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Archive | Church Connection

Jacob Todd Brewer

Jacob Todd Brewer, age 28 of Cedar Springs, passed away on Wednesday, November 6, 2019. Jake was born in Lansing on December 1, 1990 and graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2009 where he loved playing football. He worked for many years at CS Manufacturing and was presently working as a builder. He loved being outdoors fishing and hunting. Jake was very respectful and had a big heart and loved spending time with friends and family. He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Russell Holliday; and grandmother, Dorothy Parker. Jake is survived by his wife, Brandie Brewer; his sons, Matthew Todd Brewer and John Taverus Major; his father, Todd Brewer; his mother and stepfather, Terri and Jeff Parker; his siblings, Brandi Brewer, Tylllor Parker, Amy Brewer, and Tayllor Parker; his grandparents, Tom and June Brewer, Janet Holliday, and LD Parker; and many aunts uncles, nieces and nephews. There will be a time of visitation from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Monday, November 11, 2019, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The funeral service to celebrate Jake’s life will take place at 10:30am on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at Rockford Reformed Church, 4890 11 Mile Rd NE, Rockford, MI 49341. Immediately following the service a graveside service will take place in Elmwood Cemetery in Cedar Springs followed by a luncheon and time of fellowship at the American Legon in Cedar Springs, 80 S. Main Street – Cedar Springs, MI – 49319. 

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford https://www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Be anxious for nothing. What? Me worry?

Pastor Richard Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta

There are times when certain passages or words in scripture can throw us for a loop because of the current common use of the word(s) in our reading and conversation.  One that I found early on was Paul’s writing, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIV).  

Many years ago, my understanding of being anxious was in the sense of wanting something very much; similar to a child as they anticipate Christmas getting closer each day.  It stands to reason that telling a child not to be anxious for the arrival of something they want so badly resembles the effort of herding cats. Children are going to continue being anxious for that morning, but hopefully not anxious as the primary dictionary definition: “experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about imminent events or something with an uncertain outcome.” 

This certainly helps us understand what Paul is telling us in scripture, that when we read this precept, we’re inclined to understand that we are not to have anxiety or worry about anything. Christians try to live by what God has ordained for us. Do not worry! This is a clear exhortation, especially in the time that we live in, and the rest of this verse, “but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.”  

This does not mean a simple formula, “if you’re anxious, try prayer; it works.” God, through the pen of Paul, is telling us here, in the 21st century, that to have anxiety or worry about anything is a sin. Mainly, our worries are about things in this life that we have very little control over anyway. Putting such importance on such things to the point that we’re distracted from more important things is evidence that our treasure isn’t in heaven, but really on earthly things.

Another way of phrasing this scripture text is to not be troubled with cares. When we are born into God’s kingdom, we have the assurance that God cares for our needs and God has a plan for us. The Bible says that God fashioned the days for me before I was born. When I surrender to Christ, that surrender includes giving God the controls of my life and letting Him lead me into the life He has fashioned for me. 

For assurance, the very next verse reads; “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NIV).

The only way to be free from our anxieties is to rest confidently in his plan and submit to his will. Anxieties will not just disappear when we commit to trusting God. We must know and apply his word to our lives. To be anxious for nothing, we must see God’s goodness, present our cares before the throne of grace and leave our cares in God’s hands.

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Happy 96th Birthday


I want to wish a Happy 96th Birthday to my beautiful Grandma, Virginia Schumann! Her birthday is this Monday, November 11th! Grandma, thank you for all you do for me and for the love and care you have always given me throughout my entire life. You are so strong, courageous and loving. I hope you have a wonderful Birthday and I can’t wait to celebrate with you!


Katie Schumann

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In Loving Memory of


October 7, 1982 – November 4, 2005

We remembeer you in the morning, in the night, when we look at the stars, a song, a place, a smell. You are always with us.

We love and miss you,

Tim, Cindy, Stevie and Nathan

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In precious loving memory of our dear friend, Barb, who passed away on November 5, 2009.

Ten Years! How can it be possible that ten years have passed since we got to talk to you and spend time with you. We miss you every day. We visit your grave and leave with broken hearts. I pray for peace for you and I pray for strength and guidance for me. Your values are always with me.

We love you, Barb. More than ever. May God hold you in His everlasting arms.


Robin & Terry

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Working on our stuff

Pastor Dallas Burgeson

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs

Since the middle of September a group of seven or eight of us at The Springs Church have been trying out an idea I’ve had for several years but never pulled the trigger on. We’re doing this specific experiment called “How-To,” as part of a Follow Group, which is what we call our small groups at the church. 

Follow Groups can focus on any number of things, but are designed to make space for those in the group to put into practice some aspect of their faith. The point of these groups is to come back each week talking about how it went when each person tried doing something we talked about the week before. Sometimes actually trying things goes well, sometimes it doesn’t, but either way we talk about it and encourage one another in our efforts.

So here’s how our “How-To” group works. Each week, somebody shows the rest of the group how to do something that that person already knows how to do. It could be almost anything. One week, a couple showed us how they prepare meals with oils and vinaigrettes, which is good to learn as a new skill for the foodies among us. But it’s also an alternative for those who have a tough time finding foods that fit their dietary restrictions. Or as a way of making food that inspires enough confidence to finally have someone over for supper and offer Christian hospitality to them.

Another week, one of our guys showed everybody some basics of car maintenance and repair–how to access the jack and spare tire on several vehicles, and then how to fix a flat or blow-out. There were other fixes demonstrated, too, but the goal was that a few more people would learn how to help someone who gets stranded on the road. Because once you know how, then you canhelp.

But here’s another reason we’re doing this: God placed Adam and Eve in a very real garden, and He asked them to tend it and have dominion over it all. He called the Israelites to take responsibility for a clearly marked out land where His Kingdom could be rooted in the particulars of this world. At their best, God’s People shape and interact with their stuff.

