Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction

The dinner and silent auction were a huge success (over $5700 raised)!  Thank you to all who participated, but it’s not too late to join the effort.  Donations can still be made, and we have a number of adult and child sized “We Choose Joy” t-shirts for purchase.  Just let us know: info@thebranchonline.org

Tailgating @ Easter

This week two guys from the Branch starting thinking about Easter — talking about how we could celebrate.  One thing led to another until one of them said, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a tailgate party on Easter?”   And here we are.

Easter is a celebration, plain and simple — and what says celebration better than a good ol’ tailgate party with friends.  All the details are below.  Join us for what will undoubtedly be a time of laughter and joy!

Start time: 9:30am (but come anytime before worship)

Location: west end of the Branch parking lot

Food provided: Pancakes, sausages, hotdogs, buns, orange juice, soda.  You are welcome to bring something to pass, but it is definitely not required

Activities: Yard Games: Baggo/corn hole and Bocce ball currently.  Feel free to bring your favorite yard game.

Good Friday and Easter

Good Friday – 7:00-8:00pm

Just what happened in those final moments of Jesus’ life?  And what do those events mean for us?  Every year, on the Friday before Easter, we gather together to reflect on these questions.  It’s the final step of preparation before the celebration of Easter.  Childcare for Birth-K will be provided. Kids 1st grade and up will join us for worship.

Easter – 11:00am

Join us at 11:00am as we celebrate the unlikely and illogical story of Easter.  Children birth through K will be in BranchKids; children 1st grade and up will join us upstairs for the entire morning.

Friday, Friday, Friday

The next three Fridays at the Branch are HUGE!  We hope you’ll be able to join us!

Friday, April 15: Meal Night

Come anytime after 6pm.  You’re welcome to bring something to pass — but more importantly, we hope you’ll simply show up!   Click here for a map to Lynell’s home.

Friday, April 22: Good Friday Worship

Just what happened in those final moments of Jesus’ life?  And what do those events mean for us?  Every year, on the Friday before Easter, we gather together to reflect on these questions.  It’s the final step of preparation before the celebration of Easter.  We’re hoping to be able to provide childcare — stay tuned for more details.

Friday, April 29: Benefit Dinner for the DeYoungs

Come show your love for the DeYoung family at a benefit soup dinner on Friday, April 29th from 5-8 here at the building. There will also be a T-shirt sale, silent auction, and kids craft room.  To help us raise the most money, we are asking people to bring food and volunteer.  Sign up by emailing deyoungs@thebranchonline.org  To learn more about the DeYoung’s story, visit followingthecall.org

mission

To sign up or learn more, simply email chris@thebranchonline.org

CREATE Team

We hope you’ll join us on March 30th at 7pm as we begin nailing down details for CREATE (our annual arts camp).  This year we’ll need everyone, not just artists, to join in the effort in order to impact the 100+ kids we’re expecting.  If you have the gifts of administration, hospitality, or teaching (or you just enjoy hanging out with kids)  come dream and pray with us.  We’ll be meeting at Branch HQ.

success center

We’ve begun to partner with Hope Reformed Church and a local non-profit (School-to-Career-Progressions) in their Success Center.  Urban youth meet after school for life skills, mentoring, tutoring, artistic expressions, and a weekly meal.  Some of the Branch’s artists have been introducing students to various art forms the last few weeks, and on Wednesday, May 4, we hope you’ll join us in providing diner for these students and the volunteers.  Help us prepare food (4:30-5:30pm) or clean up (6:00-7:00pm).

benefit dinner for the DeYoung family

Last fall the DeYoungs moved to Tanzania to live among and serve the Tanzanian people.  Then, last month, they learned that their oldest daughter, Lola, has leukemia.  They have moved back to MI and will be here for the next two years in order for Lola to receive treatment.  Friday, April 29th, we’ll be hosting a benefit dinner and silent auction to raise funds for the DeYoungs.  Join us from 5-8pm, or sign up to volunteer.  Follow their story at followingthecall.org.

the Church of Alger Heights

Put Saturday, May 21 on the calendar.  We’ll be joining other Alger Heights area churches as we serve the neighborhood.  A team is forming to plan the details and ensure that we have the most impact possible.  If you want to be part of this team, let us know.

Ash Wednesday

Join us for an evening of reflection and worship, March 9, as we enter the season of Lent.  This will be a unique opportunity to pause, consider what may be keeping us from following Jesus fully, and letting it go.

Please note: we will not have BranchKids; however, we will have a live feed in our cry room.  And, of course, kids are welcome to join us!

6:30-7:00PM – quite reflection in sanctuary – no agenda, no talking, just an opportunity to sit quietly, pray and reflect

7:00-8:00PM – worship

Come from 6:30-7:00 OR 7:00-8:00 or the entire evening.

meal night

There are few things more important to us than building relationships and sharing life.  And that’s why meal nights have been a part of our routine from the beginning.  Join us March 11th at the Bergman’s home for a relaxed evening of food and conversation.  No agenda or set plan — just an opportunity to meet new people and strengthen existing relationships.

Come anytime after 6PM (whenever your schedule allows).  You’re welcome to bring something to pass, although it’s not required.  Click here for a map.

[soul]ful living

De-clutter your heart, mind, soul, schedule, and home…to make space for God.

Join women from around the city for this day retreat – Saturday, February 26, 9am-3pm.

For details on breakout sessions, location, etc. click on the images below.

meal night

Meal Night is cancelled tonight (1/14) as the Bergman’s are under the weather.

Our next meal night will be Friday, January 28 at the VandeVegte’s home.  Click here for a map.  Hope to see you then!

here for a map.

no cancellations!

SUNDAY — 12/12

Nothing has been cancelled.  Here is the line up for this morning:

10:30-11:00 – Brunch with New Life Church (just bring yourself!)

11:00-12:15 – Worship

12:15-12:30 – 2011 Budget meeting (anyone is welcome to join us)

Hope to see you soon!

Worship In Unity

Last spring a conversation began among some of the local churches about how we might live together in unity.
One result of that effort was the decision to worship together at Christmas.
People from Alger CRC, Seymour CRC, Tabernacle and the Branch will gather this Sunday from 5-6PM at Alger CRC.
Childcare is provided.
And for 20-30 minutes afterwards you’re invited to go caroling in the surrounding streets.

give

This Christmas…give a gift that will change the world. Read more

she::wraps

If you’d like a child-free place to do some wrapping of gifts while enjoying great conversation with other Branch women, then join us at Lynell Shooks home (2657 Jefferson 49507). Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 bring your gifts and some wrapping paper. Or just come for the mingling. We’ll also be doing a cookie exchange so bring 4 dozen or so of your favorite cookies to share and you’ll go home with 4 dozen different ones.

good news?

This Christmas season we’ll celebrate the birth of Jesus, and for good reason.  But the announcement of a newborn king 2000 years ago wasn’t good news to everyone.  For some, it threatened their very existence; for others, it was a declaration that turn their lives upside down (and then some).

So what about today?  What does Jesus’ birth mean to us?  Is it good news?

Join us as we view the story through the eyes of its characters.

November 28: King Herod

December 5: Zechariah and Elizabeth

December 12: Mary

December 19: Joseph

food baskets

Over the next few weeks we’ll be collecting food — putting them into holiday food baskets — and delivering them to local families.  You can participate by bringing a specific food item to the Branch, helping us assemble the baskets, or delivering them to the families.  To sign up or get more details, email chris@thebranchonline.org (all food must be collected by Sunday, November 21)

Beneath the Tree

At our core is the belief that creativity is a gift from God — a gift to be celebrated and highlighted whenever possible.  This weekend we’re spotlighting creativity through an event called Beneath the Tree.  This in-home-art-sale gives local artists a chance to sell their work, and it gives the Branch a chance to raise money for CREATE (our annual arts camp).

The tour runs Friday (10am-9pm) and Saturday (9am-3pm).

Maps, directions, and more details can all be found here: http://beneaththetree.info/tour.html

she

she is a ministry at the Branch for all women.  Whether young, old, married or single — it is a place to connect, have fun, share life and grow in faith.  Mark your calendars for these upcoming events — we hope you can join us.

Friday, Nov. 12 she::shops

Beneath the Tree – Meet at Hanna Brennan’s home (2318 Blaine Ave. SE) at 6 p.m.  We will ride together to shop at some of the houses in the tour.  We will end up at Mindi Freng’s house for snacks and conversation.

Tuesday, Dec. 14 she::bakes

Holiday wrapping party/cookie exchange.   Bring your gifts to Lynell Shooks’ home (2657 Jefferson Dr.) and let’s do some wrapping together.  We’ll also be doing a cookie exchange so bake your favorite kind and go home with a variety of treats.

Saturday, Jan. 15 she::eats

Breakfast @ the Branch 9 a.m.  Let’s kick off the new year together.  There will be a time of worship, community building, and a speaker.  More details to follow.

Friday, Feb. 11 she::relaxes

Spa night – Meet at Mindy Law’s house (7497 Whistlepipe Ct., Byron Center) at 7 p.m.  Bring your favorite nail polish and we’ll pamper our feet and hands.  Feel free to bring a favorite snack or treat to share.

Fridays @ 1PM (beginning November 6)  she::grows

A women’s bible study taking place every Friday at 1 p.m. to study Beth Moore’s  “A Woman’s Heart, God’s Tabernacle.”  Please contact Hanna Brennan if you’re interested  drewandhanna@gmail.com

she::gathers

The next gathering is October 8, 7PM, at the Beltline Bar for dinner.  This is a great chance to meet other women, share life and good food.  Questions, or want to RSVP? Email Mindy (mindymlaw@gmail.com).

Guys Night Out

The plan for this oh-so-manly event is simple: frisbee golf followed by food (and just to be clear: if you’ve never thrown a frisbee in your life you’ll do just fine. Trust us. This is not a particularly impressive group of frisbee golfers)

Meet at Old Farm Park (Old Farm Park – 2291 Embro Dr SE – Kentwood, MI) at 5:30.

If you can’t join us for frisbee golf, but want to meet up for food, give Chris a call and we’ll let you know where we are at: 322.1317. We hope to see you!

simply Christian

To borrow N.T. Wright’s words, “Being a Christian in today’s world is, of course, anything but simple.  But there is a time for trying to say, a simply as possible, what it’s all about.”  In this series, it is our aim to do just that.  Join us on Sundays as we explore just what it means to be Christian.

Also, we hope you’ll plug into a short-term small group, joining others in exploring what this series means for our lives. Groups begin the week of Sept. 26 and will meet for five consecutive weeks. To sign up, e-mail chris@thebranchonline.org
Women’s Group: Sunday evenings (Sept. 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24)
Men’s Group: Wednesday morning, 7AM (Sept 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27)
any-and-everyone group: Sunday evenings