This Sunday, February 14, we will continue to worship using our zoom format, individually, but still as one body, united in Christ. Rev. Karen Campbell will bring us a message based on the scriptures of 2 Kings 2:1-12 & 2 Cor. 3:15-4:6.

We will also have the joy of premiering our first and second place winners of the 2020 COS New Psalm Contest. 

Join us for the following GPS sessions which take place after worship on Sundays.  To join, stay on the COS worship link at the conclusion of worship and join the “GPS Breakout Room.”

Feb. 14 – GPS: “God, Guns, and American Politics” presentation by Jamie Skillen. This Sunday, Jamie Skillen will present part 1 of his 2 part series: “God, Guns, and Extremism in American Politics”  

On January 6, a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, leading to five deaths, significant property damage, and a constitutional crisis. One of the most troubling aspects of the assault was that the mob seemed driven by the very symbols of American patriotism and Christian faith. In his recent book, This Land Is My Land: Rebellion in the West, Jamie Skillen explains how American civil religion has helped militias and other extremist groups shift from the fringes of conservative politics to the mainstream. In these two talks, Jamie will trace this history and suggest alternatives for Christians engaged seriously in American politics.

Feb. 21 – GPS: “God, Guns, and American Politics” presentation by Jamie Skillen
Feb. 28 – Refugee Support Team presentation: Advocacy for Refugees and the Role of the Church
Mar. 14 & 21– GPS: Kristin Du Mez, Calvin professor and author of “Jesus and John Wayne”

Remembering our Baptism through Lent

Then just six months later I baptized her.  And I felt like asking her, ‘What have I done? What does it mean? That was a question that came to me often, not because I felt less than certain I had done something that did mean something, but because no matter how much I thought and read and prayed, I felt outside the mystery of it’ Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

This year has been disorienting.  Soon it will be a full year since the pandemic began changing our lives.  Many have commented that it has felt like one long year of Lent.  What, then, should be our response as we enter into the liturgical season of Lent?  As our staff has been discerning what emphasis Lent should take on this year, we have been drawn to reconsider our baptism in Christ.  When Jesus was baptized, he experienced the divine affirmation of his identity as the beloved one.  It was from this place of deep belovedness that he entered into the wilderness.  Baptism for us is the sign of the divine autograph, the living signature of the author of our faith.  As we journey through the wilderness of the Lenten season, we will invite you to participate in remembering your baptism through various worship services, watching testimony videos and participating in youth and children’s activities.  

This season will begin on Ash Wednesday where, rather than participate in the imposition of ashes, we will invite you to remember your baptism through a zoom worship service at 7 pm.  

Rather than ‘feel outside the mystery of it’ we pray that you may feel the divine affirmation of your belovedness in Christ Jesus.

Church News 

Keeping up Our Spirits During Hard Times – On three Wednesdays this month, Corrie Vos is giving uplifting presentations focused on mental health, from 7:30 to 8:15 PM. Corrie, who is chair of COS elders and a retired clinical psychologist, will invite the participants to consider, reflect, and experience aspects of how we can provide the best care for our own mental health during these difficult times.  Corrie’s third presentation will take place in 2 weeks:
Feb 24: Living the Light: practicing helpful behaviors. We hope you will join us! 

Black History Month ideas from the COS Anti-Racism and Reconciliation Team (ARRT): As you consider Black History Month, consider some of the resources that have been collected on the anti-racism and reconciliation pages of the COS website. The site includes book, movie, video and website recommendations and links that might move to the top of your COVID reading list.

One new item there from Christians for Social Action is a recommended listing of resources for all ages compiled by Dominique Gilliard. This listing includes things to watch and read, broken into age categories. Again, during snowy COVID-limiting days, there are good resources there for all ages to help raise anew our understanding of how race has affected our society and our own lives and choices more broadly. 

Thursday morning Bible Study will begin again on February 18 at 10 am on Zoom.  We will be studying Women of the New Testament and hope to have some books available at church for pick up this week or you can order it on line from Baker (Life Guide series).  There will be no presentation each week just the Bible Study.  The first one is on Elizabeth from Luke 1 in case you don’t get a book.  Look for a link in the Friday Newsletter or contact Jane Vroon with any questions.

Financial Update: Last week’s offering and online giving (includes monthly ACH): $49,335.98

Current Giving for the month of February: $67,468.87

Monthly General Fund Budget:  $112,926

In response to the needs of many of our friends who have come to this country as refugees recently, and in preparation for new refugee arrivals expected in the coming months, the Refugee Support Team (RST) is recruiting more “Friends of New Americans.” As a Friend of New Americans, you will become a mentor and friend to a particular family, with the main goal of establishing a relationship and serving as a guide and friend to people who are making their way in a new country.  The RST is preparing information and training sessions to help you fill this important role.  To find out more contact Joel Westmaas at

or Nita VanderBerg at

Position Opening COS needs a part-time (20-24 hr/wk) Office Coordinator to begin April 15, 2021. Perfect hours for a parent of school-aged children. Required gifts and skills are:  follower of Christ, hospitable, excellent verbal and written communication, organization, Microsoft Office and church database.  The position description is posted on the COS website:

Please send your cover letter and resume by March 15 to:

Simply Give Campaign Update – In the last campaign COS collected $31,970 in Meijer Gift cards to purchase food for our in house Food Pantry.

Meijer recently alerted us that we will be receiving another Simply Give Campaign from Feb 14-April 10. More details will come but please note that the Double Match Days will be March 13 and April 3.

You can send a check for Simply Give or donate online via the church website.

Thank you so much for your generous support to keep the Pantry stocked.