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Getting excited about church

C-East-Nelson-UnitedPastor Herb VanderBilt 

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024 18 Mile Rd. • Cedar Springs MI 49319

 

It made me glad to hear them say, “Let’s go to the house of the Lord!” Psalm 122.

 

When was the last time you got excited about going to church for Sunday worship? I know that there are days when all of us wished we could stay home especially this winter with all the cold weather and snow making it hard to get to church. How many times do you go home complaining that you didn’t get much out of the service? Guess what? You may have received more than you think. According to William Morrow even falling asleep in church may be good for you. After all it is the Easter season and getting woke up in the service may be a reminder of the Resurrection. William goes on to say that “fully 50% of what happens in a worship service is at the unconscious level of the mind.”In other words we don’t know how the benefits accrue. They just do. As long as you go there, your inner self is soaking up the messages, many even unspoken. You don’t have to take notes or remember the theme of the sermon or “meditation”. Go with your five senses open to absorbing the beauty of the music, the surrounding symbols that embrace you and the enacted ceremonies of unconditional love and acceptance…where else but in a religiously motivated community can you find people who befriend and support you?

Many people today have given up on the church saying that it is outdated and not relevant anymore. That is unfortunate because I have  found some of the most relevant and up-to-date ideas come from people excited to be a part of a community of folks who are all connected together in Love to help each other grow in faith. I’m glad to go into the house of the Lord.

 

 

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An Empty Tomb is not an Empty Promise

by Ronnie McBrayer

by Ronnie McBrayer

“The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vault” aired almost three decades ago this week, and at the time, it was the most watched syndicated television show in history. The charismatic host of the show that evening promised the unveiling of long-kept secrets, the unknotting of historical mystery, and priceless artifacts from where Capone once lived. That host was Geraldo Rivera.

Yes, before he had his nose broken on daytime television; before he had fat sucked from his buttocks and shot into his forehead; before he was sent packing from Afghanistan for disclosing the location of US troops; and before that viral shirtless selfie on Twitter, Rivera had long ago revealed how ill-advised some of his decisions could be.

With 30 million people watching to see mysteries solved and questions answered, the vault was opened revealing nothing—unless you consider an empty gin bottle to be of historical importance. The opening of Capone’s treasures was a story as empty as the vault.

I must confess that Easter can sometimes leave us feeling like Geraldo. On Resurrection Sunday we gather with the sold-out crowd and hear the report of Jesus coming back to life. “He is risen!” we are told, and his resurrection gives “hope for ourselves, for the world, and for the future.”

But is this a publicity stunt? How can one man’s resurrection centuries ago make any real difference within the scope of eternity? Isn’t this a metaphysical fraud used to boost Christianity’s ratings? Answering similar objections, the Apostle Paul wrote, “If Christ hasn’t been raised, then our faith is worthless.”

Unafraid to soften his words, Paul goes on to say that without Easter, Christianity is a farce; eternal life is a promise built on overhyped lies; God’s grace has been misrepresented; and those who adhere to the faith are as pitiful as Geraldo in a warzone (that line is not a quote from Paul, though he might have appreciated it).

Nonetheless, in rising from the dead, Jesus signaled that he would redeem humanity by overcoming all enemies, even death, and return the universe to wholeness. He will bring all of God’s creation back to life, making “life worth the living,” as the old song goes, “just because he lives.” So we confess this hope: “Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” An ambitious confession? Yes, but confession that the tomb is empty is far more than an empty promise.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

 

 

 

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CORNELIUS (NEAL) FEIKEMA

Cornelius (Neal) Feikema of Evart passed away Saturday April 12, 2014 at Autumnwood of McBain. He was 88. Mr. Feikema was born January 11, 1926 in Okaton, South Dakota  to Frank and Ann (DeGraaf) Feikema. He was a 1946 graduate of Evart High School. Neal married Winona Kushmaul in 1946 at Sears, Michigan. He was nearly a lifelong Evart area resident. Neal and Winona’s music was entertainment at many dances around Mid-Michigan. Neal retired from Liberty Dairy after working there for many years and retired from farming in 2004. He was active with the Michigan State Agriculture program and was a premier Angus breeder. Mr. Feikema was very involved in 4-H, the Osceola County Fair, and starting livestock shows and auctions throughout the state, judging at many of them. He attended the Evart and North Evart United Methodist Churches. Mr. Feikema is survived by his wife of 67 years, Winona of Evart, a daughter, Sharon Lamie of Middleville, son , Neal Duane Feikema of Evart, five grandchildren, six great grandchildren, one great great grandchild, eight sisters; Hermina Stoker of Lansing, Corena Cass of Evart, Josphina Tift of Florida, Francis Brackett of Big Rapids, Annette (Bruce) Giddings of Lansing, Chris Fabijancic of Lansing, Harlene Matlia of Lansing, Kathy Ohler of Lansing, four brothers; Don “Spike” Feikema of Clarksville, Arkansas, Fred (Ferne) Feikema of Evart, John (Jeanie) Feikema of Lansing, Frank (Ann) Feikema of Tucson, Arizona, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents. Funeral services for Cornelius Feikema are Wednesday April 16th at the Corey Funeral Home in Evart with Pastor Tim Ford officiating. Visitation will be Tuesday April 15th 2pm to 4pm & 6pm to 8pm at the funeral home. Internment will be in the Osceola Township Cemetery.

