This Sunday:

This Pentecost Sunday, May 23, we will worship outdoors in the COS patio area. Rev. Andrew Mead will bring us a message based on the Acts 2:1-21 in both our 10 am and 11:30 am services. Sign up to attend our outdoor services. The 10 am Service will also be broadcast via Zoom: Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

In our 10 am Zoom service we have the joy of witnessing the baptism of three of our newest and littlest members:

Cora Mead, Keziah Westrate, and Junia Videtich

From the Missions Support Team: Today, Pentecost Sunday, marks the culmination of our 2021 Faith Promise global missions appeal.  Our goal is to raise $32,750 in Faith Promise support.  Please prayerfully consider and complete your pledge this week. The link for this is “Faith Promise Pledge 2021” and is on the COS website. The fourteen missionaries we support are highlighted on this website too. If you wish to receive a pledge in the mail to fill out and return to the church, email or call the COS office at or 616-956-7611. Otherwise, send your check to the church at 3835 Burton St. Se, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Make it out to “Church of the Servant CRC” and mark in the memo line “Faith Promise 2021”.  Thanks for your generous support and partnership in global missions!

Matters of the Heart: Art Exhibition

We are delighted to invite you to attend an exhibition of Anna Greidanus’ ceramic works: Matters of the Heart. We hope that as you think of returning to worship in person on the COS grounds, this might be an opportunity to come to the sanctuary space, to pray, and to contemplate some of the deeper spiritual issues you are holding in your heart with God. Through this experience, may you come to be renewed by God’s Holy Spirit. Whilst there is no sign up for this event, we will limit participants to 25 at any one time.  May we be able to say like the disciples on the road to Emmaus ‘were not our hearts burning within us?’

Church News:

Financial Update: Last week’s offering and online giving: $13,149.07

Current giving for the month of May: $64,279.30

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $112,926

As we anticipate moving toward in-person outdoor services this summer, we invite more people to serve as Sunday morning scripture readers. If you would like to read scripture during a morning worship service, please sign up here.

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.

Interested sewers and crafts people: A couple of us have thought about using up fabric from our fabric stash to make mini quilts for neonatal units and making other personal items for mission needs. We could use people to cut fabric to be sewn and sewers with machines. Extra machines maybe available for anyone interested in learning to sew as projects are very simple and easy to make. This could be great opportunity for good social interaction while making needed items. Bring your lunch. Coffee will be available. Date May 24th 10-2 @ COS. We would like to make this a monthly activity for people interested. Men are also welcomed. Please let Claire Elgersma or Hope Bradley know if interested or have questions.

ESL finishes Week 9 in-person. When in-person ESL started up again this spring, who knew if we could reach the finish line, now fast approaching. ESL will conclude, if all goes well, on June 10 after Week 12 of the spring term.  

A corps of regulars (students) come for classes — masked, distanced, temp-tested — along with a faithful team of tutors and subs, with adjustments. Classes condensed from six to three per session, the nursery is silent of its normal hubbub, and refreshments are history. Still, the program COS has nurtured for almost three decades meets with regularity: motivated tutors, delighted students, friendship to share. Nationalities frequently present: Bolivia, the Sudan, Japan, DRC, Somalia.

Autumn start-up (all hope) is September14. If you are ready to lend your energy, signal us. ESL has the light on for you.

Nature lovers are needed to help water the new trees at COS this summer. All the trees are budding out wonderfully but to keep them in good shape we need to fill the water bags once a week unless there is a heavy rain that week. 4-6 people are needed each week to help haul hoses to the trees and then return them to storage.  Please sign up on a forthcoming Sign-Up. This could be a fun event for a family or a group you like to work with. For more information contact Hope Bradley.

Thank you to all who supported our recent COS Blood Drive. We had a very good turnout! You showed up to share your gift of life! Versiti was able to collect 20 units of blood, which equates to helping up to 60 individual recipients here in Michigan. THANK YOU! We are planning another drive in our building on Monday, August 2, 2-7pm. We are always looking for new donors – please consider this priceless way to serve our community. Watch the bulletin for sign-up reminders during July.

Highlights from the COS council meeting on May 13, 2021, on Zoom (report by Corrie Vos):

Some of the 19 members present shared stories of God’s presence. We listened to the reading of Isaiah 30:15-21, taking to heart the message not to depend on our own efforts but to depend on God, for he grants us grace, strength, justice and mercy.

Our pastors had good news: starting on Pentecost, May 23, both our 10:00 and 11:30 worship services will be in-person and outdoors! If you have felt side-lined during this past year of virtual gatherings only, Pentecost is the day to rejoin our faith community! (Zoom participation will still be possible.) On Pentecost both services will be bilingual, Swahili and English. Come view the beautiful ceramic creations of Anna Greidanus on display in our gleaming sanctuary, the space we have missed so much. Our staff has been getting Swahili lessons from Mark Fackler, our ESL director, enhancing the experience of the beautiful reciprocity possible when we are the body of Christ together with brothers and sisters of other cultures.

A budget for 2021-2022 was approved. It includes an increase for denominational ministry shares (from 37% to 50% of the requested amount), and additional staff hours for communication coordination, grounds management, and refugee support coordination. Christian School Tuition Assistance (for 47 children from 24 families) stayed the same and was fully included in the new budget. The new budget is a 4% increase over the 2020-2021 budget, and 8% more than the 2019-2020 revenue. Factors influencing our approval of the increases included that we have extra funds from the federal Payment Protection Program, giving has been steady during the pandemic year, the blessing of new members, and confidence in the generosity of our members and in God’s grace that sustains us.

Nominations are still welcome for six new council members. Anne Kapteyn led us in our closing prayer. It was good to deliberate these kingdom matters together, and it will be even better next time, when we plan to meet in person at church, with thanks to God for vaccinations.