Join the Journey, 5.19.19

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Question: When has praise brought an answer to prayer you didn’t expect?

Answers:

  1. Peace in the midst of grief/struggle.

  2. I want to thank everyone for helping with my yardwork.

  3. When God led us to our new home and neighborhood.

  4. As I learn to pray for God’s will to be done, instead of mine, this happens more and more.

Upcoming

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District Colloquy
Thursday, May 23
9:30 am - 3:00 pm

All are invited to attend this gathering here at Westside!  Lunch and snacks will be provided, so please register for this free event: https://www.umoi.org/eventdetail/12791012

Family Promise Week
May 26 - June 2

Our Lighthouse building will once again host families that are houseless.  If you would like to participate, please contact Bonnie Becker for more information.

Gifts and Talents Workshop
June 10 - July 15

An online version on Monday evenings - same great group conversations and enlightening exercises.  Requires a camera and mic on your computer.  Sign up at signups.wumc.me.

Help Build Hope 
Friday and Saturday, June 14-15
Christ UMC, 12755 NW Dogwood

Those skilled with table saws cut the lumber on Friday, then all ages help assemble walls (and other tasks) on Saturday. Please note: you must sign up at https://helpbuildhope.com/cumc, even if you previously signed up on our forms here.

Donations for Dominican Republic

Our team traveling to the  DR in July will take items to the children there.  If you can donate any of the following by July 7, it will be appreciated: DR needs 2019

Sneak Peek for this Sunday

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A brother in Christ and fellow pastor, David Beck, has cancer. Pancreatic Cancer. He was first diagnosed more than 16 months ago now and has been undergoing excruciating, ongoing treatments.

Back in December of 2017 when called to serve a church outside of Seattle from Sacramento, he arrived, preached a couple times, began to feel too exhausted to name, and in going to the doctor got this diagnosis.  So, he had been doing the right thing, following God, obeying, showing up, being faithful, and the result, cancer. Sometimes the facts of life leave one mystified.

The unanswered questions can leave a person numb.  

Circumstances can thwart us.  But through this 16 months David has been posting on the Caring Bridge site in a blog that has now reached well over 50,000 readers. Week by week, through the struggles and impossibilities of his circumstances, he has simply shared his heart, his faith, and his determination to simply live every day as fully as he can, even if his last day is upcoming ahead of schedule.

So far, David is still alive.  It is a marvel. It is like he is sitting in this jailhouse called cancer yet still praying, still praising, still believing, and certainly still sharing his love for Jesus.

This week, on Sunday, we will share in a passage, from Acts 16, in which a circumstance which looking in from the outside we would have to admit is dreadful leads to more people hearing about Jesus than ever would have otherwise.  Although we only read of one family converting as a result, the overflow of this one must have been massive. Crowds had witnessed a miracle -- and even though this had been covered by false cries, still, God had moved in their midst.  A slave girl had experienced the power of God over her life. Prisoners had witnessed the newest arrivals not yelling with anger or crying out in pain, but singing and praying, all of which they were listening to.

Read Acts 16 this week and look at Paul and Silas and wonder with me what we might learn about them that they chose praise and prayer over self pity or despair! They could have felt betrayed by God in this little circumstance, but you don’t see this.  They could have chosen to complain, but didn’t. They could have said, “Hey, we are doing the right thing here,” but they don’t. What we do see is a choice in the midst of a circumstance. That choice made the difference.

What impact might those praises have had on those “listening in” prisoners?  

How might the jailer’s life and his family’s life have been altered because of this imprisonment?

What was that midnight baptism like as Paul presided over his and his family’s baptisms?

This story reminds me that we are partners with God in this grand adventure and everything, not just the good stuff, is used so that God can be made more visible through our lives.  It also reminds me of this: that I’m being observed all the time. And whatever I might imagine, when I come and go, when I speak and listen, my life is on display and others are watching to see how I respond, and what I say from the circumstances of my life.  Perhaps, just perhaps, we could remember just two things of how Paul and Silas chose to follow in their circumstances to impact our own. Rather than anything else, rather then defensiveness or anger, in response to horrendous treatment, they prayed and praised.  Perhaps this week, no matter your circumstances, you could choose the same and see what kinds of earthquakes shake your world for good.


Save the Dates!