Arrangements by Corey Funeral Home in Evart

 

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From the editor’s desk

 

By Judy Reed

 

There are still good people around. Just ask Thelma Gould. We had a good conversation last week about how someone made her day. And she doesn’t even know who it was.

Thelma’s husband, Leonard, has had health problems, including cancer, and can’t get out of the house much. “It was the first day he could get out, and we decided to take a trip to the casino for a little fun,” explained Thelma. So she took several rolls of quarters to the bank to cash in. But when she got to the window, she discovered she was short. “I told the teller I thought I had another roll,” she said, “and that I’d probably find it in the car when I had time to look.”

She and Leonard went on to the casino, and didn’t think too much about it. They had a good time, and were just glad to be out.

As it turned out, Thelma found out later that night that someone found the roll of quarters in the bank parking lot and turned it in to the bank. “Who does that?” asked Thelma.

The teller remembered Thelma saying she lost a roll, and it just so happens that Thelma’s granddaughter works there, so she knew how to contact her.

“It was really a joyous day,” remarked Thelma. “It amazed me. Everything worked out so well. I felt really lucky that day, even though we lost (at the casino). But we didn’t have much money to lose,” she said with a chuckle. She said even both of her sons called, who she rarely talks to on the same day. “It was all happiness for me. The good Lord was looking out for me,” she said.

Thelma is grateful to both the teller for remembering her, and the person who turned in the roll of quarters—whomever he or she is. Someone who was unselfish, thinking only of someone else. That’s good people.

 

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Let the people elect our mayor

My condolences to the family of our beloved council person and mayor, Ron Merlington, who had a great big heart for the people of Cedar Springs.

Soon, seven council members will be deciding who your mayor will be for 2015. This means, that only 4 council persons will make that very critical decision. The Michigan Municipal League tells me that our city attorney, at very little cost, could help us rewrite the city charter, so that you, the caring people of our city, would vote to elect the mayor of your choice, every 4 years at the same time we elect our state governor. To me that sounds like a better plan. If you concur, talk to your council persons. My only interest is building a community that is beyond reproach.

Next week see my apology to those who were offended by my personal e-mail to council member Patricia Troost.

 

Bob Truesdale, 

Cedar Springs

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Class of 2014 Valedictorians Announced

Alicia Beck

Alicia Beck

Dani George

Dani George

CTA is proud to recognize Dani George and Alicia Beck as Co-Valedictorians for the Class of 2014. The two seniors have identical 4.17 GPA’s and they have never received less than an A in any high school or dual enrollment college class.

Dani is the daughter of Dan and Debi George of Cedar Springs and Barbara Mull of Rochester, New York. She plans to continue her education at Indiana Wesleyan University where she will major in biochemistry leading to a career in medical practice or research.

Alicia is the daughter of Clint and Amy Beck of Sand Lake. She plans to continue her education at Valparaiso University where she will major in elementary education.

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CTA Honor Roll – Term 2

High School Honor Roll Term 2

Student Name  • Grade • GPA

Alverson, Allie 09 3.60

Beck, Alicia 12 4.90

Beck, Brandon 09 3.87

Bishop, Emmalee 12 3.80

Bricker, Brianna 11 3.75

Colburn, Lydia 12 3.89

Colter, Logan 09 3.53

Davison, Joshua 10 4.00

Felty, Miranda 09 3.73

George, Dani 12 4.64

George, Jonathan H 11 4.06

Hanes, Victoria 09 3.39

Hoops, Jonathan 11 4.00

Hubbard, Hannah 11 4.06

Huizinga, Clare 10 3.63

Jenkins, Derek 09 3.06

Keech, Kaleigh 10 3.88

Kibitz, Cassie 12 3.11

Knott, Ryan 09 3.78

Knott, Stephen 12 3.50

Konrad, Arabelle 09 4.00

Kyser, Jordan 10 3.47

Lawson, Tatyanna 09 3.00

Lehman, Ethan 09 4.00

McKinney, Thomas 09 3.13

Mead, Justin 12 3.47

Merz, Nadine 11 3.73

Munger, Erin 12 3.71

Ogden, Logan 11 3.20

Price, Grace 11 4.13

Scheidel, Kaylynn 12 3.13

Schreiber, Megan 12 3.45

Schultz, Jesse 10 3.13

Shelagowski, Autumn 09 4.00

Stahle, Jared 10 3.08

Temple, Rachelle 11 3.06

Tow, Kathryn 12 4.00

VanEnk, Annalise 10 3.77

Wheaton, Matthew 12 3.50

Wheeler-Denton, Ashley 10 3.00

Whitney, Cecelia 12 3.25

Winters, Derek 11 3.70

Wortz, Olivia 11 3.38

Yarrington, Dylan 11 3.90

 

