Happy Friday!

We’ve been talking about finding God everywhere and the fact that everything is, indeed, sacred.

And we continue to gently remember that, yeah, we aren’t like a lot of other churches. We exist to help people who do not have a relationship with God through Christ find and experience that transformational relationship.

Yes . . . in all that we do, we are thinking about how to help those who do not know what they are missing out on find their way TO or BACK TO God.

Now, hopefully, during all that, you, who does already engage in that transformational relationship, are able to grow, change, and be transformed. We never stop caring about you simply because you aren’t “unchurched.” It is a “both/and.” You matter.

We believe once you meet Christ and experience that transformational Love, it changes you in such a way that you want to live for others and not self, just as Jesus did.

As a faith community, you demonstrate this often, but this week, you hit it out of the park. Over and over again.

A family that attended AMPED Camp shared with a staff that the reason they chose this experience was because it was at a school and not a church building. (That never happens! Ha!) Normally we have to defend why we aren’t going to build a church.)

The family had stopped attending their church because of the “brainwashing” that was happening to their children.

Our staff was able to explain how we approach teaching faith to children. We do it in such a way that when they turn 13ish, they don’t start questioning everything re God they’ve been taught. We teach them to think for themselves, explore, and gain understanding. Brainwashing is the last thing we want to do!

(I am a product of that same brainwashing . . . it’s why I thought dinosaurs lived when Moses did . . . I’m still deconstructing some of the weird stuff I was taught about God because my church during my teenage years was afraid to let us “think.”)

Wednesday night, I walked outside the doors of the high school as Layne led the AMPED Camp people in their final group picture.

I found that suddenly I’d developed a significant case of, as Barry Brown – one of our founding members and PAC Team leader says, “eye allergies.”

“Eye allergies” because it was truly a moment of the Kingdom of God.

The culmination of hundreds of people from all places/stages in life working together to offer children/families opportunities to encounter The Divine.

So . . .

If you give to the operations of West through our budgeted giving . . . or

You bought supplies from the AMPED list and supplied them for camp . . . or

You gave so generously of your time making this week happen by being present with the kids . . . or

You prayed for AMPED Camp . . . or

You worked to cook/prepare the meal for them this week . . . or

You told others about West/AMPED Camp and invited them . . .

You are a component of HOW this truly was a Kingdom of God experience for kids/families!

Wednesday night ended with a water game, kids receiving their personalized cups/surprise bags, and walking away with their families smiling, laughing, and probably a little exhausted!

Like the West pics from AMPED Camp on social media! It will help others see there is a “unique way” to offer faith.

And, Dawn and Lexi both gave of their time this week to help make camp happen even though it is not in their job description. So . . . as always, we appreciate the way West Staff serves as a team.

Finally . . . if you have a minute, please tell Layne ([email protected]) that the work she does matters.

Ministry is often a job that feels like you are throwing stones into a giant abyss, and nothing seems to make a difference. It’s a “constant” job, no set “office hours,” our staff works day AND night AND weekends – and unlike other professions that have those responsibilities, the pay is not the same. (In fact, they could make more at Carowinds for the summer). 😉

They do ministry because of their servant’s hearts. A “Thank You” from you makes THE WORLD of difference.

Thank YOU for being “the church.”

You are willing to be different. You are always willing to change and grow.

You are unique.

You are beautiful.

I hope you, too, can get some “eye allergies” from knowing how you are transforming the world.

Grace and Peace,