We Are Waitsburg Christian Church
We Are Trusting God with our Future
Hope, as defined by Eugene H. Peterson, in his book A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society,“…means a confident, alert expectation that God will do what he said he will do. It is imagination put in the harness of faith. It is a willingness to let God do it his way and in his time. It is the opposite of making plans that we demand that God put into effect, telling him both how and when to do it.” We choose to trust God with our future. As we wait for that special person whom God is calling to partner with us, we continue in a persistence of progressive creativity for meeting the needs of all God’s children, as he places them on our hearts, and guides our response. At the start of this new year, we reviewed 2015 and “imagined” 2016. Putting that imagination into the harness of faith, we look forward to seeing what God will do!
We Are Connecting Communities and Welcoming All
Waitsburg is one small community in the center of other small communities (Dixie, Dayton, and Prescott within 10 miles—South, West, & East). A little further are Starbuck and Pomeroy (small), Walla Walla (larger), and Tri-Cities (metropolitan). Waitsburg First Christian Church is a source of connection for people and ministries in this 4 season agricultural valley referred to as Touchet (twoshee). We do not draw territorial lines of distinction or discrimination, by physical location or denomination or history or type of baptism or musical preference, etc. We welcome all whom God calls into ministry and fellowship with us.
Currently we have members living in all three of the small towns mentioned, and many have strong ties to Walla Walla. We hold joint leadership for Sunday School classes, Vacation Bible School and Summer Worship with our neighboring Presbyterian friends. Our most recent pastor was actively involved in the Touchet Valley Ministerial Association which includes pastors from Waitsburg, Dayton, Walla Walla, Prescott and Starbuck.
We Are Focusing on Youth and Families
Ministry to youth has also been a connecting point for historically rival high-schools, through joint Young-Life ministries and a very strong youth choir (since retired with our exceptionally talented former pastor/wife team). We have strong member connections within the public schools—parents as well as teaching and administrative staff. These connections lead to a wealth of ideas for ministering to kids and families. We have collaboratively organized and hosted afterschool and vacation nutrition and activities programs, as well as helping to facilitate “fill a backpack” covert operations to ensure that kids have something to eat on the weekends. New this year is the provision of a safe and affordable Prom Night Dinner. Church members have hosted foster kids, and parenting educational and support groups.
Support for Socioeconomic Needs
Several years ago, collaborations with other churches and community organizations lead to the expansion of our local food bank into the “Waitsburg Resource Center,” housed in our local branch of Banner Bank. The center is staffed by volunteers and meets all kinds of needs in addition to provision of food. The Resource Center recently purchased blankets and flashlights for community emergency preparedness. Members of our congregation are currently working towards establishing a laundry facility as another ministry to our community.
We currently support church family members ministering in Bolivia and the Ukraine. We have also been blessed to help members in short term mission trips to Africa and Central America (including continued support for a women’s sewing cooperative), as well as supporting a young adult on staff for a year at Young-Life camp. We provide financial support and/or have hosted representatives of other missions or organizations such as Northwest Christian University, Operation Christmas Child, Voice of the Martyrs’ support for Syrian refugees (early in the crisis), Gideon Bible Society, and a couple doing long term educational ministry in Africa.
Closer to Home Outreach
There are various ministries initiated through the gifts and passions of individual members. For example, one woman started a prayer shawl ministry several years ago, and hosts 2 groups of knitters (or crocheters) in her home weekly. The products of this labor are warmly received by those dealing with grief and loss, illness, or other trial in their lives.
A couple of men started a “2nd Saturday” ministry for various projects in our community which could benefit from a crew of handy men. They meet up for breakfast, inviting friends to join, and then go to work on the chosen project for the day. This year we put on a living nativity at the orchestration of another single member who really wanted to share that experience with our community.
Our church is recognized by the state of WA as a Historic Church, established in 1880. In 1905 church members built our current building without any debt incurred. Over the years, various updating and remodeling projects have helped to keep it as a valuable resource for the ministry and fellowship of the church. The latest major project restored stained glass windows, which contribute light and beauty to worship services in our sanctuary. We also recently updated our electrical and HVAC systems. Our congregation is old enough to have outlived its founders, but many current members have generational roots in our church family (and they can tell lots of stories!). We have a long tradition of community service. There is a sense of loyalty and respect for what our founders began, not in the form of “but we’ve always done it that way,” but rather a recognition that our Disciples of Christ foundation has a lot to offer to this current generation. We are eager to share what we experience as life-giving truth, living out our faith in ministry to our community and our world. We hope you’ll join us.