Epiphany, January 8, 2023

This Week:

This First Sunday of Epiphany, Rev. Karen Campbell will preach from Isaiah 42:1-9 and Matthew 3:13-17 in the large worship space. Rev. Andrew Mead will preach in the All Nations Worship Service in room 4. In the large service, we will welcome David Wilson, Sabrina Wilson, David Wilson Jr, Ethan Wilson, Emilie Harvey, and Jacob Harvey into Christ’s Church through the sacrament of baptism. In the services, we will also welcome into membership Eric, Malorie, Sawyer, and Eloise Venlet. After worship, stick around for an all-church meal.

The 10 am Standard English Service will also be broadcast via Zoom.

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Church News:

Current Giving for January: $11,373

Estimated Giving for the Month of December: $135,515

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 by February 1. We apologize for this inconvenience but appreciate your grace as we patiently wait for them to arrive. 

2022 tax receipts will be mailed to contributors before January 31. 

The Stewardship Team is grateful for the 143 general fund pledges totaling $819,780. This is an average of $5,733 per pledge. The total number of pledges is higher than last year. We trust that these pledges are a sign that all of us will faithfully support the mission of COS in 2023.

2022: 141 pledges totaling $778,679 avg. $5,522

2021: 185 pledges totaling $888,378 avg. $4,802

2020: 162 pledges totaling $851,874 avg. $5,258

It’s not too late to submit a pledge: 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 in the church office.

Upcoming Service: 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.

CORE (Communities Organizing for Racial Equity) is hosting two workshops in the New Year. The first is a 6-week zoom workshop on Wednesdays from 6-9 pm, starting January 11. The second is a traditional in-person workshop at COS on March 9-11 (Thursday evening, all day Friday and Saturday). These workshops are open to everyone in the congregation and aim to deepen understanding of racism and how to combat it as followers of Christ. The cost of registration is covered by the COS budget. If you’re interested in attending, please register at COREnow.org.

Bring Hope this week!  What better way to start the New Year than by bringing hope to others? Donate blood at our first drive of 2023 – Monday, January 9, 2-7 pm, in our church cafe. During these winter months, it is very challenging to supply all the blood needed for our Michigan hospitals, and one out of seven hospital patients will need a blood transfusion. Bad weather, colds, flu, time out of town, busyness – all the above – make it difficult for people to get to donation sites. If you are able, please make an appointment to come in and donate on Monday. The link is:https://donate.michigan.versiti.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/150782   If you are already signed up, thank you! If not, there’s still time. Questions? Need help making an appointment? Contact Ruth Huisman. Your community thanks you!

Sunday morning scripture readers wanted! If you would like to read scripture on Sunday morning, click here to sign up for any Sunday.

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.

Friendship ESL started the spring term by welcoming back students plus two new registrations from South Korea and Nicaragua. That makes 23 nation groups attending. Immediate openings for regular tutors: Tuesday & Thursday evenings; also subs, flexible people who can do anything.

Next Steps Task Force Resources: As we explore human sexuality at COS, the Next Steps Task Force has created resource suggestions for your reflection and learning. We are interested in posting resources that can assist our congregation in developing a deeper Godly understanding of our human sexuality. We recognize that the Human Sexuality Report has led to differences of opinion both in the Christian Reformed Church and at Church of the Servant. We are interested in respecting a diversity of views on human sexuality as we articulate a vision of how to be together in the future. This will require flexibility from each of us and a willingness to agree to disagree. When we do this, we are making church unity a priority. Read more here.