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Archive | Church Connection

PETER NAFFZIGER

 

In loving memory of our dear father, Peter Naffziger, who passed away 51 years ago, July 5, 1966. Fifty one years have passed since that sad day. The one we loved was called away. God took you home, it was His will. But in our hearts, he liveth still.

Sadly missed by 

Children and Grandchildren

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JUDITH DePUE

Judith “Judy” Suzanne (Ellick) DePue, 76 of Greenville, passed away Sunday, July 9, 2017 at the home of her daughter. Judy was born September 23, 1940 in Cedar Springs, Kent Co., Michigan, the daughter of the late Everett and Ilah (Crawford) Ellick. Judy is loved and survived by her children: Monique (Dave) Doolittle and Vincent (Kayleen) DePue; grandchildren: Trafford (Ashley Hattis) Giles, Stephani (Nick Dolloff) Doolittle, Nick (Tara Smith) Doolittle, Michael (Ceara) DePue, Kyle (Amber Dargitz) DePue, Donald Eikenhout, Andrea (Larry) Wiley and Graham DePue; great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. Judy was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Franklin “Frank” John DePue (April 14, 2016); and her brother, Mahlon “Sonny” Philo Ellick. Growing up, Judy spent her days entertained by her comic books, her love of animals, and her wonderful, endless imagination. Her very advanced intelligence allowed her a place as a member of Mensa and left her parents with the decision to send her to a school for the intellectually gifted, which at the time was not an option for them. As a young woman, she discovered a love of writing and drawing, as well as spending time with her horse, Sundance, who was her animal soulmate. She shared countless stories of her adventures with him. At age 19, Judy met her husband to be, Frank DePue, at a dance. She sat down by him because, in her words, “He looked harmless.” It wasn’t love at first sight but in time turned into an amazing love story. They, along with their two children, Monique and Vincent, embarked on many wonderful endeavors. They were owners of the Double D Saddle Shop, owned a hobby farm, and ultimately opened Animal Crackers Farm Petting Zoo. Judy’s knowledge and love of animals, along with Frank’s radiating personality, made for the perfect partnership. Most of Judy’s family would agree that she was one of the strongest, most stubborn women on Earth. At the end of her time with us, she struggled with health issues for many years and lived for nearly 5 years with lung cancer. Even through her illnesses, she never lost her passion for animals, reading, and drawing. She was an amazing mother and grandmother, and she instilled her gift of imagination and whimsy with her stories. Her favorite thing to do was to talk. Everyone who knew her, knew they had better plan on some extra time if they were going to visit with Judy. We will miss her beyond comprehension and take great comfort in knowing that she has been reunited with the love of her life, Frank. We all imagine that they are dancing once again. Memorial Services for Judy will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at Hurst Funeral Home, with Pastor Ken Harger officiating. Visitation will be Tuesday from 6 – 8 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to The DePue Family c/o Monique Doolittle. Memories and messages of condolence may be shared via www.hurstfh.com.

Arrangements by Hurst Funeral Home, Greenville

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JOSEPH WATSON SR.

 

Joseph Franklin Watson Sr. “Joe or Pappy”, age 82 of Cedar Springs, passed away Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at Metron of Cedar Springs. Joe was born September 6, 1934 in Lexington, Virginia, the son of James and Melinda (McCormick) Watson. Joe served 10 years in the United States Air Force and 10 years in the Michigan National Guard. During his time served, Joe played minor league baseball for the Air Force. Joe had a heart for coaching and umpiring for the Little, Pony and Silver Baseball Leagues. Joe was a founding member of Cedar Springs Amateur Athletic Association, member of the Roundtable Coffee Drinkers, a Keystone Kop, and was the Grand Marshal of the 2012 Red Flannel Parade. Joe considered his greatest life achievement being a grandparent to 14 grandchildren. Surviving are his beloved wife, Florence E. (Clark) Watson; children, Joseph Michael Grove of Virginia, JeDonne (Jerry) Morton, Joseph (Connie) Watson Jr., Kelli Watson, Charlie (Ladonna) Watson, Merri (Rich) Moore; grandchildren, Steven, Megan, Hollie, Nick, Jake, Jeff, Chris, Mandi, Charli Anne, Ashley, Ricky, Elizabeth, Erin and Carlee; great grandchild, Addison; brother-in-law, Virgil R. (Sandie) James; sister-in-law, Mary Ellen (Melvin) Cole; brother-in-law, J. Thomas Bundy; many nephews, nieces and cousins who he adored; and friends that he loved as family. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, Mayhlon James “Tarzan” Watson, James Alexander Watson, Geraldine “Binky” Bundy, and Margarite “Moe” Sweeney; Nephew, James Alexander “Butch” Watson; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Charles O. and Mary (Caverly) Clark; brother-in-law, Herman O. Clark; and sisters-in-law, Maxine M. (Clark) Manteufel and Alice J. (Clark) Haubenstricker. The family will receive friends Saturday at 10 a.m. until time of service at 11a.m. at Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave. N.E., Cedar Springs, Pastor Larry Young officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Cedar Springs Veterans Park Fund.

