Sneak Peek for this Sunday

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Pastor Brian is out of town this Sunday but you don’t want to miss church because of that!!! He has asked our friends of Westside Josh and Risa Hobson to come and share in worship. Josh and Risa are missionaries heading out to Portugal to open a home for missionaries to come to in order to take a respite from the field and be refreshed and strengthened through Josh’s culinary gifts and gift of hospitality, and Risa’s counseling gifts. This fall they offered a retreat day for clergy and some of my clergy buddies were able to attend and came away so enriched and strengthened. This couple are a gift to the body of Christ, and a gift to you. So come.

They will be sharing out of Matthew 16:13-17:9 the two field trips Jesus took his disciples on to Caesarea Philippi and up to the Mount of Transfiguration during which they experienced powerful testimonies about who Jesus was. We see in these instances how Peter got it partly right -- the truth about Jesus. And isn’t that like us -- we get the words right at times about Jesus but then sometimes don’t quite get his heart. Jesus has a message for you out of these passages this week. So -- come, experience His love for you, and the call for you to recognize the beauty of who He is in your life.

Josh and Risa are saying that Jesus is sovereign with their lives. He has led them to give up their housing as of the end of March, even with no place else to go. He has led them to quit their jobs as well and trust his provision. He has led them to push out from the shore into the deep waters of trust in order to experience Him in new, dynamic ways. Come in order to be blessed by the faith they are walking as you walk with Jesus as well. Come to bless them as they walk in boldness. Come be filled.

Augustine Prayer

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Breathe into me, Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.

Move in me, Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.

Attract my heart, Holy Spirit,
that I may love only what is holy.

Strengthen me, Holy Spirit,
that I may defend all that is holy.

Protect me, Holy Spirit,
that I may always be holy.

A Message from Pastor Brian

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Just wanted to send all of you this note and tell you how much I love you and appreciate you.  

You are making a difference this week in the lives of those in Family Promise.  

You have reached into the life of a single mom facing eviction and brought hope.  

You brought healing to a 70-year-old’s life who has experienced intense loss.  


I'm grateful for each of you.  I’m grateful to be walking with you in this journey! 

In addition, You all have made my life so rich.  I will be praying for you and giving thanks for you as I travel.

Happy Valentine's Day!  

Love Pastor Brian

Become a Lighthouse Keeper!

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Every Lighthouse must have someone who will make sure that its lens is cleaned, the oil lamps are filled, the wicks trimmed, the clockwork mechanisms are accurate and the structure that houses its light is properly maintained to ensure that its light will shine brightly through the years to guide others safely home.

The same is true of our Lighthouse building. Just one year after completion, this beautiful new space is already providing both shelter and light to many including our youth group, Family Promise, Home Plate, and those in our church family and surrounding community who have need of a gathering place to celebrate important milestones in their lives such as weddings, memorial services and other special events.   But without regular care and maintenance the light our facility shines on those in need may begin to flicker and fade.     

Every lighthouse needs a keeper and, as a beacon to our community, our Lighthouse needs a whole team of them! Will you be one of them?  We are currently putting together a list of specific tasks that anyone can do to help.  Many hands make light work.  Please prayerfully consider becoming a member of our Lighthouse Keeper Team by volunteering to do one or more of these tasks.  You may do them on your own time and/or by joining others on the team at a mutually agreed date and time. Whatever your commitment, you will ensure that Westside’s Lighthouse shines brightly on our community for many years to come!

Join the Journey, 2.10.19

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Question: What do you believe about hell?

Answers:

1. From life's regrets.
2. I believe that we create hell on earth.
3. Separation from God for eternity.
4. I believe it's real - but I also believe you can make your hell through choices.
5. Hell is not a place. Hell is separation from God. Hell is staying stuck in darkness and not grabbing and sharing the light of Jesus.
6. It is complete separation from God - something we cannot begin to fathom since we are always surrounded by God from before birth.
7. It's a dark and horrible place for those that truly have dark hearts and live life without love, kindness, compassion, and God.
8. It's a real place of desolation and regret.

