Fpu   pc

Financial Peace University

February 18th - March 18th, 2018


Financial Peace University (FPU) is an amazing catalyst for radical change in your financial future! Regardless of your age or life stage, this nine week class kicking off on Jan. 21 will give you the tools to pay off your debt, save for your future, and create a budget that really works!

Thousands of individuals and families have experienced life change as a result of applying biblical truths to their personal finances. Take your next step and join our FPU class today to change your financial outlook for 2018 and beyond!

The class fee [$125 per household/family] includes the Financial Peace University membership with: one-year access to online video lessons and subscription to EveryDollar Plus, FPU's premium budgeting tool [$99 Value;] debt snowball tool; and the member workbook. *If the class fee is a barrier to you signing up, please contact paula@encounterchurch.org to learn about scholarship opportunities.

If you have a specific question not answered below, please contact co-leaders Pam & Keith Buys at Riverfresh@gmail.com


  • What will I learn in FPU? In this nine-week class you'll learn the basics of budgeting, dumping debt, planning for the future, and more from financial guru Dave Ramsey and FPU graduates. $5300 is the average amount of debt paid off and $2700 is the average amount saved by FPU class members in the first 90 days!

  • How is the class structured? Each class session lasts for approximately 1.5 hours. During the first hour, Dave Ramsey provides engaging video teaching. In the remaining time class members come together for small-group discussion. Group members support each other as they work together to transform their financial futures. *You are not expected to share any specific personal financial information with the group.

  • What happens if I have to miss one class? As part of your membership to FPU, you will receive audio of all 9 lessons in your kit. If you miss a class, simply review the audio during the week and discuss a meaningful highlight with your group and the leaders when you return for the next class.

For more general information on FPU, click here.

Abide pc

Abide - Gathering for Young Adults

February 18th - March 18th, 2018

Abide is a community where we can come individually to meet God. It is a time to set aside for worship. Good coffee and better conversations. A space to meet God in the busyness of life.

Abide was created to see the hearts of young adults come to a living relationship with Christ Jesus, realize their gifts, and empower them to engage and overflow into their communities.

Come Abide in Christ with us...

  • Sunday, February 18 to worship, connect, and grow at 1740 Lyon St. @ 6:30PM
  • Monday, March 12 for an outing to Elk Brewing on Wealthy Street @ 7:30PM
  • Sunday, March 18 to worship, connect, and grow at 1740 Lyon St. @ 6:30PM

Questions? Contact group leaders Zack DeBruyne at zackdebruyne@gmail.com or Lyndsay DeGroot at lyndsaydegroot@gmail.com

M3 gathering update   pc

m3 [Men's Monday Morning] Gathering

February 19th - June 25th, 2018

The Men's Monday Morning [M3] Gathering meets in the Encounter Cafe each Monday at 6:15AM.

Guys of all ages gather for coffee, fellowship, and informal discussion of the Sunday message content from the day before. Didn't have a chance to attend a worship experience in person? You can always listen online here.

For more information, contact Bob Alsum via email ralsum@hotmail.com or cell (616) 218-2634.

We saved you a seat   pc

We Saved You a Seat - Bible Study for Women

February 19th - March 19th, 2018


Women of all ages & stages are invited to engage in a 7-session Bible study, on Monday nights at 7PM in the Volunteer Lounge at Encounter, where author Lisa-Jo Baker will explore our relationship with Jesus as the ultimate model for authentic friendship & share seven practical ways to find & keep lasting friendships.

How are you really doing? // In today's busy world, we're wired to appear "fine." We yearn for authentic relationships & the opportunity to be the opposite of "fine" with people who cheer for us. But comparison, envy, & entitlement often stop us from pulling out a chair at the table. Friendship can be hard, making new friends even harder, & maintaining genuine friendship the hardest of all.

Nothing shapes us like the impact of a friend - it's how Jesus radically & intimately connects with us. So instead of chasing perfection, overcome your fear of being known & find the courage to connect!

Questions? Contact group leader Jes TenBrink at jstenbrink@gmail.com

The $13 fee covers the cost of your study book.

Kingdom marriage small group pc

Young Married Couples Small Group

February 19th - April 16th, 2018

$0 - $6

Young married couples are invited to join together for an uplifting gathering based on Dr. Tony Evans' Kingdom Marriage study every other Monday at 7PM for six sessions.

Kingdom Marriage: Connecting God's Purpose with Your Pleasure helps couples grow together as a kingdom couple to fulfill God's design & purpose for their marriage. Through practical insights & powerful stories, Dr. Tony Evans inspires couples helping them to discover the hope, challenge, & guidance God's Word provides for their journey together. The group will be led through thought-provoking discussion & application activities as Tony Evans explains how kingdom couples bring light & life to their communities.

