This Sunday at COS:

Morning worship begins with a procession of flowers to dress the communion table. It is our custom at COS to bring potted plants and flowers from our homes to process in and “dress” the communion table. We will then gather the flowers to brighten the Easter Brunch tables (12 pm) in the fellowship space. You are invited to participate in this tradition.

On this Easter Sunday, Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from Isaiah 25:6-9 and Mark 16:1-8 in the Prism combined worship service in the large sanctuary.

Following worship, stick around for our Easter Brunch in the fellowship area. (read more about the Easter Brunch Below)

Sunday evening, return to COS at 6 pm for the Easter Testimony Service. Evening worship will center on individual testimonies and reflections on the resurrection. This service will include testimonies from Lucy Gitau, Arend Vander Pols, and Mary Loeks.

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


At the Thursday, March 14 Council meeting, Council spent time on two topics: 

  1. The Flourishing Forward Team had some questions for Council to consider around the relationship between the All Nations and Tree of Life services. Also, this is one of the topics of which they are soliciting input from the congregation. Council has encouraged the FFT to not just give a report to Council, but to engage Council, congregation, and staff along the way as we discern the path forward on many of the big questions facing COS.
  2. Council talked about COS’s relationship with the CRC. We are committed to our statement on being a community of belonging. God cherishes each person as a bearer of God’s very image. God gathers us. God calls us to holiness and faithfulness. We seek to honor COS’s rich diversity.

As we anticipate Synod 2024 in June, various Council members have been reading the overtures coming from various Classis. There is everything from making Gravamina slightly to a lot more restrictive, churches saying the recent decisions on sexuality are not working for them as a church body with diverse views, to declaring the present CRC definition of sexual ethics are salvation issues. There is even an overture on top-down discipline to suspend and replace Councils. We do not know what Synod 2024 will do with these overtures, but our commitment to a deep and wide belonging in Christ makes our relationship with the CRC uncertain. While no decisions have been made, parting ways with the CRC is a real possibility.

We will have a front-row seat to Synod 2024 as Cindy VanderKodde and Eric Walstra will be two of the delegates to Synod 2024 from Classis GRE. Several Council members shared information in a recent GPS and will again Sunday, April 14. Following this GPS, we will have additional opportunities for feedback from the congregation to Council in the months leading up to Synod 2024. Council sees COS as being in a pivotal season.

God is our refuge and our strength, and we can share the gifts of refuge, fellowship, and hope with those around us looking for a safe place to worship, serve, and belong. Thank you for your prayers.

List of definitions:

Synod – Synod is the annual meeting of all the delegates from every CRC Classis worldwide, the meeting is at Calvin University

Classis – Classis is a group of CRC churches grouped by geographical region. COS is part of Classis Grand Rapids East (Classis GRE)

Overture – a proposal towards agreement or action, to be voted and adopted into Church Order

Gravamina – a formal, written way of expressing concerns to the church about the confessional documents not aligning with God’s Word

Council Nominations:  At this time of the year each of our members is asked to prayerfully consider leading and caring for our congregation by serving as an elder or deacon.  The council needs to nominate four elders and two deacons for a new term.  If you feel so called and/or have questions about this opportunity please contact a member of the council or the nomination committee which consists of Kurt Schaffer, Jolene Vos-Camy and Suzanne Van Engen.

Faith Formation:

GPS April 7: Beyond Homelessness. GPS welcomes Steven Bouma-Prediger, professor of Religion at Hope College. This presentation will focus on the big picture of homelessness and the three distinct kinds of homelessness discussed in his book Beyond Homelessness: Christian Faith in a Culture of Displacement: Socio-economic homelessness, ecological homelessness, and post-modern homelessness.

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 April. The schedule for the rest of winter/spring programming is 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.

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-L, bring veggies; if M-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 Brunch 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!

Are you new or relatively new to Church of the Servant? Whether you’re interested in either learning more about our mission and ministries or officially joining COS, you’re warmly invited to participate in the Spring New Members Class. We will meet in the Living Room at the COS building, just to the left of the main entrance as you enter, at 11:45am-12:30pm four Sundays in a row beginning April 14th and continuing until May 5th. Childcare is provided. Questions are welcome throughout. Apart from learning about COS, this is also a great opportunity to grow in relationship with others. Contact Ben Videtich at to join or to ask any questions.

Faith Promise Missionary Support: Have you pledged to support our COS missionaries? Please take a few minutes today to help us reach our goal of raising $26,000 to support our missionaries so that they can keep doing work in so many vital ministries!  Your support can make a critical difference. Please help support this work by pledging online hereWe need to raise $26,000 through Faith Promise giving for 2024.

You can be a Beacon of Hope! In five weeks, we will host another Blood Drive at Church of the Servant. You can be the hope that is needed for a surgery patient, an infant in the NICU, a cancer patient…and the list goes on. Human blood cannot be manufactured. It is only available when someone like you shares that gift of life. Please consider if you would offer that hope to another person. Our drive is Monday, May 6, 2-7pm, and you can make an appointment online by following this link. Thank you!

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!