Sneak Peek for this Sunday

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“What the Hell?” “Go to Hell?” “I’d rather be in hell.” “This is a living hell.”. “Mommy, he said H.E.Double-Hockey-sticks!” As slang, as cuss, as a destination, as eternal punishment, the language of hell is found around us and found all through the teaching of Jesus. It’s used as a directive: “Straighten up or you will end up in hell.” It is used as a warning - “Flee from the coming wrath!” It is used as if nothing.

In the ministry of Jesus, He talked about hell plenty, graphically, but in a way that was surprising as well. Looking at hell can cause us to appreciate heaven and the character of God. So, what have you believed? What do you believe? How are you choosing to live that belief?

The real question is not what we believe happens when people die, even though this is an important question, for what we believe does not make reality. There is an eternity about heaven and hell throughout Biblical teaching. We don’t have to like that for it to be true. But the real question is “What is happening now while people are alive?” Are you living life or in a living hell? Heaven or Hell are found on earth before we encounter whatever they might look like in eternity

As far as the eternity, in my life, I have experienced immense evil of the demonic type. This type of evil, also experienced through people, has convinced me that evil is a real thing. It is personal, powerful and not something to trifle with.

Jesus’ language about hell, while turning popular belief on its head also was language that says, there is something to this that is yet true. I believe that there is punishment, a Day of Judgment as the Old and New Testaments teach. I don’t know how long “eternal judgment” is or what it is, exactly, nor how it works, but there is a means by which God will show recompense for gross evil -- the murder of innocents, the destruction of lives, the obliteration of hope, the annihilation of identity. God will judge. “‘Vengeance is Mine,’ declares the Lord.”

I think that we are too quick to judge others and throw them into hell in our thinking, just as the people of Jesus’ day. Truly if Jesus is the judge and King of such matters, only He can do so rightly.

Then that leaves us with the action of God in the book of Jonah -- sending his prophet to pronounce judgement in order to assist the people with entering repentance and grace and the love of God. Jonah hated this, as we sometimes do as well, but this is the character of God -- not wanting that any should perish but all come to repentance. So, for people, this is what God desires. And this is where we find our own calling to continue to preach and teach and call people to repentance and to meeting the Savior.



Save the Date!

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We will be participating in Help Build Hope on Saturday, June 15, at Christ UMC. This is a great day where we all pitch in to build walls for a new home for Habitat for Humanity.

If you can hammer in nails or hold a 2x4, you’re qualified. If you can’t, there are other tasks to be done - serve breakfast, help man the first aid station, or provide water.

If you’re skilled with a table saw, there is also a need to cut the lumber on Friday, June 14 (time TBA.)

Please sign up at signups.wumc.me so we have a headcount.

Join the Journey, 2.3.19

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Question: In what one way this week have you noticed or reached out to someone less fortunate than you?

Answers:

  1. I sent a card to a coworker who just had to resign due to health issues and she sent me a text telling me how much my words meant to her.

  2. I spoke to a neighbor and encouraged him.

  3. By talking to and comforting an unfortunate person.

  4. Collecting donations for non-profit auction.

Gifts and Talents ONLINE!

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Want to discover your spiritual gifts but just don’t have a lot of time to spare?

Beginning March 11, this tremendous workshop will be offered online! You’ll need a computer with camera and microphone to do group discussions through Zoom. One of the strengths of this program is sharing with others to uncover what God has planned for you.

All materials will be emailed to you, for you to print if desired. There will be one session each Monday night, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm, for seven weeks, with our last session on April 22.

The cost for materials is $10. You may register and pay online at signups.wumc.me.

Sneak Peek for this Sunday

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If we are earning more than something around $25,000 per year, we are in the top 10% of the wealthiest people in the world.  Double that yearly household income and we are in the top 1%. This means most of us here find ourselves among the elite. In His earthly ministry, Jesus aligned himself with those with the least, “The Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”  How might you and I stand with those who live life on the fringe of life? How might we align ourselves with those with whom Jesus aligned himself even if it might mean being criticized or misunderstood?

What might this day have felt like to you, had you been among the crowd following Jesus has he approached the city of Jericho?  You might have been exulting with the others. Jesus had said some spectacular things that day, depending upon how long you had walked with him. You might have seen him single out children as recipients of God’s Kingdom!  “Become like a child,” Jesus had said. You might have witnessed his talk with a young, rich guy who wanted eternal life, and claimed to follow all the commands of Scripture, but when it came to his wealth, his most cherished possession, which really possessed him, he couldn’t let it go.  “Sell everything, give to the poor and come follow me,” Jesus had told him. And he left, sorrowful. You might have heard the shocked response of the disciples to whom Jesus said, “How difficult it is for the rich to enter God’s Kingdom. Indeed it is more difficult for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter God’s Kingdom.”  The disciples were shocked. Salvation was impossible, Jesus had said, for people, but not for God. You might have heard when JEsus said for the third time that he would have to be killed when he reached Jerusalem, and with the disciples you might have decided he was just speaking in figurative terms. But what could that mean?

When Jesus stopped for the blind man in Jericho, told in Luke 18, he demonstrated how He lived “hearing” and “seeing” those whom others missed.  Had you seen that guy by the side of the road? Had you even heard his shouts? Some had heard, they yelled right back telling him to be silent, putting him into his place.  But had you really seen him or heard him? Or rather had you been surprised along with the others when Jesus stopped and called this man to come to him. This blind beggar was received and healed by Jesus. In fact, he was healed by his own faith, Jesus said.  He believed and that made healing possible.

In your own life, today, who are the marginalized? Who are the blind? Who are the beggars who need love and grace?  Who are the lost, hurting, lonely, abandoned? Jesus calls you and me to see them and reach out to them. How might you choose to do such ministry with your life?



Family Promise Evening

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You are cordially invited to an evening for Family Promise on Friday, February 15, from 5:30 - 8:00 pm. Chuck Currie, Pacific University Chaplain and Director of Center for Peace and Spirituality, will be the guest speaker. Dinner will be provided by Claey’s Catering. There will also be live music and a silent auction.

The event will be held at Community of Christ Church, 5170 NE Five Oaks Drive in HIllsboro.

Tickets are $50 per person and available at https://squareup.com/store/family-promise-of-washington-cty. Questions? Contact Veronica at 503.844.2919 or FamilyPromiseVeronica@gmail.com.

Join the Journey, 1.27.19

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Question: In what did you encounter the power of God’s kingdom on earth this week?

Answers:

  1. I was in charge of coaching some highly skilled kids who weren’t able to go to a special out-of-town hockey clinic. They were bummed! God helped me see that they needed the opportunity to lead drills they wanted to do instead of my preset coaching plan. They were great leaders and ended up being thrilled at the practice. Thank you, God, for your direction for my life.

  2. In a personal relationship where love triumphed.

  3. The family from the church I have is so precious.

  4. God’s love, peace and mercy.

  5. My contemplation from Bible Basics.

Sneak Peek for this Sunday

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“Do you take your grandchildren to church?” my neighbor was asked by another neighbor. “Yes, my daughter brings them over Saturday nights and then I take them with me on Sundays. They love it.” He responded, “Brainwashing them, are you?”

She was staggered. The tone. The language used. It left her breathless. She looked at him thinking “what should I say?” and said, “The God I know loves them and loves you,” she told him. “We all need an introduction.” When she saw me later that day, she invited me over. She told me of the encounter and said, “I think I should have said more. I just feel deflated, like I missed an opportunity. I wanted to say, ‘And I am praying for you too.’ and feel disappointed that I didn’t.”

