Singer Matthew West brings tour to Eastridge

February 15, 2011

Christian musician Matthew West brings his ‘Story of Your Life’ tour to Eastridge Christian Assembly on Feb. 20. Contributed

Last March, Eastridge Christian Assembly celebrated its grand opening with a performance by Matthew West, one of the top artists in Christian music today.

This year, on the Northwest end of the “Story of Your Life” tour, West and guest performer Josh Wilson will perform Feb. 20 at the church again — but this concert will strike a more memorable note.

West had invited his fans to send in their personal stories last year. The response was overwhelming with more than 10,000 letters, e-mails and online messages received as inspiration for his new album.

One of the letters he received was from Melody Christensen, a Klahanie resident and Eastridge church member, who sent in her story after seeing West perform.

“Melody’s story is just one of those that represented hundreds of letters that I received,” West said. “Out of 10,000 letters, many were about people’s battles with cancer, so I felt like I needed to write a victory song about the topic.”

Christensen’s letter inspired West to write the song “Survivor,” a tribute to the courage and strength she has displayed throughout her battle with cancer.

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Who’s News

December 28, 2010

Elks Poker League

Elks donate to Compassion House

On Dec. 18, Elks Poker League Directors David Hayes (left) and Jeff Wood (right) help and Dave Wallbom, chairman of the Elks board of directors, present checks of $1,147, from tournament donations, and $1,000, from members’ Friday night poker donations, to Rick McCarty, president of Compassion House, and Bonnie Karmouch, of Compassion House.

Sarah Hanna named scholar athlete of the month

Sarah Hanna

Sarah Hanna, a senior at Issaquah High School, has been selected by the Issaquah Booster Club and Red Robin Restaurant as the Red Robin Scholar Athlete of the month for November.

Hanna was a four-year starter on the IHS volleyball team. In 2010, she earned a First Team All KingCo award, and helped lead the girl’s volleyball team through the state tournament three out of the past four years, placing second at state in 2010.

In addition to excelling in athletics, Hanna has a 3.9 grade point average. She is a member of the Honor Society and tutors students at IHS. Her exceptional SAT scores earned her a position as a National Merit Scholar finalist.

Kiwanis Club coat drive

Kiwanis collects hundreds of coats for food bank

The Kiwanis Club’s community coat and shoe drive collected several hundred coats and about 150 pairs of shoes for the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank.

Community members dropped off their donations at The Issaquah Press, US Bank, Foot Zone, KeyBank (Issaquah and Snoqualmie Ridge branches), Eastside Audiology, Hilton Garden Inn, Eastridge Church and Starbucks during the month of November.

Kiwanis Club volunteers then collected the donations for delivery to the clothing bank, where the items will be distributed to needy individuals and families.

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Klahanie resident inspires anthem for cancer survivors

December 7, 2010

Klahanie resident Melody Christensen sent her story of breast cancer survival to contemporary Christian musician Matthew West and has heard the tale transformed into ‘Survivors’ on the album 'The Story of Your Life.' By Greg Farrar

The letter from Klahanie recounted a familiar story: a bombshell cancer diagnosis, strength-sapping treatment, but also, interlaced among the sentences, hope.

Melody Christensen, breast cancer survivor and Klahanie stay-at-home mother of four, offered the candid account as inspiration to contemporary Christian musician Matthew West.

Christensen liked the authenticity West imbued in songs about faith amid personal struggle, but as she prepared to send the message on a spring day, she had no expectations.

“I felt like it was time for me to share — even if it didn’t go anywhere — what I’d been through,” she said.

Christensen received a surprising phone call months later. West had used the letter as a springboard for a song about cancer on a soon-to-be-released album.

The album — the aptly titled “The Story of Your Life” — mines intimate and often-heartrending stories from Christensen and other fans.

“Through the years, I’ve been so inspired by the people who would send me an e-mail or share with me at a concert how a song has found its way into their story and inspired them in one way or another,” West said in a phone interview from Nashville, Tenn. “I just started thinking, ‘What if I turned the microphone around?’”

The concept compelled the performer — and songwriter for country stars Rascal Flatts and Billy Ray Cyrus — to act more like a storyteller.

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Kiwanis Club coat and shoe drive ends Nov. 30

November 23, 2010

Clean and gently used coats and shoes of all sizes are being collected by the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah to support the needs of Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank clients.

