About City Hope GR
City Hope GR is a new emerging church for all abilities.
Here's an important interview with Dave Vander Woude, Eric Peterson (Dave's mentor) and a couple special guests, where you get to briefly hear and see, "Why This Church?"
God has called us out as local missionaries, to join Him in the work of starting a church that intentionally connects with special needs. We believe this new church will be a community of people with all needs and abilities, that is, those with and without special needs together growing in Christ, discovering our gifts, and serving. We will seek to bless and be blessed by one another as image bearers of Christ. We are reminded that we are all necessary parts of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:22,27) and God calls us to bring in those sitting silently apart, the forgotten (Luke 14:21,23).
The Grand Rapids population is just over 200,800 people, with the larger urban area having about 570,000 people. 7.2 percent of people have some sort of moderate to profound special need. This means that 14,457 people and 41,040 people respectively are largely missing out in the life of the church. This is absolutely unacceptable. We believe this new church, similar to the one at Benjamin’s Hope (Holland, MI), will be for all abilities, creating space, environments and opportunities for an integrated and growing worship community.
In working to launch this important new church plant, now officially called City Hope GR, God has partnered us with the lead planter, Eric Peterson, of the Church at Benjamin’s Hope. Through his experience and common mission, Eric is serving as a mentor and advisor as we take next steps. For more information and to catch a glimpse of what we will look similar to, please visit Benjamin’s Hope at: https://www.benjaminshope.net/worship
In addition to the connection with Benjamin’s Hope in Holland, God has opened the door for official partnerships/networks non-denominationally and cross-denominationally. City Hope will worship in a newly remodeled location provided through Monroe Community Church (CRC) in downtown Grand Rapids. Both the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church have partnered in this planting effort. We are part of both denominations. Coram Deo Association of Churches is the non-denominational church planting ministry we’re also part of as a 501c3 non-profit. Coram Deo brings the advantage of an experienced planting background and includes support for the new church in the areas of coaching, networking, planning, bookkeeping and fundraising. Visit Coram Deo at: https://www.coramdeoassociation.org. We’re also excited to announce the special needs ministry, Joni & Friends as the most recent partner. Their partnership involves coaching, respite and specific networking support resources. Visit Joni & Friends at: https://www.joniandfriends.org.
Our worship service launch is planned for September 2021. In the mean-time we have a lot of ongoing work as we prepare. Much like building a foundation, this work is critical to the chuch. Currently we are at work in four key areas: 1) Networking with the purpose of identifing community support services. 2) Connecting with individuals and families with and without special needs. 3) Developing a Core Team - those who will specifically call City Hope their church home. The Core Team are involved in leadership and the day-to-day hands on work of the church. As we cast the vision and word spreads, we have now begun to seek those God may be calling to be part of the core. 4) Inviting and identifying Ministry Partners who will pray for, get involved in and financially commit themselves to being part of what God is doing. Some will do one or two of these things, other Ministry Partners will do all three.
God has been opening hearts and doors. As work continues, we look forward to being a fully functioning church of people with all abilities. Our vision for City Hope GR includes being a church that helps identify, deploy, fund, coach and start new churches with similar vision.
As God builds this incredible new church, we look forward to an amazing journey together!
In Jesus,Dave (Lead Planting Pastor - City Hope GR ), Julianne, Jae and Emily Vander Woude
The Vander Woude's