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Beyond the Walls to hit the streets

Members of a Beyond the Walls team worked on trimming shrubbery at the Post last year. Post photo by J. Reed.

Members of a Beyond the Walls team worked on trimming shrubbery at the Post last year. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed


Three area churches will join together to take their service beyond the walls this Sunday and reach out into the community.

Both The Springs Church, 135 N. Grant, and Solon Center Wesleyan, located at 19 Mile and Algoma, have done separate events in the past, and decided this year to join forces. Hillcrest Community, located on 18 Mile in Nelson Township, is also joining the event. Not only will all three churches do projects on the same day but they will be on the same teams.

“We just thought it would be good for the churches to do one day together—meet   others, work together and make an impact on the community,” explained Cherri’ Kerr, local missions pastor at The Springs Church.

Projects the teams plan to work on include visiting patients at Metron; roadside cleanup; city sign maintenance; planting flowers; greeting customers at the Wesco gas stations in Cedar Springs and Sand Lake; working at Alpha Family Center; visiting three Hope Network homes; building a sandbox for a family; handing out freezer pops to people; and more.

Leaders will meet at The Springs Church at 9 a.m. Sunday to get to know each other and what is expected, and then will head to Morley Park at 10:30 a.m., where all three congregations will do a short worship time together and divide up into their teams. They will then go out into the community to complete their projects, and return afterward to the park for a free lunch.

Kerr said that anyone from the community who would like to help should come to Morley Park at 10:30 a.m. and they can join a team. “Everyone is welcome,” she said. Anyone coming may want to bring lawn chairs, or a blanket, and sunscreen.

“I’m so excited we’ve been able to pull this together,” remarked Kerr. “I’m looking forward to it.”

The event will be held rain or shine. If it is dangerous—if there is severe weather—it will be canceled. In the event of rain, the lunch will be held at The Springs Church. For more info email Kerr at office@thespringschurch.info.

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Going beyond the walls


Photo by R. Maurer

Photo by R. Maurer

The Springs Church took their worship to the streets last Sunday—literally.

About 150 people participated in the church’s annual “Beyond the Walls” event, where the congregation leaves the walls of the building behind and reaches out to people in the community by serving.

Cherri’ Kerr, local missions pastor at The Springs, located at 135 N. Grant,  said the day is not about recruiting people to come to the church—it’s about serving others.

“We just want people to know that we are friendly and we care about them,” said Kerr. “But it’s also about discipleship. It gives people in the church an opportunity to be a part of the community and learn about their needs.”

The church started this outreach five years ago, and Kerr took over organizing it three years ago. She said that each year is different. “Each year I try to find more ways for people in the church to engage personally with people in the community,” she explained. “I want people to understand that our heart truly is to serve, to show the love of Christ. It’s really about learning to serve and love people sacrificially. We don’t expect anything in return.”

Photo by R. Maurer

Photo by R. Maurer

This year the church had 14 teams for Beyond the Walls. Some of the projects included visiting and singing at Hope Network; fifth and six graders visiting patients at Metron; a team fixing a broken water fountain at Metron; a group delivering bags of groceries to people; a team doing yard work and washing windows at the Post; another group handing out water bottles on the White Pine Trail; others handing out grocery totes to people; individuals visiting the elderly at Mildred Houting in Sand Lake; a group handing out chips and pop; a team walking around the city and praying; and another picking up trash. A couple of other new fun projects included a money drop at a local grocery store, where the team dropped dollar bills in grocery carts for people, then went to the McDonald’s drive thru and passed them out, and a veterans fanfare, where people dressed in red, white and blue and stood at the Main and Muskegon Street intersection with signs that told people to honk if they love vets.  They reportedly had just under 4,000 honks. A couple of support teams stayed at the church and worked either caring for kids age 4 and under, or working in the kitchen to prepare lunch for the volunteers, and goody trays that were delivered to the city school, city hall and fire department on Monday.

After the event, the teams came back to the church to have lunch and talk about what they did. “I like it when I see something come out of it,” said Kerr. “When people understand it’s not just a one-day project.” She noted that several individuals made connections they plan to foster—such as visiting more often at Mildred Houting and Metron.

Kerr doesn’t yet have any specific plans for next year’s event.  “Every year I try to pay attention to what’s needed, and just trust that we’ll be where God wants us to be,” she explained.


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