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Archive | November, 2011


Pastor Mary Ivanov
Cedar Springs United Methodist Church
140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs

“Thanks!”  I say this word more times than I can count in one day.  I write it on notes and type it many times as I finish an E-mail message.  It’s become a standard “sign-off” for us, but I was struck by some verses from First Thessalonians 5:16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (New International Version)
16 Always be joyful. 17Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (New Living Translation)
16-18Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (The Message)
These verses come from the end of a letter to the early church, probably one of the earliest writings in the New Testament (50’s AD).  The apostle Paul is writing to a congregation that he formed on his missionary journey to Thessalonica, and these words come at the close of his letter—advice from a church leader to other followers of Jesus Christ.
The call to be joyful, pray, and give thanks is not so surprising.  These are a part of Christian character and practice, but the instructions on how and how often are powerful!  We can’t just be joyful in the Lord when we feel like it—when life is going great for us. Our joy is deeper than our circumstances. We don’t pray just when we “need to,”when there’s a specific situation that drives us to ask God for help. Prayer is a gift of God that keeps us connected to God and to people around us.  And we don’t just give thanks on one particular Thursday in November.  Giving thanks is a way to live “in all circumstances.”
Perhaps you’ve heard verse 18 misquoted before. I’ve heard it read: “give thanks for all circumstances…” but that’s not the right word or the spirit of the Scripture!  That small word makes a big difference! God’s Word doesn’t call us to give thanks for the difficulties we face or the struggles we have, but to give thanks and recognize God’s presence in the midst of all of life.
So whatever you might be doing this Thanksgiving Day—whether sitting around a large table with family or friends, cooking for one or two, recovering from surgery or illness, grieving losses and missing loved ones, feeling overwhelmed with blessings, or not quite in the holiday spirit—know that the call to “give thanks” isn’t limited to one day. It’s a call on our life to show our faith in God who walks with us on every step of the journey. Giving thanks in all circumstances is a powerful witness to God’s presence and power in our lives and in the world!
If you don’t have a church home or have been away for a while, every day is the perfect time to get reconnected! Consider getting back to church or trying it out for the first time during this season of Thanksgiving leading up to Christmas. I invite you to worship with us this Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.  We also have a special Bible study beginning this Sunday, November 27 at 10:15 a.m. called “The Journey” where we’ll learn more about the people and places surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ.  We share the love and hope of Jesus Christ!

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Of goats and gratitude

by Ronnie McBrayer

A man went to his rabbi and complained, “There are ten of us living in one room. Life is unbearable! What can I do?” The rabbi answered, “Go home and take your goat into the room with you.”  The man was incredulous; but the rabbi was insistent. “Do as I say. Come back in a week.”
A week later the man returned looking more distraught than ever. “Rabbi, please, we cannot stand it. The goat is filthy!” The rabbi then told him, “Very well, go home and let the goat out. Come back in a week.” A radiant man returned to the rabbi a week later. His perspective had been astonishingly altered. “Life is beautiful,” he cried. “We enjoy every minute of living together without the goat—and there’s only ten of us!”
Jesus once encountered a group of ten, living together, with little for which to be thankful. These ten had more than a stinking goat in the room. They had leprosy. But Jesus did more than change their perspective: He healed them. They were physically well, and turned together from death’s door. Yet, they did not turn together toward their healer.
Only one came back to Jesus. He fell at the feet of Christ and worshiped. This was a thankful man. This was a man with perspective. Jesus was surprised by this. “Were not all ten cleansed?” Jesus asked rhetorically. “Then, where are the other nine?”
Why didn’t the others come back? Maybe one waited to see if the cure was for real. Maybe another intended to go back later, as soon as possible. Maybe one ran to the family from which he had long been separated or got so entranced with having his life back, he simply forgot to return to the one who had performed the healing. I don’t know for sure.
But I do know that we can become so absorbed in our happiness—in our blessings or good fortune—that we fail to consider the Source of those blessings. We do not maintain perspective, and can sometimes say “Thank you,” because we know that it is the proper thing to do, but saying it and feeling it are two different things.
During this holiday week, may the Source of every good and perfect gift give us the greatest gift of all: A grateful heart. In return, may we fall at his feet with thanksgiving.
Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author. His books include “Leaving Religion, Following Jesus” and “The Jesus Tribe.” Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.

