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Updates from Westside ministries

Recently the Oregon Governor declared the limitation on church gathering sizes a public health recommendation and not an enforceable law. This has led some to wonder if Westside will open up our church building to larger Sunday gatherings immediately. As most of our congregation knows, our decision regarding reopening the building considered several factors, only one of which was legality. The other factors included, “Is it loving and wise to begin meeting en masse at this time?” (ethics), “How can we be the faithful and prophetic witness to our community God has asked of us?” (missional), and “What will it require for us to meet again safely?” (practical). These questions guide our decision-making around our gatherings and the size of our gatherings.

When faced with the decisions regarding reopening, we take Paul’s admonitions from 1 Corinthians 10:23 to heart: “ ‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive’”. Paul had in mind to limit his rights for the sake of love. Our first filter for any decision must always be love. If there is a high likelihood that a reopening at full capacity would put people’s health and lives at risk, the loving decision is to continue delaying the full-scale reopening of our building until we can provide a reasonable assurance of safety to our congregation.

What we do in these days, as the people of God, communicates volumes regarding our stance toward our community. It’s an amazing opportunity for Westside to help change the face of faith for tens of thousands of people regarding what the priorities of Jesus’ church will be. Therefore, we say to our community: we are for you – body, mind, and spirit. We want to stand with you in solidarity and show, with our actions, how much we love you.

On a practical note, we serve over 4,000 people as part of our church body, and gathering everyone together on a Sunday would not be practical at this time. Even if just a third of those came back to a service, we would not have space to provide a basic level of distancing and health precautions for the congregation.

Before COVID-19 became part of our reality, I encouraged our church to ask one question when it comes to decisions regarding how we live in community with people inside and outside the church: “What does love require?” It was more prophetic than we realized at the time. So, what does love require of us right now? What does love require of you right now? The way you and I answer that question through our actions in this moment will either reconfirm what people believe about Christians or could change the face of faith for someone seeking a relationship with God.

We love you, we miss the gathering of all the believers, but we know God will sustain us through this moment as he always has done in the past.

-Steve

Let’s take a moment during this final week of Advent to pause and reflect. Let our hearts and minds this Christmas be focused on Jesus, the savior of the world. As you do, sense His hope and peace for all that’s to come.

February 14th, 2021 during our 8:30am Sunday service.

We believe that water baptism is an important next step in the life of a believer. Through baptism you are declaring to the world your commitment to follow in the way of Jesus with your life. If you want to take this incredible step in your faith, register today!

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This is what Christmas gifts for over 800 kids looks like. The combination of generous people and the most organized group of volunteers I’ve ever seen means that kids in Central Oregon that may not have opened anything Christmas morning have gifts for them and their families. It’s really beautiful. I took a second to look at a few of the bundles that have been collected specific to a child’s requests and thought about the smiles and excitement on Christmas morning. Overwhelming! Thank you to all that gave and to all the amazing volunteers!

– Josh Cordell, Family Pastor

Westside families, my hope and prayer is that you are all doing well. Please know that our Children’s Ministry Team really misses seeing you and your kids! This is a unique and challenging time but know that our team continually lifts you all up in prayer. We look forward to the time when we can safely gather together again.

During the Covid pandemic our Westside Kids Team has been continually looking for new and creative ways to reach out to you from a distance. Josh Cordell, Westside’s Family Pastor, has brought great vision, direction and fresh ideas as he now oversees Kids Ministry. We’re so blessed to have him leading our Team!

One of the ways we are reaching out to you is through our online Kids Church on the Westside website. I hope your kids (and you!) are enjoying watching the videos! Each week through Orange Kids curriculum you’re provided with fresh and engaging Bible truths for each age group. So if you have a Preschooler, Grade Schooler or Preteen in your family or Home Church, it’s all there for you!

Along with the weekly videos I would like to extend an opportunity for you to include a simple, easy to do (emphasis on easy to do) written lesson outline that goes along with what is provided online. In each lesson outline you’ll find interactive activities, simple craft ideas and Bible Story/Memory Verse review. I believe this is a great tool along with the videos to create a better at home Kids Ministry experience for your children!

