Mission & Outreach

In a sense, all we do at Grace Church is about outreach and mission.  Simply put, we want to love one another with the love that we ourselves have received from God!  Originating from the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40, to love God and one another) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20, to make followers of Jesus Christ), our mission is summarized in the statement below:

OUR MISSION 

Our mission is to love God faithfully and to faithfully share God’s love with others.

Our mission includes:

Reaching persons with the Good News of Jesus Christ,

      Relating persons to one another in Christian community,

      Renewing persons’ lives according to the Word of God, and

      Returning people to the world, working and witnessing in the power of the Holy Spirit.

So how do we fulfill our God-given mission?  In various and multiple ways!  With Acts 1:8 as our guide, the people of Grace Church strive to be faithful witnesses for Jesus Christ locally, regionally, nationally, and globally – all in the power of the Holy Spirit, both in word and in deed!

Here is an overview of a few of the primary outreach ministries we provide and support as a congregation.  For more local outreach ministries offered by Grace Church, see Ministries and Upcoming Events menus.  Feel free to contact us if you’d like to get involved in any of these exciting outreach opportunities!

Local

“Sunday in the Park”

Each summer, two worship services are held in the great out-of-doors – the most beautiful sanctuary ever built!  We usually meet at GallowayPark (corner of Maxwell and Stratford Streets) in Waterloo on the second Sundays of June and August.  Our praise band leads worship singing, Pastor Dave brings an inspiring message, we socialize over a picnic following worship, and we provide games and an inflatable for the kids to enjoy.  People dress informally, sit on lawn chairs or blankets, and enjoy the beauty of nature at this community-wide event.  Numerous visitors and guests from our community attend and the food is free to our guests.  All are invited!

Easter & Christmas Outreach Dramas

Easter and Christmas are not only important Christian holidays, but they are also times when unbelievers are most likely to attend church.  We at Grace Church are mindful of this and provide major dramatic presentations in connection with each holiday most every year.  Recent productions have included “Easter Song” and “Animals at the Christmas Scene.”  These dramas serve as tremendous opportunities for reaching out into our community and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with others.  They also provide opportunities for church members to bond with one another, offer their talents to God, and serve our community in a very significant way.  Check out the picture gallery under the Resources page of this web site to peruse pictures from our recent Easter drama, “Journey to Jerusalem”! 

“Fish Net” for Children

Held nearly every Wednesday during the school year for children of the church and community from 3 years old through those in 6th grade.  “Fish Net” teaches kids about the love of God and how to “catch” others in that love by becoming “fishers of men.”  Classes for all ages.  Creative, hands-on learning activities and worship time help inspire faith and love for God as well as love for others!  A meal is served for $2.00 donation.  Newcomers and visitors are always welcome!

“24-7” for Junior & Senior High Youth

Meeting nearly every Wednesday at our Shady Lane Youth Center (SLYC) for all youth from 7th-12th grades from the church and community who want friendship, encouragement, and support through the stresses of life.  Program runs Wednesdays from 5:15-7:30 PM and includes a meal for $2.00/person donation.  Led by Youth Pastor Bob Ford and youth leaders.  Contact Bob at 493-0024 for more information.  Experience God’s blessings and grow in your faith 24/7!

Vacation Bible School

Held some years during the summer is a hit with the children of our neighborhood and community.  Approximately 40-50 kids between 4 years-old and 6th grade attend, many of whom have no regular church home.  Emphasis is on sharing the gospel.  VBS meets for one week in the evening, and culminates with a Sunday worship celebration in which children have opportunity to sing songs they have learned throughout the week, and to which parents and grandparents are invited!

Northeast Iowa Food Bank

Through special offerings and contributions of food, Grace Church supports the ministry of our local food bank which, in turn, provides emergency boxes of non-perishable food items to people in need.  Occasionally, groups of our church may provide volunteer labor to help put food boxes together, sorting and serving food as needed.  Thousands are served in this ministry each year.

Quakerdale Youth Ministries

Blending history, vision, and Christian values, Quakerdale strengthens youth and their families through services which encourage positive change, empowering them to face the future with hope.  Programs include spiritual direction, residential care, foster care, day treatment, family services, and Christian counseling to youth and their families.  Grace Church is thrilled to support this locally-based ministry through an annual financial commitment!

Regional

Habitat for Humanity

The Greater Black Hawk Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to provide safe, simple, decent housing for low income families.  Motivated by Christ-like compassion, homes are built by volunteers and materials donated.  Prospective homeowners are required to invest “sweat equity” hours into the construction of their home.  Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop houses and communities in which person’s can live and grow into all that God intended.  Grace Church is proud to participate in this “ministry of the hammer” with yearly financial support.

