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Archive | September, 2017

Why bother?

Rev. Karen Sorden

Cedar Springs United Methodist Church

140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs, MI

www.cedarspringsumc.org

 

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing. Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations” Psalm 100 (NRSV).

You may have said it or at least have heard it said, “I’m going to church.” When we make that statement we usually mean we are going to a worship service. In a world that seems to be filled with strife, anger, hatred, pain, and anxiety, you may wonder, “Why bother”? Why bother worshiping a God who appears to be absent in the midst of so much chaos? But as people of faith around the world have realized for millennia, one place we can be certain to encounter God is in worship.

As a gift of God, worship is an amazing opportunity to experience and engage the living God. Worship provides the opportunity to connect with and know the living God. Worship also provides God the opportunity to get to know us individually. In worship God invites us into the very presence of God for the glory of God.

Worship includes the proclamation of God’s Word, yet worship is so much more than Scripture lessons and a sermon. For some people, music is their favorite element of worship; yet worship is so much more than a collection of songs. We pray during worship, yet worship is so much more than prayer. People need to gather together for worship to happen and yet worship is so much more than just a meeting. Clearly worship is much more than the sum of its parts!

And while the focus of our worship is on God, we are affected by worship. Worship has the ability to both inform and transform us; it helps us remember who God is and who we are to be. It is in gathering together as a worshipping, praying, sharing, learning, and serving community that we are able to continue the work of Jesus Christ.

It is important that in these times of strife, anger, hatred, pain, and anxiety we move toward God and not away from God. So why bother? When we worship God, God comes. And when God comes, lives are transformed. So find a worship service at a time and place that works for you and encounter the glory that is our God.

 

Posted in From the PulpitComments (0)

Equestrian team heads to regionals

 

The Cedar Springs Equestrian team won first place in districts by five points over Rockford on the weekend of September 17-18, with hard, hot days of showing on both sides. They compete this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, in Region E of MIHA in Mason, MI.

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Red Hawks fall to GR Christian in close game

 

By Kayleigh Boomgaard

On Friday, September 22, the varsity Red Hawks of Cedar Springs took on the Eagles of Grand Rapids Christian and fell just short of their opponent, with a final score of Cedar Springs 44, Grand Rapids Christian 48. This non-conference game was a tough match up for the Hawks, who struggled to keep up with the Eagles throughout the night.

In the first quarter, the Hawks began on the defensive line. After a kickoff made by Cedar Springs sophomore Kaleb Gordon, the Eagle’s took possession of the ball. Grand Rapids Christian player Isaac Dykema made multiple runs, first tackled by Red Hawk seniors John Jacob Todd and Riley Hawkins. Additional tackles throughout the first quarter were made by juniors Ethan West and Lucas Pienton, as well as senior Colton Gould.

With 8:55 left to play in the first quarter, the Eagles scored the night’s first touchdown with Tre Vallar sweeping right for a 12 yard run. The Eagles then went on to complete a PAT (point after touchdown). Senior halfback Darius Barnett scored the Hawks first touchdown of the night shortly after, with 4:13 left to play in the first quarter.

The second quarter played out similarly, with the two teams back and forth with completed runs into their end zones. When halftime arrived, the Cedar Springs Red Hawks and Grand Rapids Christian Eagles were tied with a score of 28-28.

In the third quarter, the Hawks scored an additional 8 points, taking a one point lead against the Eagles, who scored 7. The atmosphere of this game was intense due to the tough competition both teams faced. Red Hawk touchdowns were scored by Darius Barnett, with PATs completed by Ryan Ringler and Todd.

The final touchdown of the night, after a pass made by Dykema to Myson Childs, and a field goal kicked by Grand Rapids Christian player Dayne Wendy, sealed the win for Grand Rapids Christian with a four point gap between the final score of the two teams, 48-44.

The Hawks, who are now 2-0 in conference and 3-2 overall, are preparing for a better outcome in next week’s homecoming game against Lowell, (2-0 in conference and 4-1 overall). The game begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29 at Red Hawk Stadium.

