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Archive | Church Connection

JANET A. GORDON

50C-obit-gordon-webJanet A. Gordon, 87 of Cedar Springs, went to be with her Lord and Savior, while surrounded by family members on Sunday, December 7, 2014. Janet was born December 28, 1926 in Rockford, Michigan the daughter of Versal and Lorena (Blanchard) Gunnell. After graduating from Cedar Springs High School, she married her high school sweetheart, E. Ray Gordon on December 29, 1945. She enjoyed spending time with her family, traveling, painting, drawing and knitting. She was a member of the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church and Women’s Club. Surviving are her husband, Ellsworth Raymond Gordon; children, Susie (Ken) Parker, Doug Gordon, Pam (Tim) Covell, Joel (Janyth) Gordon; 16 grandchildren; 27 great grandchildren; brothers, Fred (Carollee) Gunnell, John (Mayda) Gunnell; sisters, Shirley (Charlie) Gumina, Nancy (Ed) Bremmer, Cam (John) Teusink; brothers-in-law, Murry (Eva) Gordon, Cliff Snyder; sister-in-law, Maxine Gordon; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by a son, Tom Gordon; brother, Tom Gunnell; sister, Charlene at infancy; brothers and sisters-in-law, Ken Gordon, Don Gordon, Fay and Loraine Gordon, and Lillian Snyder. The family will receive friends Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be held Friday 11:00 am at the United Methodist Church, Cedar Springs. Pastor Steve Lindeman officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main St., Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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

 

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Dorothy Parker

Dorothy ParkerDorothy A. Parker, 74 of Sand Lake, passed away Friday, December 5, 2014. Dorothy was born October 18, 1940 in Pierson, MI. She was a 1958 graduate of Howard City High School. She enjoyed making wedding flowers, loved to cook and had a great sense of humor. She loved her family tremendously. Surviving are her husband, Leon “L.D.”; sons, Gene (Kimberly), Jeff (Terri), Jamie (Sarah); grandchildren, Jake, Tyllor, Amy, Tayllor, Trenton, Tanner, Trinity; great grandson, Jace; sister, Joan (Jim) Ostrander; sister-in-law, Doris Parker; nieces and nephews. The family will greet friends Tuesday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, where services will be held Wednesday 11:00 am. Ross Merlington officiating. Interment Sand Lake Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to RAI Care Center, Rockford.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike.

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Michael James Long

C-OBIT-LongMr. Michael James Long of Venice, California, age 43, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, November 28, 2014. He was born Tuesday, November 16, 1971. Michael leaves behind his father Michael (Debra) Long, Sr. and mother Rebecca Jines-Linker; daughters Briana Skeen, Trisha Long, and Deija Long; grandchildren Nevaeh and Xavier; siblings Lori (Terry) Robinson, Mike (Michelle) Long, Jr., and Angie (Mike) O’Dowd; paternal grandmother Mary Merritt; maternal grandparents Martha (Bill) Sanders; grandmother Thelma Slocum; numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins; and girlfriend Noel Wittnebel of California. He was preceded in death by his grandfather Van Merritt. There will be a time of visitation from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 11, 2014, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The funeral service for Michael will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 12, 2014, at Grace Evangelical Free Church, 4714 Thirteen Mile Road NE, Rockford, MI 49341. Pastor Kevin Reed will be officiating. There will be a one hour visitation prior to the service at church. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a donation to assist Michael’s daughters.

 

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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Former Muslim leader to speak at North Kent Community Church

Rev. Deo Mwamba

Rev. Deo Mwamba

The Rev. Deo Mwamba, a former Muslim leader who is now a Christian, will speak at North Kent Community Church, 1480 Indian Lakes Road NE, Sparta, on Sunday, December 14, at 10 a.m.

Mwamba was both a Sheikh and Imam. He graduated from the International Islamic University of Medina–Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he received his Degree in Islamic Studies and Propagation of Islam. Deo was converted to Christ in 1998 and has since ministered and served with several ministries helping to reach Muslims for Christ.

He says, “I came to know Jesus through the Quran. I am so excited to know the truth and I decided to follow Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit and was baptized on the 5th of April 1998. After that, I lived secretly for a while because of my position as a Sheikh and Imam. I also feared that my life, together with the family, could be in danger after confessing that Jesus Christ is God and He is the One who will come back on the Day of Judgment.”

Deo will share more of his amazing testimony and encourage Christians about how to reach Muslims. He will also lead a dedication of 20 audio bibles (treasures) that will be sent to the nation of India. You will not want to miss the great service, presented by North Kent Community Church and World Missions, so be sure to invite friends. A reception luncheon will immediately follow the service.

 

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Freedom from worry this Christmas season

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Pastor Steve Lindeman

Cedar Springs United Methodist Church

140 S. Main St.

Cedar Springs, MI  49319

 

 

 

I am currently reading the personal memoir of Thomas Oden, who is one of the leading Methodist theologians of our time. In the book, he makes a statement that can be helpful for us during this Christmas season.

“… Christian freedom centers on being freed from anxiety about the future through the act of trusting in God who transcends our gods.”

