About City Hope GR
City Hope GR is a new church of 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?" While this particular video is from before our launch, it continues to share some important and timeless insights.
God has called us out as local missionaries, to join Him in the work of starting a church that intentionally connects with those affected by disability. City Hope GR is a community of people with all needs and abilities, a church of those with and without disabilities, together growing in Christ, discovering our gifts, and serving. We 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. This new church, similar to the one at Benjamin’s Hope (Holland, MI), is made of all abilities. We create space, environments and opportunities for an integrated and growing worship community.
In launching 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 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. Right from the start God gave a clear vision that City Hope GR was to be a church that existed with multiple ministry partners, rather than exclusively in one set group. Along with other churches, both the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) and the Reformed Church (RCA) 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.
City Hope worships in a newly remodeled location provided through Monroe Community Church (CRC) in downtown Grand Rapids.
God has been opening hearts and doors. We represent the church as God's 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 continues to build 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