Old First Reformed Church

Brooklyn, New York

You can find peace amid the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn in the always-open doors of Old First Reformed Church. The church has a rich history dating back to the original Dutch settlers of the 1600s. Today its congregants are passionately engaged in local mission and outreach.

Their Hurricane Sandy relief kitchen made 200,000 meals for storm victims. During summers, they host a respite shelter for homeless men. Every August they offer an arts-based approach to Scripture and spirituality for children called “The Seed Is the Word.”

Whether your team wants to help renovate the magnificent, cathedral-like, neo-gothic church building (a long-term restoration project is under way), assist in creative arts programs, minister to people on the streets, or just plain live out God’s love with people, you will find that God is inviting you to be a part of the great things going on in this community. Come share the gospel and see the world through the eyes of Old First.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. —Acts 2:42

Opportunity type: 
Volunteer opportunities: 

Volunteers of all ages and skill sets are needed for the following projects/ministries:

  • Renovating the church building.
  • Hosting and cooking for homeless men at the church’s respite shelter and working with homeless panhandlers.
  • Volunteering at New York City mission organizations.
  • Assisting in August with children’s programming.
  • Any combination of the above.

Groups sleep in the church, where showers are available.

Food: Groups purchase and make their own meals in the church kitchen.

Group size - maximum: 
Cost notes: 

Volunteers pay all of their own costs, including food and subway fare for excursions. Teams often donate renovation supplies as well. (RCA Volunteer Engagement Program staff will help to determine the final cost.)

Nearest airport: 

LaGuardia and JFK Airports

Packing suggestions: 

Sleeping bags, clothing, food, and renovation supplies

Free day suggestions: 

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, visit Coney Island, and explore Manhattan.

Contact information: 

For more information, contact the Volunteer Engagement Program staff.

Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about the RCA's short-term mission opportunities for individuals and groups, please get in touch with us.

The best way to reach our team is to email shortterm@rca.org or call (616) 698-7071. One of the members of our team will be able to connect with you right away.

Stephanie Soderstrom

Coordinator for Short-Term Mission

Molly Towne

Short-Term Mission Placement Specialist

Erika Spykman

Administrative Assistant

Cultivate is a program for 18- to 25-year-olds to partner with RCA missionaries for a summer or a full year and see how God is at work in another part of the globe.