“Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” (Romans 12:13)
Third Reformed Church is located in the central city district of Holland, MI, the original plots of land sold by Albertus Van Raalte. The area includes the Holland Historic District with its stately homes; Tulip Lane, which bursts into color during Tulip Time; libraries, parks, and Hope College. More urgently, though, Third Church’s location also compels us to confront challenging urban issues. Seeking to be a bridge within our neighborhood and community the Spirit has led us to begin local ministries. Below are the local ministries of Third Reformed Church and the community partners we support.
Angel Lopez & Janelle Lopez-Koolhaas, Holland, MI
Their initial focus for the next six months will be to take steps to increase TRC’s practical capacity to welcome Spanish speaking visitors to LIFT, as well as explore ways to offer a Spanish language worship center on Sunday’s in the near future. Angel and Janelle live near the church and look forward to furthering the ways God has given them to minister to neighbors with the partnership of TRC. They will also join the VBS Planning Team in preparations for this summer’s VBS. We ask the TRC church family to pray for God’s leading in these endeavors, and to seek out Angel or Janelle to chat more!
Refugee Ministry: Third Church is sponosoring a refugee family in partnership with Bethany Christian Services. There are more displaced people today than ever before since World War 2. As a part of our witness to this global crisis we have chosen to respond by hosting a family and partnering with other churches in Holland to host more families. As of spring of 2016 we are in the process of welcoming a family from the middle east. For more information or to be a part of this ministry click HERE.
Housing Ministry: Affordable housing has been a growing challenge in our community. For numerous years we have partnered with Good Samaritan Ministries(GSM) in providing housing for people in transition in our community. This ministry has been a vital and important part of our witness to the neighborhood. We currently own 2 homes with GSM serving as a primary partner.
Kids Hope USA: Third Reformed Church in partnership with Hope Reformed Church provides mentors and tutors to Vanderbilt Charter Elementary School in Holland. This ministry provides an avenue for members of the church to be in relationship with local students who are in special need of a caring adult. For more information please contact our Kids Hope Co-Director Beverly Rannow.
Special Education Ministries: This ministry provides Christian education and fellowship for adults with developmental disabilities. Every Thursday evening at 7pm, from September through April, students meet in our Fellowship Hall for a Bible lesson, activity, singing and one-on-one tutoring about the lesson with a volunteer.
Buen Pastor: This ministry provides child care and preschool for children of migrant workers while they are hard at work in the local fields. Buen Pastor also plans a 32-week program for native Spanish-speaking children to prepare them to be Ready to Learn. The church provides space to host the program, volunteers to work with children, and board members for Buen Pastor. Each summer members of the congregation are paired with a migrant child to work on reading and basic skills.
Japanese Ministry: Fumihito Andy Nakajima serves as our Pastor to Japenese Students in West Michigan. He was raised in Japan by a Buddhist family but he was led to Christ by a Christian English teacher at his high school. When he was a senior at Western Theological Seminary Andy and other Japanese students at the seminary caught a vision for reaching out to Japanese people living in western Michigan. They formed a committee, joined by retired RCA missionaries, and Japanese Christians living in the area. They held their first worship service in November 1992. The Ministry with Japanese-Speaking People now organizes worship services, Bible studies, language classes and tutoring, and pastoral care in Holland and throughout West Michigan.
Summer Youth Connections: In partnership with the City, Michigan Works, and Escape Ministries we host a group of at-risk students for a week each summer to provide them with work experience and mentorship.
Washington School Neighbors: The church has joined the neighborhood collaborative team called Washington School Neighbors. It currently comprises Third Reformed Church, First United Methodist Church, Hope Reformed Church, and St. Francis in partnership with Good Samaritan Ministries. Washington School Neighbors aims to strengthen the neighborhood of our churches by mobilizing the residents to work together to improve the quality of life.
Three times a year, the church organizes programs for children and youth that deliberately include people from the community. This past spring more than one hundred children searched for eggs in our Easter Egg/Holy Treasure Hunt. The first week in August, the church develops a creative Vacation Bible School in the evening. To kick off VBS, we host the Backyard Bash on the last Wednesday of July.
LIFT or Living in Faith Together welcomes children, youth, and families of the community to our Wednesday midweek program during the school year that begins with a meal, a time for singing, and then activities for all ages.
Community Action House - http://www.communityactionhouse.org/
Habitat for Humanity - http://www.lakeshorehabitat.org/
Holland Rescue Mission - http://hollandrescue.org/
Salvation Army - http://saholland.org/
Holland Free Health Clinic - http://www.hfhclinic.org/
Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance - http://www.ethnicdiversity.org/
Women in Transition - http://www.cwitmi.org/
Ottawa Area Recovery - http://www.oar-inc.org/
Children's Advocacy Center - http://www.cac-ottawa.org/
Midtown Counseling - http://www.midtowncounseling.org/
Young Life of Holland - https://holland.younglife.org/Pages/default.aspx
CASA - http://www.hope.edu/casa/
Boys and Girls Club of Holland - http://www.bgch.org/
Camp Geneva - http://campgeneva.org/
Hope College - http://www.hope.edu/
Western Theological Seminary - http://www.westernsem.edu/
New Brunswick Theological Seminary - http://www.nbts.edu/