There is value in learning manual skills that take a job from start to finish. They help us develop endurance in other areas of life, including faith. Hebrews 6:10-12 tells us, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” 

God has made us capable of working on our stuff. So give it a shot!

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July 26, 1980 – October 22, 2019

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” On October 22, Sarah Brygal departed this life after a four-year battle with metastatic breast cancer, leaving her pain racked body behind and gaining her heavenly wings and everlasting life in the kingdom of heaven.  As Sarah was being received into heaven, her family and friends were left grief stricken while asking the question “Why”?  Why was such a beautiful wife, mother, and daughter snatched from this life at such a young age? A question for which we will struggle to answer until such a time in which we are reunited with Sarah in the kingdom of God. Sarah graduated from Lakeview Community High School and Michigan State University. She was a paraprofessional at Baldwin Heights Elementary School in Greenville, Michigan where she is sadly missed by students and peers. Sarah was a multitalented individual with a flair for photography having taken many family and graduation pictures throughout the area. Sarah is survived by her loving husband and soul mate, Jorden, and their children, Eliza, Ashtyn, Wyatt, and Sophie as well as parents, Ruth (Jeff) Scott and Tim (Kim) Avery; mother-in-law, Jan Jeffers and father-in-law, Kevin (Denise) Brygal; brother, Andrew Avery, Jamie Jefferies; sister, Sami Avery; sister-in-law, Amanda Brygal; grandparents, Peg Avery, Mary Ann Brygal, and Gloria Ingersoll. Sarah leaves behind many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and close friends including her very special friend, Becky Bunker, who was faithfully at Sarah’s side through this arduous journey. Sarah was preceded in death by her grandparents, Jerry Avery, Jack Lester, June Baron and aunt, Cindy George. There will be a celebration of life for Sarah on Sunday, November 3rd, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center,111 North Hill Crest St., Greenville, MI  48838. Doors open at 1:00 p.m. Meal to follow service at the Montcalm Township Hall, 1880 South Greenville Road, Greenville, MI 48838. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting you donate to: Susan G. Komen Foundation. 616-752-8262. https://komenmichigan.org.

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Loren G. Schermerhorn, age 85, of Cedar Springs, died Monday, October 21, 2019 at Spectrum Health – Butterworth Campus. Loren was born October 29, 1933 in Greenville, MI the son of the late Glen and Lulu (Walton) Schermerhorn. He graduated from Sand Lake High School and served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He enjoyed farming and fishing. He was patient and kind and always willing to lend a hand to others. He was a very active and faithful member of the East Nelson United Methodist Church and the Cedar Springs American Legion Post #287. Surviving are his wife of 64 years, Barbara; sisters-in-law, Patricia Riggs and Marlene Califf; many nieces and nephews. The family will greet friends Wednesday, October 30 from 10:00 a.m. until time of service at 11:00 a.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Inge Whittemore officiating. Interment with military honors at East Nelson Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to East Nelson United Methodist Church or the Cedar Springs American Legion.

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

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Sandra J. Byrne, age 75, of Cedar Springs, died Sunday, October 20, 2019 at Faith Hospice Trillium Woods. Sandra was born November 2, 1943 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Herman and Dorothy (Lydell) Vander Veen. She had worked for Aetna Insurance for 21 years. She was a member of Resurrection Lutheran Church, Sand Lake, the Tri-County Eagles and the Cedar Springs American Legion. She enjoyed playing Trivia three days a week. Surviving are her husband, Ronald Neiderheide; daughters, Joanne (Scott) Perschbacher, Tina (Matt) Zegunis; grandchildren, Brad, Laura, Isaak, Noah, Rick, Sonya, Duane & their spouses; several great-grandchildren; brother, Robert (Judi) Vander Veen; many members of the Byrne family; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Donald Byrne in 2004; her daughter, Michele Slabbekoorn. The family will greet friends and relatives Thursday, October 24 from 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be held Friday, October 25 at 11:00 a.m. at Resurrection Lutheran Church, Sand Lake with a luncheon to follow. Pastor Lee Zabrocki officiating. Interment Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Grand Rapids. Memorials may be made to Resurrection Lutheran Church.

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

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James Richard Liscombe, 60, of Cedar Springs, MI lost his battle with liver disease on Friday, October 18, 2019 at 11:35 p.m.  James was born in Lakeview, MI on May 8, 1959. He found himself being without a home at the age of 14. Left on his own, he began hitchhiking his way around the country. He had many offers of “home” but never wanted to intrude. James spent time in his late teens working on the oilfields in Texas, later returning to Michigan becoming a “jack of all trades” for the remainder of his life. He is best known for his work as a carpenter, owning and running his own company out of Cedar Springs, MI. Later in life, James also spent time in both Michigan and Texas as a bartender.  James will be remembered most for his pure, caring heart, his hard-work and tenacity, his humbleness and willingness to serve others, his dedication to his family and friends, and his love of nature and animals. James was preceded in death by his father, James Raymond Liscombe; his mother, Dorothy Marie Goldsmith (Knapp); baby brother, Samuel Roscoe Liscombe; and sisters, Roberta Ellen Lennox and Patty Diane Weaver (Lennox). He is survived by his best friend and love of his life of 30 years, June Brown; his children, Shawn Steven Empie, Stacy Maria Mahnke (Liscombe), Samantha Jo Liscombe, and Johnna Diane Russell (Gillis); his siblings, Lynn Leroy Lennox, Dotty Lou Carlberg (Lennox), and Dawn Joy Sellers (Lennox); many grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends. A memorial service and pot-luck style reception celebrating James’ life will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at Pierson Village Hall at 190 Grand St. Pierson, MI 49339 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. 

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