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West Church CLOSED for Meetings--Sunday Worship ONLINE Only

by: Philip Williams

03/17/2020

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Dear West Church Family,

“Because of the present crisis, I think it is good for you to remain as you are.” 1 Corinthians 7:26

It’s no coincidence that we have been reflecting on 1 Corinthians together lately. The Holy Spirit has been preparing us, before we were even aware, that there would be a “present crisis.” Of course, in context, Paul was referring to a Christian’s marital status in light of the crisis they were facing in Corinth at that time. It could have been famine or persecution. We do not know. Even so, he encouraged his brothers and sisters with these… read more

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Dear West Church Family,

“Because of the present crisis, I think it is good for you to remain as you are.” 1 Corinthians 7:26

It’s no coincidence that we have been reflecting on 1 Corinthians together lately. The Holy Spirit has been preparing us, before we were even aware, that there would be a “present crisis.” Of course, in context, Paul was referring to a Christian’s marital status in light of the crisis they were facing in Corinth at that time. It could have been famine or persecution. We do not know. Even so, he encouraged his brothers and sisters with these words: “I think it is good for you to remain as you are.”

So then, because of the present crisis we are facing as a community of faith, let us remain as we are: full of faith, hope and love.

How will we practice our faith in light of the present crisis?

On March 15th, Governor Baker signed an order prohibiting public gatherings of over 25 people throughout the Commonwealth, including faith-based events. This order is in effect through April 5th (Palm Sunday). God has been preparing us for this. As we have learned through 1 Corinthians, we will restrain our freedom to gather for the sake of the health and wellbeing of others. Therefore, effective Sunday March 22nd, we will be migrating to online worship services only by livestream. We will communicate instructions as to how you can access our worship services on your computer or handheld device. We can also continue to exercise our faith in worship by giving our offerings to God. Many of us, including me, already regularly contribute a portion of our income to the church electronically. You can sign up for online giving at westchurch.org/giving. Or, if you prefer to continue giving manually, you can send your offering by mail or drop it off at the church during office hours. Our other ministry programs will also be temporarily adjusted in order to remain in compliance with the governor’s orders that limit public gatherings to 25 people. All on campus group meetings that regularly meet at the church are canceled for the time being. You may still choose to meet at someone’s home; however, we encourage you to find ways interact virtually instead at this time. Our staff and ministry leaders are currently developing ways to resource our ministries through online tools. The best place to find updates regarding our many ministry areas is our WestConnect e-newsletter and our church website. If your questions are not addressed there, please feel free to contact your small group leader, team leader or a staff member for more information.

How will we practice hope in light of the present crisis?

We are not going to give in to fear, selfishness and the hoarding of resources. God is still on His throne. He is our help in ages past and our ever-present hope for years to come. He will never leave us or forsake us. In this cultural moment God is asking us to trust in Him for our provision, protection and care. This will enable us to be willing to share our resources with those who are in need, including those impacted by the effects of social distancing policies and those who may become sick. Remember, becoming a Christian does not mean that we will never experience things like sickness and death, but it does mean we no longer have to live in fear. And Jesus has “set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.” (Hebrews 2:15)

How will we practice love in light of the present crisis?

Last year we did a series called The Art of Neighboring. This year we get to practice it. Last week we were able to go to church. This week, and in the weeks to come, we get to be the church. Give your neighbors your contact information. Make sure they have basic supplies available to them. If they are elderly, or have a serious underlying health condition, or are under quarantine, offer to pick up a meal for them at a restaurant, or go to the grocery store for them. Or how about, when you are in the grocery store, let the other person have the last loaf of bread. Over the next few weeks, we are going to have unique opportunities to share our faith and hope through simple acts of love to those in our immediate community. Ask God to help you notice ways you can demonstrate his love to people in our community and when He does, love others as you have been loved by God.

This too shall pass. But because of the present crisis, I think it is good for you to remain as you are: full of faith, hope and love. May God bless you and keep you, may He make his face to shine upon you and be gracious toward you. May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

Love,

Pastor Chris

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COVID-19 Response

by: Philip Williams

03/11/2020

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COVID-19 Response

In troubling times like the one we are living in, God’s Word can give us comfort, hope and consolation.

