Core Values – Week 3: Relational Grace

Listen here for Week 3 in our Core Values Series. This week, we talk about Relational Grace.

Fall Series – Core Values

We all have values. That’s true as individuals, households and communities. We elevate and hold up certain ideas over others, and if we are lucky, find others who can help us live them out.

After receiving input from The Branch community earlier this year, we’ve given new language to the building blocks of our life together. In many ways, the heart and soul hasn’t changed, but we felt that the words we use to communicate our values needed to be updated to reflect our changing world.

Each week we’ll look at one value — all of which fall under our vision of becoming a community united with Christ in the renewal of all things.

September 10 – Partnership

We cannot do it alone.
The problems of the world and our lives require the support of others.
We choose to live interconnected lives.

September 17 – Inclusiveness

Everyone belongs.
God is ever inclusive.
All are invited to fully participate in our life together.

September 24 – Purposeful Presence

God’s promise is to be with us.
We offer that same gift to each other and the world,
honing in on specific ways we can be a presence of love.

October 1 -Relational Grace

We will disagree.
When we do, our posture will be that of Christ’s: one of humility and grace.
We can hold our convictions and still be curious and kind.

October 8 – Courageous Creativity

The world is dramatically changing.
The way forward is unknown.
But in trusting God, we choose to take risks and try new things.

SEPTEMBER 3 – Worship in the Park!

As summer draws to a close, join us at Garfield Park on Sunday, September 3, from 10-11a (we’ll be meeting in the parking lot off of Madison Ave. by the gym and splash pad).

We’ll be walking through the park, stopping along the way to reflect on the Scriptures, our lives and the world. We’ll use the beauty and complexity of the created world to help us remember what is true and call us back to our best selves.

You can also join us online on YouTube through the link at the top of our homepage.

We will not have a separate experience for children; instead, we’ll structure the morning in a way that all can participate.


Change of plans! The forecast is calling for rain so we will be gathering at the building on Sunday, 7/2.

CREATE 2023!!!

Join us June 20-22 from 6:30-8:30 pm for 3 nights of creativity and fun! Thursday night will end with an Open House for parents and friends to see what the kids have been up to all week, as well as an opportunity to join in the creative fun!

CREATE is an art camp for kids entering K-8th grade. Each child chooses one age-appropriate class to attend for those 3 evenings. They spend their time creating, getting to know one another and having fun. We love coming alongside kids as they tap into their own unique creativity – even when they don’t even know that creativity exists! Scroll down for the list of classes.

For the latest updates, be sure to like our facebook page (

Registration is now open. CLICK HERE!


Class Options for Grades K-1:

EXPLORING TREES: Calling all tree-huggers!! Exploring Trees is a class focused on creating art that resembles trees, uses elements from trees to make new things, and playfully recreates the birds who love trees! We will use yarn, sticks, and cardboard for this tree-loving fun.

NAILED IT! (Baking Challenge): As seen on TV!!! We might not have Nicole or Jacques, but we’ll have just as much fun creating our own unique baking creations. Learn some baking tips. Experiment with new ways to decorate. Learn to build structures with Rice Krispie treats. You’ll go home with an edible masterpiece to show off and enjoy with those you love!


Class Options for Grades 2-4:

CREATE WITH COLOR: Make Art that celebrates your unique self. We’ll use markers, paint, colored paper and more to make crafts that show who you are and what you love.

HYDRO DIPPING: Join us as we take thrift store finds with unique character and  plain, boring items and bring them to life in a whole new way! We will transform them using spray paint and water to make unique pieces fit to your personal aesthetic. Come be part of the fun! As seen on TikTok.

YARN & BRACELETS: In this class we will learn how to make yarn with drop spindles and then make bracelets with our yarn.


Class Options for Grades 5-8:

LEARN TO SOLVE A RUBIX CUBE: We will teach you the four fundamental parts of cubing and we will supply you with your own cube to practice and learn on!

