Gathered to Worship, Sent to Bless
Our faith community was formed in a tradition that declares all of life is worship. Whether we work or play, study or rest, or whatever we do, we do all for the glory of God. We come from different walks of life, different occupations, schools, and neighborhoods. Gathering to worship each week, we are reminded that we belong to God. Our individual stories find their place in the great story of redemption that God in Christ is bringing about.
Our worship forms us and nourishes us for our work in the world. The door out of the sanctuary is the door to our mission fields – our families, our schools, our workplaces, our neighborhoods. God sends us into the world to participate in his great work of redemption, each with our own gifts, tasks, and calling. The joys and successes of our week’s labors, the tears and the failures, we bring back with us to the sanctuary. There we find grace, belonging, and refreshment, and then are sent out once again to bless. This weekly rhythm of being gathered to worship and sent to bless gives shape to our lives and faith.
Worship in our Community
We are a congregation of people from a variety of Christian traditions and backgrounds. Together, we grow in faith, while also expressing honest questions and doubt.
Our worship style combines historical Christian liturgy and music with contemporary. All the words and music are shown on screens, making it easy for everyone, new or old, to join in. Dress is casual, and we enjoy a time of fellowship together after our worship service.
Minister of the Word
Rev. Dr. Chris Rea (B.A. Dordt College, 2001; M.Div. Calvin Seminary, 2015; Ph.D. University of Notre Dame, 2010), was ordained into ministry in June of 2016, and has received training in chaplaincy and spiritual direction. Chris is married to Mike, who is a philosopher, and they have five children. Chris enjoys running, reading, and hanging out in the backyard with her family. "The part of being a pastor that I love best is meeting with parishioners and listening to their stories of faith and doubt."
Pastor of Youth and
Andrea's education, life experience, and sense of humor have helped her form relationships with people of all ages, and work to create a youth program that allows for questions, doubt, trust, hope, and joy in the lifelong journey of faith. She is married to Cristian and they have four children. "Our family life is wrapped up in the life of this church. In our free time we love to play Viking Chess and soccer, visit with friends, hang out with the youth, watch movies, enjoy a good cup of coffee, and read as much as possible."
Budget & Payroll Manager
Christina has a BA in mathematics and after insisting she didn't want to use the degree for accounting, found herself taking over the bookkeeping in every job she's had. In 2018 she took over the bookkeeping at church, and her love of spreadsheets and attention to detail serve us well. Christina is married to Troy, who is happy to let her do the bookkeeping at home too. When not celebrating a balanced month-end, she loves to knit, make quilts, and keep in touch with her mom and four sisters.
Emily has many years of secretarial experience and is happy to be serving as our office assistant. When not working here she stays busy as a music professor at Bethel University teaching voice and assorted music courses, as a church secretary in St. Joseph, MI, and as a private voice teacher. If she has any free time after working four jobs, Emily loves to cook, read, and dabble in watercolor painting.
The Christian Reformed Church
Church of the Savior belongs to the denomination of Christian Reformed Churches, which is in the Reformed tradition. From its beginning with a few congregations in west Michigan, the CRC has grown to nearly 300,000 members in over a thousand congregations across the United States and Canada. The bulk of our beliefs we hold in common with the Christian church throughout space and time.
As Christians in the Reformed tradition, we have a deep appreciation for the Bible and the story that unfolds within it. It is the story of a God who does not give up on the world God made, but restores it and renews it through Jesus Christ. In Christ, God took on sin and shame, violence and injustice, and triumphed over them. Christ’s resurrection opens up the creation to eternal life, and as God’s people we share in that life even now. Our holistic vision of faith leaves no area of life untouched by the claims of Christ, and we anticipate the day when his Kingdom will be established over all the earth.
Along with the worldwide Christian church, we affirm three ecumenical creeds: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. Our doctrine is formed by three confessional documents stemming from the Protestant Reformation: The Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort. Contemporary expressions of our faith can be found in Our World Belongs to God and the Belhar Confession. To learn more about the CRC, visit crcna.org.
