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Posted by admin
on Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 13:15

Heather has been on staff for several years... but how well do you really know her?
 
Name:  Heather DeBoer
 
Church:  ClearView Christian Reformed Church
 
Years with Friendship: on and off for 28 years
 
Previous occupations: Church Administrator, Educational Assistant, Personal support worker...
 
If you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you spend it? Having coffee with my friends.
 

Posted by admin
on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - 15:26

Our former Executive Director, Nella Uitvlugt, received the 2014 Henri J.M. Nouwen Leadership Award posthumously on Thursday, June 26, from the AAIDD Religion and Spirituality Division. We are so thankful for Nella and the work she did on behalf of Friendship Ministries. God truly blessed us with her.
 
Here is the AAIDD’s description of the Award and Nella’s work:
 

Posted by admin
on Monday, July 28, 2014 - 16:03

"For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."  Philippians 2:13
 
Sometimes it takes a long time to find out why.
 
It took more than 20 years before we had a partial answer to that question, as we asked why our daughter Karyn had to struggle with so many disabilities. Maybe that was the wrong question, but we couldn’t help but ask it.
 
Karyn was such a fun, happy baby. It was difficult to fathom why...
 

Posted by admin
on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 14:24

What Can I Do to Make Large Group Prayer More Meaningful?
 
If you’ve ever asked this question, you’ve probably asked another: “What is prayer?” The answer may be simple – prayer is talking with God – but of course this simple answer raises even more questions! And perhaps your old answers to these questions have changed as you’ve experienced prayer with people for whom spoken communication is difficult or impossible.
 

Posted by admin
on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 13:45

Tom VanWingerden recently came on board as the Executive Director of Friendship Ministries. Here's everything you ever wanted to know about him.
 
Name: Tom VanWingerden
 
Family: Mary, my wife of 36 years and a 4th grade teacher at Legacy Christian School in Grand Rapids; Erin (Scott) DeYoung and their children Samuel, John and Luke; Sarah (Justin) Bratt; and Tim VanWingerden
 
Church: Plymouth Heights Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan
 

Posted by admin
on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 14:00

A Mentor Shares What Works
by Marie DeVries
 
Visit Anna.
This could mean so much to her, especially if she lives in a group home or seldom has visitors. Seeing her home setting will help you understand where she is coming from and what life is like for her outside of Friendship group. A visit will also let her know that she is an important part of your life.
 
Call David.

Posted by admin
on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 16:32

You’ve probably heard about the Cold Water Challenge:  

Thousands have accepted the challenge, plunging themselves into a body of freezing water, donating $10 to a named charity, and then encouraging others – via social media – to do the same.

But Friendship supporters and friends chose to accept another challenge in May: the 2nd Annual Friendship Challenge.

Posted by admin
on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 18:47

by Steve Nyenhuis
 
How have I seen God at work in our Friendship Class?
 
I’ve discovered – in responding to God’s call to be a Friendship leader – that He is mysterious.
 
Throughout this journey, I have often felt lost, not knowing what I was supposed to be doing. But when I look back on the past year, I see God’s hand, and I know that He provided me - and our entire church - with exactly what I needed to carry out His plan.
 

Posted by admin
on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 15:18

It’s here, friends!
 
The very first issue of Friendship Newsletter: Tips & Tools to Include Our Friends (our newly reformatted newsletter) is hitting mailboxes this week, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
 
To introduce you to the newsletter (and to encourage you to sign up for the electronic version), we thought we’d give you a quick preview below. Enjoy this opening letter from Dan Blauw, our interim executive director:
 

Posted by admin
on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 16:05

A week or so ago, I shared that I had been challenged by my congregation to start a Friendship program at my new church. The first two things I mentioned were essential to building a Friendship class were: form a vision team and find some friends. Here are the next three steps:

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