Pentecost Season, August 14, 2022

This Sunday:

This Sunday, August 14, Rev. Todd Cioffi will preach from Jeremiah 23:23-29 and Hebrews 11:29-12:2 in the large service. Makema Lwenge will preach in the All Nations Worship Service in Room 4.

The 10 am large service will be streamed via Zoom.

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

Church News:

Current Giving for the month of August (includes monthly ach):46,958

2021 Giving for the month of July: $78,223

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $118,873

The congregational vote held on 8/7/22 regarding the new budget and the new slate of council members resulted in both items passing with overwhelming majorities.

From Pastor Andrew: I will be taking a mini-sabbatical from ministry July 25 – Aug. 22. I am eager to spend more time with my family, to retreat, to play, and to pay attention to the Lord’s leading for the ministry year ahead. I am deeply grateful for this time away and I welcome your prayers for rest, renewal, and vision.

Naji Umran and Anne Zaki will join our August 17 dinner for a time of fellowship, sharing, and prayer. This will be our opportunity to welcome them, catch up on their ministry over these last couple of years, hear more about how God is at work, and find out where they are in need of prayer.

Spiritual Trauma Healing Group: As a community of believers, we lament the reality of spiritual trauma. Certain texts in Scripture can be twisted to cause harm, and a victim’s connection to God can be compromised. If you would benefit from a small, therapist-led group, there are two ways to take a step toward healing: 1. call or email Josh Baron, the therapist who will lead the group this Fall or 2. get in touch with Ben Videtich for further details. Going straight to Josh allows for total anonymity, as he is removed from the COS community. Touching base with Ben, if you’re comfortable with it, allows for more information before a screening email and call with Josh. We leave it to you to decide which feels right. Josh is a warm and welcoming person who holds an authentic faith, and has facilitated healing groups over his 16 years of experience as a therapist. The group will meet six Tuesdays in a row at 6-7:30pm beginning October 4th, ending November 8th, at Josh’s office – near Burton and East Beltline.

Tutors and drivers needed for Refugee Youth Tutoring program! The Refugee Youth Tutoring program provides tutoring/mentoring for our middle-school and high-school students of refugee background. No experience necessary, just the willingness and commitment to spend an hour each week with one of our students. You’ll help with homework, practice conversational English, and use the provided materials to help build your student’s skills in reading, writing, and math. Sessions take place in person at COS on Mondays, from 4:30 to 6:00. No prep necessary, and training is provided. 

If tutoring isn’t for you but you’d like to get to know some wonderful teenagers, we also need drivers! If you could drive a couple students either to or from COS on Mondays, it would be a huge help. Contact Kate Snow to learn more.

It is time to begin thinking about 2023 giving envelopes. We ask that you fill out a form which you can find in your COS mailbox (or this online form) if you would like to continue/begin receiving giving envelopes in 2023. Please plan to mail the form to COS or drop off to COS office by September 20th. If you have any questions, please contact Angelica Zahrt, Treasurer by email or by phone 616-956-7611 ext 29.

We’re delighted to welcome Monica Smith to our staff at Church of the Servant in the role of Church Administrator. Monica brings many years of administrative and supervisory experience, most recently serving as Church Administrator at First Cutlerville CRC. Throughout the interview process, Monica conveyed her dedication to ministry and service, and clearly showed her leadership, communication, interpersonal, and organizational talents. We’re thankful to Monica for taking on this important position, and thankful to the interview team for leading this process so well. Please keep Monica and her family in your prayers as they adjust to Monica’s new role. Please also pray for First Cutlerville CRC as they respond to this change as well. Monica begins her role at COS on August 15, and looks forward to getting to know more of the congregation over the coming months.

2022 marks the thirteenth year of the New Psalm Contest at Church of the Servant, but the history of encouraging new songwriters is as old as the church, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. We look forward to continuing the tradition of encouraging new songs for the church through this contest. We have enjoyed the quality and diversity of entries over the past twelve years, and we would be delighted if you would take part or spread the news to those who might have a new Psalm to share for this year’s contest.

