Epiphany, January 30, 2022

This Sunday:

This Sunday, as we worship online via Zoom and at the COS building, Rev. Karen Campbell will preach from Daniel 3 and Romans 5:1-5 in the standard English service. Makema Lwenge will preach from Daniel 3 in the Basic English Service in Room 5.

Following worship, join for a GPS Session at 11:45 am. This Zoom-only presentation is titled: How can we ensure that EVERYONE in Grand Rapids has housing they can afford? Join to learn about the city’s efforts toward affordable housing with Kurt Reppart, a Grand Rapids City Commissioner representing the 1st Ward.  Previously, he was the Executive Director of The Other Way Ministries, a place-based Community Development organization working with lower-income families on the Westside of the City.  He worked there for nearly 20 years. He has also led 35 short-term mission trips to Mexico and Honduras. He lives by John Ball Zoo with his wife Matteah (married 20 years!), his two children Raiya (12) and Koen (9), his big dog Lucy and cat Judy. 

We invite those attending the service in-person at COS to sign up to attend the morning services. Please note on the sign up that masking is now required for those over 2 years old. Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

Children’s News:

Children’s Ministry Volunteers: Please Update Your Availability!

If you or your children are leaders or assistants in LL, CW, Club, or Sunday school ministries, please look for an email sent Tuesday from jo.howe@clients.rotundasoftware.com inviting you to update your vacation/unavailable-to-serve days for Feb-April. You may need to check your spam folder—but it’s not spam or a scam! It’s simply our Ministry Pro Scheduler program. Please fill out the requested information by Tuesday, February 1 to make Jolanda’s job so much easier!  

Zoom, Zoom, Zooming Through January

For the next couple weeks, we invite families who can continue joining worship from home through Zoom. We hope to help reduce stress on hospitals and schools, and the risk of exposure for the CW and LL leaders who also teach in schools. But for some of us, in-person worship is the balm for the soul that keeps us going during this hard season! If that’s you, you’re welcome to worship in person. We’ll continue to offer one Little Lambs and Children’s Worship class during worship for children ages 2.5–2nd grade, but no after church programing

Mulick Park Sledding Meetup for Families! Saturday, February 12, 2-4pm

Plan to bundle up and bring the whole family to Mulick Park (1632 Sylvan Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506) between 2-4pm on Saturday, February 12 to sled with other COS members! We’ll have a table with snacks and a giant carafe of hot chocolate for all to enjoy, and extra gloves, hats, coats and even a few pair of snow pants to use if needed. If you have sleds, please bring them to use or share. If not, Thrive Outside GR will be offering free sled rentals from their gear library! Since it’s hard to recognize people in winter gear, please check in with Jolanda Howe at the hot chocolate table (located at the bottom of the hill not far from the parking lot, just past the little playground and tennis courts) to introduce yourself and find out who has already arrived! Then look for familiar faces in the middle section of the top of the hill, where parents can supervise kids who are enjoying the shallower slope as well as those choosing the steeper edge. **Please note, this meetup is an unsupervised event. Please do not drop off your children and leave. Stay to enjoy the fun! Or send along a responsible high-school-aged sibling to supervise your younger kids! **

Church News:

Last week’s offering and online giving:  $18,318.61

Current Giving for the month of January: $116,487.13

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $118,873

Giving Envelopes are available for pick up in the cafe. 

Northern Ireland Informational Meeting – February 6. At this February 6 meeting, David Campbell will give a presentation on the history of Northern Ireland and will introduce us to some terms that will be important to understand as we prepare for the summer experience in Northern Ireland.

The fall Meijer Simply Give campaign generated $20,190 in Meijer gift cards to be used for purchasing food for our church food pantry which serves community and church families.

Feb 6 GPS: Understanding Church Overtures and Denominational Processes. As COS continues to participate in listening circles concerning the CRCNA Human Sexuality Report, several questions have emerged around the administrative specifics of church order in our denomination. To help make sense of things, the HSR task force has invited Bob Arbogast, Pastor of Celebration Fellowship CRC and Stated Clerk for Classis Grand Rapids East, to answer some of our questions about Synod. This Zoom presentation will take place at 11:45 am on February 6. We hope you’ll join as together we seek to understand better what happens between now and Synod and what, if any, role that individuals and church councils can play during that time.

January Council Meeting Summary

The C.O.S. council met this month via Zoom due to the pandemic. Despite being on Zoom, the council meetings retain their established rhythm of a time of prayer, devotion, sharing, and book study followed by old business, reports from ministries, and new business. The highlights from this month include:

  • An in-depth report from Angelica Zahrt and Lori Wiersma on the current financial standing of the church as well as some ideas about how to respond to a decrease in revenue/general fund balance if that occurs in the future.
  • A report from the Human Sexuality Report taskforce about the successful launch of listening circles as well as plans to follow up with future GPS sessions to further explore the questions and responses to this report.
  • A request for prayer for the executive committee as they seek to discern a new C.O.S. vision statement considering the changes that have occurred in the body and ministries of C.O.S. since the last statement was written.

This council meeting was actively bathed in prayer by a prayer partner who attended the meeting solely to pray for our time together. Council covets all prayers for their work.

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 2022/2023 school year. Updated step-by-step instructions can be found here: coscrc.org/education. The 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 2020 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 23 between 6-9 pm. After your application has been received you will get an email to sign up for a meeting time.

Save the Date: September 17-18, 2022 – COS Celebrates 50 Years of Ministry 

Did you know we, the congregation of Church of the Servant, celebrate 50 years of ministries this September? Neither did many of us until taking a moment to pause and do the math. The figures add up to a powerful testimony of God’s faithfulness; ministry here has been not only impactful in quite several spheres, but also enduring. We will celebrate the same month that Classis Grand Rapids East approved COS’s request to official form as a new congregation. Our first official worship service was toward the end of September 1972. That said, save this date for our 50-year anniversary celebration: September 17-18, 2022. Saturday afternoon and evening will be a time of celebration, artistic expression, storytelling, and songs; we will also enjoy dinner together. Sunday we will regather for morning worship followed by lunch. Get excited. And mark your calendar!