Lent, March 20, 2022

This Sunday:

This Sunday, March 20, in worship at COS, Rev. Karen Campbell will preach from 2 Timothy 3:10-17 and Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 in the standard English service. Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from 2 Timothy 3:10-17 in the Basic English Service in Room 5.

Following the services, you’re welcome to join us in the sanctuary for our panel discussion of chapter 3 of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together.If you missed last week’s discussion of chapter 2, you can view a recording here

Both the 10 am Standard English Service and the 11:45 GPS adult ed session will be streamed via Zoom.

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

Church News:

Giving Update:

Weekly Giving: $16,515.11

Current Giving for the month of March: $51,722.43

Giving for the month of 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 Matthew 5: 38 – 48. 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!

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.

Drivers 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 a 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.

CORE: To our brothers and sisters in Christ, CORR (Congregations Organizing for Racial Reconciliation) has changed its name to reflect our current emphasis and vision. We are now CORE (Community Organizing for Racial Equity)!

We continue to offer Understanding Racism workshops and for 2022, we hope to offer a mix of virtual and in-person workshops. These workshops are open to everyone in our congregation. Our hope and prayer that as COS people continue in this work of understanding racism, Church of the Servant will reveal what Godly antiracism looks like in the community. Our times are always fraught with racial tension and this is one important opportunity for us to work together to address it.

The first (in a long time) in-person Understanding Racism workshop is being offered from Thursday- Saturday, April 21 -23. This workshop will be held at Church of the Servant.

Please prayerfully consider taking advantage of these opportunities. Register at COREnow.org

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.

Pastors from the six Camelot Community Partner churches have been meeting regularly for the past two years. As trust has grown, we’ve had deeper conversations about race and the church – and we’re inviting the Camelot Community Partner churches to join the conversation. On Saturday, March 26 from 9am – 12pm, COS will host a gathering to hear stories and reflections from these pastors, meet neighboring church members, and explore together how the gospel relates to race in America. Please join us – and invite others! See the flyer here

Awesome! Our Blood Drive on Monday was absolutely awesome! Thirty donors registered and we were able to collect 30 units of blood, surpassing our goal of 22! The Versiti staff tell us that having no one deferred – for any reason – is so rare! Each pint of blood can impact three lives, so 90 patients will receive life-saving blood from our efforts.  Donors – the patients thank you, Versiti thanks you, we thank you!!  Your gift of life is priceless!  Our next drive is on Monday, May 16. We look forward to another great turnout!

Update from HSR Task Force. COS has been offering listening circles for members of the congregation to respond to the study committee report prepared for Synod on the theology of human sexuality. Now that many of the initial circles are finishing, we may offer additional groups or sessions depending upon interest.

You may complete an online interest form here Interest cards will also be available in the sanctuary this week, Sunday, March 20. Completing this form does not commit you to participation and does not enroll you in a circle. Completing these cards helps COS anticipate interest and plan accordingly. Official signups for any listening circles will come later after we review the input from the cards and online responses.

No firm dates are set yet, but tentative plans are for any new circles to start this spring and finish prior to Synod 2022, which begins on June 10, 2022.

Council plans to listen to the feedback from each completed listening circle in a special Council meeting held after the morning service on Sunday, June 4. Council invites any interested members of the congregation to attend. More details to come.

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.

Dear friends in Jesus Christ,

It is with deep sadness that we share the news with you that Lori Wiersma, church administrator, handed in her resignation yesterday, with immediate effect.

Here are Lori’s words:

The past 11.5 years as COS Church Administrator have been a wonderful growing experience. I have grown to love the staff, the members, the worship, the outreach and the community. I will always treasure this time we had serving the church and community together.

I have come to the hard decision to step down and resign from my position at Church of the Servant due to some personal reasons and feel it may be time to retire.

I pray for God’s continued and abundant blessings for my COS family and friends. (Phil 1:9-11)

We are grateful for Lori’s long service with us, especially as she has managed many staffing transitions during her tenure. She has lovingly cared for many in need, has nurtured a sense of fellowship and connection for many in the congregation, and offered warm hospitality to all who enter our doors. She also played a significant role in reaching out to our Camelot neighbors and strengthening our commitment to this community.

This is a sad departure for all of us, but we wish her well and pray God will continue to bless and guide Lori in this next season of her life.

We leave you with these words from 1 Peter 3:8 which Lori has modeled among us: a ‘unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind’.

May Christ continue to grow this very spirit in all of us.

Yours in Christ,

  • The Executive Committee of Council