This Fifth Sunday of Epiphany, Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from Isaiah 40:12-17 and 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 in Prism Combined Service in the large worship space.

Following the worship service, we invite you to stick around for an all-church meal (with cake provided by Donna Spaan in celebration of her 90th birthday!). All-church meals are a wonderful time of fellowship and food. To run the meal more efficiently, we are asking that all who are eating the meal move to the Café as soon as possible and find a seat at a numbered table. Tables will be dismissed by number to walk through the two food lines. Serving will not begin until everyone is seated.

The 10 am Prism Service will also be broadcast via Zoom. Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.   

Children’s Ministry News:

Wednesday Night Dinner and Programming continues this week! The Winter/Spring season of Wednesday Night Programming continues this Wednesday with dinner from 5:30-6:30pm and these programs from 6:30-8:00pm:

  • Nursery for children 0-1st grade
  • Girls club for 2nd-6th graders
  • Boys Club for 2nd-6th graders
  • Wednesday Night Live! for 7th-8th graders
  • A book study for adults

The Winter/Spring season dates are Feb. 8, 15, March 1, 8, 15, and April 12 and 19. Families with children in 2nd-6th grade, please plan to stay to watch your kids race their pinewood derby cars on April 19!

Welcome to the Table: Children at the Lord’s Supper Class, Feb. 26 from 11:45am-12:45pm. In this class a parent(s) or caregiver attends with their child to help them understand the significance of the Lord’s supper and its connection to baptism. For some children this class will prepare them to participate in the Lord’s supper and serve as an invitation to the table. For children already participating in the Lord’s supper, it will deepen their understanding of the sacraments and sense of belonging in the body of Christ. If you’re interested in this class, please let us know you’ll be attending by sending a note to

Church News:

Estimated Giving for January: $122,121

Current Giving for the Month of February: $900.00

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $118,873

NOTE: Our 2023 giving envelopes have been delayed by our vendor and we expect to receive them shortly. We apologize for this inconvenience but appreciate your grace as we patiently wait for them to arrive.

The 2022 tax receipts went in the mail and should have been received, please contact AJ Zahrt, Treasurer with any questions.

Deadline Extended! Parents of Children in K-12 Christian Schools: If you need financial assistance, it’s time to apply for the tuition assistance program for the 2023/2024 school year. Updated step-by-step instructions can be found here: 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 2021 taxes and meet the earlier deadlines!

Important deadlines:

  • Please submit your name using the online form by Feb 10 – This will help the team prepare for applications and track the process.
  • Submit FACTS app and documentation by March 1.
  • Mandatory meeting will take place March 22 between 6-9 pm. After your application has been received you will get an email to sign up for a meeting time.

Join the GR Classis East Racial Justice Team for a showing of “Till” and discussion following. The showing will take place at 5:30 pm on Sunday, February 5 at Celebration! Cinema: North. Learn more and purchase tickets here. The Classis GR East Racial Justice Team thanks Celebration Cinema for sponsoring this event.

Toward a Christian Response to Racism – Camelot Community Pastors invite you to join a conversation at Oakdale Park Church (961 Temple St. SE) on Saturday, February 11 at 9am. There will an opportunity to hear one pastor share about the impact of racism on his life and explore with other attenders how racism impacts all our lives.

The COS Anti-Racism Team invites the congregation to follow a prayer guide for the month of February that can be found here on the COS website. Daily prayers will be posted on the COS Facebook group.

If you are diabetic and your blood sugar is low, we keep orange juice in the kitchen refrigerator. Help yourself!

On Sunday, February 12, we will welcome Rev. Szabina Sztojka to preach in the larger worship service. Rev. Sztojka serves as Associate Minister at St. Columba’s International Church in Budapest, Hungary. Her other responsibilities in the Reformed Church in Hungary are the leadership of the church’s national Roma Ministry and the leadership and further development of the Ecumenical Diaconial Year Program (international volunteer hosting and sending program). She has years of experience working with Roma communities in Hungary. She earned her ThM degree at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. She was ordained as one of the first Roma women in the Reformed Church in Hungary. The work of reconciliation is one of her passions – she facilitates Healing Hearts, Transforming Nations reconciliation events internationally as well as developing the ministry in Hungary. Her other passion is preaching, including researching for new ways of preaching from the margins using contextual and liberation theologies (such as black theology of liberation and womanist theology). 

A weekly Alpha course will begin Sunday, February 12 at 7:30pm in the COS living room. This small group gathering is a safe space for anyone wanting to ask questions about the Christian faith – whether churched, unchurched, or dechurched. Each session begins with video to prompt discussion about questions at the core of Christian faith. If you are interested in participating, please contact Pastor Andrew ( or extend the invitation to someone you know who might be interested.

