Excerpts from the COS Bulletin. For the full bulletin, please visit the Members and Friends portal.

Happening this Sunday

Living Water Nurtures Us and Future Generations –In his book, The Prodigal God, Timothy Keller uses the story of The Prodigal Son, found in Luke 15, to describe the heart of the gospel. The story is about a son who leaves his family with half his father’s wealth only to return years later, having squandered all of it. His father welcomes him back without hesitation, with no demand for repayment, and immediately invites him to reclaim his position within the family. This angers his other son who cannot understand why his father does not hold his brother accountable for his reckless, egregious offenses. There is often an assumption that the word prodigal means “wayward”. Prodigal means “spending money or resources freely and recklessly” or “giving something on a lavish scale.” Keller goes on to describe the father’s love for his son as a reflection of the heavenly father’s prodigal love for us. Prodigal love and reckless grace are offered to everyone, free of cost. The study guide to Keller’s book asks us to share stories of your experiences God’s prodigal love and reckless grace with each other and with our children.

College-Age Ministry – This Sunday marks the kickoff of the College-Age ministry! If you’re a post-high school young adult, you’re invited to the Strydhorst’s for lunch today following the worship service. The Strydhorst’s live just a short walk from the church. Keila Pieters will meet you at the welcome kiosk near at the front entrance of the building to lead the way.

Adult Ed: The Justice Class – Sundays, 8:55 am starting today, Oct. 14. Our Fall theme will be “Considering Public Justice”. Click here for more information and links to the essays. 

Next Sunday

GPS (God’s People Seeking) – During GPS at 9 am on October 21, the Creation Care Team has invited Gail Heffner to present on the work of the Plaster Creek Stewards. This group focuses on research, education and restoration work for this important local watershed. Come and learn more about their work in advance of a work day that will take place on Saturday, October 27.

Stay healthy and avoid the flu. Spectrum Health will be performing our annual COS flu immunization clinic on Oct. 21 from 11:30 to 12:30. Spectrum Health accepts Priority Health, Blue Cross/Health, Aetna and Medicare. 

Youth News

High School Students: 25 spots have been reserved for our annual mission trip.  This year’s destination: Puerto Rico over Spring Break!  We will be partnering with local Puerto Rican churches to rebuild and repair damage done by Hurricane Maria.  Trip dates: March 29 -April 5.  $50 deposit required to hold your spot.  Contact Annette for more details.  

Church News

Save the date! The youth of COS will be holding a Puerto Rican-themed fundraising dinner and auction on Wed., Dec. 5, 5-7pm.  If you have items you would like to donate, contact Annette Ediger.

The Thursday Bible study meets this week on October 18, 9:30 – 11am, Col. 1:1-20, Lesson 2A in the café area, childcare provided.  EVERYONE is welcome!

The Widows Support Group meets this Tues. Oct. 16, at 1pm in the library.

Thank you COS, for your generosity toward the people of India! On Sept. 16 we raised $3,015.71 for India Relief. This gift was given to World Renew to help those who’ve been displaced by flooding in the Kerala state of India.    -The COS Deacons

All Saints’ Testimony Service – On Sun. Nov. 4 at 6pm will have an All Saints’ service as in years past.  In this service, we hear the testimony of 3 members sharing about a saint in their lives who has been formative for their faith.  We also light candles in remembrance of all the saints who have gone before us.  If you are interested in giving a testimony of a saint in your life, please contact Lois Nordling or Maria Stapert (maria.stapert@coscrc.org).

The Worship Team is looking for a few new members.  A PhD in liturgical studies is not required, just an interest in discussing matters related to the liturgy, music, dance and art used for our worship services.  If you would like to learn more, please contact Ron Rienstra, chair of the worship team or Maria Stapert, Worship Coordinator, maria.stapert@coscrc.org

The Joyful Noise Orchestra will lead the music in the SES on Sunday, October 21.  If you play a band or orchestra instrument, you are invited to play with this group.  The music is available this Sunday in the music room.  We will rehearse on this Wed. Oct. 17 at 6:30pm and again on Sun. October 21 at 9am.  Please sign up in the music room or by emailing Maria Stapert (maria.stapert@coscrc.org).

Liturgical Dancers – October 21 marks the beginning of a new season. Join us as we dance the confession sequence. Rehearsals will be held Thursday, October 18 at 7PM and Saturday, October 20 at 10AM. Any questions, contact Julie Yonkers.

Registration Update: WE’RE READY!  Every fall we ask families and friends of COS who have children ages 0 through 12th grade to register their child so that we can care for them and invite them to participate in the life of COS in age-appropriate ways.  We made a few tweaks to our registration form this year to make it SUPER SIMPLE to fill out. To register your child, you can either pick up a paper form off the information counter in the café are or by clicking here. Thank you for helping us to know and care for all the children and youth of COS! 

Trauma Healing Discovery Meeting, this Wed. Oct 17, 6:30-8:30pm: you are invited to an introduction to the American Bible Society’s Bible-based trauma healing program on Wed. Oct 17 to see if you’d like to participate in this program, as a member of a healing group or as the facilitator of a group.  All are welcome to this discovery meeting. Contact Ann Kapteyn.

Interested in becoming a NEW MEMBER at COS? If so, there are classes scheduled for Oct. 28 (NOT Oct 29, as listed previously), Nov. 4, 11 and 18. Meet the staff and committee chairs and learn the history of COS and how you can get involved. There is a sign-up sheet on the welcome counter in the café. Contact Chris Klein, Minister of Congregational Life, chris.klein@coscrc.org 956-7611, with questions or concerns. And, there will, of course, be coffee and tea, fruit and pastries. Plan to meet in the church living room at 9am. Nursery is available.

Fall Grounds Cleanup – Monday, October 22, 4:30pm–until finished: COS Facilities Team is seeking volunteers to help tidy up COS landscaping and outdoor facilities in preparation for the winter season. Many hands make light work! Late arrivals and all ages welcome.  Pizza dinner to follow.

Registration is open for the October 25-27 and November 8-10 Understanding Racism Workshops. These workshop experiences are designed to explore the deep racial complexity of the United States and begin to explore paths for reconciliation. Our goal is to gain insight in understanding systemic racism through the eyes of faith and Scripture. We encourage all leaders and members at Church of the Servant to attend one of these workshops. This effort helps us to become focused and work together to address one of our country’s greatest troubles. Register on line at CORRnow.org. 

Being in a HOUSEHOLD at COS is a way of getting to know others more closely and warmly. Each household has 10-20 individuals and activities range from meals to Bible studies, hikes to attending plays—it’s up to each group and most meet monthly. Sign up on the sheet in the café. Contact Chris Klein, at chris.klein@coscrc.org or 956-7611 ext. 22.

Hospitality for Young Adults – Do you like to make people feel warm and welcome in your home? Do you enjoy cooking for a grateful group? We’re looking for host homes and cooks for the college age ministry. If you can provide a place for approx. 5-25 young adults to meet and eat after church once or twice between now and May on a 2nd or 4th Sunday of the month, please contact Jolanda Howe. Our hope is that hosts will not have to cook. So if you love to cook, please reach out to Jolanda to schedule a meal to drop off for one of these meetings.  

Our Angel Tree ministry will host a Christmas party on Saturday, December 8 from 4 to 6:30 pm at COS for the children of prisoners. The incarcerated parents have requested to be part of this, so that through us, their children will receive a gift and a message from them.  There are many ways you can support this, through your presents, presence, finances, and prayers.  If interested, contact Lucie Marsden.