One way we fulfill the mission of the church is to support specific missionary families around the world. Every month on the first Sunday, we collect offerings to support these missionaries in the same service that we celebrate communion, emphasizing the way that communion unites all Christians together in Christ. You can read a short biography of the missionary families we currently support below.
George and Sarah are missionaries with Resonate Global Mission, serving in Ukraine since 1998.
In 2013 they moved to the capital city, Kyiv, where George trained pastors in the Timothy Leadership Training and facilitated healing and reconciliation through “Healing Hearts, Transforming Nations” workshops and trainings for facilitators.
They are grateful not to have been in Ukraine during the attacks by Russia but are very concerned for the many people and ministry partners that are still there. Click here for more information and ways you can join in prayer.
George and Sarah have three children: Abigail, Matthew and Elizabeth.
Steve teaches at LCC International University, introducing students to various worldviews and the application of Christian faith to all of life. Many LCC students have little prior exposure to Christian faith. Not all become Christians, of course, but all experience some of the richness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which provides holistic Good News for individuals, communities, and the world.
Among the minority who come to the school with a living faith, some are aiming for full or part-time ministry. Steve teaches advanced courses for theology majors and minors and other interested students, which helps prepare them for a lifetime of service.
Steve also has a broader role in the Europe team of Resonate Global Mission which includes missionaries in eight countries. Chris serves in human resources, assisting expatriate staff and faculty as they adjust to life and work in Lithuania. She also provides hospitality for students and develops service-learning opportunities for LCC students.
In light of the attacks on Ukraine, Steve and Chris ask for prayer for their community as nearly 30 percent of the university’s students are from Ukraine. Steve reports that they themselves feel safe but many students are deeply concerned for their families. Many university alumni—former students who Resonate missionaries have taught and mentored—are also living in Ukraine.
with Wycliff Bible Translators
Ann has worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators and Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) for close to 20 years, serving in Brazil and Cameroon.
She and her family have recently relocated to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she serves as a missionary-in-residence at Calvin Theological Seminary.
Each Sunday we not only collect offerings for the work and ministry of our church, but also for a local ministry organization. Often these are organizations that we have a connection to either through joint projects or because members of the church work or volunteer at the organization. You can read a brief description below.
The Church of the Savior Benevolence Fund is used to help members of the church and the community with short-term urgent needs.
Hannah’s House is a faith-based agency offering a continuum of stable housing, home life, staff support, and programming. It empowers disadvantaged pregnant women to begin a process of life transformation.
Hope Ministries engages people in intensive and long-term relationships to build a community in which hurting people find healing. Without healing, their thinking and the choices they make will not change. And unless their thinking and choices are transformed, they will never be able to thrive in life.
Young Life invites young people to experience life as God designed it to be lived. Knowing that all kids are searching for hope, meaning, and belonging, Young Life joins them in life, accepts them as they are and gives them a chance to live life to the fullest.
Covenant is a Christian school for students pre-school through eighth grade. The school’s mission is to partner with Christian parents to equip their children to serve God in God's world by providing a Christ-centered, academically excellent education.
Help with Love equips and supports the local church in a shared mission to minister to neighbors in need. It empowers church members by connecting service teams with neighbors in need, and it connects people in need with community and church resources.
The United Religious Community (URC) Advocacy Center provides limited financial assistance to St. Joseph County residents with specific needs. URC's missions is to encourage religious cooperation and understanding, effect constructive social change, and to advocate for those seeking to meet life’s basic needs.
The Food Bank of Northern Indiana addresses local problems of hunger and malnutrition by providing quality food. In addition to private donations and food drives, the food bank actively partners with local and national manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, food growers, packers and brokers to procure food.
For over 30 years, Heroes Camp has been helping young men embrace fathering and their Heavenly Father. Heroes Camp has been one of the largest ministries for youth in the area. Their facility and ministries have expanded to now include three basketball courts, a kitchen and dining room, locker rooms, a sound studio, and even a barbershop. Heroes Camp helps young men embrace fathering and their Heavenly Father through sports.
World Renew embraces a family-centered approach to ending global poverty with food security, peace and justice, economic livelihood and health. We join families in more than 30 developing countries to change global hunger, poverty, and illness.