Pentecost Season, Week of Sunday, June 21, 2020
On Sunday, June 21, we will continue to worship in homes, individually, but still as one body as we seek to be prisms of God’s light in liturgy and in life. This week Pastor Andrew will bring us a message entitled “Certainty” based on the scriptures of Genesis 21:8-21 and Romans 6:1-11. Each week we will add a new post that includes a house church liturgy, messages from the pastors, resources for leaders, and media to accompany worship. Visit: coscrc.org/category/housechurch to participate in these worship activities with other COS members.
This week we also have the joy of welcoming new members to COS. Join us during our 10 am Zoom service when we will have the opportunity to welcome Maria Lam, Jacob Lando Idado Siahaan, Stephanie Bogema, Jessica LeFebre, Travis and Mariah West, Daryl and Anna Howard, Sylvia Nyamuhungu, and Bob and Marcia Fortner.
Beginning next week Thursday, June 25, HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH GROUP ZOOM MEETINGS WILL MOVE TO THURSDAYS at 8:30pm. his should allow more students to join us as we were running into several conflicts on Monday evenings. Please know that our conversations are easy to jump into at any time, so new voices are ALWAYS welcome. All students who have completed grades 8-12 are invited!
Pentecost Books! As we raise kids in America, we know the social forces that shape them—including, too often, the church—assign meaning to skin color that undermines the dignity and humanity of people of color. Over the summer, I will be recording videos of Children’s Storybooks that help our kids interpret skin color difference as God’s creative work. In this small way, I hope our church can help kids and families have more conversations that give kids the tools they will need to fight internalized racial superiority and internalized racial oppression and take their place as change-agents and peace makers in our community. Look for a story on the COS website and Facebook page on Wednesdays or Thursdays
Jesus Storybook Bible Read-Along: During the summer months children in Kindergarten-2nd Grade explore key Bible stories on a two-year cycle using the Jesus Storybook Bible. You’re invited to keep this reading pattern going through the summer by starting with the chapter titled, The Captain of the Storm. By reading one story each week, your kids will hear of the teaching and miracles of Jesus, the stories of his death, resurrection, ascension, Paul’s conversion, and the promise of the new creation. In the Jesus Storybook Bible presents these foundational stories in a way that invites conversation and wonder. I hope you’ll enjoy them together! If you don’t have a Jesus Storybook Bible at home, the church has many copies available for use. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-238-1324 to borrow a copy!
Sunday Sing-Along from 9:50-10 am: Join the Sunday worship Zoom call a little early to sing along with Karen Saupe, John Verbrugge, and Meg Voetberg! This is a great way for the kids to sing songs they love and see church leaders they miss.
Kid Zoom Calls with Ms. Karen: Check the COS Facebook group for Zoom invites from Karen Saupe for kids. These are often offered on Wednesday afternoons and include things like cat sightings, laughter, songwriting, and more!
Facilities Coordinator: Church of the Servant is looking to hire a full time (36 hrs /week) person to join our staff team and be responsible for our building’s operation and maintenance needs. Strong Facility Management experience preferred. Start date: August 17, 2020.
See the position description here. Please send your letter of interest and resume to: email@example.com by July 17, 2020.
Dark Times: Deep Grace Join us on Facebook live in the COS Facebook group each Wednesday at 8.30 pm as we read psalms of lament and pray in creative ways together. The time together includes songs, art, and words of lament as we navigate these difficult times with a sense of deep grace.
Financial Update – Last week’s offering and online giving: $15,225.40. Total Giving for the month of June (includes monthly ACH) $54,948.31 (2 Sundays left). Our monthly General Fund budget is $119,028.
