Budget 2021-2022: $871,466
We are called to be Christ’s body. This budget provides the financial means for our mission and our ministry, while each of us provides witness as God’s servants, God’s field, and God’s building.
In addition to these ministries, we support Christian day school education for families at Eastern Avenue, we continue to pay down the amount of our loan on the building addition, and we support other local and global ministries through our designated offerings each Sunday.
The church is a people, not a building ...
It’s hard to believe, but we have been worshipping in places other than our sanctuary for more than one year. Yet, in spite of the limitations, we have thrived as a congregation. We shared baked goods on front porches, we worshiped together in small groups via zoom, we celebrated graduates, we watched Children & Worship videos every Sunday. We have shared stories over social media, offered a parade to our retiring pastor, walked a Lenten journey through devotionals with a returning pastor. We have shared communal bread and drank communal juice. We’ve enjoyed watching our plants bloom.
How is this all possible? One thing we have come to realize over the past year is that Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church is not simply a brick structure at the corner of Eastern and Logan. EACRC is what it is because of who has filled its interior for 142 years, and even when that was suspended, it did not stop its people from doing God’s work, from being the hands and feet of Christ outside its walls.
Our theme for this year’s online pledge drive is “The church is a people, not a building.” More than anything, in this past year we have come to realize that our church did not stop once its doors were closed in order to keep its congregants safe. Rather, our church simply found other creative ways to fellowship, to worship together, to lift each other up and support one another. Because that’s what the church does, and we don’t need a building to do that.
We thank you for your years of faithful giving which have made our Eastern Ave community possible. We invite you to continue to join in the good work being done with and through our people during our pledge drive from May 2-9, 2021.
- The Pledge Drive Committee: Kim Bolt (chair), Marla Ehlers, Doug Jenkins, Chris Pegman, and Dirk Pegman
We are God’s servants. Eastern Avenue members have a long history of serving our community through our Food Program, our Tutoring Program, our Neighborhood Chaplain, the Peniel House, local and world-wide Missions, and our denomination.
Even during this global pandemic, De’Marco Wilkinson and Eddie Grover, with a team of neighborhood and congregational volunteers, feed 200 families each week through our Food Program.
Jessica Hannink and her crew of community and congregational volunteers support our tutoring families, especially through all the challenges of online learning. Each month our students receive a bag full of activities and supplies to support their education.
Pastor Arlan Palmer serves our community as our Neighborhood Chaplain, while our Peniel House, part of Calvin University’s Project Neighborhood, provides lived learning experiences as Calvin students build relationships with our neighbors.
Our role as God’s servants extends even further, through our missionaries in Seattle, Oman, South Africa, Australia, and the Dominican Republic. And we partner with our denomination, the Christian Reformed Church of North America, with its ministries of sharing the gospel, faith formation, global missions, mercy, and justice.
$255,500 = 32%
$31 out of every $100 we give supports our
ministry as God's Servants
We are God’s field. Whether gathering virtually or physically, Eastern’s ministries enhance and strengthen our personal spiritual formation and that of our youth. Our journeys of faith are grown through worship, Bible studies, LIFT groups, Kids Club, Eastern Lights youth groups, Little Stars, and Children in Worship.
Pastoral care, Stephens’ Ministers, and household groups also provide opportunities for spiritual transformation and growth. We focus on hospitality and our life together in so many ways, and while much of that is happening online and in front yards right now, we are preparing for the day we will be together again. When Zoom worship and drive-by celebrations are replaced with services in our sanctuary and children’s centers, picnics and potlucks, cornhole tournaments and coffee hours, we will give thanks for all the way God continues to till God’s field inside each of us.
$286,000 = 33%
$33 out of every $100 we give supports our
ministry as God's Field
We are God’s building. This pandemic year has truly shown us that though we have such a beautiful location on the corner of Eastern and Logan, we can worship and follow Christ’s teachings anywhere.
Our physical church building and grounds are one of God’s gifts to us. They support our work as God’s servants. They provide space to grow as God’s field. And our stewardship of them allows us to support the ministries of others: a welcoming space for Calvin University's Nursing Program, a polling place for the City of Grand Rapids, a meeting space for community members engaged in our Food Program, and, when we can open our doors wide again, a building to celebrate life’s joys and mourn life’s sorrows.
Our church building has caught its breath during the pandemic. Crews have been painting, relamping lights, adjusting soap dispensers and signs, all to decrease our carbon footprint and increase accessibility. Making sure the lights stay on, the sidewalks are plowed, and our building is protected from fire and flood doesn’t always make our hearts sing, but our care for this square inch of God’s creation is another way we worship and witness our living God.
$304,000 = 35%
$36 out of every $100 we give supports our
ministry as God's Building