Grand Rapids, Michigan

Staff

Pastor Bob Boersma - Pastor of Worship and Leadership

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Pastor JB Wernlund - Pastor of Outreach and Congregational Life

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Rachel Katje - Church Administrator

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Kris Timmer - Director of Worship

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Jennifer Sterk - Director of Children's Ministries

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Jennifer Timmer - Director of Women's Ministries

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Katie Ruis - Fellowship Director

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Jill Boersma - Director of Middle School Youth (Y.B.C.'s)

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Vonnie Verduin - Director of High School Youth

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Jill Crosby - Director of Kids' Hope USA

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Keri Penning - Administrative Assistant (Tuesday and Thursday)

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Pam DeWitt - Administrative Assistant (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

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Pastor Bob Boersma

I was born in the Chicago area to parents who raised their 8 children to value hard work, laughter, relationships and most of all a strong abiding faith in Christ.  My wife and I married young and quickly had three children--Brent, Jason and Meghan.  Today our family includes 7 grandchildren and they are the joy of our hearts.  As someone has said, “Grandchildren are God’s reward for not killing your teenagers.”  So true, what a joy and blessing they are.

Some of my best education happened as I drove a truck in Chicago for 9 years but at age 28 we felt called to pursue ministry of some kind.  We began our eight year journey through Trinity Christian College (BA in psychology) in 1983 and finished it at Calvin Seminary (Master’s of Divinity) in 1992.  We spent our first 14 years of ministry serving a small CRC church in Parchment, Michigan where the pastor gets to wear all the ministry “hats.”  God taught me many important lessons about ministry there, the most important being my “strength is in my weakness”--my complete dependence on God’s grace and help (2 Cor. 12). I continue to learn that lesson.  Ten years ago God called me to serve Him at Providence CRC which has been a joyful journey of using and developing past skills and developing more dependence.

By nature I am easy going and extroverted. I love to work hard, to hang out with people, to tease and to have fun.  I sometimes am accused of being a big kid—guilty as accused. As for fun, I have always loved sports and still indulge in golf, racquetball and recently pickelball.  I also enjoy reading, learning and working on cars and around our house.

I have greatly enjoyed my ministry at Providence and we are blessed to have become a healthy church in many ways and we are enjoying the fruit of growth.  Ministry is demanding work but I truly enjoy my job description of leading our staff, preaching the word, prayer, walking beside and caring for people, and developing mission and ministry.  I especially enjoy seeing people come to discover God’s love and to grow and heal.  We are blessed with a gifted and passionate staff that works very well together and is committed to our vision and strategies.  I love the Providence family and hope the Lord allows me to serve here for many more years.

If God calls you here, we would love for you to become a part of Providence and enjoy the love of our church family.

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Pastor JB Wernlund

I was born in Chicago, IL.  Shortly after my family to a suburb of Milwaukee, WI – Brown Deer where my dad served as Pastor for over 20 years.  In 2001 I moved to Holland, MI where I attended Hope College eventually graduating with a BA in Religion in 2005. After graduation I move to Chino, CA to serve as the Pastor of Youth and Outreach. It was actually at church that first Sunday where I met my amazing wife, Evonne.  After 2 years of youth work in Chino, CA we moved across the country to Holland, MI where I began my studies at Western Theological Seminary. Shortly after graduation in 2010, I came on staff at Providence and have had a blast serving here ever since.  Our daughter, Emmalynn Grace was born during the summer of 2013 and has been a blessing to our family.

I enjoy spending most of my down time with my family.  We love spending time together as a family – especially trips to the park, zoo, or Meijer Gardens.  We also enjoy books or a good movie with fire in the fireplace.  I have several personal interests and hobbies as well.  Music has a place in my heart and I enjoy playing guitar, and attempting to play piano, and usually while singing my heart out.  I, also love spending time with extended family and friends where there is sure to be lots of laughter.  Most weeks I will also spend some time playing sports.  My favorite is probably basketball with ultimate Frisbee a close second, but I will also ‘dabble’ in softball, football, and most recently I took up golf (just don’t ask PB about my handicap ). If you are looking for more obscure interests and hobbies you will be happy to note that I enjoy the art of origami (paper folding) and participating in improvisational comedy.

Evonne and I feel so blessed to be part of the Providence family since the fall of 2010.  For us as a family one of the most important things we were looking for in 2010 was a church we could truly call home.  With both of our families being in different parts of the country we knew we needed a church family that would love and encourage us as we serve the Lord together.  Providence has become a second family for us and this is one of the greatest joys of serving this church.

As Pastor of Outreach and Congregational Life there are many aspects of my work that I enjoy greatly.  I absolutely love being able to study God’s Word and listen to what the Spirit is trying to communicate to me and God’s people.  I enjoy the process of listening and mapping out a plan and vision for the future in our many Outreach ministries.  I love music and worshipping our Lord through the gift of song!  Mostly, I love being able to interact with the people of this church family!  I truly believe that the Holy Spirit does some of His best work in our relationships with one another!  We are called to do life together and I truly enjoy witnessing and participating in how the Spirit works as Providence does life together.  That is why it is exciting to plan programs and events that create those spaces for new relationships to begin, grow and thrive.  Yes, there are also struggles but this is the stuff that makes it all worth it! 

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Rachel Katje

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Greetings!  My name is Rachel Katje. I am married to Kyle and we have been blessed with 3 amazing miracles: Kenyon, Kaylee, and Kolton. I love spending time with my family and friends.  I feel so privileged to be able to work with the body of believers here at Providence Church. Although our family has a different home church, I have quickly grown to love the Providence Church family and staff. My passion is to see people encouraged, supported, and flourishing in their work and lives.  I love organization, detail work, and people.  It’s a unique combination to be sure, but my hope is that God uses these loves to help staff members thrive and experience joy in their work.