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Be the Referee

By Mark Uyl, Asst. Director, MHSAA

Misunderstood Football Rules – Kicking 

Some of the most misunderstood high school football rules revolve around the kicking game.

At the high school level, on both kickoffs and punts, the rules are unique to what’s seen at the college and pro levels. When a kick breaks the plane of the goal line, it does not matter if it’s a punt or a kickoff. When that ball breaks the plane, the ball is dead under high school rules and it results in an automatic touchback.

And an even more unique set of rules deal with field goals. Under high school rules, whenever there’s a missed field goal, it’s treated just like a punt, so that long field goal that comes up well short and goes out of bounds at the 2-yard line means the other team gets the ball, first and 10 at the 2.

Be the Referee is a weekly message from the Michigan High School Athletics Association that is designed to help educate people on the rules in different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

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Like Lichens

By Ranger Steve Mueller

There are small beautiful brown moths with red stripes on their wings that run lengthwise away from the head. People occasionally notice their beauty and ask about them. They are Lichen Moths that likely feed on lichens.

These moths and lichens are creatures few notice. It is incredibly difficult to locate caterpillars on lichens. They are small and blend in well. To study the moth’s nature niche, scientists collect adults and place them in a container with lichens so the moths will oviposit their eggs. Then they can be studied as they grow.

I see a half dozen lichen moths each summer but tens of thousands of lichens grow at the sanctuary. Even if I knew one of the caterpillars was present in lichen, it would be hard to find because they camouflage well.

Lichens can be abundant but their numbers decrease rapidly in response to air pollution. Like all living creatures some are more resistant to pollution than others. They are used to monitor air quality and for fabric dyes. They have antibacterial and anti-germination chemicals studied for medicinal and agricultural uses. Perhaps your antibiotics are lichen based. That alone is reason for us to “like lichens” and protect the habitat. They are good neighbors growing on trees, rock, fences, or almost any place they can gain a foothold.

They use objects as a place to perch much like a bird uses a branch to stand on. They are not parasites penetrating the tissues of organisms for nourishment. Their nature niche method of survive is unique. A lichen is composed of two organisms that live together for survival. One is an alga and the other a fungus.

Visually think of a magnified lichen like a fishnet with tennis balls caught in open webbing spaces. The fishnet represents the fungus that cannot produce food but it holds water like a sponge. The tennis balls represent algae cells that capture sunlight energy to produce food. To survive the fungus grows hyphae that penetrate the algae cells to acquire food to live.

One might think of the fungus as parasite but instead scientists consider the algae and fungus as mutual symbiotic organisms that help each other survive. It is obvious that the fungus benefits by extracting food energy from the algae. The alga benefits because alone it would dry and die. It is like corn and people. We plant corn and it gets to survive abundantly even though we eat it. Without people, corn would be rare on Earth. Without the fungus, the species of alga that depends on the fungus would be extremely rare.

Walk around your neighborhood or visit a county, state, or national park and notice lichens. There are three major kinds or groups of lichens based on growth form. If you have noticed lichens, it is probably the leafy or shrubby growth forms that captured your attentions. Lichens do not have leaves but examine some growing on a tree. They tend to grow from the center outward forming a circular growth like a paper plate. They are thin from top to bottom and spread a few inches wide on the tree trunk. They grow on rocks in the same manner.

They need a substrate to stand on and do not use it for food. Most lichens are only an inch to a few inches across but several might grow together. The leafy ones shaped like a paper plates are called foliose. 

The second group is called fruticose because they grow like miniature shrubs. A striking one is the British Soldier or Red Caps. They have gray/green appearing stem-like branches capped with bright red tops. The red caps are the reproductive structures. These are found in a variety of habitats and frequently colonize bare sand where little else can grow. Keep in mind they are not gathering nutrients from the soil like farm crops. The fungus holds moisture the alga uses for adequate water for photosynthesis and food production to support both.

The third group is crustose and appears like a crust on the surface where it grows. They are often seen on gravestones. The three groups in the Great Lakes region have about 700 species comprising a miniature world. Like lichens, enjoy their beauty, and associated species like lichen moths.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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2017 Michigan deer hunting forecast 

 

by Chad Stewart, Deer, Elk and Moose Management Specialist, Lansing Customer Service Center

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has compiled information hunters may find helpful before they hit the field this fall.

