This Sunday:

This Sunday, September 12, Rev. Karen Campbell will preach from Ephesians 1:3-12 and Genesis 1:1-13 in the standard English service. Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from Ephesians 1:3-12 and Genesis 1:1-13 in the Basic English Service in Room 5.

We invite you to sign up to attend the morning service. Please note on the sign up that masking is now required for those over 2 years old. The 10 am service will also be live via Zoom. Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

COS Regathering Picnic this Sunday, Sept. 12, following the morning worship services, all are invited to our COS Fall Picnic. This will be a time to regather outdoors for some food and fun as we enter a new ministry year. Food and drinks will be provided, but please bring a picnic blanket or lawn chairs if you are able. We’ll have a pig roast, chicken, potato salad, sides, drinks, and more vegetarian options as well. We plan to serve food around noon, so all are encouraged to join, even if not attending the indoor worship services. We look forward to this time of outdoor fellowship!

After a long season of limited opportunities for us to gather as a community, it is finally time for us to encourage the people of COS to “gather, find your place, participate.” On two Sundays, Sept. 12 & Sept. 19, you are invited to learn about COS’s various ministries. “Gathered” is our overarching theme for this year and it seems so appropriate to kick off this theme by holding an all-church picnic (Sept. 12) that is surrounded by opportunities for the people of COS to gather, find their place, and participate. The Ministry Fair tables will be set up around the picnic area so that everyone can see all the different opportunities that are available while we also enjoy food and fellowship together. The Ministry Fair will take place outdoors again on Sept. 19 during the coffee and lemonade time after worship.

Children’s Ministry News:

Learn More About Our Children’s Ministry Programs at Today’s Ministry Fair! At COS there are so many ways for our children to grow in Christ and be mentored by those further along on the journey. As kids grow we invite them to become storytellers and mentors for the little ones as they assist and lead in Little Lambs, Children’s Worship and Club ministries. Stop by the ministry fair today to learn more about our programs, talk with ministry leaders, register your kids for programming. Or, fill out this online form to register now!

Join the Wednesday Night Crew for Girl’s Club, Boy’s Club, or Kid’s Club!

On Wednesday nights at COS we deepen connections and have fun together! Girl’s Club, Boys’ Club, and Kid’s Club aim to build a sense of Christian community and belonging among children and faith nurturing relationships between kids and adults who care. Serving on a Wednesday night means playing, praying, creating, building, share stories, laughing, and grow in faith together. Volunteers serve weekly on the first 3 Wednesdays of the month, or as available. We also invite adults to lead devotions once or on a rotating basis. If you’re not available on a regular basis but enjoy special projects, you may like to help on the weeks when we are building and racing pinewood derby cars, or whatever projects the leaders come up with. Each season the ideas, creativity, and passions of the adults involved shape the activities and content for the year. College students have often serving in a club ministry to be a fun way to get to know other adults, and use their gifts in the church to bless kids. Or, if you have a child in preschool-1st grade (Kid’s Club) or 2nd-6th grade (Boys or Girls Club), serving as Wednesday night volunteer is a great way to do something special together with your child each week. Though two of our Clubs have gender-specific titles, we seek to avoid gender stereotypes, often work together on special projects, and children to attend whichever program suits them best. Talk to Jolanda at the Ministry Fair today about getting involved!          

Welcome to Little Lambs, 2 ½ year-olds! Last week we welcomed our 2 ½ year-olds to join in Little Lambs for the first time! We mark this milestone by giving each new Little Lamb a copy of Found: Psalm 23 by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Jago. If your child didn’t receive a copy last week, you can pick one up from Jolanda at the Little Lambs ministry fair table today. Every Sunday you are welcome to send your child on their own to join the blessing and children’s processional, or walk forward with them to receive the blessing, see the classroom, and help them settle in. Please remember to stop by the children’s welcome station at the main entrance of the church to get a nametag for your child, and a pick-up ticket for you, before entering the worship service. If your little one is not yet fully potty trained it’s also a good idea to have them use the bathroom before Little Lambs and wear a diaper or pull-up.

Church News:

Financial Update: Previous week’s (8/29) offering and online giving:  $14,324.27

Current Giving (estimated) for the month of August: $85,109.19

Monthly budgeted General Fund Giving is:  $112,926

Housing – You’re likely aware of the tight housing market in Grand Rapids. This especially impacts families who rent, as prices continue to climb. A number of families in COS are in search of apartments and homes to rent. Do you own rental property or know of someone who does that may have a place available soon? Please contact Pastor Andrew (

Friendship ESL at COS opens on Tuesday morning, September 14. Classes for all levels. Church Covid protocols assiduously observed. Lots of love and language to share with our guests.  Invite your neighbor who needs a step-up on English. Want to help in this important COS outreach? Our ESL library has all you need to become a rock-star tutor and friend.

Art has returned to the Artery in a show of new work by COS member Wietze Adema. ‘Urban Expressions’ is currently open for your viewing and will hang into early November. A reception will be announced for a date In October. Watch the bulletin for details. Thank you for sharing your talent, Wietze!

Social Seniors continues to meet on Tuesdays at 10:00 via Zoom. All are welcome. For more information check our website or call Corrie Vos at 616-558-6634

Oak Hill Cemetery Tour, Sept 25. The Racial Justice Team of Classis Grand Rapids East invites you to join a tour of Oak Hill Cemetery (647 Hall Street SE) on Sept 25 at 10am. This educational tour will be led by Pastor Shannon Jammal-Hollemans, who will share stories about some of the African American people whose contributions impacted our city, and the role of race and racism in Grand Rapids’ history. The tour is two hours long. Wear your walking shoes. Plan to meet at the entrance on the north side of Hall Street where there is parking next to the small office building.

NOTE: The optimum size of a group is around 20 people, so please advise Pastor Shannon of your plans to join the tour.  

A minivan or larger passenger van is needed for our growing group of new American children and families who are picked up for church and other youth activities. If you would consider retiring your current minivan or letting COS use it regularly, COS volunteer drivers would greatly appreciate it. Please contact Jon Bruss, our transportation coordinator. Thank you!

Our next Feeding America Food truck will be here on Saturday, Sept 18 in the COS parking lot. If you can sign up or show up to help distribute the food to our neighbors, you are welcome to come and will be very appreciated!

On August 27, 20 new Calvin students helped us plant the last parking lot island for 2021.  Many, many thanks to them and all of you who helped with planting and watering during the hot and dry month of August.  We planted about 4,000 native plants that we acquired from Plaster Creek Stewards. We hope to finish the parking lot islands project in 2022, supported by a grant from the US Forest Service. The islands are going to look a little rough while we get the crabgrass under control and the plants get established.  The rule of thumb for native plantings is “sleep, creep, leap.”  The first year the plants sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap.  By 2023, the islands will be beautifully supporting the ecosystem on the church property.