Bridge Street Ministries (BSM) is an urban Christian Community Development organization in the West Side of Grand Rapids emphasizing discipleship and youth development.

WEST SIDE RESURGENCE
At the heart of our ministry, is this Christ-centered, high quality, after-school programming to support the academic, spiritual, social/emotional, and community development of urban youth. At the start of the school year, we had a goal of having 30 students registered for the program.  Currently, we have around 60 registered with 30+ in regular attendance!  Each day kids find a beautiful, safe place in our drop in center, and then have the opportunity to engage in a variety of learning labs. This past semester, kids got to learn at the zoo, play baseball with the Grace Christian University baseball team, study the Bible, and learn about money management with Young Money Finances.  Oh, and we opened up a youth café as a drop in center for kids after school.

Recently, while dropping off the kids after Resurgence, one of the girls looked back as she walked away and said “you guys are like my real family!” Bless God for the opportunity to invest in these future leaders. We are currently looking for volunteers that can help with driving and tutoring.  Email sharalle@bsmgr.org if you are interested in helping out.

GRAND RAPIDS IMMERSION

Each year Grand Rapids Immersion proves to be a transformational experience as we work to connect local youth with local mission. This year we are hosting upwards of 75 students from 6 local churches and ministries for one week this summer. On Immersion we spend two nights camping in the wilderness, helping students connect with God and connect with each other.  Then we come into the city to learn, serve, and celebrate what God is doing in our city. We are excited about what God is going to do this summer through Immersion!

GRAND RAPIDS BRIDGE YEAR

While we have a smaller cohort of students this year, there has been a deep community that has formed, and our Bridge Year students have grown in their understanding of God’s character and his kingdom. It has been so fun watching our Grand Rapids Bridge Year (GRBY) students help lead in our Resurgence program every day. Every day our GRBY students help our kids know that they are loved, welcomed, and valued.

We are currently accepting applications for the 2022-2023 Grand Rapids Bridge Year cohort. If you or a young person that you know would benefit from devoting a year to seeking God and engaging in his mission in the city, e-mail adam@bsmgr.org for more information. We would love to have you come for a visit.

Derek Sterenberg
Operations Director
Bridge Street Ministries

The Regathering Team is pleased to announce that due to the decrease in cases of Covid-19, and the loosening of restrictions on a state and county basis, that our Covid-19 Guidelines will no longer be in effect. In Leu of those we offer a few best practices in order to continue to respect one another and promote health and safety.

  • If you feel ill, or are in the beginning stages of coming down with an illness, please stay home.
  • Please be diligent in personal hygiene, there will continue to be hand sanitizer available in various locations throughout the building.
  • Please be respectful of and attentive to people’s need for personal space.

The Regathering Team has now been disbanded, since we have been gathered as a church since last June, and there are no more Covid Guidelines to uphold. The church Ministry Staff along with the Admin Elders will continue to monitor the Covid situation and plan accordingly for various setups and ministries. Even though Covid has not gone away completely, at its current level this seems like the best way forward.

This change enables us to return to practicing communion much like we did before the pandemic, this Sunday will be our return to having people come up to the front to receive the bread and juice. The Elders will give the bread with small tongs in an effort to promote health and safety practices that we’ve become accustomed to in the last two years. There will be pre-packaged communion elements available for anyone who feels more comfortable continuing to use those.

We are thankful for the Lord’s provision, and that he is always with us, even in difficult times such as we’ve experienced over the last two years. Thank you for your continued diligence in promoting health and safety, which ultimately flow from the love that we receive from our savior Jesus!  Let’s continue to show that love to each other and all those around us.

Learn to Cooperate with the Holy Spirit!

Empowered for Witness 102: In the Spirit’s Power will be held at Gold Avenue Church over six Thursdays evenings, from April 21 – May 26, 2022. This six week course will focus on learning about and growing in welcoming the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit to advance the Kingdom of God. Each session will include both teaching and practice in a safe and discerning community. Go to empoweredforwitness.org and scroll down to “Register for EFW 102,” to reserve your spot.


In addition, the content of EFW 101: Gateways to Empowered Ministry, which lays a biblical and theological foundation for understanding the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit, is available for study at empoweredforwitness.org. We recommend that you complete all sessions of EFW 101 before attending EFW 102 (though it’s not a requirement).


We look forward to seeing you at Empowered for Witness!

We are so excited to be going out Prayer Walking again and we hope that you will join us! Check out below for the details.

When: See Prayer Walking Calendar: Prayer Walking Calendar

Where: Gold Avenue Church sanctuary

What: Our shared vision at Gold Avenue Church is to see the gospel of Jesus Christ transform our lives, our neighborhood, and the world. Prayer Walking is one way that we engage our neighborhood and see that transformation come. We’ve been going out and prayer walking regularly in our neighborhood for quite a number of years and have seen much fruit as we pray for the neighborhood, interact and pray with neighbors, and so much more.

Who: We would like to invite everyone to participate in prayer walking, as now is a time when our neighborhood and world need prayer more than ever! Prayer walking is for everyone and we encourage everyone to come! Even young children have come and sometimes we’re surprised at how they hear from the Lord, and we’ve seen much fruit from their participation.

How: We practice staying in step with the Holy Spirit and welcome His leading and His gifts. So even though it is called Prayer Walking, we expect God to work in numerous and varied ways. We go out without an agenda or a script, and we start by praying together before asking for the Lord’s guidance and wisdom. We partner up, often forming pairs of people with more experience with someone with less, so that we can model and teach this approach. There are several different ways that you might engage in prayer for our neighborhood, and it’s all about following the Lord’s leading in each moment. Depending on that, you might do one or a combo of the following, knowing that they are all equally valuable as we embody, proclaim and advance the Kingdom of God:

  • You may pray from home if you’re not able to come, or come to church and stay in and pray. This is called intercession, and it may involve praying for the teams that go out, for the Lord’s guidance for them, their interactions, and so on.
  • You may walk around, praying and interceding for neighbors and the neighborhood, asking the Lord to guide you and your prayers.
  • You may be led to talk to someone who is outside or to knock on a door, getting to know them, listening to them with care and sharing the love of Jesus with them. While you are talking with them you’ll be listening for promptings from the Holy Spirit as to how to engage and respond; perhaps they need to hear about Jesus for the first time or maybe they need encouragement or a fresh infilling from the Lord.
  • You may be led to go into a local business, market or coffee shop, and ask the Lord if there is anyone there He’d like you to talk to and pray with.

Prayer Walking at Gold Avenue Church is all about being led by the Lord each time we go out, and seeing the gospel of Jesus Christ transform us and our neighborhood. It is a place for those who participate to grow in gifts of the Spirit, and a place of grace as we are humbly learning. We hope that as each person becomes more familiar and comfortable prayer walking, that it will become a normal and natural part of each person’s life, to the point where prayer walking occurs any time, not just when we get together as a group.

We hope to see you here on Saturday. Please prayerfully consider if the Lord is calling you to participate. If you have any questions, please contact Mark Essenburg to find out more.

Do you or anyone you know ever like to drink coffee or tea? We have the perfect gift available for you this holiday season! We have Gold Avenue Church mugs for sale right now! What better way to remind you and others of our shared vision, which is to see the gospel of Jesus Christ transform our lives, our neighborhood, and the world. You can easily be the proud owner of one of these mugs, here is a picture showing what they look like from both sides.

Mugs are available for purchase for only $10, which helps pay for other swag we give free to our guests. Mugs can be bought at church through Mark Essenburg, you can email and we can arrange for your purchase. You can pay in cash or a few other select electronic methods.

We hope that you enjoy your mug and that you have a warm holiday season, surrounded by the joy that comes from knowing Jesus!

