Eastertide, May 1, 2022

This Sunday:

This Sunday, May 1, Rev. Wes Granberg-Michaelson will preach from Acts 9:1-6 in the standard English service. Rev. Karen Campbell will preach from Acts 9:1-6 in the Basic English Service in Room 5.

Following the services, you’re welcome to join us in the sanctuary for Adult-Ed GPS discussion of Spiritual Practices with Tom Schwanda.

“Hungering for God” • GPS series (April 24-May 22, 2022)

We have been created with the incredible means to be in communion with God.  This series will examine some foundational principles and practices of Christian spirituality.  Whether this is your first time to explore the spiritual life or you are further along the journey there will be new insights for all.  Each week we will discuss a different aspect of cultivating one’s relationship with God as well as a specific spiritual discipline that will be practiced.  Meeting time 11:45-12:30 pm in the large worship space.

Join us this Sunday for the second in the series:  Experiencing God with head and heart. Jonathan Edwards will be used as a case study to illustrate the importance of integration. We will practice the spiritual discipline of reflection and meditation.

Next week’s topic:  Reading and Praying Scripture (Pray as you can, not as you cannot and Martin Luther’s four-fold garland. Spiritual practice of praying John 17 with Jesus)

Presenter: Tom Schwanda, ordained RCA minister, professor of Christian spirituality, and spiritual director.

Small-Group Discussion Connected with the Hungering for God GPS series.  Harry Plantinga will be meeting in the Prayer Chapel at 9:00 am this Sunday with anyone who wishes to discuss the importance of noticing God in our daily lives. This will also provide an opportunity to pray for our church and denomination.

After Sunday School:  we hope everyone will stick around for our All-Church Meal at 12:30

The 10 am service and GPS session will be streamed via Zoom.

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

Church News:

Are you graduating? This Sunday, May 1, COS would like to take a moment during worship to recognize and speak words of blessing over all of our graduates who are completing high school, undergraduate, masters, or doctoral studies.  If you or someone you know is graduating, please know that we hope to see you in worship on Sunday, May 1.  After church, we invite you and your friend and family to join us at 12:30 pm for an All Church Meal prepared by our favorite cook: Ellen!

OPPPORTUNITY FOR PART TIME EMPLOYMENT AT COS- Church of the Servant will hire a much-needed Coordinator for the Refugee Support Team and the ministries to refugees and recent immigrants.  Our primary focus in this area has been on resettlement, and there is expectation of a significant (and imminent) increase in numbers of approved refugees (including family members of current COS/BES folks).  The job requires experience and skills in administrative leadership and is currently funded at $15 per hour and 10 hours per week. For details see the links to a job description and supporting materials here. If you would like more information, or to submit your credentials (resume and cover letter) please contact Joel Westmaas of the Refugee Support team, or Marc Beversluis, Chair of Deacons.

COS Community Garden has room for you. The COS Community Garden (behind church, between the firepit plaza and the solar panel array) still has a few gardening spaces left—either 4×8-feet or 4×16-feet. COS provides the water, and we don’t charge for the spaces. Gardeners are a mix of people whose first language is English and people with another mother tongue. Gardening here works best if you can visit at least weekly to tend, weed, and water your garden space. By using square foot gardening (instead of row gardening), you can grow an amazing amount. Interested? Contact Joan Huyser-Honig.

Social Seniors continues to meet on Tuesdays at 10:00 via Zoom. All are welcome. For more information, contact Corrie Vos.

Meeting Link

Meeting ID: 832 6366 9013

Passcode: COS  

Anchoring our Life Together: the COS Council ask each of you to do your part in preparing our congregation and the denomination to which we belong for the upcoming Synod. To assist you, we shall be sending out weekly meditations—a passage from Scripture and a brief comment upon it; a text to memorize and meditate upon throughout the week; and several items for prayer. Our immediate occasion for sending these weekly meditations is the upcoming Synod. Our larger purpose, however, is to remind us of what are some of the deepest anchors of our life together, the sturdiest pillars upon which our life together is founded.  They provide our community stability and purpose, and are important, so we believe, in reminding ourselves of them again—and yet again.  Through our doing so the Spirit can assist us in warding off the spiritual drowsiness and amnesia which can so easily overtake a Christian community. These weekly meditations, leading up to Synod in June, will be posted on the COS website, printed on Sundays, and available in the weekly email newsletter.

Welcome Home: Church of the Servant has been presented with a unique opportunity—the chance to purchase a home adjacent to our property and establish it as transitional housing for refugees and immigrants. After spending time in prayer, research, and evaluation, the COS council voted unanimously in March to move forward with plans to buy the house at 3825 Burton Street SE. This Sunday, May 1, the council will publicly launch a campaign to complete a fundraising effort that we trust will enable COS to finalize the purchase in early June, in response to the seller’s wishes. Our timeline is tight—the goal is to gather as many gifts and pledges as we can by May 31. By God’s grace, we’re already well on the way. Watch your mailbox at home for a packet of information with more details about this project, called Welcome Home. This opportunity aligns beautifully with our mission as a congregation committed to being the hands and feet of Jesus for our neighbors near and far. The home meets an urgent need for housing—and an urgent need for COS members to deepen our life together as a community in Christ. Please think and pray about how you can be involved. Find more information at coscrc.org/welcomehome.

The Mobile Food Pantry at COS is supported by Feeding America West Michigan. COS orders the number of pounds of food we need, 5000 pounds/month, and pays a much lower than retail price, $545, to Feeding America West Michigan and they deliver food for us to distribute. In past years we could give donations directly to Feeding America West Michigan designated for COS. Starting in 2022, any direct donations to Feeding America West Michigan go to their general fund. Even if we specify COS, this is the case. Please redirect these donations to COS and designate the donation for the mobile food pantry. This church ministry is funded entirely by designated donations. Continue to support our worthwhile partner, Feeding America West Michigan too, as your donations there will support their many mobile food pantry operations across West MI. 

Thursday, May 5th after Bible Study we will have our exercise class. It will be delayed until after the luncheon. Please come ready to move and learn about posture, balance, strength, and flexibility. Grace Schwanda will lead the class. As a Personal Trainer, she enjoys helping people be as mobile as possible.  

25 Years of Blood Drives at Church of the Servant! Our first drive was a recognition of the vital importance of blood donation to 3-year-old (COS “Little Lamb”) Michael Karanicola, when he underwent a bone marrow transplant in California. He used the equivalent of 22 units of blood, and over 50 pints of blood and plasma were donated by the local Christian community on his behalf. Our first drive in March 1997 was held in thanksgiving for all those who gave blood–truly the gift of life–to Michael. Although Michael went home to heaven four months later, we’ve continued our drives here to support all those in our community who need this gift of life.  

Our next blood drive is in two weeks: Monday, May 16, from 2-7pm in our church cafe. By donating blood, you could be the answer to someone’s prayer. Follow this link to the online schedule. If you are already signed up, would you ask a family member or friend to join you in donating? Most donors begin after receiving a personal request or by knowing someone who needed blood. Contact Beth Karanicola or Ruth Huisman if you have any questions. THANK YOU!

This Sunday we welcome Richard Muller to the artery. His paintings are so different from art seen in the past. The style could be called Historical Romanticism. Richard’s technical abilities allow him to tell a beautiful story by creating a place of peace and beauty. Mr. Muller’s show will be on display until late June. Take a peek each week! There is so much to see.