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David Clayton

November 15, 1979 to November 26, 2006

At first your death hurt, but over the 5 years I started to flirt, flirt with the idea that today may not be the worst, as I move on with my life, your death no longer feels like a knife, now I go from feeling like this month is crappy, to just being happy you were even here, you may not have been the best of brothers, but I wouldn’t ask for another, I still wish you were here, so I hold you near and dear, with everything that has happened in the last 5 years, my life is finally clear, so as I sit here today, I say, thank you, my life has only gotten better!! I miss you less, David, with everyday that goes by, but I will never forget about you, I know that is what you would want!

Christine, Jessie,
Shawn, April, LeLand,
Mom, Dad and Tim
Uncle Chuck

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Lori (Braun) Wier

Mrs. Lori Renee (Braun) Wier, age 50, of Cedar Springs, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, November 16, 2011, after a tragic automobile accident. She grew up in Cedar Springs and was a 1979 graduate of Cedar Springs High School. Lori played the French horn in the Cedar Springs Marching Band and also took piano lessons. In her younger years, the school bus would have to make two trips because Lori had difficulty getting up in the morning. When she was seven years old, Lori accepted Christ as her Savior during devotions on a family vacation in Wisconsin. She and her family attended Ensley Baptist Church where Lori sang as a soloist and played the piano. When she first met Ron at work, Lori had a superman shirt on, and Ron commented about the nice “S” on it. Lori was so embarrassed she ran and hid. Shortly after this happened, Ron found out that Lori was the Bosses’ daughter. Oops!!!  There’s a story about their first date too, so ask Ron. They dated for three years and then were married. Lori immediately had sons to help raise, and then they were blessed with the birth of Rachel. She was pleased to become a stay-at-home mom. Ron and Lori purchased a chenille business called G & L Enterprises which included patches for varsity jackets for various schools. Their entire family attended Maranatha Baptist Church where Lori played the piano, helped as a church clerk, and served with the Word of Life Program. More recently she started attending Algoma Baptist Church where she sang in the church choir. Lori was the secretary at Pine Ridge Bible Camp. This worked well with her schedule because she could work at camp during the summer and work with the chenille business during the winter. Her spiritual gifts were in giving to others, hospitality, and serving her Lord in many different capacities. Lori loved all animals, especially pigs, cows, cats, dogs, and DUCKS.  She is survived by her loving husband of 28 years, Ron; children, Ron (Wendy) Wier, Jr. and their children, Alexis and Austin of Sand Lake, Robert (Heather) Wier, and their children, Danny, Calla, Brayden of Cedar Springs, Michael (Rachel) Wier and their children, Kayla and Mike of Walker, and Rachel (Kevin) Wellman and their children, Payten and Alex of Cedar Springs; parents, Donald and Shirley Braun of Cedar Springs; sister, Deb (Doug) Middleton of Rockford; Ron’s parents, Don and Connie Wier of Comstock Park; Ron’s brother, Terry (Pam) Wier of Grand Rapids, and Ron’s sister, Helen (Rich) of Belding; and nieces and nephews. The Celebration of Lori’s life was held Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. at Algoma Baptist Church with Pastor David Fernlund officiating. Interment will be in Solon Township Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Pine Ridge Bible Camp designated for the Camp Verlee Center. Relatives and friends met with the family at the Pederson Funeral Home on Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. and on Monday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Robert Thorington

