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Holiday happenings


Check out some of the fun, family activities going on in the area for the holiday season.


Christmas card class 

Nov. 28: Join the free Christmas Card Class at the Cedar Springs Library, Saturday, November 28. Kits to make three classy cards for those special people in your life.  Age-appropriate kits for children, as well.  Must be at least 6.  Sessions start at 10:15 and 11:30. Space is limited so reserve a place today!  By phone: 616-696-1910 or by email: ced@llcoop.org.

2015 Cedar Springs Christmas – Mingle with Kris Kringle 

Dec. 5: Celebrate the kick off to the Christmas season with “Come Mingle with Kris Kringle,” presented by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Looking for something sweet? Pick up some awesome baked goods at the Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Bake Sale at the Artisan Market Place 60 N. Main St.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Make two ornaments at the Cedar Springs Library, 43 W. Cherry Street—one to take home and one to take with you to decorate the Community Christmas tree at 3 p.m. (see below).

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Ornament Making at the CS Historical Museum (for the first 100 kids) and a Victorian Christmas Display  (Cedar Street by Morley Park)

2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Story time with Mrs. Claus at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more.. (corner of Maple and Main Street)

3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Decorating the Christmas Tree with the CS Cheerleaders at the corner of Main and Ash Street ( get your picture taken with the cheer leaders and tree)

3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Free Hot Chocolate at the corner of Ash and Main Street

4 p.m. Double K Farms& Animal Junction 4H Club Petting Zoo & Bake Sale at corner of Main and Ash Street.

4 p.m. Parade Line Up corner of Second and Maple Street

4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. candy canes handed out by Laura and Patrick Ensley

4:30 p.m. Christmas Parade starts at Maple and Main street**

4:45 p.m. Christmas Tree Lighting and Caroling at the corner of Main and Ash Street

5 p.m. Live Nativity Scene (reenacted by Calvary Assembly of God) then Mingling with Kris Kringle (at the corner of Main and Ash Street)

5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The CS Cheerleaders will hand out candy canes (at the corner of Main and Ash)

Main Street will be closing down (from Oak Street to Beech) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the mini Christmas Parade, Tree lighting, and Mingle with Kris Kringle portion of the event.

Edible Christmas Tree Decorating at the library

Dec. 12: Make an ordinary ice cream cone magically turn into a fabulous Christmas tree at the Cedar Springs Public Library! An assortment of candy and fun awaits you! RSVP for sessions starting at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. RSVP by calling 616-696-1910 or stop by and sign up at 43 W. Cherry Street during open hours.

2015 Kent Theatre Christmas Concert

Dec. 12: The 2015 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Concert hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC) is scheduled for December 13th from 3pm to 5pm. Come out an have some holiday family fun! 

2015 Kent Theatre Dance Extravaganza

Dec. 13: The 2014 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Dance Extravaganza hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC) is scheduled for December 14th from 3pm to 5pm. Come out an have some holiday family fun!

Watch ad in next week’s paper for more information.


Celebrate Christmas on the green in Greenville.

Hometown Christmas parade and Santa party

Dec. 4: Come join the fun in downtown Greenville on December 4! The Santa park party will take place from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at Lafayette park. Get your picture taken with Santa, enjoy games and live music, then watch while Santa magically lights the Christmas Tree at 5:45 p.m. The parade will start at 6:00 p.m. on Lafayette Street. You won’t want to miss out on all the fun!

Enjoy local events and shop local businesses Dec. 5

Dec. 5: Greenville Community Center, 900 E. Kent, will host a craft fair and indoor flea market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and a make and take craft party from 10 a.m. to noon.

Dec. 5: Greenville Senior Center, 715 S. Baldwin, will host a holiday marketplace from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. will dolls, marionettes, quilts, crafts and baked goods.

Dec. 5: The Daily News, 109 N. Lafayette, will host an arts, crafts and gifts bazaar from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dec. 5: Flat River Historical Museum, 213 N. Franklin, will host a holiday open house 2-4:30 p.m. Santa visits from 2-3 p.m.

Dec. 5: Town and Country animal clinic, 9191 Greenville Rd, will offer pet photos with Santa, starting at noon. Bring in your pet and get a photo with Santa free.

Dec. 5: Handel’s Messiah at the Greenville High School performing arts center at 7 p.m. Free admission. Nearly 100 talented area musicians in the orchestra and chorus will perform.

Dec. 5: Check out deals at Greenville businesses for December 5 by going to the Greenville Chamber of Commerce webpage at http://www.greenvillechamber.net.

Gingerbread house decorating

Dec. 12: The Greenville Area Community Center will host a gingerbread house decorating workshop from 10 a.m. to noon. Registration Deadline: December 4, 2015. Make sweet memories, we’ll clean up the mess! Icing and assorted candies will be provided. 900 E. Kent Rd., Greenville. (616) 754-9163.


Holiday make and take

Dec. 12: You do not want your kids to miss this one! We will help your child create a gift from their heart that can be cherished and passed down to their children for generations. They will make unique gifts and wrap them up with the assistance of our volunteer team. Voila! Your children’s holiday shopping is done.

This event is most appropriate for K-5th graders. A cherished gift from your child’s heart, what could be better! 10 to 12:30 p.m. Donation $6.00 per child (includes supplies). 16190 Red Pine Dr NW, Kent City.

Winter Break Day Camp

Dec. 21-23 & 28-31: Send the Kids to day camp at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16190 Red Pine Drive, Kent City, during the Holiday Break. This program run the duration of the two week break (no camp on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year’s Day) Multiple curriculums will be covered from crafts to animal interactions and of course plenty of showshoeing and ice skating (weather permitting). We’ll make gifts and Christmas decorations, enjoy the roaring fireplace and have plenty of hot cocoa! $55 per child and 5 and over (all 7 days of the program). Bring a sack lunch (cocoa will be provided). Register online www.HowardChristensen.org or call the office 616-675-3158. All camps require 9 students minimum to be held.


Discover a Rockford Christmas

Take a step back in time and capture the magic of the holidays with these special events!

Holiday lighting ceremony

Dec. 4: Holiday lighting ceremony from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Rockford Dam overlook. Help us ring in the holiday season with the Holiday Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy the sounds of the Rockford High School Jazz ensemble prior to the Rockford Choirs singing Christmas Carols. The Rockford Mayor will present a message of peace prior to thousands to lights coming to life in downtown Rockford and at the dam. This is a wonderful way for your family and you to start the holiday! Music starts at 5:30 p.m. and the Ceremony begins at 6 p.m.

Also Holiday Carriage Rides at the Rockford Pavilion from 5:30-7 p.m.

Santa Parade

Dec. 5: Join us for Rockford’s 72nd Annual Santa Parade on December 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Rockford. The jolly man in the red suit makes Rockford one of his first stops on his world tour. More than 60 floats line the downtown streets to welcome Santa Claus. He always arrives in style in a gorgeous white carriage. After the parade, he visits all good boys and girls in the Rockford Rotary Pavilion to hear their wish lists. The event features free photos, free milk and cookies, children’s activities, Christmas carols and each child receives a goodie bag after visiting with Santa.

Free horse-drawn carriage rides available after the parade from noon to 2 p.m.

Cookie walk

Dec. 5: St. Peter’s Ladies Guild Annual Cookie Walk is Saturday, December 5 at 310 E. Division in Rockford, from 9 a.m. until the cookies are gone. The cookies are sold by the pound and you pick the combination. This is a perfect time to pick up cookies for the holidays.  Proceeds help our Mission Projects throughout the year.

Santa at the Pavilion

Dec. 9: 6-8 p.m. Tired of battling the mall crowds? Why not bring your child to Rockford to visit Santa at the Rotary Pavilion, all in the idyllic setting of downtown. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies!

Holiday carriage rides

Dec. 10-11: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a free horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones.

Santa at the Pavilion with Live reindeer

Dec. 16: From 6-8 p.m. at the Rotary Pavilion. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies! Santa will be bringing his LIVE reindeer for the kids to get a closer look at these amazing animals.

Holiday carriage rides

Dec. 17-18: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a free horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones.


Advent by Candlelight

Nov. 29: Advent by Candlelight, 6-8 p.m., for ladies of all ages, at Mary Queen of Apostles Parish Center in Sand Lake. The theme is Mary Christmas. Bring an hors d’oeuvre to pass. RSVP (616) 636-5671.

Live nativity

Dec. 4-5: Once again this year the Sand Lake United Methodist church fellowship hall will be transformed into the village of Bethlehem. The transformation is amazing as you are greeted by Roman soldiers registering you for the census (asking you to sign the guest book). You will make your way through the market place as you hear angels singing in the distance. Then you find a stable with a young couple inside with a newborn child as the angels sing their praises. Around the corner you will come to a garden where you will find a snack and a time to visit. On your way out, you may run into some wise men looking for the newborn king. And if you wish, you can pay your tribute (leave a free will donation). Come and experience the joy of the Christmas story with us! Friday December 4 from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday, December 5 from 1-3 p.m. Everyone is welcome!


‘Tis the season! Check out these fun Sparta holiday events.

Nov. 26: Turkey Trot in Sparta, Thursday, Nov. 26, 9 a.m. Race begins at Sparta Civic Center, 75 N. Union. Registration forms at spartachamber.com. Proceeds to Sparta Rugby club.

Nov. 28: 3rd annual Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K Run, 9:30 a.m. Starts/finishes: Mamrelund Lutheran Church, 4085 Lutheran Church Rd., Kent City. Proceeds to Adopt a family and food pantry at Mamrelund. Register at michianatiming.com. Contact Cindy 616-799-0500 with questions.

Dec. 5: Horse-drawn trolley rides with Santa noon to 3 p.m. 112 E. Division.

Dec. 5: Festival of trees meet and greet noon to 3 p.m. Fenton Records 203 E. Division.

Dec. 5: Kid’s Day at Biggby Coffee 275 S. State. Come decorate a holiday picture to hang on our wall. Free kid’s drink with every picture (12 and under).

Dec. 8: Santa Workshop 6-8 pm at Maddie LaRoues, 126 E. Division. Hosted by Independent Bank. Free photos with Santa, activities, & more!

Dec. 10: Sparta High School holiday concert with concert band, jazz band, and choir. 6:45 p.m. Sparta High School auditorium.

Dec. 12: Horse-drawn trolley rides 1-4 p.m.

Dec. 12: Santa in the Santa house 1-4 p.m.

Dec. 12: Santa fly in! 7-9 p.m. Sparta Airport 9000 Vinton Ave. Indoor activities, gifts for 12 and under. Refreshments of cocoa and cookies.

Dec. 13: Children’s Christmas program 10:10 a.m. at Sparta United Methodist Church. All children who come (ages preschool through elementary) are invited to dress up and participate. No rehearsal necessary.

Dec. 14: Gingerbread House Decorating Party, 6-8 p.m. at Sparta Township Library, 80 N. Union. For all ages! Houses & decorating items will be supplied. Pre-registration required.

Dec. 14: Biggby snow ball celebration 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Contests, giveaways iand other special events. 275 S. State.

Dec. 15: Sparta Middle School band holiday concert 6:45 p.m. Sparta High School auditorium.

Dec. 17: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 6-8 p.m.

Dec. 19 Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 11-1.

Dec. 19: Free horse-drawn trolley rides 11-1.

Dec. 21-24: Ballard Church of Christ, 1633 10 Mile Road, presents “The Living Nativity,” from 7-8 p.m.

Dec. 23: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 6-8p.m.

Dec. 24: Children’s Christmas pageant at Holy Family Catholic Church 4 p.m.


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Homemade gifts for a heartwarming holiday season


(Family Features)

Instead of fighting crowds at the store, head to the kitchen and whip up Pinterest-worthy treats and crafts. Whether you’re gifting a gracious host or just want a few extra presents on hand for unexpected holiday guests, flavorful and aromatic kitchen creations are a delicious way to show you care this holiday season.

“Christmas cookies are always a popular gift but they’re not the only homemade option for the cookie lovers on your list,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “A small jar of spreadable Gingerbread Cookie Butter brings the taste of a classic holiday treat to unexpected places like toast and pancakes.”

Need more gift-giving inspiration? Discover new ideas and recipes for everything from homemade seasonal butters to fragrance jars by visiting McCormick Spice on Pinterest and Facebook.

Gingerbread Cookie Butter

Gingerbread Cookie Butter

Gingerbread Cookie Butter

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 2 minutes

Servings: 24 (1 tablespoon each)

8 ounces gingerbread cookies, about 8 (3 1/2-inch long) cookies

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger

Pulse cookies in food processor until resembling fine crumbs. Add sugar; pulse until just blended.

