Autumn at the Branch

It’s hard to believe that Autumn is near, isn’t it? Kids are going to be starting school, the air around us will be cool and we’ll either embrace or avoid pumpkin flavored everything. We have big plans at the Branch for this Autumn and we hope you’ll be able to join us for a lot of it, all if you can. Our focus, as always, is getting more connected to our Branch family, our extended communities and to God.

So, what’s happening?


BranchStudents Kick-off!

Joins us September 18 for the BranchStudents kick-off. BranchStudents is for those in 5th grade and up, and this kickoff week we want parents to come too! (sorry, no siblings). Updates and details are on the BranchStudents Facebook page. You can RSVP there.

Rice & Beans

The week of September 19-23 we will be inviting everyone to eat rice & beans for dinner (or use only items in your pantry, or pick another way to lower your eating costs for the week — be creative!).  The point is to spend less on food, make a sacrifice by changing your normal routine and preferences, and then give whatever you saved on food as a gift to Frontline Recovery. Frontline Recovery is a southeast Grand Rapids nonprofit devoted to working with those who struggle with substance addiction.  They are a light and we are excited to partner with them this fall.

All Church Retreat

September 24 & 25 is the All Church Retreat, starting at 1:00 pm on Saturday. It will be held at the DeBlaay-Oeverman homes (2020 and 2030 Madison). This event is completely free of charge!

Here’s a rough timeline of events (emphasis on ‘rough’…it’s a flexible time together and we may move things around as needed). Please sign up today by emailing “I’m/we’re in!” to


  • 1-2pm Kick-Off and Connect
  • 2-5pm Games and Serve (we’ll have some planned activities, including a way to serve others half way around the world)
  • 5-6pm Connect
  • 6-7:30pm Dinner
  • 7:30-?pm Games and Smores
  • You are welcome (dare we say encouraged!) to set up your own tent and join us for a camp out Saturday night or you can head home, sleep in your own bed and join us again in the morning. 🙂


  • 7:45-8:00am  Time of prayer in park
  • 8-9am Breakfast and Clean Up
  • 9:15am – Worship at the Branch building

Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast will be a planned potluck – everyone bringing something specific to contribute.  We’ll have sign ups for food the week before once we have numbers.

Get Connected Lunches

September 25th (and the last Sunday of every month going forward): If you’re new to the Branch or newish and looking to get more connected, we’d love to have you join us for lunch (our treat). We’ll head to a local restaurant and take some time to listen to your story and share the story of the Branch. Kids are welcome.

Beer & Hymns

The fourth Tuesday of every month we sing hymns and drink beer (or your chosen beverage) at the Last Chance Tavern & Grill on Burton in Grand Rapids. If you have yet to make it to one of these events, we hope that you’ll come soon and add your voice to the chorus (and the verses, too). Follow us on Facebook!


Small Groups

Starting the week of October 9th and going for 6 weeks, we will be having another round of small groups to follow along with our sermon series. More details and sign-up sheets to come!

Marriage Retreat

The weekend of October 28 & 29 Drew & Hanna Brennan will be leading a Marriage Retreat for Branch couples. The weekend will start on Friday (6-8:30pm) with dinner and continue on Saturday (9-2pm).  Sign ups will begin the week of September 11. We’d love to have you and your spouse (or spouse-to-be) attend this empowering weekend.

Thanks for reading! We hope we made it onto your calendars for Autumn 2016!

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