Mr. Robert Thorington, age 76, of Cedar Springs, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Monday, November 21, 2011. His parents were farmers, and Bob was the youngest of their ten children. Bob rode the bus to school and needed to come home right away so he would work on the farm. While in high school, Bob met his sweetheart, Betty. He graduated in 1954; and after Betty graduated and turned 18 years of age, they eloped and were married on December 24, 1955. They moved to Grand Rapids where Bob began working at Guardsman Chemical. Bob would mix the chemicals and tint, package the products, and fill the tanker trucks and the drums. He worked there for 34 plus years. In 1958, Bob’s brother and brother-in-law died in an automobile accident and that was the turning point when Bob asked Christ to be in his life. He accepted Christ at Wealthy Street Baptist Church. In 1985 he and Betty moved to Cedar Springs and joined First Baptist Church. He was a very faithful and spiritual person. If you opened Bob’s Bible, you would find a lot of verses underlined and notations made. He was a very welcoming guy who would share what the family had. Many times during his working years he would hold two or three jobs so his wife could be a mother, wife, grandmother and great-grandmother and be at home. His children have been led by their father and have continued the same work ethics. When Guardsman Chemical went out of business, Bob went to the Family Fare in Cedar Springs and worked there as a part-time worker for 16 years. Most vacations times were spent with visiting family. Bob was a gentleman who loved the Lord and his family. He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 56 years, Betty; children, Cynthia and Robert Beals of Grand Blanc, Debra and Robert VanDyke of Rockford, Linda and Timothy Rysdyk of Rockford, Julie and Jesse Mata of Holland, James and Jilayne Thorington of Rockford; grandchildren, Daniel Beals, Shawn Beals, Ryan VanDyke, Bradlee VanDyke, Samuel Rysdyk, Joseph Rysdyk, Jennifer (Phil) Millard, Katherine Mata, Stacy Mata, Paige Mata, Seth Thorington, Alycia (Matt) Burmeister, Brooke Thorington, Wyatt Thorington, Niklas Thorington, Alexa Haadsma, Joseph Dochod; great-grandchildren, Ian, Matthew, Emma, Elizabeth, and Jack; sister, Mrs. Bernice Helsel; brother, John and Darlene Thorington; and nieces and nephews. The Service of Praise and Thanksgiving for the gift of everlasting life through Jesus Christ for Mr. Thorington will be Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs, 233 S. Main Street, Cedar Springs, with Pastor Jim Howard officiating. Interment in Nelson Township Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs. Relatives and friends met with the family at the Pederson Funeral Home on Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Edward Sagorski

Mr. Edward Sagorski, age 70, passed away on Saturday, November 12, 2011. He was a graduate of Cedar Springs High School. Ed served his country in the US Army during the Vietnam War. He worked as a Supervisor for Gordon Manufacturing. Ed was a former Pierson Township Supervisor. He was a member of the Glenn Hill Post #287 American Legion. After his retirement, her fulfilled his passion of being a full time babysitter for his grandchildren. He always had a garden which seemed to get bigger each year. He looked forward to the yearly trip to Brimley with his two brothers in hopes of walking away from the casino with at least gas money to return home. He often stopped at the Stage Stop for a quick cup of coffee and conversations with many friends. Ed is survived by his loving wife, Barb; children, Pat Sagorski, Gregory Sagorski and Lianne Densham, and Angie and Jamie Bucholtz; grandchildren, Noah, Kaela, and Isaac; brothers and sisters, John and Barbara Sagorski, James and Nancy Sagorski, Joanne Robinson, Stanley and Pat Sagorski, Jr., Rev. Fr. Peter A. Sagorski, George and Kay Rae Sagorski, Mary Ann and Loren Dragoo, Frank and Cathie Sagorski, and Marnie and Karl Keifer; sister-in-law, Mrs. Shirley Sagorski; aunts, Sister Albert, O.P., and Sister Rose Serphine, O.P.; numerous nieces and nephews; in-laws, Marie and Dave VanMale, John Morris, and Rich and Nancy Morris. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Donald and Joseph, his parents, Stanley and Helen Sagorski; sisters-in law, Lee Sagorski, and Mary Sagorski, nephew, Andrew, and father and mother in law Orval and Bertha Morris. The Mass of Christian Burial for Mr. Sagorski will be offered on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Mary Queen of the Apostles in Sand Lake, with Rev. Msgr. Edward A. Hankiewicz presiding. Military honors will be under the auspices of the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Paying It Forward by helping someone in need, giving a hug, saying thank you, and telling someone you love them. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the Pederson Funeral Home on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. with a time of sharing beginning at 7:30 p.m. Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford www.pedersonfunerahome.com

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Ron L. Male

Ron L. Male, 46 died Saturday, November 19, 2011 in North Strabane Township, PA. Ron was born April 19, 1965 in Kalmath Falls, OR the son of James and Ione (Scholz) Male. He liked hunting, motorcycles and enjoyed life, he lived it to the fullest. Surviving are his wife, Yvonne; children, Ozzy Male, Tonya Male; mother, Ione Male; brother, Tom Male; sisters, Belinda Schrader, Bonnie (Chris) Lundberg; many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father. The family will receive friends Wednesday at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. There was no funeral service.

