Eastridge Church to welcome pastor at community celebration

October 3, 2012

NEW — 2:30 p.m. Oct. 3, 2012

The community is invited to welcome Steven Welch, Eastridge Church’s new worship pastor, at a celebration Oct. 7.

Welch and his family come to Eastridge Church after stints at two of the country’s largest churches, including The Chapel in Chicago.

The day begins with Welch’s first services as the new worship pastor at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the Issaquah church, 24205 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road.

At 5 p.m., Eastridge Church will host a CD release party for Welch, who will perform songs from his new album “Color of Love.”

Then, at 6:30 p.m., locals can meet with Welch and his wife, Danina, at a welcome reception.

Eastridge Church hosts backpack giveaway at JAMFEST

August 8, 2012

NEW — 10:30 a.m. Aug. 8, 2012

Eastridge Church is hosting a backpack giveaway and the JAMFEST basketball tournament Saturday at a community festival.

Outdoor activities kick off the festival at 10 a.m. The event includes a giveaway of 750 backpacks filled with school supplies. Revelers can also enjoy children’s activities, live music, a hydroplane viewing and a barbecue lunch.

“Each year we have a great response to our annual turkey giveaway at Thanksgiving and toy giveaway at Christmas,” Eastridge Church Lead Pastor Steve Jamison said. “This year we wanted to do something more to give back to the community.”

The backpack giveaway is scheduled to start at 2 p.m., and registration starts at 10 a.m. at the church campus, 24205 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road. Children must be present to receive backpacks. The limit is one backpack per child in kindergarten through high school.

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JAMFEST basketball tournament to take over Eastridge Church

July 17, 2012

Eastridge Church will be filled with hoop dreams next month as it holds this summer’s JAMFEST Aug. 11.

JAMFEST will include a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a kid’s bicycle show and other family activities.

“We’re just wanting to create a fun family event with a great cause attached to it,” Executive Team Pastor Steve Jamison said. “And our plan is to kind of create a fun festival feel with a lot of different activities going on during the day.”

The main event of the day will be the basketball tournament, which will have brackets ages 9 and older, along with brackets for different skill levels, including Top Gun, Competitive, Recreational, Older Than Dirt and Below the Net.

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Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank program keeps children fed through summer

June 19, 2012

Thanks to the National School Lunch Program, while school is in session, parents can be sure that their children are kept fed.

But during the summer months, the important resource is no longer available, placing an added burden on families.

Nearly 1,700 children in the Issaquah School District receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year, according to the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s website.

But thanks to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank’s Summer Lunch Program, children in its service area can receive free snacks and food, ensuring adequate nutrition during the summertime. Read more

Secrets lie at the heart of the Porters’ 50-year marriage

May 29, 2012

Beverly and Jack Porter in 2011

Keeping secrets is part of what has kept Jack and Beverly Porter together for 50 years.

During the Sammamish couple’s half-century marriage, Jack spent 12 years as a contractor for the CIA. The pair faced the challenge of keeping Jack’s career identity secret from their five children and friends. In those 12 years, no one knew except for Beverly. The couple explained that sharing the secret made them stronger.

“We were in it together,” Beverly said.

The Porters are about to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Looking back, they attribute the longevity of their relationship to their children, their faith and a pair of other important factors.

“There are two ingredients,” Jack said about his martial success, “patience and a sense of humor.”

The couple met in October 1961. Jack, then a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin, was working as a sales representative for the American Can Co. He was transferred to Seattle, where he met Beverly, a North Dakota native who had recently moved to the Lake Hills area of Bellevue with her family.

One year later, on June 2, 1962, the couple was married at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Bellevue.

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Discover spaces and places for tweens and teens in the 425

February 21, 2012

Dylan Wall (left) and Patrick White, in the band Buster Austero, perform at the Old Fire House Teen Center in Redmond. By Greg Farrar

‘I’m bored’ is no longer a legit excuse

Issaquah ain’t the quaint little town it used to be. In the past decade alone, the number of people living within the pocket community grew from 11,000 in the year 2000 to more than 30,000 in the latest Census 2010 figures.

