Lent, March 13, 2022

This Sunday:

This Sunday, in worship at COS, Rev. Karen Campbell will preach from 1 Timothy 2:1-6, 4:11-16 and Psalm 5 in the standard English service. Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from 1 Timothy 2:1-6, 4:11-16 in the Basic English Service in Room 5.

Following the services, we invite everyone to stick around in the large sanctuary for a GPS Panel Discussion of Chapter 2 of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together. Missed last week’s panel? See the recording here.

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

Church News:

COVID Team Update – from 3/6/2022:

At COS we have taken a cautious approach to our life together during the pandemic. Thank you all for your flexibility and tolerance as you have loved your neighbor so generously for 2 long years. COVID cases are declining, and new CDC guidelines place our county in the medium-risk category. This Sunday, we plan to follow the new CDC guidelines and remove our church mask mandate. If you have a low risk of severe COVID disease, you are invited to be in worship and in the church building without a mask. Please feel free to continue to mask if you prefer. One exception is children’s programming. We ask that leaders of Children’s ministries for infants through 1st grade continue to mask while teaching. Staff and teachers in nursery, Little Lambs, Children’s Worship, and Sunday School through 1st grade are included in this exception.

With masks optional, eating and drinking together can begin again. Communion circles will resume with a shared cup and precut bread. Please don’t sing while in the communion circle to reduce aerosol and droplets landing on the elements. A roving council member will be available to deliver fully packaged communion elements to those choosing not to join the communion circle. Coffee will be offered after the service. We thank God for the opportunities opened up by the dramatic fall in COVID cases.

Giving Update:

Current Giving for March (includes monthly ach): $35,207.32

Giving for February: $99,382.23

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is: $118,873

General Fund Balance as of February 28: $110,343.86

YOU ARE INVITED to participate in the THURSDAY BIBLE STUDY. The group meets Thursdays from 9:30-11 am and will be studying the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5-7. This week we will be reading and learning from Matthew 5:31- 37; 19:3-9. You are invited to listen to the group presentation on COS YoutTube after Friday of the week and arrange your own electronic small group discussions if you wish. If you need CHILDCARE, or have further questions, contact Mary Loeks. Everyone is welcome!

It’s not too late to sign up for our Blood Drive…. On Monday, March 14, Church of the Servant will host a drive from 2-7 pm in the cafe. The blood supply in Michigan is still critically low. You can be a lifesaver, literally, by donating your precious gift of blood. There are still about a dozen open time slots, and you can select one by following this link. Our goal is 22 blood donations, and 5 first-time donors. Please contact Ruth Huisman if you have questions. Thank you, thank you! 

Art Sale: You are Invited to the Last Michigan Artwork sale before Jan Carpenter moves to Chicago. The sale will take place Saturday, March 19, 2022 from 9:30-11 am at Church of the Servant. 100% of proceeds benefit Schools for Sierra Leone.

Seeking Shalom: Affordable Housing and Immigration Practical Next Steps: Do you long for your church to do more about justice issues such as affordable housing and immigration? If so, please save 7 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, April 26, 2022, for this important event featuring Keynote Speaker: Artie Lindsay, TCC pastor of spiritual formation and Grand Rapids Nehemiah Center president, and Panelists who include: Affordable housing experts from ICCF, LINC UP, and 70×7; Immigration experts from Church World Services, Interfaith Immigration Coalition, and Samaritas. This event provides the opportunity for your church to Learn together about specific ways your congregation can promote affordable housing and welcome immigrants and refugees in West Michigan. Registration is free. Register online here.

Update from Classis: The Classis East area churches met on March 3 to consider the three overtures from member churches Calvin CRC, COS, and Neland Ave CRC, which respond to the Synodical committee’s Human Sexuality Report. Each overture passed, with respective votes of 41-5, 44-2, and 34-11. Discussions were cordial and respectful. Thank you to Claudia Beversluis, for her invaluable work on this overture about the HSR’s engagement with science, and the work of Council members editing and revising this overture. As COS stated at the meeting last night, our overture is intended to be neutral about the theology of the HSR and instead focused on the quality and extent of the report’s engagement with science, which all interested parties should hope to be as robust as possible.

We note with great sadness that Classis Minnkota refused to pray with Classis East in preparation for Synod 2022 in June because Classis East did not vote to discipline Neland Ave CRC about its past decision to appoint a deacon in a same-sex marriage. Prayer Meeting Challenge Ahead of Synod 2022 | The Banner While Classis Minnkota may not pray with us, we can still pray for them, and for Classis East and its delegates as they discern how to respond to the HSR at Synod.

Next Mobile Food Pantry is Saturday, April 2; 9-11 am in the COS parking lot. Many folks will be on spring break, so we need at least a dozen volunteers. Please contact Lori Wiersma if you would like to help out on that date. Lori.wiersma@coscrc.org

Drivers are needed for our BES families. We need folks who are 21 or older with a valid driver’s license and insurance on their vehicles. Drivers are needed for doctor’s appointments (daytime), music rehearsals, and tutoring. It is expected that there will be more demand for this as COS receives more refugee families. Please contact Jon Bruss if you have any questions or would like to be called upon to be a driver here in town.

We invite you to subscribe to “Setting the Table”. “Setting the Table” is our weekly worship email that provides recipients with a snapshot of where we are in the liturgical calendar, a glimpse of the upcoming sermon, the week’s scripture passage, and interesting bits of information about our current liturgy. These emails help to prepare ourselves for Sunday worship and can be used as part of your weekly devotions. Learn more and subscribe here.

Scriptoria: An Interfaith Writing Workshop with Gary Schmidt, Hugh Cook, Patrice Gopo, L. S. Klatt, Robert Hudson, Nikki Grimes, Vinita Hampton Wright, Cynthia Beach, and more. Morning workshops. Afternoon instruction. One-on-ones with editors. Deep faith conversations.

Think boot camp for your writing—whether it’s fiction, nonfiction, or poetry on June 20-24, 2022 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Visit scriptoriaworkshop.org