If you’re interested in receiving the lesson outline’s please email me back with the ages of the kids in your family or Home Church, and I’ll send you the age-appropriate lesson/lessons. I hope to hear from you!

Blessings to you all,

Joanie Morelock
jmorelock@westsidechurch.org

Years ago, Westside Church had a vision statement that guided what we did as a church and how we did it. It was, “changing the face of faith one conversation and one act of kindness at a time.” The idea was how our actions could redefine, for people in our community, what it means to be a Christ-follower. You know, for decades, one of the top five responses of how non-church people view Christians is the word hypocrisy. Right or wrong, the face of faith for thousands of people was not a positive one. More recently, we started asking a question that leads to the same idea, “what does love require?”

Whenever we are uncertain about what to do or what to say in any given situation, this question leads the way, “what does love require?” You know thousands of Westsiders are leading the way and changing the face of faith for their world. Every week I hear story after story of what Westside Church is doing corporately to answer that question. I want to run through several ways that your church is loving our world.

Over the past several months, we have given tens of thousands of dollars from our For The City fund and from our general funds to help people in these dire times. Just the past three months alone, we have spent $75,000.00 directly toward helping others. Together we recently donated our box truck to the non-profit Furnishing Hope that helps provide hope to lower-income and struggling families by providing beds and new furnishings for their homes. We continue to support Shepherd’s House Ministries every month, and we provided Christmas gifts for the men and women in that program. We continue to partner with Every Child in our shared efforts to surround vulnerable children with family and to surround families with community. Recently we helped find the funding for a needed playground to be built in Warm Springs in 2021.

Together through our iheart365, we partnered with J Bar J, a youth program here in Central Oregon. We organized 12 individual boxes of needed resources for specific students graduating into adulthood on two specific projects, and we collected warm winter jackets and layers for 30 youth. Through our Hope and Helpline, we saw a massive increase in families in need calling us. We were so grateful to assist over 30 families every month with utility, rent, and grocery card help. Our hope and helpline is one of the ways we’re providing COVID-19 relief for families in need. Through our Community Care line, we give a helping hand to any individual in our community who reaches out. Thanks to the Stop And Go Shell Market on the east side, we’re able to give out ten gasoline vouchers every single week to those in need. This is such a beautiful partnership and standing in solidarity with our community.

We continue to support and partner with the Bethlehem Inn. We love Teen Challenge and their heart for Jesus and discipleship. We resourced them and also provided Christmas gifts for their local house. We have continued to resource and partner with Rock Bottom Hope, which is a local grassroots non-profit that has volunteer coaches who talk with people about their addictions, their mental health, feelings of isolation, and they walk with them through it. We continue to offer our Free Food Market every month, and we’ve met huge needs in October and November. We were able to feed over 600 people every month, thanks to our volunteers’ efforts and your faithful giving. Through our annual Giving Tree, we will be providing Christmas gifts to 813 people. We partnered with 19 community organizations this year to choose children and families in need. We were able to extend the Life and Love of Jesus through the generosity of God’s people. We also invested $5,000.00 into Christmas gifts for Warm Springs school students. We invested $5,000.00 into the Madras High School Food project, which is a program that keeps students cared for and fed over the Christmas break.

Globally we’ve given gifts through Compassion First and Foursquare Missions International to support churches that are struggling globally and resource street ministries that serve those affected by human trafficking. We provided Christmas gifts to our missionaries serving faithfully in Africa, Asia, Mexico, Australia, and Spain.

Well, this isn’t everything, but I think you get the idea. I don’t share all of this as a way of self-promoting our church or anything like that, but to celebrate with you what God is doing through us, through your giving and mine, and through our serving together. This is changing the face of faith. It is one way that we’re answering the question, “what does love require?” I love you all and keep being the extension of the life and love of Jesus to our world.

