COVID-19 (coronavirus) Updates

The Westside leadership has sought to do what is wise for our church body during the spread of COVID-19. The elders and deacons decided to suspend all in person gatherings (Sunday morning services, Life Groups, Youth Groups, and Lifeline) until further notice. We will be live streaming the Sunday Worship service. One of the best ways we can love our neighbor as ourselves during this time is to do our part to slow the spread of this disease. Check here for regular updates.

Join us Sundays at 10:30 am for our live stream service.

MARCH 27

We remain committed to keeping you updated with ways you can take part in worship, fellowship, and learning during this time of coronavirus social distancing.

WORSHIP SERVICE THIS SUNDAY

We're again planning to live stream our worship service this Sunday morning. Click here on Sunday at 10:30 to link to the service.

The service will include worship music directing our hearts to the Lord, several important announcements, a Bible message from Revelation 4 by Tim Boettcher, and a celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

THE LORD'S SUPPER

We look forward to the day when we can again break bread together at Westside. Until then, we'll include the Lord’s Supper in the live streamed service.

During this part of the service, we'll introduce the Lord’s Supper, and then we'll partake of the emblems together from our various homes. We ask that you prepare your own bread and juice in advance. Exactly what you use for bread and juice is not nearly as important as the fact that you'll be remembering Christ.

How to prepare your heart:

1. Be in the Word and walk in fellowship with Christ during the week.
2. Let the Holy Spirit stir up worship in your heart as you remember what Christ has done for you on the Cross.
3. As you partake of the bread and juice, thank Christ for what he has done for you.

NEW VIDEO UPDATE FROM THE ELDERS

Watch this new message from the Elders.

OPPORTUNITIES TO GATHER IN SMALL GROUPS

It is important that we care for one another and find ways to fellowship together even though we cannot meet in person. Here are several good options:

1. Make use of video conferencing technology to regularly meet as youth groups, Life Groups, Lifeline, men’s breakfasts, and other groups. Some, like Life Groups, Lifeline, and ministry team meetings, are doing this with Zoom and other applications. Check with your group leader about how you can connect to your group.

2. Telephone people in the body, especially those in your Life Group, to find out how they are doing, give them an encouraging word, and pray for them over the phone.

3. Pray for one another. Pray for good health, peace, and freedom from fear. Pray for opportunities to show the love of Christ to your neighbors. Pray for those who are sick and suffering in other parts of our country and in other countries.

If you have any spiritual or physical needs during this time, please contact us. We and others in the Westside body will do what we can to help you. We love each of you.

Your Elders and Deacons

MARCH 22

It was wonderful to be able to connect with one another this morning through our live streamed service. From the feedback we’ve received, it was an encouragement to many.

Thank you, Karl and Ted, for making sure the technology worked! Thanks to those who took part in the service, including Ian Williams who had a message from Matthew 11 that was powerful, relevant, and encouraging.

If you missed the service or want to watch again, click here

The Elders been talking through our next steps in dealing with the “new normal” and how to respond as a church.

1. What steps can we take personally to protect ourselves and others?

We respect the potential dangers associated with this disease. Please follow the guidelines and take the precautions recommended by health authorities. Practice social distancing by staying home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out and then maintain 6 feet of space between you and other people. Wash your hands often. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

2. What steps are we taking as a church?

On March 13, we informed you that we temporarily suspended all gatherings (Sunday morning services, Life Groups, men’s breakfasts, youth groups, and Lifeline). One of the best ways we can love our neighbor as ourselves during this time is to do our part to slow the spread of this disease. We are continuing to monitor the situation. When the medical authorities inform the public that it is safe to return to normal activities, we will resume meeting as a congregation at Westside.

3. What is planned for Sunday mornings?

• We plan to continue live streaming our Sunday morning services, although how we do it may change in response to any new directives issues by the authorities. We’ll continue to inform you through emails.

• We’re working on possible ways to remember Christ by celebrating the Lord’s Supper together. Watch for emails with information on how you can participate. In the meantime, we encourage you to do this in your own families. Sing songs of worship to Christ, read Scriptures that exalt Christ, and partake of the bread and the cup in remembrance of Christ and his sacrificial death.

• Use our website to listen to Bible teaching in past sermons. Click here.  Do this individually or as couples and families.

4. How do we personally stay in contact with each other?

It is extremely important that we continue to care for and find ways to fellowship together during this difficult time even though we cannot meet in person. Let us suggest several options:

• To keep you informed, we’ll be sending out regular emails and posting on our website and Facebook page. If you know of someone who may not be receiving our emails, please give their information to Ruth Keller so she can add them to the communication list. We don’t want anyone to be left out!

