The need has increased each month from 300 people in March to 600 people in April—to 800 people in May. The need is great and we want to be ready to help every car that drives into our parking lot. 

Please bring the following to Westside on June 16 anytime between 8:30am & 6:30pm:

  • Non-perishable food items
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning supplies
  • $25 grocery gift cards

Thank you for your generosity and continued partnership For Our City, Westside!

Battling Coronavirus and Blessing Others in Mexico.

Many of you may have been wondering about our missionaries, and how they are managing the coronavirus overseas. We wanted to share this from our Mexico missionaries, Steve and Holly Taft, and how God is using them during, “such a time as this.”

Twice a week for twelve weeks, we have been reaching our community through giving of food, YOU have been a major part of this ministry and we want to say “THANK YOU”! 
We have been keeping close track of the names of the families and how many are in each. As of this week we have served over 500 families, totaling around 1600 people. It is a rewarding but hard ministry as you experience the depth of need, I personally have a new appreciation of those that are called to serve in soup kitchens!
Today we had a great example of God’s multiplication, this is a miracle we experience often at Casa de Fe! We made up 51 bags of food, passed out 51 bags of food and had 3 bags extra to give away! NO we did not miscount, we believe the Lord wanted to show us His hand in this ministry. We pray over the bags of food to multiply within people’s homes so that they experience His desire for multiplication in their families and realize HIS provision for them. 
We have led people to the Lord, prayed for many and given out Bibles. We have high expectations of  HIS Kingdom multiplication through your ministry here in Playa del Carmen.

Because of the faithful giving of Westsiders, we are able to continue to support the work of our missionaries, Steve and Holly Taft. How wonderful is it that God multiplied their food ministry? We may be facing uncertainty in the world, but God is ever-present, active and working alongside us. Please continue to pray for Casa de Fe in Mexico, including the church, staff and volunteers. We will be providing updates from our missionaries during the month of June, so be sure to check back for more updates!

May 27 was our For the City Donation drive—and you guys showed up! We had 93 vehicles come through to drop off donations.  (91 cars, 1 pedestrian, and one stroller, with mom attached.)

Together we gathered:

  • 180 boxes and bags of diapers
  • 141 boxes and bags of wipes
  • 144 propane cans
  • 120 pairs of jeans
  • 130 boxes of protein bars

Your generosity towards our city is beautiful. These donations will be given to four community organizations that are serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness and poverty. Thank you for your continued partnership and generosity.

Pastor Steve shares plans for future relaunching of our larger gatherings and current news on the smaller gatherings that are beginning to happen in homes across our region based on our Phase 1 status.

I wanted to take a few minutes to describe our strategy for deciding when we might open up our building to Sunday services again as well as our home church strategy launching.

First, and most important, the church hasn’t been closed. We’ve been more open than ever – between the number of people who have heard the gospel message to the number of people we’ve served practically – the church has been arguably more engaged in our community than ever before.

But we do miss gathering together and we do know it is an important part of our spiritual development.

Share vision of the waters overflowing the banks of the river… how we do church has taken a different shape and I believe God is using this moment to reshape His church…

Our denomination, Foursquare, not only provides covering for us, but also wisdom. They’ve given us a framework of four guiding questions for us to consider as we discuss opening up our buildings to services.

First, Is it ethical?

Is opening up our building, right now, the right thing to do? When will it be the right thing to do. Just because we can, should we? In other words, what does love require of us in this moment. What does wisdom require of us? For us, the love for God and for our neighbors is our primary motivation. Not fear. But love.

Second, Is it permissible?

It’s possible, with the Oregon Supreme Court hearing a lawsuit regarding reopening churches and some of the comments President Trump made over the weekend, that churches may be allowed to bypass the phase-in process and begin to gather in large groups.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:23-24: “You say, “I am allowed to do anything” —but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 

Paul limits his own rights for the sake of love. There is more going on here then issues of religious freedom and constitutional rights. Jesus is wanting to do something in his church – to break some mindsets – to shift our thinking.

So we will follow the guidelines of our state and county regarding gathering sizes, but is it permissible is not the only question we are asking.

Third, Is it missional?

For me, this is the most important question of the four. Like I said, church isn’t closed. Matter of fact, we’ve had more influence and connection with people outside of the church than ever before. In some ways, our mission to help people know Jesus and become like Jesus is at an all time high. 