The first gathering will be at the Zeinstra's home in Hudsonville [5439 Lawndale Ave] on Feb. 5th.

Questions? Contact group leaders Sara & Billy Zeinstra at sarakay518@gmail.com

Read through the bible in a year   pc

Read Through the Bible in a Year Group

February 19th - September 17th, 2018

Have you ever thought about committing to read through the whole Bible? This group will provide accountability as we make a habit of reading four chapters of the Bible [about 20min] a day for a whole year independently. We'll be going through the Bible chronologically, which is a little different than the book order in most Bibles.

The group will gather to share what God is showing you twelve times throughout the year, on the 3rd Monday of each month at 7:30PM at the VanEyk's home in Kentwood [5496 W Heathwood Dr SE.]

Questions? Contact group leader Dirk VanEyk at dirk@encounterchurch.org

10 second rule   pc

Men's Group: The 10-Second Rule

February 20th - April 10th, 2018

$0 - $8

Men of all ages are invited to gather weekly on Tuesdays at 8:30AM in the Volunteer Lounge at Encounter for fresh coffee and discussion of The 10-Second Rule: Following Jesus Made Simple.

Do you sometimes feel as if your faith has gone flat? Does your spiritual life feel boring? Perhaps you’ve unconsciously drifted toward what Clare De Graaf calls beige Christianity. You go to church, but there’s no spark anymore—no joy in your spiritual walk.

You may not understand what is happening to your faith, but you do know that you long for something more. If you want to break out of this spiritual gerbil cage and begin living the adventure Jesus intends for you, the place to begin again is living by The 10-Second Rule.

Questions? Contact Bernie VanderBerg at auburnantiques@sbcglobal.net

Women s psalms study   pc

Women's Psalms Study

February 20th - April 17th, 2018

Women of all ages are invited to gather to study the Psalms using the "Psalms: Soul Songs // Exploring love, temptation, guilt and fear from the Psalms" study guide while connecting with other women over snacks & a glass of wine, if you wish.

We'll kick off on Jan. 23 at 7PM & meet every other Tuesday at 7PM for seven sessions. The first gathering on Jan. 23rd is "meet & greet" style & will be held in the Cafe at Encounter.

Questions? Contact group leader Brianna DeWitt at bwitt722@gmail.com

You can purchase the study guide here, on Amazon, or locally if you prefer.

Hospice singers   pc

Hospice Singers Small Group

February 21st - April 18th, 2018

Looking for an opportunity to connect with others from Encounter & impact the community? Check out the Hospice Singers Group for the chance to love where we live & do life together!

Women & Men of all ages are invited to gather & bless hospice patients & their families with song. All are welcome to participate regardless of skill level or prior singing experience. Together we'll learn hymns & then share them with patients at Faith Hospice at Trillium Woods in Byron Center.

On the 1st & 2nd Wednesdays of the month, we'll sing at Trillium Woods at 1PM, & on the 3rd Wednesday of the month we'll gather in Kentwood for a time of connecting & practicing.

Interested in learning more? Come to the Info. Meeting on Wed., Jan. 17 at 1PM in the Volunteer Lounge at Encounter, or contact group leader Barb Tuttle at barbaratuttlewriter@gmail.com

Thursday men s bible study   pc  1

Thursday Morning Men's Bible Study

February 22nd - June 28th, 2018

Men of all ages are invited to gather each Thursday morning at 7AM at Panera Bread [Kalamazoo & M-6 location] to read & discuss a passage of the Bible together. Come when you can, come as you are!

For more information, contact Bob Navis at rnavis1@yahoo.com

Coffee plus update   pc

Coffee Plus for Women

February 22nd - June 28th, 2018

Women of all ages, join us on Thursday mornings at 9:30AM in the Volunteer Lounge at Encounter for a gathering including freshly brewed coffee, impactful devotions, and authentic community.

Questions? Contact Pam Buys at pambuys@gmail.com for more information.

Veterans group   pc

Small Group for Veterans

February 22nd - June 28th, 2018

Veterans of all ages and life stages, as well as military family members, are invited to connect every other Thursday evening at 1900 [7PM] in the Volunteer Lounge at Encounter to discuss life experiences and veteran's issues.

Everything discussed in the group is confidential. Often times only another veteran, or a close family member of a veteran, can relate to and understand what someone else has to share. We seek to provide one another with hope, encouragement, and camaraderie as we grow to become more like Jesus.