Heat oil and water in small saucepan on low heat until coconut oil is melted. Slowly add oil mixture to processor while pulsing. Add vanilla and spices; pulse until just blended.

Cinnamon and Pine Fragrance Jar

Cinnamon and Pine Fragrance Jar

Cinnamon and Pine Fragrance Jar

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Makes: 1 jar

2-3 pine branches (4 inches long)

2 McCormick Gourmet Cinnamon Sticks

1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Whole Jamaican All spice


Place pine, cinnamon and allspice inside 8-ounce jar. Pour water to fill jar, leaving 1/2-inch headspace; seal.

To add a lovely fragrance around the house, pour all contents of jar into small saucepan. Simmer on medium heat 10-15 minutes or until fragrant, adding additional water as needed.

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Tour of lights


There’s nothing like the warm glow of Christmas lights this time of year to give you a good dose of Christmas cheer!

Every year The Cedar Springs POST hosts a Tour of Lights giving area residents the scoop on where the hot spots for Christmas lights are glowing.

In order for us to make an accurate listing, one that includes YOUR house as a “drive-by” we need you to lead the way.

Simply mail your name and address to Tour of Lights, P.O. Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. You can also email them to news@cedarspringspost.com or call the office at 616-696-3655 to let us know.

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Baby’s First Christmas

BFC-Atlas-santa-hat1We want to give you the opportunity to celebrate your baby’s very first Christmas in a special way. The  Cedar Springs POST will be featuring area newborns in “Baby’s First Christmas,” a special feature for babies celebrating their first Christmas.

Photos will be run at no cost to our readers, but space is limited so get your photos in early. Deadline is Monday, December 21 by 5 p.m. and pictures with name and date of birth will appear in the December 24th issue. We cannot guarantee return of photos. Show the community your precious gift!

Photos may be dropped off at the Cedar Springs POST – 36 E. Maple St., or mailed to Baby’s First Christmas, P.O. Box 370,    Cedar Springs, MI 49319, or emailed to news@cedarspringspost.com. Please include baby’s name, and birth date, as well as a contact name and phone number.

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Letters to Santa Claus

Hey kids, it’s time to write a letter to Santa!  Photo courtesy of S. Read.

Hey kids, it’s time to write a letter to Santa!
Photo courtesy of S. Read.

It’s that time of year again, when kids can’t wait to mail their letters to Santa! To help parents out, the Cedar Springs Post will have a special North Pole drop box. Every year dozens of kids use our special box for express delivery to the North Pole, and we make sure Santa reads each and every one! So, if you’d like to send a letter to Santa, and maybe get it printed in the newspaper, just drop off your letter, in the bright red box labeled “Santa Mail” outside our office at 36 E. Maple Street, or mail your letter to: Letters to Santa, c/o the Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Postal Service Holiday Shipping Deadlines 


If you mail packages to friends and family for the holidays, you will want to take note of the 2015 holiday shipping deadlines released by the U.S. Postal Service.

Mail-by Dates (Domestic Services) 

• Dec. 15 – Standard Post
Ground service for less-than-urgent deliveries and oversized packages.

• Dec. 19 – First Class Mail
Service for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 ounces with delivery in 3 business days or less.

• Dec. 21 – Priority Mail
Domestic service in 1, 2, or 3 business days based on where your package starts and where it’s being sent, variety of Flat Rate options.

• Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express
Fastest domestic service, guaranteed overnight scheduled delivery to most locations.
Complete details on Mailing and Shipping services can be found on usps.com.

• Mail-by Dates (International Services)
Customers mailing internationally during the holidays are advised to review the chart below for specific deadlines based on the locations they are mailing to and the service they are using. When mailing and shipping internationally, customers must also follow necessary customs guidelines. Please visit the International Shipping page on usps.com for more information.


Mail-by Dates (Military) 

The Postal Service is committed to ensuring those serving in the nation’s armed forces and diplomatic service receive their presents, care packages and cards in time for the holidays. Complete military mailing deadlines to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office and Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide, as well as tips and guidelines can be found https://www.usps.com/ship/apo-fpo-dpo.htm.

