Pentecost Season, July 3, 2022

This Sunday:

This Sunday, July 3, in our Prism combined service, Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from Galatians 6:8-15 and 2 Kings 5:1-14. During the service, we also have the joy of witnessing Luke Witvliet affirm his baptism through public profession of faith.

Following the service, we invite everyone to stick around for an all-church meal

The 10 am Prism service will be streamed via Zoom.

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

Children’s Ministry:

New Check-In System for Nursery, Little Lambs, and Children’s Worship

This Sunday we’re launching a new check-in system for the nursery and programs our young children attend on Sunday mornings. You’ll use a pre-assigned password to log in using a touchscreen kiosk. One kiosk will be available at the main entrance of the church, and a second will be available at the entrance to the nursery. At 10:10am the front door kiosk will be relocated to the entrance to the children’s wing. So if you haven’t had time to check in before the children are dismissed for programming, please accompany your child to the children’s wing to check them in at that time.  Each Sunday New paper nametags will be printed along with a unique code and pickup ticket to ensure our kids are safely picked up only by their own caring grownups. Look for an email this weekend with your passcode, and feel free to reach out to Jolanda with any questions. Check in helpers will be available near each kiosk to assist with passwords and printing nametags to help smooth our entry into this new process.

Three Cheers for Cherith Janes, The New Faith Formation Assistant!  

We’re thrilled to welcome Cherith Janes as she joins the faith formation staff to help with organization, setup, and prep for our children’s ministry programs! Cherith and her husband, David Brondsema, have been active members of the COS for years. You may have seen Cherith printing worship materials on Thursdays, or serving as a Girls Club leader on Wednesdays. She’s already been nurturing the faith of kids as she delight with them in crafts, art, nature, and our great Creator! Now, as the Faith Formation Assistant, she’s helping our children’s ministry thrive behind the scenes and on Sunday morning. The next time you see her, please express your gratitude for all the ways she’s serving Christ and kids!

Church News:

Current Estimated Giving for the month of June: $80,119

June 2021 Giving: $88,359

Giving for the month of May: $117,161

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $118,873

Summer Schedule for Social Seniors: We are meeting every other Tuesday morning at 10:00 AM over the summer, via Zoom. Meeting dates are JJuly 12, July 26, August 9, August 23, and September 13. All persons interested in casual visiting, sharing spiritual encouragement, and praying for one another and for our church are welcome. For more information, contact Corrie Vos.

Meeting Link

Meeting ID: 832 6366 9013

Passcode: COS

Job Opening: All Nations Worship Coordinator. Position summary: To cultivate, empower, and sustain a multicultural, multilingual worshipping community. The All Nations Worship Coordinator will work as part of a team consisting of Co-Pastor Andrew, Co-Pastor Karen, All Nations music teams, the All Nations Music Assistant, and the SES Worship Coordinator. A key component for cultivating multicultural worship will be building relationships across a variety of cultures. Find the full job description and information on applying here.

The Basic English Service began in 2009 as an outgrowth of the ESL ministry of COS. As the BES fellowship has grown and changed since then, one question that emerged was, “Is Basic English Service the most fitting name for who we are becoming and who we sense God is calling us to be?” After a long process of discernment with fits and starts, the BES leadership team approved changing the name of the BES to All Nations Worship Service. The name All Nations seems to better capture how this service has grown to be a fellowship of believers from many nations who share their gifts for God’s glory and the enrichment of Christ’s church.

May COS continue to grow as a house of prayer for all nations.

From COS Council:


Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

As you are likely aware, Synod 2022 recommended the Human Sexuality Report to CRC congregations as a useful summary of biblical teaching on sexuality. Synod also declared that the definition of “unchastity” in the Heidelberg Catechism includes same-sex sexual activity – meaning it violates the 7th Commandment — and that this interpretation has confessional status, which means office bearers and members must submit to this interpretation.

Moreover, Synod has instructed Neland Avenue CRC to immediately rescind its decision to ordain a deacon in a same-sex marriage. The Executive Director of the CRC has been tasked with appointing a committee to oversee Neland Avenue’s compliance. This committee will also meet with Classis Grand Rapids East (of which COS is a member congregation) on September 15 to admonish Classis about its responsibility to uphold shared denominational covenants and procedures, and to give Classis recommendations for its deliberations and actions. Neland Avenue has decided to appeal its discipline.

This news touches all of us at COS and has left open wounds in our body. We find ourselves in new territory for which there is no roadmap. We face complex questions about the shape and possibilities of our life as a congregation, especially as it relates to our affiliation with the CRC and various ministry partners. These questions demand our deepest and most prayerful discernment. Yet we step into an uncertain future with faith in our faithful Shepherd.

The Council of COS met most recently on June 23 to discuss feedback from our congregation’s listening circles and Synod’s decisions. The Executive Committee of COS Council is in communication with the Executive Committee of Classis as we seek to collaborate with our fellow classis congregations. We plan to consult with local specialists on CRC church governance to ensure we have a clear understanding of the options before us. Classis has created a committee to gather information and resources to help us all address the many questions we have. Those questions may involve the status of Neland and the Classis, church procedure, relationships with other denominations, the impact on Calvin University faculty, and the financial consequences of different decisions.

We are committed to navigating this together as we seek God’s face and God’s will for our life and ministry as a congregation. We are committed to open communication in the coming weeks. Council benefits from your input, so please do share with us your ideas and concerns by contacting your parish elder or deacon. You may also submit comments via this form. Finally, we are pursuing opportunities to further educate our congregation on CRC church order, and to discuss our ongoing learning related to gender and sexuality in the Christian life.

We humbly ask your prayers for those hurting in our fellowship and for those serving as officers. We are seeking to discern in dependence on the Lord, in love for each member of Christ’s body in COS, and in confidence that our future belongs to God alone. The road ahead will be difficult, yet God remains steadfast.

COS remains a home of welcome for all God’s children, and there remains a place at the Table for everyone hungry for God’s grace and acceptance. 

We belong together, for together we belong to Christ.

– Executive Committee of COS Council