Happening This Sunday

Spectrum Health will provide our annual flu clinic today Oct. 27 here at COS. starting 11:30. Most insurance will be accepted. 

Next Sunday

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!

At 6pm next Sunday November 3, you are invited to our annual All Saints’ service to honor the “cloud of witnesses”—those faithful servants of Christ who have gone before us.  We will have an evening service of testimonies in which a few people give a brief testimony about a person—dead or living—who has modeled the Christian life for them.  Join us as we hear from Delphine Dukundane, Penny Mauger, Nicole Romero, and Prince Tuyishime.


High School:

Today Sun., Oct. 27, 9am Sunday School: Coffee, Hot Cocoa, Donuts, and Story Time! Chad Engbers is the reader this week.  Come and listen to his soothing reading of chapters 3-5 of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Noon-ish-2pm-ish: A Special 4 for 4 Event – Pizza, Large Group Discussion (students & small group leaders only), then Games & Baking.  Join us in the youth room after the worship services for pizza followed by a discussion/listening session on racism among teens in West Michigan.  Is racism a problem here?  I want to hear your thoughts and stories.  After the discussion, you can choose to play dodgeball/volleyball/joe ball (based on student vote) or bake brownies.  Meeting will end at 2pm.

Upcoming events:

Sat. Nov. 2, 9am – noon – Serve First! An enormous pile of wood chips has been delivered to COS…need I say more? 😉 9am – noon, donuts provided

Sun. Nov. 3, Noonish – 1:30pm – Special Parent and HS Youth Group Event on Racism. Leadership from our Anti-Racism and Reconciliation Team (ARRT) will be talking with all of us about the subtle and overt systems of racism that exist in our community and what we can do to confront and dismantle it.  Lunch will be provided in the Youth Room for everyone who attends. (Note: there is an all-church lunch taking place in the fellowship space at the same time.  DON’T EAT IN THE FELLOWSHIP SPACE!  EAT IN THE YOUTH ROOM if you plan to participate in this event.  Thanks!)

Middle Schoolers: 

Next WNL Class (November 6)  –  Parent Night !! Parents/guardians are warmly invited to see what happens at WNL and to participate with their child in the evening activities.

Church News

Financial Update:  Last week’s offering, including online giving was $21,247.05.

Total Giving for this month is currently at $75,717.44 with one Sunday remaining in the month.  Our monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is $119,028.

Elder Connection: This Tuesday (10/29) and next (11/5) I will be out of town, but on most Tuesday mornings, 9-11 am, you are welcome to stop in, with or without an appointment, to chat with me, your Chairperson of Elders, Corrie Vos, 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.

Season of Giving – As we near the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, please consider giving the gift of blood this fall. Your donation literally saves lives! Our upcoming blood drive is on Monday, November 11, from 2-7pm. We’re looking to recruit three new donors as well as schedule our faithful seasoned donors. Make an appointment online at www.versiti.org/michigan (or call 1-866-MIBLOOD) or sign up on the poster in the café. Many thanks!

Calling all knitters! It’s not too early to begin knitting hats, scarves for children, teens and adults. On Saturday, Dec 7 and Jan 4, these knitted winter items along with newly bought items-including gloves and socks- will be distributed during the Mobile Food Truck time. Let’s help keep our Camelot neighbors warm outside this winter. COS will be collecting these this winter clothing items beginning November 17 with a big basket on the Café counter. Thank you!

Help the children of prisoners have a happy and Christ-filled Christmas this year!  On Saturday, December 7, at 2 pm, here at church, the Prisoners in Christ team and other COS members will host a party for about 20 children who have a parent in prison.  Through the Angel Tree program of Prison Fellowship, people in prison can suggest gifts that are purchased by church members and given to their child(ren) with a special personalized message from the parent.   Last year, some COS young people provided games and entertainment, and everyone enjoyed food and an appearance by St. Nick himself.  If you would like to contribute a bit of time and/or money to make this Christmas special for some children and families who are separated because of incarceration, contact Lucie Marsden.

COS Member Login Updates. In the coming weeks, there will be some slight changes to how you access the Members and Friends portal on the COS website. These changes are connected to an update of our Church Management Software, and will allow our members to update their own profiles, view contribution statements, and access a protected online picture directory. No action is currently required of COS members, but instructions for creating a new password will be coming shortly. 

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.

ESL during the last three weeks: new students from the Congo, Iraq, Malaysia, South Sudan, Taiwan, Serbia and South Korea were among the 182 who attended 72 classes at COS.  Where can you meet such a group?  Right here.  See Mark.

Facility Transition Team update – WithEllen Westrate’s upcoming retirement as Facility Coordinator (Jan 31, 2020) and Kenny Westrate’s resignation as Facility Assistant  (Dec  31, 2019) the Facility Transition team has been meeting to plan for Ellen to end  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 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.