Not only that, this moment gives us an opportunity to strengthen parts of our strategy that were inherently weaker because of the focus on the Sunday gathering. This is an opportunity to go deeper in connection and community and broader in serving and acts of kindness.

Our Discipleship team has been working hard getting our Home Churches up and running.  We already have 27 OPEN GROUPS in process (meaning they have room for others to join) and at least 17 other groups in process that are already filled to capacity. 

These Home Churches represent over 70 leaders and hosts that have stepped up to launch this important ministry. We need at least 30 more leaders or hosts to adequately care for and connect with those in our church who would like to meet together in homes.

Listen, we will get back to meeting again on Sunday. No doubt of that. Gathering is important in the disciple-making process. But we don’t have to hurry to get back to the large gathering right away.

Carey Nieuhof’s latest blog from outreach magazine email… 

But the biggest mistake most leaders will make is that in the emotional rush to get back into a facility, to see everyone again, to assemble their teams and get back to “normal,” they’ll reembrace a model of ministry designed to reach a world that no longer exists.You’ve learned so much and your church has learned so much in this disruption so far that to simply reembrace what was will destroy what could be.

So what’s the danger as you get ready to gather again, whenever that is? Simple. Thinking that when you walk back into your building things will go back to normal. In other words, you don’t really need to change anymore—which is the fastest path to irrelevance.

Things have changed. Radically. The world has changed. Radically. Irrelevance is the gap between how quickly things change and how quickly you change. And even as the world slowly reopens, you’re not reopening to normal, but to a new normal.

Our framework: is it ethical; is it permissible and beneficial; is it missional; and lastly:

Fourth, Is it practical?

This is an important question as well. When we look at the social distancing guidelines, the cleaning needed between services, the ministry to children, and so forth you begin to realize how unrealistic gathering would be.

For instance, right now we could gather in groups of 25 or less… Some churches are more able to do this because of less size and building constraints. But for us to minister to our entire congregation in the building, that averages about 2,000 per Sunday, we would need to provide 80 services on any given Sunday. Add to that what type of service would it be? 

Nobody can touch. No hugs. No handshakes. Worship with masks on. That sounds fun. 

And not only that, you know what demographic of our church will absolutely show up as soon as we open up the building? Our older people. They are so faithful and so committed, if the doors are open they will be here. Is putting our at-risk population in an enclosed space with others practical, wise or ethical?

And what about young families? You remember what it was like when you had your first kid? Suzanne wouldn’t even let me hold our first child. Many young families are like, “I’m going to wait a little while even after you open up the building.”

Is it ethical?

Is it permissible?

Is it missional?

Is it practical?

These are the questions that we are asking. And because of these questions we know that we probably won’t be one of the first churches to resume Sunday in building services, we will probably be one of the last.

But I’m not worried. Because we know what the church is and what is isn’t. And we won’t be passively waiting – we will be actively meeting in homes and online. Growing closer with one another as we grow closer to God and as we serve our city in even greater ways.

God is opening up doors of relationship with people in our community like never before. This isn’t a time to fight for going back to what was, but leaning in to what could be. Finding new ways to innovate and create opportunities for the way of Jesus to flourish. 

Let me finish by referencing some of the language from the For the city Vision from over a year ago:

We desire to embody the way of Jesus: to love God and love people. Like a river overflowing its banks, we see the gospel of Jesus moving into our neighborhoods, transforming lives and communities. As we intentionally engage in proximity to our city, we will see the life and love of Jesus bring transformation to everyone, everywhere across Central Oregon. 

The gospel is transformative, expansive, Jesus-centric, and for everyone, everywhere. This gospel gives us a clear mandate to be present with people; to be by their side in their suffering and in their celebration; to meet needs and champion the lives of others. We are compelled to move outside our familiar and comfortable environments to be with and for others – all others – always. 

We envision a world where the Gospel is seen and not just heard; where the Church has a reputation for abundantly and generously loving people everywhere, always. We see ourselves with a seat at the civic table, working side by side with leaders in our communities to address the greatest needs and invited to this table because the evidence of our love for others has given us a seat. The love of Jesus will become clear for many, some for the very first time, both by what we say and what we do. As culture continues to drive people apart, we entrench ourselves firmly in the middle, showing people the love of Jesus and inviting them into the family of God.

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