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Archive | Church Connection

ERWIN D. FOX

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Erwin D. Fox, 87 of Sand Lake, died Monday, August 25, 2014 at his home. Erwin was born July 19, 1927 in Comstock Park, Michigan the son of Leon and Thelma (Geer) Fox. He served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was a mechanic and worked many years for C.H. Wallace Pontiac. Erwin enjoyed hunting, fishing, dancing, snowmobiling and chopping wood. He was a member of the North Kent Snowmobile Club. Surviving are his wife, Marjory; children, Dennis (Laura) Smith, Linda (Don) Vandenberg, Carolyn (Greg) Wagner, Kurt Fox, Susan Fox; 13 grandchildren; 28 great grandchildren; one great great grandson; sister, Yvonne Brownell; brother-in-law, Donald Seaborn. He was preceded in death by two sisters and one brother. The family will greet friends Thursday, August 28 from 12 noon until time of service at 1:00 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Tuttle officiating. Interment with military honors at Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the family to help with final expenses.
Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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JANET L. RIGGLE

C-obit-RiggleJanet L. Riggle, 90 of Cedar Springs, passed away peacefully from this life and entered into the presence of her Saviour on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at Metron of Cedar Springs. Janet was married to Howard “Slim” Riggle on April 6, 1942 and together they raised a family. Early in their marriage, they owned and operated a Sunoco gas station and restaurant in Edmore, Michigan. In 1953, they moved to Cedar Springs after they bought the business known as Hough’s Dairy. She went to work with Slim, delivering milk, eggs and bread to area businesses and homes. In 1959, they purchased Hough’s Dairy Bar, changing the name to Janet’s Dairy Bar. She operated that business until it was sold in 1969. She became the Treasurer for the City of Cedar Springs in 1973 and worked there ten years, retiring in 1983. She dearly loved being a mom was awarded the title, “Most Fun Grandmother” by her grandkids. Janet was always up for an adventure and loved to travel, visiting England, Scotland, Florida, Texas and Colorado during her lifetime. She was an avid gardener and also enjoyed oil painting and ceramics. She was an accomplished seamstress, sewing clothes for her husband and kids. In her later years, she started knitting sweaters, hats and mittens, and she started making quilts, many of which are still being used and enjoyed by all her family members. She could dance a mean polka and her bark was often worse than her bite. Janet is survived by her children; Lee Ann Eary of Boyne City, Debbi (Lohryn) Gates of Howard City, Terri L. Riggle of Cedar Springs, Howard David (Cyndi) Riggle of Cedar Springs; 13 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; 3 great great grandchildren; brothers, Eugene Crosby; Roger (Barb) Crosby; and Charles (Mary) Crosby; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Howard “Slim” Riggle, son, Craig S. Riggle; great granddaughter, Piper L. Gates; son-in-law, Robert F. Eary. The family greeted friends Monday, August 25 from 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service was held Tuesday 11:00 am at the United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs. Pastor Steve Lindeman officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Michigan, 989 Spaulding SE, Ada, MI 49306
Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs

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WILLIAM PAUL GUNUNG

William Paul Genung age 82 of Sand Lake passed away at home on Wednesday August 20, 2014. He was born in Dowagiac Michigan on December 25, 1931 the son of Merle T. and Nora (Franklin) Genung. Bill was retired from Packaging Corporation of America in Wyoming with 34 years of service. He was a veteran of the US Army serving in Korea and receiving a purple heart for disabling wounds, but never was limited in giving for his country and his work and family. He was a member of the VFW Post 3306 in Howard City and the American Legion of Comstock Park. He loved camping and feeding his birds. He enjoyed delivering the Cedar Springs Post for many years. He was preceded in death by his brothers Fred, Larry and Glen Genung, his son Tom Boden and his daughter Deb Russo. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Rosalyn Genung , his children; Daphne “Candy” Boden, Roger( Pam) Boden, Mike (shelly) Barrett, Bill (Peg) Barrett, Tom Barrett, Lori (Dave) DeYoung, Karen (Kevin) Clark; 27 grandchildren, 45 great grandchildren and 9 great great grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. Memorial services were held on Monday August 25, 2014 at 1 PM from the VFW Post # 3306 in Howard City (1001 S. Ensley). Memorial contributions may be given to the American Heart Association. Messages of condolence may be sent via hurstfuneralhome.com. Arrangements by Hurst Funeral Home, Greenville.

