In case you missed it, here’s a reprint of Pastor Brian’s letter…
Dear Faithful Family!
This congregation was birthed out of a movie and a dream.
The movie was Sister Act for after seeing that, Pastor Dan Pitney had a dream of planting a congregation that would be blessed and enhanced by music and the Gospel. In the movie, the main character transforms an insipid Convent Choir into a jazzy, upbeat, outreaching group of people who change ministry for their area. The music in the convent inspires outside-of-the-church action.
In the fall of 1994 Dan began a Bible Study focused on this new church start, with the first service slated for March 1995, and then we were chartered as Westside UMC in June 1996. Gayellyn Jacobson was at one of the first Bible Studies, and has been here ever since!
From the start, Westside was focused on reaching people outside the doors. We have always been a missionary church, a lighthouse, if you will, to help many discover love, hope and healing.
Back in the same year when Dan saw and was impacted by the movie Sister Act, I too saw it in the San Jacinto Theater in California, and was so caught by the message. Yes, music and the Gospel could change the church and community! I worked in two congregations seeking to help that happen, and then God brought me to this place where music and the Gospel were already doing just that. Jesus did that, brought me here, and we have had such a great ride.
Cool roots filled with vision and passion and hope to see lives healed, freed, and transformed! And over these years, we have seen just that!
In 2019 so far, your generous hearts have made it possible to host Family Promise for two separate weeks, reach out to the Migrant Camp Workers, experience God move in weekly worship(!), in prayer ministry, and in counseling. Bible Basics finished their 7-year trek through the Bible! Seven amazing guys completed confirmation class. And do you know of your Food Tents operated by Amy Fiederowicz help some 200 people a week get food through her and reach countless others through Bonnie Becker who continues to share the wealth? And also, Bonnie is getting food from Kentucky Fried Chicken and taking this along with other foods to Home Plate weekly! Listen – we are life-giving body about ministry and outreach.
So when you give, it’s giving so the Gospel can continue to change lives here and even as far afield as the Dominican Republic with our team of 11 and 1100 pounds of supplies! Thank you for having the vision to give and make such a difference. And thank you for continuing to give to God through Westside Journey UMC. We are changing the world with love.
Love to you all!