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Archive | August, 2009

Serving in Steeler country

Youth from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church recently returned from a mission trip to Pennsylvania. Back row (L to R): Sue Elenbaas, Carrie Kiaunis, Pastor Mark Love, Eric Chisholm, Deb Petersen, Aaron Elenbaas, Patti Chaney, Gabe Westveld, Eric Simonton, Kyle Chaney. Front row (L to R): Andrew Elenbaas, Andee Petersen, Elyse Sholtis, Angela Barnes and Anna Ruark.

Youth from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church recently returned from a mission trip to Pennsylvania. Back row (L to R): Sue Elenbaas, Carrie Kiaunis, Pastor Mark Love, Eric Chisholm, Deb Petersen, Aaron Elenbaas, Patti Chaney, Gabe Westveld, Eric Simonton, Kyle Chaney. Front row (L to R): Andrew Elenbaas, Andee Petersen, Elyse Sholtis, Angela Barnes and Anna Ruark.

As the summer is winding down, a group of high school students from Rockford and Cedar Springs chose a selfless way to spend one week of it. The group of nine students and five adults from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church went on a mission trip to Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Beaver Falls was once a booming steel town, thanks to two large steel mills that the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie built over 150 years ago. The steel mills closed in the 1980s and the town has not recovered. At the invitation of a local congregation to help this struggling community, the senior youth of St. Peter’s chose to go to Beaver Falls and “Serve the Lord in Steeler Country” (the theme for this mission trip).

The group left on July 12, and teamed up with other youth groups from Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana to assist Mount Olive Evangelical Lutheran Church. The church lined up several projects within the community. One team worked at removing overgrown shrubs and brush that completely covered steps that connected two different level streets. This eliminated an extra mile of walking required to get to the other street. Many locals commented that they never knew those steps were there. Another group worked on cleaning up a vacant lot that had become dangerous with broken glass, metal shards, and overgrown vegetation that made it prime for drug activities.

The group from St. Peter’s was split up to handle four different jobs through the week.  One team helped at the local fire station with whatever they needed done in preparation for the annual carnival they put on as their major fundraiser. The kids washed the fire trucks so they would look nice for the parade on Wednesday, and helped prepare the carnival grounds by picking up and emptying trash. They also kept the chili fries coming from the fire station down to the carnival. For all their hard work, the firemen asked Eric Chisholm, Andee Petersen, Anna Ruark, Elyse Sholtis and Gabe Westveld to ride in the fire truck during the parade. They had a great time, especially seeing all those smiling faces on both the children and adults!

A second team spent the entire week at the Carnegie Free Library. The library is over 100 years old and was the first free library that Andrew Carnegie paid for. With direction and help from Pastor Love and Sue Elenbaas, this team worked on repairing and painting the damaged walls in the computer room and hallways. This was a tall order (working on 12 foot walls), but Kyle Chaney climbed the high ladders and handled the washing and painting with ease and laughter. Andrew Elenbaas worked with Pastor Love on the wall repairs and trimming the areas with paint. Sue Elenbaas was our paint chief and spotter. If a spot was missed, she saw it!

A third team painted a storage barn at a local park and cleaned up two local parks. The parks were pretty well maintained, just needed broken glass picked-up, shrubs trimmed and weeds pulled. This left plenty of time to paint the storage barn, which Aaron Elenbaas, with an eye for detail, made look great.

The third team from St. Peter’s helped organize a store run by Tiger Pause Youth Ministry. This organization helps disadvantaged youth in the area with a six-week summer camp and many other activities. Their “thrift store,” where donations can be dropped off and customers can come in and get what they need (for a donation) has been a blessing to the community. One customer commented how grateful she was for this store because the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores in town were too expensive for her to shop at. The store was disorganized, however, with items stacked on top of each other, and many things still in boxes. The team from St. Peter’s and other teams worked at cleaning up and organizing the contents of the store. On Friday this team went to the mini-golf (that the Tiger Pause organization had built for the community) and painted the rails and the back of billboards that displayed drawings and bible verses. They were excited to end their work at the mini-golf course they had admired all week, and enjoyed some ice cream at the Dairy Queen next to it.

