This Sunday, May 8, Rev. Karen Campbell will preach from Acts 9:36-43. Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from Acts 9:36-43 in the Basic English Service.

Following the services, 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 the third in the series:  Praying Scripture. We will practice Martin Luther’s teaching on how to pray by weaving the various strands of reflection on the Bible.

Next week’s topic:  Dealing with Distractions and Barriers. We will examine where we get stuck in the spiritual life and practice the spiritual discipline of lamenting.

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

Small Group Discussion Connected with the Hungering for God GPS series. Harry Plantinga, 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.

Church News:

Current Giving for the month of May: $21,700.79

Giving for the month of April: $101,749.55

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $118,873

COS Community Garden has room for you. The COS Community Garden (behind church, between the firepit plaza and the solar panel array) still has a few gardening spaces left—either 4×8-feet or 4×16-feet. COS provides the water, and we don’t charge for the spaces. Gardeners are a mix of people whose first language is English and people with another mother tongue. Gardening here works best if you can visit at least weekly to tend, weed, and water your garden space. By using square foot gardening (instead of row gardening), you can grow an amazing amount. Interested? Contact Joan Huyser-Honig

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.

“Landscapes: Real and Imagined” is the title of the new show in the Artery. Be sure to enjoy some time with the beautiful artwork of Richard Muller, retired faculty member of Calvin Seminary.

Welcome Home: Last Sunday, the Church of the Servant council publicly launched the Welcome Home campaign—a fundraising effort to purchase the house at 3825 Burton Street SE, adjacent to our church property, and establish it as transitional housing for incoming refugees and immigrants. We’re amazed and grateful to report that we’re now well over halfway to the goal. The congregation’s response testifies to the Spirit’s work among us. But we need many more members and friends to make a gift or a pledge so we can close on the house in early June, as the seller has requested. You can find a pledge form, as well as a brochure highlighting the many reasons to care about this project at Join this movement to stand with refugees seeking a new community. Help COS plant a new ministry of hospitality along Burton Street. If you have 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.

Be a Beacon of Hope! A blood transfusion can literally be the gift of life. No one plans to be in a car accident or have emergency surgery. But if that happens, and blood is needed, it’s too late to recruit a donor. A good supply of blood at all times is critical. So be your most generous self – donate blood!  Our next blood drive is in one week: Monday, May 16, from 2-7pm in our church cafe. Follow this link to the online schedule. If you are already signed up, would you ask a family member or friend to join you in donating? Most people donate for the first time after receiving a personal invitation or by knowing someone who needed blood. 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. The 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’.

The Joyful Noise Orchestra is back! On Sunday, May 15, we invite all those who play a band or orchestra instrument to participate in the Joyful Noise Orchestra as we lead the music for our SES worship. Young and old, experienced and novice musicians are encouraged to all join in this group. It is a good opportunity for novice musicians to get their feet wet by participating in the worship music. And it is important to have experienced musicians there to support the novice musicians. Rehearsals will be held Thursday, May 12 from 5:30-6:30 and Sunday, May 15 at 9:00am. Music packets are available in the music room. Pick up a packet and sign up.  Or email to receive a PDF of the music and sign up via email.

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.  😊