Questions? Contact group leader Aaron Cook at cook0311@gmail.com

The art of neighboring   pc

The Art of Neighboring Small Group

February 25th - April 8th, 2018

$0 - $7

Adults of every age are invited to join in a six-session study of the widely praised book The Art of Neighboring. This group will meet every other Sunday at 4PM at Encounter for six gatherings beginning January 28.

When Jesus was asked to sum up the law into one command, he said to love God with everything we have & to love our neighbors as ourselves. Most of us have turned this simple idea of loving our neighbors into a nice saying, maybe putting it on bumperstickers or magnet, & then going on with our lives without actually putting it into practice. What would happen if every follower of Jesus took the Great Commandment literally?

Over the next few weeks you'll be invited to get back to the basics & take the second half of the great commandment literally. The vast majority of us wish that we were closer to our neighbors, but that's often where it stops. The real question is this, “How can we become better neighbors?” In order to become a good neighbor, we must move beyond knowing & start doing. Together we'll learn how to form some new habits that will help us to live out what Jesus said matters most!

Questions? Contact leaders Carol Vander Ark Champion & Bob Champion at carol.vanderark@gmail.com

The daniel plan   pc

The Daniel Plan Small Group

February 25th - March 11th, 2018


The Daniel Plan is an innovative approach to achieving a better, healthier life based on the essentials of faith, food, fitness, focus, & friends. Support & encourage others for six weekly gatherings at Encounter on Sundays at 4PM, as together we learn how to live healthier in 2018 & for life!

Created with biblical insight & assistance from medical & fitness experts, The Daniel Plan is designed to be done in a supportive community while relying on God’s instruction for living. Research shows that people getting healthy in community lose twice as much weight as those who try it alone. What would we expect? God never meant for you to go through life alone, & that includes the journey to a better, healthier you.

This book & studay isn’t about a new diet, guilt-driven gym sessions, or shame-driven fasts. It's about changing your health from the inside out with support from an awesome community!

Questions? Contact group leader Carla Karel at timkarel@comcast.net

The $14 fee covers the cost of your book.

Worship jam 2018

YOUTH Worship Jam

February 25th, 2018

Courageous leadership   pc

Table.For.Six // Courageous Leadership

February 26th - April 9th, 2018

$0 - $12

You're invited to join a table of six [growing, improving, & aspiring!] leaders for an engaging discussion of renowned leader of Willow Creek Community Church, Bill Hybels' praised work, Courageous Leadership.

We'll gather at different locations throughout the City of Grand Rapids for six sessions every other Monday at 7:30PM. Our first gathering on Jan. 29 will be held at Brewery Vivant.

In this book, Hybels submits that leaders have the potential to be the most influential forces on planet Earth! He shares frontline insights for developing a kingdom dream team, discovering your leadership style, developing other leaders, making decisions, walking with God, embracing change, staying your God-given course, & more.

Questions? Contact group leader Paula Englin at paula@encounterchurch.org

Open play   slides  2

Open Play

February 27th - April 17th, 2018

Friends & Neighbors, come hang out & sip on some fresh coffee while the kids enjoy some fun in the Encounter Kids! Play Lobby.

NEW in 2018: new toddler board book donations accepted to benefit Helen DeVos Children's Hospital

Open Play isn't possible without our wonderful hosts! Interested in learning more about hosting? Email Kids! Director Megan Sager at megan@encounterchurch.org

Reminder: Always check the dates & times for when our Play Lobby is open.

Twilight open play


March 1st - May 3rd, 2018

We are so excited to offer twilight hours for Open Play! If you're a parent who works during the day, or maybe a relative looking to give parents a little free time for an evening, join us for Twilight Open Play. Light snack for the kids, coffee for the adults are always available.

New for 2018: gently used clothing & toy donations accepted to benefit Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids.

Book club pc

Monthly Book Club

March 6th - May 1st, 2018

Are you a reader or looking to become more of one?

Everyone's invited to check out the Book Club that will gather monthly on the first Tuesday at 7PM at Encounter to discuss a book we have read over the past month. Anyone that is interested in reading intriguing books and discussing them is welcome...invite a friend!

Email Kathy Boldenow at kboldenow@gmail.com with any questions or for more info.

Copy of dm3 family night

Movie Night

March 25th, 2018

We love where we live AND doing life together - invite your friends and neighbors to enjoy a movie together on the big screen. We provide the movie, snacks & theater fresh popcorn. You bring your own seating, bean & bag chairs work best.

Doors open at 5p, movie begins at 5:15p. Admission is FREE new this Spring: consider donating a freezer meal to our Care Team's Freezer Meal Ministry