The host of this mission trip, Mount Olive Lutheran Church, did a great job with offering great meals, devotions, and nightly entertainment. All the volunteers went to a local park for outdoor activities, took a boat tour of downtown Pittsburgh, had a pool party, went to Kennywood Amusement Park and enjoyed a concert by the Christian group “Third from First.”

The Servants in Steeler Country mission trip was a great success! The nine youth and five adults gave their time and abilities to help others. The team’s spiritual growth through daily devotionals and just lending an ear to listen cannot be measured.

The youth at St. Peter’s would like to thank the congregation and the community for all their support for this mission trip. They are already looking forward to next years mission trip and are in full swing with activities and fundraisers to help them get there (car washes, Community Sale, Halo tournament and many more).  Please visit their website at www.stpetersrockford.org to get more information on their latest activities.

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The “Loving Lizzie” benefit a success

By Tammy Francisco
Lizzie enjoyed visiting her friends and family at the benefit.

Lizzie enjoyed visiting her friends and family at the benefit.

Caring community members came out in droves to the Loving Lizzie benefit held August 4 at Creative Technologies Academy. “There were almost 1,000 people that attended the benefit, raising over $13,000,” said Steve Mogdis. For those who attended and planned the benefit, it was unreal how the community came out and embraced the August Family, lifting them up with their support.

The August Family was able to attend the benefit for a short time, but Lizzie had to wear a mask for protection. When they pulled into the parking lot they were overcome with emotion, upon seeing the people who came together that evening for them.

Lizzie made it through her first round of chemo and is doing great. She has started on the second one, which should be complete by the end of this week. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.

None of this would have been possible without the support of local residents, businesses, and the media. It was a heartwarming event that brought this close-knit community even closer together.

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Red Flannel Town talent show tryouts

Guitar and banjo talent Calder Baker was one of last year’s performers at the Red Flannel Town Talent show.

Guitar and banjo talent Calder Baker was one of last year’s performers at the Red Flannel Town Talent show.

Organizers of the Red Flannel Town talent show are looking for local talent to showcase this year on Red Flannel Day, October 3. Have talent? Bring it on! We are looking for singers, dancers, variety acts and theatrical skits. Tryouts for the show are at the Kent Theatre on Sept. 3, between 6 and 9 p.m. Bring your instruments and music and be ready to showcase your talents. Practices for Red Flannel Day will be held each week. The show will be held directly after the parade at the Kent Theatre.

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Dunnemans sing at North Kent Community

Gospel singers Reg and Gretchen Dunneman will sing at North Kent Community Church, 1480 Indian Lakes, Sparta, on Wednesday evening, September 2, at 7 p.m. (They will also sing briefly at the United worship event in Morley Park this Sunday, August 30.)

The Dunnemans, from Binghamton, NY, sing their own special blend of gospel music, including southern gospel, traditional, hymn, classical, country, bluegrass and contemporary Christian styles. Their full-time ministry presents over 350 concerts a year, from Maine to Florida to Arizona.

They have produced several recordings that will be available at the service. Their latest recording, “Before the Throne” was released in early February. CDs are $15.

Reg Dunneman, a native of Stratford, Ontario, grew up in a musical family and played piano at an early age. He organized the Victors Trio and then the Tabernacle Trio, which sang in Ontario for years. For 20 years, he sang with Canada’s Galileans, a southern gospel quartet that toured Canada and the United States.

Gretchen has been a member of the Friendship Trio, singing in churches and Bible conferences. She also sang with the Broome County (NY) Savoyards, performing Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and in the choruses of the BC Pops, the Binghamton Symphony Orchestra and the Tri Cities Opera, all in Binghamton, New York.

