Mission Near and Far
FOCUS ON MISSIONS
Members of West Side are strongly committed to Mission...Outreach to those in need, whether they are across the street or across the ocean, is a fundamental facet of who we are. There are opportunities to become involved for all ages, both locally and as part of mission trips.
Calling all 8th through 12th graders! For many years West Side has sent several of our 8th through 12th graders to Paterson once a week during July and August to read to the young children in their city camp, called Safe-Space.
We are looking for several volunteers who love young children and love to read to be part of this year’s readers. We gather together a number of appropriate books, meet in the church parking lot around noon on Wednesdays (July 10, 17, 24 and 31; August 7 and 14), then go to United Presbyterian Church (the site of Safe-Space) to read for about an hour, returning to West Side about 2:30PM. The Paterson children are eager learners who love our visits.
If you think you’d like to be a part of this group (you don’t have to go every week if you can’t), please contact Rev. Penny Hogan at West Side or Lucy Ianacone (201-445-6824) as soon as possible…and start looking for your own favorite childhood books to share with the children of Paterson!
West Side's Work in Haiti
On Sunday, April 21, everyone is invited to a special workshop opportunity when members of the Haiti Mission Trip Team will share their experiences with the congregation during both services and after the 10:00 a.m. one. At the 8:45 a.m. Chapel service, there will be a video presentation and a sermon on the Haiti trip by participants Chris Stout, Henry Cruz, and Dr. David Montgomery. The sermon at 10:00 a.m. worship will be "The Disease Is Conceit, the Cure Is Humility," by Rev. Marc Oehler and Dr. David Montgomery. After the service, there will be a video presentation and Q&A session, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Please join us for this special event! Click here to see the pictures...
Gardening for You and Me
Do you have a vegetable garden at home? If you don’t, perhaps you might think about starting one this spring. West Side is exploring the idea of working with the congregants of Cornerstone Christian Church, who work with Jericho Road Homeless Shelter in Paterson. Cornerstone members maintain vegetable gardens at home and give all or part of their fresh grown produce to the men of Jericho Road.
Could we, members of West Side, be encouraged to use all of our God-given resources, including our land, time and energy to directly help those in need in our immediate area?
How would this work? Members would create and maintain vegetable gardens on their properties. They would bring their produce to church on Sundays. These donations would be brought to Jericho Shelter in Paterson on Monday. There is also a Harvest Time Food Pantry in Paterson on two Saturdays a month when the less fortunate residents of Paterson can shop for free at a pantry run by the men of Jericho.
Why would you participate?
- To glorify God by using all of His resources to help those in need in our local area.
- To encourage family participation in a ministry that will powerfully demonstrate God’s love for the less fortunate
- To be the “hands and feet” of Christ as we serve the “least of these.”
- If you already have a vegetable garden, perhaps you could just plant a little extra.
- If you don’t have a garden, this is a good reason to start one.
Interested? Contact Lynn Curtin.
Cents-Ability Thank You
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Cents-Ability program this Lenten season. We made a joyful noise to the Lord on Palm Sunday as we dedicated our coins and shouted, "Hosanna!" We also raised $523.09 to fight hunger. Monies will be split between the Social Service Association of Ridgewood (local) and Presbyterian Hunger Relief (international).
Food Bag Donations:
Help Us Fill Our New Food Collection Boxes on May 5th
Many thanks to Jack Gardner for his fine craftsmanship to create the beautiful new wooden boxes on each side of the front entryway, which will be used to collect food donations for our hungry neighbors.
West Side’s food bag donations have fallen by more than two-thirds since 2008. Yet the need is greater than ever. So we’re reinvigorating West Side’s food donation program. Over the course of the year, we will honor various groups within our church as “sponsors” of a food drive. The congregation is invited to express their support of the group by donating food alongside the sponsor. Please help honor the hardworking and talented members of our Choir Program, by placing a bag of non-perishable items into the new food boxes NEXT SUNDAY, MAY 5th. Pick up a food bag to fill after the service today.
- Supermarket Gift Cards—to purchase what is not donated
- Canned Meat, Tuna, and Chicken, etc.
- Canned Hearty Soup
- Canned Vegetables
- Macaroni & Cheese
- Cereal (low sugar kids cereal welcome)
- Peanut Butter & Jelly
- UHT Milk (e.g., Parmalat)
- Instant Dry Milk (boxed)
- Canned Fruit
- Instant Potatoes
Paterson Habitat for Humanity Work Days
Typically at least one Saturday each month, West Side volunteers work with the Paterson branch of Habitat. West Side contributes funding and many volunteer hours every year. Through the efforts of West Side and many other volunteers, over the years Paterson Habitat has completed dozens of homes for low-income residents. Potential opportunities for volunteers include construction, fundraising, etc. Upcoming work days are scheduled for Saturday, May 5th and May 26th. Please bring your willingness to make a difference, connect with a group of West Siders, and have fun doing good. We will meet at the church parking lot at 7:30 a.m. and caravan to Paterson, returning between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m. You can either bring your lunch or get something to eat at one of the good sandwich shops near the work sites. To sign up, contact Carol Walton. All volunteers must be at least 16 years old.
The next scheduled work days are August 3, October 5, and November 2. If you have questions, please contact Ben Dougherty.
St. Phillip's Soup KitchenOur next visit is Wednesday, April 10. Please volunteer for this vital ministry. We ask that you come and try it once--more if you feel called to this ministry. For anyone wishing to volunteer for future dates, we meet as a group the second Wednesday of each month from now through June at 4:30 p.m. in the West Side kitchen. We each prepare part of the meal and then carpool over to St. Phillip's in Paterson.
To be part of this ministry for any upcoming date, please contact Andy Roughgarden or Marc Oehler.
