Congregational Vitality Pathway

RCA Farwest Region

Central CA Teaching Team       Upcoming Workshops     Meet the Teams

Workshop Teacher- Gary Westra Gary was raised in Fresno, CA and currently lives in Wendell, Idaho with his wife of 36 years, Barbara. They have four sons: Samuel married Jamie, kids Gracie (3yrs), Sophie (6 months); Tim married Jessica, child Olivia (3 months); Ben single, great girlfriend Linnay. They all live in Fresno/Clovis CA. Jon, 16yrs lives here with us in Wendell. After serving in Youth Ministry for over 20 years, Gary felt God’s pull toward revitalization in the established church. After serving a couple of churches in the CRC, Gary came to the RCA and is serving as a Commissioned Pastor at New Life Community in Wendell, since Jan 2010 “Over these past years serving several congregations, the surprises God has shown in personal and church growth are humbling. God has used Barbara & I to help bring about healing in congregations and mending of relationships. Where we have served, by God’s grace, there has been significant rise in attendance, energy and sense of mission: finding and discipling those that are missing from the kingdom.” My personal vision is, "I am a motivator who intentionally loves and cares for my family, friends and those I meet, so that people are in a vital relationship with God & others.” I like to garden & spend time fishing. Idaho is a great place for both! Fun Facts: I worked in an industrial setting as a Journeyman Electrician for 16 years. And, I can ride a unicycle.

Workshop Teacher- Gary Westra

Gary was raised in Fresno, CA and currently lives in Wendell, Idaho with his wife of 36 years, Barbara. They have four sons: Samuel married Jamie, kids Gracie (3yrs), Sophie (6 months); Tim married Jessica, child Olivia (3 months); Ben single, great girlfriend Linnay. They all live in Fresno/Clovis CA. Jon, 16yrs lives here with us in Wendell.

After serving in Youth Ministry for over 20 years, Gary felt God’s pull toward revitalization in the established church. After serving a couple of churches in the CRC, Gary came to the RCA and is serving as a Commissioned Pastor at New Life Community in Wendell, since Jan 2010

“Over these past years serving several congregations, the surprises God has shown in personal and church growth are humbling. God has used Barbara & I to help bring about healing in congregations and mending of relationships. Where we have served, by God’s grace, there has been significant rise in attendance, energy and sense of mission: finding and discipling those that are missing from the kingdom.”

My personal vision is, "I am a motivator who intentionally loves and cares for my family, friends and those I meet, so that people are in a vital relationship with God & others.”

I like to garden & spend time fishing. Idaho is a great place for both!

Fun Facts: I worked in an industrial setting as a Journeyman Electrician for 16 years. And, I can ride a unicycle.

Workshop Teacher- Paul Van Maaren  Paul lives in Lynden, Washington and is the Senior Pastor at Faith Reformed Church.  Along with being a small time chicken farmer, Paul enjoys his family, surveying the news, observing trends in culture and economics.  God called Paul to be a pastor after 4 years of college and a degree in Mechanical Engineering.    “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

Workshop Teacher- Paul Van Maaren

 Paul lives in Lynden, Washington and is the Senior Pastor at Faith Reformed
Church.  Along with being a small time chicken farmer, Paul enjoys his
family, surveying the news, observing trends in culture and economics.  God
called Paul to be a pastor after 4 years of college and a degree in
Mechanical Engineering. 
 

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the
church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! 
Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

Workshop Teacher- Phil Assink Phil was born in Yakima, WA and grew up in the East Valley Reformed Church. He graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 1977 and Western Theological Seminary in 1981. He has been pastor at Faith Community Church in Edmonds, WA since 1994. He served for 14 years as a chaplain for the local police and fire district. He will complete the Renovaré Spiritual Formation Institute in July 2014. He serves on the Church Vitality Team for the Cascades Classis. Prior to Faith, he served at New Life Community Church in Artesia, CA and New Hope Community Church in Canoga Park, CA. Phil has been married to Melissa since 1980. She is a hospice nurse. They have two married sons, Jonathan and Zachary and one granddaughter, Ana Lucia. Phil enjoys carpentry projects. He and Melissa have remodeled 4 kitchens and 9 bathrooms in their married life. He loves taking in the beautiful outdoors in the Pacific Northwest, hiking, driving, riding a ferry, or sitting at the beach. He enjoys football, college basketball, and baseball. Fun facts: When he was 5, he broke his leg by knocking his great uncle’s tombstone over on a Memorial Day cemetery visit. In 1975, he volunteered as a Sunday School teacher in Edmonds with no idea of ever returning! He helped officiate a wedding for three generations in his immediate family: sister, sons, and mother.

Workshop Teacher- Phil Assink

Phil was born in Yakima, WA and grew up in the East Valley Reformed Church. He graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 1977 and Western Theological Seminary in 1981. He has been pastor at Faith Community Church in Edmonds, WA since 1994. He served for 14 years as a chaplain for the local police and fire district. He will complete the Renovaré Spiritual Formation Institute in July 2014. He serves on the Church Vitality Team for the Cascades Classis.

Prior to Faith, he served at New Life Community Church in Artesia, CA and New Hope Community Church in Canoga Park, CA.

Phil has been married to Melissa since 1980. She is a hospice nurse. They have two married sons, Jonathan and Zachary and one granddaughter, Ana Lucia.

Phil enjoys carpentry projects. He and Melissa have remodeled 4 kitchens and 9 bathrooms in their married life. He loves taking in the beautiful outdoors in the Pacific Northwest, hiking, driving, riding a ferry, or sitting at the beach. He enjoys football, college basketball, and baseball.

Fun facts: When he was 5, he broke his leg by knocking his great uncle’s tombstone over on a Memorial Day cemetery visit. In 1975, he volunteered as a Sunday School teacher in Edmonds with no idea of ever returning! He helped officiate a wedding for three generations in his immediate family: sister, sons, and mother.





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