Both Reg and Gretchen have sung with the Binghamton Madrigal Choir, which performs a cappella choral works.

For more information, call the church at 887-2478.

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“Broadway our way”

A musical journey through Broadway’s greatest hits Sept. 11-12

If you missed your chance earlier this year to see Broadway our way, featuring Cedar Springs resident Larry Young Jr., you now have another chance!

Actors’ Theatre and Creative Edge Productions are proud to present Broadway Our Way…a musical journey through Broadway’s greatest hits! This tribute will be a pre-season opening celebration for Actors’ Theatre and will feature over twenty of Broadway’s most memorable songs from smash hit shows like: Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Singing in the Rain, Annie Get Your Gun, The King and I, A Chorus Line, and many more!

Broadway Our Way stars award-winning actors: Kelly Carey, Cici Gramer, Stephen Grey, and Larry Young. This dazzling group is accompanied by a six-piece orchestra led by Wright McCargar.

Young is Managing Director of Creative Edge Productions, and has been working as a theatre professional for over 15 years. After obtaining a BA in Theatre from Hope College he has performed throughout the US as well as internationally (Vancouver, BC). He has shared the stage with Tony-Award winner Sutton Foster and has been a soloist at Carnegie Hall. He has won three Grand Awards for his performances as Dr. Parker in Bat Boy, Officer Lockstock in Urinetown and most recently Valentin in Kiss of the Spider Woman, all with Actors’ Theatre.

“I am thrilled to be able to help Actors’ Theatre kick off their 2009-2010 season with Creative Edge Productions’ presentation of Broadway our way,” said Young. “My first show with Actors’ Theatre was Floyd Collins in 2000 and I have been a faithful Actors’ Theatre performer throughout the past 9 years. I believe in their mission to bring entertaining, challenging and thought provoking theatre to the West Michigan area and am honored to be able to give back to a company that has given me the opportunity to continue to sharpen and challenge my acting skills.  Come join us for an entertaining evening celebrating the opening of another exciting Actors’ Theatre season.”

Tickets are $20.00 for the general public. All Actors’ Theatre season ticket holders will get a buy-one-get-one-free pass with season subscription. Performances will be at the Spectrum Theater on September 11 & 12 8 p.m.  both nights. The box office number to reserve tickets is 616.234.3946 (box office opens on September 1, 2009 at noon for reservations).

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Dale C. Morey

Dale C. Morey
July 14, 1943 to August 29, 2006

Dad, it’s been three long years since we last hugged and kissed you.

God saw that you were getting tired and a cure was not to be. So he placed his arms around you and whispered, “Come with me.” With tearful eyes we let you go as you slowly slipped away. Although we love you dearly; we could not make you stay. Your precious heart stopped beating, hard working hands laid to rest. All your beautiful paintings and wonderful memories will be kept the best.

For this, God has proved to us, he only takes the “Best.”

There isn’t a day that goes by without you in our thoughts. All the memories we shared will never be forgotten. And in our hearts we know you will always be by our side, making sure we follow down the right path leading to you. One day we will all be reunited with you up in heaven with Our Lord and Holy Father.

Until then, you are still missed and loved here on earth.

Until we meet again…..your loving family: Minnie, Bob & Cheryl, Nathan, Trevor, and Tyler, Mario & Kris, and Mason, Jenny & Steven, Madeline and Brice.

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Carissa Crystal Shelton

baby0001Christopher and Emily are excited to announce the birth of their baby sister Carissa Crystal Shelton, born on August 8th, 2009. She was 7lbs 9 oz. and 21 inches long. Her parents are Jenni and Curtis Shelton of Cleveland, OH. and her grandparents are Tim and Lorrie Shelton of Cedar Springs, MI and Joe and Lora Leber of Kentwood, MI.