Troy Bierma will finish his role as Resident Outreach Pastor for New American Ministries on June 30. In this role, Troy has worked to build relationships with New Americans at COS, deepen our cultural awareness as a congregation, think strategically about coordinating various ministries with New Americans, and nurture connections with similar ministries in Grand Rapids. Alongside this part-time position, Troy has been enrolled in a PhD program in theology and permaculture at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. He has felt led to focus his full attention on his research and writing. We will miss his presence in this official role but are grateful he and Faith and their children, Yazzie and Priya, will remain at COS. We bless the Lord for the many gifts Troy has brought to this ministry: a heart for the gospel, an inquiring mind and teachable spirit, wise pastoral instincts, genuine humility, cross-cultural experience, and a ready sense of humor. If you would like to thank Troy in writing, his home address is 2100 Elmwood Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506.
The Church of the Servant (COS) Antiracism and Reconciliation (ARRT) team, along with the Prisoners in Christ (PinC) team, commit to take action with a greater sense of urgency, and make a plea to other members of Church of the Servant to join them. Please read the entire letter here.
To our faithful blood donors – the need for blood donations has become immediate and urgent. Hospitals are scheduling elective surgeries again, and there is still the ongoing impact of COVID-19. The Main Blood Center on Fuller Ave can accommodate many donors on multiple dates, and there are other mobile drives now as well. Until we host a drive in our building, please consider donating at one of these other sites. It’s easy to make an appointment online; go to https://www.versiti.org/ways-to-give/our-communities/michigan and self-schedule. Our community thanks you!!
Celebrating our High School Seniors – COS celebrates the accomplishments of the 13 seniors who have been a part of our church family for all or many of the past 18 years—and you can help! One of our traditions is to give Bibles to our graduates that include notes of encouragement or congratulations as well as favorite Bible verses from members of COS. In lieu of writing these messages directly into their Bibles, I invite you to email personal notes to firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can collect them and distribute them to the graduates along with their Bibles. This is one of the many ways we plan to recognize our students over the next several weeks.
• Select the student(s) to whom you would like to send a note of
encouragement/congratulations/favorite Bible verse from the list
below. Choose one, a few, or maybe even all of these students!
• EMAIL this note to (or if you prefer US postal service, 6244 New Holland St., Hudsonville 49426): Annette.Ediger@coscrc.org by Sunday, July 12 (note new date)
• Annette will distribute them to the students when they receive their
High School Seniors: Rellian (formerly known as Lana) deGraaf, Anna
Devarenne, Calvin Kooyer, Graham Kort, Elena Roberts, Phoebe Ryckbost,
Rachel Sepa, Lindesy Stinton, Ella Stremler, Deborah Uredi, Jacob
Vandenbosch, Naomi Vandervelde, Rebecca Zoetewey.
A word from the Missions Support Team: The Faith-Promise pledge drive for COS missions support is being launched today, Pentecost Sunday! Please check out coscrc.org/missions for an updated, colorful, and inspiring overview of the missionaries we support. The coscrc.org/missions link is also on the COS House Church Resources, along with the Pledge form coscrc.org/faithpromisepledge and the Faith-Promise Brochure coscrc.org/faithpromise2020. We are hoping to raise $27,750 in this year’s pledge drive. Thank you for your Faith-Promise support for 2020!
COVID19 RELIEF Church of the Servant has raised significant funds in the last several weeks for relief both for some within our congregation and our friends beyond our walls, who are severely affected by the Covid19 virus. Here is a brief summary of what we have done so far. Some distributions are still in process, but on the way. We include a COS connection in most cases:
Total Gifts to Covid19 Relief Fund – $28,012
Total Gifts to Uvira Relief – $2,500.
Uvira DRC (Sepa family) $2500
Coit CRC $2,000
Nation Outside (Troy Rienstra) $500
Hessed Community CRC (Detroit, via GR Classis East) $2,000
Navajo Nation Christian Response Fund (Paul and Priskilla Brink) $2,500
Daystar University, Kenya (Facklers and Campbells) $2,500
Transformational Networks in Egypt (Umrans)
Total Covid funds sent for outside Covid relief: $12,000, with another $2500 for the Uvira congregation in the Congo (flood relief). The deacons also have substantial funds for Benevolence, more than $20,000, to help our members over the next several months.