Christ the King Sunday, November 21, 2021

This Sunday:

This Sunday, in indoor worship at COS, Rev. Karen Campbell will preach from Ephesians 6:10-18 and 2 Samuel 22:38-37 in the standard English service. Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from John 14:16-21 in the Basic English Service in Room 5.

Following the morning services: We encourage all our members to consider staying for a GPS session following our morning worship services. Council remains committed to providing hospitable spaces of grace where we cultivate spaces of listening to each other acknowledging our different positions particularly regarding the Human Sexuality Report. Please join us on November 21 at 11.45 am in room 3. There will be a presentation and discussion from council and other COS members. We will talk through the process of how council prepared a response to the CRC’s Human Sexuality Report to be presented to synod 2021. We will review COS’s journey with gender and sexuality, present a brief overview of the HSR, review council’s discernment, hear from staff, prepare for listening circles, and review an overture proposed to be sent to classis and then on to Synod. The content of the overture will be a deeper dive into the science reflected in the overture and council’s response to this.  

We invite you to sign up to attend the morning service. Please note on the sign up that masking is now required for those over 2 years old. The 10 am service will also be live via Zoom. Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

We have added a new update to the COVID Team’s response page on the COS website. Read it for more details regarding COS’s Covid updates and reminders.

Children’s Ministry News:

Advent Devotions for All Ages. If you’d like to order an advent devotion, please check out the display in the café today. We’ll have copies available next Sunday, Nov. 28th!

New Gathering Place for Snacks before Clubs and Sunday School: Outside Door M Near the Children’s Wing. Rather than try to remember if it’s a club or Sunday school week, and where your kid’s class might be, we’re making it easier with ONE LOCATION for kids to gather to get their snack before being escorted by leaders to their Club or Sunday school location! Starting this Sunday, please dress your kids for the weather and send them out for snacks after the service when programming is offered (usually the first 4 Sundays of the month, but not next week due Thanksgiving). At 11:45am club leaders will meet kids outside door M to take them to their club locations. Boys and Girls Clubs will be playing games outside this week, so please encourage your kids to bundle up!

The Little Lambs Jam Band in the Artery or Outside, Depending on Weather.

Our 2 ½ – 2nd Graders have been braving the cold to sing outside on Sundays. As the temperature dips, we may need to stay inside. When that happens, we all kids and leaders will remain masked and play instruments while our song leader sings. Our little ones are often so focused on their instruments that they rarely sing, so this won’t be a huge change for them, and will allow us to stay warm and still enjoy our favorite songs together.

Collecting Outgrown Coats, Snow Pants, Boots, Hats, and Gloves for Kids and Teens to Use During Clubs! Please considering washing and donating the winter gear your kids have outgrown! These items will be used for outdoor activities or outings during club ministries and washed between uses, or sent home with kids who need them. Drop your used winter gear in the black bin at the entrance to the children’s wing. *Please note there is also a new glove, hat, and scarf drive happening for our neighbors at Ridge Park Elementary. That collection basket is at the entrance of church. If possible, please donate to both!

Church News:

Last week’s offering and online giving:  $18,771

Current Giving for the month of November: $55,950

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $118,873

Fiscal Year Report

The Thursday Bible Study continues to meet. We meet Thursdays in the COS cafe area, 9:30 – 11:00 am. This fall, we will be exploring Ecclesiastes. Our focus this week, November 18, is Eccles. 9:1-12 “What Meaning Does Death Bring to Life?”You may pick up a study guide when you come on Thursday. If you need childcare, please contact Mary Loeks. Please wear a mask. EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

November Council Summary. Council spent a brief time looking forward to the Stewardship campaign launching, the special Thanksgiving offering for Coit Church and the planning for celebrations of COS’s 50th Anniversary.

Council spent most of their hybrid (in-person and Zoom) meeting in November praying, preparing, discussing and trying to listen to each other well as we seek discernment in our individual and collective response to the CRC Human Sexuality Report of 2020. We sought to understand each other, the report and a draft overture better. A desire to show God’s love to each person impacted in any way by the report was strongly expressed.

Council covets the prayers of COS members as a final overture to Synod is written and listening circles begin.

Gathering to Love, Gathering to Give: This month, we are beginning a reflection on our financial giving this year and next. The Stewardship Team invites you all to think and pray as we each consider our responses to God’s generosity towards us. As God loves us, so we must show love and support to one another. In December we will ask each individual or household to make a promise, a pledge, about giving to COS in 2022. Literature will be available to guide you, and pledge forms will be available in the building and online in the Giving section of the COS website.

Revised Listening Circle Dates. Sign-ups are open for the listening circles for the CRC Synod’s Human Sexuality Report. The start date for the circles has been pushed back to allow for training of additional facilitators. The new meeting dates for Sunday circles will be December 12, January 9, 23, February 13, 27.  We are grateful for your strong support and interest. Based upon feedback from the interest cards, we will now be offering a Sunday morning Zoom session and a longer Wednesday evening Zoom session that meets on November 24, December 1, 8, 15, 22. See details about available listening circles on the COS website or the sign-up cards at COS. You can also sign up by calling the church office. Please note that middle and high school students who are interested in attending must sign up so we can plan accordingly. We are still looking for additional facilitators. Additional listening circles, including ones that begin after Christmas, may still be added based upon interest. The delayed start also accommodates the November 21, 2021, GPS meeting which will talk about COS’s overture to Synod and the role the listening circles play in COS’s journey to date in response to the Human Sexuality Report. See the GPS announcement for more details.

The Refugee Support Team invites you to help us in co-sponsoring Shahad Al Douri, a recent refugee from Iraq.  She is single, 28, and has an aunt here in GR.  While we do not expect that she will need the same level of support as a large family, we would like to offer more COS members an opportunity to serve in this ministry.  Nita VanderBerg is taking the lead.  If you would like to help with extending friendship, setting up Shahad with household items, etc., please contact Nita. To volunteer as a driver for appointments, contact Jon Bruss. 

Meijer Simply Give Campaign for COS. COS has been awarded another campaign to support our In-House Food pantry. The double day will be on Saturday, December 11. This where your $10.00 purchase of the Simply Gift card will give COS $30.00 in Meijer gift cards to be used to purchase food items from Meijer for our pantry. For those who want Ellen Westrate, Food Coordinator, to purchase the Simply Gift cards at the Cascade Meijer only on December 11, please give your money or a check to COS in an envelope to Ellen Westrate labeled Simply Give.

As is our tradition, we will worship together on Thanksgiving Day at 10:00am. We will have space in our service for brief thanksgiving testimonies, and our Joyful Noise Orchestra will accompany the singing of a few Thanksgiving hymns at the end of the service. Anyone who plays a band or orchestra instrument is invited to play with the orchestra for this service. (Wind instruments will need instrument masks/covers.) Music is available for pickup in the music room. Rehearsal will be from 9:00am – 9:45am on Thanksgiving Day. Please sign up in the music room or by emailing Maria Stapert Vander Berg (

Oak Hill Cemetery Tour – Saturday, November 27, 10am—12pm. The Classis Grand Rapids East’s Racial Justice Team invites you to join a tour of Oak Hill Cemetery (647 Hall Street SE) to learn more about early African Americans and racism in Grand Rapids’ history. You can sign up for a tour by filling out the form on