COS has a rich history of deep and meaningful adult education opportunities. Our Sunday Morning Adult Ed Sunday School has included times of story and testimony, theological discussions, lectures, and opportunities to share with each other about what God is doing in our lives.
GPS sessions have three stated goals:
- Build community
- Expand our view of God
- Grapple with faith
We invite you to join us Sundays immediately following our 10 am worship services on the following dates:
|Info and Topics:|
|Upcoming GPS Sessions:|
|Sept. 24, 2023||Kyle Meyaard-Schaap presentation on Creation Care|
|Oct. 8, 2023||COS: A Refuge for Whom?|
Safe Church Sunday – Members of our Safe Church team will hold a panel on our Safe church policy and discuss what practices should be in place to make sure COS is a Safe Place and a trauma-informed church.
|Oct. 15, 2023||Understanding our Times and Knowing What To Do|
Nick Wolterstorff will give a presentation and lead a discussion on how we go about understanding our ever-changing times.
|Past GPS Sessions:|
|Sept. 17, 2023||Intro theme of Refuge with Rev. Andrew Mead, Joan Huyser Honig, and Maria Stapert Vanden Berg|
Check out the GPS Sessions from Last Year:
|Info and Topics:|
|Past GPS Sessions:|
|April 23, 30, May 14, 21||For our last four GPS sessions of the program year, Dr. Gary Burge will present four sessions of his course, How to Read a Parable. |
Throughout his ministry, Jesus used parables to explain how many of his primary teachings should be understood. This reflex to employ story (rather than abstraction) is characteristically Jewish and is known in the Middle East even today. However, this story-telling technique also used cultural codes that only Jesus’ ancient audience understood. And many of them are lost to us today. By reclaiming them, we will discover how to interpret Jesus’ parables and discover new meanings in them. Join us on April 23, 30, May 14, and 21 at 11:45 am.
|April 16||A Tale of Two Easters – a personal reflection on 20th Century life in Ireland and the Significance of the Good Friday Agreement|
Some of our young people will be following in the footsteps of President Biden and spending time in Northern Ireland over the summer break. Many of the recent headlines reflecting on the Presidential visit have dealt with the 25th Anniversary of the peace accord which has come to be known as ‘The Good Friday Agreement’. Why should we pay attention to the process which led to this document and what lessons can be learned from the political, cultural and spiritual journey from Easter 1916 to Easter 1998 on the island of Ireland? Come along to GPS to hear some stories, poetry and conversation to explore this topic together.
|March 26||God’s People Seeking this week continues this month’s focus on Mental Health and the church by welcoming a panel of mental health professionals discussing their work and its implications within a worshipping body.|
|March 19||Following the worship services this Sunday (March 19), Dr. Danjuma Gibson will present on the importance of lament and griefwork within the life of a congregation. Dr. Gibson is professor of pastoral care at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is also in private practice as a psychotherapist. Prior to joining Calvin Seminary, he was the senior pastor of a church in Chicago for over sixteen years and was also bivocational as a commercial banker during that time. In addition to his 2018 book on Frederick Douglass, his areas of research include emotional and psychological trauma, the intersection of black religious experience and psychoanalytic discourse.|
|February 19 and March 12||Racism and Policing in America |
Why is it that in the United States more than 1,000 people, particularly young Black men, are killed by the police each year? By comparison, in England in 2019, police killed 3 people (0.5 per 10 million, as compared to 33.5 per 10 million). In a two-part presentation, we look at “why?” The first session will examine the larger historical and structural context of policing in the United States. The second session will look at Grand Rapids specifically.
Presenter Joseph Kuilema is a visiting professor in the School of Social Work at Grand Valley State University. Before that, he taught at Calvin University for 14 years. He was baptized at COS in 1982 and was a member for decades.
|February 12||Making Your Home Climate Friendly: A Discussion with Habitat for Humanity of Kent County.|
Have you been thinking about improving the energy efficiency of your home, adding solar panels, or replacing appliances with climate-friendly alternatives? Have you wondered how best to evaluate and prioritize the different available options? Are you curious about qualifications for incentive programs (especially through the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act) that could help offset your initial costs? If your answer to any of these is ‘yes,’ then join us for the GPS at 11:45-12:30 in Room 3 on Sunday, February 12. Mark Ogland-Hand from Habitat for Humanity of Kent County will share insights and tips from the organization’s extensive experience in energy-efficient and zero-emissions homes.
|January 29||Join us for a GPS this Sunday about Classis, the draft Vision Statement, and COS. We are offering two options. First, if you missed the walk-through of the vision statement by council last week, you can watch it in Room 3. Second, the Next Steps Task Force invites you to join us this week for an update on what is happening in Classis Grand Rapids East. Classis met last week and voted on some important overtures and appeals about the Human Sexuality Report as well as the discipline of Neland Ave CRC and Classis GRE. This is a great way to get caught up on the latest developments. We will also talk about the risks and possibilities you see going forward at COS with the draft vision statement from council. We will meet in the sanctuary after the morning service.|
|December||G.P.S. Schedule. GPS (God’s People Seeking) invites you to join us on Sundays in Fellowship Room 3 (next to the café) from 11:45am-12:30pm. GPS seeks to offer a space where friends and members of COS can build connections, expand their view of God, and grapple with faith.|
“When COS Went to Prison”. 11:45-12:30, Sunday, Dec. 11 GPS
Prisoners in Christ team members Patrick Campbell, Lynette LaBine, Rich and Carol Rienstra, Arend VanderPols and Jennifer West will share some of the impacts that COS is having in and beyond prison. Consider chapter 5 of Nick Wolterstorff’s book “Beyond Imagining,” and hear about the monthly Monday restorative justice supper conversations that are drawing dozens of community members into the COS space of refuge, fellowship, and hope.
On December 18, COS members who have been involved in the Handlon prison book group, the Celebration Fellowship prison congregation, and the Calvin Prison Initiative will give testimony about how their involvement inside prison has affected their thinking and living on the outside.
|November 13||November’s GPS theme is Jubilee and your Checkbook. These sessions will explore how Jubilee shaped Israel’s understanding of economics, and how this vision might impact our view of finances today. This Sunday (11/13), GPS welcomes Kurt Schaefer to discuss “The Economics of Jubilee” in Room 3.|
|November 20||GPS on November 20 will include a presentation after the worship services titled “Estate Planning for Everyone”. In this session, COS member and attorney Mike Zahrt will talk about medical and legal/financial powers of attorney, how to create a will, and how to include COS as a part of your will or estate plan. No matter your age or life circumstance, if you don’t have a will or estate plan, or you think yours needs to be updated, you may find this session helpful. This presentation has been arranged by the COS Legacy Foundation Trustees and the Stewardship Committee.|
|Refugia Faith with Debra Rienstra and Dave Koetje|
To follow up on our wonderful observance of the Season of Creation at COS, join Dave Koetje and Debra Rienstra during the month of October to explore the concept of refugia. On October 9 and 16, Debra will present and lead a discussion on her book Refugia Faith: Seeking Hidden Shelters, Ordinary Wonders, and the Healing of the Earth. (No need to read the book ahead of time!) We’ll learn about seven transformations that can prepare us as people of faith to become healers and people of refugia in a crisis-stressed world.
On October 23 and 30, Dave will lead us on an informative walk around COS’s nature trail (23rd), where you can see how COS is engaged in ecosystem restoration. The next week (30th) we’ll learn about and discuss Dave’s research into “refugia gardening.” Join us for a thought-provoking and encouraging time of responding to our call to be earth healers.
COS Nature Trail Guide
Powerpoint Slides from October 30 – Refugia Gardening