FREE YOUR MIND, GROW YOUR SOUL, CHANGE THE WORLD

We have been called an "impossible church." Baptist in background, we have been a liberal church since 1896. An image of Charles Darwin was installed in our stained glass windows in 1922, and since 1960 we have been independent of any denomination and welcoming of anyone who desires to Free their Mind, Grow their Soul, and Change their World.  
Our majestic sanctuary has heard words from Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, poets, and politicians. It has also been a stage for Arlo Guthrie, Terence McNally's "Corpus Christi," Richie Havens, Sinbad, Louis Farrakhan, and Michael Moore.
And every week it welcomes everyone who wants to come in - children, elders, young adults, homeless neighbors; and those who have been left out, cast out, or simply walked out of other religions.  
Though part of no denomination, we work with other houses of worship and organizations to serve the poor, stand up for the oppressed, and create a world of "liberty and justice for all."  
We demand no specific beliefs from anyone, but insist on integrity of beliefs from all. We do not tell you how to be good, but demand that each of us serve the greater good.
  
Fountain Street Church is far from perfect. But we have a dream, and maybe you share that dream with us. One thing is certain, we need people, perhaps you, to help us make that dream come true.

 

YOUR JOURNEY

Fountain Street Church believes that religious life is about personal liberation, spiritual animation and social transformation. That's how we free our minds, grow our souls, and change the world.Liberal Religion lives by four disciplines, toward three goals, by two measures, for one purpose.The four disciplines of liberal religion are – worship, study, service and sacrifice. That sounds imposing, but you could say we ask members to celebrate, learn, serve, and give. People need all four to be spiritually complete.The three goals of liberal religion are to "free the mind, grow the soul, and change the world." We use the four disciplines to help us do these things. The two measures of liberal religion are Time and Treasure. Since we measure deeds, not creeds, at FSC, we ask members to commit 3% of their time and treasure to the well-being of the church. These are floors, not ceilings, by the way. Liberal Religion is a "value added" endeavor.All of these serve the one purpose – to complete creation. Liberal religion sees every person as unique, with something unique to give the world, something that creation needs to be whole. 

 
 

RELIGIOUS LITERACY

The Bible itself says "You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free." FSC believes learning is essential to spiritual health and wholeness. And the first step is Religious Literacy, a phrase coincidentally used by Stephen Prothero in his book of the same name. He spoke at FSC back in 2010.

At FSC we learn in many ways:

  • Worship always has a teaching portion intended to open your mind to a new idea or a new angle on an old idea.

  • Adult groups range from traditional topics like the Bible, Journaling, Poetry, Yoga, and "Poker and Philosophy." You can find the current offerings from our Grow the Soul committee (information below).

  • Our partners at the GR Community College (link) bring nationally known speakers to FSC that are free to the public. Their schedule can be found here (link to their site and schedule)

  • Our own Duncan Littlefair Great Speakers recruit unusual and unheard voices to speak at FSC for a modest admission fee.

  • Create your own course in religious literacy by downloading "(Way More than) 100 Things Every Religious Liberal Should Know." Feel free to ask one of the clergy for guidance.

 

SPIRITUAL FLUENCY

None of us are born knowing how to talk, but we all have the ability to become fluent in some language. None of us are born with a religion, we all have the ability to become fluent in some spiritual language. Worship is the key way we learn our spiritual ABCs, and become able to understand and express our spiritual lives.

Sunday Services

Early worship is informal, intimate, improvisational, and interactive. It is a "come as who you are" hands-on experience at takes place in the Chapel at 9:30AM. The Traditional Worship looks more like a church, but the words might be unusual, and the music can range from classical to musical theater to jazz to Japanese flutes. The preaching in either service may or may not talk about God, might challenge your ideas completely, might confound you. This service is held at 11AM in the Sanctuary.

Connections Spirituality Circles

These are lay-led small groups that meet between one and four times a month, setting their own agenda while sharing a common ritual practice.

Feasts of the Soul

These are interfaith occasions when FSC folks and those from another tradition meet to learn about the other community, especially their religious practices and values. We celebrate Ramadan with the Islamic community, Diwali with the Hindu community, Lunar New Year with the Chinese community, Wesak with the Buddhist community, and Purim or Passover with the Jewish community.

You can peek at our 11AM service on
Youtube

 

EDUCATION AT FOUNTAIN STREET CHURCH

We offer a variety of adult education opportunities for those who want to listen to their own soul's stirrings, and help plant the seeds for themselves and others. We broadly define crafting our spiritual journey as supporting participants with practical tools, knowledge building opportunities and fun and engaging activities! 

You can find updates, changes, and more in-depth information on our Adult Education Programs in the ChimesFriday FlashOrder of Service, and Facebook, including classes, workshops, lectures, and more.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED (Grow the Soul Committee Proposals)

Submit an idea for a class - we’re always looking for topics, presenters, opportunities for on-going book clubs and discussion groups. If you are also interested in becoming apart of the guiding circle for growth within the program please connect with us at our email below! Not sure about an idea? Ask us! We have experts who will help you further develop your thoughts, create a class outline, and write a description. Chances are if you are interested in a topic, others are too.

For example: Introduction to Zentangle, Sextrigity: Creating a Sexual Ethic, Water Color Painting, Photography 101, Mindful Parenting, Grow the Soul through the Shamanic Journey, Crafting Your Spiritual Journey 101, Understanding Religious Diversity & Hostility, Discuss. Decide. Document: Advance Care Planning with Making Choices Michigan, & much more! 

To submit an idea for a course please download our Grow the Soul Proposal Form or click on the Google Form. You can e-mail it to us at growthesoul@fountainstreet.org or place it in the Grow the Soul box outside of the Church Office.

Contact us

E-mail us at growthesoul@fountainstreet.org

 
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24 Fountain St NE | Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | Phone 616-459-8386 | Fax 616-459-4809

Office Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9:30am to 4:30pm

© 2007-2019 Fountain Street Church

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