First week of Advent, Sunday, November 29, 2020

On this first Sunday in Advent, November 29,  we will continue to worship using our zoom format, individually, but still as one body, united in Christ  This week Rev. Len VanderZee will bring us a message based on the scriptures of Psalm 80 and Mark 13:24-37.   Resources, videos, and liturgies can be found on the Church of the Servant website at

Journey to the Manger – Christmas at COS is full of many traditions: Christmas Brunch, Childrens’ Nativity, O Come O Come Immanuel dance, singing Silent Night at Candlelight on Christmas Eve.  Yet, 2020 has been a different journey.  As we move towards Advent, we do not want to uphold traditions to simply numb the pain of this year nor to maintain a nostalgia in our grief.

Rather, we invite you to journey towards the manger while reflecting on those who made the first journey.  2020 Advent:

Happening Sunday

Interested in becoming a COS member? New members (virtual) classes continue this Sunday at 9am. Sign up by contacting either Nancy Remelts or Karen Campbell

On Sunday evening, Nov. 29, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. people who discussed Just Mercy together on two previous Sunday evenings will come together for prayer and consideration of next steps. New attendees are welcome to Join the Zoom Meeting as well. Questions? Call Barbara Hampton or Carol Rienstra. This is the link.


Children in Preschool-6th Grade –During Advent, our children will join some furry, buzzing, and squeaky creatures on a journey to the manger! Your family will receive craft supplies and art materials to make a manger scene at home and surround the manger with eager animals, awaiting the birth of the Savior!

Please plan to pick up your children’s craft kits and art supplies at church on Sat., Nov. 28th between 11am-3:00pm.  You may also purchase the All Creation Waits book at $10 for collection at this time. If your children usually ride the church van to church for programming, your materials will be delivered to your house by Dec. 5. If this schedule doesn’t work for you, please contact Jolanda Howe at 616-238-1324 or to schedule a pickup or drop off.

Your children will have the chance to gather with their club group once during December to talk about Advent and explore how to draw close to God through creative expression! Each club meeting will wrap up with an invitation for all the kids in preschool-6th grade in your household to gather around the zoom call to work on that week’s craft activity: making one of the creatures from the All Creation Waits book by Gayle Boss. Ms. Jo will walk them through each step, and they’ll have the chance to help each other along the way. When they are finished, each child will put their animal around the manger, which we hope you’ll keep on the family table, or another visible place during Advent. 

Zoom Meeting Schedule –Click on this link  to join any of the club meetings in December. When asked, enter the passcode CLUB. To join by phone without a computer, dial 1-312-626-6799. When asked for the meeting number enter 84509390414# this should get you into the meeting. 

Girls Club (2nd-6th grade) will meet on Sunday, Dec. 6th at 4:30pm, with the last 10-15 minutes dedicated to a Honeybee craft for the girls and their preschool-6th grade siblings. 

Boys Club (2nd-6th grade) will meet on Sunday, Dec. 13th at 4:30pm, with the last 10-15 minutes dedicated to an Opossum craft for the boys and their preschool-6th grade siblings. 

Kids Club (Preschool-1st grade) will meet on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 4:30pm, with the last 10-15 minutes dedicated to a Vole craft for the kids and their 2nd-6th grade siblings.

Advent Art for Older Children –If your older children aren’t interested in making animal crafts, they may enjoy the more open-ended art activities offered for all ages during Dark Times, Deep Grace on the COS Facebook Page at 6:30pm on Wednesday Dec. 2, 9, and 16. The live videos will also be available after the dates they are filmed live to watch anytime. Art materials provided in the children’s kit should allow them to participate in these activities. 

If you have any questions about how your children can participate, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jolanda!

Church News 

Church of the Servant is searching for a Congregational Life Coordinator to sustain and deepen a community of care and belonging within COS. This part-time position (20 hrs/wk) will seek to strengthen structures of pastoral care, encourage household fellowship, enfold newcomers, and support emerging ministries of fellowship for all of God’s children. The position description can be found here.  Please send inquires to the chairperson of the Congregational Life Team, Nancy Remelts ( and Pastor Andrew Mead (

Financial Update – Last week’s offering and online giving :  $30,524

Current Giving for the month of November: $109,252  (1 Sunday left)

Monthly General Fund Budget:  $112,926

Especially during this time of distancing, we have need of an updated photo directory. If your information/photo is current, you are all set. But if you don’t have a family photo, there is still time to be included.  If you are having trouble logging in to the member portal, or If you need any help please contact You may also send a photo or your updated information to Diane. If you can do it yourself, the Online Member Center can be accessed here:

Meijer Simply Give Double Match days begin Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 through Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. If you give online before December 12, COS staff will automatically apply your funds to Double Match Days.  You may give here:  On those days, for every $10 card purchase, Meijer will match this with $20, so the COS food pantry will benefit with a $30 gift! If you buy a $30 Meijer Simply Give card, it will turn into a $90 gift to the COS food pantry.  Give easily online OR you may purchase your Simply Give cards in person at the Cascade Meijer, anytime during the campaign, but preferably on the Double Match Days. Our Meijer Simply Give program continues through Sat., Jan. 2, 2021.

Children’s winter hats, gloves, and sock drive – We are still collecting new and hand-knit hats, gloves, and warm socks for the students at Ridge Park Charter Academy through December.  COS has a container in the entryway of the front doors for easy drop-off.  Thank you!!

Classis Grand Rapids East invites its member congregations to participate in W. Michigan Community Organizing training via Zoom on Thurs. evening, Dec. 10.  Check with Carol Rienstra ( or Lori Wiersma ( for more info about this opportunity to inform and focus our “seeking justice” efforts for the western Michigan community. 

Thank you for your support of Angel Tree! With your generosity, we have surpassed our goal of providing gifts for 10 children.  Thanks COS!

Thursday, December 10, 2020 — 7-8 pm Eastern, via Zoom

Changing Our Energy Systems: A New Path Toward Sustainable Clean Energy. Register with Eventbrite HERE. Climate change is affecting everyone. And greenhouse gases must be cut to save the planet. But, the obstacles to achieving a climate-friendly energy system are huge. Alain Godeau will explain how new technologies and better practices are stymied by outdated or counterproductive assumptions that are no longer justified.

The presentation will outline the root causes of fluctuations in daily energy demand. It will show the benefits of dealing with these swings at their source. Godeau will explain the negative consequences of feeding the power grid with variable clean energy and how to address these effects. He will assess the benefits and drawbacks of a centralized versus a distributed power grid. Finally, Godeau will present his vision for a climate-friendly electric power system and the main obstacles to achieving it.

Alain Godeau was President of Price Waterhouse Canada International and president of Strategic Governance Group International until his retirement in 2008. He has over 40 years of international management consulting experience in diverse environments focusing on public-private partnership. He was the lead partner of large-scale projects in more than 30 European, Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries. These multi-million dollar projects were funded variously by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Development Bank, the Canadian Development Bank and USAID. Mr. Godeau has French and Canadian citizenship and has been a permanent resident of the US (Grand Rapids, MI) since 2008.
Register with Eventbrite HEREContact Tom McWhertor if you have questions or want more information: