The Glenn Van Noord Short-Term Urban Missions Program enables students to serve in urban Grand Rapids each summer.
Thornapple Covenant Church is committed to responding to the needs of the urban community in Grand Rapids. We want to be God's hands and feet to help. But how does a church located in a suburban setting do that? That question was asked back in the year 2000 by members of Thornapple's Urban Ministry team (now the Love Mercy Do Justice team). They wanted to help ministries operating in our city and also to give students a chance to serve and be exposed to the realities and needs present in the urban community. Out of that desire came the Glenn Van Noord Short-Term Urban Missions Program.
Through this program students serve in short-term placements (over the summer) in Grand Rapids. Local urban ministries receive free help and our students gain invaluable experience. The positions are open to Thornapple Covenant Church college students and fall juniors and seniors in high school who feel called to serve in the inner city. Students must have their own transportation to get to and from work and each student earns a stipend, the amount of which depends on how many hours are worked (part time is 125 hours and full time is 250 hours, and the hourly rate is $8.50).
The application period for the summer of 2018 will begin March 1, 2018. on that date a link will be added here for the online application.
Contact Marny Danz or LV Wynalda if you have questions about this program. You can read a brochure about the program by clicking here. To read the reflection papers of the students who served this past summer, click here.
The application and summer process is as follows:
- Each student first completes the online application.
- A coordinator will contact students within 2 weeks of receiving an application to set up an interview.
- The interview will be a time for the coordinators to get to know the student, answer questions, and talk about the various urban ministries where they might want to work.
- The coordinator will set up a time for the student to meet the supervisor at the urban ministry that the student is interested in.
- Each student must attend the orientation session with the program coordinators on May 6th in the church lounge from 11:45am to 1:15pm. This is required.
- Once the placement is set and orientation is complete, then the student communicates with the urban ministry supervisor (where they will be working) about when they will start, hours they want to work and any weeks that they cannot work.
- After the student completes all of the required hours at the end of the summer, they write a reflection paper (one page) describing their experience and what they learned. The paper must be turned in by email to the coordinators (Word format).
- Once the hours are complete and the paper is turned in, then the coordinators request the church accountant to make payment of the stipend to the student.
Who was Glenn Van Noord?
Glenn Van Noord was a family physician in Grand Rapids and a member of Thornapple Covenant Church from 1993 until 1998. He liked the idea of continuing a legacy of his grandparents, who into their 80s volunteered at Degage Ministries in downtown Grand Rapids. He started a youth group trip each month to Degage, feeling it was important for his and other kids at Thornapple to be exposed to lifestyles and opinions and experiences which were different from their own. He also volunteered at the health clinic at Heartside in Grand Rapids' homeless community. At age 51, his love for adventure and new experiences brought him to Central America, where he died suddenly of a heart attack. The Glenn Van Noord Short-Term Urban Missions Program combines some of the things that made Glenn who he was: new experiences, serving the poor, love for teenagers and the gospel.
Ministry Partners and their websites:
- Baxter Community Center www.baxtercommunitycenter.org
- Degage Ministries www.degageministries.org
- Family Promise www.familypromisegr.org
- Feeding America West Michigan www.feedingamericawestmichigan.org
- Exalta Health (formerly Health Intervention Services) www.exaltahealth.org
- Habitat for Humanity Kent County www.habitatkent.org
- Heartside Ministries www.heartside.org
- ICCF Family Haven www.iccf.org
- Kids Food Basket www.kidsfoodbasket.org
- Mel Trotter Ministries www.meltrotter.org
- Servants Center www.scgr.org