Immigrant Welcoming Rios De Agua Viva

Ministerios Rios De Agua Viva: We welcome Rev. Justo Gonzalez as Associate Conference Minister and as the Pastor of Rios De Agua Viva (Joy Like A River) located at 1841 Havana Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49509. Pastor Justo's church is an open and affirming immigrant welcoming sanctuary church that had it's inaugural service on Sunday, Nov 12, 2017. This is a great opportunity to connect with community, live our open and affirming (ONA) status, and be faith in action. We will keep you informed of ongoing needs of the immigrant welcoming program as well as other opportunities on our mission board in St. John's UCC fellowship hall. Dios es amor! God is love! (Current needs for Rios De Agua Viva: Prayer, ten single beds, ten mattresses, sanctuary church bedding, pillows, 25 Flor y Canto Hymnals, 25 New Century Spanish Hymnals, 25 New Century English Hymnals, toys for kids. (Pastor Gonzalez requests that no toys be gun or violence themed.)


World AIDS Day Service and Silent Auction

World AIDS Day Service & Silent Auction: Grand Rapids Red Project is hosting the annual World AIDS Day service at Fountain Street Church (24 Fountain St. Grand Rapids, MI 49503) on Friday, December 1. Doors open at 5:30pm for auction registration and bidding. The memorial service begins at 6pm, and the auction will follow the service. Free-will donations will be accepted for Red Project, our local HIV prevention, education, and support organization. All are welcome to attend.


F.A.T.E. Toy Drive

F.A.T.E. mission opportunity! FATE (Fun Again Toys for Everyone) is a holiday effort to collect as many gently used like-new toys, books, games, puzzles, video games, movies, sports balls, strollers, bikes, etc, and give them to families that can't afford to buy gifts for their children. There is a special need for teen items (earbuds, lotions, body sprays, MP3 Players, game systems, etc). We are happy to partner with Doris and Bryan Toronyi, who have been providing this service in West Michigan for the last seven years. St. John's members, Dyana and Monica Whittemore-Beek, have been volunteering with FATE for the last five years. What can you do? Help your children and grandchildren pick out gently used items at home that they feel other families will love, and bring the items to St. John's UCC! New items are welcome too! You will find a F.A.T.E. toy donation box in our narthex and in fellowship hall. We will be collecting your new and gently used toy donations through Saturday, Dec. 2. If you would like to volunteer to help clean and test toys, set up the warehouse space, or assist with distribution as an Elf with the F.A.T.E. organization on Dec. 9, we will connect you with volunteer times.



Transgender Day of Remembrance

The Grand Rapids Pride Center and the Trans Foundation of Grand Rapids are hosting the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil and Call To Action to create a safer world together. We will find community, solace, and strength as we mourn, remember and honor the lives lost to acts of transphobic violence. Date: Monday, November 20. Time: 7pm - 9pm. Location: Goei Center. 818 Butterworth St. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504.

Walk To Stop HIV

Gather with us Saturday, September 9 at Rosa Parks Circle (135 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503) for the 25th Annual 5K Walk To Stop HIV (formerly AIDS Walk GR)! We have tools to end the HIV epidemic! Come to learn more. Come to support Grand Rapids Red Project and the wonderful programs they provide for our city by registering for the walk ($25) in person or online at Whether you donate or not, come and break the stigma of HIV by being a visible sign of love and acceptance on this gorgeous walk through midtown and along the river with friends. You are invited to the Walk To Stop HIV. Invite your friends!

Schedule: 9am Check-in and Registration begin. 10:30am Warm-up and opening ceremony. 11am 5K Walk and Fun Run begin. 12pm Closing ceremony at Rosa Parks Circle.

Mayors' Grand River Cleanup

You are invited! The West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) is hosting the 14th Annual Mayors' Grand River Cleanup, Saturday, September 9, 8:30am - 1:00pm! This year, as an exciting addition to the cleanup, WMEAC is partnering with SEEDS of Promise neighborhood in collaboration with their Environmental Impact Team to pick up litter along road sides and storm drains in a proactive attempt to pick up trash before it enters our beautiful Grand River. 

Schedule: 8:30-9am Volunteer check-in and small breakfast at Sixth Street Bridge Park. 9:00-9:15am Welcoming remarks. 9:15-9:30am Load up buses. 9:30-11:00am Clean up the Grand River. 11:00-11:30am Travel back to 6th Street Park. 11:30-1:00pm Lunch (free) and live music is served. Founders beer for those 21+.

Orlando United Day Vigil

You are invited to gather with St. John's UCC and our wider West Michigan community at the candlelight vigil on Monday, June 12, at 9pm. This event is located at 22 Sheldon Blvd., in the street adjacent Veterans Park in downtown Grand Rapids. June 12 is officially Orlando United Day, in remembrance of the 49 people who were murdered and dozen more injured as a result of the Pulse Massacre, the worst mass shooting in recent history. This event is hosted by the Apartment Lounge. 100% of the freewill donations collected when people receive their candle at the event will be donated to Equality Florida.

Equality For All Solidarity March

St. John's UCC Faith In Action Opportunity: On Sunday, June 11, at 5pm, you are invited to gather with us at Ah-Nab-Awen Park to hear engaging speakers, before we march around mid-town Grand Rapids in solidarity with the National March in Washington D.C., Detroit, Lansing, and locations all around the U.S. Ah-Nab-Awen Park is located at 220 Front Ave. NW, next to the Gerald R. Ford Museum. We march for equality, justice, and peace for all!