Know Before You Go 

Part of hunting preparation includes reviewing and understanding pertinent deer regulations. Visit mi.gov/deer, which provides highlights of regulation changes, information about deer management and links to additional resources, such as deer check stations.

Refer to the 2017 Hunting and Trapping Digest and Antlerless Digest, also available at DNR Customer Service Centers and license vendors, for a map of all deer management units (DMUs) and other regulation details.

Breeding Activity 

The peak of breeding activity (the rut) for Michigan deer occurs prior to the opening of the firearm deer season on Nov. 15, with increased movement and activity beginning in late October. The peak breeding dates are fairly consistent statewide; however, does that are not bred during the primary rut, or fawns who are able to put on enough weight, are likely to be receptive to breeding about a month later. This breeding activity often occurs in mid-December and, though less intensive than the primary rut a month earlier, can lead to increased activity and daylight movement later in the season. Hunters can often take advantage of these increased deer movements. Archery hunting is very popular in late October and early November, followed by the busiest deer hunting day of the year– the opening of the firearm season.

What to Expect Across the State 

The 2016 season, while seeing a decrease in hunter numbers, ended with a slight increase in harvest from 2015. Overall hunting success increased across most of the state in 2016, with slightly more than five out of every 10 hunters taking home at least one deer last season.

The winter of 2016 was relatively mild across the entire state. Low snowfall levels and above-average temperatures made for good deer survival conditions and great potential for this year’s fawns. Spring had relatively mild weather as well, which is a major factor in both deer fitness and fawn survival. Due to these circumstances, this year both the overall number of fawns seen and the number of twins and triplets across the state has increased.

In addition to an increase in the number of fawns being reported, the overall number of deer being observed appears to be up as well.

The 2017 deer season is forecasted to have similar to slightly increased success rates compared to last year. See below for regional information.

Upper Peninsula 

The Upper Peninsula has experienced two relatively mild winters the last two years. Though overall deer numbers are still lower than many hunters like to see, some areas have begun to recover from previous harsh winters nicely. As a result, DNR staff members recommended opening a few additional units to antlerless hunting this year. Deer management units open to public- and private-land antlerless permits include DMUs 055, 121, 155, and 255. DMU 122 will be open only to private land-antlerless permits. The open units are in the south central portion of the U.P., which typically has higher deer populations than anywhere else in the U.P. All other areas in the U.P. will not have antlerless licenses available.

In general, hunters should expect to see a slight increase from the number of deer they saw last year, with increases especially in 1.5- and 2.5-year-old age classes. Keep in mind that each area is influenced by local factors and conditions, which then affects deer density and sightings in that area. The largest bucks (heaviest and largest antlers) typically come from agricultural areas, but nice bucks also are taken from forested areas where access is limited and where they have an opportunity to get older.

Continuing for 2017: archery hunters may harvest antlerless deer only if they have an antlerless license. In the U.P., they may not use their single deer or combination deer license to take an antlerless deer during archery season. This change does not affect the Liberty or Independence Hunt and does not impact the mentored youth license.

New for 2017: DMU 117 (Drummond Island) has a new three-point antler point restriction on the single deer license (the antler point restriction on the regular and restricted tags of the combination license remains in place) and a one-buck limit for the entire deer season. This means any hunter participating in the deer hunting season on Drummond Island may only harvest one buck for the entire deer season, and that buck must have a least three antler points on one side, each 1 inch or greater in length. Drummond Island hunters may purchase a combination license, but the second tag must be used in any DMU other than 117.

Northern Lower Peninsula 

The northern Lower Peninsula is expected to see an increase in deer harvest this year. With the mild winter last year and little impact from the previous winter, deer populations have been increasing steadily across much of the area.

Deer sightings have been good throughout the region, and many have reported seeing healthy fawns, including many sets of twins and even some triplets.

