Social Justice

Bethlehem is strongly committed to addressing issues of injustice, racism and poverty in our community. We strive to support people to live independent, dignified and sustainable lives. We also are active in serving the poor through ministries of mercy and charity.

Hill Child Development Center: cares for children in the center of the city. Living out our Mission to provide affordable quality care to the community enables Hill CDC to be a beautiful community of families from many cultures, socio-economic groups, and differing walks of life who work together to provide awesome early childhood experiences for the children we serve.

Heartside Neighborhood Collaboration Project: is a ministry of Bethlehem Church which seeks to facilitate the possibilities for increased collaboration between ministries, agencies, neighbors, governmental agencies and others who have a stake in the Heartside neighborhood.

Partners for a Racism-Free Community (PRFC): Working to provide a racism-free community through action-oriented personal commitments, organizational efforts, educational opportunities, and social advocacy.

Musical Arts for Justice in the Community (MAJIC): All of the at-the-door donations from our once a month (October through April) concerts go to the Heartside Fund and Heartside Music Together. More information can be found by clicking on the link heading this paragraph, or under the MAJIC tab under the music tab on the website.

The Heartside Fund, which is held in trust by the Heart of West Michigan United Way assists agencies and ministries in the neighborhood to provide emergency needs such as prescription co-payments or bus passes to allow a neighbor to get to a new job until their first paycheck arrives.

Heartside Music Together, is an early childhood music program that provides scholarships to low income families to participate in music classes with their children in the Heartside neighborhood.VITA Tax Preparation Program: We are the Heartside Neighborhood site for the program which provides free tax return preparation to low income individuals.

Equal Exchange: We serve and sell fair trade coffee, tea, and chocolate at a no-profit rate.

Habitat for Humanity: We have helped build several homes in Kent County.

Women of Our Hope: We work with the women (a residential substance abuse treatment program) to
build their skills and self-esteem.


Ministries of Mercy and Care for the Poor

Degage Ministries
: We contribute coats to Degage who can, in turn, hand those coats out to
people who are cold and sometimes homeless in our Heartside Neighborhood.

Feeding America West Michigan (FAWM): One Saturday a month anywhere from 12 to 20 BLC members go to Second Harvest Gleaners and, in just 3 hours, repackage bulk food into smaller packages so that food pantries all over our area can provide it to those who are hungry.

Ransom Towers: We take Thanksgiving boxes of food and sponsor a monthly drive of paper-products (toilet paper, power towel, etc.) for low-income senior residents.

Refugee Assistance: We continue to help a refugee family from Africa make a new home in this country.

Dickinson Elementary School: We collect scores of hats, mittens, scarves and gloves which are
donated and distributed to children who don’t have those necessary items.

Families First: We have assisted numerous families in the last year through the program administered by
Lutheran Child and Family Services.

Access Food Drive: Annually we collect and deliver food in support of Westminster’s neighborhood food pantry.

North End Community Ministries: We collect school supplies and backpacks each summer to help prepare students for a positive start to the school year.

St. Alphonus Supper House: We help sponsor and serve dinners for the hungry in our
community through this local ministry partner.

Hunger Walk: We participate in and sponsor walkers yearly.

Relay for Life: Bethlehem sponsors a team of walkers for this American Cancer Society event.

Emmanuel Evangelical Church: We provide a worship home for Sunday afternoon services.