EMBROIDERY: Embroidery is a relaxing way to use fabric and thread to create images of just about anything. Join us for a class where you will learn basic embroidery stitches and create a simple embroidered piece of art. You can build upon these basic skills to create more detailed pieces with practice.

ZINE-MAKING: Zines are self-published, often handmade, magazines! Learn to create fun little booklets to express yourself and share your stories, poetry, art, or fandom!

PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY  If you love portrait photography, learn multiple ways to light a portrait image to create a dramatic effect. Gear needed: Digital camera with removable media (SD Card, Compact Flash, etc).  DSLR preferred.

Easter Weekend

This weekend brings wonder and meaning.

Though we may have heard the stories surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus many times before, each retelling allows us the opportunity to integrate deep truths into our lives again: death does not have the final word; sacrifice is the gateway to life; hope endures.

Our time together on Good Friday (7:00-8:00pm) will create spaces for us to encounter God amid the sorrow and lament. We’ll retrace Christ’s steps and ask ourselves what his story means for our own today.

Easter tailgating is a tradition we look forward to each year. If it’s warm enough we’ll be outside – if not, we’ll move the party indoors. This year we are planning a cereal bar – so bring your favorite box or just come! We’ll have a number of boxes, lots of  milk (of all kinds – cow, almond, oat) and bowls and spoons.

Our gathering begins at 10. Joy. Music. Laughter. Learning. Hope. We look forward to embracing all these things together.

Current Series: Seeking, Honest Questions For Deeper Faith

This Lent, may you engage in the spiritual practice of seeking—by asking questions, and by staying curious, open, and nimble.
We hope you will soften your assumptions and expand your perspectives. We pray that these questions will create a safe space to explore—to be drawn more deeply into the fullness of life, into the heart of God.

March 5 – Who Will You Listen To?

March 12 – Group Sunday

March 19 – How Do We Begin Again?

March 26 – Group Sunday

April 2 – Palm Sunday::Where Are You Headed?

April 9 – Easter::Who Are You Looking For?

April 16 – Group Sunday

April 23 – Can These Bones Live?

April 30 – Agape Feast

May  7 – Who Sinned?

May 14 – Group Sunday

May 21 – Will You Give Me A Drink?

Group Sundays (Feb-May 2023)

Sign up for a Group here.

Last fall, we felt that it was time to try something different. Not for the sake of being different, but because we wondered if the way in which we gathered didn’t need to shift given all that has happened in the world and in our lives the last two years.

The result was an every other week rotation between ‘normal’ Sundays and ‘group’ Sundays.

Normal Sundays were, well, normal in the sense that our gathering on those weeks looked a lot like it had previously.

Our ‘group’ Sundays began with all of us together for a quick time of connection and then we would head to the group of our choice. Each group centered around a wide range of topics and activities (we tried a bunch of things: Ultimate Frisbee, a reflective walking group, a group that made an art installation for Advent, a group that practiced silence as a spiritual discipline, and many more). What we found is that Group Sundays gave people more opportunity to connect relationally, try out a new skill or idea and look for God’s presence in what might seem like everyday, ‘non-spiritual’ activities.

We’re excited to be trying this again in the coming months.

Below is the schedule as well as videos describing the opportunities for the weeks leading up to Easter.

Sign up for a Group here.

  • February 26: Group Sunday
  • March 5: Worship Gathering
  • March 12: Group Sunday
  • March 19: Worship Gathering
  • March 26: Group Sunday
  • April 2: Worship Gathering (Palm Sunday)
  • April 9: Worship Gathering (Easter)
  • April 16: Group Sunday
  • April 30: 5th Sunday Agape Feast
  • May 7: Worship Gathering
  • May 14: Group Sunday
  • May 21: Worship Gathering


Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday – February 22 – 7:00pm

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday – an evening of reflection, prayer and Scripture where we set our intention for the 40 days leading to Easter.

With the potential for inclement weather on Wednesday, we may choose to move our gathering to Zoom. We will keep everyone updated on our Facebook page and through email.


As we begin a new year, our conversation on Sundays will center around an ancient practice and rhythm of rest called Sabbath — a practice we’re pretty sure most of us are unfamiliar with, but need nonetheless.

