How To: Church Hopping in Holland

I’m not sure if “church hopping” is common language or Hope College lingo for “I’m trying to find a church that I really enjoy in the area.” This is the only place I’ve ever heard it, so I’m going to go with the latter.

The name is a little misleading, because to me it sounds like you go to a bunch of churches all in one day, but in fact you decide on various churches to visit each Sunday until you find a good fit. Regardless of the cheesy name, church hopping is cool.

First things first, you do a little research. What churches are in the area? What churches do your beliefs most identify with?

My friend Rachel and I took an online quiz to discover where in the world of churches our views fell. It turned out that we had some pretty similar results, so we looked up churches under those denominations.

The next thing is pretty simple. You go to one of the churches. Notice the people around you, how comfortable you feel and whether or not you feel community and a sense of faith here. You might get a good feeling, or a kind of bad one.

If it’s bad, don’t worry; there will be other churches to visit. If it’s good, don’t just jump right in; give some other churches a chance to be hopped to.

Rachel and I visited three or four churches before deciding on the one we liked the best, all were different denominations and not all were the one we were raised in.

Once you feel comfortable with the amount of churches you’ve experienced and feel like you have enough knowledge to make a decision, find a church and call it home.

My friend Rachel and I really enjoy the First United Methodist Church in Holland. We’ve decided to plant our roots there for a majority of our Sundays left at Hope.

The cool thing about Holland is that there are so many places of faith to check out. It can be almost overwhelming. I highly encourage anyone who wants to take the next step in their faith to church hop around. Finding community at Hope can be easy, especially with a chapel filled with 1,000 students. However, finding that faith community outside of Hope is not as easy.

It’s nice to know where to start.

Thanks for reading,
Brooke

Finding My Home Church

Having a church to go to every Sunday is a little bit like having a home team, I think. A church can be a community of love, support and faith outside of the college context.

Up until recently, I’ve only attended Hope’s Chapel and Gathering services. One of my best friends, Rachel, and I decided that we want to find a traditional church in the Holland area to attend.

There are a lot to choose from. In Downtown Holland there’s Pillar Church (Christian Reformed) and the First United Methodist Church. There are others, such as Third Reformed Church, St. Frances de Sales Church, and Engedi Church. If you know anything about Holland, you know the list doesn’t end there. Those are just a few that students attend on a weekly basis.

Dimnent Chapel around Christmastime
Dimnent Chapel around Christmastime

This past Sunday, Rachel and I went to Pillar Church. We figured it would be our first shot since it’s a close walk downtown.

The service was nice, but I’m not sure it’s what I’m looking for in my home church. At home, I’m a member of the First United Methodist Church. It’s a whole lot bigger than the tiny Pillar. Maybe I’m looking for something more like that, but I’m not sure.

I guess I’m just looking for what feels right. I don’t think I’ll have any problem knowing when I’ve found the right place to call home for worship every Sunday.

Building a community in faith is extremely important. It’s easy to have that community at Hope considering how central it is to our every day lives. However, once college is over, that support system won’t be as much in tact. It’s necessary from that point to go out and make your own community of the church.

I want to be able to create that community once I leave Hope, and an important step is finding my faith outside the college.

You can email me at brookelyn.wharton@hope.edu, find me on Facebook, or check out my twitter @hopebrooke18!

Anatomy of a Sunday!

Sundays in college are good. And weird. Mostly good. This is the basics of how they usually go!

9:15 a.m.: Wake up and get ready for church.

10:30 a.m.: Attend the second service at Pillar Church. LOVE IT. Yesterday I even got to play guitar and sing for both services! It was so much fun.

Noon: Go to lunch at The Windmill restaurant in downtown Holland. They have $2 cinnamon rolls the size of your head and the cutest cappuccinos I’ve ever seen!

Cappuccino with Halloween sprinkles
I got this one right before Halloween. Look how cute and festive it was!

1 p.m.: Hang out, play guitar, waste time… You know, really productive stuff! Naps also happen around this time of day on Sundays. But naps are NEVER a waste of time. Seriously, they (usually) make me way more productive once I wake up.

2 p.m.: Homework! The best part of the weekend! (Just kidding. It’s really not that bad though.) Also, I try to do some of my homework on Saturday so I don’t have too much left to do on Sunday.

5 p.m.: MACHO NACHOS AND SUNDAE SUNDAY IN PHELPS. WE’RE TALKING FREE MOOSE TRACKS, PEOPLE.

6 p.m.: More homework if necessary or practicing music.

8 p.m.: The Gathering. It’s a worship service every Sunday night at Dimnent Chapel on campus and it’s so good.

9:15 p.m.: Practice piano/voice or go hang out in the cluster (our new favorite thing to do is play euchre!) or do homework if necessary.

Midnight (or so): Go to bed!

This all varies a lot (like yesterday I had to go to work instead of the Gathering), but that’s generally how Sundays go! I know in high school Sundays were usually pretty chill, but in college they’re actually kind of busy! But that’s not always a bad thing. It’s a good busy. I really love Sundays (except the thought of the impending 8:30 class the next morning… But it all works out.)!

What’s your Sunday itinerary? Leave a comment, email me at kathryn.krieger@hope.edu, or tweet @hopekathryn17! Thanks for reading!


“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.” -1 Peter 1:6.

Fun-filled weekend!

Hello Everyone!

I leave for Easter break in less than 2 hours!!!! Yes, I am so incredibly pumped. School has been crazy busy this past week. I’ll fill you in on what I have been doing.

Friday night: I attended a concert at Lemonjello’s. Some students from Hope were playing, and the band did an awesome job. The place was packed, and everyone was having a good. time. After the concert, I went to JP’s to have some coffee with a big group of friends. Then we all hung out for awhile and decided to take a late IHOP run. The food was so good!

Saturday: Admitted students day! I was able to talk to some seniors in the Kletz about Hope College and get to know them a little bit. It was cool to see all of Hope’s student organization groups placed all around DeWitt. I did not even realize how many different groups and organizations were on campus.

Saturday evening: After the activities fair, my room mate and I chilled in our room and watched the Parent Trap on VCR. Pretty sewer, I know. Later in the evening we went to Subway and then “studied” for a little bit at Starbucks. Once we returned back to Hope, we got ready for Club Durf. Then we danced the night away and had a good time. Club Durf’s theme was “earth” because of earth week. Haha it was pretty sweet. 

Sunday: I attended church and then worked on my stats group project pretty much all day. I also attended the Volunteer Services end of the year banquet and attended one of the last Gatherings of the year. After the gathering, a group us worked on homework in one of the class rooms in the Science Center.  

 Movie Day with the roomie

Concert at Lemonjello’s

Best weekend ever?

Hey!

Another busy weekend occurred here at Hope College. On Friday night, my roommate and I went to Western Michigan University to attend a physical therapy program session for graduate school. We were able to tour their facilities and hear a little about their program. Her parents drove us there and also took us out to dinner. The food was delicious, and it was a fun mini road trip. We watched Gilmore Girls the entire way there and back in the car. So much fun!

On Saturday, I went to a prayer house in Grand Rapids with some friends. It was a really great and unique experience. I definitely want to return back there more often. After the prayer house, we went to JP’s to do some studying. After JP’s, we got ready for the big rival basketball game Hope vs. Calvin. It was an intense game! The student Dew Crew section was even more lively than usual. The Hope spirit was incredible. It was an awesome victory to watch! After the game, we got ready for the Mardi Gras Club Durf dance, which consisted of fun and crazy dance moves. The dance was so much fun. I got a full workout in from dancing so much!

On Sunday I went to church to hear Mike Huckabee speak at Central Wesleyan Church, he did an excellent job speaking; and I enjoyed his sermon.

This past weekend was packed with events. I definitely had one of the best weekends at Hope. I am beginning to like college more and more, the longer I stay. I might just stick around another three years 🙂 

VICTORY!