A group of young West Siders will be making a trip to the food pantry again on June 1st, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We can take a maximum of 15 participants, ages 9-12. To ask questions or sign up, contact Penny Hogan.
For further information, please contact Lucy McCord.
Contacts: Sue Barbuto, Camille Abate-Preuss
Contact: Tyler Welence
For the seventh consecutive year, West Side members are coordinating a goodwill construction project and youth baseball tournament in the Dominican Republic. West Siders are invited to join the construction work project portion of the trip at a school for the deaf in San Pedro de Macoris. This short-duration trip is an ideal way to "get your feet wet" on mission trips and to experience the joy of service. For more information or to join, please contact Tyler Welence at email@example.com.
Sponsor a Dominican or Haitian Student's Elementary Education
Contact: Tyler Welence
Tyler Welence, a West Side missionary who works in the Dominican Republic and Haiti with the non-profit Foundation for Peace, is home with us for the holidays. The Foundation for Peace offers programs to sponsor Dominican and Haitian students. Tyler is currently teaching English to schoolchildren and adults in the impoverished village of La Javilla, DR. This school currently has no sponsorships and is struggling to keep its doors open. If you are interested in sponsoring a student, please find the brochures in the narthex or access information at www.foundationforpeace.org. Questions or information? Contact Tyler Welence at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Thrift Shop
Contact: Phyllis Sohn
Donating your gently used items and clothing to the Community Thrift Shop in Midland Park is a meaningful way to help West Side. The Thrift Shop needs clothing (in style, gently used, clean, neatly folded), books, toys, jewelry, china, bric-a-brac, small furniture, and electrical appliances in good working order. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of donations goes to West Side. (Be sure to mark your bags with #94, West Side's ID number.) The Shop is located at 85 Godwin Avenue, Midland Park, on the rear lower level of the Midland Park Shopping Center. Receiving times are every Monday, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., and the first Saturday of the month, 10:100 a.m.-2:00 p.m. For information, call the Community Thrift Shop at 201-652-7661.
West Side Job Connection
Contact: Mark Babunovic
West Side Connections is a program that matches West Side members and participants looking for work with those needing work done. In the first three months of this ministry, from 24 postings we have made 15 connections.
The Process: Those seeking work will be matched with those needing work done on a first emailed/first connected basis. When there is a match, we will email the job-seeker with the name and preferred contact information of the "work-needed," so the job-seeker can follow up directly. The work to be done, timing, and payment will be agreed to between the two parties involved. We will update the job list in the weekly bulletin with additional items that members offer or need. There is lots of talent and experience within West Side, just as there are countless tasks and projects to be done. This is an opportunity to benefit one another by matching the two within the West Side family.
Who to Contact: Whether you are seeking work or have a job you need help with, please contact our coordinator, Mark Babunovic at email@example.com with your information.
Job seekers: Please include your name, phone number(s), and email address(es), along with how you prefer to be contacted. List the services you are offering and whether you have the tools, supplies, or equipment necessary. Include dates when you are available--e.g., "from now through the end of August" or "any time." When a match is made, we will email you with the name and preferred email or phone number of the person needing help, so that you can contact them. We will also send your name and contact to the person hiring so that they know to expect your call. Let us know if you are looking for full-time work or professional opportunities.
Help needed: Please include your name, phone number(s), and email address(es) and how you prefer to be contacted. List the services you need done and whether you have the tools, equipment, or supplies necessary. Include dates during which you would like the service(s) performed--e.g., "the next two weeks before we are away on vacation." When a match is made, we will send your name and contact to the job seeker and email you with his/her contact information. The job seeker will be asked to contact you. For professional opportunities please include a brief job description. Please email Mark Babunovic (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions, suggestions, or additions to the list.
Contact: Erilyn Riley
This is a West Side initiative to provide diapers and formula to the working poor, ineligible for welfare in Bergen County. The program was adopted by the Red Cross, but continues to be run by a Board of Directors from West Side.
Contact: Lucy Ianacone
This is a five-week summer camp program held at the United Presbyterian Church of Paterson. Approximately 125 children attend this program, and West Side provides both funds and volunteers each year.
United Presbyterian Theological Fund
This fund provides support to theological schools for the education of ministers. West Side gives annually to support this important mission.
Support for National Efforts
Retired Church Workers Fund
Part of the annual Christmas offering goes to a fund created by the Presbyterian Church (USA) to provide at least a minimum level of support for retired church workers.
United Presbyterian General Assembly, Synod, Presbytery Mission Work, and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA)
West Side donates annually to the Presbyterian Church (USA) in support of ongoing national and international missions (churches, seminaries, hospitals), as well as disaster relief.
Free the Kids, formerly known as Hope House, in Les Cayes, Haiti, is an orphanage for boys founded by a Catholic priest, Father Marc. Father Marc left the Navy to found this orphanage after witnessing the extreme poverty of Haiti. His sister and brother-in-law were West Side members who have become fundraisers for the orphanage. West Side continues to be its largest contributor, and in addition to its usual support and occasional visits, contributed funds for the purchase of a truck to transport the children. The orphanage has expanded exponentially as the needs are overwhelming, but Father Marc continues to hold it all together, maintaining the motivation needed to overcome the hardships of work in Haiti.
Contact: Lucy Janjigian
West Side has also sent donations to support children in Armenia and Ngorno Kharabagh. The money goes to support summer camps that are biblically-oriented, sponsored by the Armenian Missionary Association of America. About 10,000 children attend these camps and daily Vacation Bible Schools in both Armenia and Ngorno Kharabagh. At Christmas time, we support Christmas joy packages. Nativity and Christmas programs take place in about 65 towns and villages. About 16,000 children attend and are given a small gift from Santa.