Thursday Bible Study: Come be shaped by the Spirit along with fellow siblings in faith. The Winter/Spring session of Thursday Bible Study begins soon! We will be entering into the ancient yet astoundingly relevant book of I Samuel over 12 sessions, each of which will cover a fair amount of the biblical book’s 31 chapters. The first gathering is Thursday, February 9th at 9:30 to 11am in the Cafe at COS. From there, it’s every Thursday except Maundy Thursday, April 6th, all the way through May 4th. 

The COS Prisoners in Christ Restorative Justice Monday supper conversation on February 6 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. is an overview of CCDA’s “Locked in Solidarity” awareness and action week theme “Addressing Trauma Caused by Incarceration”   To sign up, email

CORE (Communities Organizing for Racial Equity) will offer an understanding racism workshop here at COS on March 9-11 (Thursday evening, all day Friday and Saturday). These Understanding Racism workshops are designed for our local congregations and Christian organizations.  We hope and pray that COS people continue in this work of understanding racism, to deepen our insight as to what God-led antiracism looks like. Our times are always fraught with racial tension. As Christ followers joining in the ongoing task of dismantling racism, we can do good work together. Registration costs are covered by our COS budget. Please prayerfully consider attending or coming back for a refresher. Register at

King in the Wilderness: As people of faith, we recognize that institutional and systemic racism lives everywhere – in health systems, education systems, municipal systems, mental health systems, social services and in our places of worship. As we commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, the COS Antiracism Team recommends viewing this documentary on the life and work of Dr. King, “King in the Wilderness” (2018). There is so much about Dr. King’s conviction, hope and vision that is applicable and inspiring for us as believers. As Congressman John Lewis states at the end of the video, “When we see something that is not right, not fair, not just we have a moral obligation to speak up, to do something.”

Dinner Invitation Friday, Feb 10, 6:00-8:00PM, COS cafeteria!  COS missionary Rev. Dr. Eric Sarwar will be with us to share a meal and talk about his ministry in California and his native Pakistan. Eric works with the Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu-speaking communities – among those of Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu backgrounds.  His ministry is to share God’s love in Jesus, especially through shared cultural experiences of music and the Psalms. PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to attend this dinner and presentation, call, text or email Albert Strydhorst by Thursday Feb 9 – email; phone/SMS (616) 401-4341 or (616) 808-7153.

GPS Adult Ed – February 12: Making Your Home Climate Friendly: A Discussion with Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. Have you been thinking about improving the energy efficiency of your home, adding solar panels, or replacing appliances with climate-friendly alternatives? Have you wondered how best to evaluate and prioritize the different available options? Are you curious about qualifications for incentive programs (especially through the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act) that could help offset your initial costs? If your answer to any of these is ‘yes,’ then join us for the GPS at 11:45-12:30 in Room 3 on Sunday, February 12. Mark Ogland-Hand from Habitat for Humanity of Kent County will share insights and tips from the organization’s extensive experience in energy-efficient and zero-emissions homes.

GPS Adult Ed – February 19 and 26: Why is it that in the United States more than 1,000 people, particularly young Black men, are killed by the police each year?  By comparison, in England in 2019, police killed 3 people (0.5 per 10 million, as compared to 33.5 per 10 million).  In a two-part presentation, we look at “why?” The first session will examine the larger historical and structural context of policing in the United States.  The second session will look at Grand Rapids specifically and consider the local churches’ responsibility to seek the well-being of the city. Presenter Joseph Kuilema is a visiting professor in the School of Social Work at Grand Valley State University.  Before that, he taught at Calvin University for 14 years.  He was baptized at COS in 1982 and was a member for decades.

The Albaz family we are cosponsoring as a church is interested in a sewing machine. If you have one to donate, please respond Stephanie Bogema or Wilma Huyser, our Welcome Team leader, to coordinate (contact info is in the directory.)

Christian Education Assistance Team is looking for an additional 2-3 members to join the team. There are no required skills, although an understanding of spreadsheets is helpful. The main tasks of the CEA Team are to compile the list of people applying for Christian Education Assistance for the coming school year and input their information into a spreadsheet. Then based on a prescribed formula, an award amount is determined. Once the final amount is determined, the CEA Team meets with each of the families. The CEA Team reports the final amounts to the Finance Team receiving approval for the funds. The length of commitment per year is late January through early April, includes replying to emails, participating in Zoom meetings with parents, and meeting 1-2 times as a Team.