This Sunday:

This Sunday, May 30, we will worship outdoors in the COS patio area. Rev. Karen Campbell will bring us a message in the 10 am service based on 1 Samuel 2:1-10. Makema Lwenge will preach in the 11:30 bilingual Swahili/English service. 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.

Children’s Ministry News:

Summer Worship Programming for Children (ages 3-7, or graduating 1st grade) Little Lambs for ages 3-5 and The Jesus Storybook Bible Video Curriculum (for ages 6-7) will be offered throughout the summer at both worship services! Please call or email Jo Howe at (616) 238-1324 or to join the summer volunteer team to help with these programs!

Children’s Welcome Table: When you arrive at COS, please pick up name badges for children ages 0-7 so they’ll be ready to participate in our worship programming! We will be carefully limiting class size due to covid-safety protocol, and all children and leaders will be wearing masks, fever-scanned, and receiving a squirt of hand sanitizer as they enter the building. If your child has any symptoms associated with Covid, please refrain from sending them to programming.

There will be no indoor singing or snack time, and children will be spaced appropriately with classroom windows open to provide ventilation. (In one of our little lambs rooms the window doesn’t open, so we’ll be sure to keep the door open and also an air purifier for extra safety in that room.) 

 Here’s how check-in works:  

  • Each child will receive a name tag, and each parent or caregiver will receive a pickup ticket that matches the child’s name tag. Hold onto that ticket to use for pickup after the service.  doodle board and simple craft for your older kids.
  • After checking in, head to the nursery window (you’ll see signs indicating where this is) to drop off nursery-aged children. Then find a place to sit for worship (you can bring a blanket or chairs, whatever is comfortable).
  • Encourage your kids to participate fully in worship by singing, dancing, and reading with the liturgy to the best of their abilities. Doodle boards and simple craft are available for use during the sermon to help keep fingers busy so they can focus. 
  • When it is time for programming, I’ll come forward and ask the children ages 3-7 to stand to receive a blessing (for the sake of time, they will not come forward as they normally would during our worship services). 
  • After the blessing I will take the children’s banner to door I, which leads into the Artery, and the children will meet me at that door.
  • You are welcome to accompany your child to the door to check them in, or simply send your child to meet me at the door.
  • Once inside, your child’s nametag will be scanned to check them in, and they will receive a squirt of hand sanitizer before they go to their classrooms.

Here’s how to check out: 

  • When the worship service and children’s programming is finished, you will find your child seated at one of the round tables on the patio, with their teacher standing nearby. 
  • Hand the pickup ticket to the teacher, who will verify it is the correct ticket and child, and you’ll be all set to go.

Bibles for 2nd Graders on June 6th

Next Sunday we’ll be welcoming children who are about to graduate from 2nd grade to the front at both the 10:00am and 11:30am service to receive their bibles. This is a milestone that encourages them to stay in the worship service and develop a lifelong habit of congregational worship! If you have a second grader, but didn’t get an email this week about the Bible presentation, please send a note to Jolanda or call at 616-238-1324 so we can be sure your child will be celebrated!

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?’ The art exhibit will run until June 6.

Church News:

Financial Update: Last week’s offering and online giving: $15,787.32
Current giving for the month of May: $80,066.62
Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $112,926

First quarter 2021 contribution statements will be emailed by May 31, please review them once received and let Angelica know if any changes are needed. You can reach her by email or phone (616) 956 7611 x29

As we move into 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.

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. This could be a fun event for a family or a group you like to work with. For more information and to sign up, contact Hope Bradley.

The COS Creation Care Team invites those who listened to, or are interested in hearing more about, Robin Wall Kimmerer’s lecture “Healing Relationships with the Natural World”  to join a short Zoom conversation (at  Sunday, May 30th at 6 p.m.  Please contact Ken Verhulst or Carol Rienstra if you have questions. 

Sunday Nursery Volunteers Needed – Jana Brasser, our beloved Nursery Supervisor, is opening up the nursery for the summer and is looking for volunteers who can help her keep our youngest members safe and cared for during the 10am and 11:30 am services. Our strong preference is that nursery volunteers be fully vaccinated and at least 14 years old. If you are interested in being on our nursery volunteer rotation this summer, please contact Lori Wiersma:

Prayer Walk on our COS Nature trail The COS Anti Racism team has written short prayers to commemorate the anniversary of George Floyd’s death and our Call to Racial Justice. Please take a laminated copy of the prayers in a holder at the front entrance of the church. Read these prayers silently or out loud as you walk the trail around church.

Welcome to our new staff Gatwiri Mwenda will be joining our staff on Tuesday, June 1 as our Office Coordinator! She recently graduated from Hope College. Gatwiri is the youngest daughter of Margaret and Mwenda. She will be sitting at the front desk answering calls and greeting members and visitors as well as catching up on many office tasks. We look forward to having her with us this summer. Please welcome Gatwiri!