“If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.” ⁃ Psalm 91:9-11 NLT

And Jesus said:

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” ⁃ John 14:1 NLT

I find these words consoling as I walk with Jesus through our current situation. If someone is a Christian, they… read more

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COVID-19 Response

In troubling times like the one we are living in, God’s Word can give us comfort, hope and consolation.

“If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.” ⁃ Psalm 91:9-11 NLT

And Jesus said:

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” ⁃ John 14:1 NLT

I find these words consoling as I walk with Jesus through our current situation. If someone is a Christian, they are not guaranteed that they will never have to face things like sickness and death, but they no longer have to fear them. Jesus came to set us free from that fear. That’s what it says in the book of Hebrews.

“Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.” ⁃ Hebrews 2:14-15

It is not a coincidence that God has been teaching us about Christian freedom lately through the letter of 1 Corinthians. Not only are we free from the fear of sickness and death, we are free to love God and others by choosing to limit our own freedom. What does that mean in reference to our current public health concerns?

Well, first it means, if you are feeling sick, it’s okay to stay home from church. Sure, you are free to go, but out of loving concern, please restrain your freedom for the sake of others.

If we are not feeling sick, the CDC recommends that we practice basic hygiene as a preventative means. That includes:

  • Washing our hands regularly and thoroughly.
  • If we sneeze or cough, covering it in a tissue, then throwing that tissue away. If no tissue is available, cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Again, if you are not feeling well, for the sake of others, please stay home.

As you may already know, Governor Baker declared a state of emergency. One of the reasons he did this was so that he could quickly respond to contain the COVID-19 virus in the event it was needed. The general population is considered to be at low risk. And public gatherings are allowed. In those public gatherings, practicing basic hygiene will help us preserve health. That said, we will continue to worship at our regularly scheduled times.

Please be assured that our facility is cleaned thoroughly daily. In addition to cleaning and disinfecting around the building, you will notice:

  • Extra Hand Sanitizer pumps around the building
  • Disinfectant wipes around the building
  • All hard surfaces in the Nursery/Toddler room as well as door handles/stair railings are disinfected daily

We are friendly and loving people, but it is certainly understandable if someone chooses not to shake hands or hug someone as they usually would on a Sunday morning.

In summary, we are not going to give in to fear, but we are going to freely exercise our faith with wisdom, taking all necessary precautions. And if necessary, we will restrain our freedom for the sake of others. In all things we can remember that we can trust God and He will continue to care for those who take refuge in Him. I pray that we will all find our comfort, hope and consolation in him today and every day.

Love,

Pastor Chris

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Annual Personal Assessment

by: Philip Williams

02/26/2020

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The West Church Leadership Development Team has created a Personal Annual Assessment tool. This brief assessment may be used as an annual marker to gain perspective of your spiritual, emotional, and behavioral growth, helping assess where you are now, and where you may be by this time next year. Each of the sections relate to West Church core values.

Our hope is that you will complete this assessment for your personal growth as well as allowing West Church to anonymously collect your responses in order to help us determine areas for teaching, programming, etc.

Complete the Personal Annual Assessment

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The West Church Leadership Development Team has created a Personal Annual Assessment tool. This brief assessment may be used as an annual marker to gain perspective of your spiritual, emotional, and behavioral growth, helping assess where you are now, and where you may be by this time next year. Each of the sections relate to West Church core values.

Our hope is that you will complete this assessment for your personal growth as well as allowing West Church to anonymously collect your responses in order to help us determine areas for teaching, programming, etc.

Complete the Personal Annual Assessment

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West Church Receives Awards from the Army/National Guard

by: Web Editor

11/13/2019

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The West Church Senior Leadership Team received two awards on Sunday, November 10, 2019. The awards were the Patriot Award (for being an employer who supports the National Guard) and a Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service. Lt. Col. Bryan K. Pillai, commander of the 211th Military Police Battalion presented the awards to Peter Buckley, a member of the Senior Leadership Team. West Church received these awards for strongly supporting our Lead Pastor, Chris Ziegler, as the unit's chaplain.

The Patriot Award

This award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of… read more

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The West Church Senior Leadership Team received two awards on Sunday, November 10, 2019. The awards were the Patriot Award (for being an employer who supports the National Guard) and a Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service. Lt. Col. Bryan K. Pillai, commander of the 211th Military Police Battalion presented the awards to Peter Buckley, a member of the Senior Leadership Team. West Church received these awards for strongly supporting our Lead Pastor, Chris Ziegler, as the unit's chaplain.

The Patriot Award

This award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.

Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service

For outstanding public service ensuring the best possible religious support is provided to Soldiers of the 211th Military Police Battalion (First Corps of Cadets) by strongly supporting your Lead Pastor’s commitment to selfless service as the unit’s chaplain. Your efforts directly contribute to the high morale of Soldiers and Family Members, are in keeping with the finest traditions of American patriotism, and reflect great credit upon you, your congregation, and the Haverhill community.

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Operation Pack & Pray

by: Web Editor

10/17/2019

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A special opportunity to help package Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. And more importantly, to pray over the boxes that they will open doors to share the Gospel. A maximum of 2 volunteers is needed for each packing date and time. November 18 - 25, 2019, 2-hour shifts each day.

SIGNUP & MORE INFO

We will be meeting in the West Church Vestry to pack and pray! Questions, contact Marylou Noonan.

Operation Christmas Child blesses children around the world with gift-filled shoe boxes that become opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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A special opportunity to help package Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. And more importantly, to pray over the boxes that they will open doors to share the Gospel. A maximum of 2 volunteers is needed for each packing date and time. November 18 - 25, 2019, 2-hour shifts each day.

SIGNUP & MORE INFO

We will be meeting in the West Church Vestry to pack and pray! Questions, contact Marylou Noonan.

Operation Christmas Child blesses children around the world with gift-filled shoe boxes that become opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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Staff Appreciation Month

by: Web Editor

10/09/2019

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An opportunity for us to celebrate and express gratitude to our staff during October.

The Senior Leadership Team elected members (non-staff) are requesting that you pick one or more of the following staff and send them a card or note, or send an email to express your appreciation and thankfulness for them.

This is intended as a non-financial opportunity to express your thanks,but we will still collect financial gifts before Christmas as a tangible demonstration of our love.

Abby Cunningham Reception & Hospitality Coordinator

Eric Lindahl Worship Pastor

Mark Cottrell Dir of Outreach… read more

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An opportunity for us to celebrate and express gratitude to our staff during October.

The Senior Leadership Team elected members (non-staff) are requesting that you pick one or more of the following staff and send them a card or note, or send an email to express your appreciation and thankfulness for them.

This is intended as a non-financial opportunity to express your thanks,but we will still collect financial gifts before Christmas as a tangible demonstration of our love.

Abby Cunningham Reception & Hospitality Coordinator

Eric Lindahl Worship Pastor

Mark Cottrell Dir of Outreach

Phil Williams Dir of Ministry Operations

Shirley Paz Dir Spiritual Formation & Soul Care

Steve Simmons Youth Leader

Todd Becker Pastor to Children & Families

Chris Ziegler Lead Pastor

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Annual WestYouth Backpack Drive

by: Web Editor

07/25/2019

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Join WestYouth in serving the underprivileged in our community by donating backpacks and school supplies in preparation for the upcoming school year! Donations can be placed in the Library by August 18. Visit the Connection Center for a list of suggested items and contact Steve Simmons with any questions.


Fill It! – Fill a backpack that you have or will purchase with supplies
Give It! – Donate to fill a backpack

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Join WestYouth in serving the underprivileged in our community by donating backpacks and school supplies in preparation for the upcoming school year! Donations can be placed in the Library by August 18. Visit the Connection Center for a list of suggested items and contact Steve Simmons with any questions.


Fill It! – Fill a backpack that you have or will purchase with supplies
Give It! – Donate to fill a backpack

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The Global Leadership Summit

by: Web Editor

06/26/2019

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Thursday, August 8 and Friday, August 9, 2019

EVERYONE HAS INFLUENCE

Two days of fresh, actionable and inspiring world-class speakers.

Bethany Church in Greenland NH

Because we are a Summit Partner people from West Church can attend the Leadership Summit for just $109.

And if you currently serve West Church in a leadership role, we will pay half of that reduced fee so that you can attend for just $55. REGISTER HERE

But, don't let the cost keep you away, as we usually have a couple scholarships available -- just contact Bob Wilson as soon as possible.

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Thursday, August 8 and Friday, August 9, 2019

EVERYONE HAS INFLUENCE

Two days of fresh, actionable and inspiring world-class speakers.