Many areas may see more 2.5-year-old and 3.5-year-old bucks this year with the now-permanent three-point antler point restriction (APR) in 13 counties in the northwest area.

This APR allows the majority of 1.5-year-old bucks to mature to the next age class, resulting in increased numbers of 2.5- and 3.5-year-old bucks in the years following. All northern Lower Peninsula deer management units are open for antlerless hunting; refer to the 2017 Antlerless Deer Digest if you are interested in obtaining an antlerless license.

New for 2017: DMU 487 no longer has an APR in place on the regular tag of the deer combination license. Hunters can harvest antlerless deer using either their single deer or deer combination license during the early/late antlerless firearm, archery, firearm or muzzleloading seasons, but the APR that had been in place since 2010 has been removed. Keep in mind that those who purchase a combination license still have a four-point APR on the restricted tag of the combination license, which is similar to the rest of the state. For a map of the different APRs in Michigan, see pages 32 and 33 of the 2017 Hunting and Trapping Digest.

Public-land antlerless licenses also have changed. Removed are the individual public-land units of DMUs 001 (Alcona), 004 (Alpena), 035 (Iosco), 060 (Montmorency), 068 (Oscoda), 071 (Presque Isle) and 135 (Tawas). All are now a part of DMU 487. Hunters who previously hunted public land under one of these licenses now can purchase a public-land antlerless license for DMU 487. This change opens more opportunities for hunters to move around public land in the six-county area. DMU 452, the core TB management area, remains separate from DMU 487 for public-land licenses.

Southern Lower Peninsula 

Abundant food and cover in the form of agricultural crops and scattered swamps and woodlots provide very good habitat across the southern Michigan landscape. This high-quality habitat, combined with relatively mild winter conditions, typically results in a more abundant and productive deer population compared to other regions of the state. The 2017 harvest should be like last year, with perhaps a slight increase given the current conditions. Harvest in the southern Lower Peninsula can depend heavily on the percentage of standing corn. If corn harvest is delayed going into the firearms season, a reduced deer harvest can be expected.

Over the last decade or more, deer population estimates and indices (including deer/vehicle collisions, crop damage complaints, and observations of deer by the hunting community and field staff) in the southern Lower Peninsula have stabilized or declined. In many instances, reductions were intended to reduce conflicts that can occur when deer populations are high, though the DNR still desires to keep adequate deer for enjoyable hunting and viewing experiences. A relatively high proportion of land in this region is broken into small parcel sizes and privately owned. Given this framework, the DNR is working to find more ways to balance high-quality deer hunting experiences and increased hunting opportunities with habitat management goals among networks of private landowners and hunters.

The southeastern Lower Peninsula offers numerous reserved and lottery deer hunting opportunities at managed waterfowl hunt areas, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife refuges and Sharonville State Game Area in Jackson and Washtenaw counties. Additional information related to these hunts can be found on the DNR Reserved Deer Hunts web page. A limited number of leftover licenses are available for these hunts; review the leftover licenses page and navigate to “Deer Reserved Hunts” on the dropdown menu for available quantities. Hunters seeking more information related to deer hunting opportunities at the DNR’s managed waterfowl hunt areas should contact either the Nayanquing Point, Fish Point or Harsens Island field offices and speak with staff.

Additionally, an Urban Deer Management Zone has been developed for Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties (see section below). The archery season in these counties will extend to Jan. 31, 2018 to better manage human-deer conflicts. More information on the Urban Deer Management Zone can be found on page 35 of the 2017 Hunting and Trapping Digest.

Read more in next week’s issue.

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KDL announces 6th annual Write Michigan short story contest

 

Great Opportunity for Writers of All Ages to Get Published and Win Cash

 Kent District Library and Schuler Books & Music announce the Sixth annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest, which drew nearly 600 Michigan writers last year.

Writers of all ages are encouraged to enter, with separate categories for youth, teens and adults. Returning this year is an all-ages category for Spanish entries. Winning entries will be published and receive cash prizes.