The first place winner will receive a $500 award; the second place winner will receive a $200 award. There is no entry fee and the contest is open to all. Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by October 1, 2022. The winning songs will be premiered in worship on February 12, 2023. Learn more on the COS website.

For those with hearing aids: The large worship space includes an inductive loop system which provides a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by hearing devices with telecoils. If you use a hearing device with telecoil, you may use the inductive loop system by sitting in the center-portion of the worship space (there are maps posted on the I-beams near the back of the space). While in that space, switch your device to “T-Coil” using your accompanying smart-phone app or on the device itself.

50th anniversary Celebration. This year, Church of the Servant is blessed to celebrate its 50-year anniversary. In anticipation of this milestone, we encourage you to save Sept. 17-18 for our anniversary celebration. We will hold a celebration on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 4:30-8 pm at COS. The evening will include dinner as well as programming that looks back at our 50 years as a congregation and looks forward to God’s future of the church.

On Sunday, Sept. 18, we will gather for worship at 10 am followed by an all-church meal outside. More details and formal invitations will follow. For now, we encourage you to save the dates as we look forward to celebrating with our COS friends. Learn more at

WELCOME HOME work crews. Physical work is now needed! Amazing financial work was offered several months ago. Work now incudes removal of furniture and old stuff; thorough cleaning before interior painting;  interior painting; additional yard work around the house; some remodeling work; flooring installation; and on Monday August 15, ongoing help with pulling away limbs and branches as the hired tree trimmers work to open up the yard. We will hire a number of trades people from the community and from our congregation. Contact Marc Beversluis or Stephanie Bogema. Let us know how we can put you to work over the next 6-8 weeks as we get the house into shape. Refugees will be welcomed in that house before long!  
Marc Beversluis, chair of deacons, and Stephanie Bogema, Chair of the Refugee Support Team. 

Understanding Racism Workshop. To our brothers and sisters in Christ, CORE (Community Organizing for Racial Equity) announces our next workshop: November 10 (evening), 11 and 12. These Understanding Racism workshops are open to everyone in our congregation.  It is our hope and prayer that COS people continue in this work of understanding racism, becoming an ever brighter light in the community as to what God-led antiracism looks like. Our times are always fraught with racial tension. By attending a workshop and joining in the ongoing task of dismantling racism as a Christ follower, we can do good work together. These workshops will be held at Church of the Servant. Registration costs are covered by our COS budget. Please prayerfully consider attending. Register at

Learn More about the Jim Crow Era: The Grand Rapids Citizens’ Climate Lobby chapter is hosting a field trip and you are invited to tour the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University in Big Rapids. The Museum is the nation’s largest publicly accessible collection of artifacts of intolerance, contextualizing the dreadful impact of Jim Crow laws and customs. The Museum uses objects of intolerance to teach tolerance and promote a more just society. The Church of the Servant Anti-Racism Team organized such a trip a few years ago –and it is well worth the time. The tour is being sponsored by the Environmental Justice Committee of the Grand Rapids
Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Contact Tom McWhertor. The group will meet at 11:30 on Wednesday, August 17th and will return between 4:00 and 5 pm. Being climate change conscious, we will be carpooling. 

There is no charge and group size is limited. Registration is required:

Housing, Childcare, Mental Health, Transportation, Immigrant & Refugee Well-Being and Public Safety. Are you interested in these local issues from a policy and program perspective? There is exciting, cooperative work going on by a new organization –  TOGETHER WEST MICHIGAN.    Local churches, non-profits, businesses, and other groups are working together on each of these areas, and looking for interested people to be part of volunteer teams. COS would love to have some members involved with these research and action teams. For more information, contact Marc Beversluis, Carol Rienstra, or Lori Wiersma, or check out their web site: