Happening This Sunday

This Sunday is IGSS! We’ll continue our discussions from last week on gender and sexuality. Children in grade six and younger should report to the youth room at 9 AM. Those in grade 7 and older can report to the café area, as usual. Part of our time will be spent listening to some of the discoveries that were made by our high school students at their winter retreat last weekend focused on gender, sexuality, and the church.

We will enjoy our all-church meal in the café area following our morning worship. Everyone is invited!

Next Sunday

Faith Promise Missions next Sunday March 10.  Since our last Faith Promise Missions appeal in the Fall of 2017, we have received almost $48,000 in Faith Promise support.  Seventeen COS missionaries and ministries were blessed through your generosity – thank you so much!  For 2019, we are appealing for Faith-Promise support of $26,750.  An information sheet and pledge form is in your mailbox today; if you don’t have a mailbox, there are also copies on the tables at the back of the sanctuary.  Please complete your pledge card this week and bring it to church for our Faith Promise Missions Sun. March 10.  Ruth Padilla de Borst preach and Faith – Promise pledges will be collected during the service.  

Lunch with Jim and Ruth Padilla de Borst next Sunday, March 10.  You are invited for a light lunch, presentation, and conversation with Jim and Ruth on March 10 after the worship service and coffee time.  Jim and Ruth are COS-supported missionaries in Costa Rica.  They write, “During our years of service in Latin America, we have become increasingly aware of rampant violence, injustice, poverty, corruption, family breakdown, ecological degradation, and hopelessness. We believe, however, that even in the midst of it all, there is Good News for Latin America!   God yearns to work through the integral witness of the Church far beyond the walls of its buildings: in personal lives and communities, homes and streets, markets and businesses, universities and rural villages, rivers, and mountaintops!”  

Youth News

High School: Today at 11:45am–meet Dave at the front of the worship space if you are willing to help change the art in the worship space from epiphany to Lent.

Noon: All Church Dinner – plan to sit at the tables reserved for HS students so we can share a meal and catch up with each other

12:30-2pm: Big Group – after lunch, we will head to the youth room for our monthly Big Group Meeting for all students in grades 9-12.  Topic: Understanding Lent, followed by game time.

Sunday, March 10, 17, & 24 – We will join the adult GPS sessions at 9am to hear Dr. Nick Wolterstorff share his story about his views on gay marriage.  Be there!

Middle School:  No WNL this week due to Ash Wednesday services. Middle Schoolers are encouraged to attend the service.

Church News

The ESL Women’s Bible study meets this Thurs. March 7, 10-11:30am.   Join us for lively discussion and sweet fellowship as we study the life of Joseph.  Childcare provided.

Knitters’ Night Out – Sat. March 9 at 7:30pm.  Knitters (and other needle crafters) are welcome to join us at Deanna van Dijk’s home.

The Thursday Bible study meets this week Thurs. March 7.  This week’s study: RUTH 3: A Proposal on the Threshing Floor. We meet Thurs. 9:30–11am, in the café area.  Childcare provided.  ALL ARE WELCOME!

You can be a lifesaver…literally! Donate blood and share your gift of life so someone else can have that needed surgery or transplant, recover from an accident, or even live with a chronic blood disease. Be one of our 40 lifesavers on Mon. March 11, when we have a blood drive here in our building, 2-7PM. We are seeking new donors as well as urging our faithful ‘established’ donors to schedule an appointment. Call 866-642-5663 or visit versiti.org or sign up on the poster in the cafe. Questions? Talk with Beth Karanicola or Ruth Huisman.

Liz Hall, an organizer with AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy) and consultant for the Micah Center in Grand Rapids, will present a 1.5 hour training about Relational One-on-One Meetings Wednesday, March 13th at COS. The training focuses on the kind of listening and conversing that builds relational power and will be offered two times – at 11am and 5pm.  Contact Pastor Andrew Mead, Carol Rienstra, or Lori Wiersma for more information or to register for one of the sessions.  

The COS Council needs you! We are seeking nominees for the roles of elder and deacon, to serve beginning this August, 2019. Elders and deacons serve the congregation through caregiving, discernment, support for the church staff, and governance. People who have served in this way have been thankful for the opportunities to see God at work in and through the congregation.  You are asked to nominate others or signal your own willingness to be called to this task; look for nomination forms in your church box and in a special email sent to all members.

Lectio Divina during Lent –Lectio Divina is a prayer form reaching back to the 6th century and used by Christian communities around the world. It is an opportunity to spend 45 minutes of facilitated reflection and contemplation on a chosen scripture text. All are welcome to join us each Wednesday of lent beginning March 13th from 12:00 – 12:45. We will meet in the Living Room for no more than 45 minutes in order to allow people to come and go within their lunch hour.

Join the liturgical dancers for the Lent season. Dancers 5 and up are welcome to join us, although younger dancers will need to leave Children’s Worship to dance. New dancers are ALWAYS welcome! Rehearsal will be held Thursday, March 7, at 7PM.

March ARTery Gallery Opening Event, Mon. March 11 at 7pm. Our next gallery opening event, will feature Grand Rapids artist Jordan Smith and a conversation with Matt Provoast & Erika Townsley, owners of Light Gallery & Studio, about the relationship and role of their gallery in helping establish emerging artists. The event is free with a suggested donation of $5/person. The evening will feature live jazz by members of COS and a chance to peruse the gallery over appetizers and wine (available by purchase of drink ticket). Please join us for this wonderful opportunity to experience art in community! RSVPs on our COS facebook event page are appreciated.

Tour the Jim Crow Museum, March 23: The COS Anti-racism and Reconciliation Team take a field trip to the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University on Sat. March 23 –and you are invited to join the trip. We will meet at COS at 10:30am to carpool to the museum in Big Rapids, with a guided tour scheduled from 12-2pm. This trip is for high school seniors and adults only and the guided tour is limited to 25 people. We hope a good number of COSers will join us!

An update regarding financials for month end included the following activity:                                        January 2019         Actual

                                     Receipts              $ 81,727

                  Expenditures       136,659

Income (Loss)    $ (54,932)

The general fund balance on January 31 was reported at $67,676.  

2018-19 Monthly budgeted receipts were expected to be $119,028. This requires general fund giving to be $29,757 each week. Our January receipts were $81,727.  This was a weekly average of $20,432.

Date change for tuition assistance meeting for parents of children in K-12 Christian Schools: The mandatory face-to-face meeting will take place 3/27 between 6-9 pm.  PLEASE NOTE THE NEW DATE!  After your application has been received you will get an email to sign up for a meeting time.