Creation Season, September 5, 2021

This Sunday:

This Sunday, September 5, Rev. Andrew Mead will preach from Joel 1:8-10, 17-20 and Romans 8:18-27 in the standard English service. Rev. Ruth Lemmen will preach from Joel 1:8-10, 17-20 and Romans 8:18-27 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.

Next Sunday:

COS Regathering Picnic Next 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!

Children’s Ministry News:

Register Your Children for 2021-2022 Children’s Programming! As we shape a new season of children and youth ministry we need to know how old your kids are, which programs you want them to attend, and how you hope to see them grow in faith this year. Please fill out this form today, or fill out a hard copy (available at the children’s welcome station) and return it to Jolanda Howe or Annette Ediger so we can have a solid roadmap for planning!

Welcome Two-and-a-Half-Year-Olds! This Sunday we’re welcoming new preschoolers into Little Lambs! If your child is two-and-a half-year-olds they are invited to join in the blessing and processional to the children’s wing this week! You are welcome to send them on their own, or walk with them, see the classroom, and help them settle in. If your little one is not yet fully potty trained, please make sure they use the bathroom before Little Lambs and/or wear a diaper or pull-up.

Sunday Morning with Kids. As the new season of Children’s Worship and Little Lambs starts this Sunday! Here are some ways your children are invited to worship and grow on Sunday mornings:

  • Nursery for children ages 0-2 is available in the hallway on the on the southwest side of the building. As you walk into the sanctuary through the main doors, turn left and the hallway leading to the nursery will be just before reaching the other entrance. Nametags and parent/caregiver pickup tickets are in the nursery. You may bring your little ones to nursery before or during the service, or they are welcome to stay with you.
  • Children ages two and a half through second grade join in worship in the basic or standard English worship space before being blessed and invited to continue worship in the children’s wing. Our Little Lambs (ages 2.5-5) and Children’s Worship (Kinder-2nd Grade) programs give children an opportunity to worship in an age-appropriate way, and also prepare them to participate in congregational worship. You are welcome (but not expected or required) to accompany your children to the children’s wing to help settle them in. As you arrive for worship, please stop by the children’s welcome station at the main entrance to pick up a nametag and parent pick-up slip for children participating in these programs.
  • Children who are in third grade and beyond are invited to worship wholeheartedly with the congregation! We offer doodle boards, children’s bulletins, and a simple craft in the hopes that children will participate in the service and use these helps to keep their hands active as their hearts and minds attend to the listening portions of the service.
  • Beginning in 5th grade children are welcome to join the children’s ministry team as assistants in our Little Lambs program, to help nurture the faith of younger children! Reach out to Jolanda to get them involved in ministry!

Although we designate age ranges for certain programs, we know each child is unique–fearfully and wonderfully made by God! Our children’s ministry coordinator is eager to see your kids grow in faith and thrive! Give Jolanda a call at 616-238-1324 to talk about ways to help your children feel welcome, loved, and cared for here at COS.

Church News:

Financial Update: Last week’s 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

This is also the last week to turn in 2022 giving envelope requests.

Welcoming Team for Bundu Family: The Bundu family is expected to arrive Sept. 6. More details on arrival time will be posted next Sunday. The welcome team will meet the family at the airport and participate in different ways to build relationships, groceries/clothes, shopping, introduction to church programs, and social gatherings. Alusine is a citizen so he could apply for visas for his family to join him here. However, Mariama and the children have never been outside Africa. Sign up in the café area or contact Mary Loeks.

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 (

URGENT NEED for rental home:  A three or four-bedroom home is needed for a Bethany Christian Services/ Church of the Servant sponsored Congolese refugee family. Since their arrival in early July, Mariamu and her four young children have shuffled from hotel to hotel.  Plans call for Mariamu’s mother and adult sister, who have been in Grand Rapids for five years and have incomes, to share a home with this new family.  Preferably the home would be located near bus lines in SE Grand Rapids or Wyoming. Please contact Wilma Huyser (COS volunteer) for any leads.  Phone #: 616-246-1968 or email

In the interest of promoting pesticide free landscaping, the Creation Care Team recommends this upcoming educational offering: Midwest Grows Green (MGG) and Sierra Club Greater Grand Rapids’ grassroots movement Growing Green invite you to a public viewing of the documentary “Ground War” on Thursday, September 9, 2021 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at City Built Brewing’s Canal Park tent.   The “Ground War” documentary follows a filmmaker’s investigation into the death of his father and the links to the golf industry and chemical lobbying. After the film, we will host a panel discussion with MGG’s Ryan Anderson and others to discuss natural lawn care progress in the Grand Rapids region. RSVP today at

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.

Social Seniors meet every Tuesday morning from 10:00 to 11:00. Designed to provide opportunity for church family camaraderie, Social Seniors is open to anyone who would like to attend, regardless of age. We seek to be spiritually encouraged and to provide opportunities for sharing, humor, expression of our sorrows and joys, and prayer for one another and our church. The Zoom link below will work for every Tuesday. 

Topic: Social Seniors

Time:  10:00 – 11:00 AM

Meeting ID: 832 6366 9013

Passcode: COS  

You can also join by telephone: 1 312 626 6799. When prompted, enter the meeting ID plus #, and then when asked for your participant ID, merely enter #, and you will be connected to the group.

The ESL Women’s Bible study will begin again on September 9 to examine the fruits of the Spirit and how to reflect God by living them out.  We will meet in person and by Zoom on Thursdays from 10 to 11:30. Women from around the globe have joined by Zoom during Covid! We will have nursery available for those who join in person. All are invited but women who speak English as a second language are especially welcome, even from another country. Questions?  Contact Barbara Hampton.

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!