This Week:

On this Creation Season Sunday, Rev. Wes Granberg-Michaelson will preach from Genesis 50:15-21 and Matthew 18:21-35 in our Tree of Life service in the large worship space. Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-13 in the All Nations Worship Service in room 4. Following worship, stick around for the start of Sunday School at COS. Our Adult-ed Sunday School (GPS) will meet in Room 3.

The 10 am Standard English Service will also be broadcast via Zoom. Sign up for our Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.   

Children’s Ministry News:

Sunday School Starts This Sunday, Sept. 17! Parents, please help kick off a great Sunday school season by bringing your children ages 4-6th grade to the classrooms behind the mailboxes in the Tree of Life sanctuary at 11:45 am and picking them up again at 12:30 pm. Still deciding if you’ll send your kids to Sunday school? Consider this:

The Top 5 Reasons to Add Sunday School to Your Children’s Sabbath Routine:

  1. They Grow, We Grow: Our GPS (adult Sunday school) speakers are incredible. If we send our kids to SS, we won’t miss GPS. (There is nursery for kids too young for SS!)
  2. Holy Habits: Now is the time to help our kids develop holy habits that will last a lifetime. Sunday school establishes the routine of Bible study–a key spiritual discipline for living in faith. 
  3. Friends in Christ: In SS COS kids learn and grow with a diverse group of peers. They have the chance to spend time together, learn from and with each other, and find unity in Christ as they grow in faith and friendship.
  4. Boosting PCEs: Research has identified 7 Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) that help buffer children against the unhealthy impact of traumatic or stressful experiences. (Research from Dr. Christina Bethell at John Hopkins, 2019) Sunday School is a nurturing environment where kids can experience 6 of these 7 PCEs!
    • The ability to talk about feelings.
    • The sense they will be supported during difficult times.
    • Feeling a sense of connection in the community and traditions.
    • Feeling a sense of belonging.
    • Feeling supported by peers.
    • Having at least two adults who genuinely care.
    • Feeling safe and protected at home.
  5. Stellar Teachers: Our SS teachers are warm, vibrant Christians whose love for Jesus and for kids is apparent in the way they live and serve Christ among us. They will love and encourage and pray for and with our kids as they share the stories of Scripture. Isn’t it good to be part of an intergenerational community that takes children’s spirituality seriously?

    Please pray for and thank these saints as they teach this season: Liz and Scott Riddle (ages 4-1st grade), Linda Schaefer, Maria Stapert Vander Berg, Alison Stransky (2nd-4th grade), Beth Reinders and Julie Stinton (5th-6th grade), and Mary Zuidema (Substitute)

    Children at the Lord’s Supper Class: Next Sunday, Sept. 24, During Sunday School Please reach out this week by text or email to let Jo know if you’ll be attending next week’s Children at the Lord’s Supper class with your child(ren). This class is for children who are interested in learning more about the Lord’s Supper and participating in it, to attend with a parent. Please send a note to so she can send you further details and instructions for the class.

    Makeup Safety Training for Children and Student Ministry Volunteers, Oct. 1. If you’re planning to serve in ministry this season as a leader or assistant in LL, CW, Sunday school, in a Wednesday night program, as a small group leader, or van driver, and missed last week’s training, an annual training is required to keep our kids safe! Please plan to attend the makeup session on October 1, during the all-church lunch. Grab a plate of food and bring it to the living room to fill out the required forms and go over safety policies. All required forms will be emailed through MSP and will also be available on the counter in the hallway at the back of the Tree of Life sanctuary (behind the church mailboxes). You are welcome to pick them up and fill them out in advance of the training. If you have any questions, or won’t be available on Oct. 1 either, please send me a note at

    Council Update:

    After hearing from staff in the year-end reviews recently conducted, council is reminded again that we have been blessed with fantastic staff and by the many ways they support the ministries of COS. Please join us in thanking them.

    From the Deacons: The deacons invite you to help replenish the COS Mercy & Benevolence fund, which allows us to respond to requests for urgent financial assistance from people inside and outside our church family. Requests have been increasing, as 33% of households in Kent County struggle to meet their basic needs. At the same time, local social services, short on resources, are advising clients to call churches for assistance. Please consider giving to the COS Mercy & Benevolence fund so we can continue extending a hand to our members and neighbors who have no financial safety net and may need help bridging a gap.

    Church News:

    Current Giving for September (includes monthly ach): $43,870

    General Fund Giving for August: 131,513

    September 2022 Giving: $70,733

    If you:

    • Like eating
    • Like conversation
    • Worship at COS

    you have all the skills necessary to be a high school small group leader at COS.

    High School Small Group Leaders gather with a group of students from a particular grade once a month. These meetings are an opportunity for students to make connections with people outside of family and peers.* Since finding a time to meet is often the greatest obstacle, Annette has designated the first Sunday of the month as ‘Small Group Sunday,’ encouraging students and leaders to spend time getting life updates and praying for each other during the All-Church Meal. (Groups are welcome to meet at other times, if preferred, but should not meet on other Sundays after worship to avoid disrupting our HS Sunday school class meetings.) If you want to learn more about this important ministry, contact Annette Ediger ( or 616-308-0143).

