West Portal Church began as a mission church in 1950, meeting in a few different locations throughout the years before settling into one building in 1956, with an average of 150 people attending.
We purchased a parcel of land and constructed a new church in 1983, after growing to a congregation with an average attendance of 275. Since then we have grown to have 500+ regular attenders.
Purpose: Transformed Lives, Transforming Communities
We want to be people who love God with full-bodied devotion and obedience (transformed lives) and we want to be people whose lives are so powerfully shaped by God’s love that it pours out of us practically and selflessly, shaping and influencing those around us (transforming communities).
We choose the word transformation because it keeps us humble (reminding us this is not primarily our work, but God’s work in us) and hungry (yet there is responsibility we need to take for our spiritual growth which doesn’t usually happen accidentally).
We are shaped by what we repeatedly do. So we encourage the following 3-step process—behaviors and practices designed to posture us where God can do his most effective work in our lives.
Gather – to hear the good news
We begin by encouraging people to consider becoming regular participants in our Sunday worship services. We believe the practice of regularly worshiping and hearing from God’s word in community with others shapes us more than we realize—reminding us of who God is, what he has done, and how he invites us to become part of his ongoing story.
Grow – to become the good news
We will always encourage those who consistently worship with us to consider joining one of our small groups. Quite simply, we believe spiritual growth happens best in places where there can be a high level of trust developed, encouragement given and accountability offered. This happens best as people we know and trust share life with us.
Go – to be the good news
God’s love is designed to flow through us in ways that meaningfully touch the lives of those around us. We want to influence this world for Jesus. So we encourage individuals and families to always be looking for opportunities to practically bless and care for others. We encourage our small groups to find places in the community they can consistently serve. Additionally, we have several church-wide service opportunities in our community we invite people to join us in throughout the year.
This is who we are and who we, by God’s grace, are becoming.
As Mennonite Brethren, we believe...
The MB Confession of Faith Sidewalk Edition
We believe in God as eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God created and sustains the universe. The eternal purpose of God the Father is to create a people who will bring glory to God forever. God alone is worthy of worship.
We believe that God became human in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to restore the world because humans have rejected God in disobedience. Jesus taught and modeled the way of God’s kingdom. He died on the cross, making it possible for us to accept a renewed relationship with God. He rose from the dead, broke the power of sin and death, and frees us to live in obedience to God’s will.
We believe that God the Holy Spirit invites all people to be reconciled with God and to join the global family of faith. Believers confess their faith, are baptized, and join in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and guided by the Bible, members of the church seek to live as followers of Christ and invite others to experience this new life.
As Christians, we are called to turn:
- from ignorance of God to a personal relationship with God
- from bondage of sin and past mistakes to freedom, forgiveness, and healing
- from individualism to interdependence with others in the local church
- from lifestyle choices that harm us, others, and the earth to choices that nurture wholeness, healing, joy, and peace
- from hating enemies and ignoring neighbours to showing love and justice to all
- from loving possessions to sharing with all in need
- from aimless existence to a mission of representing and proclaiming God’s kingdom on earth
As Christians, we look forward to the day when God will once again send Jesus to bring all things under God’s eternal rule.