who are we?
We are a community that is confessional, evangelical, and reforming.
We are a community baptized into the body of Jesus Christ. As part of Christ's mission to make disciples of all nations, we are excited to live into the Kingdom of God in and through our life together.
We are confessional, in that ecumenical creeds and theological confessions help us interpret and apply scripture. Creeds and confessions like the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Belhar Confession, give us wider connectedness with other believers throughout time and space.
We are evangelical, proclaiming "good news of great joy." In the original New Testament language of Greek, "evangelical" and "angels" share the same root word, uniting a message of joy with those called to share it. And just like the jubilance shared of Christ's birth by heavenly angels to ordinary shepherds in the book of Luke, we too have great news to share with the world. In fact, we believe that what God has done (is doing!) in Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit is amazing news. It is our ministry to share this through word and deed-- exemplified by our worship and our lives.
We are reformed. We are rooted in a wider tradition going back to the events of the Protestant Reformation in 1517. Second Reformed Church didn't just happen from some sort of blank slate. We are part of a work of the Holy Spirit connecting us to a rich heritage of hundreds of years of faithfulness. We love having a rich history and we love having a hopeful future.
Learn more by joining us in worship.
Learn more by asking us questions.
Learn more by reading about our tradition or denomination or even our very city established by a bunch of Reformed Church folk in 1847.
SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES ARE AT 8:00 A.M. AND 10:00 A.M. EACH WEEK.
THE HISTORY OF SECOND REFORMED CHURCH
From the earliest days of its history, Second Reformed Church members, guided by prayer and God's leading, have met challenges with dedication and fortitude. Formed out of a need to provide worship services in the English language for those who did not speak Dutch or who wanted their children to use the English language, a group of 104 people signed charter documents in 1904. The new congregation, the first in the community to offer every service in the English language, officially began on September 12, 1904 with the blessing of the mother church, First Reformed Church of Zeeland.
The early history of the church in Zeeland, Michigan actually began prior to the formation of this community. Eager to find better lives and religious freedom in the new world, a group of people formed a church congregation in the Netherlands before traveling to the new land. Most were poor farmers, and Jannes VandeLuyster, a leader of the immigrants, covered the debts of those who could not pay so that their lives in the new land would truly represent a fresh start. Rev. Cornelius VanderMeulen became the religious leader of the settlers.
Zeeland was originally settled in 1847 by 457 people. With God's blessing, the people not only survived but thrived in their new life in a new world. Prosperity and business brought additional settlers to the new area, many from different backgrounds and traditions, thus creating a necessity for change to meet new needs. Second Reformed Church became one organization working to create positive change and to meet those new needs in the community.
Second Reformed Church continues to strive to meet the changing needs of the people in the community and world. A strong interest in world missions has been significant in the life of the church throughout its history, and a strong concern with meeting local needs has been a tradition of the congregation as well.
SO, YOU ARE "REFORMED"... FROM WHAT?
Great question. Second Reformed Church is part of a nearly 500 year-old branch of the Christian church in the Protestant tradition. At the time, our ancestors re-prioritized the church's practice and theology upon the gift of faith as found in Jesus Christ. The oft used slogan of the time says it well: "we are reformed and always re-forming, according to the Word of God."
SO, YOU FOCUS ON JESUS?
Very much so. We believe that Jesus is God's greatest gift; the love and fulfillment of covenantal promises made a long time ago to Abraham and Sarah. We believe Jesus not only frees us from the power of death, but also gives us purpose and meaning for our life here and now. You'll hear a lot about Jesus Christ's life, death, resurrection and reign because this is central to God's life-giving story of redemption.
DO YOU HAVE CHILDCARE?
Yes! We have a nursery available for infants through age 2 and during the school year, we have an abundance of worship and class options for children of all ages, during the church service, Sunday School hour and on Wednesday evenings. Please check out the Children's Ministry section on the "How we Grow" tab for details. But please note that everyone of all ages is always welcome in our worship services.
HOW CAN MY CHILD BE BAPTIZED AT SECOND?
We'd love to talk further about this with you. At least one parent needs to be a professing member of our church for their child/children to be baptized into the extraordinary story of God's grace. If this story is new to you, we'd love to teach it to you and your family. We also want you to be part of the church family, because we believe baptism is not just for the one baptized, but for the whole church. With baptism, the church commits to love and raise children into the truth of their baptism, that in Christ we are given transformation from the brokenness of our lives, once we choose to receive that gift. Sunday School, youth group, Bible Studies, profession of faith processes, mission trips and more are all expressions of our commitment to love and raise our children into this story. Feel free to contact Pastor Voskuil, to learn more about baptism or membership.
CAN WE GET MARRIED AT SECOND CHURCH?
Yes! God has gifted our church with a wonderful space to celebrate God's gift of love. The sanctuary really is gorgeous, and yes, there is a center aisle. Please contact our office to check on dates and to receive our wedding policy.
WILL I BE WELCOMED TO YOUR CHURCH IF I VISIT?
Absolutely. Come as you are and know that we are a community with persons from many and various backgrounds. There is space at Second for your questions, passions, gifts, concerns and even doubts.