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Summer is a’coming! And so are our special services:

Sunday, June 16

  • Morning Watch service at Westside at 8:15 am

  • Second service will be at Christ UMC, 12755 NW Dogwood St in Portland, to celebrate our Help Build Hope collaboration.

Sunday, July 21

  • No Morning Watch service

  • Our service will be at the Sain Pavilion at Hagg Lake. There will be music and worship and the opportunity to be baptized in the lake.

Mark your calendars now for these events — and don’t forget to invite your friends!

Projects for this Sunday

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There are two projects we are requesting folk to help with this Sunday, May 19th, after worship: 

1.  Help to move all the round tables into the sanctuary and set up the chairs around them for an all-day meeting and lunch for 60 happening in the sanctuary on Thursday.  This will take 15 minutes, max.  You got this!

2.  There is a local, partially disabled couple loosely connected to our congregation who have been cited for having such a messy backyard in their mobile home park, that they've been threatened with eviction.  We are heading there after worship to put in about 2 hours of clean up.  With enough hands (bring your tools and work gloves) we can transform this backyard.

It is a small act of service that will make a huge difference in this couple's lives to help them See Jesus. And like any wave formed by love, it will overflow into others' lives too.  

If you need snacks, bring them along.  And do bring your water.  

Thanks for being the kind of community that cares and reaches out.  If you have others who might like to help, invite them! 

Join the Journey, 5.12.19

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Question: Which community actions to you most put on display our faith in Christ at Westside?

Answers:

  1. I love to see how many opportunities for weekly gatherings here.

  2. Our church itself.

  3. Family Promise (three people chose this answer!)

  4. I light a candle for family and friends - and if I see someone new I ask them if they want to join me. I go out and work for the benefit of others, and it gives me purpose and joy.

  5. Family Promise, Habitat for Humanity, HomePlate, EPIK.

Upcoming

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District Colloquy
Thursday, May 23
9:30 am - 3:00 pm

All are invited to attend this gathering here at Westside!  Lunch and snacks will be provided, so please register for this free event: https://www.umoi.org/eventdetail/12791012

Family Promise Week
May 26 - June 2

Our Lighthouse building will once again host families that are houseless.  If you would like to participate, please contact Bonnie Becker for more information. Training is this Saturday, May 18.

Gifts and Talents Workshop
June 10 - July 15

An online version on Monday evenings - same great group conversations and enlightening exercises.  You’ll need a camera and mic.  Sign up at signups.wumc.me.

Help Build Hope 
Friday and Saturday, June 14-15
Christ UMC, 12755 NW Dogwood

Those skilled with table saws cut the lumber on Friday, then all ages help assemble walls (and other tasks) on Saturday. Please note: you must sign up at https://helpbuildhope.com/cumc, even if you previously signed up on our forms.

Donations for Dominican Republic

Our team traveling to the  DR in July will take items to the children there.  If you can donate any of the following by July 7, it will be appreciated: DR needs 2019

Sneak Peek for this Sunday

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It is post Pentecost in this Sunday’s scripture (even though by the calendar we are still walking toward that date), the end of Acts 2. The church birthed on Pentecost. Before it was a group of disciples, waiting, praying, hoping, not knowing what to expect. After that morning when the Spirit fell like a rushing wind, it was an organism, a body, a linked unit of people moving together in concert. It was a sudden shift.

Certainly they did not do everything together, they all still had their various jobs. But even so, everything had changed. No longer were they afraid, they boldly proclaimed the risen Christ. No longer were they hiding, they were everywhere, and as a body always growing, first by addition and then by multiplication. It was a movement with a mission set by Jesus that shook the establishment.

So what are we to do with this church thing? I mean, we can look at this first picture of the early church in Acts 2 and believe, falsely, that that was all they ever were -- healthy, sharing, giving, dynamic, bold and transforming. But scripture is ruthlessly honest. Although the early movement grew rapidly, it also ran into major difficulties with deception, arguments, comparisons, persecution and the like, all within the first months.

It is helpful to us not to glorify this early movement, and believe it was perfect. But what can we learn from the early church? What can we see happening which we may be able to learn from as we seek to continue this movement today?

This Sunday we will look together at how this early fledgling community became the “word made flesh” in their era. They did not just preach, they embodied the scriptures. It was not the word become word, but the word made flesh among them that spoke the loudest to their contemporaries. This is where we can still apply what God wants for us today -- today still, we are called to this same thing, to make the Word flesh through our corporate lives. How does all that we do lend toward this desire? That’s what we will be asking on this Mother’s Day.

