Happening This Sunday

Our first annual Songfest will be an exciting event held after the 10 am services! This inter-cultural Songfest will feature multiple BES members who will share music from their own home countries in a spirit of thanksgiving and praise. It will begin with a Friends of New Americans lunch with an intentional mix of folks from different cultures and backgrounds.

Due to the Song Fest scheduled for today, October 20th at COS, the COS Antiracism Team has decided to postpone the lunch and conversation with Professor Mark Mulder. We will send out a new date soon!

Next Sunday

Spectrum Health will again provide a Flu clinic at COS on Sunday 10/27 starting at 11:30am. Individuals can use the following insurance plans to pay for their immunization. Insurance cards must be provided at the time of service.
Priority Health
Blue Cross/ Shield
Blue Care Network
Other insurances, including Medicaid, will not be accepted. Individuals will be responsible for any copayment or denials and may receive a bill if that occurs.


9am Sunday School: Coffee, Hot Cocoa, Donuts, and Story Time!
David Campbell is coming today to give us a little background on C.S. Lewis before reading 2-3 chapters of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe during our class time.

Small Groups should be meeting soon if they haven’t yet this
month! EVERYONE is invited to be in a small group! If you have questions about small groups, contact me (Annette.)

Upcoming events: Sun., Oct. 27- Special Parent and HS Youth event is tentatively taking place next Sun., Oct. 27 after church. Instead of our normal 4 for 4 meeting, we are in discussions with leadership from our Anti-Racism and Reconciliation Team about how we as young people and parents can acknowledge, lament, and respond to the hurt and destruction caused by the subtle and overt systems of racism that exist in our community. If facilitators can be secured, the parents and the students will be meeting in separate spaces. Lunch will be provided for everyone who attends.

Church News

Fall Clean Up Day! THIS Wednesday, October 23, 4pm to dusk. Every Fall and Spring, members and friends gather at COS to help rake leaves, trim bushes and weed gardens. Please join us for the early evening (with your gardening gloves and rakes, spades, etc) and stay for pizza. All ages welcome.

Food, Farming, and Care for Creation: Ecumenical Ministry at Plainsong Farm presentation at COS from 6:30-8:00 pm THIS Wednesday, October 23. Plainsong Farm & Ministry began in 2015 with a conversation across generations and denominations. Located in Rockford, they restore connections between people, places and God through regenerative agricultural practices, immersive farm- based experiences, and national leadership initiatives. Learn from co-founder and Executive Director the Rev. Nurya Love Parish about their ministries and discuss ways that COS might be part of the farm’s ecumenical communities.

Seeking Swahili and French speaking Sunday school teachers and assistants for K-6th grade Sunday school. If you enjoy children, want to help them grow in faith, and can serve once or twice a month as a lead teacher or assistant, please contact Jolanda Howe at jo.howe@coscrc.org.

Our giving for this week totaled $19,264.11 including online giving. Our total general fund giving for the month of October is currently at $54,470.81.

Elder Connection: You are welcome to stop in, with or without an appointment, to chat with me, your Chairperson of Elders, Corrie Vos, on most Tuesday mornings, 9- 11am. Please come and tell me about your experiences at COS, or talk with me about personal concerns, spiritual questions, ideas for church improvement, etc. It is my prayer that our conversations can be beneficial for you, for me, and for COS, and affirm that we are a fellowship of God’s children.

November Gallery Opening Event, hosted by the BES & the Mission Support Team, Monday, Nov. 11 at 7PM. This show will showcase and support “People of Light”, shining their lights as missionaries around the world and as members of BES here in our community. The photography in the show, taken by COS- supported missionaries and their friends, represents the ways God’s light and love shines in the places these missionaries serve. The paintings and artwork in the show were created by BES attendees and friends, with Mariah West and Jan Carpenter sharing their own paintings of light. Jan & Mariah have generously offered a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their work to support COS’ Mission Support Fund. Mariah and other BES friends also did a collaborative piece with the emerging youth artists of BES, with each artist sharing how they shine their light and show God’s love in the world. The event is free with a suggested donation of $5/person. The evening will feature a conversation with the collaborators, live music, appetizers and wine. RSVPs on our COS facebook event page are appreciated.

Facility Transition Team update – Back in March, announcements were made to the Facilities team of Ellen Westrate’s retirement as Facility Coordinator (Jan 31, 2020) and Kenny Westrate’s resignation as Facility Assistant (Dec 31, 2019). Since then, the Facility Transition team has been meeting to plan for Ellen ending well and for COS to be prepared to meet the facility needs after Ellen’s 26 year faithful tenure here at COS. The team presented to the council meeting last week four possible scenarios for a facility staffing plan. Council approved a scenario with the most flexibility and which stays within our approved budget for facility staffing. We will be hiring two part time staff, a Facility Manager and a Facility Assistant. Job descriptions are being developed and the positions will be posted soon. We hope to have the facility manager in place by Dec 16 in order to shadow and assist Ellen for 6 weeks. Ellen will continue doing what she loves most and that is feeding people. She will become our Food Coordinator for food purchasing and meal preparation for Wed. night dinners and Sunday dinners. She will also administer the Simply Give program and our in-house Food Pantry. There is a Retirement /Celebration team planning an event honoring Ellen Westrate and Kenny and Heather Westrate on January 5. 2020. More details will follow.

Thank you for all the work of the Facility Transition team: Scott Yonkers, Facility Chair; Chad Tatko, Council liaison to Facility team; AJ Zahrt, Treasurer; Lori Wiersma, Administrator.

Have you been thinking about joining COS? We offer a new member class each spring and fall. This class starts on November 3 with a luncheon at the church where we will sit together and talk about the process. Then on Nov. 10, 17 and 24 we will gather in the living room at 9am to hear about the history of COS and meet the staff and learn how you can be involved in the life of the church. Please let the office know at diane.jonker@coscrc.org or Chris Klein, Minister of Congregational Life, at christopher.klein@coscrc.org. Hope to see you there!

On Friday, November 1, Coffee Break, the CRC’s Bible study ministry, is joining the ESL Bible study at COS to train ESL Bible study leaders from within the ESL community. We are looking for 2-4 women to bless this group of potential leaders by serving in the nursery to care for their children. We anticipate about half a dozen pre-school children at most, from 8:30am -12:30pm, so if you are able to give two hours, we can split the time commitment.