Happening Today

Sunday, January 12 marks the beginning of Epiphany season, which runs through February 23. On this Epiphany Sunday, we will pay particular attention to the baptism of Christ.

During the month of January, GPS will explore issues of disability and the church. Today at 9 am in room 3, Dr. Tom Hoeksema, a retired professor of education at Calvin University, will join us to share thoughts about the biblical issues related to disability. Prof. Hoeksema pioneered the field of special education at Calvin and has deep passion for addressing the needs of those with both physical and intellectual disabilities. 

Next Sunday

GPS –

Next Sunday, January 19 – Thinking about Disability in the Local Church 

While most people will be affected directly by disability in their own lives or the life of a family member, it’s less common for us to think about disability theologically. In this session, Kevin Timpe will raise a number of theological implications for thinking about disability with an eye towards how that plays out in the local congregation.

January 26 – Kevin Timpe will lead a panel of other COS members in a discussion of the subject of disability and any questions that may have come up in previous sessions of this series.

Youth

For All Students in Grades 7-12:

Serve First Reminder: all students in grades 7-12 are encouraged to SERVE OTHERS on the first Saturday of every month!  Acts of service are not only a great way to show the love of Christ, they are also a great way to build a better community.  COS encourages youth to develop the habit of service by offering service opportunities on the first Saturday of every month.  Make plans now to join us at COS from 10 am -noon on Feb. 1 & Mar. 7.  We will be playing twister, matching games, dominoes, and other games with BES children to help them learn more English in a fun and caring environment.

Sunday school classes resume this Sunday at 9am!  (And yes…we will have donuts)

7th-8th graders meet in the room across from the nursery

9th-12th graders meet in the youth room.  We will be wrapping up our reading of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe over the next two weeks.  Mark Stinton will be this week’s reader. Don’t miss the finale!

High School:

Small Groups should be meeting over the next 2 weeks. 

444* will meet, noon – 1:30 pm, Jan. 26 (*444 = 4 activities for the 4th Sunday of the month: lunch + baking brownies + sporty activity + board game.  Pick the activities that interest you!)

Mark your calendar:

HS Winter Retreat: Sat., Feb. 22-Sun., Feb. 23.  More details coming soon!

Summer Mission Trip: June 20-27.  Where?  Grand Rapids, MI!  To wrap up our theme of “Light in the City,” high school students are invited to participate in a week-long mission trip where we will be bringing light to our very own city.  We will be staying at a local church (not COS) with over a hundred other HS students, serving our neighbors during the day and eating and worshiping together every night.  The estimated cost is $375 but cost can be reduced through participation in fundraising efforts.  Contact Annette to reserve your spot or get more info.  Sign-up deadline: March 30, 2020

Middle School:

Wednesday Night Live (this week):  Lord’s Day 8 (The Trinity – God’s Personal Revelation.)
Wednesday Night Live (next week):  Grand-friends Night! Students are invited to bring their grandparents (or other grand-friend) to class this week.

Church News

Knitters’ Night Out – Monday, 13 January at 7:30 pm.  Knitters (and other needle crafters) are welcome to join us at Deanna van Dijk’s home.

Gallery Opening Event tomorrow, Monday, Jan. 13 @ 7 pm, featuring COS member, painter, and lettering artist Matt Plescher.  The event is free with a suggested donation of $5/person. The evening will feature a conversation with the artist, live music, and a chance to peruse the gallery over appetizers. RSVPs on our COS facebook event page are appreciated!

Seeking Team Members to Help with Gallery Events- We’ve had a great first year of Gallery Opening events at COS, and we’d love to start building up a group of individuals who’d be interested in helping out with things like event setup, event tear down, music, interviewing our featured artists, and other tasks. If you are interested in helping out with one or more of the six events we hold each year, please reach out to Lauren Figueroa.

EXPLORE THE MYSTERY OF GOD’S MERCY from the book of JONAH!  This is a Bible study for EVERYONE, yes, for men too.  The study resumes on THURSDAY, JANUARY 30 in the COS cafe area, 9:30 – 11:00. Childcare will be provided.

Emergency Appeal for Blood – Please Help!  Versiti Blood Center of Michigan is issuing an emergency appeal for blood donations! Due to the busy holiday season, inclement weather, and seasonal illness, donations began declining in December. Our communities are facing a potential crisis situation and blood donations are needed immediately. We are currently at less than a half day’s supply. Patients in our community rely on the generosity of blood donors to maintain a safe blood supply. For an appointment, please call (866) MI BLOOD. If you donated at our last drive here on November 11, you may donate again now. If you donate by Monday, 1/20, you will still be eligible to donate at our next COS drive on March 16. Thank you!  —Ruth Huisman & Beth Karanicola

Financial Update: Last week’s offering and online giving was $36,073.07. Our total giving for the month of January is $36,073.07 (with 3 Sundays left).

Our monthly General Fund budget is $119,028.

For those who use them, giving budget boxes are in your mailbox.

Prisms for God’s Light –pledging for 2020. As of early last week, 153 households and individuals have pledged to give $769,473 to COS for this coming year. With these numbers, the average pledge has grown to $5,029, which is 10% more than last year, and 18% more than two years ago. The Stewardship Team is very grateful for this response. At the same time, the total number of pledges, including various scheduled bank withdrawals, is lower than in the previous three years. We still hope for 30-50 more of you to join us in our faithful support of COS, whose ministries are dear to our hearts. If you have just neglected or forgotten to pledge, please do so today, online at the COS web site under “Giving”,  or with paper forms available near the mailboxes. PLEASE!

The January –May 2020 schedule for coffee serving, communion elements, and nursery is in church mailboxes. Please check your mailbox and make a note of the date you are scheduled to serve. You can also find the (amended) schedule on the church website. Thanks to everyone for helping to keep things running smoothly at COS!

Registration is open for the January 17-18 and February 28-29 Understanding Racism Workshops. We have developed new content and have shortened these Understanding Racism Workshops to two days: 9 am-5 pm each day. This workshop experience is still designed to explore the deep racial complexity of the United States and to begin to explore paths for restoration. Our goal is to gain insight in understanding systemic racism through the eyes of faith and scripture in order to become the Beloved Community.

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 online at CORRnow.org.

Last Thursday, from 10 am-11:30 am, the ESL Women’s Bible study began a six-week study on marriage.   All women of the church are invited, but especially Basic English Service women, as we will try to have a global view of this important subject.  We will use the Timothy and Kathy Keller “The Meaning of Marriage” DVDs and study guide. Child care is provided.  If you have questions, please contact Barbara Hampton.