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“Could that Happen Here?”

Solon-Center-WesPastor Tom Holloway
Solon Center Wesleyan Church
15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs
(just north of 19 Mile)

As I look at the events that are taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, it makes me ask the question, “Could that happen in Cedar Springs?” Have you thought about that? Or do you just assume that something like that could never happen here? I think it would be foolish of us to think that something like that couldn’t happen here; but at the same time, I believe that the things our community is doing is building in safeguards so that those kinds of things won’t happen here.
What are the safeguards in our community? The first is that we are truly a community. We are a group of people that values a greater sense of purpose. The idea is that there is something larger than our own personal interests. The fact that 8 or 9 churches can come together on a Sunday morning and forego their own offerings and take one large offering and give it to the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association to help the hurt, and needy in our community is proof.  Think about that for a second–that’s like taking your family’s paychecks for the week and giving it away to someone or something other than your own needs.  Yet, the cell phone bill still comes, the groceries need to be bought, the lights need to stay on, the mortgage payment still needs to be paid, and for the churches the staff still needs to be paid.
That is enough to make church people and leaders squirm and to not get involved in something bigger. But after six years of doing “United,” the churches continue to close their doors to meet in the community. If you’ve never been a part of a church then you might not see that as a big deal, but it shows that there is a common unity and a trust in this community that isn’t prevalent in a lot of other communities.
The second safeguard that we have in our community is a sense of leaving Cedar Springs better than we found it. I don’t know about you, but I want to leave our community better off than it is now. I want to know that when I’m dead and gone that I helped make our little corner of the world better than I found it. Do you know that we have a Community Building Development Team? What is their goal? To make the community better by working together with the current resources, and to remember the past by honoring it, and also building community buildings that will be the highlight of the community.
Why are they doing that? Is it to put their name on a building, or to get a pat on the back? Not at all. They are doing it because they know that an investment in the community that builds community will enhance living in Cedar Springs, which will lead to more families choosing Cedar Springs over other communities.  Which also means more of a tax base, more resources to spend at the local stores, more students to help build more and better schools, and more and better athletes that will enhance our already great sports teams.
When many people are in a time in their life where they can just sit back and relax, those people are seeking to develop the place where we live. When we see that others truly care about a larger purpose, it builds trust when others would seek to divide us.
The final safeguard that I believe is in place is simply the Lord. In a time in the world when it’s not popular to claim the name of Jesus, I believe that our community is proud to claim His hand on us. I have seen so many times that God has had His hand on our community it blows my mind.
Jesus was asked what the most important law was and He told them that it was twofold. The first was to love God, and the second was equally important. Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. In other words, we need each other in order to be right with God. It’s more than just living your own life, and doing all of the right things. It’s much bigger than that. There is a larger purpose in mind.
The original question was, “Could what happened in Ferguson happen to us?”  I believe if we in Cedar Springs continue to love and serve our God, who has been so generous to us, and to put others ahead of ourselves, it can’t happen here.

But it’s up to us individually, and also collectively. So the next time you are tempted to think bad about someone or their actions, trust that they have your best interest at heart. It’s up to you!

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Keep it simple

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

The Old Testament Law contains 613 individual commandments. Such a corpus of legal code is incredibly lengthy. Yet, the oral tradition that supplements the Law is also extensive. Translated into English, it is a multi-volume set of more than seven thousand pages.
So it’s no surprise that Jesus was once asked this pertinent question: “Which is the most important commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. He then added, “The second most important is similar: Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.” If only practical faith could stay on this level of holy simplicity.
Christians are a verbose group. We always have something to say, prove, defend, attack, clarify, protect, or explain. As if elaborate statements of faith will improve upon our Founder’s humble words. Complication and baggage just seem to naturally collect like barnacles attaching themselves to a ship.
It requires vigilance—the closest, most careful attention—to keep faith concentrated along the lines of which Jesus spoke. To do otherwise, to let faith go where it will, seems to lead to more words, more demands and commands, and more impediments to actually practicing the way of Christ.
I like the personal story told by Jim Wallis when he was a teenager. Young Jim picked up a girlfriend to take to a movie, an act strictly forbidden in the church culture of his youth. As Jim and his date prepared to leave the house, the girl’s father stood in the doorway blocking their exit. He said to the couple, tears in his eyes, “If you go to this film, you’ll be trampling on everything that we’ve taught you to believe.”
While the shaming was over the top, the man’s conviction is honorable, in a curious sort of way. He was begging those he loved to stay true to the path. I have similar convictions when it comes to simplicity. Thus, I have lost count of the times over the years when people wanted more—more words, more dogma, more doctrine, and more rules. At such times, I firmly grip the doorframe and say, “No, let’s keep it simple.”
If we can learn to love God and love our neighbors (no easy task), it will be enough. It will be more than enough. For “shattering and disarming simplicity,” said the great C.S. Lewis, “is the real answer.”
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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Rules

cs-united-methodistSteve Lindeman

Cedar Springs United Methodist Church

140 S. Main St.

Cedar Springs, MI  49319

 

Romans 12:3-6: “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us…”

Many may think that Christians have more rules to follow than other members of our society. Yes, we have a call to live a different kind of life, but we should not consider the guidelines presented in scripture to be a burden, but instead, a blessing.

Picture, a train on Main Street right here in Cedar Springs. You notice that it is sitting on the street as it prepares to start moving. The city street is paved with asphalt with concrete curbs. The conductor yells, “all aboard,” and the train begins to move. The smoke billows out of the stack and we can hear the noise of this great machine. But, as the wheels begin to turn, what do you think happens? Those great steel wheels, which are designed to sit on rails, begin to tear into the asphalt. It may be able to make some progress up the street, but it is not very efficient.

A train is designed to travel on rails. Without the steel tracks to guide it, the train cannot operate, and will likely damage itself and the road. And the tracks, with no train to ride on them, are only useful as scrap iron.

Isn’t that how it is with us today? God designed us for a special purpose. We are meant to live our lives within “the tracks” that the Master has laid out for us, to guide us. Humanity was meant to be in community with God and to live within God’s plan as explained in the scriptures. When we live within the plan, we can be what we are meant to be. Like a train that travels on railroad tracks, we can reach our full potential, and be most like what God designed us to be, when we live within His plan for our lives.

Continuing with our train analogy, the engine would not have much of a purpose without cars for passengers or freight. They all are connected and work together to meet a common goal. And so it is with us. Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that we are all part of that same body—the body of Christ. When we are connected to him, and conform ourselves and our community according to the standards that we were designed to live in, we can reach our full potential. We were designed to be in community—in perfect community—with God and with each other.  Our relationship with God was disrupted by the fall and so were our relationships with each other. But now, through Christ, we can find ourselves placed back on those train tracks.

I encourage you to allow the Spirit to act upon your life. It is my hope and prayer that you seek to be the train that God designed you to be, living up to your full potential by living within the rails and following where the tracks lead you.

 

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Wise up

 

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

 

When a mother giraffe gives birth, she does so standing up. So her calf’s first act is to fall six feet to the ground, crash landing on his face. Then, as if such an arrival wasn’t harsh enough, the youngling’s mother will continually knock him down when he attempts to stand.

This isn’t cruelty. It is the youngster’s primal lesson: If you are going to stay alive in a world of apex predators, you better learn to stand on your own feet. You better wise up as quickly as possible.

Yes, if we are going to survive, we need to learn our lessons well. And since none of our mothers hatched us in the Serengeti, immediately kicked us in the head, or thumped us like a drum in the hospital nursery, we can’t rely upon nature’s classroom. We have to find a different way. That way is wisdom.

Wisdom, at its most basic, is the skillful application of knowledge and experience. And maybe no greater commodity is more needed in today’s world. But beyond dropping all the idiots of the world on their heads and kicking them around for a while (a nice image I like to daydream about, but an image spoiled once I realize that I’m as big a moron as the people I criticize), what can we do on a planet with so little wisdom?

The Apostle James answers: “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.”

