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Health Ministries

First Church recognizes the importance of holistic health – mind, body and spirit! Our Health Ministries are lead by our Parish Nurse who ensures that the stewardship of health is expressed in worship, education, and visitation as well as providing networks of support. Contact Marj Timmerman, Parish Nurse at 616.901.9224 for more information.

Adoption Support Ministry (FAAFT - Families Adopting and Fostering Together) Started in 2006, this ministry is all about finding homes for children through adoption or fostering! Join us as we study adoption, support those families in the process of adopting or fostering, celebrate those who have adopted, educate ourselves and our congregation on adoption and foster care through classes and speakers, and just have fun by working on our child’s Life Book, celebrating Chinese New Year, picnicking, and fellowshipping. Download our brochure.

Bereavement Ministry supports our members who have lost a loved one with visits, and letters of support and grief information which are sent throughout the first year following the loss.

Blood Drives First Church partners 4-5 times a year with Michigan Blood to sponsor blood drives held right there in Wesley Hall. Members and friends help by donating blood, cookies, juice or pop to save lives right here in West Michigan.

Blood Pressure Screenings are held the first Sunday of each month after each service in The Parlor. Medically-trained people will take your blood pressure and answer any questions you may have as well as how to avoid hypertension and a possible stroke.

Blue Christmas Worship Service is held on the first Sunday in December in our chapel. This is a special service for those who have experienced a loss of any kind during the year – health, a loved one, job, or a relationship – which makes it difficult to be joyful during the holiday. Participants share in a brief service of scripture, prayer, meditation, music and light, followed by a time of refreshments and fellowship.

Caring Connection is a group of caring members who meet with a member of the Pastoral Care Team each month and call or send cards to our hospitalized and homebound members. We meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month for an 8:00 am breakfast at New Beginnings Restaurant (1455 Michigan St NE). Come join us!

Church Assistance Program Through a partnership with Pine Rest Mental Health Services and First Church, our members and regular attendees can access professional mental health care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, simply by making a call to the Church Assistance Program (CAP) at 616.455.6210. Your call is treated in a confidential manner, connecting you with a trained counselor immediately or within an hour. If the phone call isn’t enough to help with the problem, our CAP membership provides you with two one-hour meetings with a trained counselor per person per year at no cost. No concern is too small or too large to call CAP. As CAP is confidential, the church is not given the names of those who contact them. For more information look for the CAP cards in the north lobby and narthex.

First Response Team Three people are assigned to each worship service to respond if a medical emergency would arise. Anyone current in CPR, AED and First Aid training is eligible to be part of the team. 

Infertility Support Group No, you are not alone! A confidential support group for those experiencing the struggles and challenges of infertility meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm in The Vine. Meetings include speakers, doctors, videos, support and fellowship. Husbands are specifically invited to 1 or 2 meetings a year. Open to anyone experiencing miscarriages, neonatal death, the inability to get pregnant or secondary infertility. Led by the Parish Nurse. Download our brochure.

Meals - Take Them A Meal Occassionally we have families in our congregation with health challenges who would greatly benefit from meals. Click here to view current needs. You can view the schedule and detailed information online. Meals do not need to be fancy!

Moms’ Group Moms of preschoolers gather for support, fellowship, learning and fun usually twice a month. Some meetings are at church and others are outings which have included trips to Meijer Gardens, the zoo, Children’s Museum and parks. Led by Sami Marasigan and Marj Timmerman. Click here for the next schedule. 

Newborn Ministry is a welcoming ministry to our newborns and their families! It includes following the expectant parents through the pregnancy or adoption process and the first year of the newborn’s life or the adoptive child. Special gifts including a prayer blanket and cradle cross are given to the family. And you can “meet” our tiniest members on the Newborn Bulletin Board just outside of the sanctuary!  

Parish Nurse Ministry A Parish Nurse is an RN who has taken additional Parish Nurse Training to be able to work with a church staff to promote holistic health in the congregation. Roles include counseling, health education, advocacy, pastoral care, hospital and home visitation, leader of support groups, referrals coordination, and being a liaison between the church and community.

Stephen Ministry is a ministry through which lay people are trained and organized to provide Christian care to people who are going through life’s struggles. Stephen Ministers can care for those who are: disabled, lonely, grieving, new parents, adopting, having health, marital or financial challenges, in spiritual crisis, or anyone who could benefit by having a caring friend. A Stephen Minister will meet with their assigned person for an hour each week, providing encouragement, prayer support and a listening ear. The ministry is led by four Stephen Leaders. Contact the Parish Nurse at any time if you are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister or having one!

Visitation First Church considers hospital, care facility and home visitation a fundamental part of our ministry. Each day one of our pastors or our parish nurse is available to visit and pray with anyone hospitalized or undergoing an outpatient procedure/surgery. Please remember that you need to call and let us know every time you are admitted to the hospital as HIPAA regulations prevent the hospital from telling us.