Giving Tree season is here! Last year we provided gifts to nearly 700 vulnerable children and their families. This year we’ll have our biggest Giving Tree challenge ever, blessing 813 children and their families. We want to lean into our community with love and generosity in even bigger ways. Choose one of the 3 options below to bless a child, a family, or buy a single gift. Gifts can be delivered to the Westside Church building during the following days..

Monday – Thursday 9am – 2pm
Tuesday, Dec. 8th, 10am – 6pm
Wednesday, Dec. 9th, 10am – 6pm

Thank you, Westside, for the generous ways your giving is bringing hope this Christmas season. Questions? Visit our FAQs at the bottom of this page or contact us!

In light of the recent Covid restrictions to take place starting November 18th we wanted to update you on our service plans. We will be returning to online-only services for youth effective tomorrow. While we are disappointed to not be meeting in person, please see the main Westside Church website to hear Pastor Steve’s heart and the response Westside Church is taking in regards to these new restrictions. We are still focused on building community with your students and will continue to use other media to make sure that we are keeping your students engaged during these difficult times. 

TOMORROW we will be live streaming our scheduled combined Middle and High School Youth Service at 7pm with live worship and a message, so please help your students view the service, and you can join them as well! You can find the service here on our Westside Youth FB Page

While these restrictions are currently in place through December 2nd, we know that things change rapidly. At this time we do not have additional youth services scheduled for December but will be planning those soon. PLEASE check out the Westside Youth Website frequently to see the most recent updates, as well as follow us on FB and Instagram @_westsideyth.

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

On Monday, November 23rd in partnership with Neighbor Impact, we will be hosting our monthly Free Food Market. We will be distributing food and essential household items to individuals and families who need them! If you are in need of any of these items, please come to our drive-through at the Westside Church parking lot. All are welcome!

What: Free Food Market

When: Monday, November 23rd | 1:30 – 3:00pm

Where: Westside Church Parking Lot | 2051 NW Shevlin Park Rd

Who: ALL ARE WELCOME!

During the months of September and October we saw a huge community need for our Free Food Market. We were able to give out food to over 600 people each month. Thank you so much for your generous support and we so appreciate all of our volunteers that make this ministry possible.

Westside Kids is hosting a Family Thanksgiving Event on Saturday, November 14 from 2-4 pm on the Westside lawn outside the Atrium.Come by anytime between 2 and 4 pm to pick up a fun Thanksgiving craft for the kids, grab a yummy treat and take advantage of our Harvest Photobooth to commemorate the season or get a head start on your family Christmas card. We’d love to see you and say hi. Please follow physical distancing guidelines and wear masks when you are near others.

Watch this week’s Westside Kids video lessons for 2-5 year olds, K-3rd grade, or 4th-5th grade.

As our nation waits anxiously for the results of the election, pastor Steve encourages us to find hope and peace in God’s promises.

At the time of this post, the election is still still not over, and it is hard to know when it actually will be completed.

I just wanted to do a quick post here to encourage the church, to encourage Westside church, to encourage my friends. There’s just a lot of anxiety right now. I’ve found my stress level has increased significantly over these last couple of days. I’m going back and forth between CNN and Fox News all day long, just always in the background. And and it’s probably a little too much. And so I’m ready to kind of tap out for a bit. But I want to come back to a message that I’ve been kind of sharing over these last several months leading up to the election. It would be so easy to get caught up in all of this. And so a couple of Psalms have come to my mind over these last couple of days that I want to share with you. One is Psalm 75. It’s a song by Asaph. And Asaph was a worship leader during the time of King David. And when he when he wrote this song, Israel was tearing apart, it was divided. There was division among David and his children. There are questions about David’s leadership and an Asaph reminds us who God is. And so when you have a chance, I want you to just take a minute today and read Psalm 75.

He talks about how God is near. He is just and fair that he’s our healer. He’s our provider. He is. Nobody else can claim the kind of power, the authority and and desire or intent that he has to heal our world. Only God can heal our nation. Only God can provide for our every need. Only God can fulfill our hopes. And and I’ve been astonished how easy it is for me and for others to put our hope in a political figure or in a political system to do only what God can do.