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

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BETTY JEAN GOLLER

Betty Jean Goller age 85 passed peacefully from this life on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 surrounded by her family. Betty often spoke about the wonderful life she had lived and that she was ready to go to Heaven whenever God called her name. Born on October 5, 1931 to Fred and Lola Adams in Cedar Springs, Michigan, she was the youngest of seven daughters. Times were difficult for the family growing up during the depression, but even though they lacked financial resources they felt rich due to the love and devotion they shared for one another. The Adams Sunday dinners became legendary celebrations for their family and friends, and in fact it was after a young Dick Goller first tasted Lola’s biscuits, fried chicken, and apple pie that he resolved to marry Betty. It turned out to be the best decision he ever made. Like all of her sisters, Betty continued her mother’s legacy of extending extraordinary kindness and hospitality to everyone she knew. Betty will also be remembered for her wonderful sense of humor and creative use of language, which was uniquely her own. Betty was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Richard Goller Sr., her son Richard Goller Jr., her beloved sisters, Edith Hudson, Blythe Becker, Gladys Grzesiak, and Leila Shultz. She is survived by her daughters Carol Brooks and Diane Goller (Hon. David Murkowski); sons Daniel Goller and Edward Goller (Amy); granddaughters Heather Huntoon (Darrell), Sarah Garlow (Rob), Katherine Steffy (Justin), Anne Murkowski, and Anna Goller; great-granddaughter Meghan Huntoon Lindeman (2nd Lt. Ryan Lindeman); grandsons Richard Goller III, Branden Goller, and Adam Goller; sisters Donna Verburg and Helen Hyrns; special sister in law Mary Goller Kilts, many cherished nieces and nephews, and dear friends Jim and Linda Conrad, Mary Anne Frandsen, and Joyce Empie. The family deeply appreciates the love and care provided by the dedicated caregivers at Clark Retirement Community. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Clark Retirement Community’s Employee Christmas Fund or Bethel Lutheran Church would be greatly appreciated. The family will greet friends Sunday, July 9 from 3-7 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, 13603 Northland Dr., Cedar Springs where the service will be held Monday 10:00 a.m. Pastor Steven Frentz from Bethel Lutheran Church officiating. Private interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs.

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

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Congratulations

BRANDEN GOLLER

Branden Goller, son of Daniel Goller a Cedar Springs High School alumnus, and grandson of Betty Goller, a longtime Cedar Springs resident, started medical school at Michigan State University. His family and friends congratulate Branden on the work he has invested thus far, and wish him luck on his journey.

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JODY LYNN SCOTT

Jody Lynn Scott, age 39, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at her home. She was born September 28, 1977 at Blodgett Memorial Hospital to Harvey and JoAnn Scott. She graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1997. She is survived by her son, Jacob Scott; daughter, Brittney Scott; parents, Harvey and JoAnn Scott; sisters, Amy and Jerrod Bromm, Darlene Scott, Sabrina Smith; several nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held on Monday, July 3rd, 2:00 p.m. at the Hessel-Cheslek Funeral Home with Rev. Keith Hemmila officiating. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to Assist the Family with Expenses.

Arrangements by Hessel-Cheslek Funeral Home, Sparta

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ROWENA JOY SMITH

 

Rowena Joy Smith, age 62, of Cedar Springs, went home to be with her heavenly father on June 27, 2017 surrounded by her family. She was born on November 1, 1954 to Robert and Thelma (Rookstool) White in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rowena was a member of First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs where she taught Sunday School for 35 years. For years, Rowena served as a camp cook for Lincoln Lake Baptist Youth Camp. She was also the church custodian for many years. She loved spending time in her yard gardening growing vegetables and flowers. Rowena is survived by her husband of 34 years Dale Allen Smith; daughter, Katherine Joy (Curtis) DeJong; grandson, Cameron Dean DeJong; granddaughter DeJong; brother, Dan (Shelly) White; in-laws, Steven Smith, Michael Smith, Sharon (Jeff) Russell, Rose (Warren) Wright, Margaret (Robert) Parks, Vince (Brenda) Smith, Joani (Mike) Spicuzza, Debbie (Rob) Swider, James Smith; best friend, Sue VanEnk and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents. Visitation was held Wednesday, July 5, 2017, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church – Cedar Springs, with funeral services following at 12:00 p.m. with her brother Reverend Dan White, officiating. Memorials may be made to assist the family. Please share your memories of Rowena online at www.fieldsmckinley.com.