Middle School Honor Roll Term 2

Student Name  • Grade • GPA

August, Danielle 07 4.00

Bucholtz, Kaela 06 4.00

Fulkerson, Lily 07 4.00

Howard, Austin 08 4.00

Ingersoll, Dawson 07 4.00

Konrad, Allen 07 4.00

Korody, Michael 08 4.00

Lehman, Zoe 06 4.00

Miner, Leslie 08 4.00

Starr, Marjorie 07 4.00

Wortz, Charles 07 4.00

Calkins, Brianne 07 3.84

Felty, Chandler 07 3.84

Hofstra, Hannah 06 3.84

Armstrong, Dawson 08 3.78

Price, Nicholas 08 3.78

Davison, Matthew 07 3.67

Hirsch, Travis 06 3.67

Shelagowski, Ashley 06 3.67

Graham, Joshua 08 3.56

Hofstra, James 08 3.56

Bishop, Collin 06 3.50

LeTourneau, Johnathon 08 3.44

Batchelder, Destiny 06 3.34

Fahling, Gabriela 06 3.34

Dood, Mason 06 3.00

Watson, Faith 06 3.00

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CTA 5th Grader Wins National Award

 

CTA-Calvin-Caulkins-National-Award-WinnerThe Read Naturally program, a research based literacy development program selects one student in the nation each month as its Star of the Month. The Read Naturally Star of the Month program is designed to celebrate students who work hard to improve their reading skills. Each month, they select one student to feature in their newsletter. The selected student wins a $20 Barnes & Noble gift card, and the school or teacher who nominated the student will receive a $200 gift certificate for Read Naturally materials.

Read Naturally released this statement recently:

“Congratulations to Star Student Calvin Caulkins from Cedar Springs, MI! Calvin is a fifth-grade student at Creative Technologies Academy. Calvin’s teacher, Sarah Classen, had this to say about him:

Calvin came to me at the beginning of last school year. Calvin has a hearing impairment that was undetected until 3rd grade. Due to this, he missed much of his reading phonics instruction.

When he first started working with me, Calvin was not able to read. He wanted to be able to show me that he could do these things, but he truly did not know how to do them.

Calvin has been nothing short of a hard worker for me from day one. He comes into the Reading Lab every day and gets right to work on his stories. Since last year he moved up from one and a half levels! He always has a positive attitude and even though some sounds are hard for him to hear, he strives extra hard to make those sounds in all the words he is now reading. He no longer struggles with writing and reading like he did before. He sounds unfamiliar words out and smiles a lot more these days! His confidence has grown a great deal and he has even taken on a Kindergarten reading buddy, once a fear of his, this past month. He is a bright spot in my day and I am super impressed at all the progress he is making!”

 

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Celebration Assembly

Creative Technologies Academy held a Celebration Assembly on Wednesday, April 3rd to celebrate some awesome accomplishments and share some great news.  As the elementary reading madness challenge came to an end, the students had much to be proud of.  The winner of the contest was the 6th grade with an astounding 19,039 minutes read this month. Through the month of March the total amount of minutes read by the students in kindergarten through 7th grade was 90,791 minutes!  The students were given some awesome stats about their reading as well.  Their reading totaled up to 1,513 hours in the month of March, or 63 total days, or 8 hours of reading per student for the month.

Here are just a few of the amazing things that are happening around campus.  First grade students Addyson Moeggenberg and Aubrey Smith and second graders  Timiah DenBoer, Kaden Winters, William May and Alivia Taylor were honored for their progress in their rocket math program.  The third graders were celebrated for working hard to meet their personal math goals and reading goals.  The fourth grade class was honored for receiving their 200th positive behavior point. The fifth graders will be heading up a kindness project where they will be supporting the group “Sole Hope”.  This organization makes shoes out of jeans and sends them over to help the people of Uganda.  They will be collecting pop cans, jeans, plastics, and other much needed items to help with this amazing cause.  The sixth grade class was celebrated for their hard work they have put into running the school bank in its inaugural year.  Several middle school students were honored for being caught exemplifying great character.  The freshman English class was celebrated for their willingness to cooperate and their hard work over the last few months.  Ms. Hill specifically gave a shout out to “Thomas McKinney, who volunteers to read for us on a daily basis.” Some students from Miss Chilcote’s Current Events class have been participating in the 2014 UNICEF “Tap Project”.  Students gave up their cell phones for a designated amount of time to help provide clean water and adequate sanitation to children around the world.  Several high school students were celebrated for their hard work in class, looking out for someone in school, being caught doing something awesome and also doing random acts of kindness.  Dean of Students, Mr. Oldebekking closed the assembly by saying “Many times students don’t even know they were being caught doing an act of kindness, but their great actions are what make our school an amazing place.”

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Teacher of the Week

Congratulations to CTA Kindergarten teacher, 

Lauren Bostic!

Fox TV 17 Teacher of the Week, April 4!

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