New Stewards & DeBlaay Sabbatical


This Sunday we’ll end worship a bit early to give us time to vote on the two Steward nominations to fill Jeff VerKaik’s and Carrie Elzinga’s spots.  Becky DeGraaf has been nominated for Steward of Resources and Mike DeBlaay for Steward of Care.  Bios of each are below.

If you cannot be at the Branch on Sunday, you can vote via email.  Please email with ‘yes’ (meaning you affirm both Becky and Mike for these roles) or ‘no’ (meaning you do not affirm both Becky and Mike for these roles).  You can also send any comments you have.

One final note: during this post-worship meeting, we will also be sharing some dreams around a plan for a 2017 sabbatical for Chris.  If staying after worship doesn’t work, you can come before worship (9am) to hear us share the same information.  We’ll do our best to record the conversation as well, or at the very least, put together an FAQ.

Looking forward to seeing you soon-

The Stewards


Becky DeGraaf

Becky was born here in Grand Rapids and grew up in Byron Center. She graduated from South Christian and Grand Valley with a degree in Art & Design. Nik and Becky have been married for nine years next month and have three children: Lily, 14, Ezra, 8, and Imogen, 3.  Becky grew up in the church and has known God’s presence throughout her life, but in recent years she has felt God strengthening her faith. Through life’s challenges, she has increasingly seen and experienced God’s grace and provision.
The DeGraafs have been at the Branch for eight years, and during that time the Branch has become home.  Together they’ve invested their gifts and passions to help the Branch move forward.  Becky has specifically leveraged her passions for children and creative expression to help provide leadership in BranchKids and CREATE.

Becky also brings the skills in administration and critical thinking.  We have seen her follow through on her commitments and lead with a servant’s heart.  We believe she will be a great addition to the Stewards of Resources.

Mike DeBlaay

Mike has been married to Janelle for 5 years and they have two kids, Lucy and Teddy. He grew up in the Middleville/Freeport area and could often be found roaming around their 20-acre property with his three brothers. Mike currently works at Blodgett Hospital for Spectrum Health in their Information Technology department. He enjoys spending his free time with his family and dabbling in a few hobbies: cycling, home brewing and pretending to be a professional photographer.

Mike and Janelle have been at the Branch for about 8 years and have a desire for building a stronger community around them. He is active in the Alger Heights Collaborative, working with other churches and businesses in the neighborhood towards a focused and coordinated community development effort in the surrounding area. Mike is passionate about the calling to serve others that he feels in his life.

Mike has shown a generous heart, making significant investments in the people and mission of the Branch, as well as those outside of the Branch. We believe he will be a great addition to the Stewards of Care.

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