That said, this conversation is not first and foremost about developing a 24-hour period free of any work. That may be a very good goal, but given the pace of most of our lives it is likely not a realistic target to immediately aim for.

Instead, we’re asking two questions: what is the Sabbath meant to teach us about things like time, work, and relationships, and what are steps we can take right now to move our rhythms and patterns into alignment with what God teaches us through the Sabbath.

We look forward to the conversation together.

Upcoming Gatherings

Here’s our holiday schedule as we celebrate Christmas and welcome in the New Year!

Christmas Eve – 5-6pm

Update 12/24 1:00pm: please note, we are still meeting in person tonight, but because of conditions encourage people to choose what is best for their circumstances. We will be streaming on YouTube as well. We look forward to being together!

Christmas Day – we will not be gathering

New Year’s Day – Brunch @ 10am! Bring something to pass and enjoy a fun (and delicious) start to the new year.

Sundays This Fall – GROUP Description Videos

For all the information about GROUP Sundays (starting 9/18/22), click here.

For a description of each GROUP that will meet on the 1st and 3rd Sundays, check out these videos.


UPDATE: Sundays This Fall

In this brief podcast we share the ‘why’ behind we’re making some changes this fall and lay out some of the details.

You can find more info here.

Sundays this Fall

It is an enormous understatement to say that a lot has changed in the last few years. There is not an area of our culture (including religion and the Church) that is not in turmoil or undergoing a significant shift. 

With so much upheaval, it is understandable that we might want to try and keep things the way they’ve always been, but this is ultimately unhelpful (and impossible). 

What if instead of maintaining the status quo, we dared to dream — to experiment — to risk? What if we leveraged this moment to help us see in new ways and respond with fresh expressions of faith? What if this became a time of discovery and growth?

Sundays this fall we will be trying some new patterns and rhythms that we hope will meet us in this particular moment of time and help us connect and grow. We’re sure there will be some bumps in the road. We won’t get everything right. But we do trust that God will be with us and will work through our time together to transform our lives and world.

For all the details in our brochure, click here! You can also listen to a short podcast with lots of info here. You can also watch very short videos here that describe each GROUP we are offering.

We would love to have an idea of how many people to expect in each group. You can help by signing up here!

What is God Like? [Current Series]

What is God Like?

That’s a very big question, one that people from places all around the world have wondered about since the beginning of time.

So begins the children’s book, What is God Like, by Rachel Held Evans and Matthew Paul Turner. From there, the authors describe 16 different metaphors (similes, technically) that tell us something about God’s character.

This summer, we’re going to examine some of those metaphors. And while they are simple enough to make a children’s book, they are also deep and profound enough to bring great meaning to everyone.

Save the date for CREATE 2023!!!!

Join us June 20-22 from 6:30-8:30 pm for 3 nights of creativity and fun! Thursday night will end with an Open House for parents and friends to see what the kids have been up to all week, as well as an opportunity to join in the creative fun!

CREATE is an art camp for kids entering K-8th grade. Each child chooses one age-appropriate class to attend for those 3 evenings. They spend their time creating, getting to know one another and having fun. We love coming alongside kids as they tap into their own unique creativity – even when they don’t even know that creativity exists! Scroll down for the list of classes (class descriptions coming soon).

For the latest updates, be sure to like our facebook page (

Registration will open in early May. Be sure to watch our facebook page for updates!

Class Options for Grades K-1:


NAILED IT! (Baking Challenge)



Class Options for Grades 2-4:





Class Options for Grades 5-8:



PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY  If you love portrait photography, learn multiple ways to light a portrait image to create a dramatic effect. Gear needed: Digital camera with removable media (SD Card, Compact Flash, etc).  DSLR preferred.

Summer at the Branch – 2022

Summer Sunday Gatherings

We’re headed back to Garfield Park for most Sundays this summer (the last Sunday of each month we’ll meet at the building)!

Bring a chair to sit in. Our BranchKids program will be available each Sunday we’re in the park (except for July 3).

