Dégagé Shelter

On Sunday, March 31, 5:30pm - 7pm, St. John’s Mission Team volunteers will be serving lasagna dinners downtown at Dégagé in the Heartside district. Faith in action opportunities! Our next few shelter dates are March 31, April 28, and September 29.

Dégagé Shelter offers help and hope to 400 - 500 homeless and disadvantaged individuals in our community every day. We reflect the love of Christ to all who come through the doors by offering St. John’s kindness and compassion, which foster dignity and respect. We arrive at Dégagé at 5:30pm to set up. We serve dinner from 6pm - 7pm. Dégagé is located at 144 Division Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. If you have questions, please see Theresa Bileth or email mission@stjohnsuccgr.org.

Transgender Day of Visibility. Faith In Action!

Sunday, March 31, is the nationally recognized Transgender Day of Visibility. In our continued effort to honor the diversity of God's creation, we celebrate this annual event by making our transgender banner visible in the glass portico. In addition to our year-round onsite church support, St. John's is supporting the Grand Rapids Pride Center by sharing our banquet tables for use at the Proud To Be Healthy community event this week. Special thanks to members Rachel Krawchuk and Ezra Richter for volunteering at the Pride Center and delivering tables, time, and talent! Thank you also to Pastor Wes Jamison for sharing God's love downtown at TDoV community events.

First Wednesdays: Volunteer at our Monthly Mobile Food Pantry!

Faith in Action! Come and help out at the St. John’s Mobile Pantry (5pm-7:30pm) before our 7:30pm Ash Wednesday service on Wednesday, March 6.

You are invited to serve the community free groceries the first Wednesday of every month at the St. John’s Food Pantry. Arrive at 5pm to help set up, unload food from the truck, bag produce, organize groceries on banquet tables, and welcome guests. We have tasks for every ability! At 6pm, we begin serving guests as we work the tables, help guests with fresh produce, dairy, frozen meat, boxed groceries, and bakery products. Clean-up begins at 7pm. You are invited to help with all or part of the evening on Food Truck Nights. Non-members are always welcome to serve with St. John’s. Advanced sign-ups are not required, so bring your friends to help serve on any of the First Wednesdays you are available! Food Truck Nights!

Save the dates and VOLUNTEER at St. John’s on First Wednesdays, 5-7pm: March 6, April 3, May 1, June 5, July 3, August 7, Sept 4, October 2, November 6, December 4. StJohnsUCCgr.org.

FATE Toy Warehouse Event Helpers

Sign up to help at the FATE: Fun Again Toys For Everyone warehouse by signing up to help clean, prepare areas, and set up toys into sections on Wednesday, December 5, Thursday, December 6, Friday, and December 7 between 10am and 8pm, or sign up to come help on the FATE Toy Warehouse Event Day, Saturday, December 8, during one of the event shifts, 9am-12pm and 1pm - 4pm, to restock toys, work the sign-in desk, monitor and assist in the game/book/stuffed animal section, straighten areas as each group moves through, or be what we like to call a helper elf and walk with families as they shop.

Whether you have one hour to give, or you’re available all day, your time is greatly appreciated. You are welcome to show up at the warehouse and we’ll put you to work, but it is far more helpful to use this Sign-Up Genius and choose a date, time, and volunteer activity that suits you. The FATE Toy Warehouse is located at 4900 Clyde Park SW, Wyoming. St. John’s United Church of Christ is thrilled to have taken part in both the Toy Drive and the FATE Event Day for families in need. Thank you for your help! Sign-up Genius Volunteer Link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0d48a5a92eaafb6-event1

Serve at Renucci Hospitality House

Come serve a themed dinner the night before Thanksgiving downtown at the Children’s Hospital’s Renucci Hospitality House with St. John’s UCC on Wednesday, November 21.

Volunteers, please arrive at 5:30pm. We serve residents from 6pm - 7pm. We will be providing mixed turkey & stuffing casseroles, and would love to serve your favorite side dishes. Please sign up on the mission board in Fellowship Hall or contact Theresa Bileth at mission@stjohnsuccgr.org with what dish you would like to provide.

Tree of Life Synagogue Vigil

There are two opportunities to honor and remember the eleven people who lost their lives in the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting that took place on Saturday, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. A community vigil is scheduled at the Grand Valley State University Clock Tower on Monday, October 29, 7:15pm - 8:30pm hosted by Hillel of GVSU. The Cook Carillon Clock Tower is located on campus at 10710 N. Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401.

  2. Temple Emanuel’s Friday night service on November 2 at 6:15pm is dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives. The temple is located at 1715 East Fulton, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

Whether we mourn the loss of this faith community’s beloved people with our physical presence at one of the public services, or in our hearts, we as St. John’s United Church of Christ members and friends will share peace, we will be faith in action, we will stand against violence and bigotry, and we will say their names with respect as we hold them in faithful prayer: Joyce Fienberg (75), Richard Gotfried (65), Rose Mallinger (97), Jerry Rabinowitz (66), Cecil Rosenthal (59), David Rosenthal (54), Bernice Simon (84), Sylvan Simon (86), Daniel Stein (71), Melvin Wax (88), Irving Younger (69).

Grand Rapids Home For Veterans Party!

On Wednesday, September 26 at 2:30pm, you are invited to serve with us at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. We provide four or five parties for vets each year to show our respect and appreciation for those who have served our country.

Please see our project leader for the Veteran Home Parties, Diana DeKorte, if you're interested in volunteering to serve on this 9/26 mission project, or if you would like to donate individually wrapped items like cookies, cheese & crackers, candy, rolls, and other single serving size portions of treats.  We also appreciate fresh fruit donations. Senior veterans love our parties, cakes, ice cream, time, attention, and all of the goodies they receive from St. John's UCC. All are welcome. StJohnsUCCgr.org.

GVSU Campus Life Night

GVSU Campus Life Night: On Tuesday, September 4th, 6-8pm, your Mission Team will be on campus promoting opportunities for students to engage in St. John's open and affirming church life. We will be inviting students to attend our Fall Kickoff, to serve the community at our monthly mobile food pantry, to engage in fun onsite opportunities like our 9/30 Blessing of the Pets service, as well as promoting our United Church AIDS Network (UCAN) program with giveaways and church logo swag. College students make a difference in the community with St. John's UCC! StJohnsUCCgr.org.

The Annual Grand River Cleanup

Faith in action! Small acts make a grand impact. You are invited to participate in the 15th Annual Mayors' Grand River Cleanup to remove trash from our communities and our river! The event is on September 8, 2018 from 9:00am-1:00pm at 6th Street Park in Grand Rapids, MI.

The day will start with a Mayors' welcome and light refreshments before the cleanup and conclude with lunch, a beer garden (must be 21+, ID required) supplied by Founders Brewery, and live music by Dunegrass.

The event is free, but registration is required on the West Michigan Environmental Action website: https://wmeac.org/mayors-grand-river-cleanup/