Children's Hospital Renucci Hospitality House

Wednesday, May 16 at 5:30pm you are invited to serve the community with us! St. John's UCC loves to serve themed dinners to out of town families who are temporarily living at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital's Renucci Hospitality House. Far too often, hospital families are stuck eating take-out while in town for medical procedures and surgeries. It is our privilege to offer a delicious free meal, kindness, friendly conversation, and prayer if requested. Our May dinner theme is Mom's Casseroles! Hot or cold!

VOLUNTEERS: You may drop off your prepared/cooked homemade or store bought food offerings (serving size approx. 35 people) downtown at Renucci House between 5pm - 5:30pm, or please stay and Serve With Us from 6pm-7pm. If you are not a cook or a casserole fan, no problem. You may bring chips, desserts, fresh fruits, breads, salads, or a different main dish for the Renucci family kitchen. Beverages are provided.

LOCATION: Head downtown. Take Michigan St. to Bostwick St. past the Children's ER. Turn left on Crescent St. which leads into the parking ramp and the attached Renucci House building at 290 Ransom Ave NE. Push the ramp help button, say you are serving at Renucci, and they will lift the gate for your free parking. The Renucci House kitchen entrance door is on the 1st floor inside the ramp by where you entered (Ransom St. entrance). People behind the desk will assist you to our location further. ALL are welcome to serve with us! StJohnsUCCgr.org.

Walk For Good Food

Walk with St. John's UCC on Sunday, May 6 at 1:30pm in ACCESS of West Michigan's Annual 5K Walk For Good Food, formally known as the Hunger Walk. The reason for the name change is that while feeding people to address hunger is important, the goal of the event is to fund local organizations that are addressing root causes of food insecurity and poverty. The name change more accurately reflects the mission as we seek to cultivate a good food system. Namely, to make healthy (food that provides nourishment and enables people to thrive), fair (food that no one along the production line was exploited during its creation), affordable (food that all people have access to), and green (food that was produced in a manner that is environmentally sustainable) food available to all.

Help us support community gardening projects, farmers, local pantries, gleaning programs, food justice, and community initiatives in thisoverall movement toward food sovereignty.

We will gather in the parking lot of Park Church (10 E. Park Pl NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503) located downtown Grand Rapids off Fulton St. (next to Veteran's Memorial Park) for this free family friendly event of music, a three mile walk, and giveaways. All are welcome.

Dégagé Shelter

Serve at Dégagé Shelter with St. John's UCC on Sunday, April 29 at 6pm. Please sign up on the mission board in fellowship hall or call the church office at 616-453-2497. Volunteers must be over the age of 16. Designated volunteers, please arrive at Dégagé at 5:30pm and we will begin serving lasagna dinners to the Heartside Neighborhood at 6pm. We support offering help and hope to the 400-500 people that this wonderful organization serves every day. We show our love by feeding and serving people. It is an honor to serve our neighbors in need.

Dégagé is located at 144 Division Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

March For Our Lives

This grassroots, non-partisan, student-led rally and march around midtown Grand Rapids begins in Rosa Parks Circle on Saturday, March 24, 12pm-3pm. We are marching to support student leaders, common sense gun control, victims and survivors of school shootings, and to show that faith in action means actively supporting our wider community. This national event is happening in cities across the country. You are always invited to gather and walk with St. John's UCC.  StJohnsUCCgr.org.

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 redproject.org. 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+.