Creation Season, September 19, 2021

This Sunday:

This Sunday, September 19, at COS, Rev. Karen Campbell will preach from Mark 1:14-20 and Genesis 6:18-22 in the standard English service. Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from Mark 1:14-20 and Genesis 6:18-22 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.

This Sunday, we’re invited to “gather, find your place, participate” by learning about various COS ministries. Day 2 of the COS The Ministry Fair will take place outdoors during the coffee and lemonade time after worship.

Before you head to the ministry fair…Join Tony and Allison Westrate in the cafe/Fellowship Room 3 this Sunday September 12, after worship and before the COS Fall Picnic, to learn more about their work with Wycliffe in Cameroon. There will be cookies and some prizes, so be sure to stop by and check out the display.

Children’s Ministry News:

Children’s Ministry Volunteer Lunch & Training, Sunday, Sept. 26th! If you’re planning to serve in our children or youth ministry programs, please join us on Sept. 26th for lunch, words of wisdom on mentoring from Tom Schwanda, and an overview of child safety protocols. The lunch and presentation on mentoring is open to everyone who would enjoy learning more about what it means to be mentored and to mentor. So, feel free to invite a friend along! The safety part of our training is required for every volunteer, for the safety of our kids. If you can’t be there next Sunday, we’ll be offering safety training on Oct. 10th as well. 

Register Your Kids ages 0-18 for Faith Formation Programming! If you haven’t already, please fill out this online form to register your children for programming now!

Join the Wednesday Night Team for Girl’s Club, Boy’s Club, or Kid’s Club! Wednesday nights at COS are a time to deepen connections, grow in faith, and have fun together! Please consider joining the Girl’s Club, Boys’ Club, or Kid’s Club team to help build a sense of Christian community and belonging among children. Wednesday night volunteers build faith nurturing relationships with kids as they play, pray, create, build, share stories, laugh, and consider together what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Volunteers serve weekly on the first 3 Wednesdays of the month, or as available. We also invite adults to volunteer to lead devotions once or on a rotating basis. Look for Jolanda or Jim Howe at the ministry fair today to learn more.

Church News:

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.

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.

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 (

Fabric and Fellowship: Join a group that likes to sew and enjoy a time of fellowship. Our next meeting is September 27 from 10am to 2pm in room 5 of COS. We have a stash of fabric that we are using up in quilts for ministry organizations. You can bring your machine or come to design, cut pieces or iron for others. Also bring your lunch. Coffee will be available. Let Hope Bradley or Claire Elgersma know if you will be able to make it so we can ensure there are enough tables setup for people coming. It’s been enjoyable the past couple of months working together cutting designing and sewing a variety of baby quilts.

THURSDAY BIBLE STUDY begins again, THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 23, in the COS cafe area, 9:30 – 11:00 am. We will be exploring ECCLESIASTES. You may pick up a study guide at the Ministry Fair table, or when you come on Thursday. If you need childcare, please contact Mary Loeks. Please wear a mask. EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

Interested in singing, dancing, and having fun with super cool people? Join the COS Swahili Youth Choir! Starting on September 26, we will be learning worship songs in Swahili, choreographing dances, and getting to know more about what it’s like to be diverse disciples of Christ. Everyone in grades 7-12 are invited; food will be provided. Rehearsals and fellowship will occur after the worship service from 12-1:30 outside of the youth room.

Volunteers needed for new Refugee Tutoring program! We’re starting a new ministry at COS this fall: tutoring/mentoring for our middle-school and high-school BES students of refugee background. No experience necessary, just the willingness and commitment to spend an hour each week with one of our students. You’ll help with homework, give your student the opportunity to practice their conversational English skills, and use the provided materials to offer some academic support. Sessions will take place in person at COS on Mondays, from 4:30 to 6:00. Training will be provided. 

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.