“Write Michigan is a wonderful opportunity for authors of all ages to get published and win cash prizes,” said KDL Director of Innovation and User Experience Michelle Boisvenue-Fox. “We continue to be amazed at the caliber of writers we have enter this exciting competition and are honored to be a vehicle in showcasing Michigan talent. Writers won’t want to miss this chance to share their talent in such a big way!”
Stories can be submitted at www.writemichigan.org through Thursday, Nov. 30. Details include a 3,000-word maximum length; $10 entry fee for ages 18 and above, free for 17 and under; current Michigan residents only; all entries must be submitted online.

Winners are chosen by public vote for the Readers’ Choice award and by a panel of judges for the Judges’ Choice award. Voters and judges choose winners from the top ten semi-finalists. The top honor in each category receives a $250 cash prize and a Judges’ Choice runner-up in each category will receive a $100 prize. Winning entries will also be published by Chapbook Press.
Winners will be honored during an awards ceremony in March.

For more information on the event, visit www.writemichigan.org.

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Mathews archery representative to speak at area churches

Randy McPherson, older brother of Matt McPherson, owner of Mathews Bows, will be the featured speaker at two area events on Saturday, September 30.

Business and outdoors persons are invited to a delicious breakfast at Crossfire Church, 4780 Cornfield Dr., Cedar Springs from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Randy’s presentation is entitled “The Number One Key to Success! Fail Often!”

All participants will be eligible for a special door prize – a Mathews Mission Craze Bow with sight and quiver. You may make your reservation by calling the Crossfire Church office at 616-263-9070 and leaving a message with your name and number of guests attending; or register online at the Church’s website: www.crossfire-ministries.org.

Randy will also be the featured speaker at the “Sportspersons Fall Kick-Off Event” under the tent in the Bella Vista Church parking lot, 5100 Belding Rd., Rockford. Burgers, Brats and side dishes will be served at 6:00 p.m. After dinner, Randy will speak on the subject of “Lessons Learned from the Outdoors.”

Everyone present will be eligible to win some special door prizes. Among them are a Mathew’s Mission Craze Bow with Sight and Quiver, and a top-of-the-line “Halon Bow” worth over $1,300.00.

Randy is a business Serial Entrepreneur whose businesses have generated billions of dollars in revenue. Randy is also an avid outdoorsman who has hunted in exotic parts of the world. Take advantage of this opportunity. For more information call 616-874-7727.

Donations are appreciated to cover the expenses for both events.

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Howard City CROP Hunger Walk

 

On Sunday, October 8, the annual Howard City CROP Walk will take place for the 15th straight year. Walkers will cover a 4 1/4 mile route starting at Ensley Park in Howard City. Registration is at 11:30 a.m., walk at 2:00 p.m. The purpose of the Walk is to raise money to help in the fight against hunger. Walkers also strive to raise public awareness about the plight of the hungry.

CROP, which stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty, is sponsored by Church World Services. This is a cooperative effort of over 35 denominations working together to help erase poverty. This worldwide outreach provides aid in over 80 countries, including the U.S. The goal is to provide not only food to feed the hungry, but to help people to help themselves. A majority of the programs supported by the Walk are designed to help people become self-sufficient.

One important aspect of the CROP Walk is that 1/4 of all funds raised stays in our local community. In our area that is the Helping Hands food pantry. The remainder goes to Church World Services for their many programs both in the U.S. and throughout the world. These programs cover a wide spectrum ranging from emergency food in Africa, to supplying agricultural tools to farmers in South America, to building schools in Asia, to name just a few.

The CROP Walk works by people pledging to not only walk but to solicit donations. This is a community event and is strictly a volunteer effort. This is an excellent opportunity for an individual or a group to become involved in a very worthwhile project. For more information, contact Heritage United Methodist Church, 231-937-4310.

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Rest in Peace

 

A new business was opening and one of the owner’s friends wanted to send him flowers for the occasion. They arrived at the new business site and the owner read the card, “Rest in Peace.”

The owner was angry and called the florist to complain.

After he had told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was, the florist replied,

“Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake, but rather than getting angry, you should imagine this: Somewhere there is a funeral taking place today and they have flowers with a note saying, ‘Congratulations on your new location.’”

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