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Archive | Church Connection

Celebration of Life


Please join the family and friends of Judith (Workman/Gunnell) Carpenter for a luncheon celebrating her life at the Cedar Springs American Legion on Friday May 20, 2022 at 1 p.m.

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In loving memory


May 5, 2019

We can no longer see you with our eyes, but we will feel you in our hearts forever.

Sometimes you never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.

Your loving wife and family

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Memorial service for Marlan Newland


A Memorial Service and Luncheon for Marlan L. Newland will be held on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.  Graveside Military Memorial Service at North Ensley Cemetery at 12 p.m. The Celebration of Life Luncheon will follow at the Cedar Springs American Legion at 1:00 p.m.

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Mark Edward Strpko, 63 of Sand Lake, Michigan passed away quickly and peacefully on Friday, April 22, 2022. Mark was born on August 31, 1958 to Frank and Delores Strpko in Carson City, Michigan. Mark was a 1976 graduate of Big Rapids High School in Big Rapids, Michigan. In his younger years, Mark enjoyed riding dirt bikes, tinkering on motors of any sort and making things go fast. Mark was well known in high school for his Starsky and Hutch van, his GTO Judge, and many other creations. Mark’s pride and joy, Jodilyn was born on May 30, 1992. They shared a special bond and were best friends up until the day he passed. Mark was in his glory when he was surrounded by his two grandchildren, Victoria and Bearett. In addition to his daughter and grandchildren, Mark had a special place in his heart for his sons Christopher and Nick Landon and their children. Mark was also thought of and acted like a father and grandfather to so many others. Mark was an avid racer all his life beginning with RC cars, pedal bikes, motorized dirt bikes, drag boats, and eventually finding his love of sprint cars. What Mark loved most was building motors for those in the racing community and the commraoditry of the people. At the time of his passing, Mark was a high performance engine builder. He spent his weekends at the races, sometimes racing but most often helping friends wrench on their race cars, or as they say, bossing them around. Mark enjoyed his years of service given to various fire departments around the Cedar Springs area, especially the 10 plus years he served as the Cedar Springs Fire Chief. Mark was preceded in death by his parents Frank Joseph and Delores Peggy Strpko, and a son Chad Joseph Strpko who passed away as a newborn in 1988. Mark is survived by his daughter Jodilyn Phillips (Andrew) of Rockford, MI, his sons Christopher (Emily) Landon of Cedar Springs, MI and Nick (Katie) Landon of Dorr, MI and six grandchildren: Victoria and Bearett Phillips, Sawyer, Tucker, Vincent and Fionna Landon. Mark is also survived by his brother Paul (Sheri) Strpko and his sister Annette (Gary Guy). A visitation will be held to honor Mark on Friday, April 29, 2022 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Pederson Funeral Home in Rockford, MI. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Jodilyn to help with funeral expenses. A celebration of life will be held at a later date this summer at Mark’s house.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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Ronald Kenneth Starr, age 70, of Sparta, passed away Thursday, April 21, 2022, surrounded by his loving family. Ron was born January 21, 1952, in Cedar Springs, Michigan to Kenneth and Mary (Hudson) Starr. Ron was a carpenter by trade. He enjoyed being outdoors, and also enjoyed hunting and fishing. Ron is survived by his loving wife of forty-two years, Sandra (Roelofs); children, Shannon (Shawn) Cone, Adam Starr; grandchildren, Madison, Tatum, Alexa, Tristan; brother, Al (Nancy) Starr; sisters, Leona Wainright, Luci (Bill) Paepke, Joanne (Don) Shevock; sister-in-law, Doris Starr; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers Bob Starr, Vern Starr, Herb Starr. There will be a funeral ceremony, celebrating Ron’s life at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 30, 2022, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N Monroe St., Rockford, Michigan, 49341. There will also be a time of visitation one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Ron’s name can be made to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 100 Michigan St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Please visit the online tribute page at Plaisierfuneral.com.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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Carolyn M. Zank age 76 of Cedar Springs, died Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at Mission Point of Cedar Springs. Mrs. Zank was born April 15, 1946 in Cadillac, MI the daughter of the late Wayne and Anne (Mitchler) Miller. She had worked for the Kent Intermediate School District for 13 years retiring in 2011. She was very involved in Cedar Springs including past director of the Red Flannel Festival, Cedar Springs Public School Board for eight years and helped start the Cedar Springs Educational Foundation. She enjoyed the Cedar Springs Christmas Tea each year. Surviving are her husband, Kenneth; children, Kathryn Zank, Kevin (Amanda) Zank, Kerri (David) Reed; grandchildren, Hannah Reed, Zach Reed and Meredith Zank; sister, Marilyn (Robert) Anderson; brother-in-law, Bill Bales. She was preceded in death by her sister, Lois Bales. The family will greet friends Friday, April 29 from 10:00 a.m. until time of memorial service at 11:00 a.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Cedar Springs Educational Foundation.