At Gold Avenue Church, we are continually asking God how He would like us to show love to those around us. Serving others is one way of showing God’s love by reaching out into the neighborhood and beyond. The Deacons at Gold Avenue Church would like to highlight service opportunities within our neighborhood. Many of our neighborhood ministry partners have opportunities that we can be involved with. We have highlighted two below, and will share more as we hear about them. Please ask the Lord if He would have you give of your time or resources to bless those who will be blessed by these ministries.

The Other Way Christmas Store

Friends,

We have come a long way in 30 years and have over 160 families registered for the Christmas Store! There’s still time to partner with us and we need your support more than ever as we work together with families in our community for a joyful and meaningful Christmas.

Each December, The Other Way Ministries hosts the Christmas Store, an opportunity for neighborhood parents to purchase affordable gifts for their children. 

To stock the store, we depend on YOU to provide new, unopened presents. Christmas Store partners are absolutely vital to the success of this program! Live out of town or unable to bring in gifts? Consider supporting the Christmas Store with a financial donation to support the purchase of these gifts!

– Alyssa Chartier

achartier@theotherway.org

(Development and Communications Manager)

Click here to make a financial contribution.

 

 

 

For Gift Donations:

Drop-off Day is Friday, December 10 from 9am – 12pm at

The Other Way Activity Center, 704 Fulton St. West.

For further information and gift guidelines can be found here.
If you are interested in volunteering please contact Natalie Garcia at: ngarcia@theotherway.org
 

Matthew’s House Needs List – 

Please click here to read Matthew’s House ministry newsletter that describes how we can partner with them.
To give or volunteer, please click on their website here.
Please let us know if you have any questions. We would love to hear testimonies of your experiences serving with the church to encourage others to do the same!
Your Deacons,
Kelli Boender, Dwayne Felver, Jaci Kerkstra, Derek Sterenberg, Mark Essenburg (Deacon Liaison)

Deacon Contact Information:

616-454-8833

Gold Avenue Church Family, thank you for praying for the recent prayer event sponsored by PRMI in North Carolina.  Several from our church were able to participate in person or remotely: Neil and Annah Blake, Mary Swierenga, Nancy VanNoord, along with Pastor Dave and myself (Pastor Gina).  This event was so timely for us as a church, as we have recently reviewed prophetic words spoken several years ago about Gold Avenue Church being a place of revival and sparking revival, as we have spent the last year being better equipped to all make disciples, and have continued to pray for revival and are now consecrating ourselves for God’s kingdom purposes, individually and as a church.

We have been expecting a mighty move of the Holy Spirit.  This is why it seemed important to participate in the North Carolina event, designed as three days of worship and prayer that might provide a pattern for future prayer events around the world.  We focused our prayer on three essentials for ushering in revival and the Next Great Awakening, as identified by evangelist R.A. Torrey.  We spent one day focused on each of these 3 essentials: EvangelismEmpowerment with the Holy Spirit (Baptism of the Holy Spirit), and Spirit-led Prayer.  Torrey noticed that prayer would often give people such love for the world, that they would often be drawn into proclaiming the gospel (evangelism), however for that to be effective and sustained, every person needed the empowering work and gifts of the Holy Spirit to effectively witness to the gospel.  Thus, each essential is necessary and interdependent, and creates together an “altar” on which the Holy Spirit will send his manifest presence and power.  This is in fact what happened as we met in North Carolina with approximately 50 people in person and another 30+people online.
Pastor Dave helped serve on the leadership team for the event (see photo) and was used mightily.  Several highlights from this event include:
  • a time for personal surrender to be used in evangelism,
  • the entire group hearing about and praying for the Gospel Tool curriculum developed at Gold Avenue Church and how it could be used by churches who will need to disciple new converts,
  • a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit which brought refreshing, callings, and the impartation of many gifts such as supernatural faith, healing, and miracles,
  • an incredible time of sharing God’s heart and grief over the world, and intense times of prayer for millennials and the younger generations, lifting them up in travailing prayer.
As we return, we continue to pray for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Gold Avenue Church, and the many other churches from around the world that participated.  If you would like to grow in prayer and have a heart for revival, Mary Swierenga and Nancy VanNoord would love to hear from you! You can email either one of them by clicking on their names. God has marvelous plans for our church, the West Side and beyond.
The world is desperate for hope, and we believe as the Holy Spirit is once again poured out afresh on the church, we will cooperate in ushering in God’s Kingdom plans for this hour, all for His glory!