Wisdom, by all practical appearances, is there for the taking. God will give those who request it, the insight and understanding that they need. God can save us from foolish and reckless living, if—and this is a colossal if—we will trust him for these things and not ourselves.

And that’s the rub, the very definition of our absurdity. We do not trust God to show us the way of wisdom. We waver, follow our own hearts, and then fall victim to our own lunacy. By trusting ourselves, we land in the dust over and over again. Yes, I know it’s hard to “let go and let God.” But his way is the only path to true wisdom, and it’s a path far less painful than constantly falling on your face.

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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JIM & VERNA SMIGIEL

50th Anniversary

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JIM & VERNA SMIGIEL

Open House on September 7th at Village of Pierson Hall 2-6PM

 

Jim and Verna Smigiel will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary on September 7th at the Village of Pierson’s  hall at 90 Grand St. Jim and Verna were married in Sand Lake by the Justice of the Peace on August 28, 1964 with Betty Hilbrands, Wanda (White) Wagner and Jerald Magoon attending. Celebrating with them will be their children, Gayle Smigiel, Emily Woolf, Aaron and Jenifer Smigiel and Darrin and Melba Smigiel; and grandchildren, Destiny, Liberty, and Kaylee Smigiel and Brandon and Tifany Empie.

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Carl C. Morehouse

C-OBIT-Morehouse-CarlMr. Carl C. “Country Carl” Morehouse, of Cedar Springs, age 80, passed away on Wednesday, August 13, 2014. He was born to Kenneth and Thelma (née Covell) Morehouse on September 8, 1933 in Cedar Springs, Michigan and was a life-long resident of the area. Carl was a well-known horseman in the West Michigan area and was a lifetime member of the Red Flannel Saddle Club and the Hungerford Trail Riders Association.  His life-long love of horses included training, showing, judging, and holding 4-H clinics. Country Carl had a long career in sales and received numerous achievement awards over the years for top sales. Many of his customers became long-time friends. Carl is survived by his beloved wife Theresa; his children Cheryl (Eric) Baculy, Carla (Bruce) Springer, Curtis Morehouse, Cindy (Doug) Burnham, Gail Howard, Greg Howard, Grant (Gerianna) Howard and Gerald Howard; his grandchildren Lee (Viviana) Myers, Dean Myers, Jake Stanton, Karlena Morehouse, Jonathan Baculy, Arianne Edauw, Dominick Cooley, Marissa Cooley, Fiona Howard, Rowen Howard; his great grandchildren, Chloe Myers and Nolan Myers. He was preceded in death by his parents. A memorial service for Country Carl will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, August 22, 2014 at the Cedar Springs American Legion, Glen Hill Post #287, 80 S. Main Street, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that a memorial contribution be made in his memory to the Red Flannel Saddle Club, 8350 Sixteen Mile Road NE, Cedar Springs, MI  49319; or to the Hungerford Trail Riders Association, 12107 Northland Drive NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

 

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Shirley Margaret Dines

C-OBIT-DINES-Shirley-webMrs. Shirley Margaret Dines of Cedar Springs, age 77, passed away on Monday, August 11, 2014. Shirley was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on January 11, 1937 to Harold and Margaret (née Schoolmaker) Rose. Shirley cherished the life she was given; she was a devoted and loving wife and a wonderful mother and grandmother. When she had time, you might find Shirley with a card full of dots and her arm waving in the air, shouting “BINGO!” She will be truly and greatly missed by family, friends, and all who knew her. Shirley leaves behind her beloved husband of sixty-one years Richard Lee Dines, Sr.; loving children Richard Dines, Jr., Rodney (Laurie) Dines, Ricky Dines, Margie Cole, and Russell (friend Tammy) Dines; eleven grandchildren; thirty great grandchildren; brother Donald (Joan) Rose; and sisters Charlene (Jack Wheeler) Sherd and Barbara (Jake) Beemer. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Harold and Ron Rose; and sisters Laura Stevens and Leona Wheeler. There was a time of visitation with Shirley’s family from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The funeral service for Shirley will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at Pederson Funeral Home; Pastor Thomas Holloway is officiating; there will be a one hour visitation prior to the service. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to Spectrum Health Hospice and Palliative Care, Spectrum Health Foundation, 100 Michigan NE, MC004, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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