For 140 years, we have partnered with our God from the corner of Eastern Avenue and Logan Street to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Christ’s church, we have much for which to be thankful. We’re thankful for the brothers and sisters in our community both inside and outside these walls. We’re thankful that the story of our church isn’t just about a building, but of a people dedicated to following the call of the Gospel at their corner of the world.
In 1879, 80 Dutch immigrant families founded the East Street True Holland Reformed Church, right in their own backyards, truly a neighborhood church. That first Sunday’s sermon was titled, “Seek Ye First, the Kingdom of God.” The church grew and erected a new building in 1887; at its dedication, the congregation heard a message that encouraged them to “enlarge the place of thy tent.” Over time, the neighborhood changed, and when the opportunity came in the 1960’s to relocate, the congregation chose to stay. That decision helped ignite a new passion for engaging the local community that remains today. Those that came before us made bold decisions, fought for what they believed, and above all else, let Christ’s light shine for all to see.
The desire to build relationships with each other, our community, and with God drives us to reach out in many ways. For 40 years, it’s been our mission to ensure that no one in our community goes hungry. We mentor youth who need a helping hand. We share God’s word to our forgotten brothers and sisters in jail. We break down barriers so that all are free to experience God’s grace. It was our own congregation that helped create the community organizations that are rebuilding our neighborhood and helping it thrive. That outreach isn’t possible without God’s Spirit working through us. We worship together, share the sacraments together, and nurture each other as we all discover how God’s word will lead us. The spiritual formation of everyone, young and old is fundamental to who we are.
What’s in store for the next 140 years? This place still serves as a cornerstone in a community that looks vastly different than it did when Dutch immigrants walked here to worship every Sunday. How do we continue to build our church so that many more will gather here for years to come? Eastern Avenue’s roots here can continue to grow, both physically and spiritually. God has called us to be in this place, and we believe that God has plans to use us here, both now and in the future, with this church as our anchor. As we seek to understand God’s plans for us, God calls us to embrace where we are, celebrate where we’ve been and prepare for where we hope to be.
We thank you for your years of faithful giving which have made our presence here at 514 Eastern Avenue possible. We invite you to continue to join in the good work being done here during our pledge drive from April 22-May 5, 2019.
--The Pledge Drive Committee
Joel Boonstra (chair), Kim Bolt, Doug Jenkins, Thea Leunk, Dirk Pegman
Total Budget for 2019-2020: $802,863
People 54 %