Season of Lent, Sunday February 21, 2021

This Sunday, February 21,we will continue to worship using our zoom format, individually, but still as one body, united in Christ. Rev. Rachel Klompmaker will bring us a message based on the scriptures of Ex. 13:17-22
John 14:5-7, 15-17.

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. 21 – GPS: “God, Guns, and American Politics” presentation by Jamie Skillen. This Sunday, Jamie Skillen will present part 2 of his 2 part series: “God, Guns, and Extremism in American Politics.”  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. 28 – Refugee Support Team presentation: Advocacy for Refugees and the Role of the Church. At the GPS session on Sunday, February 28, the Refugee Support Team is pleased to offer members of COS an opportunity to engage the question, “How Will the Church Respond to Refugee Resettlement Now?’ We invite you to join us for a presentation and Q and A featuring Stacey Clack, Midwest Faith Community Organizer for Church World Services and a member of Tabernacle Church in GR.  COS has a long history of working with refugees and immigrants and will continue to do so.  But what will this look like going forward?  The discussion will be stimulating and will help to prepare new COS volunteers to assist with the arrival of new refugees in the coming months. Any questions? Contact Joel Westmaas at

Mar. 14 & 21– GPS: Kristin Du Mez, Calvin professor and author of “Jesus and John Wayne”

Children’s Ministries

Lenten Activities for Kids – Parents and grandparents of children in preschool-6th grade, I hope you will find the kid’s Lenten kits helpful in exploring 6 key stories of Jesus’ journey to the cross that are told each year in the 2nd Grade Children’s Worship room. Each week you’ll a children’s worship video for the younger kids to watch. Children in 3rd-6th grade are invited to read the stories from their Bibles and think or journal/sketch about the wondering questions I’ve included in the kit. The Lenten activities are designed to appeal to a wide range of ages, and many are projects you can work on together, like the water drop ice sculpture for this week, and the coin challenge that will stretch throughout Lent. Look for more details and links to videos in my weekly email and/or the COS Children’s Ministry Facebook Group. If you don’t get my email, or haven’t already picked up the Lent kits for kids, please send me a message to Jo at and I’ll put you on my email list or schedule a time for picking up or dropping off your Lent supplies!

Clean Water Coin Challenge!- This Lent we are partnering with World Renew to raise money for water projects around the world. Collecting coins for clean water for people in other communities is one of the many ways we’re remembering we’ve been washed clean and welcomed into the global body of Christ. During Lent you’ll find a bird bath outside of COS to collect coins. You’ll also find a coin bank included in the kid’s Lenten kit to use in collecting coins at home. Check out the World Renew clean water projects  we’ll be participating in through our coin challenge!

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 this Wednesday, Feb 24: Living the Light: practicing helpful behaviors. We hope you will join us! 

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

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. 

Are you aware of the challenges that lower income people are dealing with during these pandemic days as they struggle to maintain employment, make their incomes stretch to pay their bills and deal with steep increases in rents and other living expenses?  Do you have a passion for serving with people as they tackle these kinds of issues and seek the knowledge and resources that will contribute to their financial security?   In March COS plans to join with other partners to sponsor four 2-hour training sessions with Volunteers in Service (VIS) that we would like to offer to our members free of charge.  The training will help attendees become Financial Mentors who will be able to walk with folks who are on this difficult journey and help in a way that builds confidence and self-direction as well as basic financial management skills.  To pre-register, please contact Joel Westmaas

Financial Update: Last week’s offering and online giving: $20,914.81

Current Giving for the month of February: $88,383.68

Monthly General Fund Budget:  $112,926

Farewell to Diane Jonker – This will be the last week for Diane as our Office Coordinator. We will acknowledge and give a parting blessing for her after the morning service. If you would like to send a note of thanks to Diane for her 5 years of service, her home address is: 1664 Stilesgate SE GR 49508 and her email is

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

Our next Simply Give Campaign will be from Feb 14-April 10. Please note that the Double Match Days will be March 13 and April 3. The biggest change is that folks need to use ONE Simply Give 10.00 donation card available at COS only. And preferably On March 13 and April 3, which are the Match Days. (If you use a card from the Meijer store, the funds will not be applied only to our food pantry, but distributed citywide.) You can give money to the Simply Give account by check to COS so Ellen can purchase all the cards with that money.  Please note that you can swipe the one 10.00 Simply Give card 5 times for $50.00 or 10 times for $100.00. You do not need multiple Simply Give Cards. Thank you so much for supporting our Indoor Food Pantry.