Third Sunday of Advent, December 12, 2021

This Sunday:

This Sunday, in indoor worship at COS, Rev. Karen Campbell will preach from Zephaniah 3:14-20 in the standard English service. Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from Zephaniah 3:14-20 in the Basic English Service in Room 5.

We invite you to sign up to attend the morning service. Please note on the sign up that masking is now required for those over 2 years old. The 10 am service will also be live via Zoom. Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

Children’s Ministry News:

Calling Musicians, Angels, Shepherds, and Wise People for the 2021 Christmas Eve Service! Our 5:00pm Christmas Eve Service is back in person this year! This beloved tradition shares God’s big story of rescuing the world through Jesus Christ! Your family as a place in this story too! Stop by the café today after caroling and cookies to sign your children up to play or sing in the musical prelude and a character role in the service! Plan on two rehearsal times—the first is on Dec. 19th from 11:45am-12:30pm (in lieu of clubs) all children will choose costumes and practice their parts for the service. The second will be right before the Christmas Eve service at 3:00pm on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24! Along with children, we’ll also need some parents to play simple roles, so please consider signing up as a family!  

Dec. 12: Sunday School–Meet at Door M, 11:45-12:30pm. This week is Sunday school, so please send your children to door M (near the restrooms in the Artery) to eat a snack outside on the small patio (where we’ll have a heater on) before class begins. This will be our new gathering place on Sunday School and Club Sundays, so you won’t have to remember which classroom to go to on which Sundays… Door M is all you’ll need to know! After programming, please pick your children up in the café.  

Dec. 19: Christmas Eve Service Rehearsal—Meet at Door M, 11:45am-12:30pm. After meeting at Door M for a snack, we’ll head to the SES sanctuary and the classrooms behind the mailboxes to choose costumes and do our first run through! Parents with young children are welcome to help!

Church News:

Gathering to Love; Gathering to Give: The COS pledge drive for 2022 is now at the pledging stage. So far, we have received 26 pledges totaling $210,720.  We would like to complete the drive by the end of December, so please take a few minutes this week to complete your pledge. We are hoping for about 200 pledges totaling $1,000,000. Won’t you join us in this effort to serve faithfully and gratefully.

COS Finances as of 12/1/21. YES, your pledges are needed for 2022. BUT we still need the funding for this year still for the ongoing great work COS is doing. You have noticed that during September to November that the general fund receipts are down significantly, roughly by $80,000 total. This has triggered some cuts in expenditures, based on the general fund dropping to about $25,000.

    Right now, actual payments on pledges for year 2021 are $157,000 below the pledged amount for 2021. December, however, is historically when we catch up!

    So…NOW—December—is that time to catch up. We as members of this body of Christ, a covenant community, are counting on all of us to help with that giving—those who pledged and equally importantly those who give outside of pledging.

    See the link below for giving. Or bring checks next week, or contact our faithful treasurer Angelica Zahrt for help Email Phone 616-956-7611 ext 29

    Thanks, from COS executive team, and the Finance Committee.

Online giving link

Church of the Servant is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 New Psalm Contest:

First Place goes to “A Refuge of the Weary Saints” (Psalm 46)

written by Elise Massa (lyrics adapted from Isaac Watts).

Second Place goes to “Come and See what God Has Done” (Psalm 66)

written by Seth Koerner.

We will premiere both winning entries in our worship service on Sunday, February 6, 2022. Learn more about the psalm contest and this year’s winners here.

O Antiphons Advent worship service Sunday, December 19 at 6 pm. This Advent season, instead of a Lessons and Carols service, we plan to hold a service of reflection on the O Antiphons. The O Antiphons are ancient prayers that likely date to sixth-century Italy that were composed for use in evening prayer services on the last seven days of Advent. They are best known to us as the seven verses of the advent hymn, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Our service will feature visual artwork created by COS artists and poetry or spoken reflections for each antiphon. The service will also include scripture, prayer, music, and time for silent meditation. 

The covid task force of council is carefully monitoring the high transmission rate of covid in Kent County. We’ve also been tracking in-person worship attendance in both services – which has steadily grown (save last Sunday for the holiday weekend). We continue to prayerfully discern ways we can love one another during this ongoing pandemic. One way is by ensuring Sunday morning worship services do not exceed 50% capacity for the room. Toward that end, we are requesting that worshippers who regularly participate in the SES consider worshipping in the BES for the season of Advent. There is a bit more room in the BES worship space, and this may also serve as a good opportunity to join in worship with members of our congregation who you might not know as well. Will you and your family consider joining this worshipping community of COS for a few Sundays?

Last year, during lockdown church musicians collaborated on a collection of freshly composed songs to share with our congregation culminating in the CD ‘Your love dispels our fear’.  If you would like to purchase one of these for Christmas, you will find a stall at the advent craft stations in the cafe. The cost of the CDs is $10. Learn more about the recording, as well as the digital version of the CD here.

The Thursday Bible Study continues to meet. We meet Thursdays in the COS cafe area, 9:30 – 11:00 am. Our focus this week, December 16 is Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 “What Makes Life meaningful?”

SAVE THE DATE: GPS Session: 11:30 am. Jan 23, with Peter and Annica Quakenbush on Green (or natural) Burial. What is it? What does it involve? Why would one consider this? What are the future implications? Join us, the Creation Care Team, for this presentation and discussion. If you have questions, contact Steve Mulder or Elaine Hoekstra.

Scripture reading: As we continue into our season of Advent and move into the new calendar year, we invite more people to serve as Sunday morning scripture readers. If you would like to read scripture during a morning worship service, please sign up here. Or find the signup on the church website under the “worship” heading.