Serve From Home

Lend a Hand at Highland Park Elementary

Like so many things this year, our normal “City Serve” workday is canceled.  But there is still a need, and there are opportunities for us to help. West Side and Bethany West Seattle would like to continue our service to Highland Park Elementary School this year.

Like other Seattle schools, the students and teachers at Highland Park are facing some difficult adjustments this fall. Our initial help making the outside of the School building look clean, pleasant, and inviting is needed more than ever. Seattle Schools has established Volunteer Guidelines that limit the scope of volunteer work: We will be limited to working outside. Small family or “Bubble” groups can work together for a few scheduled hours morning or afternoon. There will be no access to the building. Wearing masks and gloves will be required. The kind of work includes plant bed cleanup, weeding and light pruning, spreading mulch, sweeping and removal of litter and “clean green” materials.  

We are targeting the three weeks in August between August 10, and August 31. Other opportunities may come up in September. If you have a morning or afternoon during that time when you can contribute your help, please let Dick Ramsey know at 206-819-9337 or [email protected] live.com. Dick can provide School District guidelines, advice on areas where work is needed, and will schedule your site visit with the School District.

Join Our Virtual Mission Trip!

Postponed until the Fall - watch for more details

This was THE year for West Side’s student ministry. The year when we got to go to the Dominican Republic! Early last Fall students applied and started training for this summer’s mission trip. They fundraised and worked service hours. They began bonding as a team. And then, the COVID-19 Pandemic literally shut everything down.

I’m not going to lie. This was a real blow for our team. We spent time in Scripture together in one-on-ones as we looked at Acts 1 when Jesus told the apostles to wait for the Holy Spirit. WAIT. That word makes us uncomfortable!! What did the apostles do while they waited? Three things stood out to us:

  1. They spent time with Jesus…for 40 days! One thing the pandemic has given us is more time – our team was challenged to take advantage of the extra time and draw closer to Jesus.
  2. They prayed. I love how Acts 1:24 begins, “Then they prayed…”. They were seeking the Lord’s direction. Our team has been praying for encouragement and direction.
  3. They planned. The apostles were looking to replace Judas and get back to ministry at full strength. We talked about making plans but found this to be our greatest challenge. Immediately the question was, can we go next year? And the answer, I have no idea. Sooo we went back to #1 and #2 and waited.

A couple of weeks ago, Kids Alive reached out to me and asked if our team would like to do a virtual mission trip. God is so good! And the benefit to doing this trip virtually is that ALL of West Side can join! If you’ve been curious about short-term mission trips to the Dominican Republic, this is the perfect opportunity to “see” it for yourself! We are so excited to share with you what God has been doing and continues to do through our partnership with Kids Alive International.

Details:
  • Will happen in the fall of 2020 - watch for details
  • During these meetings Kids Alive missionaries will share testimonies, interview staff members and teachers, and give site and city tours.
  • Morning devotions will be emailed each day.
  • Look for ways during the day where you can be the hands and feet of Christ.  Help a neighbor, pray, etc.

Optional!
  • We encourage you to join with the students and recreate memorable “life in the DR” moments at home.
  • Cold showers only!
  • Only eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on white bread (like Wonder) or rice and beans.
  • Sleep somewhere uncomfortable – maybe this means don’t open your windows to get any fresh air.
  • Don’t flush your toilet paper!
  • Make a recording of roosters crowing and play it from 2am on!

If you would like to join us, email Janet at [email protected] and we will send you the link.

Though the current world circumstances prevent us from traveling physically, the mission God has called us to isn’t changing. In fact, our hearts may feel a deeper urgency now than ever before to make Jesus known.

You can make a difference!
—Stacy Kutz

From our Outreach Department...

YoungLives Care Fund

West Side has started a partnership with YoungLives which is an offshoot of Young Life aimed at impacting teen moms and their children.  Similar to Young Life, they have Monday “club”, Wednesday Bible Study and summer camp.  Like West Side, they have moved online for the time being but are looking forward to meeting in person again.  Once we are all cleared to meet again, areas where West Siders could jump in include providing childcare for Monday club or getting involved as a mentor.  A special thanks to Charlotte Loski who donated some beautifully knit sweaters and blankets – I can’t wait to deliver them to YoungLives staff for their “girls."

As part of our West Side partnership, we have started a YoungLives Care Fund (YLCF) to provide the opportunity to support the young moms in a practical way.  Examples of current needs include tuition for a CNA program, assistance with bills for a young mom who is the only breadwinner in her family because of Covid related job losses, and support for another young woman who had to drop out of her dental hygienist program so she could work more.  Speaking with the YL staff, I could hear the tears in their voices – these young ladies work so hard and try so hard to make a better life for themselves and their children and sometimes it seems like the mountain just gets taller.  This may seem beyond the usual type of support we would provide, but for these young moms, a financial gift can do so much more than help with a bill – it shows them in a meaningful way that Jesus loves them, cares for them and they have great worth to our Father in Heaven. We have issued our first gifts to two young women.  We are excited to make a difference in their lives with this practical gift.

Learn more:  Contact Blythe Meigs (425-922-3955) or Stacy Kutz  ([email protected]) for more information.

Donate directly to YoungLives:  www.younglivesseattle.younglife.org

Watch this video to learn more about YoungLives Seattle.
"… Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers

Find out how our church family is helping during this unprecedented time. We will share the stories: West Siders who see a need and are reaching out into our West Seattle community. You may want to jump in and help or you may have your own ideas!