Gifts and Talents Online Workshop

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Do you have two hours a week to explore the gifts that God has given you for your use in ministry?

Try a six-week online workshop. In just two hours every Monday evening, you will experience small group dynamics, sharing your personal history and dreams, and hearing those of your team members. Through a series of bible lessons, worksheets, and interpersonal conversations, the truth of your gifts will come to light.

The online workshop requires a microphone and camera, but don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy. We can help!

The price is $10, which includes all materials emailed to you
June 10 - July 15, Monday evenings from 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Please register at signups.wumc.me by June 3.

Amena Brown Live!

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The Columbia District has the incredible fortune of hosting Amena Brown, poet, author and storyteller for an evening of wonderful entertainment and fun on Saturday, May 18 at Sunnyside Community House, 3520 SE Yamhill St, Portland..

Amena was named one of Rejuvenate Magazine's Top 40 under 40 Changemakers. She is the author of 5 spoken word albums and 2 non-fiction books. There will also be live music courtesy of her husband, DJ Opdiggy.

You can purchase $5 tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/amena-brown-live-an-evening-of-poetry-music-and-storytelling-tickets-59731830513.  Proceeds will benefit Africa New Life Ministries.

Living with Mental Illness

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NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is hosting a talk on living with someone who has a mental illness. This Thursday, May 9, from 7:00 - 8:30 pm at NAMI Washington County, 18680 SW Shaw St in Aloha.

Unable to attend this month? Mark June 13 for a talk on Medications and Mental Illness.

WFWA Annual Dinner

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You are invited to attend the Western Farm Workers Association’s 31st Anniversary Dinner Celebration on Saturday, June 1, 6:00 - 8:00 pm. A traditional Mexican dinner will be served and musical and dance performances will provide entertainment. This free event will be held at Hillsboro UMC, 168 NE 8th Avenue.

If you would like to attend, please register at signups.wumc.me or contact the church office by May 20th with your name and number of guests.

Join the Journey, 5.5.19

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Question: who or what has helped you most to grow closer to Jesus?

Answers:

  1. This church.

  2. Maturity.

  3. My dear friends Debbie, Kari, Jan.

  4. Prayer time.

  5. Walk to Emmaus.

  6. WUMC! The love and support and knowledge that I’ve received has changed everything!

  7. Bible Basics. Reading the bible.

  8. Brain surgery and Emmaus.

  9. The words and wisdom of the many pastors I’ve had the opportunity to know throughout my life.

  10. Journaling.

  11. Second commandment: “Love my neighbor as myself.” Start, love by praying, first for self then for others. This is a way to love others and obey God (and is evidence of loving God.) By praying for others, I love them.

Sneak Peek for this Sunday

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How did Jesus disciple people?  He did it by inviting them to follow.  “Follow Me” is Jesus’ two-word, oft-repeated invitation in the Gospels.  Again and again, to all kinds of people, from all kinds of backgrounds and income brackets, Jesus simply welcomed them into the opportunity to follow Him with their lives. For them, at that time, this meant to literally walk away from their normal lives.  The fishermen left the sea, the tax collector his tax collecting box, the politically connected their causes. The prostitutes left their employment, the sinners their pasts, the outcasts their lostness. Following Jesus was not just a decision that changed direction, it was a decision that changed life for good.  Indeed, it was for good. And when someone needed restoring after stumbling, Jesus knew just how to do that as well. In today’s passage, John 21, Peter is in need of such restoring, and Jesus takes him back in order to take him forward.

This Sunday we are welcoming into membership and into the life of this congregation the seven guys who have been walking in the confirmation class throughout this year. They have had weekly classes, more than 20 of you praying for them, fun outings, a weekend retreat, and lots of discussions about Jesus, about life, about what it might mean to follow Him more fully.  So, this Sunday is the culmination of that class. We will welcome these seven guys into this congregation: Jordan B, Barrett F, Conner F, Liam F, Holden S, Dylan T, and Jesse T.

Part of that following for you and me is connecting with the body, coming to worship, experiencing that life together.  So -- come! Don’t let us miss out on worshiping and being with you, and don’t you miss out on what God has for you in the worshiping gathering.