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Light of Heaven’s Dove

Rogue River Community Theatre presented “The Light Of Heaven’s Dove,” a musical drama about the life of Christ, at the Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs last weekend.
It is a message play about Jesus the Christ, whose life and travels have touched all of humanity throughout history and will continue to do so in the times to come.
Jesus, of Nazareth, was played by John Hogan and Mary was played by Teresa Lautenbach. Patricia Rose, of Rockford wrote, staged, choreographed and directed the show.
Their next and last performance for this show will be Dec. 6, at 7:30pm at Basilica of St. Adalberts Cathedral, 701 4th St. NW, Grand Rapids.

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Charlotte’s Web


Steven Kern as Templeton, Ian Murphy as Wilbur, and Tinsley Nulph as Charlotte.

Reviewed by Tom Noreen

Spiders. I like spiders and I really liked the Cedar Springs High School’s presentation of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web! Director Justin Harnden should be proud of the superb performance by the cast and crew of this children’s classic. With a cast of 39, and a crew of 13, not counting other student and parent volunteers, Justin did a great job.
Tinsley Nulph portrayed Charlotte with grace and compassion as she wove her web of magic to save Wilbur the pig from the smokehouse. Ian Murphy played Wilbur with relish, as he came to realize the value of friendship and sacrifice. Steven Kern excelled in his role as Templeton the greedy, self-centered and conniving rat. Molly McCarthy and Harrison Brown were spot-on in their performance as the stuttering Goose and Gander as were Dereck Sissell and Holly Lewis as the Sheep and Lamb.
Kristen Valentine (Fern) played her part as Wilbur’s first rescuer well, as did Seth Cosier and Rachel DeLeeuw, who portrayed her parents the Arables. Wyatt Phillips was delightful as her rambunctious younger brother, Avery. Shelby Hubble and Devin Burke had a great time playing Fern’s aunt and uncle, Edith and Homer, while Levi Velting definitely had the flair for his role as Lurvy their farmhand.
Sean Murphy, as the first place winning pig, Uncle, did a fine job of upstaging his older brother! The other members of the cast were wonderful in their roles. These included the story’s narrators Whitney Badge, Silver Gonzales, Corey Willette, and Kayla Ovokaitys, Katie Esakson (Reporter), Espen Haugland (Photographer), Alexis Lucarelli and Courtney Alvesteffer (Spectators), Morgan Bennett and Felicia Jones (Judges), Emilie Petty, Kylie Wells, Aaron Burton, and Claire Willette (Fair-goers), Kendall VanPutten, Sirena Johnson, Dalton VanEss, Taylor Atkins, Monique Wilks, and Kaci Clark (Crowd Members), Sean Herp (Announcer) and Nicole Clark, Briana Brugel, and Brooke Lubben (Little Spiders).
The crew was fantastic in keeping the show moving. Lights and sound were super. A big thanks to Student Directors Olivia Larsen and Autumn Fish, Stage Manager Brandon Jones, Costume Diva Kristie Rice, Sound Techs Kody Hall and Mitch McClees, Light Tech Brett Markosky, Sound FX RJ Moore, and Stagehands Mike Stafford, Jacob Detloff, Megan Brunett, Liz Moore, and Kate Miller.
The set design was fantastic. The large red barn, with its loft for Charlotte, filled the stage. Costumes were very well done.
The cast and crew should be proud of their successful and entertaining show! Thanks to the community and school administration for supporting the arts in Cedar Springs.

