Fellowship Opportunities

Be sure to check the church calendar for more opportunities, schedules and locations.


 What Are “Friendship Dinners”?

Friendship Dinners are a very popular and longstanding tradition among church members.  Singles and couples all gather together in groups of eight at each others’ homes during a course of four months.  Each couple or individual acts as a host one time and provides the main course.  Participants rotate from there with succeeding dinners, so that each person either hosts or attends as a guest.  The guests bring appetizers, salads, hot veggies and desserts.  The food is awesome.  Some groups also sit and chat during the evening while others watch DVDs, play games, cards, and enjoy fellowship together.  Great food, great friendship and great fun is had by all.  Groups stay together until all have had a chance to host and sometimes even longer.

How Can I Get Involved?

Contact Ruth Woodward at:  Telephone-231/865-3801 or E-mail:  woodward_ruth@hotmail.com



What Are “United Methodist Women”?

PURPOSE:  The organized unit of United Methodist Women (UMW) shall be a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative supportive fellowship, and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.

Throughout the year, UMW members also plan several General Membership meetings and activities that bring the various UMW “Circle” members together.  These include: learning activities, arts and crafts projects, fundraising efforts, as well as special events involving the entire congregation.

What Are the UMW “Circles”?

The UMW is made up of five “Circles” of women who meet in small groups in the church’s Ryder Lounge on the main level.  They hold regular weekly or monthly meetings throughout the year.   The five “Circles” include:

  • Spiritual Sisters – meets on Wednesday evenings @ 6:15 p.m. during the school year when “SON Club” for kids is meeting
  • Mary Circle – meets the first Thursday of the month @ 7 p.m.
  • Hannah Circle – meets the first Tuesday of the month @ 1:30 p.m.
  • Esther Circle – meets the second Tuesday of the month @ 1 p.m.
  • Ruth Circle – meets the second Thursday @ 7 p.m.

Ruth Circle 40 Dresses for AfricaWho Can Join UMW?

Any woman in the church is invited to become a part of the United Methodist Women.

How Do I Become a UMW Member?

Contact Robyn Daane, UMW President


UMW Gift Cards

Anyone can buy a gift card for any occasion from the UMW, with the proceeds going to missions.  The minimum contribution is $5 to obtain a card, and they can be purchased up to whatever a person wishes to give.   Purchasers can choose from a wide range of special occasion cards—celebrating a birth, a marriage, an anniversary, to say “thank you,” or to wish someone a “happy birthday.”  The donation will be given in honor of the occasion to missions.  This is a great idea when a person just does not know what to buy someone.  Contact Ruth Woodward, UMW member, for further information or to purchase a card at:  231/865-3801 or via e-mail:  woodward_ruth@hotmail.com



What are “United Methodist Men“?

The United Methodist Men (UMM) is a service group that is very active at the United Methodist Church of the Dunes.  They are involved in everything from hosting dinners, luncheons, bazaars and a variety of special events, such as magic shows for children, dinner-and-learn programs, plus fundraisers.  Men in this group assist where they are needed, whether it is at the church or in someone’s home.  They also help sponsor the Cub Scout program, seminary students and mission-based projects in the community and abroad.

When Are United Methodist Men Meetings Held?

The UMM group meets once a month, on the second Monday, at 6 p.m.   Meetings are generally held in the church’s Social Hall , on the lower level, where the men plan and participate in a wide variety of programs during the year.

Who Can Join UMM?

The group welcomes all men, regardless of age, to participate in this wonderful ministry.  At the meetings, UMM members enjoy fellowship with other Christian men, plus the opportunity to learn, complete service projects and have fun participating together in the various activities throughout the year.

How Do I Become a UMM Member?

There isn’t a form or any “formality” to become active in the UMM.  Men who belong to the Church of the Dunes are members of the UMM.  We welcome non-members of the church who have an interest in our programs and activities.  For more information, contact Al Kochanowski or the church office.

View their brochure, here.



20-somethingsPersons ages 18-30 are invited to drop in for the topic focused Bible study, “UMCD 20-somethings.” No homework or pre-reading necessary. We meet on Thursdays from 7 – 8 p.m. in the Ryder Lounge.

According to Bill G.,It is a great opportunity to study the Word and to have fellowship with people my age. I like studying topics that are relevant in my life and what the Bible says about it. I believe it will help grow my faith. It is a great time worshipping our Lord with people my age.” When asked what one word would describe the experience, James L. responded: “uplifting.”

20-something Game Night

In addition, monthly fellowship and/or mission activities are also scheduled.

You can read more on Facebook, including the topic of Bible study discussions, here.




Creativity, the Arts and God Class

God created us in His image.  Therefore, we are all creative!  Join this lively, fun-loving group to create a multitude of arts and crafts projects.  All classes are held consecutive Thursday evenings— from September through May—from 7-9 p.m. in the Social Hall or Ryder Lounge.  Some of the projects the group has created include:  handmade dolls with surface design applications, wooden cross assemblages, relief paintings, ink drawings, collages, copper wire artwork, fish assemblages as part of the Grand Haven ArtWalk and much more.  All are welcome and you don’t need to be an artist or have an art background to join.

