This Sunday:

This Sunday, October 16, Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from Leviticus 25:23-38 & Luke 23:32-34 in the large service. Rev. Karen Campbell will preach in the All Nations Worship Service in Room 4. Following the service, stick around for Sunday School for all ages. Adult-ed GPS will meet in room 3.

The 10 am large service will be streamed via Zoom.

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

Children’s Ministry News:

Please register your kids for Children & Youth Programming! We’ve only received a small number of families, so if you haven’t already registered your kids, please click this link to begin. It should only take a few minutes and will really help us plan well for the ministries we offer. Thank you!

Reminder: Please Use Pickup Tickets for Little Lambs and Children’s Worship. Our new check-in safety system is important for the safety of all our children, and it communicates to families who are visiting that we care about children and want to keep them safe. We have several new leaders and children in our program this season, so it’s more important than ever to use your pickup ticket to get your child(ren) from their rooms after worship. Leaders are instructed to keep the children in their classroom until a parent/caregiver presents the ticket with the proper code. So please stick your pickup ticket to your shirt or bag (it is a sticker too!) so you can keep it handy to show the leader at pickup. If it’s hard to remember your code for the new nametag system, Jo Howe can change your code to something more memorable. Just send a note at If you forget to check in and print nametags when you arrive, simply follow your child when dismissed so you can get the nametag and pickup ticket then. So please use the system for your sake and the sake of others. 

Sunday School, 11:45am-12:30pm! (Ages 4 to Adult) Sunday school is a chance to learn together and grow in faith. It’s offered on all but the first Sunday of the month when there is an all-church meal instead. Please enjoy a cookie and juice in the café before dropping your kids off or sending them to their Sunday school rooms at 11:45am. (No food or drinks in the classrooms, please!) Maps showing these Sunday school room locations will be available at the children’s welcome station on Sunday:

  • The 4-year-old through 1st grade class is in room 9, in the children’s wing.
  • 2nd-4th grade is in room 19, just down the hall from the nursery.
  • 5-6th grade is in room 22, located in the hallway behind the mailboxes in the sanctuary.
  • Middle school is in room 17, just down the hall from the nursery. Sometimes the middle schoolers start in the youth room, so check with Brian or Annette for more details.
  • High school is in room 12, the Youth Room.
  • GPS (Adult Sunday school) is in Fellowship South, room 3, just past the café.
  • Nursery is available for children ages 3 and under.

Wednesday Nights at COS: Please Sign Up for One Cleanup Date. Girls Club and Boys Club for 2nd-6th grade and Wednesday Night Live for 7th-8th grade will meet on the first 3 Wednesdays in October and Nov. and the first Wednesday of Dec. before a winter break and returning in February. All ages are welcome to join in the meal, and nursery is available for younger children during the program time, 6:30-8:00pm. Cooking and cleaning up after a crowd requires a team. Please consider signing up here for just 1 Wednesday night to help with dishes, wiping down tables, and vacuuming after the meal while your kids are in programs. This would be a tremendous help to the staff and kitchen volunteers. If you’d like to join Ellen and her team as they prepare and serve meals, please reach out to Ellen Westrate.

Church News:

Current Giving for the month of October (includes monthly ach): $58,863.54

Giving for the month of September: $70,833

Giving for October 2021: $103,092

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $118,873

Giving receipts through September 30 will be sent out by email the third week of October. Please plan to review the statement for discrepancies in your contributions and review your pledge for the calendar year 2022. Please contact AJ Zahrt by email ( with any questions.

God’s People Seeking: join Dave Koetje and Debra Rienstra during the month of October to explore the concept of refugia. On October 16 (after the worship services), Debra will present and lead a discussion on her book Refugia Faith: Seeking Hidden Shelters, Ordinary Wonders, and the Healing of the Earth. (No need to read the book ahead of time!) We’ll learn about seven transformations that can prepare us as people of faith to become healers and people of refugia in a crisis-stressed world. On October 23 and 30, Dave will lead us on an informative walk around COS’s nature trail (23rd), where you can see how COS is engaged in ecosystem restoration. The next week (30th) we’ll learn about and discuss Dave’s research into “refugia gardening.” Join us for a thought-provoking and encouraging time of responding to our call to be earth healers. Copies of Refugia Faith are available for purchase at a special COS rate: $15 for one book, $10 for each additional book. Consider purchasing an extra copy to give as a thoughtful gift to someone you know. Cash, check, or Venmo (Venmo to @churchoftheservant). Make checks/Venmo transactions payable to COS with “Refugia” in the memo line.

