This Sunday at COS:

On this Lenten Sunday, Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from Jeremiah 31:31-34 and John 12:20-33 in the Tree of Life service in the large sanctuary. Makema Lwenge will preach in the All Nations worship service in Room 4.

Following worship, stick around for Sunday School for all ages. In Adult-Ed GPS, The COS Mental Health Team presents part two of their series on mental health. GPS meets in Room 3 following worship.

This Sunday, March 17 we will recognize Hope Bradley’s work and service to the campus of COS as she is retiring March 31, 2024. We will have a cake reception following the morning services.

The 10 am Tree of Life service will also be broadcast via Zoom. Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

Flourishing Forward Team:

Council has asked the Flourishing Forward team to help discern COS’ ministry priorities and make recommendations regarding some of the complex questions facing the church. We’ve been meeting since December and have gathered input so far from ministry leaders, staff members, and All Nations congregants. This month, our focus is on listening to Tree of Life congregants.

Some of the questions we’ve been grappling with include: 

  • What are COS’ ministry priorities?
  • Should we replace our second pastor? What leadership model should we use?   
  • How should we move forward in our relationship with the CRC? 
  • What is the relationship between the All Nations and Tree of Life services? 
  • How can we nurture involvement among all age groups? 
  • How do we embrace the Statement of Belonging and our commitment to welcome queer people?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on these questions, or any other issues you feel we should consider. We’re providing two different ways to share your input with us. If you’d like to talk to one of us in person, we will be available for drop-in “office hours”-style conversations in the library or glass room after church on Sunday, March 17 or Sunday, March 24

If you’d prefer to put your thoughts in writing, we’ve created a short online questionnaire. You can access it here.

Thank you,
The Flourishing Forward Team

Outreach and Congregational Life:

Wanted: Easter Brunch Goodies. Easter arrives Sunday, March 31st, and COS is celebrating with its high-feast day brunch after Easter service. Here’s how you can help: If your last name begins with A-E bring some bread, muffins, bars or cookies; if your last name begins with F-K, bring veggies; if L-R, bring fruit; if S-Z, bring something brunchy – deviled eggs, quiche squares, etc. As you arrive at church, place your food in the cafe on one of the serving tables. Have the food ready to be served (sliced, uncovered, etc.) The ovens and fridge in the kitchen will also be available, as will serving spoons and knives. Enjoy the spectacular worship service; then, head to the cafe to enjoy fellowship. The 2024 Easter Bruch Coordinator is Amy Sonheim. Please contact her with any questions.

If you bring flowers for the communion table on Easter, bring your flowers from the front of the church to help “dress” the café tables, then take your flowers home. Thank you so much!

Faith Promise Missionary Support: COS has 13 missionaries in 10 countries doing all kinds of ministry. Please consider pledging today to help support their work.  Look for the Faith Promise Pledge form online hereWe need to raise $26,000 through Faith Promise giving for 2024.

Food Pantry Item of the Month: Deodorant. This item is low in stock in our food pantry, so if you’re able, please able contribute deodorant during the month of March. You’ll find baskets for collecting deodorant at the children’s cart next to the coat rack at the main entrance of the church. Our food pantry is one of the ways COS can be a refuge. Thank you for your contribution!

Faith Formation:

Next Generation Nature Hike on Wednesday Night On Wednesday (March 20) Next Generation will gather at the usual time (6:30pm) to sing before heading to the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve. Aaron Kortenhoven will be our guide as we explore the ways creatures seek refuge during winter! We’ll be on the trail for 30 minutes, so please dress for the weather and wear shoes or boots that can withstand a little mud.

GPS March 24: From Slain Lamb to King of Kings. Perhaps you associate Handel’s Messiah primarily with Advent. Did you know Handel always performed it in Lent? The reason might not be what you expect. Cal Stapert, Professor Emeritus of Music at Calvin University, will lead a Lenten GPS discussion on Handel’s Messiah. This session will focus on Part Two of Messiah, which dwells at great length on the Messiah’s suffering and death, but also moves on to his coronation as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Summer Mission Trip for students currently in grades 8-12: Join 100 other students from around the US as we participate in a LOCAL MISSION TRIP the week of June 22-29. Our base camp for the week will be LaGrave Ave. CRC and we will spend our week helping our neighbors and local organizations, worshiping “energetically” every night with 100’s of other HS students, and having fun. Students will need to commit to staying on this local mission trip 24/7 from June 22-29. Cost is $400. Assistance and fundraising opportunities are available, if needed. Contact Annette for more information or to reserve your spot.

Wednesday Night Meal & Programming in March & April. We’re looking forward to a meal and clubs again this Wednesday. The schedule for the rest of winter/spring programming is March 20, and April 10 and 17. April 17 will be the grand finale of our school year programming with the Pinewood Derby! We’ll take a break and start summer programming again in June.


Preaching Schedule
March 24          ANWS – Passion Reading, TOL – Passion Reading
March 31          Easter Prism Service – Rev. Andrew Mead
April 7              ANWS – Ntarambirwa Alexis, TOL – Rev. Len Vander Zee
April 14            ANWS – Lucy Gitau, TOL – Rev. Andrew Mead

Holy Week Worship Schedule:
Palm Sunday • March 24 • 10 am • ANWS & TOL
Maundy Thursday • March 28 • 7 pm • Café
Good Friday • March 29 • 12:15 pm • Outdoor Prayer Walk
Easter Morning • March 31 • 10 am • Prism combined service
Easter Brunch • 12 pm
Easter Testimonies • March 31 • 6 pm


Adopt-a-Garden – Spring 2024. The COS grounds are flourishing! Our native plants are growing rapidly and look lovely, but they need a little TLC from volunteers who can adopt a garden or section of a garden. Adopter responsibilities include preparing the garden bed in the spring, weeding 3 to 4 times a summer, watering if there is a drought, transplanting if an area is too thin with plants, and preparing the beds in the fall for their winter nap.

The COS website offers a brief list of the garden areas. Do you see an area that you could adopt? If so, please contact Hope Bradley.

You may use this PDF for a more thorough description of each garden and the care responsibilities.