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Archive | Church Connection

THERESA BUBER GORNEY

THERESA “REESE” BUBER GORNEY

April 22, 1983 – December 14, 2016

It’s hard to believe a year has gone

Since I last gazed into your eyes.

Everyday feels like an eternity

And my heart still weeps and cries.

Reese, you are my one true love

And our time went much too fast.

But you gave me a treasure full of memories

That will last and last and last.

Thank you, baby, for making me realize

Nothing is impossible. You will always be the one!

Love,

Eric

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Arrival of Jesus

Pastor Kevin Reed

Grace Evangelical Free Church

4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford

The advent season is upon us. Advent by definition means “arrival.” It is the period of time in our Church calendar filled with expectancy as we await the celebration of the arrival of Jesus. It’s a time meant to be filled with reflection and gratitude as we ponder the arrival of the “Word become flesh.”  Unfortunately this time ends up being hijacked by the hustle and bustle of the consumer-driven Christmas season. We spend time preparing for our family celebrations most commonly marked by the giving and receiving of gifts. Far too often I find myself failing to reflect on just exactly what it means to receive the greatest gift ever given. The perfect, eternal, all-powerful Son of God taking on the flesh He created in order to humbly, meekly, and selflessly stand, or, more accurately, be crucified in our place; the giver and sustainer of all life willingly enduring our death so we could freely accept and embrace his life. 

This is a gift for all mankind simply to receive. Let us not get so caught up in the celebrations revolving around the giving and receiving of material and temporal gifts, and risk missing the preciousness of receiving the priceless gift—God giving himself in the greatest act of love this world has ever or will ever witness. 

Let us find ourselves filling this advent season with time spent in worship of the One who gave himself once and for all for the joy, peace and life of all who humbly and simply receive the greatest gift ever given. As we await the celebration of our King’s arrival, may we find ourselves longing for His return where he will once and for all make all things new.  

#advent  #comeLordJesus  #He’scomingback!  #receive

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Let’s keep Advent

Father Lam T. Le, Pastor 

St. John Paul II Parish 

3110 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs

(616) 696-3904

 

Sunday, December 3, marks the season of Advent and the beginning of the Church’s new liturgical year. The word Advent comes from the Latin word “ad-venire,” which means “to come to.” 

“Advent has a twofold character, for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered, and likewise a time when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. For these two reasons, Advent is a period of devout and expectant delight.” (See Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and Calendar, no. 39). 

In our culture of instant gratification, there seems to be no room for such a period of devout and joyful preparation as the liturgies of the Church suggest. But as people of faith, the Parable of the Ten Virgins reminds us; unless we are prudent (carrying a lamp with enough oil while awaiting the bridegroom) we are not suitable for the Feast (Mt 25:1-13). Unless we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord, whether in the celebration of Christmas or at the end of time, we will not be prepared to enter the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Or, as Matthew 22: 11-13 indicates: we might enter, but not with the proper attire for the Feast. 

“Prepare the way of the Lord” is the exhortation that is properly applied to all of us as we celebrate Advent! Concretely, how should we keep advent? As the voice of one crying out in the desert indicates, “Make straight his paths!” (Mk 1:2). We make our paths straight by removing the obstacles in our hearts that separate us from God. Those obstacles can be sinful acts and unhealthy attachments to the “stuff” we accumulate in this life that consumes our hearts and souls, leaving no room for God. 

Let this Advent be unlike any other! Let us be like the five wise virgins with lamps filled with oil to await our Redeemer, Christ the Lord! Amen. 

(In addition to being the priest of St. John Paul II Parish, Cedar Springs, Father Lam also proudly serves as Pastor of Mary Queen of Apostles Parish, 1 W Maple Street Sand Lake, Michigan 49343. Phone 616 636 5671)