Pleasant Prairie Classis

As a part of the government of the Reformed Church in America, Grace Church belongs to a regional group of Reformed Churches in northeast Iowa called the Pleasant Prairie Classis.  Through annual contributions and bi-annual meetings, Grace Church is able to support exciting classis-wide ministries such as new church planting, the development of ministerial candidates, outreach to Iowa universities and colleges, Partners in Possibilities, Words of Hope, and Iowa Summer Camps for youth and adults.  It’s also a blessing simply to come together and be encouraged by fellow ministers, elders, and churches within our classis.  Together we do make a difference!

National

Apache Reformed Church, Oklahoma

We’ve supported this RCA ministry and various missionaries to the Apache Reformed Church in Apache, Oklahoma for many years now.  Working primarily among native Americans, the work focuses on sharing Christ, pastoring their diverse congregation, learning from other’s experiences, advocating for justice, and working to forge a Christian community united in fellowship and dedicated to reaching out.  It has been a delight for Grace Church to support this important ministry over the years through annual financial commitments, a work group, and prayers.  We’ve been even more delighted to see it prosper and grow!

Reformed Church World Service

The disaster response arm of our denomination, Reformed Church World Service (RCWS), ministers nationally and globally to those who experience hunger, poverty, war, and/or sudden need due to natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, drought, or tornadoes.  RCWS organized relief efforts for victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America as well as countless other national disasters.  Grace Church is proud to support our denominational program, RCWS, through special offerings, prayers, and individual contributions.

Global

Christ for the City International, COLUMBIA

We are proud to support missionaries Ron & Amelia Den Hartog as they serve the peoples of Columbia.  Currently spearheading their original “Bless Our Children/Families” ministry to native children and families, Ron & Amelia bring Christ to children and adults through their caring example, the teaching of sound biblical values and parenting principles, local conferences involving the national pastors, leaders, and churches, and simply loving the people through personal ministries of mercy and deed.  Gracechurch has been a long-time supporter of Ron & Amelia and are delighted to make annual financial commitments to their ministry as well as to uplift them in prayer.  Because of Ron & Amelia, lives are being changed!

Audio Scripture Ministries

Audio Scriptures Ministries (ASM) is committed to bringing God’s Word to people everywhere in the world in their own language.  ASM has been recording and distributing God’s Word in audio since 1967.  Over 200 languages have been recorded, but millions of persons still wait to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Recording, duplicating, and playback equipment along with creative technology provided through ASM allow more persons to be blessed!  Grace Church is excited about the work of ASM and glad to support it!  To all who hear, let them hear!

Words of Hope

“The first item purchased by many citizens of developing countries is a radio.  The second is shoes.”  Words of Hope’s mission is to proclaim Jesus Christ by radio and literature in the languages of the world’s peoples, seeking with our partners in ministry to win the uncommitted everywhere to faith in Christ and to encourage Christians in the life of discipleship.”  This mission motivates Words of Hope as they provide gospel broadcasts in dozens of languages worldwide, including Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and elsewhere.  Grace Church is excited to be a part of this ministry with individual contributions and special offerings such as our “Judas Bag” lenten offering.

Reformed Church World Service

The disaster response arm of our denomination, Reformed Church World Service (RCWS), ministers nationally and globally to those who experience hunger, poverty, war, and/or sudden need due to natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, drought, or tornadoes.  RCWS organized relief efforts for victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America as well as countless other national disasters.  Grace Church is proud to support our denominational program, RCWS, through special offerings, prayers, and individual contributions.

Reformed Church Mission Services

Through annual contributions to our denomination, we support the Reformed Church in America’s ministry worldwide to lost, hurting, suffering, and broken people in the United States, Asia, Africa, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, India, Mexico, Japan, and Latin America – just to highlight a few!  Countless lives have been touched by our ministries worldwide, as the RCA helps a thousand churches in a million ways all over the world do one thing: follow Jesus Christ in mission to a lost and broken world so loved by God!

Cambodian Child Sponsorship 

Ye Sitry is a 12 year-old Cambodian girl whose parents live far away and is being cared for by her Aunt in a small wooden house without electricity or running water located in Svay Rieng Province 100 miles from Phnon Penh, the capital of Cambodia.  One-third of Cambodians live below the poverty line surviving on less than $1.00 per day.  The nation also has one of the largest human trafficking problems in the world as young girls like Sitry are at risk for being sold or abducted into Southeast Asia’s infamous sex-trade.  For just $28.00/month, a responsibility assumed on a rotating basis by various groups of our church, we are making a profound difference in Sitry’s life, helping her gain access to education, health, clean water, and nutrition through the reputable Christian-based organization Child Fund.  Ye Sitry enjoys playing with toy cars, helping with household chores, and hopes to be a medical worker when she grows up.  What a blessing to sacrifice so little and yet to make such a big difference in one little girl’s life!

 

As you can see, we are an active church with many opportunities for you and your family to get involved.  You can even support these causes along side of us, if you wish.  In fact, we’d be grateful for the help.  It’s always a blessing to serve others and make a difference in persons’ lives, especially when it’s for eternity.  Very often, however, it is our own lives which are most profoundly changed!

Come, experience the joy of serving!