This article is adapted from a print version of “In the Loop,” a quarterly publication from Cascade Fellowship.

Outreach Ministries
Cascade Community Blood Drives bring many people to our building from the community. Blood Drives alternate between Cascade Fellowship and Thornapple Covenant. Since May 2020, the Red Cross has collected 391 units of blood in ten drives. Our next Blood Drive is November 29 at Thornapple Covenant. Even if you can’t donate, consider volunteering!

The Summer Block Parties were great opportunities to reach our neighbors. We created targeted Facebook ads to invite people from the community, and our church family warmly greeted guests. Routinely, 50-60% of those registered were attending a Cascade Fellowship block party for the first time, and it was typical for 40-50% of those registered to be from the community. Mark your calendars now for 2022: May 11, June 8, July 13, and August 10.

A Walk-Thru Christmas light show is coming soon! We’re so excited to showcase the campus of Cascade Fellowship in lights to share the story of Christmas with our community. Following the basic script of Jesus Calling, The Story of Christmas Children’s Storybook, we will feature the love of God through Jesus in lights. We’d love you to help us prepare for this nightly event: On December 1, 2, and 3 from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. and December 4 from 9 a.m. until noon, we’ll set up the beautiful scenery. Then join us, and invite your neighbors and friends to walk through it any evening from December 5 through 31 from 5 until 9 p.m. We will also have special hospitality nights on Dec. 10 and 17 from 6 until 8 p.m.

Partner Ministries
We desire to grow the relationship with partner ministries beyond financial gifts; we want to invest more deeply. Our goal is to make it easy for you to step into service opportunities with our partner ministries. And in 2021, it has started to take hold!

Safe Families for Children (featured in January/February)—Many people learned about this ministry for the first time. Several new individuals and families developed a passion for this ministry, joining as Family Friends, Resource Helpers, and Respite Caregivers.

Tall Turf Ministries (featured in March/April)—We promoted opportunities for involvement and collected supplies to support Camp Tall Turf, including twin sheets, masks, digital thermometers, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.

Grand Rapids Dream Center (featured in May/June)—There were opportunities for people to serve in the Oakdale Park and Madison neighborhoods. Cascade Fellowship had a volunteer presence, with 35 people turning out for their Saturday Serve event with young families, singles, couples, some new to church, deacons, and elders—a great mix of people!

Community Christian Reformed Church (featured in July/August)—We collected ten boxes of school supplies for West Godwin Elementary students. 21 Cascade Fellowship volunteers served at the Community Fall Carnival on September 11. Cascade Fellowship also provided homemade meals for their Alpha program.

West Michigan Friendship Center (featured in September/October)—Thanks to you, we delivered two carloads of cleaning supplies and personal items to the West Michigan Friendship Center. Cascade Fellowship also hosted two Friday night meals for friends to share culture by enjoying food, connections, and conversation with one another.

Women’s Groups
Tuesday morning, women’s groups meet to study God’s Word in the book of Romans with 29 women in-person and up to five on Zoom. We conclude just before Thanksgiving. In 2022, we’ll begin again, meeting weekly from January 11 through March 8.

Enfolding Ministries
We offered a Discover Cascade group twice in 2021. In the spring, we had 11 attendees, and seven attended this fall. The front corner of the Hub is transforming to be the Connection Corner—a place for guests to be greeted before worship and to gather after to receive a welcome box and meet staff and others.

Julie Beezhold

Connections Director