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ALBERT C. GEBHARDT

Albert C. Gebhardt, 90 of Cedar Springs died Monday, December 4, 2017 at Spectrum Health – Butterworth Campus. Al was born March 6, 1927 in Freedom Township, Michigan the son of Albert and Helen (Scherdt) Gebhardt. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army serving during World War II. He became a plastering contractor, then started selling insurance in 1958, eventually owning and operating Gebhardt Insurance Agency in Cedar Springs. Al was an active business leader in Cedar Springs and was a 30-year member of Rotary and had been Chamber of Commerce President. He was a well-known and excellent fisherman and also enjoyed hunting and flying. Surviving are his wife, Letha whom he married on March 27, 1948; children, Gerry (Gloria) Gebhardt, Cheryl (Kirk) Davidson, Mark (Kathy) Gebhardt; grandchildren, David (Katie) Gebhardt, Kristine (Jason) Tworek; great-grandchildren, Abigail and Jonathan Tworek, Lane and Grace Gebhardt; brothers, Raymond Gebhardt, Harold (Lyn) Green. He was preceded in death by his parents, son, Alan Gebhardt; sister, Hilda (Melvin) Davis; brother, Robert (Emma) Gebhardt. The family will greet friends Tuesday, December 12th from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. A memorial service will be held Wednesday, December 13th at 11:00 a.m. the United Methodist Church, Cedar Springs. Pastor Karen Sorden officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to the United Methodist Church, Cedar Springs or the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard.

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

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ROBERT EDWARD TOWNES

 

Robert Edward Townes, age 89, of Cedar Springs, Michigan, passed away Saturday, December 2, 2017 at Green Acres Cedar Springs. He was born May 23, 1928 in Cedar Springs, Michigan, to James and Maxine (Winters) Townes. Bob, as everyone called him, graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1946 and served in the Navy. He held many jobs in his younger days. Some of these included serving under his father as a deputy police officer and driving for Bliss Funeral Home. He was a long-time employee of Michigan Wheel, retiring after 38 years of employment. In 1952, Bob along with his father, James Sr. and Edward Townes, created the Cedar Springs Red Flannel Rod and Gun Club and was a lifetime member. He was also a lifetime member of the Grand Rapids Steelheaders Association. He enjoyed many years of hunting and fishing, especially on Lake Michigan. He will be fondly remembered for his smoked fish. One of the best around! The community of Cedar Springs was very important to him. He spent many years coaching baseball and then could be found on the field or basketball court as an umpire or referee. His biggest commitment to his community was his dedicated service to the Cedar Springs Fire Department, retiring after 51 years of service. He passed this dedication to the Fire Department onto two sons and two grandsons. He loved to be a part of Red Flannel Days and enjoyed his last one on October 7th. There was always a pot of chili made for family and friends. Bob is survived by his devoted and loving companion, Delores Koopman; 7 children Christine Segard (Gordon “Doc” VanOtteren) of Cedar Springs and Grand Rapids, Victoria Cooper of Howard City, James Townes of Cedar Springs, Larry (Elaine) Townes of Six Lakes, Cheryl (Gordon) Pratt of Holland, Susanne (Rodney) Mosher of Cedar Springs, and Paul (Tami) Townes of Cedar Springs; he was blessed with 33 grandchildren, 46 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grandchildren, with one on the way; brother James Townes, Jr. of Reed City; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends from Michigan and Florida. He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 49 years, Anna (Seaborn) Townes; parents; stepfather, Ed Grossman; sister and her husband; one granddaughter and one great-granddaughter. Bob attended the United Methodist Church in Cedar Springs, where his funeral will be held Thursday at 1:00 p.m. His family met with friends Tuesday 6-8 p.m. and Wednesday 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastors Karen Sorden and Michael Shiery officiating. Interment with military honors at Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. He will be greatly missed by his family. His memory will live on through his acts of service and his love of family. The family would like to express their gratitude to the staff at Spectrum Health Hospice and Green Acres Cedar Springs, especially Sonya Lovell. Memorial contributions may be made to Cedar Springs Fire Department, Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, Spectrum Health Hospice or Green Acres Cedar Springs Activity Dept.

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

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PATRICIA MARSH

Patricia (Pat) Marsh passed from this life on Thursday, November 30, 2017 to be with her Heavenly Father in Paradise. She is survived by her husband Jack; her son Christopher Shoemaker; daughter-in-law Jennifer Shoemaker; and grandsons Ian and Gavin Shoemaker; her brother, Michael Shoemaker of Utica, Michigan. A memorial service and luncheon to honor her life will be held at, Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave. NE Cedar Springs, Michigan., at noon Saturday December 9, 2017.  All are invited to attend.

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In Loving Memory of Joe Allen Fisher

 

April 16, 1950 – December 5, 2013

 

We miss you every day, 

wishing we could hug you,

Hear your voice, 

touch your hand, 

see your smile.