Bethany Church in Greenland NH

Because we are a Summit Partner people from West Church can attend the Leadership Summit for just $109.

And if you currently serve West Church in a leadership role, we will pay half of that reduced fee so that you can attend for just $55. REGISTER HERE

But, don't let the cost keep you away, as we usually have a couple scholarships available -- just contact Bob Wilson as soon as possible.

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KidsWeek @ West

by: Web Editor

05/19/2019

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Save the Dates!
KIDSWEEK@West
M - F, June 24 - 28, 6pm - 8pm

Your child will meet new friends, sing awesome songs, play games & learn how Life is wild and God is good!
REGISTER your child or sign-up to volunteer

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Save the Dates!
KIDSWEEK@West
M - F, June 24 - 28, 6pm - 8pm

Your child will meet new friends, sing awesome songs, play games & learn how Life is wild and God is good!
REGISTER your child or sign-up to volunteer

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Did You Know?

by: Web Editor

05/15/2019

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The Family Kitchen ministry distributed over 34 tons of food in 2018 with a monthly average of 151 households receiving food.

The Family Kitchen is a member of the


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The Family Kitchen ministry distributed over 34 tons of food in 2018 with a monthly average of 151 households receiving food.

The Family Kitchen is a member of the


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DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH ANNOUNCED

by: Web Editor

04/15/2019

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Pastor Chris announced Mark Cottrell as the Director of Outreach during the Palm Sunday services on Sunday, April 14. In this new part-time position, Mark will oversee International Missions, Local Outreach and the initiative of helping us to become more of a church of missionaries instead of a church that just supports missionaries, since we are all called to share Christ with others.

Mark has been a member of West Church and the team leader for the Mission Leadership Team for 10 years. He also served on the recent Transition Team. Mark has worked as a short-term mission facilitator and has… read more

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Pastor Chris announced Mark Cottrell as the Director of Outreach during the Palm Sunday services on Sunday, April 14. In this new part-time position, Mark will oversee International Missions, Local Outreach and the initiative of helping us to become more of a church of missionaries instead of a church that just supports missionaries, since we are all called to share Christ with others.

Mark has been a member of West Church and the team leader for the Mission Leadership Team for 10 years. He also served on the recent Transition Team. Mark has worked as a short-term mission facilitator and has led over 120 STM teams.

Mark will begin on June 1. Please join us in welcoming Mark to the West Church staff.

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NEW WEBSITE

by: Web Editor

03/27/2019

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We are excited to announce the release of our new church website! Here visitors, as well as church community members, will be able to find information about our ministries, listen to recent messages and stay up to date with current events.

Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and take some time to review all that’s happening at West. We hope that the new design and layout will help you better navigate our site. Enjoy!

read more
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We are excited to announce the release of our new church website! Here visitors, as well as church community members, will be able to find information about our ministries, listen to recent messages and stay up to date with current events.

Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and take some time to review all that’s happening at West. We hope that the new design and layout will help you better navigate our site. Enjoy!

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EASTER

by: Philip Williams

03/26/2019

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Special service times for Easter Sunday: 8am, 9:30am and 11am. The WestKids and WestYouth programs will be offered at 9:30am and 11am.


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Special service times for Easter Sunday: 8am, 9:30am and 11am. The WestKids and WestYouth programs will be offered at 9:30am and 11am.


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CROSSROADS

by: Philip Williams

03/25/2019

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Is there a pattern in your life that you want to change? A temptation or desire you can’t control? Have you tried to make that change on your own and failed? CROSSROADS addresses all of these issues and offers hope through not only knowing Jesus and responding to Him, but also learn how to respond with Him. Jesus invites us all to come to Him raw and real, just the way we are, and to do that together. Join us on our journey to a place of healing. Begins Thursday, April 4 at 7pm.

REGISTER and MORE… read more

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Is there a pattern in your life that you want to change? A temptation or desire you can’t control? Have you tried to make that change on your own and failed? CROSSROADS addresses all of these issues and offers hope through not only knowing Jesus and responding to Him, but also learn how to respond with Him. Jesus invites us all to come to Him raw and real, just the way we are, and to do that together. Join us on our journey to a place of healing. Begins Thursday, April 4 at 7pm.

REGISTER and MORE INFO

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