The Creation Care Team will again collect clean hard white Styrofoam at church on Sundays April 7th and 14th. Volunteers will take your Styrofoam to Michigan Foam for recycling.  Contact Hope Bradley if you need any more information.

Together West Michigan News: COS has been engaged in the Together West Michigan organization (formerly the Micah Center) for several years and we were represented at the Delegates Assembly on March 16. As one of several congregations from Classis GR East, we committed to gather Childcare Voter Pledges and participate in the April Broad-based Organizing Training which will be held at Oakdale Park Church on Friday evening, April 12 and Saturday, April 13. For more information, contact Jo Howe, Carol Rienstra, or Janice McWhertor.


Preaching Schedule
April 7              ANWS – Ntarambirwa Alexis, TOL – Rev. Len Vander Zee
April 14            ANWS – Lucy Gitau, TOL – Rev. Andrew Mead
April 21            ANWS – Rev. Andrew Mead, TOL – Rev. Jack Roeda
April 28            ANWS – Charles Rugiramarora, TOL – Rachel Park

Baptism: Sunday, April 14 in the Tree of Life service, we will celebrate the sacrament of baptism of Nolan Remelts as he is welcomed into the family of God at Church of The Servant. We will receive the promises God makes to his children and heirs, hear the commitments of the family, and together, promise to pray for and encourage Nolan as he grows in his faith and life.

Sunday, April 14 in the Tree of Life service, we will welcome into membership at COS the Remelts family, Nick, Stephanie, Olivia, and Nolan.

Office and Facilities:

COS’s finances for early 2024. During the months of January and February, we all contributed $203,904 to our congregation’s core costs while our expenses came to $196,847. Including some interest earned, our total income came to $205,180. For now, we show a healthy balance, though the Finance Committee thinks it could still be higher. The Finance Committee is pleased and grateful to see so many experience the joy of faithful giving. Let’s keep it going!

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.

April is Staff Appreciation Month at COS. Throughout the month of April, there will be a box in the café to place cards of thankfulness and encouragement.

Easter with Kids:

Easter Morning Combined Service: March 31, 10:00am. Nursery & Little Lambs Programming Only (age 0-Preschool). On Easter Sunday children in Children’s Worship (ages kindergarten-2nd grade) remain in the worship service to experience the full Easter celebration! Consider arriving a little early and finding seats up close to the front, so your kids will have a great view of all that happens on Sunday morning–including the Halleluiah Chorus! 

Help your kids engage in Easter Sunday worship by: 

Joining the Easter flower Processional: Children love to bring flowers to decorate the communion table! Consider bringing a small flowering plant or cut flowers in a durable container your child can easily carry. Find a seat, then join the line forming at the back of the sanctuary. When it’s time, you’ll follow the leaders to the front, where your kids will give the flowers to one of the liturgical dancers who will place it on the table. Your kids will be delighted to see their flowers from their seat! Don’t forget to pick up your flowers to bring home after the service or after brunch.

Saving the green worship-help bag for the sermon: That’s the longest time of stillness in the service. Let kids know the doodle board and crafts are meant to keep their hands busy so their ears can listen to what the pastor is saying.

Prompting kid to move with the liturgy: Our liturgy involves standing, singing/humming, speaking, and maybe even clapping! Helping your kids move along with the liturgy and participate to their fullest will help them feel involved and engaged. Even kids who can’t yet read the words to a song can stand to hum along, help hold the hymnal or liturgy, or watch the musicians play their instruments. Whispering encouraging words like, “I love this song!” and wrapping an arm around their shoulder as you sing, or lifting a little one up to sing the words near their ears can help see what a joy it is to worship. 

Taking a bathroom break: It’s okay to take a bathroom break after the sermon or communion, or when you see your kid really needs a chance to stretch their legs, and get some wiggles out.

Hyping the Hallelujah Chorus: Get your kids excited about hearing and singing the Hallelujah Chorus on Easter Sunday! Share a video like this from the Sydney Opera House, pointing out all the musicians and singers who come together to sing this song of praise. Express that we will be joining Christians all over the world as we sing this song to God on Easter morning! Children in Kinder-2nd Grade who have attended Children’s Worship during Lent will remember burying the Alleluia during the sad time of Lent—now it’s time to celebrate and sing Alleluia with all our hearts!  

Staying for Easter Brunch & Crafts after church: Easter brunch is a fun way to enjoy a meal together after the service. Take note of the email newsletter to see which dish you’re recommended to bring to share. Please walk with your kids through the line so they don’t end up with more than they can eat! Easter themed crafts will be set up at the far end of the dining area for children to enjoy during brunch. These crafts will be easy for elementary-aged children to do on their own, but young children may appreciate the help of an older sibling or parent.

Easter Evening Testimonies, 6:00pm. Our Easter celebrations end with a 6pm Testimony Service. Three members of COS will share on the theme, “What does Resurrection mean to you?” Hearing others share from the heart about God’s power, love, and faithfulness is a significant way for older children and youth, as well as adults, to see how God works in our lives and sense God’s presence and love. Consider making this part of your Easter tradition!