Shipping Supplies 

As an added convenience, the Postal Service offers a wide variety of shipping supplies in multiple sizes at local Post Offices and online at usps.com. Some supplies, such as Priority Mail products, can also be delivered to the sender free of charge.

Shipping supplies available online and at local Post Offices include:

• Priority Mail boxes: complimentary with Priority Mail shipping service.

• Priority Mail non-padded envelopes: complimentary with Priority Mail shipping service.

• ReadyPost boxes: beginning at $4.29.

• ReadyPost bubble mailers: beginning at $1.79.

• ReadyPost clear packing tape: $3.29.
Customers may also ship using their own materials. As a reminder, all packages weighing more than 13 ounces and bearing only stamps as postage cannot be deposited in collection boxes or given to letter carriers. These packages must be presented to a Postal Service employee at a retail window counter.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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How to have a worship-filled feast

The-Springs-blurred-webPastor Barry Briggs

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant St., Cedar Springs


The famous “theologian” Andy Rooney had this to say about Thanksgiving: “The emphasis is more on what we have for dinner this Thursday than it is on any other holiday. Once you’ve given thanks on Thanksgiving, there isn’t much else to do but watch football and eat.”

Is that true? Is Thanksgiving just a quick prayer followed by food and football and maybe a little online shopping? Thanksgiving can be so much more; in fact, it is intended to be. More than food, more than football, more than door busters, Thanksgiving can be a day of worship, and a chance to share a meal in Jesus’ honor. But how?

I’d like to share three secrets with you for turning an otherwise traditional Thanksgiving meal into a worship-filled feast.

Secret #1: Read a Thanksgiving Psalm together after you sit down to the table and before you say grace.

Colossians 3:16-17 (NLT) says, “Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use His words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.  And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

One of the ways you can turn your Thanksgiving meal into an opportunity for worship is to incorporate Scripture into it. Reading a Thanksgiving Psalm before the meal lets the words of Christ live in your hearts and sets the table for a worship-filled feast. Some great Thanksgiving Psalms from the Bible include Psalm 30, 32, 34, 40, 66, 100, 116, and 138.

There are lots of ways to do this. Here are two: everyone gathered could read the Thanksgiving Psalm together in unison, or one person could read it out loud for the whole group. Be creative and have fun.  After you read the psalm, go around the table and have each person share what they are thankful for.

Secret #2: Give thanks before and AFTER the meal.

Deuteronomy 8:6-10 (NLT) reads, “Obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in His ways and fearing Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with springs that gush forth in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley, of grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, olives, and honey.  It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking…When you have eaten your fill, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.”

I’m assuming most of us give thanks before our Thanksgiving meals. But the idea of giving thanks afterward may be foreign to many of you. Giving thanks after a meal is a tradition that has been lost by most Christians, especially Protestants.  But it is a tradition that goes back to the earliest believers, and to Jewish practice as well. Tertullian, a famous early church theologian wrote, “We do not recline at a banquet before prayer be first tasted; in like manner prayer puts an end to the feast.”

Jesus Himself gave thanks before and after meals. We see Him modeling this at the Last Supper where He gave thanks for the bread at the beginning of the meal, and gave thanks for the cup at the close of the meal.

We get our word “gratitude” from the word “grace.” So saying grace before or after a meal literally means to give thanks or to give gratitude. After we have finished eating and our stomachs are full, it is only natural to express our gratitude to God for all He has blessed us with. Like Deuteronomy 8:10 says, “When you have eaten your fill, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.”

This year you might want to start a new Thanksgiving tradition of giving thanks after your done eating in addition to saying grace before your meal.

Secret #3: Make your meal a time for serving others, sharing love, and seeking reconciliation.

A quick sprint through the New Testament shows how thankful Paul was for his brothers and sisters in Christ. Romans 1:8a (NLT): “Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you…” 1 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT): “I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts He has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3 (NLT): “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.”

Thanksgiving is a great time to follow Paul’s example and share with others how thankful we are for them.

The truth is, for Christians this should be a daily practice, not just once a year on Thanksgiving. Acts 2:46-47 (NIV) describes how the first Christians lived a thanksgiving lifestyle on a daily basis.

