West Side Centennial Celebration
The “Generations of Faithfulness” Centennial Celebration opened with an antiphonal call to worship from Psalm 100, the scripture for our Centennial year, between the Sanctuary and Howell. A trumpet fanfare written by George Steward for West Side’s Centennial called us to praise God with congregational singing and prayer. West Side’s past was explored through guest Liz Cedergreen from Seattle First Presbyterian, our mother church. A visit from Dr. Mark Matthews, noted pastor of Seattle First Presbyterian during the early part of the century, portrayed by Mark Burton, gave us a glimpse of our beginnings and the seed that was planted in West Seattle.
Throughout the service, we were reminded of the mission work at the heart of West Side’s 100 years. Video clips from missionaries serving around the world were interspersed throughout the service.
Captivated by a game of I Spy, led by Children’s Director, Ruth Gardner, our children spied God through His faithfulness, His people, and His love. Former pastors were remembered and represented by family members. It was a joy to see children and grandchildren of Pastors Boppell, Hoffmeister, Newquist, Roti, and Smith.
From our past to our present, we remembered when Rev. Paul Smith was called as our pastor in 1981 with the hymn, To God Be the Glory. Greetings from Rev. Scott Lumsden, Executive Presbyter of Seattle Presbytery, highlighted West Side’s role in our community of believers today. Our outstanding music program was show-cased through the anthems of the Chancel and Joyful Sound Children’s Choirs.
Knowing that the past is prelude to the future, we turned our eyes forward. In a Holy Spirit-inspired meditation - what many are calling a high water mark in his preaching - Pastor Paul exhorted West Side to live with “an absolute, uncompromising faithfulness to the heart of God revealed in His Word. Let no siren song of culture distract you.” He went on to admonish the congregation, “Let no flattery deceive you. Let no threat terrify you and compromise your message. God is faithful. His Word is true. And Truth alone is relevant – through all generations!”
Pastor Bryan Burton gave us a commission from Romans 12. The high point of the service was perhaps one of West Side’s finest moments. The skillful orchestrations of Carreen Smith, Director of Music, brought choir, musicians, and congregation together singing God Our Help in Ages Past, Our Hope for Years to Come.
On that note, West Side gathered in fellowship over a light lunch served in the downstairs Fellowship Hall and Howell Auditorium. Joyful shouts of recognition were heard as old friends found each other, and the afternoon was filled with laughter at shared memories, introductions to new friends from past and current members, and recollections of God’s faithfulness.