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Paula Seeles and Sheena

Kavod Fellowship started as a Bible study. You helped it grow into a church where people are finding faith and belonging.

Your church planter Paula Seales met Sheena in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic while handing out masks and hand sanitizer on a street corner in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“I’m a single mother to two beautiful kids,” said Sheena.

Sheena loves being a mom, but it can be tough raising kids alone. She didn’t always have support when she needed help caring for her kids, or when she needed a listening ear after a rough day. And Sheena wasn’t the only one Paula noticed was struggling.

The pandemic only added to daily challenges, Paula said. She noticed that people were struggling with “uncertainty about the future, fear of death, and anxiety.” So she started a Bible study.

Sheena and other women started gathering every week to read Scripture, pray for, and encourage one another. Word got out, women invited family members and friends, and it wasn’t long before this gathering felt less like a Bible study and more like a church.

Kavod Fellowship gathers for Bible study

A Place to Belong

Your support through Resonate helped the Bible study transition into a church where more than 30 men and women regularly gather today. It’s called Kavod Fellowship, and it doesn’t look like a typical established church. That’s intentional for meeting people in the neighborhood who are wary of going into bigger churches. 

“We are seeking to be the church wherever people are gathered in the community, creating small communities of faith for intimacy, vulnerability, and a sense of belonging to those living in the margins. . . . It targets and attracts the unchurched and dechurched who prefer a smaller setting,” shared Paula.

Each gathering begins with a meal together. They worship, pray, and read the Bible together too. The church is also faithful about providing food and other necessities for members and others in the community. They also serve with local homeless shelters.

Kavod Fellowship members line up at a table where food is being served

Changing Lives

Less than three years later, several people have shared that God has changed their lives through Kavod Fellowship.

Sheena will be the first to tell you what Kavod Fellowship means to her: “This ministry has been life changing for me, and it has empowered me in many ways, helping me to believe in myself and encouraging me on some of the worst days of my life,” she said.. “It has been a blessing to be surrounded by good, loving people who love the Lord and want to teach and bring people closer to God.”

"Since I started attending Kavod, my faith in God has deepened,” shared another member.

“I feel loved and valued, and God is using my gifts,” shared another.

Thank you for supporting this budding church through Resonate! Will you please pray for this church? Your church planter asks you to “pray that we will continue to reach the lost, and those who are unchurched and dechurched, so that they become committed Christ followers.

Photos courtesy of Deb Hoag