Reach Others Hear, Near and Far

Jesus calls all his followers to share the hope found in Him with all the worldIt’s a big task. At Westwood, we are stepping into that call by seeking ways to reach people Here, Near and Far. There is a place for everyone to participate in Jesus Christ’s great commission – here in our communities, throughout the Twin Cities, and around the world! 

Community Outreach is a critical component within our Here Vision. The Community Outreach Ministry exists to draw people to faith in God through the love of Jesus and to release people to bless their communities. This is accomplished by blessing the kids, students, and families in the communities around each campus by engaging the church and releasing volunteers. 

Community Partners

We partner with local organizations to help meet the needs of our neighbors. Organizations we work with include:  

Get Involved

Hope Garden 

Planting, weeding, harvesting, and distributing produce from the Hope Garden to the Hope House kids and other food shelves in the SW Metro from a garden located on the Chanhassen campus 

New Neighbor Gift 

The New Neighbor Gift is a gift for people who have recently moved into the communities around our campuses. The gift contains Minnesota themed items, and it is focused on blessing families during transition and inviting them to Westwood. The team oversees the packing and distribution of the gifts monthly.  

Love Our Cities 

Love Our Cities is our bi-annual (Fall and Spring) all-church Serve Day. These serve days not only provide incredible blessing to our communities, but it is also a way to get people to engage with outreach in a way they may not normally. We know that there are many people who are more willing to serve alongside us than join us in a worship service; with this in mind, these serve days are a highly invitational experience. 

Collections  

The aim of our drives and collections are two-fold: to meet the needs of the communities of each campus and to act as an on-ramp for people to engage in outreach. 

The annual drives and collections are: 

  1. Garden of New Beginnings – Aimed at supply needs for people starting a new phase in life. This could be parents with young kids and babies in need or young adults transitioning into adulthood. This event takes place in Spring and varies from April to May depending on the timing of Easter and Mother’s Day. 
  2. Hope for the Holidays – Aimed at blessing kids and families around Christmas i.e. providing gifts for kids, winter coats, sponsoring families, etc. This event takes place in November and December with the event generally ending the Sunday after Thanksgiving Sunday 
Prison Ministry 

Ministering to inmates in the Shakopee Women’s Prison and Moose Lake Prison through letter writing, worship services, and bible study, as well as, team mentoring people recently released from the prison 

Advocacy 

We believe we are called to respond to the gospel by advocating for changes in systems and policies that keep people on the margins. Working in partnership with community partners and existing teams at Westwood, we lobby legislators and other policymakers to support proposals that would alleviate poverty and advance equality. 

Next Steps

Learn more or explore ways to get involved, contact the team by email Outreach@westwoodcc.org or click the below link to learn more.

Near Ministry seeks to help establish, grow, bless and multiply immigrant churches in the Twin Cities, serving in unity with local immigrant church pastors and leaders.   

Near Partners 

Westwood is partnering with local immigrant and multi-ethnic churches who share the same heart for discipleship and multiplication in order to see God’s kingdom grow here in the Twin Cities.  Some of our current Near Church partners include:  

Destino Church 

Destino Church, led by Pr. Mauricio Dell, is a bi-lingual Latino church currently meeting at the Bush Lake Campus on Sundays at 1pm.  They care about the integrity of the immigrant family; not just the first generation of immigrants, but the second and third generation as well.  They embrace and celebrate the beauty of unity in diversity.  

Global Harvest Church 

Global Harvest, led by Pr. Earnest Jeyaraja, is a multi-ethnic church that wants to ignite a passion for Christ and impact our diverse community with the power and love of Jesus Christ.  One of the ministries of Global Harvest is the Tamil Church, which meets at Westwood’s Bush Lake Campus.  Tamil Worship services are the 1st Friday of every month at 7pm.  

Power of Gospel Church 

Power of Gospel Church, led by Pr. Kefyalew, exists to know God, to glorify God, and to make disciples of all the nationsThey are an Oromo church with a heart for Gospel sharing and church planting and a wide reach throughout Ethiopia and the Middle East.  They currently worship at a church location in Bloomington on Sunday mornings at 11am.    

Get Involved:  

Near Ministry Prayer Team 

The Prayer Team meets once a month, on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7pm to pray for our Near Partners, for the unreached people living here in the Twin Cities, and for Westwood’s work in blessing and sharing the Gospel.  Join the Prayer Team for specific opportunities to pray for and with our Near Partners.   

Church Partner Relationship Team 

Good partnership with our Near Partners requires serving with humility, listening, building trust by being dependableThe Church Partner Relationship Team focuses on building relationships with specific Near Partners that leads to opportunities to serve each other and to reach others in our communities.  

Resources 

There are many resources, websites, and apps that can help you and your family learn about God’s heart for all families of the earth and about our individual roles in the helping reach unreached people right here in the Twin Cities.  Some of our recommended resources include: 

  • Books:
    • Reaching the Nations: People the Change the World, by Brian Galloway
    • Operation Word, by Jason Mandryk
  • Family-friendly Resources:
    • Window to the World: An Operation World Prayer Resource, by Molly Wall
    • The Big Story Series, by Weave Family Ministry
  • Prayer App and Website:

Next Steps

To learn more information about getting involved with Near Ministry, email near.far@westwoodcc.org or click on the link below:

Far Ministry equips and releases specific global teams who work through strategic partners to multiply churches, make disciples and share the love of Christ through demonstration and proclamation of His word.

Far Teams and Partners

Africa Team

The Central Africa and Justice Ministries support Westwood’s partnerships in Malawi, Kenya, Ghana, Togo and Benin.  Their ministry focuses on women’s health, business development, biblical justice, evangelism and discipleship.   

Westwood’s Far Partners in Africa include:  

Europe Team 

The Europe Team supports partners in Sweden, Germany, and Moldova as they share the Gospel, plant churches and grow disciples who make disciples.   

Westwood’s Far Partners in Europe include:  

  • Converge – Jim and Lynn Jarman, Sweden/Nordic Consortium; Kyle Trommanhauser, Germany 
  • CRU – Moldova 
  • Steiger – Germany 
Central Asia Team 

The Central Asia Team focuses on praying and advocating for specific unreached people groups in closed areas of Central Asia. They also support the work of Bible translation for these people groups. 

Westwood also partners with The Timothy Initiative (TTI) in South Asia. The Timothy Initiative is an international church planting organization whose purpose is to train and equip pastors and church planters in order to reach unreached people groups around the worldIn South Asia, Westwood supports TTI’s training centers where they are discipling leaders, who will in turn disciple leaders.

Middle East Team 

The Middle East Team supports partners in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria to share the love of Christ with displaced Syrians and persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

Westwood’s Far Partners in the Middle East include 

  • QuestscopeZa’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan 
  • A medical clinic serving Syrian refugees Amman, Jordan  
  • A ministry serving persecuted Christians and refugees in Lebanon and Syria

Please contact us for more information about Westwood’s Far Partners working in closed countries.

Missionary Care Team

The Missionary Care Team’s purpose is to encourage, pray and care for Westwood’s partners near and far.  They regularly communicate with Near and Far Partners to send birthday cards to them and their family, care for them at Christmas with gifts and cards, and pray for each partner.  There are opportunities for families and groups to get involved by caring for specific Westwood partners throughout the year.

Next Steps

For more information about our Far Teams or to volunteer, email near.far@westwoodcc.org or click on the link below:

At Westwood, we extend God’s love and mercy to those in need across the street and across the globe and believe in long-term, on-going ministry supported by short-term ministry trips. Trips are God-centered, collaborative and grounded in prayer with the intention of helping everyone we meet to become fully devoted followers of Christ. 

Westwood’s Far Teams help plan and support ministry trips in collaboration with our Far Partners.  Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, no ministry trips are currently scheduled.  

If you are interested in learning more about joining one of our ministry trips, click on the following link to get started.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 

When we use the gifts God has given us through serving, we shine. We put our faith in action. We grow deeper in our relationship with God. At Westwood, we want to help you find the right place to serve that best matches your interests, gifts and time availability. Use the following link to get started. 

