church and community information
facts and figures on EACRC
Life at Eastern provides a snapshot of Eastern Avenue CRC as well as our immediate neighborhood.
Our Church Profile reformats this information into the CRCNA's official form.
mission and vision
Our congregation has been journeying on a vision and discernment process for several years. Our new Missional Vocational Statement will guide our next steps as we live into God's preferred future for Eastern:
God is making all things new; therefore we are
moving with the Spirit in the messy and holy work of
caring for creation, and
with our neighbors.
For the last decade, Eastern's ministries, programs, and believers have been shaped by our previous mission and vision.
Eastern's Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget in spreadsheet form outlines our congregation's current financial and volunteer commitment.
Our narrative budget shares our hopes for FY2022-2023 through text and images.
Our December 2022 financial statement shows how our congregation is living into our dreams and commitments for FY2022-2023.
Eastern's June 2022 financial statement demonstrates how our congregation met our financial commitments last fiscal year.
As part of our vision and discernment process, we have been tracking trends in membership, budget, and giving for over a decade.
Governance, Organization, and Policies
Eastern's bylaws provide governance, along with dozens of written policies and procedures.
Church Leadership, Committees, and Staff are organized as pictured in this organizational chart, although lines of organization, communication, authority, and responsibility are much more organic and flexible as we live the messy and holy work God calls us to.
Staff follow our Personnel Manual policy for their rights and responsibilities.
Communication, Activities, and More
Our congregation engages in a variety of activities and stays informed through a variety of formats:
Each week we email announcements to anyone who wishes to be connected with Eastern's activities and the life of the church. Some recent weekly announcements include September 25, 2022, October 9, 2022, November 6, 2022, December 25, 2022, February 5, 2023, and February 12, 2023,
Our online calendar includes activities, committee meetings, and community programs.
Our YouTube channel provides live streaming and archived worship services from our English-language worshipping community.
Our podcast includes audio from both our English and bilingual worship services.
Our public Facebook page connects Eastern with our surrounding community while many in our congregation participate actively on our private Facebook group, sharing joys and sorrows.
Eastern's congregation has met at the corner of Eastern and Logan for well over 100 years. Our original church building was expanded in 1916 to form our current sanctuary. We renovated and updated our sanctuary in 2013 to add screens for projection and theatrical lighting while refreshing paint and carpeting. The sanctuary can comfortably seat 540 with 390 on the main floor and 150 in the balconies.
We added an addition in the early 2000s to include dedicated office spaces, nurseries that meet code, and a Fellowship Hall that seats 180 for a sit-down meal, as well as dedicated Children in Worship spaces, 11 classrooms, and a multi-purpose room for our Food Program and messy projects.
In the early 2000s we also moved the parsonage a block down Eastern Avenue and it has served as the Peniel House, a Calvin University Project Neighborhood communal living house, ever since. With changes to the Project Neighborhood program in the coming year, Eastern will be holding conversations to determine the future of the Peniel House, perhaps returning it to a parsonage, creating a new ministry with it, turning it into a source of rental income, or selling it.
Our congregation does not currently have fixed plans for future building projects, although we know that in the near future we will need to resurface our main parking lot and within 8 years reroof the main church building. As part of our commitment to creation care, a team is actively exploring making that a metal roof and installing solar panels as part of the project.
Eastern's Neighborhood and the Greater Grand rapids Area
Eastern Avenue CRC's past, present, and future are closely linked to our physical location in the Baxter Neighborhood. Eastern helped found the Baxter Community Center and ICCF Community Homes in service to and with our neighbors. Our parish boundaries, the neighboring blocks that are the focus of our Benevolence ministries, map closely with Baxter. Any conversation about God's calling for Eastern always includes consideration of our physical location in the Baxter Neighborhood.
Eastern's congregation comes from throughout the greater Grand Rapids area. Among us are university professors and those in the trades, financial wizards and artists, people in real estate and people in health care, and so many more. We see our calling to be salt and light wherever we find ourselves:
We find ourselves in schools such as Grand Rapids Christian and Grand Rapids Public. In universities such as Calvin and Grand Valley. In fact, there are over 20 different higher education institutions in the greater Grand Rapid area offering everything from certificates for working in the trades to doctorate programs.
We find ourselves in hospitals such as Corewell Health and University of Michigan Health West. Grand Rapids is now home to the world-renowned Van Andel Institute and Medical Mile, bringing the latest in health care to our community. Even our youngest patients are expertly treated at the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.
We find ourselves in homes - Grand Rapids has a diverse mix of historic victorian beauties and brand new contemporary dwellings, with housing options to fit every budget, taste, and lifestyle.
We find ourselves in social service agencies. Grand Rapids ranks as the most philanthropic community in the United States, and the many places to get and give help are just one example of that.
We find ourselves in businesses, both big and small, and entertainment and restaurants and arts and culture. There is never a problem finding places to go and things to do and good food to eat and drink in Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids offers so much in big-city opportunities while still creating a small-town feel!
Outside of Grand Rapids in West Michigan awaits a world of woods and trails and beaches, tourist towns and artist colonies, factories and farm stands, and so much more!