Fall New Members Class. If you’re new or newer to Church of the Servant, you’re not alone. New Members class is an effort to enfold people in the life and ministries of COS. Over the course of four gatherings, the hope is to get to know more of the landscape of this particular congregation – a bit of our history, some [though certainly not all] of our ministries, and a few key leaders. There is of course no pressure to formally join if, by the end, it becomes clear COS isn’t the right fit. Either way, it’s an excellent way to grow into this church. The first meeting is on October 23rd after church from 11:45-12:30pm, and continues four Sundays in a row ending November 13th. A full meal will be served on November 6th, and the other three weeks we’ll have simple hospitality – coffee/fruit/pastries/etc.  

Sundays in November, we would like to offer a photo booth at church where individuals and families could have their photos taken for the 2023 Church Directory. However, we need a photographer(s) willing to take the pictures. No fancy camera is required, a phone and the willingness to email the pictures to Monica are all that is needed. If interested, contact Monica or call the church office.

Make a connection that could heal – Be the gift that will last a lifetime. Our next Blood Drive is in three weeks: Monday, November 7, 2-7pm. You can sign up online here for an appointment to donate. Show that you care! Questions? Contact Beth Karanicola or Ruth Huisman.

We are setting a goal to print a new Church Directory in January 2023. We need the help of everyone by sending an updated photo. Secondly, if you have moved, new phone number, email, etc., we would appreciate those updates as well. Send photos and updates to

October is Pastor Appreciation month. At COS, we would like to recognize Pastor Karen and Pastor Andrew with notes and cards of appreciation. For the five Sundays in October, baskets will be on the café counter in which to put your cards.

CORE (Community Organizing for Racial Equity) has a workshop planned for November 10, 11, and 12. These Understanding Racism workshops are open to everyone in our congregation. It is our hope and prayer that COS people continue in this work of understanding racism, becoming an ever brighter light in the community as to what God-led antiracism looks like. By attending a workshop and joining in the ongoing task of dismantling racism as a Christ follower, we can do good work together. This workshop will be held at Church of the Servant. Our COS budget covers registration costs. Future workshops scheduled: Six Wednesday evenings on zoom from 6-9 pm starting on January 11 and, another in-person workshop is scheduled for March 9-11. Please prayerfully consider attending. Register at  

Church library news: After a long hiatus, the church library is up and running again, with a new emphasis: sustainability. Our library budget is intentionally minuscule because (1) we already have abundance and (2) I want to discover–and provide–what our church cares about and needs or wants to read. This week’s sustainability challenge concerns our magazines. Currently, we receive the Banner and Christianity Today. Our subscription to Sojourners has lapsed, and a kind soul is donating Guideposts. If you subscribe to a magazine that you think fellow COS members would enjoy, please contact Lori Vanden Bosch about donating recent copies.

Prayer Requests for Our Congregational Journey after Synod 2022 and Suggestions for Education Series. Please continue to pray for our own congregation as we respond to Synodical actions. In the August letter to the congregation, Council reiterated our commitment to be a congregation open to a range of responsible, biblically based views on LGBTQ+ questions, united by our shared commitment to Christ, to vibrant worship and discipleship, and to our service in the world. We also want to honor the requests coming from our recent listening circles to provide continuing education and discussion around the theology presented in the human sexuality report. To this end, we plan to offer a variety of opportunities for learning over the fall and winter. We will explore additional views than those presented in the HSR to inform our discussions and to encourage us to approach those holding different views with respect and grace. If you have speakers, articles, or videos that you found helpful and would like to suggest to the committee working on this series, please contact Janice McWhertor, Pam Bratt, or any member of the Next Steps Task Force.

The first of several Monday Restorative Justice conversations sponsored by the COS Prisoners in Christ team will take place on October 17th, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the church living room. Paula Creswell, program manager of 70X7 Life Recovery “Cards for Prisoners” and “Restoring Hope Congregations” will be the featured speaker. All are welcome to join for a light supper and conversation. To sign up, or for more information, send an email to or contact Arend VanderPols.

Saturday, October 29 at 9:30am, is COS’s annual Fall Work Day, lunch will be provided. There are projects for all ages and abilities: weeding, shed organization, tree trimming, winterizing property, hedge trimming, weed trimming. COS has some tools, but the Facilities Team recommends bringing some of your own as well.

The first of the Prisoners in Christ monthly Restorative Justice conversations, made possible by a grant from Classis Grand Rapids East, will take place on Monday, October 17, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Church of the Servant, 3835 Burton St., SE. Paula Creswell, program manager of 70X7 Life Recovery “Cards for Prisoners” and “Restoring Hope Congregations” will be the featured speaker. Come for a light supper and conversation. To reserve your spot or for more information, send an email to