“Every day they continued to meet together in the Temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

From the beginning Christians have broken bread and eaten together.  The act of breaking bread together is rich with symbolism. Jesus broke bread with His disciples at the Last Supper, making it symbolic of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Jesus fed a crowd of 5000 people with broken pieces of bread from 5 loaves, making it symbolic of care and compassion.  In the Old Testament the ritual of breaking the Passover bread symbolizes God’s power to deliver His people.

Thanksgiving incorporates all of this symbolism. It is a time for forgiveness and reconciliation, a time for care and compassion, and a time to give thanks for all that God has done to save us.

Turn your Thanksgiving meal into a worship-filled feast by having each person share what they thank God for in another person at the table.  Again there are lots of ways to do this, so be creative.  As dishes are being passed the person who is passing could tell the person they are passing to what it is about that person they are thankful for.

At the end of the day, our Thanksgiving meals should always be held in Jesus’ honor.  Jesus was the guest of honor at many meals.  I’m reminded of Matthew’s party, the meal at Zacchaeus’ home, when Jesus visited Mary and Martha’s home, and when Jesus visited Peter’s mom.

For those of you who are really extreme you might consider leaving an empty chair at the head of your table to symbolize that this meal is in Jesus’ honor and to remember that He is present with you.

This year, try some of these ideas to turn an otherwise traditional meal into a worship-filled feast. By incorporating Scripture, prayer, serving and sharing into your Thanksgiving meal you can do just that.

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Timothy Rama, 59 of Sand Lake went to be with the Lord on Monday, November 23, 2015 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus after a long battle with cancer. Tim was born September 7, 1956 in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Leo and Mona (Vicchio) Rama. Surviving are his sister, Diane (Larry) Jenkins; brothers, Dan, Jack, and Jeff Rama; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, Mike in 2013. Cremation has taken place and there will be no services.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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Happy 100th Birthday



An Open House celebrating Kenneth Becker’s 100th Birthday will be held on Saturday, December 5th from 2 to 4 pm at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Meyers Lake Rd., Rockford. Please join us in celebrating his centennial birthday! It would make it very special for him to see all his family and friends come by and share cake and ice cream with him. Hope to see you there! (No presents please, your presence is present enough.)

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MCC’s alumni & friends choir presents Händel’s Messiah 

Members of Montcalm Community College’s Alumni & Friends Choir practice for the Messiah concert.

Members of Montcalm Community College’s Alumni & Friends Choir practice for the Messiah concert.

December 5

SIDNEY – Area musicians combine their talents to present a performance of George Frideric Händel’s Messiah on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center. Admission is free.

“This is a special holiday tradition that has been performed in our community by local musicians every few years since the mid-1970s,” said Valerie Vander Mark, MCC Performing Arts Coordinator and concert producer. “Years ago it was sponsored by the Creative Arts Council, and I felt it was very important to continue the tradition. The most exciting thing about it for me is the different blend of talent that we get each time we perform it. Though Händel wrote this great work over 250 years ago, and we perform the same music each time, it is always a new mix of singers and instrumentalists, so it is never the same performance twice.”

Randy Masterson, of Saranac, will perform a tenor solo during the Montcalm Community College Alumni & Friends Choir performance of Messiah.

Randy Masterson, of Saranac, will perform a tenor solo during the Montcalm Community College Alumni & Friends Choir performance of Messiah.

Greg Vander Mark, of Greenville, is directing this year’s performance. He is also the director of the adult choir at the First Congregational Church in Greenville.

Händel composed Messiah in 1741 in just 24 days. It was first performed in a concert given for charitable purposes in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 1742. Händel conducted the performance in person.

MCC’s Alumni & Friends Choir—a community choir made up of approximately 70 singers from the area—will perform the concert.  Former area music teachers Jean and Keith Hudson have selected musicians for the orchestra and have been rehearsing with them.

Soloists include Karen Lincoln, of Alma; Jeanne Haenisch, of Belmont; Deb Dieckman, Mark Dombroske, Ryan Garlick, Julie Momber, Larry Moss, and Valerie Vander Mark, all of Greenville; Marian Flynn of Mecosta; Cynthia Karaba of Sand Lake; Randy Masterson of Saranac; and Deborah Baldwin and Katrina Nelson, both of Sheridan.

For more information, contact MCC Performing Arts Coordinator Valerie Vander Mark at valv@montcalm.edu or (989) 328-1218.


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