Congregational Needs

Congregational Care

Members of Hope Church can call upon the Congregational Care Ministry to connect with resources for support. The Congregational Care Ministry members can provide care for physical needs or arrange for social and spiritual connections, including home communion or helping new members to join the life of Hope Church. Each church member’s Care Group is indicated with a number after his or her name in the church directory. With questions or needs, members are encouraged to call Care Group leaders.

 

Hope Church Nurse

The Hope Church nurse offers resources and support to members of the congregation to help them integrate faith and health during times of crisis, illness, transition, and throughout complex health care decisions, including end of life. This is done through one-on-one consultations, as well as through newsletters and other educational opportunities. The Hope Church nurse can also act as a referral agent, coordinator of volunteers (like arranging transportation to medical appointments), developer of support groups (like R.E.S.T., a support group for caregivers), and health advocate.

The Hope Church nurse is also a resource to the Health Ministry and the Congregational Care Ministry, supporting and informing their work.

Memorial Garden

The Memorial Garden is available for placement of ashes for Hope Church members and their immediate families. Requests for other people may be made in writing to the Hope Church Consistory/Executive Committee. Application forms are available from the church office. A “Placement of Ashes” fee is requested; the funds are used for upkeep of the garden, including placement of benches and other artwork.

Placement of ashes in the Memorial Garden can be a private function or officiated by a Hope Church pastor, or officiated by other clergy with the approval of a Hope Church pastor. Hope Church will designate in which general area of the Memorial Garden ashes may be placed. Precise site identification is anonymous, so individual location markers and site decorations are not used. Biodegradable containers are recommended; permanent containers are not permitted. Scattering of ashes may be allowed. Placement of ashes is permanent; they cannot be removed or relocated.

An identification plaque will be placed within Hope Church; to assure adjacent locations for plaques, make arrangements at the same time for all members of the group. Hope Church maintains a permanent registry of ashes placed in the Memorial Garden.

Request the “Guidelines for Use” from the church office for full details. The use and maintenance of the Memorial Garden are under the exclusive control of Hope Church.

Supported Organizations

These are among the organizations Hope Church supports or partners with to pursue justice and compassion in our community and world. If you would like to add an organization for the consideration of Hope Church members and friends, submit your suggestion through the Hope Church office.

In the RCA Denomination

Hope Church is a member of Room for All, which advocates for full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons in the life and ministry of the RCA.

In the Holland Community

Center for Women in Transition promotes women’s self-determination through advocacy, shelter, support, and education.

Community Action House provides services to families and individuals in crisis in the Holland/Zeeland area, with a focus on breaking the cycle of poverty and empowering families toward self-sufficiency. Non-perishable food items are collected each week in the Gathering Area for donation to Community Action House, which distributes them as needed. Bulletins and newsletters will announce special focuses, but canned meat and fish, peanut butter, and infant formula and diapers are among the items most often needed.

Good Samaritan Ministries works to equip local churches to meet needs of families struggling with poverty, welfare, homelessness, and inadequate resources.

Kids Hope USA is one caring adult mentoring one at-risk child for one hour each week. Volunteer to be a mentor or prayer partner for our participation in Kids Hope USA at Vanderbilt Academy.

Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity is the local affiliate of Michigan Habitat for Humanity, which pursues the goal of eliminating substandard housing and homelessness, one house at a time. Hope Church members participate with Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity to build or refurbish homes; occasional Hope Church work crews are called for through the bulletin, newsletter, and blog.

CROP Walk, sponsored by Church World Service, gathers resources for both local and global hunger. Plan to walk or sponsor a walker in the annual Holland/Zeeland CROP Walk each April.

Working Globally

Bread for the World is a nationwide Christian citizens movement seeking justice for the world’s hungry people by lobbying our nation’s decision makers.

Speak Up with a Faithful Voice

We can witness to our faith by speaking up when public policy and social justice cross paths. Find out how to contact your congressional representative or senator, or subscribe to a website like Faithful America to stay informed about current issues. Sojourners also offers information and action steps for faith in action.

Caring for Creation

The Caring for Creation Ministry provides resources for Hope Church members and friends to enable all of us to live sustainably and responsibly and to diminish the impact of climate change.

These websites provide information about steps you can take, in your own home and life, to help:

The RCA also provides a listing of resourcesbooks, periodicals, and websitesto help us learn more about the theology and the implications of Caring for Creation. The list was compiled by Steven Bouma-Prediger, for the Commission on Theology, and Jane Schuyler.