Arrangements by Fields-Mckinley Funeral and Cremation Services

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Forgiveness

Pastor David Vander Meer

Rockford Springs Community Church 

5815 Fourteen Mile Rd NE, Rockford, MI 49341

 

When the Lord Jesus Christ taught his disciples how to pray, in Matthew 6: 9-15, he guided them through what we have come to call the Lord’s Prayer. Every phrase is rich in meaning, every sentence is personal and relative to our lives, and every sentence is God centered and Christ exalting.

Note the prayer again: Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (ESV)

But the sentence that shocked us at Rockford Springs Community Church like jumping through a frozen Michigan pond is the sentence: 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

Oh, we want forgiveness, and desperately need it… but we do not want our forgiveness compared to how we forgive others. And, as if that is not enough, the Lord immediately follows up the prayer with a comment directed specifically at this petition for forgiveness by adding this comment:14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (ESV)

We are like a boxer reeling on the ropes after being hit by not just one punch, but by a volley of punches. We reel on the ropes, not just theologically, but also experientially.

Theologically we know that we are forgiven on the basis of the righteous life and death of Jesus Christ. His work is acceptable to God, and not mine. So clearly the action of forgiveness on our part towards others is proof of salvation, not the achievement of salvation. But that being said, how vital is this proof for without it we may indeed stand condemned, and not saved.

Forgiving each other is not an option.

The requirement of forgiveness towards each other is not removed due to any excuses I may draft up.

But we might as well as admit it. We cannot forgive without God’s help. Our hurts, too often, run too deep. Our tendency to carry a grudge is so strong. Our memory of what was said calls up the damaging event over and over through the night. Releasing the offender is not in our nature.

And so the Lord teaches us in this text to pray. We pray, and plead, and petition our God to help us. And when the joy of forgiveness comes through the resurrecting power of Christ, we worship him for the release it brings us of evil. To not forgive is evil. We know that. And Christ has the power to break the grip of evil in our lives. How wonderful it is to come to our Lord and ask of Him to do that which He has done for us. As Jesus said, pray then like this.

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ROWENA JOY SMITH

Rowena Joy Smith, age 62, of Cedar Springs, went home to be with her heavenly father on June 27, 2017 surrounded by her family. She was born on November 1, 1954 to Robert and Thelma (Rookstool) White in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rowena was a member of First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs where she taught Sunday School for 35 years. For years, Rowena served as a camp cook for Lincoln Lake Baptist Youth Camp. She was also the church custodian for many years. She loved spending time in her yard gardening growing vegetables and flowers. Rowena is survived by her husband of 34 years Dale Allen Smith; daughter, Katherine Joy (Curtis) DeJong; grandson, Cameron Dean DeJong; granddaughter DeJong; brother, Dan (Shelly) White; in-laws, Steven Smith, Michael Smith, Sharon (Jeff) Russell, Rose (Warren) Wright, Margaret (Robert) Parks, Vince (Brenda) Smith, Joani (Mike) Spicuzza, Debbie (Rob) Swider, James Smith; best friend, Sue VanEnk and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents. Visitation will be held Wednesday, July 5, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at First Baptist Church – Cedar Springs, with funeral services following at 12:00 pm with her brother Reverend Dan White, officiating. Memorials may be made to assist the family. Please share your memories of Rowena online at www.fieldsmckinley.com.

Arrangements by Fields-Mckinley Funeral and Cremation Services

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Rev. Kim DeLong appointed to Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church

 

Rev. Kim DeLong

The Rev. Kim DeLong and the Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church have a common denominator in that they are both familiar with change. On July 1, the congregation welcomes yet another new pastor. Pastor Kim has moved about in West Michigan since she began in 1998. She has held appointments in Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Belding, Turk Lake, Greenville, and three Big Rapids area congregations linked together by assignment of the Michigan Area Bishop: Third Avenue, Paris, and Rodney. Her new appointment includes Courtland-Oakfield UMC and Wyoming Park UMC, serving half time in each congregation.

Kim’s broad experience began as a Local Pastor, which led Kim to attend Garrett-Evangelical Theological School, in order to be ordained a Deacon in the United Methodist Church. After serving as Deacon she then felt a call to move her ordination status to that of Elder, which she earned in 2016. This sojourn through the categories of professional ministry exposed her to opportunities to serve the church in a variety of circumstances, enlarging her vision of ministry while benefiting the congregations as well. She is a seasoned, gifted and learned pastor.

Courtland-Oakfield Governance Board Chair Megan Harding says, “We are really thrilled that Pastor Kim has agreed to serve our church, and I have total confidence that she will continue to lead us as we move forward with our values as we learn to become people who love as God loves.”

Kim lives in Rockford with her husband, Cameron. They have three children and four grandchildren.

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