Far West

When Ryan Bajema started working as director of youth ministries at First Reformed Church in Lynden, Washington, he never imagined he’d one day become the senior pastor.

West-Coast church planter Keith Allen felt called to Providence, Rhode Island, the “least Bible-minded” city in the U.S. His biggest challenge was not knowing the culture.

An Arizona couple recognized the value of spiritual renewal, and wanted to help others care for their spiritual lives. But following God’s call for this ministry took a lot of sacrifice—and a lot of faith.

Tylor LongWing was dealing with depression and anxiety when she first entered Springs Community Church in 2013. She went to her first worship service because she was having a bad day and wanted to be with her best friend—and that night she gave her life to Jesus.

Regional staff are working to align classes and congregations with the RCA’s new 15-year goal, Transformed & Transforming, using a ministry framework that is already familiar to them. It’s an attempt to capture the essence of Transformed & Transforming while serving the vision, mission, and values of the Far West Region.

“We felt like a story slam would capture some of the artistic and urban feel which is close to the heart of our church, but also allow people to simply tell their stories,” says pastor Josh Mc Paul. 

When it comes to communication, the metaphorical gap between teenagers and their parents can sometimes seem as wide as the Grand Canyon. Teens are growing up in a world that bears only slight resemblance to the one their parents knew, making it sometimes difficult for the two generations to relate. But California pastor Jesse Winkler is part of a pastors group working to bridge this gap in his community.

The Far West Region has reorganized its staffing structure to better align with regional priorities.

A new Hispanic ministry has given a daycare center a fresh start, and its leaders hope the center will become a model for sustainable ministry for churches in low-income communities.

In Fresno, California, there’s a place where troubled teens can go to get their lives and their family relationships back on track. It’s a place where they find love, understanding, and hope for the future.