In-person Worship and Vaccines
by Laurie Brenner on April 22nd, 2021
Some in our West Side family have wondered why we are only offering in person worship at this time for those who are vaccinated. It’s a fair question. In so many ways this does not feel true to who we are. In fact none of this has felt right for over a year now! We want to all be together.But then we thought of many of our members who have been socially isolated for over a year and were eligible e...  Read More
A Prayer for Tired Moms
by Stacy Kutz on December 1st, 2020
Why didn’t anyone warn us that parenting was so tough before we had children?It can be downright exhausting. All stages of motherhood bring their own level of weariness.The infant and toddler stage is physically exhausting. The school-age stage is mentally exhausting, and the adolescent and teen years are emotionally exhausting. I think we need to remind ourselves that motherhood will not look per...  Read More
What are my kids learning anyways?!
by Stacy Kutz on November 3rd, 2020
I wanted to give you an update as to what your students are learning during our small group meetings. I currently have four girl’s groups that are following a seven-week overview of Scripture; two groups are exploring Genesis, and one group that just started looking at Ephesians. Following you will find information on all the studies. Seamless covers the people, places, and promises of the Bible, ...  Read More
A Fall to Look Forward To
by Stacy Kutz on November 3rd, 2020
Ah, fall... A season of football, crisp air, and pumpkin-flavored everything. This season always brings a feeling of togetherness and warmth, but like so many things this year, November may be a little different.While uncertainty still looms like a dark shadow, there are some things you can do to make this fall not just something to get through, but something to actually look forward to. This mont...  Read More
One Thing I Used to Say to My Kids All the Time
by Stacy Kutz on October 1st, 2020
(Okay…as I’m sure you can imagine, I used to say a lot of things… and I still do! As I look back, I realize that I think I often added onto the stress my kids felt rather than helping them navigate through the ups and downs of being a teen, so take this advice in stride!)Being a teenager is not easy. There’s peer pressure like they’ve never experienced before.Suddenly, sitting at the right table a...  Read More
What I've Learned Over the Past Six Months
by Stacy Kutz on October 1st, 2020
For months I have been receiving phone calls, emails, and texts from parents and youth inquiring about what our youth ministry might look like in the upcoming fall season. All are asking important questions about what we can do with the teens in our midst while still living within the reality of the pandemic. Perhaps you have been wondering about this as well.Most students I talk to are hoping tha...  Read More
Halloween 2020 and COVID-19: What is changing this year?
by Stacy Kutz on September 29th, 2020
In a year that's been plenty scary, this much is clear: Pandemic Halloween will be different than regular Halloween. Many traditional ways of celebrating are now considerably more frightful than usual, because now they bring the risk of spreading the coronavirus.Accordingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidelines on how to celebrate Halloween safely. No big surpri...  Read More
Using Table Conversations to Disciple your Children
by Stacy Kutz on September 29th, 2020
Recently I came across an article about the value of having family table conversations. It reminded me about a talk given by Freda Ricord at one of my first MOPS meetings. She encouraged MOPS moms (and dads) to take advantage of our time around the table to “feed our children’s bellies AND feed their souls.” Meaning, be intentional with the time you have when your kids are happily eating and bring...  Read More
Red Light, Green Light
by Stacy Kutz on September 3rd, 2020
Have you ever played red light, green light with a group of kids? I love playing this game! During COVID-19 however, I feel like somebody keeps shouting “red light”, “red light”, “red light!”I’m ready to move, and I’m waiting for a green light. And then I hear the words “red light” again. Like many of you, trying to navigate this season has not only been hard, but also frustrating. We all need enc...  Read More
Address Rebellion with Love
by Stacy Kutz on September 3rd, 2020
(From; Parenting Christian Kids Newsletter) After a summer of “freedom” and relaxed rules, September’s return to school and schedules often poses a challenge for children. On top of that, 2020 has been filled with new restrictions and limits that are tough for everyone to comply with and comprehend.As the pandemic drags on, kids are likely to have more questions about why they need t...  Read More
by Stacy Kutz on September 2nd, 2020
We just finished our first virtual VBS! We used a super fun program called Faith Labs @ Home. It's an at home VBS with five sessions - once you signed up you had access to all sessions. This allowed parents to work it into their schedule, instead of scheduling around it. West Side chose to implement it with one session each Monday in August but because parents had access to each session they didn’...  Read More
Devotions: Week of August 31
by Noël Foulk on August 31st, 2020
This week’s devotional readings close out our summer readings. We’ve journeyed with Eugene Peterson, Dallas Willard, NT Wright, the Desert Fathers, Brennan Manning, stories from the Bruderhof community, Anne Lamott, Annie Dillard and Henri Nouwen. Since this week ends in the Labor Day weekend, we finish the summer readings with reflections on work and Sabbath collected from various Christian autho...  Read More