March 20 update from us
Here are some additional worship resources to use this weekend:
family devotion materials
focused on the Lectionary passages.
Psalm 23 – Lectio Divina
It is a phrase that starts our vision statement and it is the call Servant’s has been following since 1980. We believe that call is to move beyond the superficial and to share life together as a group of believers in ways that change us all. We believe that call is to join each other on a journey even when we aren’t sure where it is taking us. And we believe that call is to be a loving and serving community in a neighborhood so deeply loved by God that we can’t help but love it ourselves.
It is in that Westown neighborhood of Grand Rapids that Servant’s stands as a community where truly everyone is welcome to be transformed by a growing awareness of who God is and who God has created us to be. We come from many backgrounds, many situations, but in all our diversity we find ourselves woven together by one thread: Jesus, by all his words, by all his actions, by all the love of the cross, by all his victory over death.
As we follow Jesus we may not always know what God is calling us to do, but we are pretty sure of what kind of people God is calling us to be. People of hope, so compelled by the healing and justice, the grace and reconciliation of the gospel that we guide our lives by it. That is at the center of who we long to be as Servant’s Community Church, and we believe that everyone God calls into this community brings with them unique gifts and a unique role to play as we partner with that gospel work that God is doing in our midst.
Servants’ began with twelve people gathering weekly for prayer, Bible study, and informal worship. The first meetings took place in homes. On January 20, 1980, the group began meeting in a vacant church building in the heart of the Grand Rapids Westside.
On January 21, 1981 Servants Community Church was officially organized by the North Grand Rapids Classis of the Reformed Church in America. Leaders were chosen. Assignments were accepted. Twenty three adults and nine children stood on an exciting new frontier.
From those earliest days Servant’s has existed for the sake of our Westown neighborhood. We are a church of and for our community that longs to make the hope we have experienced a little more present in our city and our world.
There have been a lot of changes over the years, both for Servant’s and Grand Rapid’s Westside, but some things never change. One of those things for Servant’s is the belief that Jesus’ call to love our neighbors starts in the neighborhoods we find ourselves in. First and foremost we long to see reconciliation, justice and peace in our own lives and in our community.
Here at Servant’s we feel that God intends for his people to be in community. One of the ways we live into that is by being in relationship with a group of churches across the country called the Reformed Church in America (RCA). The word “Reformed” comes from the Protestant Reformation that swept across Europe in the 1500’s under the leadership of such Christians as Martin Luther and John Calvin. “Reformed” meant the same thing then as it does now, that God is much bigger than our understanding of God and life as a church means always re-forming our thinking and acting as our understanding of God grows and our cultural challenges shift.
The RCA got its start way back in 1628 when New York was still New Amsterdam. Over the centuries the RCA re-formed from a Dutch immigrant community into a denomination that is actively committed to it’s multi-racial and multi-cultural identity.
We in the RCA believe the Bible to be the Word of God and the final authority for faith and life. We believe in the historic Christian faith as confessed in the Apostles Creed. We believe that in the cross of Jesus God was, and is, reconciling all things to himself, and that we are called to partner in that reconciliation between God and people, people and people, and people to our world.
The Other Way is a non-profit Christian community development organization in the Westown neighborhood. From its birth Servant’s has been deeply connected to The Other Way and their work. We partner on many initiatives and members of the Servant’s family volunteer in their ministries, work of their staff, and serve on The Other Way board.
Westown is another longtime presence in the Westside and longtime ministry partner of Servant’s. They have helped over 40 families take the step into home ownership in our neighborhood and they stand as model landlords operating rental properties with integrity always showing respect for their tenants. Members of the Servant’s family volunteer in their ministries, work of their staff, and serve on the Jubilee board.
The RCA is the denomination (group of churches) that Servant’s is in intentional relationship with. The RCA has a strong commitment to seeking the Kingdom of God around the world in ways that empower all people and promote diversity. As a community of churches the RCA supports Servant’s presence in the city in many important ways.
Pastoral Resident and Administrator
53 Deloney SW
Grand Rapids, MI