Happening This Sunday:

GPS will meet January 20 at 9am as we continue a 3 week series: What does racism look like in Grand Rapids? For three weeks in January, we will take a closer look at health and housing in Grand Rapids to better understand the real-life impact of racism in our city.

The Justice Class will not meet today, Jan. 20 or 27, but will resume in February, so all can attend the GPS series on racial justice starting today

Next Sunday:

On January 27 during our 10am worship service in the large sanctuary, we will welcome Rev. Jack Roeda to the pulpit. We also welcome guests who will be in town for Calvin’s Worship Symposium. We will premiere the winning entry of the 2018 New Psalm Contest and the composer, Noah McLaren will be with us for the premiere.

Youth News:

High School – Do you think Grand Rapids has a problem with racism? We are going to continue to join the adult Sunday school class for the next two weeks to talk about racism in GR. This week’s class will look at Racism and Lead Poisoning in Children. See you at 9am in the cafe area! And yes, there will be donuts!

Small Groups should be meeting sometime over this 2-week period. Here are a couple of questions for groups to discuss: How would you define racism? Why is racism bad?

Mark your calendar: The Annual Winter Retreat is taking place Sat., Feb. 23-Sun., Feb. 24. We will be continuing our discussions on gender, sexuality and the church with sessions facilitated by Mr. Larry Borst. See you there!

Middle School- Wednesday Night Live:
This Wednesday – “Grand-Friends Night”

Church News:

The Thursday morning Bible study will resume on February 7, 9:30-11am in the café with the books of Ruth and Esther. Study books will be available the first day we meet. Prepare if you’d like, by reading the book of Ruth.

Parents of Children in K-12 Christian Schools: 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!
Important deadlines:
• Please submit your name using the online form by Feb 1 – This will help the team prepare for applications and track the process.
• Submit FACTS app and documentation by March 1.
• Mandatory Face-to-face meeting will take place March 20 between 6-9 pm. After your application has been received you will get an email to sign up for a meeting time.

COS’s Prisoners in Christ team is hosting a conversation with Michelle Warren, author of “The Power of Proximity,” on Wed. Feb. 6, 6:30 – 8pm at COS after the church supper. Michelle serves as the Advocacy and Strategic Engagement Director for the national Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), based in Chicago, founded by Rev. John Perkins. She will focus on CCDA’s initiative “Locked in Solidarity: Awareness and Action on Mass Incarceration.” For more information, go to www.prisonersinchrist.org

Event: Wednesday, January 23, 6:30pm, Gender and Sexuality 101
This will be an evening of learning with Julia Smith, Coordinator for Student Support and Sexuality Programming at Calvin College, and Joshua Van Wyhe (recent Calvin graduate). We’ll look together at a framework for thinking about sex, gender, and sexual orientation that can help us sort out the sometimes confusing array of LGBT+ terms, concepts and identities. We’ll also share personal stories, data, and resources that can point us towards more nuanced conversations about gender and sexuality in the church.
Questions will be collected in advance and during the event. If you have a question, please fill out a card and place it in the box in the cafe space, or email your questions to the event facilitators, Lisa VanArragon (Chair, Congregational Life Team, evanarragon@gmail.com) or Chris Klein (Minister of Congregational Life, christopher.klein@coscrc.org). You will also have the opportunity to submit questions during the event.

Save these more distant dates:
• 2/6 –6:30-8 p.m. at COS, Michelle Warren, advocacy and strategic engagement director for Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) and author of “The Power of Proximity” https://ccda.org/product/the-power-of-proximity-moving-beyond-awareness-to-action/ will speak about the CCDA national awareness and action weeklong focus on mass incarceration, Locked in Solidarity, https://ccda.org/justice-initiatives/mass-incarceration/locked-in-solidarity/
• 2/7 — CCDA Proximity Cafe’ with Michelle Warren @ Bridge Street House of Prayer, 7-9 pm
• 2/13, 2019, 7 pm, Grand Rapids Community College Diversity Series: “Education, Civil Rights and Equality: Cornerstones for our Future,” Bakari Sellers, CNN Political Analyst, Lawyer, and Activist (Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE in GR https://www.grcc.edu/thebobandaleiciawoodrickcenterforequityandinclusion/programs/diversitylectureseries0
• Feb 17 — A gathering after worship for lunch and conversation from noon to 2 pm; All COS members who have attended a CORR Understanding Racism Workshop are encouraged to attend
• Feb 21-23 –CORR Understanding Racism Workshop –register at: https://corrnow.org/
• Mar 7-9 –CORR Understanding Racism Workshop –register at: https://corrnow.org/
• March 23 –(Tentative) COS trip to the Jim Crow Museum

Registration is open for the February 21-23 and March 7-9 Understanding Racism Workshops. 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. Questions? Contact janice.mcwhertor@gmail.com