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Calvary Church GR

Mercy & Hospitality

At Calvary Church, we believe that hospitality and mercy are fundamental to our identity and our lifestyles as Christians. It is our calling to create sacred places at our tables, for those who are hosts and for those who are guests. In both Matthew 25 and Luke 14, Jesus reminds us that by welcoming the stranger, or the person in need, we may well be welcoming him, and when we pay special attention to the poor and the disenfranchised, we may in fact be welcoming the most important among us. When we use the word hospitality at Calvary, it means welcoming everyone and making them feel like they belong. Our hospitality ministries include our First Impressions ministry.

When we say mercy, on the other hand, we are talking about a specific group of people to whom we believe the Lord has called us to pay close attention. In this season, we believe God has highlighted internationals, orphans, prisoners, and refugees as people to whom our church should be ministering and extending a special measure of mercy. Our mercy ministries include our International Ministry, Forever Hope Orphan Care, Prison and Refugee Ministry.

International Ministry 
Showing Mercy & Hospitality to Internationals Residing in Grand Rapids

With a thriving ministry geared towards Korean community, we want to extend our hand to other Internationals who live in the area. 

Revelation 7:9 says: 
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.

It our desire to make this verse a reality and see people from every nation and language come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Our hope is to practically care for needs you may have as an international living in the United States and make your transition as easy as possible.

Ways to Get Involved:

  • Monthly Korean Family Luncheon: Fellowship luncheon for Korean families held on the second Sunday of each month. 
  • Sister to Sister: an opportunity for international women to strengthen their language skills through Bible study and friendships with a “big sister”
  • Manuscript Translation: Receive a copy of the sermon translated to Korean to aid in understanding the message. 

If you are interested in connecting with other internationals or joining us in extending God's love to the foreigners amongst us, please contact Nam Kim or Lou DeGraaf.

Forever Hope
Orphan Care Ministry

Scripture reveals God’s desire for the Church, as recipients of God’s grace and functioning as the body of Christ, to be a refuge to the fatherless, the widow, and foreigner as an oppressed people sharing similar struggles. Forever Hope Orphan Care educates, enables and embraces families who commit to open their homes (on either a short-term or permanent basis) to care for vulnerable children.

As a ministry, we also recognize that orphan care is much more than adopting or fostering.  Many can be involved by praying, babysitting, assisting financially, housecleaning and volunteering to partake in other practical tasks. Whether your commitment is large or small God uses it all to further the work of providing those most vulnerable with much needed attention and love. 

At Calvary, we care deeply about the orphaned and vulnerable child and want to reflect God’s heart in how we care for them. If you are considering foster care, adoption or other forms of orphan care, contact Sheri Schmidt.

Language Café
The Language Café is a place for adult non-native English speakers to come and work on their conversation skills. Our volunteers are dedicated to using their knowledge to help non-native English speakers hone their language abilities through casual conversation and friendship. For more information or to become a volunteer, contact us.

Gary & Linda Rodenburg

Natalie Uecker
| ext. 5181

Neighbors International
Neighbors International is a volunteer-led ministry offering friendship & hospitality to Grand Rapids international college students through their Friendship Family program. Forty new Friendship Families/Partners are needed each fall to meet the growing needs of the ministry.

Sonja Yeates

Prison Ministry
Meeting the Spiritual Needs of Incarcerated People & Their Loved Ones

By faithfully sharing the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, we desire to see hearts changed and lives transformed. We embrace a diverse group of volunteers who work together to fulfill Christ’s call to action in Matthew 25:36 when He says, “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

We take to heart Isaiah 61:1 which says, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”

Psalm 142:7 also says, “Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.” It is our desire to bring spiritual freedom to those who are who are in great need of hope.

One of the ways our ministry serves is by carrying out church services in local jails and prisons. Services start in the early afternoon. They include prayer, a time of worship, preaching of the Word, an invitation to salvation,and a time for one-on-one counseling and prayer after the service. There are usually between two to six volunteers and 15-50 people in attendance on any given week. Each person comes to the service with a different mindset, some have been believers for a long time and really want to learn (more common in a long-term prison setting) while others may come just so they have something to do (more common in a jail setting). We understand this difference in mentality and try to fit into whatever their needs are.  

Ways to Get Involved:

  • Team Leader/Teacher: This person would work with Ardo to help facilitate the service. If comfortable, they would engage in one-on-one counseling/conversation after the service.
  • Team Member: This person would be willing to open or close the service in prayer as well as be willing to read Scripture when needed. If comfortable, this person would also engage in one-on-one counseling/conversation after the service.
  • Musician: This person would lead worship through singing and/or the use of a musical instrument as well as prayer and Scripture reading as needed. If comfortable, they would engage inmates in counseling/conversation after the service is over.
  • Pen Pal: This person would engage the inmate through letters of correspondence at least twice a month.

If you would like to get involved, contact Ardo Draper or Lou DeGraaf.

Refugee Ministry
Meeting the Needs of Local Refugees 

Our goal is to come alongside families, who have been displaced from their homes due to persecution on account of their race, religion, political opinion, national origin or social group, and be the hands and feet of Jesus as they go through the stressful process of resettlement. Through partnerships with local organizations, such as Bethany Christian Services and Samaritas, Calvary assists with housing needs, various health and human resource appointments and a host of other needs that arise. Each family is surrounded by a team that shares the responsibility of helping them acclimate to their new life in West Michigan.  

Along with meeting the needs of local refugees, we send short-term mission teams to serve in refugee camps. Currently we are sending teams to Lesvos, Greece, an island in the Aegean Sea, where over 800,000 thousand refugees from the war torn countries of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other African countries have come. Here we partner with Greater Europe Mission to be a warm and welcoming presence in camps where trauma and hopelessness are the norm. For more information about the global refugee crisis, visit

Ways to Get Involved:

For more information on our Refugee Ministry and ways to get involved, contact Brenda Neher.

Widows Ministry
This ministry provides practical support and encouragement to widows and widowers. Through fellowship events and a caring network, the ministry offers assistance to this valuable part of our congregation.

Katy Lambert
| ext. 5156