Get Involved

Anyone interested in joining the Creativity, the Arts and God class should contact Liz Lystra, facilitator, by contacting the church administrative office:  616-842-7980.

Craft Circle

The Craft Circle consists of a group of women who enjoy knitting, crocheting and making craft items for the church’s Holly Berry Bazaar fundraising event.  Patterns, yarn and other art materials are shared among the group and a variety of cleverly-crafted items is generated monthly from those who attend.

When Does The Craft Circle Meet?

This group meets the second Thursday of every month from 9-10 a.m. in the church’s Ryder Lounge.  Crafters are welcome to join at any time.  Please bring ideas to share-you won’t be disappointed in the variety of projects that abound among this sociable group.  For those interested in joining the Craft Circle, please contact Mary Kay Alguire by calling the church administrative office:  616/842-7980.  Don’t know how to knit or crochet?  No problem, the ladies in this group will teach you!  Join them on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in the church Social Hall at the basement level.  Lessons are free of charge – everyone is welcome to learn.



When and How Often Does the Dunes’ Golf League Meet?

For twenty-seven years, the church’s golf league has been offered to adult men and women interested in fellowship out on the links.  The season begins in late April and extends until the end of September.   A kick-off luncheon is held each year, where anyone can register and receive weekly schedules in this mixed-league season of fun.  Singles, couples and persons of all faith traditions are welcome.

Participants play golf every Monday at 9:30 a.m. at local courses, including Terra Verde.  Rates have been very reasonable, and are negotiated each year – about $10 for nine holes and $14 for 18 holes of golf.

Does the League Offer Special Golf Outings?

In addition to regular Monday morning play, the league offer an additional “Third Monday Golf Outing” each month.  Each outing is held at a different course in west Michigan, offering varying degrees of difficulty to challenge even the best of golfers.  Play begins at 11 a.m., featuring a “shot-gun” start, scramble play, numerous prizes and dinner at the end of the day’s festivities.

Who Do I Contact To Join the League?

Anyone can join the league at any time.  To get started, please contact  Al and Karen Kochanowski, 616-446-0562, or Barry and Mary Huntington, 616-846-2038.



What is the purpose of the Drill Team?

Drill Team 2015The Dunes Drill Team is an inter-generational group of church members and friends who wear colorful costumes, sing, dance and march to a popular movie theme each year during the United States Coast Guard Festival Grand Parade.  Children, teens and adults get together for practices beginning in June and meet once a week for one hour to develop the choreography and learn the music.  Sometimes, the Drill Team even plays toy kazoos to entertain the crowds throughout the parade route in downtown Grand Haven, better known as “Coast Guard City USA.”  The Grand Parade is held the first Saturday in August and it attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators.

The Dunes Drill Team has proven to be a very popular activity that functions under the direction and guidance of the church’s Invitation and Welcome committee.   Team members work to bring positive attention to the church, with our “open hearts…open minds…and open doors” philosophy, plus honor and celebrate the men and women who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Coast Guard.  Our goal is to let community citizens and visitors know that the church is always open to new members joining our congregation to worship, sing, grow deeper in our faith, have fun together and provide service above self as we work shoulder-to-shoulder to honor God as modern-day disciples.

Past themes the team used in marching proved to be parade route favorites among the onlookers.  Whether it was “Hi-Ho…Hi-Ho” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Blues Brothers, the Mickey Mouse Club theme songs, “76 Trombones” from the Broadway hit, The Music Man or “Celebrate Good Times, C’mon” – every year the Drill Team participates is a rousing success!

How Can I Join?

Contact the Dunes Drill Team director through the church administrative office:  616-842-7980.  We welcome all persons who like to sing, dance, march and get dressed up to be a part of our unit.



How Did This Ministry Get Started?

In 2001, a leisurely “craft circle” for women developed to share their talents and love of knitting within the church.  Out of that group evolved the Knitting and Prayer Shawl Ministry.  It serves a growing need of persons in the community who are experiencing life-changing illnesses, death or living with persons who are ill and dying.   Since 2006, women who worship at the church have received ongoing requests for knitted items to help in the healing process after illnesses, deaths or grieving.  To date, over 20 active volunteers at church have created, completed and distributed more than 700 knitted and crocheted afghans, prayer shawls and scarves to persons who have requested them throughout west Michigan and beyond.

How Does One Get Involved?