• We encourage you to pray for one another. Pray for good health, peace and freedom from fear, and opportunities to show the love of Christ to our neighbors. Pray also for those who are suffering in other parts of our country and in other countries.

• Make use of video conferencing technology to regularly meet as youth groups, Life Groups, Lifeline, men’s breakfasts, and other groups. Some are already doing this with Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp, Skype, and Instagram. We highly recommend Zoom and encourage your group to consider using it to connect. For some of you, technology is scary, but there are people in the body who will be happy to help you get set up. Just ask for help.

• Telephone people in the body, especially those in your Life Group, to find out how they are doing, give them an encouraging word, and pray for them over the phone.

We love each of you and are praying for you. If you have any specific spiritual or physical needs during this time, please contact us. We and others in the Westside body will do what we can to help you.

The concerns and guidelines being issued related to COVID-19 continue to change. Although this is a serious and potentially fatal disease, we can rest in the fact that God is in control, he loves us, and is always there to strengthen us in our time of need. We have an opportunity to share hope with those around us as we seek to make disciples starting right where we live.

The Elders and Deacons

MARCH 19

We hope you are finding ways to stay close to the Lord and to our Westside family as you cocoon away from human contact over these next few weeks.

We love each of you and are praying for you. We also want you to know that if you have any specific spiritual or physical needs during this turbulent time, we and others in the Westside body will do whatever we can to help you.

For example, if you are housebound and cannot go out to buy groceries or pick up prescriptions, please let know so we can help you. Please do not hesitate to communicate with us or members of your Life Group so we can be aware of any needs you may have.

We plan to live stream the service this Sunday morning. Watch for an email with instructions on how to connect.

Galatians 5:13-14 - Through love serve one another, for the whole law is fulfilled in one word, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Your Elders and Deacons

MARCH 16

The Elders and Deacons continue to follow the rapidly changing situation of the coronavirus pandemic.

Taking precautions

We respect the potential dangers associated with this disease and encourage people to take precautions recommended by health authorities: Wash your hands often with soap and water. If water is not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Stay home when you are sick. Those in high-risk groups (the elderly and those with compromised immune systems) should stay home and avoid crowds as much as possible.

One of the best ways we can love our neighbor as ourselves during this time is to do our part to slow the spread of this disease. This is what love requires of us. For this reason, the Elders and Deacons have taken the step to temporarily suspend all gatherings (Sunday morning services, Life Groups, Youth Groups, and Lifeline). We plan to begin livestreaming our Sunday Worship messages.

How to give

While Westside gatherings are suspended, you may continue to give online. If you prefer giving by check, mail your check to Westside.

Reach out to others in Jesus’ Name

During this time of crisis, God can use us to show the love of Christ in practical ways to our friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Many of them are struggling with feelings of hopelessness because everything they have depended on is being taken from them. God can use us to point them to the hope that we have in Christ. Check with your neighbors to see if there are ways you can help them with practical needs. For example, some may be confined to their homes and unable to go out to buy groceries or other essentials.

Trusting God

We are concerned over the wave of panic that has been gripping many people. Fear should not dictate our responses. It is for times like this that we place our trust and confidence in the absolute wisdom, goodness, and power of our God. He is Lord and in control of everything – even when things seem out-of-control to us. Our God can be completely trusted no matter what happens, and we should not be fearful.

We can confidently say:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” – Psalm 46:1-7

Your Elders at Westside Bible Fellowship

Dan, Dick, Herb and Mike 

MARCH 15

Good morning, Westside. As you likely know we aren’t meeting this week. We are working on a live stream for next week and will give more details to come. For now, here is a video update.

MARCH 13

Dear Westside Church body:

As you know by now, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought much of the world to a halt. During this time we elders and deacons have sought to do what is wise for the whole church body without being alarmist or careless.

We believe it to be wise to suspend all gatherings (all Sunday morning services, Life Groups, Youth Groups, and Lifeline) until further notice. One of the best ways we can love our neighbor as ourselves during this time is to do our part to slow the spread of this disease.

We are working on ways to connect with one another remotely during this time. But we would love to encourage you to take these next few weeks to invest in relationships with your neighbors or those around you for the sake of the Gospel.

We will be communicating more in the coming days.

We understand there is a lot of panic these days. While the implications of this virus are serious and will be costly in many ways, we remember that our hope is not in this world or the things of this world. And we have an opportunity to share that hope with those around us as we seek to make disciples starting right where we are at.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah”
Psalm 46:1-3

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns.

Warmly in Christ,
Your Elders and Deacons