About four times a year, through the Michigan Community Blood Center, our church hosts a blood drive in which many of our members happily participate. We always welcome new volunteers.
Eastown Ministries-Calvin Church Partnership
Eastown Ministries is an outreach ministry located on Benjamin St. just a few blocks from Calvin Church. The collaboration between Eastown Ministries and Calvin Church provides holistic, evangelistic programming for neighborhood children in our community. Always open to more helping hands, this program consists of a basketball evening (Thursdays from 8-9pm) in the Calvin Church Fellowship Hall as well as participation in Eastown Ministries summer VBS, seasonal field trip outings, and mentoring. Contact Ed Tolsma.
This longtime institution of Calvin Church begun in 1969 is now housed next to the church in a new (2015) facility dedicated for this ministry which provides clothing for over two thousand needy children and adults each year, working with various local social service organizations. Operating on $5,000 to $6,000 each year from Calvin Church offerings our director finds amazing bargains in winter coats, boots, shoes, and underwear, and also fabrics. Meeting on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9:30 am, a dedicated group of volunteers sorts and mends thousands more donated pieces of clothing and also sews many sweat suits, pajamas, and nightgowns. They then assemble packages of clothes to outfit children and entire families, per request. We have a non-perishable food collection each Thanksgiving which is distributed by Family Assistance to local food pantries and agencies.
Family Promise (formerly IHN)
Calvin Church was in the first group of churches to join the work of this national organization when it was introduced in Grand Rapids in 1994. In a group of 13 congregations Calvin Church participates four times a year, providing meals and sleeping quarters for one week for a slection of homeless families, who are in the process of obtaining jobs and new living arrangements. Many volunteers in our church make and serve evening meals and provide breakfast, lunch, and snack materials for the participants throughout the week. Volunteers also provide playtime and help with the children, and stay overnight in the church during the week. The participating families receive instruction at the Family Promise Center during the day. We are one of five Christian Reformed Churches in Grand Rapids involved in this ministry, and we are blessed to have wonderful volunteers.
Frozen Meal Ministry
Anyone can contribute any part of a homemade meal that freezes well: main dish, side dish, or dessert. Just label it clearly with the date, ingredients, and reheating instruction and place it in the fellowship kitchen freezer. The meals are later delivered to individuals or families who are recovering from surgery, welcoming a new baby, or going through another significant life transition.
This unique store located at 2055 28th Street SE, in the Grand Central Plaza, was begun twenty-three years ago by Calvin Church members to assist families in third-world countries. A range of beautifully hand-crafted items and works of art, including jewelry, linens, and crèches, are displayed for sale and the funds realized help many artisans and their families gain a better standard of living. Volunteers staff the store, and are always ready to welcome you, and help you find the perfect thing. Remember Global Gifts during the holidays for that special unique gift.
Kids Hope USA
Several volunteers from Calvin Church meet once a week one on one with a student at Campus Elementary School to mentor, tutor, and build a caring relationship with that student through the year. Kids Hope USA is a successful national program which began in Zeeland, MI. More volunteers and Prayer Partners are always welcome. Contact Elly Nyhof or Melanie Tolsma.
Memorial Service Committee
When funerals or memorial services are held at Calvin Church, receptions often follow the service and are held in our Fellowship Hall. Members of our church volunteer to prepare and serve refreshments at these events, and the committee is always happy to have more help.
In the 1970’s Calvin Church helped resettle some families from Vietnam, in 2011 and 2012 with assistance from Bethany Christian Services we have welcomed and helped to resettle two Karen Burmese families from a refugee camp in Thailand, in 2013 we helped a Bhutanese family from a Nepali refugee camp, and in 2014 we welcomed an Iraqi family. We can testify that serving the needs of the world in Christ’s name is a blessing and an honor.