Please RSVP by clicking THIS LINK

If you would like to attend but are unable to, or you are interested in coming but want to know more, please contact Mark Essenburg HERE.

We really look forward to seeing you at this event, and look forward that we can grow and serve together as God’s family at Gold Avenue Church!

Gospel Tool Completion Celebration-

 

We each desire to be faithful to Jesus’ command to “make disciples,” and so we’ve been on an incredible journey together over the last year working our way through The Gospel Tool Bible Study. This has been a way to help us mature and multiply disciples of Jesus Christ. We know that while there may be many ingredients involved in successful disciple making, the following five are absolute essentials:
  • Obedience to Jesus Christ
  • Awareness of the Holy Spirit’s work
  • Scripture study
  • A growing prayer life, and…
  • Christian community
With these essentials as a foundation, the Gospel Tool Bible Study has provided a context for emphasizing the Good News of the Kingdom of God, deepening biblical literacy, and nurturing a vibrant and growing relationship with God, while preparing each of us to disciple others.
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Our vision, moving forward, is that each of us will prayerfully ask: “God, who might I/we ask to go on a journey of growing as a follower of Jesus Christ? Who might I/we study the Gospel Tool with? Since we’ve each completed the study, leading someone else through it wouldn’t require nearly as much work as the first time through, though we expect each person will continue to grow deeper in Jesus as we engage the material afresh.
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Once again, our vision is for each of us to be equipped with the tools to disciple another person towards maturity in Christ Jesus, preparing them to also be able to disciple in the future. We’re trying to create a context for maturing and multiplying, even and especially as we earnestly pray that God reconnect us with our neighborhood!
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Let’s Celebrate! Sundays: October 17 & 24

Since our Gospel Tool Bible Study and sermon series will come to a close on October 10, we will spend the next two Sundays celebrating and setting the stage for what’s next in our discipleship journey. On Sunday October 17, we will come together and joyfully celebrate what the Lord has done in lives during this year of discipleship. Please ask the Lord if he has something for you to share, as we love hearing testimonies of how He’s working, no matter how big or small. On Sunday October 24, we will consecrate ourselves and have an opportunity to ask the Lord what’s next, as we enter into the multiplying phase. We feel like this is a pivotal moment in our Church’s history, and we are so glad you are a part of it! Please put this on your calendar and don’t miss it!

Things are changing at a breakneck pace these days! When we regathered in the beginning of June this year, we did so with a set of guidelines to help us safely worship in-person in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to create as safe of an environment as possible and reasonable. As case numbers dropped and guidelines were loosened on a national and state level, we began loosening up on following our guidelines, especially during greeting times. We just love warm, welcoming fellowship, but we didn’t narrate what we were doing, and didn’t update our guidelines in a timely manner, which created confusion for some; and for that we are very sorry.

As we’ve seen numbers begin to go up again and even recently had a few people in the congregation contract Covid-19 (from an outside source, not at church), we have decided to keep our (slightly modified) current guidelines in place and to do our best to adhere to them. Please keep in mind that there is still a pandemic going on, so things will continue to look different for a while. Below are the guidelines that the Regathering Team has prayerfully and carefully discerned.  We respectfully ask for much grace and ask that we all make every effort to follow the guidelines set forth by Paul in Ephesians 4:2-3   “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” 

Below is a short infographic that summarizes our guidelines, and after that is the full document which explains each point in more detail. 

 

Read our full guidelines ahead of the gathering here: Covid-19 Regathering Guidelines

Please send questions to the regathering team at gold.regathering@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you all on Sunday!