Eastertide, May 15, 2022

This Sunday:

This Sunday, May 15, Rev. Karen Campbell will preach from Acts 11:1-18. Makema Lwenge will preach from Acts 11:1-18 in the Basic English Service.

Following the services, we invite you for a brief meet-and-greet with Eric Sarwar, missionary and church planter of Artesia City Church in Southern California.

At 11:45, 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 Dealing with Distractions and Barriers. We will examine where we get stuck in the spiritual life and practice the spiritual discipline of lamenting.

Next week is the final in this GPS series and will explore Growing in Gratitude and Enjoyment of God as we practice the spiritual discipline of heavenly mindedness.

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

Small Group Discussion Connected with the Hungering for God GPS series.  Carol Burge and Tom Schwanda will be meeting in the Prayer Chapel at 9:00 am this Sunday with anyone who wishes to discuss the ways we can experience God through our head and heart. This will also provide an opportunity to pray for our church and denomination.

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

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

Children’s Ministry News:

BIBLES FOR SECOND GRADERSSunday, May 22nd During Worship

It’s almost time to celebrate our 2nd Graders! Children at COS attend Little Lambs and Children’s Worship through 2ndgrade to give them an-age appropriate time of worship and prepare them for corporate worship when they’re ready. At the end of 2nd Grade we celebrate their graduation from the Children’s Worship program and mark this milestone with the gift of a Bible. We give our 2nd graders the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) Bible, which is written at a 5thgrade reading level. This is the translation we use in our Basic English Service, and it’s the perfect texts for kids who are learning to read Scripture on their own! If your child is in 2nd grade please plan to attend worship on May 22nd so they can be acknowledged during worship and presented with their Bible. Following the Bible presentation, 2nd Graders will be dismissed with their Bible to spend their final Children’s Worship session exploring their new Bible with Ms. Sherri Leahy! 

CHILDREN AT THE LORD’S SUPPER CLASSSunday, May 22nd during Sunday School (11:45am-12:30pm) in the Living Room

Children of all ages (and especially our second graders who are about to graduate from Children’s Worship) are invited to join in this class with a parent to explore the meaning of the sacraments and prepare to participate in the Lord’s Supper. Parents who attend with a child are encouraged to bring mementos of their child’s baptism as we consider God’s promises to us at baptism, and God’s invitation to join the family meal. This is an interactive class that will include one of our pastors explaining how we practice communion at COS. Children will have the chance to ask the pastor questions and practice passing and receiving the bread and cup. After attending, children (with their parents) will decide if they’re ready to begin participating in the Lord’ Supper. If so, they will be welcomed to the table on June 5, Pentecost Sunday! If your child has not yet been baptized, but you’d like to have them baptized, please reach out to Pastor Karen or Pastor Andrew for to get that process started. If your child wants to participate but you won’t be available on June 5th, please plan to come anyway and we’ll figure out a good time to welcome your child to the table too. If you plan to come, please send me a note at jo.howe@coscrc.org so I can include you in an email with more details.

Church News:

Council requests elder and deacon nominees for a 3 year term on Council to begin in September of 2022. You may nominate yourself or another member of COS whom you feel has the gifts to serve our congregation on Council. We anticipate the need to fill 5 elder and 5 deacon roles this Fall. Please prayerfully consider whether you or someone you know might be called to serve our congregation in this meaningful way. Send nominations via online poll or by email to Chair of Council, Stacy Steen, Chair of Elders, Rhonda Mejeur, Chair of Deacons, Marc Beversluis, to your Parish elder or deacon or to the Pastors.

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: New Donor Challenge—It’s been just two weeks since the public launch of the Welcome Home campaign, a fundraising effort to purchase the house at 3825 Burton Street SE and establish it as transitional housing for refugees and immigrants. By God’s grace and through COS members’ warm response, we’re well over three-quarters of the way to the project goal! This past week, a generous COS family has issued a challenge grant. This family will match, dollar for dollar, gifts from a every new donor to the Welcome Home campaign, up to $10,000 total. If you haven’t yet made a gift, would you consider taking advantage of this great opportunity to double your donation? We need gifts of all sizes to wrap up the campaign by May 31. Look for a pledge form and brochure at coscrc.org/welcomehome. Join this circle of support for incoming families seeking to build a new life in West Michigan. Questions? Please connect with a council member or anyone on the Welcome Home campaign team: Marc Beversluis, Jonathan Bradford, Eve Clayton, Jay Ediger, Tom McWhertor, Sylvia Nyamuhungu.

Gardeners are planting an edible fruit garden surrounding the fire pit behind our church building. Can you help us improve the clay soil? We’re looking for compost, broken-down leaf mold, chopped leaves, aged chicken or rabbit manure, good loose garden soil/potting soil, and earthworms or compost worms. Every little bit helps; please drop it off at the site or contact Hope Bradley or Joan Huyser-Honig with questions.

Blood Drive tomorrow, Monday, May 16! There are still about 11 openings on our schedule to donate blood. Our Versiti Blood Center recruiter tells us that hitting our goal has never been more important than it is now! Numbers are down across the entire Midwest. A good supply of blood at all times is critical. So be your most generous self – donate blood! Follow this link to the online schedule. Questions? Contact Beth Karanicola or Ruth Huisman. THANK YOU!

Creation Care Team: May 15: Walk portions of the COS/Calvin Nature Trail with COS members (and Calvin professors) Deanna vanDijk and Jaime Skillen. Adventure begins at 11:45 (after coffee & cookies) with family and friends. Learn more of our Earth’s natural wonders right here in our ‘backyard’.

Race and the Gospel: The Camelot Partner churches have hosted two events on race and the gospel. For this third event, we have the opportunity to be guests. Messiah Baptist Church have graciously offered to host this event. Their pastor, Dr. Daniel Smith, will moderate. Pastor Sam Moffett and Pastor Brian Smilde with share some of their personal stories and we will wrestle together about what it means to seek God’s Kingdom in Grand Rapids amidst racism. May the Holy Spirit bring truth to light, deepen mutual understanding, and empower the church to work for healing and justice. Please join us.
Saturday, May 21 from 9am – noon • Messiah Baptist Church • 513 Henry Ave. SE

*Pastor Smith said their kitchen volunteers won’t let us leave hungry.  😊