The coats and shoes will be collected through Nov. 30 at the following Issaquah businesses: Foot Zone, 755 N.W. Gilman Blvd., The Issaquah Press, 45 Front St. S., KeyBank, Starbucks Coffee, Hilton Garden Inn, 1800 N.W. Gilman Blvd., US Bank, 1295 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Eastside Audiology, 49 Front St. N., and Eastridge Church, 4205 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road.

The Snoqualmie Ridge branch of KeyBank, 7917 Center Blvd. S.E., will also accept donated coats and shoes.

Donations after Nov. 30 can be taken directly to the clothing bank, 179 First Ave. S.E.

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Church hosts Thanksgiving turkey giveaway Saturday

November 15, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 15, 2010

Eastridge Church plans to add a little gobble-gobble to families’ Thanksgiving tables.

The church plans to provide 2,000 free turkeys and bags of groceries to needy families Saturday at churches near Issaquah, 24205 Issaquah-Fall City Road, and in West Seattle, 4500 39th Ave. S.W.

The giveaway starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at both sites and continues until supplies run out. Parishioners distribute the dinner package on a first-come, first-served basis. Recipients do not need to demonstrate need to receive a Thanksgiving bundle. Call the church at 270-6300 to learn more.

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Former Ugandan child soldiers share story Saturday

October 28, 2010

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 28, 2010

The tale of Ugandan child soldiers is coming to Eastridge Church.

“Watoto’s Restore Tour: Child Soldier No More” chronicles child soldiers from northern Uganda — a war-torn place beset by some terrible atrocities. The free stage production starts at 5 p.m. Saturday at the church, 24205 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road.

The production offers audiences the opportunity to meet the children, hear stories from Uganda and share in the freedom and hope of the children, and offer financial support. The tour features children abducted and forced to serve in the rebel army.

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Walking for a cure

June 8, 2010

Relay for Life tops $225,000 goal

Above, more than 800 people, on 83 different teams, showed up to walk around the clock and raise money for cancer research at Issaquah’s Relay for Life event June 5 and 6 at Skyline High School. Photos By Chantelle Lusebrink

This year, 813 people ran, walked and wheeled in support of finding a cure for cancer at the annual Issaquah Relay for Life June 5 and 6.

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Baccalaureate set for June 10

June 1, 2010

The Issaquah High School Class of 2010 Baccalaureate will be held at 7 p.m. June 10 at Eastridge Christian Assembly, 24205 S.E. Issaquah Fall City Road.

Graduates do not have to sign up to attend but should plan to arrive no later than 6:30 p.m. To participate, gowns and any stoles or honor cords must be worn. Graduation caps are not allowed.

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Big crowd for a big church

March 23, 2010

Eastridge Christian Assembly board members cut the ribbon to open the congregation’s new building as parishioners look on March 20 at the dedication of the facility, located at 24205 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road. Photo by Greg Farrar

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Eastridge invites community to debut of new campus

March 16, 2010

The new Eastridge Christian Assembly building’s soaring interior is big enough to house 45-foot tall fireplaces. By Greg Farrar

When the congregation of Eastridge Christian Assembly outgrew its current facility, its leaders decided to go big for their next church.

A ribbon cutting for the new building is March 20 and the community will get its first look at the upgrades designed for its growing needs.

“The new building is almost four times bigger than the current size,” said senior pastor Steve Jamison. “The area for children alone is the size of the current building.”

To welcome the congregation, organizers are rolling out the red carpet. In addition to city and state dignitaries invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony, Eastridge Christian Assembly has invited guest speakers Matthew Barnett, best-selling author of “The Church That Never Sleeps,” and Pastor John K. Jenkins Sr., senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover, Md. To cap the festivities off is a performance by Grammy nominated artist Matthew West.

Established in 1964, Eastridge Christian Assembly had been on Issaquah-Pine Lake Road since the 1990s. When the sanctuary’s seating capacity of 400 inside a 17,500 square-foot building could not fully service a congregation of 1,300, it was time to move.

Jamison said the process began in the early 2000s, and a large parcel of land was purchased in 2002. Actually a couple blocks apart, the visual sightline of the two facilities makes it appear the two driveways lead right to one another. Read more

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