Community Church of Issaquah hosts fundraiser for Haiti relief trip

September 20, 2011

In order to raise funds for a missionary trip to Haiti in the spring, Community Church of Issaquah will host a dinner and talent show at 4 p.m. Sept. 24.

More than 600,000 Haitians still are homeless following the earthquake that struck the island nation in January 2010, according to the church.

Along with members of American Baptist churches around the region, volunteers from Community Church will travel to Haiti for nine days in April 2012. Their goal is to aid missionaries on the island in battling cholera, and helping with economic and educational development.

The dinner and talent show begin with an art show and auction featuring several local artists at 4 p.m. Dinner is at 5 p.m., followed by the talent show with entertainment from former Issaquah Philharmonic Director Duane Bowen, barbershop group Symmetry and karaoke.

The church is at 205 Mountain Park Blvd. S.W. For the dinner and show, tickets are $10 per person or $25 per family. Email or call 392-6447.

Issaquah Philharmonic conductor retires baton

August 30, 2011

As Duane Bowen conducted the band at Louisiana State University in the school’s fight song, the cymbal player sneezed and put a gash in his forehead requiring several stitches. Unforgettable moments like that have made maestro Bowen’s career as colorful as it is rich with passion for the art of music.

Duane Bowen holds a commemorative baton given to him by the Issaquah Philharmonic for his service to the group. By Quinn Eddy

At the Issaquah Philharmonic’s final concert of the season June 15 at Faith United Methodist Church, conductor Bowen, 81, announced his retirement from the group. Bowen had been conductor for 12 years.

“I’ve been at it awhile. My hearing isn’t as acute as I would like it to be — the curses of getting old,” Bowen said.

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Tent City 4 to return to Issaquah church in October

June 21, 2011

Tent City 4, a tarp-clad encampment for up to 100 homeless people, is due to return to Issaquah in October.

Community Church of Issaquah congregants voted June 19 to allow Tent City 4 to settle on the church’s parking lot, Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition member Elizabeth Maupin said the day after the decision. Under the arrangement, the church provides space and the Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition coordinates volunteers and support for Tent City 4.

The camp also settled in the city in August 2007 and January 2010. Tent City 4 remains in a place for 90 days, and then residents pack up and relocate to another Eastside church.

Temple B’nai Torah is due to host Tent City 4 starting July 23. In the meantime, the camp is set up at St. Jude Parish in Redmond. The encampment should arrive in Issaquah by mid-October. Community Church of Issaquah is along Mountain Park Boulevard Southwest, about a half-mile up the Squak Mountain slope from the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

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Press Editorial

June 21, 2011

Tent City 4’s return is opportunity for generosity

Tent City 4’s return is an opportunity for generosity

The last time Tent City 4 settled in Issaquah, residents at the homeless encampment called Issaquah the most-welcoming city on the Eastside.

Indeed, Issaquah is among the friendliest cities to Tent City 4 — a fact Community Church of Issaquah members showed June 19 by voting to host the camp again.

Community Church of Issaquah last hosted Tent City 4 in late 2007 and early 2010. Now, the camp is due to put down roots in the church’s parking lot amid the October chill.

In the past, after Tent City 4 landed in Issaquah, residents offered donations of clothing, food, money and, perhaps most importantly, time and hard work to make the stay a success.

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Lectures seek to address questions for the faithful

April 12, 2011

How can people reconcile their faith with modern issues, such as immigration, gay spirituality or poverty?

The Community Church of Issaquah invites the public to ponder these issues at a series of free lectures titled, “Faith and Today’s World,” in the meeting room at the Issaquah Library.

Keith Madsen, pastor of the Community Church of Issaquah, said he and his congregants chose the issues that mattered most to them and found experts who could speak about the complexities coloring each topic.

“It’s not always easy to talk about them from the pulpit of the individual church,” Madsen said.

The first speaker, Michael Ramos, the executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, will speak about faith and immigration issues, from April 17.

