As we look back on 2017, it’s overwhelming to see all that God has done. As a church community, we were able to reach more people than ever before, build more relationships in our city and take countless steps in growing closer to Him.
The story He’s writing in our city is impossible to capture in a single blog post, but here are just a few of the highlights from the past year, in no particular order:
The Easter Egg Hunt keeps growing! For the second year in a row, two Easter Egg Hunts were held at Mama Johnson Field. More than 5,000 people registered for the free hunt, which this year involved 30,000 eggs. It couldn’t have happened without the more than 200 volunteers who served that day.
Dinner groups became more accessible than ever this year. Monday through Sunday, there’s now a group meeting for every day of the week. And in addition to the more traditional men, women and couple’s groups, there are now family groups, an online group, and groups for middle school and high school students. Thanks to those who stepped into leadership roles this years, 550 people are now able to take part in a dinner group.
Thirty-six people took the step of baptism this year, marking the change in their life when they began following Christ.
More than 400 people came together in September to love and serve their neighbors. It was the biggest 1Day yet, with 36 projects that spanned the entire city.
Hoboken Grace began serving popcorn at Movies Under the Stars last year, and it was such a success that the city asked us back. Volunteers handed out 250 to 500 bags of popcorn each Wednesday night. It’s an easy – not to mention fun – way to love and support our community.
That’s right – dinner groups organized 114 Connection Events this year, creating even more opportunities for people to get connected. The events ranged from pizza crawls to bike rides.
This year also marked the start of monthly Community Dinners at the Hoboken Housing Authority. It’s another example of our dinner groups finding new ways to love those in our city.
We were able to support our local partners in new ways this year, such as being part of a graduation ceremony at The Open Door and throwing a party at Liberty State Park for New City Kids. In addition, many of our partners were able to visit Hoboken Grace this year.
In 2017, our missions strategy changed. Instead of traveling somewhere for a week to support the people who live there, our teams began serving the missionaries already established there, so that they could continue doing what they do best. Teams traveled to Sierra Leone, Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya and South Korea.
More than 1,100 people received Christmas gifts this year thanks to the 150 volunteers and over 1,000 donors who took part in this year’s Hoboken Christmas Exchange. It was an amazing day, with incredible stories still coming out of the event.
The Simple Service Team organized two Simple Service Saturday events, with volunteers across the city conducting random acts of kindness. They handed out hundreds of doughnuts, water bottles, granola bars and more.
The hundreds of people who serve on impact teams came together in November for Hoboken Grace’s second annual Team Gala. It was amazing to be able to celebrate all that they do!
The Grace Kids Christmas Concert was the culmination of a huge year in Grace Kids! It was also one of our biggest Sundays ever, with more than 1,000 people attending in person and hundreds watching on Livestream.
The Worship Team held its first Worship Concert this year, performing several original songs while recording a live album. The concert was something the team had dreamt and prayed about for years. And in February, it finally happened!
It’s been an amazing year, but it was only possible because of those who were a part of it and the way that God was able to work through them.
We can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store!