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This week’s happenings

Spaghetti Dinner Benefit for Dorothy Kaminski
Nov. 26: A spaghetti dinner and auction benefit for Dorothy Kaminski, who has been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma Cancer, will be at the Christ the King Fellowship Hall, 9596 N. Reed Rd. Howard City on Sat. Nov. 26 from 5 to 9 pm. Dinner includes spaghetti, salad, and bread sticks. Adults – $6 and children under 12 – $3. The auction starts at 7 pm. Bake sale and 50/50 drawing.  #47

Adopt a Family
Nov. 18 – Dec. 12: Join the Friends of the Library, the Sand Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Lion’s Club by donating a new toy, clothing item or food for area families in need this Christmas. Items will be collected from Nov. 28  through Dec. 12 at the Sand Lake/ Nelson Township Kent District Library, 88 Eighth St., Sand Lake. #47

TOPS weight loss support group
Nov. 29: Take off pounds sensibly (TOPS), a non-profit weight loss support group for men and women, meets every Tuesday at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sand Lake. Your first visit is free so come check out what TOPS can do to help you reach your weight loss goals! Exercise 8-8:30am (optional), weigh-ins from 8:30am–9am and the meeting starts at 9:15am. Call Martha at 696-1039 for more information. tfnf

Senior Lunch at Pine Grove Church
Nov. 30: So as not to overload folk with turkey so soon after Thanksgiving, Ma’s preparing a tasty meal with chicken breast, rice and cranberry sauce. She tossed out a hint of corn will be the veggie. As for dessert, with a twinkle in her eye just smiled and said wait and see. Ma ‘n Pa invite all those age 60 or perhaps even more to gather at our table on the corner of M-82 and Beech at noon Wednesday the 30th of November. Join with us to give thanks and celebrate the blessings of another year.  #47

Spaghetti Supper
Dec. 2: Enjoy an All You Can Eat Spaghetti Supper sponsored by the Maple Valley Fire Department, 4639 North Bailey Road  Coral,  for the 150th Anniversary of Coral on Dec. 2 from 5 pm – 8 pm. Music by the Old Time Gospel Singers.  #46-48p

Christmas Bazaar
Dec. 3: A Christmas Bazaar at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 180 Northland Dr., Sand Lake on Dec. 3 from 9 am to 3 pm. Luncheon, bake sale, raffle, white elephant and several crafters.  #47,48p

Christmas Parade of Homes
Dec. 3: On Sat. Dec. 3 from 12:30 – 4:30 pm the Friends of the Timothy C. Hauenstein Reynolds Township Library will present a Christmas Parade of Homes. Advance tickets are $10 and available at the library, 117 W. Williams St. or at Kindel & Company in Howard City. Tickets the day of the event is $12. The ticket price includes refreshments at the library and a Christmas ornament, and a chance to win a Willow Tree Nativity. #47

30th Annual Crafty Christmas Bazaar
Dec. 3: St. Charles Catholic Church, 505 S. Lafayette St. in Greenville, is having it’s 30th Annual Crafty Christmas Bazaar on Sat. Dec. 3 from 9 am – 3 pm. There will be an exciting raffle, delicious homemade bakes goods, and wonderful crafts from many venders. Come join us for lunch and enjoy some Christmas shopping!  #47

Paper Craft Bouquet
Dec. 3: Learn to make quilled flowers for a colorful holiday bouquet. Supplies provided; led by Kim Mankel on Dec. 3, 10am at the Spencer Township branch of KDL. Call 784-2016 x2159 for more info. #47

Leave No Family Inside: Winter Survival
Dec. 4: Winters in Michigan can be ever changing, so being properly prepared for outdoor adventures is important. In the class at Howard Christensen Nature Center on Saturday, Dec. 10, 9am-12pm, you’ll learn ways to stay warm outside including fire starting and shelter building. Also, a variety of adaptations that allow animals to survive Michigan’s winters will be discussed. $6/person or $10/family. Registration and payment due Dec. 4. #47

Full Moon Series at Howard Christensen Nature Center
Dec. 6: Learn about the various names given to each month’s full moon, as well as the explanations behind the names. We will also uncover some of the myths, legends and lore associated with the full moon. A short indoor program will be followed by a full-moon hike on Saturday Dec. 10, 7 – 8:30 pm at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16190 Red Pine Dr., Kent City. The cost is $6 for adults, $4 students and seniors, $12 families. Registration and payment is due Dec. 6.  #47

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