This Sunday:

This Christ the King Sunday, Rev. Karen Campbell will preach from Isaiah 58:6-14; Revelation 21:1-4 in the large service. Rev. Andrew Mead will preach in the All Nations Worship Service in Room 4. During the Services, we have the joy of welcoming new members to COS.

Donate dry food to Well House. On Sunday, November 20, you can bring dry food offerings to church for Well House. Residents coming out of homelessness live in 15+ houses in southeast Grand Rapids. They keep food in their rooms to cook in shared kitchens. They need shelf-stable food such as peanut butter (small jars); canned vegetables, meat, fish, soups, and stews; cereal; and mac and cheese. You will be invited to bring up the food during the offertory.

Following the services, stick around for Sunday School for all Ages. God’s People Seeking (GPS), our adult-ed Sunday School continues its November series: “Jubilee and Your Checkbook”. This Sunday, GPS welcomes Mike Zahrt to discuss “Estate Planning for Everyone” in Room 3 (learn more about this week’s GPS below).

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

Children’s News:

Advent Devotions for Families– Special seasons of the church year are a great time to try new ways to worship as a family. Look for a resource table in the Café this Sunday and next featuring these books for purchase at a discounted rate:

  • The Jesse Tree Story: A Family Advent Devotional by Rev. Grace Claus. This family devotional includes daily readings and wondering questions focusing on the family tree of Jesus with a colorful symbol for each story. Families/kids are encouraged to make an ornament for each of the symbols to hang on your own Jesse tree. Tying sticks together in a vase makes and easy Jesse tree that will grows more festive and colorful as ornaments are added each day. Online resources include a coloring page of ornaments, which I’m happy to print on cardstock at church at your request to go along with this resource.  
  • Advent at the Kids Table: An Offering of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love by The Welcome Table: Daryn Stylianopaulos, Lin Story-Bunce 

This family devotional is strong on building community and encouraging service to others as we share the love of Christ. It includes fun quotes from children’s books to go along with Scripture reading. However, it tends to center us and our actions in the world (we are to be a light to the world)—so families using this resource will want to shift the emphasis to back to Christ as the center of each reading (Christ is our light—the light of Christ lives in us and shines through us!).  

  • God Loves Me Storybooks by Patricia Nederveld. This set of three storybooks is designed for preschoolers: Jesus is Born!Good News!, and An Amazing Star! Each starts and ends with a photo of a child to draw the children into the story, and includes a wondering question and prayer as well as activities for play. I (Jolanda) love this colorful set and used the full set of 52 Bible storybooks for my children’s devotions when they were ages 2-6—reading the same storybook each night for a week before moving on to the next. If you have young children, I’d encourage you to get this set of three and consider getting the full 52 storybook set to begin establishing a habit of family devotions.
  • Celebrating Abundance: Devotions for Advent by Walter Brueggemann published by Westminster John Knox Press

This book includes daily readings aimed at adults or teens. Families with children in high school may enjoy reading this together, or members of your family may find it a nice individual devotional for Advent.

  • Year-Round Devotional Options. Along with these advent devotionals I also have a few copies of the book Teach Us to Pray: Scripture Center Family Worship Through the Year by Laura A. Copley and Elizabeth Vander Hagaan and God’s Big Story Cards by Faith Alive Christian Resources. Both are excellent resources for elementary-school-age and older children. Talk to Jolanda if you are interested in either.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel: Advent Liturgical Dance Rehearsal. Our beloved Advent dance is an excellent opportunity for children (and whole families!) to be involved in leading worship. Children 5-years old and up are invited to participate. Please bring your kids to one of the rehearsals on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10-11:00am or Monday, Nov. 21 from 7:00-8:00pm.

Thanksgiving Break – There will be no Wednesday night club programming the next two week, and no Sunday school on Nov. 27th for Thanksgiving break.

Christmas Brunch with Children’s Crafts, Dec. 4. We’ll enjoy our annual Christmas brunch after the worship service (no Sunday school). Look for a table of Advent and Christmas-themed crafts for children to enjoy during brunch! We’ll also begin sign-ups and script distribution for parts in the Christmas Eve 5pm service at the Christmas Brunch! If you are new to COS we can’t wait to introduce you to this beautiful full-participation all-ages family Christmas Eve service!

Church News:

As is our tradition, we will worship together on Thanksgiving Day at 10:00 am. We will be blessed by music from Joyful Noise Orchestra, a time of sharing thanksgiving testimonies led by Pastor Jerome Burton, and a sermon on the book of Ruth from Kurt Schaefer. As always, our Thanksgiving Day offering will be for Coit Community CRC in northeast Grand Rapids. This multicultural congregation does good ministry in hard places. We hope to raise at least $8,000 to $10,000 for Coit.