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

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Stop holding on to me

Father Lam T. Le, Pastor

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

(John 20:17)

Easter is the greatest feast day of the Church. As St. Paul said, “if Christ had not been raised, your faith is vain . . . If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all.” (1Cor 15:17, 19).  During this season we, however, proclaim: Christ is truly risen.  Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

On this joyful season, I recall that, not too long ago, a person asked: Why in the Gospel, did Jesus tell one of the witnesses of his Resurrection not to hold on to him? This was the appearance of the Resurrected Lord to Mary of Magdala (Jn 20:11-18). 

Having come to the tomb “while it was still dark” (Jn 20:1), Mary fixated on the past reality. She was convinced that Jesus remained dead because she had not wavered in her belief that his corpse had been stolen. The Risen Lord opened her eyes to the reality of the Resurrection by calling her by name, Mary. This is an allusion to the Good Shepherd who “calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (Jn 10:3). As the sheep respond to the Good Shepherd, Mary, a faithful disciple, recognized his voice (Jn 10:4) and addressed him as Teacher. Thus, Mary came to believe that Jesus was truly alive. Her sadness turned into joy (Jn 16:20). However, Mary still presumed her relationship with Jesus was just the same as before his death, for she addressed him with the same title as before, Teacher (Jn 1:38, 49; 3:2). Jesus, the Good Shepherd, continued to call her out of darkness into light.

The Resurrection of Jesus changed absolutely everything, including the relationship between him and his followers. The disciples, such as Mary, can relate to him no longer as an earthly Teacher, but as the Risen Lord. Jesus’ command of her “stop holding on to me” is meant figuratively: Mary you can no longer hold on to the past notion of discipleship. Jesus further explained, “I have not yet ascended to the Father” (Jn 20:17). Ascending to the Almighty Father speaks of this new situation. The exaltation of the Risen Jesus at the Father’s right hand and the sending of the Holy Spirit, completes the Father’s saving work. It marks the entrance of Jesus’ glorified humanity into God’s own life, and thus gives humanity access to communion with the Father.  

Truly Jesus commanded Mary to stop holding on to him in an earthly way, but through the Paschal Mystery (his Death and Resurrection), Jesus opened us up to a new relationship with God: we are partakers in the Divine Life. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. This is the day the Lord has made!

(Father Lam also is the Pastor of Mary Queen of Apostles Parish, 1 West Maple St, Sand Lake, Michigan 49343 phone: 616 636 5671)

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Ruth Hayden’s Life-Tribute gathering

Saturday, April 23, 2022

12:00pm to 2:00pm

Salisbury Park, Sand Lake

What’s remembered lives. Come share some Ruth stories.

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Alice Allen

1930 – 2021

Dear Mom,

I missed you today.  I missed you yesterday and the day before. I have missed you for 365 days. I missed seeing you on your birthday. I’m grateful to all the great people who sent you birthday cards on your 90th  and last birthday. They made you feel special and that was the best gift.

I missed your call so very much on my birthday in August. Last Thanksgiving was the first Thanksgiving I had without you. And Christmas… I missed you last Sunday, on Easter. Sometimes I even miss you in my dreams!

And now, it’s been a year of days, nights and holidays of missing you. So I am writing a memorial to you in the newspaper that you and I created together over 30 years ago. There were many long nights working side by side that I will always remember. I couldn’t have done it without you. 

It’s still here mom, thanks to a whole lot of wonderful readers who gave donations to keep it going. And also with the support of our advertisers, of course. 

One whole year.

Miss you,

your forever-loving daughter, Lois

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Thank you

Lucille Middleton would like to thank everyone for the birthday cards and flowers she received. These kind words and gifts were greatly appreciated as a part of celebrating her 97th birthday. Sending positive thoughts to everyone throughout 2022.

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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