This Sunday:

This Sunday, May 2, we will continue to worship using our Zoom format, individually, but still as one body, united in Christ. Rev. Tony Westrate will bring us a message based on the scriptures of 1 John 4:7-21 and Psalm 22:25-31. Our Bilingual English/Swahili service worships at 11:30 am with Rev. Andrew Mead preaching from Acts 11:19-21. Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

Re:New Wednesday Nights at COS:

You’re Invited to join us IN PERSON this spring for “Re:New – Wednesday Nights at COS” For 6 weeks during Eastertide (Apr. 14-May19), COS will be embracing themes of renewal and growth and new life and hope in our Wednesday night series “Re:New – Wednesday Nights at COS.” People of all ages are invited to spend time together outdoors and with masks on as we reflect and respond to God’s promise to make all things new.

Dates: April 14 – May 19, 6:30-7:30pm Note: in inclement weather, all programs will likely be postponed/canceled.  Also, food and drinks will not be served, but you are welcome to bring a water bottle. Bathrooms will be available, and masks are required.      

Adults: Adults at COS will have the opportunity to hear from and interact with members of COS who are engaged in the work of renewal in unique ways. Our list of presenters includes Tracey Gebbia sharing her work of transforming old fabric into new creations, Gail Heffner sharing about the work of Plaster Creek Stewards, Joan Huyser-Honig and her work with the COS Community Garden, and more!  Come ready to spend time outdoors–and wear comfortable shoes as part of our time may be spent walking around the church property.

Worship 6-6:30 pm in the Sanctuary: Wednesday Evening Taize Prayer services will take place in the sanctuary at COS. These services will be limited to 25 people each. The services will include scripture, prayer and meditative music, but no corporate singing. Masks will be required for the entire service. And social distancing will be required in the sanctuary.

7th & 8th graders: WNZ is transitioning back to WNL!  (But Zoom will still be offered…at least in April.)  From 6:30-7:30pm, Mr. Leahy will continue to lead classes via Zoom for the month of April—but Pastor Andrew will be at COS in April, guiding students IN PERSON who show up at church for our WNL meetings! How awesome is that?!  Lord willing, meetings in May will all be held at COS.  See you soon!

Preschool-6th grade: Join us on Wednesday nights this spring for creation-themed outdoor programming for preschool-1st graders and 2nd-6thgraders! Kids should come dressed for games, outdoor exploration, and crafts. Food and drinks will not be served, but kids are welcome to bring a water bottle. Bathrooms will be available, and masks are required.      

Church News:

Financial Update: Last week’s offering and online giving: $12,096.68

Current giving for the month of April: $80,175.90

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $112,926

The Missions Support Team is grateful for Tony Westrate preaching at the 10 a.m. service this Sunday. Tony and Allison and their family serve as COS missionaries in Cameroon. This month we will be raising awareness of our missionaries and placing before us the challenge to raise $32,750 for Faith Promise missions support. We invite you to check out the missionary pages on the COS website for information on each of our missionaries. In the next two weeks we’ll include more information about our Faith Promise appeal on the weekly bulletin. On Pentecost Sunday, May 23, we will collect Faith Promise offerings and pledges for 2021. Your generosity has enabled us to support fourteen missionary families this past year, and we’re confident for an outpouring of blessing again!

High School Seniors: Senior Celebration Sunday is May 9!  Send Annette your picture as well as information about where you attended high school, what your plans are for next fall, and share if you plan to be involved in any extra activities in college.  This information will be shared with members of COS in the week leading up to Senior Celebration Sunday—so send it in soon!

Blood Drive is just around the corner!  One hour of your time and a donation of blood equals a life-saving difference to a Michigan hospital patient. Come to our building on Monday, May 10, between 2-7pm, and help save lives! Make an appointment now online. Walk-ins are also welcome, but those with appointments will be served first. We are pleased to be able to host here again, and look forward to welcoming all our faithful donors, and new ones too! This is a small investment on your part that yields a large benefit. Thank you!!

It’s Grad Basket Season! COS has the tradition of celebrating our high school graduates by giving them a laundry basket containing some thoughtful and practical gifts to set them up for success on the next leg of their journey. And we need your help!  We have 22 students graduating from high school this year! Could you give a financial gift towards these grad baskets? Any amount will help! In addition to giving each of these grads a study Bible, your donations will be split up among all these students and used to purchase gift cards to stores where they can purchase the items they need to begin “adulting.”  Checks can be made out to COS with “grad basket” indicated in the memo line. Or you can Venmo gifts to @Annette-Ediger. (Please note that donations to Annette via Venmo cannot be claimed as tax deductions.) Gifts must be received by Sun., May 9.

Wanted: names of COS members and friends who are graduating from post-high school programs. If you have been attending worship with COS and are graduating in 2021 with an associates, bachelors, masters, or doctorate degree, we want to celebrate you! COS will be recognizing and speaking words of blessing over all of our graduates during the worship service on Sunday, May 9. We would also like to give each graduate a small gift. Please contact if you or someone you know is part of this group.

Social Seniors meet every Tuesday morning from 10:00 to 11:00. Designed to provide opportunity for church family camaraderie, Social Seniors is led by Corrie Vos and Dale Cooper, and is open to anyone who would like to attend, regardless of age. We enjoy a social time together with a Biblical focus. We seek to be spiritually encouraged and to provide opportunities for sharing, humor, expression of our sorrows and joys, and prayer for one another and our church. The Zoom link below will work for every Tuesday. 

Topic: Social Seniors

Time:  10:00 11:00 AM

Meeting ID: 832 6366 9013

Passcode: COS  

You can also join by telephone: 1 312 626 6799. When prompted, enter the meeting ID plus #, and then when asked for your participant ID, merely enter #, and you will be connected to the group.

Meijer Simply Give Campaign Update Thank you to all who participated in the Simply Give Campaign which ended April 2. Meijer announced that COS raised $15,070 in Meijer food gift cards for our Internal Food Pantry. Your generosity is deeply appreciated!

Tree Planting last Saturday. On April 24, many volunteers came out to several different sites in Grand Rapids, including Church of the Servant, to plant more than 100 trees. These trees are part of a larger effort to help clean up Plaster Creek, the most contaminated waterway in West Michigan. In this video, hear Dave Koetje, professor of biology at Calvin University and a member of the COS Creation Care Team, describe the project and its intended effects on Plaster Creek. Also, learn how this project fits with the concept of “refugia.” We’re thankful for the COS creation care team, Plaster Creek Stewards, and the many volunteers who came out to help clean up the watershed, increase the biodiversity in and around our property, and help beautify the neighborhood.

Tree Processional Proposal: In the original planning for the COS Campus, our architect, Gunnar Birkerts, conceived a processional route starting at the east entry drive that sweeps into our site, aligns with the spire and cross above the sanctuary, and passes through an array of banner poles before arriving at the main door of the church. The processional route continues inside through the welcome area and sanctuary doors and down the aisle to the platform, table, and structural “tree,” crowned by our glowing translucent skylight. Together, the Creation Care, Refugium, and Liturgical Art teams now propose replacing the banners and poles with rows of Eastern Red Cedar trees that will continue to grow with our church family and guide new generations to the Tree of Life. Eastern Red Cedars are native to West Michigan. They are hardy, salt-tolerant, and do well in all soils, so they are suitable for this particular location. They are very common in our area – we already have several growing on our property – so these new trees will be right at home. A processional route lined with everyday native trees reinforces and celebrates the underlying value of “dignifying the ordinary”. Read more in this attached flyer