Second Sunday of Advent, December 5, 2021

This Sunday:

This Sunday, in indoor worship at COS, Rev. Karen Campbell will preach from Malachi 2:17-3:4 in the standard English service. Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from 1 Corinthians 15:16-26 in the Basic English Service in Room 5.

This Sunday, we have the joy of welcoming new members to Church of the Service. Join us in welcoming Alusine & Mariama Bundu and their children Amadu, Princess, Alusine Jr. and Mariama; Yohan & Yeni Lee; Lucas Van Drunen & Rachel Visser, and their children Ruben, Asher, Iris, and Juni; and Jeff Vander Berg. Read their bios here.

This Sunday, December 5, we will have a carol sing around our newly constructed bonfire pit at the north side of the building. This replaces our annual Christmas brunch. Bring a lawn chair and join us at 11:45 for rousing Christmas songs! There will be several tables inside set up with crafts for the kids. And grab a cookie while out there.

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: 5 Advent & Christmas Crafts in the Café, 11:45am-12:30pm. This Sunday’s Cookies & Carols event also includes crafts for kids in the café! After caroling and munching on cookies around the bonfire outside, kids are welcome to come indoors to warm up and make a Hershey’s kisses Advent calendar, a paper advent banner, and more! The craft stations will be open from 11:45am-12:30pm. Parents are welcome to come help their younger kids enjoy making art.

Dec. 12: Sunday School–Meet at Door M, 11:45-12:30pm. Next 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:

Last week’s offering and online giving:  $13,064.04

Current (Est) Giving for the month of November: $86,525.06

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $118,873

Fiscal Year Report

The COS deacons thank all who supported the ministries of Coit Community Church by giving on Thanksgiving. The offering totaled $6936.51 as of 12/01. Coit is very grateful for COS’s support whenever they receive it. 

Gathering to Love, Gathering to Give: This month, we are beginning a reflection on our financial giving this year and next. The Stewardship Team invites you all to think and pray as we each consider our responses to God’s generosity towards us. As God loves us, so we must show love and support to one another. In December we will ask each individual or household to make a promise, a pledge, about giving to COS in 2022. Literature will be available to guide you, and pledge forms will be available in the building and online in the Giving section of the COS website.

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 9 is Ecclesiastes 11:1 – 12:8 “Is it Worth the Risk?”

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?

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.

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.

Listening Circle Signups Closed for Now. Because of your strong support and interest, we have closed signups for now for the listening circles responding to Synod’s Human Sexuality Report. There are enough participants for over 12 circles, and we are grateful. We will be contacting participants soon with more details.

Advent Art returns to the Artery with two shows. One is Advent Art by our own Virginia Wieringa. You must spend some time enjoying the beautiful colors and patterns she uses to tell the Christmas story. Contact Virginia if you are interested in purchasing any of her work. Second is a unique Advent Calendar created by Carole Kane from Northern Ireland She is a friend of Pastor Karen Campbell. Artwork for 25 days of Advent are shown along with a QR code which will take you to a video created by Carole to enhance the art. At the end of Advent, the calendars will be for sale for $25. Contact Betsy Ratzsch for information. Make a trip through the Artery part of your Advent celebration!

The Refugee Support Team invites you to help us in co-sponsoring Shahad Al Douri, a recent refugee from Iraq.  She is single, 28, and has an aunt here in GR.  While we do not expect that she will need the same level of support as a large family, we would like to offer more COS members an opportunity to serve in this ministry. If you would like to help with extending friendship, setting up Shahad with household items, etc., please contact Nita Vanderberg or Jon Bruss.

Meijer Simply Give Campaign for COS. COS has been awarded another campaign to support our In-House Food pantry. The double day will be on Saturday, December 11. This where your $10.00 purchase of the Simply Give gift card will give COS $30.00 in Meijer gift cards to be used to purchase food items from Meijer for our pantry. For those who want Ellen Westrate, Food Coordinator, to purchase the Simply Give cards on December 11, please give your money or a check to COS in an envelope to Ellen Westrate labeled Simply Give.

The Prisoners in Christ Restorative Justice Team will not be collecting presents or funds for the Prison Fellowship The Prisoners in Christ (PinC) Restorative Justice Team will meet on Thursday evening, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. Anyone interested is welcome. Contact Arend VanderPols for the Zoom link and agenda.