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The Journey Outward

What is the Journey Outward?

It is the response to our Journey Inward. Our Journey Inward prepares our hearts and our lives to live outside ourselves. Therefore, we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to engage that call authentically and joyfully. We seek to love our neighbor not because we have to, but because we want to, out of the deep gratitude we have to God for our life in God. The Journey Outward is utterly dependent on the foundation of our Journey Inward; yet our Journey Inward is incomplete without an authentic Journey Outward.

Covenant has a long history as a servant church. All of our servant-ministries have emerged from a vision of one or more members of the Covenant family. These visions have then been shared with the Covenant family, to discern if the vision becomes a call. There is no specific formula for this discernment. It is as unique as each individual or group of individuals. It might be said that these visions never come from the “top down.” Rather, they come from within. Within a heart, or a small group of hearts, or the entire congregation. Some visions become a call and a ministry, and some do not. All are challenged to seek and to risk and to dream.

Please find below an overview of our current Neighborhood Ministries that define our Journey Outward.

Hygiene Pantry

Like all of our neighborhood ministries, the backbone of our hygiene pantry is servants. Many are from Covenant Church, many are from our neighborhood, the greater Muskegon Heights and Muskegon areas. All serve faithfully, with positive attitudes and energy preparing products for residents from all over Muskegon County. When the doors open at 11:00, we welcome and serve about 50 households, who receive hygiene goods, including shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bathroom tissue, feminine hygiene, hand lotion, and more.


healthCARE has been a neighborhood ministry of Covenant Church for over 25 years. Wilmer Cullen, healthCARE’s dedicated and enthusiastic director, is a bridge builder between the poor and health care providers throughout the Muskegon area. She has tirelessly served our community as a health care educator in churches, barber shops, libraries, schools, and senior care facilities.

Their Mission Statement: “In response to Jesus’ command to His disciples, ‘Go… heal the sick…’ (Matthew 10:68), we seek to improve the health status and health education of minority groups and those with limited resources. We strive to be a catalyst within churches and neighborhoods by identifying, training, and supporting Christian healthCARE workers; the healthCARE workers will actively seek those in need and be health advocate for them by educating, counseling, and making referrals to existing community resources.

Barney Maffett “US” Cafe

Covenant Church’s Barney Maffett Coffee Shop was purchased in 2021 by Kaja Thornton-Hunter for her business Overcoming Barriers. The site became Barney Maffett “US” Cafe. The Cafe serves breakfast and lunch several days a week and also produces, packages, and sells Kaja’s spices. The Cafe has become a community space for folks to connect, collaborate, mentor, and meet up with community leaders. During the summer and fall, Covenant stocks a produce stand with some of the harvest from “Seeds of Hope Community Garden.” Our prayers have been answered for this holy corner at Barney and Maffett streets! The fair-trade Aldea Coffee is great, and the ideas are flowing, so visit the Cafe at the corner of Barney and Maffett, two short blocks from Covenant Community Church!

(See Events/News section of website for the history of the many outreach ministries operating over the years on this holy corner at Barney & Maffett)

Supper House

Our dear friends at Temple United Methodist Church had a vision a number of years ago. It was to bring as many area churches as possible together for a great purpose: to feed the hungry through a ministry called Supper House. Covenant Church has had the privilege of being one of the 20 or 25 partner churches in this grace-filled endeavor ever since. Every fourth Thursday of each month, a group of 4 to 6 servants from Covenant meet at Temple at 3:30 for prayer, then serve a delicious meal in a restaurant setting to 40 to 75 people. Those who are served are treated with dignity, joy, and respect. They are seated and served, just like a nice restaurant. The vision and power of this ministry initiated and maintained by Temple UMC cannot be overstated. We are so thankful for their faithfulness and ecumenical spirit.

Seeds of Hope Community Garden

Seeds of Hope Community Garden is a collaborative effort among neighbors, Covenant Community Church, and the non-profit : Coalition for Community Development, with support from the City of Muskegon Heights, other groups, and individuals. It was developed in response to our neighbors’ desire for a community garden and beautification of the neighborhood. It also is a resurrection story for the abandoned land.

Our mission is to:
• Provide welcome space
• Plant, grow, and harvest vegetables, herbs and flowers
• Provide access to locally grown, healthy food
• Enhance relationships in and around the neighborhood
• Promote and provide environmental sustainability
• Share seeds, plants, and educational and social opportunities

In 2017 two city lots next to the church were cleared and leveled. Fourteen raised beds were built and filled with garden soil and beds were filled with luscious plants. A wildflower garden brought color and beauty to the space. A pumpkin patch was grown for the neighborhood kids. Beautiful signage was provided by a church member.

Over the years, neighbors and members of Covenant continue to buy and rent beds for gardening season (April-November). Two weekly work sessions are held to provide coaching, education, and encouragement. Friendships form as the garden provides a gathering space for education, fun, and fellowship. Seeds of Hope now has 28 beds, native and flower gardens, a pavilion, shed, pergola meditation space, and a children’s garden. The Muskegon Heights city manager sees our garden as an example for the community, and appreciates our support for other gardens as they develop.

The Covenant Auction For Neighborhood Ministries

Every May, Covenant holds a grand and glorious auction, which covers all of our financial commitments to our Neighborhood Ministries, including Hygiene Pantry, Supper House, and Seeds of Hope Community Garden. We are deeply grateful for the vision for this auction many years ago, enabling us to firmly support these ministries financially. For more information on our upcoming auction, please call the church office at 231-737-1491!

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