Happening This Sunday

This Sunday begins a series of GPS events exploring different issues surrounding gender and sexuality.

Our first session is ‘Growing Good Fruit in the Soil of Difference’.  Our co-pastors will interview some of our elders and other congregational members on positive ways they have learned to engage with difference.  The purpose is to encourage our congregation to consciously set good self postures of humility, gentleness, patience and speaking the truth in love towards each other. Learn more at coscrc.org/sexuality

College-Age/Young Adult Ministry –If you’re a post-high school young adult, you’re invited to the Klein’s for lunch and discussion following the worship service. Find the group of young adults near the welcome kiosk at the front entrance of the building to arrange rides. If you have a car and are willing to offer rides we would greatly appreciate it! 

February 24 –the Justice Class will meet  today to finish the “proximate justice” series we have been doing for the last few sessions, based on readings from the Public Justice Review, published by the Center for Public Justice, Vol. 8, Issue 4, 2018, “Making Peace with Proximate Pluralism”– Https://Www.Cpjustice.Org/Public/Page/Content/Public_justice_review.

We will address essays 5 & 6 on the 24th (Berkeley and Covington).

Next Sunday

Reminder: next week is IGSS! We are mixing things up next week. Children in grade six and younger should report to the youth room at 9 AM. Those who are in grade 7 and older can report to the café area, as usual. Part of our time next Sunday will be spent listening to some of the discoveries that were made by our high school students at their winter retreat which is taking place this weekend and is focused on gender, sexuality, and the church.

Church News

You can be a lifesaver…literally! By donating blood, you share your gift of life so someone else can have that needed surgery or transplant, recover from an accident, or even live with a chronic blood disease. Be one of our 40 lifesavers on Monday, March 11, when we have a blood drive here in our building, 2-7PM. We are seeking new donors as well as urging our faithful ‘established’ donors to schedule an appointment. Call 866-642-5663 or visit versiti.org or sign up on the poster in the cafe. Questions? Talk with Beth Karanicola or Ruth Huisman.

The ESL Women’s Bible study meets this Thursday, February 28 from 10am to 11:30am.  We will study the life of Joseph this spring.  Join us for lively discussion and sweet fellowship.  Childcare is provided.  Questions?  Contact Barbara Hampton.

Faith Promise Missions Sunday March 10.  Our last Faith Promise Missions appeal was in the Fall of 2017. Since then, we have received almost $48,000 in Faith Promise support. Thank you for such generosity!  During this year and a half, we have supported 17 COS missionaries from this fund.  Feel free to browse the missionary bulletin board at the back of the sanctuary to become reacquainted with them.  Sunday March 10 will be our next Faith Promise appeal.  More details and a Faith Promise Pledge form will be coming next week.  

Join the liturgical dancers for the Lenten season. Dancers 5 and up are welcome to join us, although younger dancers will need to leave Children’s Worship to dance. New dancers are ALWAYS welcome! Rehearsals will be held Saturday, March 2, at 10AM and Thursday, March 7, at 7PM. The dance will begin on Sunday, March 10. Any questions, contact Julie Yonkers at julie.yonkers@sbcglobal.net or 616-901-4835. 

Wondering what it sounds like when songs of celebration are offered in five different languages? Come to the party on April 7 and find out! #bes10thbirthdayparty

March ARTery Gallery Opening Event

Mark your calendars for Monday, March 11 at 7pm for our next gallery opening event, featuring Grand Rapids artist Jordan Smith and a conversation with Matt Provoast & Erika Townsley, owners of Light Gallery & Studio, about the relationship and role of their gallery in helping establish emerging artists. The event is free with a suggested donation of $5/person. The evening will feature live jazz by members of COS and a chance to peruse the gallery over appetizers and wine (available by purchase of drink ticket). Please join us for this wonderful opportunity to experience art in community! RSVPs on our COS facebook event page are appreciated.

The Thursday Bible study meets this week Thurs. February 28, 2019.  This week’s study: RUTH 2: A Meeting in the Barley Field. We meet Thurs. 9:30–11am, in the café area.  Childcare provided.  ALL ARE WELCOME!

Touring the Jim Crow Museum, March 23rd: The COS Anti-racism and Reconciliation Team is taking a field trip to the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University on Sat. March 23 –and you are invited to join the trip. We will meet at COS at 10:30am to carpool to the museum in Big Rapids, with a guided tour scheduled from 12-2pm. This trip is for high school seniors and adults only and the guided tour is limited to 25 people. We hope a good number of COSers will join us! RSVP to Arend Vander Pols before March 18 (but before all the spaces are filled). 

Date change for tuition assistance meeting for parents of children in K-12 Christian Schools: The mandatory face-to-face meeting will take place March 27 between 6-9 pm.  PLEASE NOTE THE NEW DATE!  After your application has been received you will get an email to sign up for a meeting time.

If you are in need of financial assistance, it’s time to apply for the tuition assistance program for the 2019/2020 school year. Updated step-by-step instructions can be found here: coscrc.org/education. Application is completed online; you will find the direct link to the COS FACTS page on the website. Don’t wait for your taxes; apply now using 2017 taxes and meet the earlier deadlines!
You should have submitted your name using the online form by Feb 1. Submit FACTS app and documentation by March 1.

If you are scheduled for surgery, experiencing illness, loss, or have any pastoral needs, we encourage you to let your parish care team, a staff member or the church office know. This will allow us to be the hands and feet of Christ to you, to support you in public or private prayer, through the bulletin prayer list, or helping with other needs you may have. If you are uncertain of who your elder/deacon is, you can find a list inside the front page of the directory or on the church website under the heading Ministry Teams.

An update regarding financials for month end included the following activity:

January 2019

                                  Actual                 

Receipts              $ 81,727

Expenditures       136,659

Income (Loss)    $ (54,932)

The general fund balance on January 31 was reported at $67,676.  

2018-19 Monthly budgeted receipts were expected to be $119,028. This requires general fund giving to be $29,757 each week. Our January receipts were $81,727.  This was a weekly average of $20,432.

Registration is open for the March 7-9 Understanding Racism Workshop. These workshop experiences are designed to explore the deep racial complexity of the United States and begin to explore paths for reconciliation. Our goal is to gain insight in understanding systemic racism through the eyes of faith and Scripture.

We encourage all leaders and members at Church of the Servant to attend one of these workshops. This effort helps us to become focused and work together to address one of our country’s greatest troubles. Register on line at CORRnow.org.