From Pastor Steve

Updates from our lead pastor

A video update from Pastor Steve:

Hi everybody. I wanted to give you a quick update on some things going on in our faith community. It has been a moment for us to rethink how we do church. Thankfully we know, we are the church. It’s never been about a building. Still, without having our normal Sunday morning services we’ve become very aware of the need for greater connection during the week.

You may have noticed I have been on social media – which is not my norm. It’s actually been really great to do some Facebook and Instagram live conversations and see and interact with many of you.

Our discipleship team and volunteers are calling people in our congregation just to check in. Many of our Blue Groups have moved online and our Women’s Bible study this spring will also be online. Our local outreach crew is busy meeting needs both with individuals and with community organizations. We had a  drive-through food bank recently and it was really cool to use our atrium and parking lot to meet some critical needs in our community.

In addition to all that, we still have our Sunday services online! It’s amazing how powerful our times of worship still are even online. Nothing can restrain the presence of God as we worship together in our homes.

Personally, Suzanne and I are doing well. Even though exhaustion is always present, we are choosing to not worry or be anxious. We are very aware of the hardships that many are facing in our community. Thankfully we know our hope is not in this world, but in God who is watching out for us, even when it might not feel like it. He is for us! I believe that with all of my heart. Love you all and praying for you every day.

Hi Westside Family. I, like many of you, received the information from our Oregon Governor to ban gatherings larger than 250 people in order to protect the public from the COVID-19 outbreak. I believe our response to this announcement should not be one of fear, but of wisdom and care for those in our churches and our communities as we implement what our state leadership has put in place.

Starting this Sunday, all of our Sunday services, including our evening service, will be online and available throughout the rest of the week. There will be opportunities online to pray and to continue to give financially, even chat with a pastor and others during the livestream.

We already have a robust online presence with our weekly Sunday services. We will continue to gather online at westsidelive.org during the suspension of our gatherings. Our team will provide full worship and the regular teaching we had planned.  So, while we will not gather at our physical location for a few weeks, we will still gather online in strong community.

This is a time for the church to be adaptive, responsive, and demonstrate Christlike leadership. The church has never been limited to the four walls of the church building. We have seen throughout Church history the many ways the church remained connected, stayed on mission and supported one another in unique ways, even under tremendous persecution.

We have an opportunity to love people in the midst of their fears. We can walk with empathy toward people who are genuinely afraid and love them through it. We are still the church – the visible representation of God’s kingdom. So, let’s go out of our way to love on our neighbors, to encourage people who are afraid, and to pray for those who are sick and the families who have lost loved ones all around the world.

I’m grateful that we can continue to gather as a faith community, even under these challenging circumstances, in homes online. My hope is that we can navigate this together, and in a way that honors Jesus and each other. See you online this Sunday!

-Steve Mickel, Lead Pastor