About Us
We celebrate the diversity of God’s creation and affirm that each person has special worth as a unique creation in God’s image. All are welcome to worship here and to come into relationship with the church’s life and work. We thank God for the blessing, the challenge, and the joy that we experience in both our unity and our diversity.
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Local Church Grand Rapids MI

event flyer

The East Church, UCC Department of Music & Arts presents: Nathan Avakian in concert on Saturday, September 23 at 7:00pm.

Nathan is a songwriter, film composer, and organist based in New York City. Known for his unique blending of virtual instrument technology with organ music, Nathan’s live performances satisfy contemporary musical tastes and pay tribute to the historical legacy of the pipe organ.
Nathan’s fascination with the pipe organ began at age four with a visit to the Portland Organ Grinder, a restaurant featuring live pop music played on a massive theatre organ with all of its mechanics exposed. At age eleven he began nine years of private organ studies with Donna Parker, and he was frequently coached by Jonas Nordwall.
Since winning the American Theatre Organ Society Young Organist Competition in 2009, Nathan has provided pipe organ entertainment across the United States and internationally including performances in Australia and New Zealand (2011 and 2017), Canada (2015), and Thailand (2018). He has released several albums featuring theatre and classical pipe organs as well as virtual orchestrations. From 2011-2013 Nathan served as the Youth Representative on the American Theatre Organ Society Board of Directors managing programs that recognize and support the work of young organ students.
As resident organist and composer for the International Youth Silent Film Festival, Nathan creates music that inspires young filmmakers around the world as they reinvent the art of silent film. He helped pioneer the festival’s expansion which includes 11 regionals across the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, Montenegro, and the United Arab Emirates.
Nathan scores historic silent films for Thanhouser Company Film Preservation as well as contemporary films by various filmmakers. His music has recently been featured in web series including Makers Who Inspire (Henry Thong) and The Creative Quarantine Sessions (Alex Whittenberg). Nathan also has a growing collection of piano and organ compositions to his credit including “At The Square,” commissioned to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Jersey Journal publication in 2017.
In 2020 Nathan and his sister Claire started a songwriting business called Passing Notes writing and producing personalized songs for customers and their loved ones.
Nathan also works as a freelance theatrical lighting designer. In 2014 he received a B.F.A. degree in lighting design from Purchase College, State University of New York.
For more information about Nathan’s music, visit www.avakianmusic.com.

COVID Guidelines: Masks are recommended but not required at East Church. Please be respectful of those who choose to wear masks by maintaining distance or by wearing a mask when with them. If you are experiencing symptoms, please test and stay home. Please report to the church office if you test positive for COVID and think you may have been contagious while at church. 

Rev. Laurie Crelly and the East Church Council

We have a YouTube channel for our church services to support our remote worshippers. Click the link below to check it out.  

WE Believe

We seek to find shared beliefs that unite us in covenant and celebrate a wide variety of faith traditions.

Every Sunday


Rev. Laurie Crelly

1005 Giddings Ave SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49506

A place to belong

At East Church we’re life-long friends, new friends, family, neighborhood-close, suburb-far, young, old, single, married, kids, retired, Open and Affirming, traditional, open-minded… well, you get the idea.

Our Mission

“Empowering God’s community to grow in faith through worship, service, and learning at every age.”


East Church provides shelter for homeless families, staffs a neighborhood food pantry, and runs a community resale shop.  More on community service at East Church.

We are located in the Ottawa Hills neighborhood and participate in many nearby community events like the annual Fourth of July Hollyhock Parade and Garden Tour.

Check out what’s going on at East Church!

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    MEet Our Staff

    We journey together, leading our community of faith with a spirit of unity.

    Rev. Laurie Crelly



    Bren Elliot, M.a.

    Children and Youth Ministries Director


    Jameson Thompson

    Director of music & arts


    curtis prussner



    Primary Communities Served

    Grand Rapids

    East Grand Rapids

    Ottawa Hills

    East Town