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Where eagles dare

Many years ago a WWII film was introduced called, “Where Eagles Dare.” The story line was of an allied general being held by the German army on a mountain peak in a stone castle. The castle was only accessible via a cable car, mountain climbing, or a helicopter. It was thought to be impregnable due to its inaccessibility and the troops left to guard the cable car and the base of the mountain.

Though that castle was high, remote and thought to be impregnable, it was never the less, overcome by an elite force of men. These men were no strangers to danger and the rigors of this type of warfare. They had their orders and would seek to fulfill those orders not matter the cost.

Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Within this familiar verse, we find five orders given to the Christian that will enable us to succeed where others fail.

“Wait” – Some would interpret this to mean to sit around and do nothing. Nothing could be further from the truth. This instruction involves the idea of hope; looking for something; trust; or an earnest expectation. We do this through meditation (Rev. 1:8, 11; Psalm 1; Heb. 10:23; Phil 1:6), prayer (phil. 4:6; Jms. 5:16), and bringing glory to His name (I Cor. 10:31).

“Renew” – This involves the concept of change, exchange or altering something. For what purpose must we renew our strength, simply to contend for the faith (Eph. 6:11-17). We are engaged in a war and we fight battles every day with temptation and sin. The real question is, are we willing to obey orders no matter what the cost, knowing that victory is assured?

“Mount Up” – Someone has suggested that these wings are the wings of faith and love. The writer of Hebrews tells us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (11:1) And later in the same chapter (11:6), “But without faith it is impossible to please him (God)…” Without these two elements, it is impossible for the child of God to live and demonstrate the truth of the Word.

“Run” – When in high school, it was my privilege to run on the track team. We would begin practices and work outs right after the first of the year in preparation for the spring track season. In those initial weeks, we would all suffer the rigors of soreness and lack of stamina due to our being out of shape. As the weeks would go by, one could begin to notice the changes that were taking place in each of us. We were able to run a little bit further and a little bit faster each week. Before long, after a lot of hard work, we were ready and in shape.

In every race that I have ever been a part of, we would always race toward the finish line. In the Christian life we are running a race. Paul’s encouragement to us is that we stay the course and finish the race (I Cor. 9:24; 15:58; II Tim. 4:7). The race that is referred to here is not salvation, but the rigors of the Christian life itself. In order to finish and to finish well, we must be in “shape.” I recall one physical ed class in which myself and one other track team member were a part. We were required to run a mile around the track. You could hear the moans and groans run through the class. All 35 of us went out to the track and proceeded to run. It was very apparent within the first quarter mile, who was in shape and who wasn’t. Those who are in shape “shall run and not be weary.”

“Walk” – This involves the simple concept of faithfulness and endurance. We all recall the story of the tortoise and the hare. Wm. Carey, once said when asked how he could accomplish so much, “I can plod; that is my only genius. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.”

When running the race of the Christian life, we must be careful to not allow distractions to cause us to falter or slacken our pace. Our strength and encouragement can only come from on high.

Pastor Jim Howard
First Baptist Church
233 S. Main St., Cedar Springs

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Roger on the Road

The good news

With all the bad news in the world, I’m happy to see that we’re getting off the gasoline kick. Crude oil was formed from living things buried under prehistoric seas and eventually it will all be used up. The automobile made use of cheap petroleum but, a century later, it’s not so cheap anymore. One look at the Interstate and you can see the results of supply and demand.

Transportation has drastically changed our lives and we can’t easily give it up. But it looks like the human race is getting serious about exchanging gasoline for renewable-source electricity. (Thank you, Thomas Edison!) We’re on our way to an oil-free future. That’s good news!


Not us! Charles Darwin, in postulating the theory of evolution, noted that plants and animals best adapted to the environment were the ones who survived. He never figured on the changes humans could make on the environment. We have species disappearing because humans are taking away their habitat. You know what happened to the passenger pigeon, the bison, the great auk, and many others too small to notice. Humans are the worst enemy of lots of plants, birds, and animals. We hunt them, eat them, and change them by breeding. We have to live, too.  About all we can do is keep a few samples around to remind us. I guess that’s what zoos are for.

Health Insurance confusion

There’s too much misinformation floating around to figure out what’s going on with the 3-5 bills in Congress. It’s too much to cover in one fell swoop. Medicare has been a successful program, although expensive. It can be expanded and made less expensive. Congress should concentrate on “Medicare for all.” Frankly, I trust the government more than the competing, for-profit insurance companies.

Abby strikes out

Dear Abby admitted she was at a loss to answer the following:

Dear Abby,

A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid twenties. These two women go everywhere together and I’ve never seen a man go into or leave their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese?


Dear Abby,

What can I do about all the sex, nudity, foul language and violence on my VCR?


Dear Abby,

My forty-year-old son has been paying a psychiatrist $100.00 an hour, every week, for two-and-a-half years. He must be crazy.

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Packing healthy school lunches for kids

BACK-Healthy-Lunches(StatePoint)  Packing nutritious school lunches that kids will eat can be tricky. You want to make sure that all those healthy foods you carefully selected are not traded away for junk food or tossed into the trash.

With childhood obesity a growing problem, many parents are determined to find healthful but tempting school lunches for their kids.

“Just because a bagged lunch is nutritious doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fun. Include a variety of foods your kids enjoy and get creative by packing colorful vegetables and fiber-rich fruits. And since kids love snacks, don’t fight it, pick healthy snacks and avoid junky chips and empty calories,” says Josh Schroeter, co-founder of Sahale Snacks, a producer of healthy, all-natural snack foods.

  • Make Favorites Even Better: Choose whole grain bread over white bread when making your child’s favorite sandwich. Substitute a whole wheat tortilla or pita pocket and kids won’t notice a difference. Choose lean lunch meats such as turkey or chicken and low fat cheeses. Use mustard instead of mayonnaise. Home-made bean or yogurt dip with vegetable sticks can be a tasty source of protein and fiber.
  • Go Nuts with Nutrient-Rich Snacks: Nuts and seeds make terrific protein- and fiber- rich snacks in lunchboxes. They contain heart-healthy fats and satisfy the craving for crunchy foods. Choose nut mixes with low sodium and no trans-fat or heavily processed sweeteners — and go beyond boring trail mixes. Liven things up with all-natural, kid-friendly glazed nut blends, such as Sahale Snack’s “Almond PB&J” blend of nuts, strawberries, raspberries and ground vanilla beans. “Parenting Magazine” recently recommended this treat as a calcium-rich energy booster. These snacks are available in grocery and health food stores, and won’t get traded away in the lunchroom.
  • Make Calories Count: Avoid packing refined carbohydrates and high fats together in one lunch. Substitution is key. If the main dish runs high in carbs or fats, add a side of veggies or fruit instead of chips or cheesy puffs. This cuts down on obesity-inducing foods that also might leave your child sluggish for the rest of the day. Substitute water for soda or juice, avoiding empty calories and sugar.
  • Play Dress-Up: Just because it’s made of vegetables, doesn’t have to mean boring. Dress-up a salad with nuts and dried fruit to make it more fun by adding crunch and sweetness. Mix in nuts, dried cranberries or apple slices. Or, opt for a pre-packaged nut blend that combines tree nuts with dried fruit like pomegranate or berries. Just be sure it’s not loaded with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Select one with organic evaporated cane juice or some natural honey instead.
  • Let Kids Choose: Have children help with the shopping and preparation. Take a visit to the local farmer’s market where the kids can taste test and choose their favorite seasonal produce. Cut fruits and veggies into fun shapes, add happy faces with raisins and nuts, and make items bite size for small hands and mouths.

For more healthful food ideas and recipes, visit www.sahalesnacks.com.

“Getting kids to eat right can be challenging, but you can make it easier by only buying things you want them to eat and instilling healthy eating habits at an early age,” stresses Schroeter.

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