Hearing what had transpired I thought I caught that it was a conflict of kingdoms that had occurred. It is less about our neighbor and more about the spiritual stuff behind him that is so challenging. It is a spiritual scrimmage that took place. This is possibly why she felt so beaten by it. It was the wrong voice whispering in her ear. I told her, “You know, God can write straight on crooked lines, and we have plenty of them. I’d trust that you did just exactly what God wanted and I’d like you to remember there’s an enemy who wants to steal your joy. Don’t let him do it.” We prayed for our neighbor.

There is a kingdom.

There might be an effort to change out the word kingdom today, for something less “male” (king) or powerful sounding. Also, some say it is a word meaningless in our world. But I cannot think of a better one. Although McLaren has suggestions, they all fall far short of the reality that there are realms in conflict around us and that we are in that we can get in the crossfire. They fall short of explaining the rulers and powers of this world. They fall short of defining what it feels like to encounter a scrimmage like my neighbor experienced. We might want to soften the word, but we will miss out on crucial theology in our effort.

There is a kingdom. And there is a King.

Maybe some bristle against this idea. But for me, it causes me to breathe easy. There is a King. And we are in a kingdom realm that is full of light, power, and impossibilities made possible. A kingdom in which by faith we have authority to act. When the disciples in this passage encountered an unexpected test of faith, they were in awe of the King. Know the king and encounter the kingdom. Come and worship.



God's Abundant Possibilities

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The Columbia District Church Extension Society (CDCES) is a society that provides grants and loans, and manages investments for churches in our district. Organized in Portland over 100 years ago, they have loaned and granted millions of dollars and have an investment portfolio of over $3 million.

The board meets once a month and one Westsider is invited to attend. The annual meeting is February 19 at Christ UMC, 12755 NW Dogwood St, Portland, and includes lunch. If this interests you, please contact the church office or Pastor Brian. For more info about CDCES, visit https://umoi-email.brtapp.com/!yAxBDi67BM1pFQoRn1u2+q9YOsSnJP3GR4WQ8yelg5FHYqgfnGsmXRABr3KNi3zlM

Gifts and Talents Workshop Coming Soon!

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"When I first led the Gifts and Talents Workshop while working with another congregation, I was skeptical.  I mean, this seemed like a backdoor to spiritual gifts.  But as I walked through the course, the exercises, and challenged others to do so as well, what I saw happening was the birthing of deeper relationships between participants and then in the end, I watched as God began to move among them.  More than a 'gift inventory,' this course is a workshop in getting to know yourself through the eyes of others and in that 'knowing' discovering gifts hidden within which you might never have seen before.  It is a remarkable course.  Sign up."  Pastor Brian

The Gifts and Talents Workshop is coming next week to Westside! If you still need to register, forms are available in the church lobby and here. You may also register online at signups.wumc.me.

On two consecutive weekends, you will discover the spiritual gifts that were bestowed upon you by the Holy Spirit, and find out which outreach/ministry/passion best suits your talents. Your time and energy will be so much more fruitful if spent where the Holy Spirit leads.

The cost is only $25 which includes all materials, snacks and two meals. You are strongly encouraged to attend all sessions, for your success and the success of others in your group. The sessions are:

Feb 1             Friday           7:00 - 9:00 pm

Feb 2             Saturday       9:00 am - 3:30 pm (includes lunch)

Feb 8             Friday           7:00 - 9:00 pm

Feb 9           Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (includes lunch)

On the Journey, 1.20.19

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Question: How has God spoken to you through scripture?

Answers:

  1. He has developed a language to communicate through journaling, giving me peace and knowledge.

  2. There is a feeling of completeness I live with when I read routinely.

  3. Memorizing verses helps me to remember that God is real! Next step: memorize more scripture.

  4. Psalm 23.

  5. He has chosen a scripture to point out a certain issue or happening in my life. I am not unique, we are all his children.

  6. Given me encouragement, hope, healing, direction.