Christmastide, January 1, 2023

This Week:

Sunday, January 1, in our 10 am Prism Combined Worship Service, Rev. Karen Campbell will lead us in a New Year’s reflection of art, scripture, and prayer as we hear God’s word from Isaiah 43:16-21 and Hebrews 2:10-18.

The 10 am service will also be broadcast via Zoom.

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.   

Church News:

On New Year’s Day, all children ages 2.5 to 2nd grade will be blessed before continuing worship in either the Youth Room or the All Nations Sanctuary (the final location will be announced on Sunday). All the Little Lambs and Children’s Worship classes will remain together to hear the story and respond through artwork. Children will check in the usual way, so please bring your pick-up ticket to the youth room/All Nations Sanctuary to pick up your child(ren) after the service.

Church News:

Current Giving for the Month of December as of December 29: $119,290

Giving for the month of November: $103,971

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $118,873

There currently are 101 pledges totaling $644,740. This is an average of $6,384 per pledge. Last year on December 21st we had 62 pledges totaling $431,130.

2023 Pledges: Thank you to those who made a pledge to give regularly to the general fund in the coming year. So far, 106 pledges totaling $671,740 have been received.  Please, if you have not yet made your commitment to give to COS in 2023, do so before the end of the day, Sunday, January 1st. Find the online pledge form here and click on the link: “Pledging for 2023”. or fill out a form (available on the tables with church bulletins or on the counter in the cafe) and leave it in the church office.

Upcoming Services: The sacrament of baptism reminds and assures us that “as surely as water washes away dirt from the body, so certainly [Christ’s] blood and his Spirit wash away . . . all [our] sins” Sunday, January 8, we will welcome David Wilson, Sabrina Wilson, David Wilson Jr, Ethan Wilson, Emily Harvey, and Jacob Harvey into Christ’s Church through the sacrament of baptism. In the service, we will also welcome into membership Eric, Malorie, Sawyer, and Eloise Venlet.

Sunday, January 15, we will participate in the ordination service of Klaas Walhout as a Minister of The Word for his role as Chaplain at Mercy St. Mary’s Hospital.

Dancers: Join us for the opening song, “Christ Be Our Light” for Epiphany season beginning next Sunday, January 8. Rehearsals will be Thursday, January 5 at 6:30 PM and Saturday, January 7 at 10 am. Any questions, contact Julie Yonkers.

E-GReen Sustainability Initiative is hosting another free E-Waste and Foam Packaging Recycling Day in East Grand Rapids Saturday, January 7, 2023, from 11:00 am-1:00 pm at the EGR Public Works Parking Lot (2310 Reeds Lake Blvd SE, near Remington Park). Foam packaging that will be accepted is #6 expanded polystyrene (EPS) which mostly comes from food and beverage containers and electronics and furniture packaging. Look for a triangle with the number 6 inside. Please look at what is and is not recyclable, and make sure it is wiped clean. Packing peanuts will be accepted in plastic bags, but only one peanut type or color per bag. Our partner, Atlas Molded Products, will recycle the #6 expanded polystyrene (EPS). Also, our partner, Padnos will be collecting computers, laptops, tablets, circuit boards, hard drives, cell phones, VCRs, DVD players, video game systems, printers, miscellaneous wire, and holiday string lights. *NO CRTVs or monitors at this event. Padnos is a registered & certified e-Scrap Recycler.

Be a Beacon of Hope! A blood transfusion can literally be the gift of life. No one plans to be in a car accident, or have emergency surgery. But if that happens, and blood is needed, it’s too late to recruit a donor. A good supply of blood at all times is critical. So be your most generous self – donate blood!  Our first drive of the year is coming up: Monday, January 9, from 2-7 pm in our church cafe. Follow this link to the online schedule:  If you are already signed up, would you ask a family member or friend to join you in donating? Most people donate for the first time after receiving a personal invitation or by knowing someone who needed blood. Questions? Contact Beth Karanicola or Ruth Huisman. THANK YOU!

CORE Workshop: Community Organizing for Racial Equity has two workshops planned for the New Year. Starting on January 11, CORE will lead a 6-week Wednesday night zoom workshop from 6-9 pm. Then, on March 9-11, there will be a traditional in-person workshop here at COS. (Thursday evening, all day Friday and Saturday). These Understanding Racism workshops welcome everyone in our congregation. It is our hope and prayer 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 and 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

Anyone is invited to read scripture in our worship services. Visit to sign up for a date to read.

Reflecting on the past year with gratitude: We are always grateful for the generosity of this congregation in helping our community in need. In the past four months, we have helped 26 cases with needs such as rent, utility bills, and gas cards amounting in $11,000. Thank you for caring for our neighbors in need.

The next FeedWM Mobile Food Pantry date is Saturday, January 7 at 10:00 am in COS’s parking lot. To have this ministry, we need volunteers of all ages to help sort the food when the truck arrives, help clients complete the necessary paperwork, and distribute the food to the clients. If you are willing and able to help, sign up with this link or contact Monica directly: