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Archive | Church Connection

Happy PI day!

Pastor Darryl Miller | Sand Lake & South Ensley United Methodist Churches|616-636-5659

“Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything” Colossians 2:9-10 (The Message).

I’m writing this on Thursday—3.14—otherwise known as PI day. The value of PI is 3.14. Actually, the value is infinite as far as we know! It is just a day when some of us have a little fun because of the date. However, the truth is that the value of PI is very important. A quick Internet search will show that it is used in most calculations for building and construction, quantum physics, communications, music theory, medical procedures, air travel, and space flight, to name a few. What a wonderful discovery it was for us to find. 

I got to thinking about how there are so many wonderful things like PI woven into creation and how wonderful it is to have a God who not only wove them into creation but made it so that we could find them. He seems to want us to see Him in things like this. 

I don’t usually use paraphrased bible translations like The Message but sometimes the wording is truly wonderful. Despite all the amazing discoveries that we make, God is right there in the midst. He doesn’t make it hard to find Him; we only need to open our eyes and our hearts. He is eager to be a part of our lives. We don’t need to go looking under every rock; He is standing in front of us with His hands outstretched waiting for us. I don’t know about you but this is a comforting thought to me. How wonderful to have a God who actively seeks us out. 

PI day is fun but God is life changing, lifesaving, and life itself. Look for Him in good times and in bad and you will find Him. It is His promise. Have questions? Check out a church near you, we love to give answers! And fortunately we know the source of all the answers!

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April 11, 1979 – January 24, 2019

Russell John Schoonmaker (Russ), 39 years young, is from Grand Rapids, MI. He passed away unexpectedly in Kingman, AZ at Kingman regional medical center. Rusty was very artistic, he loved to draw. He enjoyed reading, writing, and painting war-hammer figurines. Survived by his two children, Russell J. Schoonmaker Jr., and Lucas G. Schoonmaker; mother, Becky Evans; father, John Crysler; brothers, Jasen Schoonmaker, Lance & Ashley Frost, Garrett Evans, Victor Evans; grandmother, Arvella Palmer; aunts & uncles, David Norton, Steven & Gina Grinwis,Victor & Maxine Grinwis, Jeff &Tina Schoonmaker, Karen & Junior Mendez, and lots of cousins. He was preceded in death by his Grandpa, Russell William Schoonmaker; uncles, Russell William Schoonmaker Jr. (Rusty), Jeffrey Allen Schoonmaker (Jeff). Family and Friends are invited to celebrate his life on Saturday, March 23rd 2019 at Pierson Bible Church in Pierson, MI at 2:00 p.m. Dinner following services.

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Nancy Jean (Cooper) Samsel passed away from COPD on Friday, March 15, 2019 at age 63. She fought hard for more than a year, until it was too much for her to go on. Nancy loved to make people happy by cooking and baking for them. She organized many benefits for people in need and would literally give her last dollar to those who needed it. She worked hard her whole life, especially the last 20 years at the Harvard Bar. Everyone loved her. She was preceded in death by her parents Ruth and Royal Cooper, brothers, Ken Cooper and Don Cooper; brother-in-law, Dave Fowler. She is survived by her sons, Jason (Darla) Barscewski, Brett Cooper; sisters, Helen (Steve) Smith, Jo-Ann Fowler; brother, Dale Cooper; sisters-in-law, Debbie Cooper, Nancy Sowerby; grandchildren, Cory (Jasmine) Smith, Makayela Barscewski, Brett Swainston, BreAnne (Skylar) Lightfoot, Seth Cooper and very special granddaughter, Avery Cooper; great grandsons, Elijah Smith and Oliver Lightfoot; many nieces and nephews. The family will greet friends Friday, March 22 from 10:00 a.m. until time of memorial service at 11:00 a.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Chuck Smith officiating.

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

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Mr. Anthony (Tony) Patin, age 78, went to be with the Lord on Friday, March 15, 2019, surrounded by his loving family. He was born and raised in Sand Lake, MI on the family farm. Tony was the youngest of 10 children. Tony met his wife Patricia at a Catholic Young Adult Group. After a courtship, and Tony’s time in the Army, they married and would make Sand Lake, MI their home. Tony worked for a time in Grand Rapids, MI, however, farming was his true calling and he made the change to full time farming early on in their marriage. He started farming alongside Pat and their children and then alongside his two sons and their families and they continue the family farm today. It is impossible to have enough words to describe the quality of a man that Tony was, or what he meant to everyone. He was a loving father, protector, teacher, and provider to his seven children. Even after they grew and started their own families, his role in their lives did not lessen. His love simply grew to include their spouses and children. He continued to show his unconditional and boundless love to all of them, not one more important to him than the next. Tony had an amazing, self-taught engineering mind. Using his own ingenuity, ambition, and experience he often built what was needed. Including everything from multiple pieces of farm equipment, smaller motorized equipment, to a full-sized dump truck converted from a school bus. He even built an ultralight plane from the ground up. You can be certain he would find something that needed fixing on any equipment that was purchased so it would work as he thought it should. As calm and steady as he was, he still liked the thrill of flying his plane and ultralights as well as the freedom of his motorcycle trips. They were part of the many things that were “awesome” to him. He also took pride in making delicious ice cream for family gatherings. (Oh, how he enjoyed eating ice cream.) He loved seeing the smiles on his beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren’s faces as they liked the ice cream as much as he did. He was truly a kid at heart and enjoyed playing as much as he did farming. Tony’s legacy will be his faith, family, and friends that he gathered throughout his life.

Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6

Tony was truly a good and faithful servant. Although he was always a very hard working and focused farmer, he had obvious priorities. Those priorities included instilling a love for the Lord in his family. Sunday church was not to be missed. Many winters even when the snow was very deep, Tony would load up his entire family of nine inside a single cab pickup and make it to church without fail. He was also very careful to ensure that everyone in his life knew that they were special to him including his many beloved family members, friends, and neighbors. To both Tony and Pat, everyone was family. His family and extended family was bountiful and very important to him and his presence will be greatly missed by them all. He was preceded in death by his wife Pat, his daughter Barbara, and his granddaughter Anna Mae. He is survived by his children, Mary and Carl Skelonc, Marilyn and Scott Barton, Terry (Barb) Edema, Dianne and Timothy Newton, Michael and Ann Patin, John and Sara Patin, Sharon Walkowski; 24 grandchildren and great grandchildren; Siblings, Sr Mary Philip OSF, Fred and Mary Lynn Patin, Peter and Carole Patin, Donna Dunaven, many nieces and nephews; and the many relatives of Pat’s family. The Mass of Christian Burial was offered on Wednesday, March 20 at Mary Queen of Apostles Church, Sand Lake, with Rev Lam Le presiding. Interment in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Relatives and friends met with the family at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs Tuesday, March 19. Memorial contributions can be made to the Mary Queen of Apostles youth program.

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

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October 14, 1941 – March 20, 2018

We will always remember the love and happiness you brought to our lives. We miss you.

Harold Green

Brent (Lee) Green

Brian (Liz) Green

Jan (Mike) Gareau

Galen (Michelle) Green

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Oct 19, 1945 to March 17, 2018

Always in our thoughts, forever in our hearts. We love and miss you.

Your wife Judy, Anna, Kathy, Brenda, son’s-in-laws and grandchildren.

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Evelyn I. Campbell, age 90, of Pierson, died Thursday, March 7, 2019 at Boulder Creek Assisted Living. Mrs. Campbell was born August 2, 1928 in Hastings, MI the daughter of John and Ida (Cheeseman) Norton. Surviving are her children, Sheila Ostrander; Judith (Larry) Strunk, Steven (Lynne) Campbell; daughter-in-law, Dawn DeVreugd; 12 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; sister, Violet Birman. She was preceded in death by her husband, Calvin in 2012; son, Daniel; 2 brothers; 1 sister; and her beloved cat Snoopy who was her life. The family greeted friends Sunday, March 10 from 2-4 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service was held Monday 11:00 a.m. Chaplain Madelyn Thompson officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to Kindred Hospice.

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

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Alice A. Rogers, age 69, of Cedar Springs, died Thursday, March 7, 2019 at Metron of Cedar Springs. Alice was born September 8, 1949 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Josephine and Tony Golembiewski. She loved the outdoors, her flower garden, yard sales and her chihuahuas. She was a wonderful mother. Surviving are her children Donna (Mark) Pelton, Michael (Dorene) Pierce, Alicia Rogers; 5 grandchildren, Mike, Dennis, Samantha, Ashley and Dylan; great-granddaughter, Emberlynn; sisters, Joyce Petersen, Patsy (Ron) Ladermann; many nieces and nephews including a special niece, Hailey Dempsey. She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Tom Rogers; nephew, Jeff Rogers. A special thank you to Metron of Cedar Springs for their care. Cremation has taken place and there will be no services. Private family interment Sand Lake Cemetery. 

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

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Goodbye Uncle Charlie

Rev. David Vander Meer, Rockford Springs Community Church | 5815 Fourteen Mile Rd NE, Rockford, MI 49341

My uncle just died. It may be that you knew him. He was best known as Uncle Charlie, of the Children’s Bible Hour, later known as CBH, and now, Keys for Kids. This man just loved kids and loved to tell them about his best friend and savior, Jesus. When my wife and I visited him on the day before he passed away, he shared with us his favorite verse.

The verse is Philippians 1:6: Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Uncle Charlie believed in the power of Christ to bring change in a little boy or girl’s heart. Adults’ too. This is why, from 9 years old to 84 years old he was involved in this ministry of sharing the power of Christ. He did not put confidence in himself to change hearts, but in Christ’s power to change hearts. He knew this power of Christ was brought to anyone who personally believed in Him and surrendered to His will.

But what made Uncle Charlie keep going all those years was the persistent power of Christ that not only began the work of changing a person but also could finish the work. Change can take time, and effort, and sometimes the need to work through failure. But in this text, Paul the apostle relied on the persistent power of Christ to change the believers in a town called Philippi. Uncle Charlie learned to trust the power of Christ to do the same in his world. And we need to trust Christ to change hearts in our world, too. Today, thousands of adults, who once were children, have been touched by the power of Christ through Uncle Charlie’s confidence in Christ.

We are planning to celebrate the grace of God in Uncle Charlie’ life on Saturday, March 16, at Calvary Church on East Beltline, at 1 pm.  We sure would be honored if you came and sang with us: “Boys and Girls for Jesus, this our earnest prayer.”   

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August 31, 1946 – March 6, 2018

It’s been 1 year already and there isn’t a day that goes by when you’re not missed and thought of. We miss that infectious smile and your laugh, that was so contagious that so many people talked about. Always willing to help anyone. Our hearts still ache with sadness and secret tears still flow.

We love and miss you, Sisters, Brothers, Harley (his dog) Nieces, Nephews, Cousins and Friends.

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