We will continue to stream on YouTube regardless of location.

Here is our summer schedule:

  • May 29, June 5, 12 and 19 @ Garfield Park pavilion. Click here for a map.
  • July 3, 10, 17 @ Garfield Park pavilion
    • July 24 and July 31 @ the building
  • August 7, 14 and 21 @ Garfield Park pavilion
    • August 28 @ the building
  • September 4 @ Garfield Park pavilion


2nd Sunday Brunch

June, July and August
After our gathering at the park, we’ll dive into some good food.
Sign up for something to bring. We’ll cover place settings.


Evenings of July 11-13
Partner with us to serve kids in grades K-8 by creating spaces to
explore, discover, and stretch their God-given creativity. Be sure to like our Facebook page ( for the most up-to-date information.

Partner Gathering

July 27, 6-8pm
After a two year hiatus, we’re gathering all Partners — those who are currently one and those who might be interested (a Partner makes an explicit decision to join us in our mission of renewal).

What are you up to? Share it with others! 

Heading to the beach? Taking a bike ride? Grabbing ice cream?
Share it in the GroupMe app. Join our group on the app (email and you’ll get alerted every time someone is planning something fun and social.

Updated Covid Policies

In the last few weeks, government agencies have revised their Covid guidelines. We have also seen a steep decline of cases and ICU hospitalizations in Kent County. Therefore, we too are adjusting our policies beginning this Sunday, March 13.

  • In rooms with good ventilation and air filtration, masks will be optional.
    • This includes the sanctuary and Grade School room.
    • The sanctuary has recently installed continuous ionization filters (the same used in schools and healthcare facilities), has fans circulating the air and participants are spaced apart while seated.
    • The Grade School Room also has continuous ionization filters and children are spaced apart while seated.
  • In all other areas we will continue to ask people to wear masks (except those under 2 or with a medical exemption).
    This includes bathrooms, hallways, the cafe and entry ways.
  • Because vaccinations are not yet available to 4 and 5 year olds, we will continue to require all those in our Preschool Room to wear a mask while in that room.
    • We will reevaluate this policy once vaccinations become available.
  • We will also be engaging in a conversation with parents who have children in our Nursery and Toddler Rooms to get their input on how and when we might reopen this room. Until it reopens, little ones are welcome to roam and run in the sanctuary or the balcony, as well as join us at other times we gather (like the groups meeting after worship this week). Seeing (and hearing) them gives us joy.

We are all hopeful that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. And yet, the last two years have required us to admit that the future is wildly unpredictable. Which is to say, our policies will almost certainly change again. And while we hope that those changes will only bring us closer to pre-pandemic routines, we will continue to evaluate and adapt our policies based health department guidelines.

WholeHearted – A Lenten Series

In the Scriptures, the word “heart” is spoken of hundreds of times. And while it is a word used to describe a number of aspects of the human life, it always points inward. As one biblical dictionary puts it,

the heart is the fountain and seat of our emotions, thoughts, passions, ambitions and endeavors.

The heart is a word that captures our inner life and the deepest aspects of who we are. And yet, to live with a whole heart — to be fully alive and present and healthy — can seem elusive. We so often feel distracted and divided, pulled in countless directions. We know what it is to have our heart wounded – torn in a million pieces by the difficulties of living on this earth.

And all of that distraction and pain and pull may entice us to disengage and bury what we may be feeling, but…

Lent is a bold determination to do exactly the opposite.

During the 40 days of Lent, we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who for 40 days faced the most challenging questions and temptations head on. Lent is a time to courageously go deeper — to look inward —  to gather with others and find the strength tend to our heart.

We invite you on that journey.

Ash Wednesday

Join us for Ash Wednesday
12:00-12:30pm OR 7:30-8:00pm

At the building or on YouTube

As we begin Lent, we are setting aside space to ask, “What would it mean for me to live wholeheartedly?”

This 30 minute gathering is a chance to pause, breathe and set our intention for the 40 days ahead.

We look forward to having you join us.