Our hearts still ache 

and the tears still tumble,

But our memories of you 

we cherish and our hearts 

are full of love for you 

today and always.

 

In loving memory of the wonderful Husband, Father and Grandfather you were.

 

With love, Jeanne and family

 

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Gratitude is not a platitude

Pastor Craig Carter

North Kent Community Church

1480 Indian Lakes Rd. NE, Sparta

 

Platitude is a remark or a statement, especially one with a moral content, which has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful. I find this often to be the case this time of year. With the Thanksgiving holiday having been enjoyed and Christmas around the corner, we certainly have plenty of reasons to be grateful. All too often we say to people struggling this time of year, “Look at all the things you have to be grateful for,” or “You should just be grateful for what you have!” True as these may be, it has become more of a platitude. It’s just a statement used to teach some lesson, but is not found thoughtful or beneficial to those hearing it. Gratitude, or gratefulness, flows from the presence and purpose of God. Gratitude can be difficult to express when one struggles to see purpose or God’s presence at work in their life or circumstances. So, a quick platitude about gratitude does not work. 

I encourage you to do two things. Redefine for yourself what gratitude means. Then help others find this meaning also. First, what does gratitude mean to you? For me, as a Christian, it really is a theology, a belief system. It’s understanding and recognizing God’s presence and purpose in every area of my life. It’s believing that no matter what happens in my life, God is still good! Gratitude is ultimately a way of seeing things, a certain worldview, not defined by our expectations, moods or emotions. I did not always think this way. Truthfully, before I gave my life to Christ as my savior, my life had no real purpose and meaning. All the things I sought to bring purpose and meaning in my life left me empty. I was not convinced there was a God, much less Him being good! It all changed when I realized that God was good. Gratitude is goodness, or kindness that exceeds all your expectations. Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love (goodness) for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He loved me and died for my sins, while I was still a sinner! So, I am convinced, now that I know him, that whatever life brings, God has my best interest in mind. He is good despite what my circumstances, moods, emotions or unmet expectations tell me. Why? Because, he has a plan and purpose in it all, therefore, I am grateful. Settle your theology about God. God is good, all the time!

Now that this is settled in your heart and life, please share it with others! Many do not see God this way. Many are burdened, stressed and discouraged because unmet expectations have defined their understanding, not of gratefulness, but of God. Therefore, a platitude will not work. Refuse to make statements about gratefulness as a platitude. Make time to understand people’s lives and situations, so that you can speak words of encouragement. Help them find a good God in the middle of it all! Help them see that although we do not understand everything, a loving, good God has a purpose that’s best for their lives. The Apostle Paul reminds us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 – NIV)

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ROYAL EUGENE COOPER

 

Royal Eugene “Pete” Cooper, age 89, passed away on Monday, November 27, 2017 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital. Pete was born March 27, 1928 in Kent City, Michigan to Roy and Doris (Rogers) Cooper and lived most of his life in the Rockford area. He worked for his dad until his fifth child was born and then drove truck for Darling & Company in Walker for many years. He retired after spending several years at Kroger Warehouse. Pete married Ruth Joslin on April 6, 1946 and they were married until her death on August 18, 2011.  He was also preceded in death by his son, Donald Cooper and his daughter-in-law, Jeanne Cooper. Pete is survived by his children, Kenneth and Deb Cooper, Helen and Steve Smith, JoAnn and David Fowler, Nancy Samsel, Dale Cooper, and Nancy Sowerby (Don’s significant other); and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Funeral Services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 1, 2017 at the Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street in Rockford with Pastor Bruce Wilson officiating. Relatives and friends may meet with the family from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home on Thursday, November 30, 2017 Interment will take place in Blythefield Memory Gardens. Memorial contributions may be given to the Tuesday Senior Music Sessions held at Rockford Ambulance or to Harvest Way in Sparta. Please visit www.pedersonfuneralhome.com to share a memory or sign an online registry.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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DAWN R. KELLY

 

1/30/1965-12/4/2012

They say there is a reason, 

They say time will heal.

Neither time or reason 

Will change the way I feel.

Gone are the days

We used to share,

But in my heart

You are always there.

The gates of memories

Will never close.

I miss you more than

Anybody knows,

Love and Miss you everyday,

Your Family

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