With so many tech industries drawing families here, the burgeoning population is straining all age demographics.

Especially teens. With busy sports and school activity schedules, ever-demanding graduation requirements or even the time consumption of volunteering or gainful employment, what’s a teen to do to find a little down time?

Just about every small town has a version of the joke, “The only thing to do here is leave.” Luckily for teens, Issaquah is smack dab in the middle of the 425 area code and opportunities abound to find something to do without looking too far. Here’s a look at just three options to investigate.

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Eastridge Church to serve up 1,000 Thanksgiving turkeys

November 19, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 19, 2011

In a Thanksgiving tradition for local families in need, Eastridge Church plans to serve up 1,000 turkeys and 1,000 bags of groceries Saturday morning.

The event starts at 9 a.m. at the church’s Issaquah and West Seattle campuses, and then continues as supplies last. The local campus is at 24205 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road, and the West Seattle campus is at 4500 39th Ave. S.W.

In addition to the traditional turkey and trimmings, Eastridge Church is also offering free haircuts, coats for children and adults, and Bibles to attendees.

The church distributes dinner packages on a first-come, first-served basis, and no demonstration of need is required for assistance.

The event started nine years ago, and in the years since, has grown into one of the largest holiday charity events in the Issaquah area.

Eastridge Church plans traditional Thanksgiving turkey giveaway

November 15, 2011

Eastridge Pastor Steve Jamison (left) and Bert Urie, of the church’s board of elders, hand out items during last year’s Thanksgiving event. Contributed

Issaquah’s Eastridge Church will have its annual giveaway of 1,000 turkeys and groceries Nov. 19.

Heather Retzlaff, executive assistant at the church, said the large-scale holiday charity event would be even bigger than in the past.

“This year we’ve also added a few new elements — free haircuts from licensed stylists who attend Eastridge, coats for children and adults, and Bibles,” Retzlaff said in a press release.

The giveaway will take place while supplies last starting at 9 a.m. at the Eastridge churches in Issaquah and Seattle.

The Issaquah location is 24205 Issaquah-Fall City Road. The West Seattle Campus of Eastridge Church is at 4500 39th Ave. S.W.

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African choir performs at local church to promote aid for Uganda

September 27, 2011

Watoto Children’s Choir members perform. Contributed

Rescue a child. Raise a leader. Rebuild a nation.

That’s the slogan, and the hope, of Watoto, a Ugandan church and charity organization dedicated to helping that country’s struggling youth.

“You’re changing the country from the inside out” is how Watoto’s Sherry Hanson described the organization’s mission.

Hanson is the U.S. tour coordinator for the Watoto Children’s Choir. Consisting of youths served by Watoto, the choir will perform Oct. 1 at Eastridge Church in Issaquah.

Additionally, in a bit of a coup for the church, the two founders of Watoto will be guest speakers at Eastridge’s Sunday services, at 9 and 11 a.m. Oct. 2, said Eastridge’s Heather Retzlaff.

“It’s kind of cool, we didn’t expect it,” said Retzlaff, an executive assistant at the church.

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Issaquah food bank offers free summer snacks

June 28, 2011

For some, summer means hunger.

The Summer Lunch Program attracts clients and their children June 21 to the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank, which provided grocery bags of healthy children’s snacks  By Greg Farrar

During the school year, the federally funded National School Lunch Program keeps students fed during the breakfast and lunch hours, offering free or reduced-price meals to children in need.

Once school gets out for the summer, those meals disappear.

Thanks to the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank and volunteers from Eastridge Church, families can get free, healthy snacks for their children every Tuesday throughout the summer, until Aug. 16.

“These families have to make choices between buying meals or paying for bills,” Lindsay Ztyree, an AmeriCorps worker with Eastridge Church, said.

Families must live in one of the following ZIP codes to participate: 98027, 98029, 98075 or 98059, and have proof of address and identification.

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