being small is our superpower! it keeps us real.
The Road Church is an accepting & affirming community called to experience and to be God's presence everywhere. We believe that church happens wherever we are - at home, work, school, and play. We want to live into God's dream of a world where everyone and everything is made new. We want to love, serve, and give our lives to help make that happen.
We are a Jesus-centered, diverse and gifted community with a curious spirit that keeps us praying for open eyes, ears and hearts. All ages participate and folks from various denominational backgrounds have found a home. There is intentional space for questions, uncertainty and mystery here. Misfits and deconstruction are celebrated! Our "Creative Collective" explores and creates art together, sometimes treating our Sunday gatherings to spoken word performances, fresh songwriting, and visual art pieces.
The Road Church comes from the story of the Emmaus Road in Luke. Many times in our own journeys we are met by Jesus without even realizing He is with us! He is the one who reveals the truth to us, connecting our daily lives to the Big Story of Scripture. As a community who is united in our diversity, we hold on to Ephesians 4:4 (MSG) when it says ‘we're all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together both outwardly and inwardly’.
Our Biblical Posture
We approach the Bible with sincere devotion and intellectual honesty while avoiding unhelpful literalism. This ancient and diverse collection of writings is so many things-- divinely inspired, trustworthy, challenging, and beautiful-- these sacred written words are what point us to the Word of God (Christ!). However, Biblical authorship and interpretation also come to us through human hands, and are not necessarily inerrant or infallible. As Christians, we humbly rely on the Holy Spirit's help, careful study, and dialogue among diverse voices to understand and apply the Bible today.
As followers of Jesus, at The Road Church we value:
Genuineness – we are a community of sincere, unassuming people
Wonder – we embrace curiosity and ponder big questions in a spirit of growth
Openness – we welcome everyone as they are and respectfully make space for differences
Justness – we pursue peace and believe that the relief of injustice is how we exemplify love in our world
We belong to a community of churches known as the Christian Reformed Church of North America. We value the wisdom of this community and affirm the fruit of its traditions such as committed engagement with scripture, intergenerational fellowship and a commitment to responding to God's grace by bringing justice and flourishing to every corner of God's creation. However we are currently in a season of discerning disaffiliation from our denomination due to theological tensions.
faces at the Road
A large number of gifted people give generously of their time and abilities to help make The Road the community it is. Among these, we have a dedicated staff team and volunteer leadership team.
Jess Andrews (she/her)
Pastor (Faith Formation & Community)
Rich Braaksma (he/him)
MDiv, DMin candidate
Welcome! I look forward to connecting. :)
I love Jesus and people and deep conversations. We all have something to offer and are more interconnected than we think. I believe that the Church has a pivotal role to play in our world and that we must be rooted in deep love and humility, recognizing that religion has both harmed and healed. Because I have experienced both, I advocate for Christian spaces marked by trauma-informed theology and practices. I am especially passionate about the value and resilience of those who have been sold short on the expansiveness of our faith tradition-- especially those in deconstruction & queer folks. Helping to produce this year's Citywide Pride Interfaith Service was a huge highlight for me.
My background includes 15 years in Christian ministry & Christ-centered outdoor education, working as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (fly-in healthcare with an Indigenous community), and piloting a "forest school" project. I have often found the spiritual aspects of healing less readily addressed than the medical ones, which lead me to my current part-time studies, a Master's degree in Theology.
I also love hitting the Moose and West Bragg mountain biking trails with my three boys and my spouse of 18 years.