    *Studies have shown that being known by other adults in a church community is one of the best predictors of whether or not a student will choose to stay in the church in adulthood. Small Groups create a space where this can happen.

    Missions Support Team: COS supports 14 missionaries around the world who are doing amazing work. (See the bulletin-board in the back of the church, or on our website).  Last Sunday Jim and Ruth Padilla de Borst were with us, preaching and reporting on the ministry they do in Costa Rica with our support.  So good!  But we have a concern. Every year, COS raises specific missionary support, called Faith Promise.  For the past number of years, we have budgeted and raised about $33,000 per year for Faith Promise.  Combined with general ministry funds of $24,000 per year, we have a missions budget of $57,000. We held a Faith Promise pledge drive in May this year, and we received some generous pledges and gifts. Thank you! However, when we paid our semi-annual missionary support of $16,500 from Faith Promise in August, the account was depleted. For us to meet our commitments to our missionaries for this coming year, we need to raise $16,500 by February 2024, and another $16,500 by August 2024. God has richly blessed us, and we have always generously supported our missionaries – so we are confident we can reach these amounts.  Please consider giving a one-time, or weekly, or monthly, or semi-annual support for Faith Promise. With the Giving Envelopes, it can be given in the goldenrod-colored ones. Or simply designated on your check or envelope or online giving as “Faith Promise.” Again, thank you!

    COS HR Committee needs assistance from a member who has some HR experience. We meet about four times a year, that’s all. If you can serve in this way, please contact Corrie Vos. We really need you.

    COS is resuming the All-Church Sunday Meals and Wednesday Clubs Meals in October. On meal Sundays, everyone is invited to remain after worship to eat and fellowship in the Café. On Wednesday Club dates, everyone is invited to have a meal before Clubs begin. However, we are looking for additional volunteers who will stay after the meal and assist the kitchen staff with clean up. This may include wiping down tables, breaking down tables and chairs, bussing tables, etc. If this is a ministry in which you would be willing to assist, contact the church office at 616.956.7611 or

    The COS Anti-Racism and Prisoners in Christ Restorative Justice teams will be sponsoring discussion, prayer and action guided by the book Reparations: A Christian Call for Repentance and Repair by Duke L. Kwon and Gregory Thompson. Opportunities to gather in groups this fall and winter will be announced in the near future. For more information, and to secure a free book, please contact Carol Rienstra or Jo Howe. You may also want to listen to coauthor Greg Thompson’s January Series 2023 talk “To Stick with Love: King’s Vision for Today’s Movement,” at this link, if you missed it in January. 

    Black History Bus Tour of Detroit September 23, 2023. Join the Classis Grand Rapids East Racial Justice team on September 23, 2023 for a Black History Tour of Detroit. While this is a bus trip, there will be some walking through museums and in and out of locations. Our bus limit is 54 people. To reserve your spot, checks of a donation of $30 (addressed to Grand Rapids Classis East) can be mailed to Cindy VanderKodde, 1140 Noble Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507. Questions can be emailed to Becky Witte: and more information can be found at

    Thursday Bible Study: For all persons interested in growing closer to God and closer to siblings in Christ in this congregation, come out on Thursday, September 21st at 9:30-11am for the first Thursday Bible Study. We will delve into Luke’s gospel account with the assistance of NT Wright’s guidebook. Copies of the book will be available, and we suggest a $9 donation to offset the cost. We will continue Thursdays through the Fall, except Thanksgiving, and end for the year on December 21st. Bring a friend, spouse, or family member and come on out, whether you’re bringing big morning energy or not. The group does not discriminate based on age, extraversion, or otherwise, and coffee is served [plus baked goods / fruit / etc most weeks].

    Educational opportunities for Classis GR East Congregations. The new classis ad hoc committee that formed after Synod 2023 is planning a two-part educational Zoom event about the RCA.  Classis Albany in the RCA also invited members of Classis GRE congregations to a separate Zoom event that is hosted by Classis Albany.

    Monday, September 18, 2023 – Matthew van Maastricht from Classis Albany in the RCA has invited members of CRC churches to attend a webinar.  This event is to both provide information about the RCA and extend an invitation to join the RCA. For more information or to register, follow the link.

    Thursday, October 12, 2023 – Part I of a Zoom presentation by Dan Meeter about the RCA.  More information will be coming about how to participate.

    Thursday, November 9, 2023 – Part II of the presentation by Dan Meeter.

    The CRC and the RCA are in close fellowship, regularly exchange pastors, and have taken steps in recent decades to work more closely together. There are congregations that are jointly affiliated in both denominations. However, they resolved questions about human sexuality in different ways. The Classis GRE ad hoc committee is offering the Meeter presentations to address the many questions it has received about similarities and differences between the RCA and CRC and does so with the goal of education.  The event offered by Classis Albany is intended both to educate and invite.  You are warmly invited to attend any of these events to learn more about the RCA, the parent denomination of the CRC.

    A member of the All Nations fellowship is looking for opportunities to clean homes as a supplement to her full-time job. If you or anyone you know would welcome extra help around the house with cleaning or other chores, please contact Pastor Andrew (