 

Kris Timmer

I have been married to Ed for 40 years and we have two sons, two daughters-in-law, and a daughter and son-in-law.  We also have seven grandchildren.  As a family, we enjoy playing games together and being entertained by the grandchildren.  I love to read, work in the yard and watch Tiger games and Michigan football.  I was raised in a family that was always involved in church music and that led to my interest in making worship more than just a ritual that we do every week.   It is humbling to me how God always uses our planning and choosing of songs and other elements in the services to make each one fit together to enable His people to praise Him and be encouraged in their Christian lives.  I also enjoy working with the many people who regularly use their gifts in the different areas that are needed to make our Sunday worship experiences meaningful.

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Jennifer Sterk

I am married to Dan Sterk. We have been married since 1994 and met in high school. We have twins who keep our lives busy and fun!  I like people and being involved in most areas of kids’ ministry. I enjoy camping, scrapbooking, reading and music of all kinds.  I love being involved in the ministries here at Providence CRC. My favorite thing about my job is the interaction with others. I love to work on new ideas and see the excitement involved in planning something. I enjoy seeing people working together to use their talents. It is really awesome to see God's family come together to accomplish the same goal.

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Jennifer Timmer

 

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Katie Ruis

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Jill Boersma

Hello!  My name is Jill Boersma.  I am married to Jason and we have 4 beautiful children.  We have 3 biological daughters and a son adopted from Ethiopia in 2012.  They keep us on our toes and teach us everyday about true surrender and reliance on God.  My passions are spending time connecting with people, thrift shopping, singing, and connecting with and encouraging other moms who have children with special needs.  I never expected God to call me into the life of youth ministry.  I have volunteered for years in church youth group and Young Life but God called me into a leadership role in 2014.  I love middle school youth!! They keep me young and have such a passion and drive for all things wild and crazy.  My greatest joy is to see youth discover their unique passions and gifts God has given them and feel confident to serve in those areas and further their walk with Christ.  I want our youth to see they are loved, wanted, and created for God's purpose.

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Vonnie Verduin

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My name is Vonnie Verduin.  I have the privilege of being the High School Youth director here at Providence.  I am blessed to be able to get to know your children and build relationships with them that I pray will encourage them in their Christian walk.  Our focus in youth group is to remind our teens how much value they have in God’s eyes and how He created them for His purpose.  We work towards helping them learn what each of their unique gifts are from God and help them each figure out how to use them for His kingdom.  Along the way have a lot of fun with bi-monthly meetings, service projects, fun events and just hanging out!  Building confidence in their Christian walk and having a servant heart go hand in hand with building relationships, service and having fun!  I truly love working with High School Youth!

 

A little bit about myself…I am mom to four amazing children and a son-in-law.  My greatest calling is to be a Mom!  I have always been a part of this community as I was raised right down the street in the big “town” of Dutton.  For fun I enjoy camping, watching my kids participate in sports, reading a good book, playing the piano and spending time with friends and family.  I am fiercely competitive and love to challenge anyone to a game.  Music speaks to my soul and I enjoy the old hymns as much as the newer praise music. 

 

My faith journey is a story in itself.  I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home and attend Christian schools.  While my life did not take the path I had dreamed about as a young girl, I know that God has a plan for my life and I am a chosen daughter of the King!  He has brought me through personal struggles and brokenness and has given me Joy in this journey we call life.  I see my life story as a tool God can use to be real and honest with others and be able to say “I get it” and say with confidence that “God will never leave you”. 

 

I look forward to the opportunity to meet and get to know with your High School Youth!

 

Jill Crosby

Hi, my name is Jill Crosby and I’m the Kids Hope USA director here at Providence. I love the work I get to do through Kids Hope! I have a passion for sharing Christ’s love through the building of relationship, and that is what I work to do with the staff and students at Glenwood Elementary. I have a heart for children who struggle academically, because I myself have struggled with the learning disability of dyslexia. God has made us all beautiful and brilliant in our own ways and I want to instill that truth in the kids I work with. God has been with me through all of the struggles and joys of my life. In September 2015 I married Michael Crosby. I am thoroughly enjoying God’s good gift of marriage and I'm excited to see how He will continue to lead Michael and I through our journey of life. In our free time together, Michael and I enjoy being with our friends and family, reading, attending BSF, watching movies, and cooking.

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Keri Penning - Administrative Assistant

I was born and raised in the Caledonia (MI) area. I am married and have a son who definitely keeps us laughing! I enjoy many things, but one thing of the biggest is spending time with the people I love. Another thing I have fun doing is office work and almost everything it entails. Working here at Providence combines those two things in a great way: working on many things related to an office environment, and doing so alongside people I’ve come to care for deeply. I am far beyond blessed and grateful to be a part of this family in a handful of capacities – as one of the secretaries, co-coordinating the ins and outs of our nursery for our smallest church members, and accompanying on the piano every now and then. When I’ve got down time, you will more than likely find me spending time with my little family at home or catching up on overdue visits with friends.

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Pam DeWitt

I have been happily married for over 30 years.  We have been blessed with children and grandchildren who are the light of my life. I enjoy camping with family, reading and playing with my grandchildren.  Although I worship elsewhere, I feel privileged to be part of the staff at Providence.  The staff and church family are very friendly and easy to work with.  I have seen the way God is working in the years I’ve been here.  I am thankful to be able to support the staff and the church family here at Providence Church.

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