Another song that I draw strength from is found in Psalm 46. I think this one is super important for us to meditate on in this moment. So I’m going to actually read this one.

It says that God is our shelter and our strength when troubles seem near, God is near and he’s ready to help. So why run and hide? No fear, no pacing, no biting fingernails when the earth spins out of control, we are sure and fearless. Even when mountains crumble and the waters run wild. We are sure and fearless even in heavy winds and huge waves. Or as mountains shake, we are sure and fearless. A pure stream flows never to be cut off, bringing joy to the city where God makes his home the sacred site where the most high chooses to live. The true God never sleeps and always resides in the city of joy. He makes it unstoppable, unshakable when he awakens at dawn. The true God has already been at work. Trouble is on the horizon for the outside nations. Not long until kingdoms will fall. But God’s voice thunders and the earth shakes. You know, the eternal, the commander of heavenly harmony surrounds us and protects us. The true God of Jacob is our shelter close to our heart. Come gaze, fix your eyes on what the eternal can do. Be still, be calm, see and understand that I am the true God. I am honored among all the nations. I am honored over all the Earth.

So it’s just a quick reminder today as you start your day, as you may take a break throughout the day to refocus our hearts toward Christ, to put our hope again today on Jesus, to turn our eyes upon him. So what I want you to do right now, I just want you to take a deep breath, let it out slowly.

Take another one. I we need we need a couple of these deep breath, let it out slow.

Think about Jesus. He’s with us. He’s for us. He hasn’t abandoned us.

He hasn’t left us to our own devices. He’s near to those who cry out to him, call out to him who put their hope in him.

There’s this old old song, it’s called “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus”. And every time I sing it or Lindsay leads it at our church, it’s like almost like nostalgia where I contemplate again that as I turn my eyes upon him, as we look intently on his wonderful face, the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.

Love you all. Keep your eyes on Jesus today, this rest of this week, the rest of this month, all the way through the end of the year. He is our source of hope and our source of strength. Love you guys. Can’t wait to see you again and hope you guys have a great day.

1 2 3 4 7

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When things get really bad in our world, we tend to think this could be “The End.” We’ve been living in the last days since Acts chapter 2, but God won’t wrap this up until we finish the task He gave us: planting the Good News in every unreached tribe around the world. ... See MoreSee Less

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“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” -MLK Jr. :: Thank you, Martin Luther King Jr., for your wisdom and sincerity. Our world is better because of your words and your demonstration of love and justice.

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” -MLK Jr. :: Thank you, Martin Luther King Jr., for your wisdom and sincerity. Our world is better because of your words and your demonstration of love and justice. ... See MoreSee Less

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In our final week of prayer and fasting as a church and community, you're invited to join us for a time of meditative worship with Westside's worship leaders. ... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago

Comment on Facebook

Awesome music

God is faithful ✝️🙏🏼

Will you put this on vinemo like your Sunday services?>

AMEN JESUS IS THE ONE WHO SAVED AND HEALS AMEN HALLELUJAH

So beautiful, words are not enough. Praise the lord

Lift you u Jesus as supreme good God

Danny Horne, Ivan Horne,Marilyn Horne This is beautiful and I wanted to share. ❤️

Sweet, Lord.

Wonderful presence of Jesus. Thank you 😊

Thank you.

Wow! That was beautiful-what a blessing!!

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This morning Pastor Evan will challenge us to take an honest look at our priorities with the question: Why are we here and what we are truly about? Be encouraged to start the year off with the main things in view. :: Services are happening at 8:30 & 10:00am at westsidelive.org.