As we enter into this season of Advent, and as we prepare for the celebration of Christmas, this is something that we would all do well to remember. We may feel weighed down by the worries of this world but we need to remember that we are freed from the power of worry and doubt and anxiety when we trust in God.

Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:25-34 that we are not to worry about the things of this earth because we are called to “… strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” This puts Christmas into a different perspective, doesn’t it?

I could make a long list of all of the stressors that pile up on me during this joyful season. All of our lists might include such things as not having enough time to attend the church Christmas program, not having enough money to buy the toy that your child has asked for, spending the holidays with family members who are ill, or folks that you may not get along with … and the list goes on.

Instead of worrying about these things—the same things that are listed in the 6th Chapter of Matthew—focus on the manger instead, and what this infant means. As you work your way through this season of Advent, prepare your heart to make room for him. Focus on the things that are important as taught by Christ. If you need a daily reminder, and most of us do, read the 6th Chapter of Matthew every day as we approach December 25. It only takes a few minutes, and it will help keep things in perspective.

Be reminded, today, that Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives and Lord of the world. As our lives seem to spin out of control, remember that he holds our future in his hands, and that we don’t have anything to worry about. The power of God is greater than any other god that this world has to offer.

I wish you well and I wish you a season of peace.

 

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God’s Surprises

by Ronnie McBrayer

by Ronnie McBrayer

God loves to astonish. Just consider the Virgin Mary. What a surprise! Who could have anticipated that this little, teenage girl from Nazareth could birth of Son of God? She was a thing of wonderment and here is why.

First, she was little; that is, she was young. In the custom of her day, a woman would enter a prearranged marriage even before sitting for the SAT. So she was a novice. Second, she was a woman. Women in first century Palestine were often considered property—intended for domestic labor, sexual pleasure, and the manufacture of male heirs.

And Mary’s third issue: she was from Nazareth. To call Nazareth your home was to lay claim to one of the most rebellious and unruly regions of the Empire. It was a Jalalabad or Aleppo of the ancient world.

So when it is said, “Mary was just a little girl from Nazareth,” that is a statement loaded with surprising characteristics. She was the wrong age, the wrong gender, and from the wrong neighborhood. Yet, these liabilities became the very pathways for Mary’s future. These things kept her in a place of dependence upon and submission to God.

A man named Irenaeus was one of the first Christians who did serious thinking about Advent and its meaning. He came to the conclusion that Mary’s example of holy surrender was a pattern for us all; and he used a scintillating title for her. He said, “Mary is the undoer of knots.” Mary took the tangled mess she had been given and persistently worked it out, overcoming all her challenges in redemptive, surprising ways.

Pope Francis says the same. Speaking of that little girl from Nazareth, he says: “There are problems and struggles we face that form a tangle which gets more and more painful and difficult to undo. But even the most tangled knots are loosened by God’s grace.”

And then Francis says how: “Mary first conceived Jesus in faith when she said ‘yes’ to the message God gave her. And what took place in the Virgin Mary also takes place within us. Believing in Jesus means giving him our flesh with the humility and courage of Mary, so that he can continue to dwell in our midst. May Mary help us to say ‘yes,’ to be open to God’s surprises, for everything he gives us is a gift—even our weaknesses—so that he can become our strength.”

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, pastor, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

 

 

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Happy Birthday

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KENNETH BECKER

 

December 9th is Kenneth Becker’s special day at at 99 years young! His family and friends want to wish him the best year ever and that we all love him very much!

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DAWN R. KELLY

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In Memory Of

DAWN R. KELLY

January 30, 1965 – December 4, 2012

 

I wanted to write a letter to you

Sent down from above

To let you know how things are

And send you all my love

 

All my pain is gone now, fear there is no more

Family and friends were waiting for me

When I passed through the door

 

They rejoiced when they saw me

We walked hand in hand

Down streets made of gold

in the promised land

 

I know you all still miss me

And your hearts they all still ache

But family ties aren’t broken

And memories do not break

 

Remember this is not the end

You still have each other

Stay strong in our family bond

And someday we’ll be together

 

A family we are and always will be

No matter if it is one or three

When you see each other give a kiss

And tell them it’s from me

 

Always with Love,

Mom

Loving and missing you everyday!

Husband, Randy

Kids, Ryan and Nickie, Brandon and Vanessa, Aaron and Blair, Adam and Chelsey

Grandkids, Chase and Kyler, Caden and Brinleigh Dawn, Cameron and Kenzie Mae

 

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DAWN R. KELLY

In Memory Of

DAWN R. KELLY

January 30, 1965 – December 4, 2012

 

The tears in our eyes we can wipe away

The ache in our hearts will always stay

Your presence we miss

Your memory we treasure

Loving you always

Forgetting you never

 

Loving and Missing you everyday!

Parents, Brothers and Sisters, Nieces and Nephews

 

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JOE A. FISHER

 

April 16, 1950 – December 5, 2013

 

Gone, far too soon, but always thankful for our time with you.

Blessed to have had your love.

We miss you every day, cherishing all of our memories,

Always on our minds, forever in our hearts.

 

In loving memory of the wonderful husband, father, and grandfather that you were.

 

With Love,

Jeanne and Family

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