LifeGivers

LifeGivers is intended to help us better understand, value and become engaged with building a culture that cherishes every human life. When we come to faith in Christ, we enter a personal life-changing relationship with the living God who is obsessed with life.

As followers of Jesus, we then respond to God’s heart for life by living out that same value. In this sermon series, we are not asking people to take a step towards engagement every week; our desire for this sermon series is that each person would prayerfully consider one sermon topic that they feel prompted with and take a next step. To engage people into the need, Westwood is highlighting a community partner ministering in that area through stories and opportunities to engage.

New Life Family Services

Mission: To honor the sanctity of human life by assisting clients in life-affirming decisions with the love and compassion of Christ.

Primary Ministry:

  1. Pregnancy Centers
    New Life operates four pregnancy center locations, known as First Care Pregnancy Center, throughout the Twin Cities and Rochester communities.
  2. Adoption Services
    Through our unique two-worker model, we serve both birth parents and adoptive families independently with separate adoption and birth parent social workers, ensuring each party in the adoption receives the best care and advocate throughout their entire adoption journey.
  3. Post-Abortion Recovery
    Through Conquerors, New Life restores hope after abortion to men and women ready to seek healing from the damage a past abortion has caused in their lives.

Engagement Invitations

  1. Direct service volunteers at our Richfield pregnancy center
    We are looking for weekly English speaking parenting coaches, weekly Spanish speaking parenting coaches, weekly clothing closet volunteers, an office “handyman,” and sonographers (RDMS required). For more information, email Jenna Holst at jenna@nlfs.org.
  2. Join the Wednesday morning prayer call with our Outreach and Near/Far teams to learn more.
    We meet weekly on Wednesdays at 7 am. This is a great chance to learn more about our partners, hear their prayer requests, and pray together. You can join by following this link: https://westwoodcc.zoom.us/j/97487591658?pwd=NUJ1TUxsTnBPN3R1aWJxaGxhcGVyZz09
  3. Prayer partners
    (text “NEWLIFEPRAYER” to 51555)

Transform MN

Mission: We exist to connect Christian leaders, develop Biblical solutions and equip churches that transform communities.

One of Transform MN’s core areas of focus is Racial Harmony. Transform Minnesota’s pursuit of racial harmony is rooted in Gospel truths of reconciliation and justice, striving to come together in the Kingdom of God. Their desire is to proclaim hope and unity.

Racial Justice and Reconciliation Team (RJR)
Mission: To AWAKEN to the reality of systemic racism in our world, LEARN the critical histories that have led us to this reality, and ENGAGE in specific action to contend against systemic racism as people following Jesus into biblical justice.

Engagement Invitations

  1. If you are interested in learning more about the subject of racism, Transform MN has put together a series of videos called Transform Topics to help you learn more. Watch Transform Topics videos here.
  2. Get connected with RJR
    Interested in learning more about the RJR Team? Let us know by clicking here.
    Looking to learn more on your own or with your family? Check out a resource list here.
  3. Join the Wednesday morning prayer call with our Outreach and Near/Far teams to learn more.We meet weekly on Wednesdays at 7 am. This is a great chance to learn more about our partners, hear their prayer requests, and pray together. You can join by following this link: https://westwoodcc.zoom.us/j/97487591658?pwd=NUJ1TUxsTnBPN3R1aWJxaGxhcGVyZz09 

Hope House

VISION: A BED FOR EVERY CHILD
Our vision is to help these young people stabilize and transition to a permanent solution, the home will be a safe and supportive environment for youth, offering:

  • 24/7 crisis shelter.
  • Food, Safety, and a Warm Bed.
  • Youth, parent, and family counseling.
  • A first call for help for law enforcement, schools, community organizations

GOAL: GROWTH AND SUSTAINABILITY

Our goal is that we will have developed a replicable, scalable model that will ensure that all at risk, homeless youth in the Southwest metro have an option for support and a warm, safe bed and space when in crisis.