This morning Pastor Evan will challenge us to take an honest look at our priorities with the question: Why are we here and what we are truly about? Be encouraged to start the year off with the main things in view. :: Services are happening at 8:30 & 10:00am at westsidelive.org. ... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago

Free Food Market :: We will be hosting our monthly Free Food Market, in partnership with Neighbor Impact, on January 25th, from 1:30-3:00pm. Well be distributing food and essential household items to individuals and families in need. If you or someone you know could use some help, please come to this drive-thru event at the Westside Church parking lot. All are welcome!⁠
Click the link below to find out more about our efforts in the community.

https://westsidechurch.org/outreach/

Free Food Market :: We will be hosting our monthly Free Food Market, in partnership with Neighbor Impact, on January 25th, from 1:30-3:00pm. We'll be distributing food and essential household items to individuals and families in need. If you or someone you know could use some help, please come to this drive-thru event at the Westside Church parking lot. All are welcome!⁠
Click the link below to find out more about our efforts in the community.

westsidechurch.org/outreach/
... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago

Comment on Facebook

Gracias. Espero poder. Ir.

Thank you.

If you are interested in attending our 8:30am in-person Sunday service this weekend, we’ve still got spots open! Seating is limited with social distancing and masks required. Head to the link below to get registered for this meaningful time together. We’d love to see you!

https://westsidechurch.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/680725

If you are interested in attending our 8:30am in-person Sunday service this weekend, we’ve still got spots open! Seating is limited with social distancing and masks required. Head to the link below to get registered for this meaningful time together. We’d love to see you!

westsidechurch.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/680725
... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago

Parents of Middle and High Schoolers: Join us on Sunday, January 24th, in the Chapel at Westside or online to hear from our YTH team about our vision for this coming year. ⁠
⁠
Westside YTH
YTH Parent Meeting⁠
January 24th⁠
6:00 - 7:00 pm⁠
⁠
Whether youre joining us online or in person, please register here: https://westsidechurch.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/683612

Parents of Middle and High Schoolers: Join us on Sunday, January 24th, in the Chapel at Westside or online to hear from our YTH team about our vision for this coming year. ⁠

Westside YTH
YTH Parent Meeting⁠
January 24th⁠
6:00 - 7:00 pm⁠

Whether you're joining us online or in person, please register here: westsidechurch.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/683612
... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago

Are you interested in learning more about foster care and ways you could get involved? Join Westside Family Pastor Josh Cordell tonight as he and a panel share information and answer questions about fostering in this virtual discussion. fb.me/e/6pO5YoGJq
Westside Kids
... See MoreSee Less

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Grief Support :: Experiencing loss and walking the challenging path of grief can be one of the most isolating and painful places to walk. You are not alone. Grief Support will provide you with meaningful support, resources, and hope. Join this 12-week class at any time in the cycle and find healing and community. Weekly classes begin on Sunday, February 21st from 2:00-4:00pm. Find out more and register at https://westsidechurch.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/684292

Grief Support :: Experiencing loss and walking the challenging path of grief can be one of the most isolating and painful places to walk. You are not alone. Grief Support will provide you with meaningful support, resources, and hope. Join this 12-week class at any time in the cycle and find healing and community. Weekly classes begin on Sunday, February 21st from 2:00-4:00pm. Find out more and register at westsidechurch.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/684292 ... See MoreSee Less

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1 week ago

Westside YTH! On January 27th, well be having a combined Middle and High School Youth Gathering. Join us for a night of community, worship, and encouragement. Limited space available, and registration is required. ⁠

Westside Worship Center
January 27th
7:00 - 8:30 pm
⁠
*Due to the continued COVID-19 restrictions, masks and social distancing is required.⁠

Register here: https://westsidechurch.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/683562

Online service: https://www.facebook.com/westsideyouth.wy

Westside YTH! On January 27th, we'll be having a combined Middle and High School Youth Gathering. Join us for a night of community, worship, and encouragement. Limited space available, and registration is required. ⁠

Westside Worship Center
January 27th
7:00 - 8:30 pm

*Due to the continued COVID-19 restrictions, masks and social distancing is required.⁠

Register here: westsidechurch.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/683562

Online service: Westside YTH
... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago

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1 week ago