This Sunday at COS:

On this Pentecost season Sunday, Rev. Len Vander Zee will preach from John 17:6,20-24 and 2 Corinthians 13:5-13 in the Tree of Life service in the large sanctuary. Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from Romans 8:14-17 in the All Nations Worship Service in Room 4.

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

Outreach and Congregational Life

ESL at COS: Sunday, June 2, 9 am in the Family Room — “fellowship-ers” for Fall 2024 — meet for prayer and orientation with current ESL tutors. Needed for the fall (opening September 10) are tutors, drivers, and nursery care, mornings and evenings.  Hundreds of people from dozens of countries have found help and friendship at COS. New volunteers every term keep the program going. Come and see.

Camping – Mark your calendars! After a nearly 30-year hiatus, COS will again be inviting all church members to join us for a COS Camping Trip. We have reserved a block of camp sites and cabins at Wabasis Lake Campground for this coming fall, Sept. 27-29. Details are still being worked out, but if you want to reserve a campsite now, contact Annette ( or Ben (

Summer Movie For All Ages: Tuesday, June 18 at 7:00pm, we will be showing Frank Capra’s Academy Award winner for Best Picture in 1939 You Can’t Take It With You. The son (Jimmy Stewart) of a snobbish Wall Street banker (Edward Arnold) becomes engaged to a woman (Jean Arthur) from a good-natured, but decidedly eccentric family not realizing that his father is trying to force her family from their home for a real estate development. But when she invites her snooty prospective in-laws to dinner to give their blessing to the marriage, Alice’s peculiar extended family — including philosophical grandfather Martin Vanderhof (Lionel Barrymore), hapless fledgling ballerina sister Essie (Ann Miller), and fireworks enthusiast father, Paul (Samuel S. Hinds) — might be too eccentric for the staid Kirbys. While this is an “old” movie, its themes are still relevant today: housing crisis, accepting and welcoming differences, love for the family you create around you. Suggested donation $1, popcorn and lemonade provided.

Toothbrushes & Toothpaste: The May COS Food Pantry Items of the Month.

Please consider donating or more toothbrush and/or toothpaste during the month of May to help restock our food pantry with these essential. Baskets for collecting these items are at the children’s check-in station between the main church entrance and the coat racks.

Meijer Simply Give: COS is delighted to once again partner with Meijer Simply Give in support of our in-house Food Pantry. Simply Give runs until June 29, 2024. During this time, you may purchase $10 Simply Give cards at the Cascade Meijer, and that money goes to the COS food pantry. The Double Match Day will be June 15. This means that every $10 card purchased on June 15 will result in $30 for the COS food pantry. If you would like COS to purchase the cards on the double match day on your behalf, please drop your donation in the Sunday offering and label your gift “Simply Give.”

Looking for a new recycling opportunity? The COS Creation Care Team will be recycling oral care products through a program established by Crest and Oral B. Bring your toothbrushes, electric toothbrush heads, toothpaste tubes (caps on), dental floss containers, floss string, floss picks and mouthwash containers to the marked collection bin in the cafe area, near the library. These products can be recycled as roofing or insulation materials. For more information, visit their website. Any brand of these products will be accepted. Thanks for participating in our effort to reduce plastic waste. If you have questions, contact Ginny Kuilema.


The Joy of Giving:  Friends, the Finance Committee is sad to report that our giving in April came to $81,228, while our expenses were $99,844.  As a result, our balances are a bit low, with just over $12,000 in our general fund. Typically, as the summer months roll around, we collectively all give a little less. Before we all head off for a summer break, it would be a great help if COS could raise our balance a bit. Just as we experience the joy of worshipping together, let us experience the joy of faithful giving as well.


Biblical and theological resources for thinking about sexuality, gender, and the life of the Church. The Church of the Servant website hasannotated lists of dozens of resources—ranging from brief essays to video series to entire books—that might help you understand and explain why our church council approved the statement “Our Calling: a Community of Belonging.” Watch a video in which Rev. Duane Kelderman, a retired Calvin Theological Seminary vice president, explains the biblical reasons for fully welcoming LGBTQIA+ (queer) Christians, married or single, into church life and ministry. For a range of perspectives among traditional scholars and among affirming scholars, see pp. 46-59: Classis Grand Rapids East Report – Revised.

Office and Facilities:

Tomato Cages: Do you have tomato cages you no longer need? If so, we could use them for the COS community garden, the COS fire pit fruit and herb garden, and berry bushes at the Welcome Home. You can put the cages in the wood chip area surrounding the fire pit (behind the church building). Thanks in advance!

Booklet by Pastor Karen Campbell: As part of her work in the Irish Council of Churches, Pastor Karen Campbell has worked with others on writing a booklet: From Every Nation? A Handbook for a congregation’s journey from welcome to belonging. We are trying to purchase hard copies to make available to borrow through the COS library, but in the meantime, if you would like to read it, it is available as a PDF at this link:

Faith Formation:

Bibles for 2nd Grade Graduates on June 2 – On June 2 our 2nd graders will each receive a New International Readers Version (NIRV) Adventure Bible to mark the milestone of graduating from our Children’s Worship program. This will be the last day they’ll be dismissed to continue worship in the children’s wing, where they’ll explore their new Bibles and prepare to join in congregational worship the following week. If your child is in 2nd grade but doesn’t attend Children’s Worship, please send Jo a note at, so she can be sure they’re on the list to receive a Bible.

Children at the Lord’s Supper Class on June 2, 11:45pm-12:45pm. Through our baptism we are welcomed to the table for the Lord’s Supper, but most COS children spend part of the worship service in Little Lambs and Children’s Worship through the 2nd grade. So, we offer this class for graduating 2nd graders and baptized children of any age who would like to participate in the Lord’s Supper. Together we explore the meaning of the sacraments and how God meets us in the sacraments. We practice how we participate in communion at COS, and we invite the children to join in the feast! Please send Jo Howe an email at, if you and your child(ren) plan to participate. She will respond with further details about the class. We plan to welcome children to the table on June 9.

Wednesday Night Programming Reminder: Wed. Night Dinners and all our programs for students in grades 2-12 (WNL, WNLX, Wed. Night Hype—formerly known as Boys Club, and Next Generation—formerly known as Girls Club) are on a break until Wednesday, June 19.


Preaching Schedule
June 2              ANWS – Albert Strydhorst, TOL – Rev. Andrew Mead
June 9               ANWS – Mtarambirwa Alexis, TOL – Rev. Len Vander Zee
June 16             ANWS – Rev. Andrew Mead, TOL – Rev. Len Vander Zee
June 23             ANWS – Lucy Gitau, TOL – Rev. Andrew Mead

Summer Jam Sessions – Wednesday evening programming is finished for this school year, but the demand for jam sessions continues! If you like to strum, pick, sing, hit, shake, or play folksy/Americana melodies by ear, you are welcome to join these summer jam sessions. Observers and learners are welcome, too! Chords and lyrics will be provided. The jam sessions will be held in the sanctuary from 6:30pm-8:00pm on Wednesdays, June 5, June 26, July 10, and August 7.  (Summer Wednesday evening programming will also take place on June 26 and July 10. So come at 5:30 for dinner before jamming.)