Current Giving for the Month of November: $68,262

Giving for the month of October: $122,219

Giving for November 2021: $86,525

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $118,873

The Finance Committee is looking to add 2-4 new members. The committee meets near the middle of each month to review the past month’s finances. Our responsibilities are 1) to keep an eye on the financial situation of COS for Council, 2) advise Council on financial matters, and 3) with guidance from Council prepare the annual budget for approval by Council and the congregation. If this interests you, please contact the church treasurer, AJ Zahrt, or the committee chair, Chuck Hampton.

G.P.S. Schedule. GPS (God’s People Seeking) invites you to join us on Sundays in Fellowship Room 3 (next to the café) from 11:45am-12:30pm. GPS seeks to offer a space where friends and members of COS can build connections, expand their view of God, and grapple with faith.

November: Jubilee and your Checkbook –an exploration of how Jubilee shaped Israel’s understanding of economics, and how this vision might impact our view of finances today.

  • Nov. 20: Mike Zahrt: Planned Giving and the Church*

December: When COS Went to Prison – Dec. 11 & 18, 11:45-12:30pm, Fellowship Room 3, more details coming soon.

*Do YOU Have a Will? Estate Planning for Everyone: The GPS presentation after the November 20 worship services will be led by Mike Zahrt, a COS member and attorney. Mike will explain the importance of medical and legal/financial powers of attorney, how to create a will, how to include COS and its Legacy Foundation and other philanthropic interests as a part of your will or estate plan, and why you might want to do that for tax and principled reasons. No matter your age or life circumstance, if you don’t have a will or estate plan, or you think yours needs to be updated, you will find this session helpful. This presentation has been arranged by the Trustees of the Church of the Servant Legacy Foundation, which was established by the COS Council in 2019 as a way for members and friends of Church of the Servant to help lay a stronger financial foundation for our congregation into the future.

Seeking seekers: Alpha is an opportunity for anyone on the journey of faith and doubt to engage life’s biggest questions in a safe and honest context. If you or someone you know may be interested in gathering in a small group setting for 10 sessions, please email Pastor Andrew. Additionally, if you’re willing to commit to praying behind the scenes for this group, please let Pastor Andrew know. A start date will be determined by responses.

Advent Calendars from Northern Ireland artist Carole Kane are still available in the Cafe for $20 each. The QR code will create interest for younger folks especially and the printed page will bring all ages along on a journey to Christmas. Only 8 remain and no further copies will be available. Cash or check only.

All are welcome to participate in a Restorative Justice conversation on Monday, November 21, from 5:30-7:15 p.m. at Church of the Servant, 3835 Burton St. SE. Citizens for Prison Reform representatives will share how ending solitary confinement and reinstating “good time” credits would reduce harm and promote safety inside prison facilities and in our homes and communities.  Sign up for this free event, light supper included, supported by CRCNA Classis GR East, by emailing or calling (616) 724-6772.

O Antiphons Advent service at Church of the Servant – December 18, 2022, at 6 pm. The COS O Antiphons Advent service makes use of a series of medieval prayers referred to as the O Antiphons. They were composed for use in evening prayer services on the last seven days of Advent. They are best known to us as the seven verses of the advent hymn, O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Each antiphon is a petition for Christ to come, addressing the Messiah with a title from Old Testament prophecies. In anticipation of this year’s service, we invite members of the congregation to contribute artwork for our worship. If you would like to contribute artwork for this year’s service, please contact Maria Stapert, COS Worship Coordinator. Artwork is not limited to paintings nor limited to professional artists. Learn more here.

Extra nursery help is needed for our extra services. If you love children, are in high school or beyond, and want to serve our families with young children, please consider volunteering to serve in the COS nursery on one or both upcoming O Antiphon Service on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 6 pm. Contact Annette Ediger if you are willing to help.  Thank you!

Results from our November 7 Blood Drive were very heartwarming! Our goal was 28 units, and we surpassed that by collecting 31 units, and also welcomed 5 first-time donors. The whole blood units we collected can each be used in three ways, so the impact potentially reaches 93 lives! Two of our new donors were there because of a young family member who has cancer and needed blood. All of our donations go to Michigan hospitals, so it seems very appropriate that in this season of Thanksgiving, we are caring for our community. THANK YOU to all who participated! A special shout-out to faithful donor Mary Burch who reached a total of 11 gallons at this drive!

Facilities Team is looking for some shoveling volunteers who will monitor the snow fall during Sunday services and Wednesday activities and be willing to clear the sidewalks. Contact Bob H or Monica S if you are willing to shovel snow.