Members of the Knitting Ministry get together once a month to spend a few hours knitting and crocheting for others.  They also work independently between meetings.  Projects do not have to be afghans, prayer shawls or winter scarves but anything that could be given to support someone in need, such as a pillow, hat, slippers, shoulder wraps and more.  During knitting times together, women of the church take time to worship, provide gratitude and knit.  The ladies consider their work a demonstration of Biblical-related acts of mercy, love and compassion within a caring outreach ministry serving others.  In 2011, over 100 hand-made caps were made by members and sent to “Operation Shoe Box Skull Caps.”   From there, they were sent with other Christmas items to military men and women serving in Afghanistan.

How Do Community Members Make Contact for a Knitted or Crocheted Item?

Members of the group receive names of recipients from the senior pastor, the church prayer chain, choir members and  persons in the area who call the church, asking for an item.  Once a recipient is identified, a knitted or crocheted item is sent to them along with a hand-signed card from all members of the Knitting Ministry.  A prayer of blessing upon the gift is also attached to each knitted item and sent out to persons in the community.  A record of each recipient given a knitted or crocheted item is kept and each year the women in the Knitting Ministry hold a Memorial Service for all recipients who have died.

How Can I Get Involved?

Anyone interested in becoming involved with this unique group should contact Mary Kay Alguire at the church:  616/842-7980.



What is the Church’s Involvement with the Cub Scouting Program?

Believing that character development is central to every aspect of a boy’s life, the United Methodist Men of this church proudly sponsor Cub Scout Pack 3005 and co-sponsor Boy Scout Troop 246.  The mens’ group provides financial, advisory and spiritual support for both organizations.  Through their support, the Grand Haven area has a healthy and active scouting program.  Visit the Cub Scouts at www.pack3005.com.

As stated on Cub Scout Pack 3005’s website, the Scouts have twelve core values that guide them throughout their regular programs:

  • Citizenship
  • Compassion
  • Cooperation
  • Courage
  • Faith
  • Health and Fitness
  • Honesty
  • Perseverance
  • Positive Attitude
  • Resourcefulness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility


How Do I Get Involved?

Contact church member Mark Walling at:  616/850-0091 or via e-mail at:  scoutmaster_mark@yahoo.com



What Are “Romeo’s”?

In 2002, a group of professional retired gentlemen wanted to get a men’s group together for fellowship and church-related discussions outside of the regular Sunday worship time.  Thus, the “Romeo’s” group was founded!

R.O.M.E.O. stands for “Retired Old Men Eating Out.”  Today, between ten and twenty men of the church gather the third Tuesday of every month, year ‘round, at Vic’s Restaurant from 9:15 to 10:30 a.m. for breakfast and lively conversations.  Prayer requests are made for those in need, event ideas are discussed among the United Methodist Men present, and church maintenance updates are shared.  Several “ROMEOs” are also active serving with the “Old Fogies” group to maintain the church grounds and the beautiful sand dunes surrounding the church property.  (View the “Old Fogies” page for specifics.)

Wayfinding:  Vic’s Restaurant is located at 14977 Cleveland Street in Spring Lake, MI.  Information about Vic’s can be found at:  www.vicsrestaurantandlounge.com

How Can I Get Involved?

Contact Herm Tanis by calling:  616-846-4388.



Who are the “Old Fogie’s”?

Since 1997, a group of about ten men “of a certain age” who have specialty skills in landscaping, woodworking, masonry, electrical, painting and general “handy man” projects decided to get together for the purpose of keeping the church grounds and surrounding sand dunes looking beautiful.  They began referring to themselves as the “Old Fogies”—and the name stuck!  Due to their eye for detail in all of God’s natural world each season of the year around the church grounds, the facility is a source of pride for members and visitors.

What Is Their Work Schedule?

“Old Fogie’s” get together to work on Tuesday’s in both spring and fall to handle various work projects.

What Type of Work Do They Do?

The retired professionals in this group rake leaves, spread bark, power wash, clear brush, do masonry work, replant trees and plant flowers throughout the yard areas on all sides of the church and up into the dunes.  They also paint rooms inside the building.  Plus, they maintain and clean up the Memorial Garden and do yard work at the parsonage.  Whether the project is big or small, the “Old Fogie’s” provide the care needed to help make the church such a beautiful presence on the drive up the hill from Sheldon Road and for those who worship and gather here throughout the week.

How Can I Get Involved?

Contact Herm Tanis at:  616/846-4388.  Anyone who considers himself a handy man or who has special skills working with power tools, paint supplies, landscaping and more is welcome to join this fun-loving group.



When we become volunteers, we also become active participants and partners in God’s transformation of the world.  Each one of us has been born with unique talents, abilities and skills that can truly be of help to others.  The Church of the Dunes has 17 areas identified where you could serve with us, and within these 17 areas there are more than 130 categories of service to choose from.  Please take a look at the pdf below to find out about the many opportunities available:  UMCD Service Commitment Form 2013.  Then, please call us to get involved at 616/842-7980!  We’d love to have you.


Photo Credits:  Living the Heart of God Logo/Amazon.com/UMW Logo/Boy Scout Logo/Mom’s Group & UMM Logo-Google Images