To learn more and see urgent house needs, you can visit their website: openhandsfoundation.com.

Engagement Invitations

  1. Provide a Meal. More details and sign up here.
  2. Provide a Welcome Basket. More details and sign up here.
  3. See Wish List items for teens. More details and sign up here.

Beacon

Vision: All people have a home.

Mission: As a collaborative of congregations united in action, we create homes and advance equitable housing.

From their mission, Beacon’s focus areas are creating new homes, sustaining stable homes, sheltering families, and changing systems.

Engagement Invitations

  1. Families Moving Forward
    Families Moving Forward is the area’s only emergency family shelter. Our program has hosted thousands of shelter nights & has helped about 100 families find long term and stable housing since we began our mission in 2014. “FMF” hosts up to 4 families year round through our network of local congregations. With the COVID-19 pandemic we are hosting our families in a local Hotel in Chanhassen. Our biggest need right now is serving our family nightly meals, with more opportunities to be engaged throughout the year.
  2. Prairie Pointe
    We need residents of both Scott & Carver counties to lift up their voices & values to our local elected leaders through emails, phone calls, digital meetings, and more to show their support for proven housing solutions like family supportive housing and Prairie Pointe! Your involvement with our work to make Prairie Pointe a reality will impact the lives of dozens of families and hundreds of individuals in our communities.
  3. Policy
    We know that providing emergency shelter & building homes alone will not be enough to match the size and scope of the need in our communities and across the state. That is why Beacon engages our state representatives around short term and long term housing solutions. In the 2021 legislative session, we need to make sure that addressing housing insecurity and homelessness is front and center of the conversation in Saint Paul! Your voice alongside hundreds more makes a difference. To sign up or learn more about any of these opportunities, follow this link.

LINC

Mission: NO LEADER WALKS ALONE

LINC is a nonprofit that dedicated to the work of empowering local (often overlooked) ministry leaders so their influence will grow, their communities will thrive and more people will be introduced to the good news about Jesus.  LINC raises up leaders from a diversity of backgrounds, walking with them to help bring their God-given dreams to reality. Some of the many initiatives happening right now include opening a restoration house for victims of sex trafficking, a micro-school movement and multiple church plants focused on unreached people. LINC equips leaders to develop their unique plan and trains coaches to walk with them in the process. Currently, LINC is working with over 100 leaders and actively looking for those called to help walk alongside of these amazing leaders.

Engagement Invitations:

  1. Learn more about LINC and about upcoming opportunities to be trained in coaching/mentoring local church planters and ministry leaders. Visit linc.org
  2. Pray for immigrant and refugee people in the Twin Cities to be reached for the Gospel:
    • Join the monthly Near Ministry Prayer Gathering, happening every 2nd Tuesday of the month, currently via zoom. The next prayer gathering will be Tuesday, February 9th, from 7-7:45pm.    This prayer time will include a short devotional, prayer requests to be shared and a time of prayer.  Participants are invited to pray out lout as they feel led or pray silently along with the others.  For more information, email us at far@westwoodcc.org or join the prayer call using the following link: https://westwoodcc.zoom.us/j/95732112062?pwd=WkdZQlZMaE5xd2N4di9hb2RxQWR2dz09
    • Download and print this prayer card as a reminder to pray regularly.
  3. Learn about the Syrian refugee experience directly from those living in the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan in partnership with Westwood’s Middle East Team and Far Partner, Questscope. Hear more about their personal experience and how that experience has transformed their lives on a Zoom call on February 9th. Questscope is a non-profit organization helping Syrians whose lives have been affected by war and poverty by providing emergency assistance, alternative education, and mentorship. Westwood’s Middle East Team is partnering with Questscope to support these initiatives by building relationships, and resourcing support and non-formal educational programmingFor more information or to register for the Feb. 9th zoom call, please contact Erica Abdel-Khaliq, area leader for Westwood’s Middle East Team.  Erica Abdel-Khaliq ehabdel@gmail.com, 612.709.6132