“From a faith prospective, what does our faith say to use about how we should relate to immigrants?” Madsen asked. “Michael Ramos obviously has a Hispanic name, but he is a Catholic man who is head of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, and as such has some solid credentials for speaking on it.”

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Donate men’s winter clothing at Issaquah churches

February 1, 2011

Start spring cleaning early — and help the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank at the same time.

Issaquah churches collect men’s clothing for the food pantry throughout February. Any overflow donations benefit Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

The local food pantry needs men’s winter coats, casual pants and jeans in larger sizes, hats and gloves in adult sizes, rain ponchos, shirts and sweaters, plus new underwear in sizes 38 and larger, and new warm socks.

Participants can drop off the clothing in marked bins in front of the following Issaquah churches:

  • Issaquah Christian Church, 10328 Issaquah-Hobart Road S.E.
  • Foothills Baptist Church, 10120 Issaquah-Hobart Road S.E.
  • Community Church of Issaquah, 205 Mountain Park Blvd.
  • Mountain Creek Christian Fellowship, 165 Front St. N.
  • Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 24850 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road

Donate men’s winter clothing at Issaquah churches

January 27, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 27, 2011

Start spring cleaning early — and help the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank at the same time.

Issaquah churches start collecting men’s clothing for the food pantry throughout February. Any overflow donations benefit Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

The local food pantry needs men’s winter coats, casual pants and jeans in larger sizes, hats and gloves in adult sizes, rain ponchos, shirts and sweaters, plus new underwear in sizes 38 and larger, and new warm socks.

Read more

Community Church donates 200 pounds of food

January 18, 2011

Grace Longton (left), a longtime Community Church of Issaquah member, and Dawn Bonker, of Seattle Union Gospel Mission, load 200 pounds of food collected by church members into the gospel mission van. By Greg Farrar

Volunteers carried boxes overflowing with Jell-O, Cheerios and Tuna Helper from the Community Church of Issaquah to Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission van waiting outside. In a period of two months, the congregation collected more than 200 pounds of food for the mission in a drive that united the church in its quest to help others.

Mission Major Gifts Officer Dawn Bonker thanked the church for its gift. Read more

The Issaquah Press receives more than 25 journalism, service honors

October 2, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 2, 2010

The Issaquah Press has received statewide recognition for community service efforts to raise awareness about the Tent City 4 homeless encampment.

The paper documented the camp from the relocation announcement in November 2009 to the day residents settled at Community Church of Issaquah in January until Tent City 4 departed for Kirkland in late April.

The effort earned the 110-year-old publication the top community service award in the Washington Newspaper Publisher Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

The Press, alongside sister publications Sammamish Review and SnoValley Star, picked up more than 25 journalism and service awards Friday night at the association’s annual conference in Wenatchee.

The award haul reflected a broad range of coverage by the publications.

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Community Church of Issaquah seeks to serve new congregation

July 13, 2010

Woun Kim, a part-time minister with the Japanese Baptist Church in Seattle, is helping the Community Church of Issaquah with its outreach program. Contributed

Nestled near the base of Squak Mountain, the parishioners at Community Church of Issaquah grew with a burgeoning community and has seen drastic changes come to a once sleepy, rural town.

They, in turn, have changed with it, bringing daring ministries, like Tent City 4, to Issaquah.

Now, they enter into uncharted territory again. This time, they are trying to find a new congregation to take up their mantel, said interim Rev. Dick Birdsall.

“There are a lot of things that have changed,” he said. “But nothing would make the church’s members happier than to see something new emerge from this building.”

The group has been together for decades — many even helped construct the building in the 1970s. However, the parish’s members are getting older and the number of members is getting smaller. The congregation is now about 50 members, compared to about 300 in the ’70s, Birdsall said.

In addition, Birdsall, who came out of retirement to lead the small congregation last year, is going to leave the church at the end of August.

To cope with the changes, he and his members reached out to other Baptist churches in their organization, the Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches, for ideas and help.

They found support from leadership at Japanese Baptist Church in Seattle and its part-time minister, Woun Kim. Read more

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