Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Local churches: Covenant CRC

Covenant CRC gathers outdoors to pray. Photo courtesy Covenant CRC.

“Blended worship” is a term used by many churches to describe their worship style. Although incorporating a balanced mix of music from different places, times and genres can be challenging, Covenant Christian Reformed Church is distinguished by its variety of worship styles as well as its strong, scripture-based preaching.

Covenant CRC is about 20 minutes from Calvin, located between Eastern and 68th Street in Grand Rapids. According to Calvin junior Kendra Walters, who has been attending Covenant for most of her life, attending Covenant each week is well worth the drive. Services are offered Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Walters said that the worship style is one of the things she loves most about the church: “We have a fairly even balance of contemporary and traditional music, and people really sing at Covenant which is something that I’ve always appreciated.” Each week, some songs are led by a praise team and others by organ. Covenant also has three choirs that perform often, a hand bell choir and a brass group that leads worship once a month.

In addition to its unique style of blended worship, Covenant consistently offers theologically grounded, relevant preaching.  

“The preaching is probably my favorite part about Covenant,” said Walters. “It’s very Bible-based, so just about anything that is said has some kind of Bible passage to go with it so you know it’s not just the pastor’s opinions. The sermons are very relevant to people’s lives, which makes them easy to listen to.”

To help attendees process the sermon, bulletins have blank spaces to fill in sermon points as well as a “next steps” section for listeners to plan how to apply the sermon in their own lives. Sermons and services also often incorporate creeds or other faith statements from the Christian Reformed Church so congregants are reminded of the beliefs of their denomination.

Covenant’s blended worship and inclusive, relevant sermons make Covenant a welcoming church for all ages.

“We have many children, students, young parents, adults and seniors,” said Walters. “We’ve actually just started a young adults group for those in college and post-college. We meet once a month on Sunday afternoons after church.” This young adults group gives students the opportunity to build community through conversation and the sharing of baked goods.

Students can also invest in the Covenant community through any one of Covenant’s many ministries. The church offers girls and boys groups (GEMS and cadets) as well as a youth group for middle-school and high-school students. It also has small groups and a food pantry program.  

Overall, Walters says the welcoming community, sermons and blended worship are her favorite aspects of Covenant. “We have so many amazing prayer warriors and people who faithfully write cards so there’s a great sense of love and support and community in the congregation. The blend in worship is something that is harder to come by these days and I think that our church does a really good job with this. The preaching is superb and the people are extremely welcoming and loving so anyone can feel at home.”

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