On Sunday, June 28, we will continue to worship in homes, individually, but still as one body as we seek to be prisms of God’s light in liturgy and in life. This week Ruth Lemmen will bring us a message based on the scriptures of Genesis 22:1-14 and Romans 6:12-23. Each week we will add a new post that includes a house church liturgy, messages from the pastors, resources for leaders, and media to accompany worship. Visit: coscrc.org/category/housechurch to participate in these worship activities with other COS members.
If you haven’t found a way to help celebrate our 13 high school seniors IT’S NOT TOO LATE! You still have 3 weeks to:
- Send money to COS designated for “HS Grad Gift.” This money will be used to purchase gift cards for each of our grads to help them get items they need for the next phase of their lives. Any amount will help! You can make checks out to Church of the Servant with “HS Grad Gift” in the memo line, or make a donation online to COS by going to the “Giving” section of our website. Be sure to click on the box indicating the donation is for the HS Grad Gift.
- Send notes to our graduates that will be placed in their Bibles from COS. Notes can be mailed or emailed to me and I will place them in their Bibles. (Annette Ediger, 6244 New Holland St., Hudsonville, MI 49426 or Annette.email@example.com)
- Deadline: July 12 We will be holding an event to celebrate our Seniors the week of July 19—so please send notes and/or money by July 12!
For a list of the names of our 13 seniors, contact Annette or check bulletins from the first few weeks of June.
Pentecost Books! As we raise kids in America, we know the social forces that shape them—including, too often, the church—assign meaning to skin color that undermines the dignity and humanity of people of color. Over the summer, I will be recording videos of Children’s Storybooks that help our kids interpret skin color difference as God’s creative work. In this small way, I hope our church can help kids and families have more conversations that give kids the tools they will need to fight internalized racial superiority and internalized racial oppression and take their place as change-agents and peacemakers in our community. Look for a story on the COS website and Facebook page on Wednesdays or Thursdays.
Sunday Sing-Along from 9:50-10 am: Join the Sunday worship Zoom call a little early to sing along with Karen Saupe, John Verbrugge, and Meg Voetberg! This is a great way for the kids to sing songs they love and see church leaders they miss.
Kid Zoom Calls with Ms. Karen: Check the COS Facebook group for Zoom invites from Karen Saupe for kids. These are often offered on Wednesday afternoons and include things like cat sightings, laughter, songwriting, and more!
Facilities Coordinator: Church of the Servant is looking to hire a full time (36 hrs /week) person to join our staff team and be responsible for our building’s operation and maintenance needs. Strong Facility Management experience preferred. Start date: August 17, 2020.
Dark Times: Deep Grace Join us on Facebook live in the COS Facebook group each Wednesday at 8.30 pm as we read psalms of lament and pray in creative ways together. The time together includes songs, art, and words of lament as we navigate these difficult times with a sense of deep grace.
Financial Update – Last week’s offering and online giving: $9,672.40. Total Giving for the month of June (includes monthly ACH) $64,620.71 (1 Sunday left). Our monthly General Fund budget is $119,028.
The Church of the Servant (COS) Antiracism and Reconciliation (ARRT) team, along with the Prisoners in Christ (PinC) team, commit to take action with a greater sense of urgency, and make a plea to other members of Church of the Servant to join them. Please read the entire letter here.
A huge thank you to more than 200 COS members who took time to fill out the COVID Response Survey. The results indicate that a majority are pleased with Zoom and online worship options, but are anxious for some in-person opportunities, such as in small groups and outdoors. Most expressed a gracious flexibility and trust in decisions made by staff, council, and the worship team. Since there is a significant cohort who need or desire online worship for an extended period, the intention of our church leaders is to gradually experiment with some safe options, but not switch over completely from what has become the “new normal.” We are excited to hear of creativity on the part of several families and households who are using the available online “house church” resources for backyard worship or in small group Zoom meetings. Keep sharing your ideas and stories with any one of the COVID Response Team – Eric Kort, Rhonda Mejeur, Nancy Pranger, Carol Rienstra, Stacy Steen, and Paul Harper – or with the pastors or Worship Team, all of whom keep on moving forward, praying for the right combination of courage and caution, in Christ our Confidence.
The whole worship event finds its setting within the context of the baptismal bath that gathers and sends the community … Worship is always an immersion, a plunge into the mystery of God!’
– Mittman Worship in the Shape of Scripture 2009
Frank Lloyd Wright had an organic understanding of architecture where form follows function. At Church of the Servant, we have an organic understanding of our worshipping lives where the Word and Sacrament organically relate to each part of our lives. This ongoing conversation begins with our baptism where the congregation acknowledges God’s divine action on an individual’s life. It is from that place, the covenant family vow to grow into their baptismal identity. Over the summer we will have an opportunity to witness the joy of baptism within our community, albeit virtually. However since an important part of this sacrament is our corporate commitment to each other we ask you to consider sending in a digital image that reflects your baptismal identity in Christ. This might be the moment you were baptized or it might be a current photograph of how you continue to live out your baptismal identity. We would like a wide variety of people to participate: young and old, recent baptisms as well as those who have lived their baptismal identity all their lives.
We hope this may be an invitation to participate in the corporate memory of how we have all been plunged ‘into the mystery of God!’
Please email photos to Maria Stapert (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Sunday, July 5.
To our faithful blood donors – the need for blood donations has become immediate and urgent. Hospitals are scheduling elective surgeries again, and there is still the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Until we host a drive in our building, please consider donating at one of these other sites. It’s easy to make an appointment online; go to https://www.versiti.org/ways-to-give/our-communities/michigan and self-schedule. Our community thanks you!!
A word from the Missions Support Team: The Faith-Promise pledge drive for COS missions support is being launched today, Pentecost Sunday! Please check out coscrc.org/missions for an updated, colorful, and inspiring overview of the missionaries we support. The coscrc.org/missions link is also on the COS House Church Resources, along with the Pledge form coscrc.org/faithpromisepledge and the Faith-Promise Brochure coscrc.org/faithpromise2020. We are hoping to raise $27,750 in this year’s pledge drive. Thank you for your Faith-Promise support for 2020!
COVID19 RELIEF Church of the Servant has raised significant funds in the last several weeks for relief both for some within our congregation and our friends beyond our walls, who are severely affected by the Covid19 virus. Here is a brief summary of what we have done so far. Some distributions are still in process, but on the way. We include a COS connection in most cases:
Total Gifts to Covid19 Relief Fund – $28,012
Total Gifts to Uvira Relief – $2,500.
Uvira DRC (Sepa family) $2500
Coit CRC $2,000
Nation Outside (Troy Rienstra) $500
Hessed Community CRC (Detroit, via GR Classis East) $2,000
Navajo Nation Christian Response Fund (Paul and Priskilla Brink) $2,500
Daystar University, Kenya (Facklers and Campbells) $2,500
Transformational Networks in Egypt (Umrans)
Total Covid funds sent for outside Covid relief: $12,000, with another $2500 for the Uvira congregation in the Congo (flood relief). The deacons also have substantial funds for Benevolence, more than $20,000, to help our members over the next several months.
Prayer For Sunday, June 28: We continue to pray for our country and our world as we seek to dismantle systemic racism and establish public justice. This week we specifically pray for young people who have raised their voice looking for justice. We are grateful for their courage. Give them Godly wisdom in their demands, give them a heart for justice, and stamina for the journey. Protect them in their vulnerability, especially as they are willing to stand up and be seen.