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Archive | Church Connection


Timothy Alan Smith, age 49, of Cedar Springs, died Sunday, July 21, 2019 at his sister’s home. Tim was born February 13, 1970 in Grand Rapids, MI. He was a flooring installer who enjoyed fishing, drinking Bud Light and smoking mad weed with his friends. Surviving are his children, Matthew (Shari) Smith and Scott (Tashia) Loper; grandchildren, Terry, Illianna, Weston, Sailor and Indica; mother, Barbara (James Jr.) Mosher; father, Jack (Judy) Welch; siblings, Shannon (David) Looney II, Deborah (Donald) Dillingham, Jim Smith, Donald VanderMeer; step siblings, James (Julia) Mosher III, Randy Mosher, Heather (Kyle) Cooper, Patricia (Steven) Marvin; uncle, Craig Marsh; many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. The family greeted friends Tuesday, July 23 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service was held Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. Pastor Jim Howard officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to help the family with expenses. Interment Garfield Park Cemetery.

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

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July 27, 1930 – July 9, 2012

In loving memory of our father and grandfather, who passed away 7 years ago. 

We will always remember the happiness and fun times you brought to our lives. 


Mike, Sarah and Terry, Jane and Nick, Jenna, Brian, Luke, Jake, and Molly

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In memory of our uncle ,Ross Boyd Reyburn, who passed away at age 22 on July 22, 1934.

We are pleased to place a headstone on his burial site eighty five years later.

Ross Boyd was raised on the family farm located on Indian Lakes Road, one half mile west of Algoma Ave. He attended Foxville School. In 1934 we were in the midst of the Great Depression, money was scarce and for reasons unknown, Ross Boyd never had a headstone. He was buried beside his mother and father, Adelia and John Reyburn, in the family plot at Myers Cemetery, Sparta Township. Hats off to Hessel-Cheslek Funeral home for providing the headstone.

Dale and Gordon Reyburn

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Pastor Richard Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

2969 14 Mile Road, Sparta

Some things never change: tragedies happen. Luke’s gospel records that during Jesus’ time on this earth, tragedies happened.  We read: “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-3 King James Version).

We have no other gospel account to refer to, so to take what we have, “Jesus answering,” would indicate that there was some question of “why, Jesus?” Similarly, even today, we try to make sense out of tragedy. For example, the September 19, 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City left 168 dead with hundreds more injured; also, the tragedy of 9/11, along with numerous mass shootings, which appear senseless. 

However, people still rise up to accusingly ask: “Where was God?” There are three truths we should begin with: 1) God is sovereign; 2) God is good, and 3) evil is present in the world. Basically, our thoughts (translate opinions) is that if God is good, such things wouldn’t happen.  

Human nature is quick to form an opinion, which can be one of the most dangerous things in life, unless it is formed by the word of God. We want to believe that old adage: “What goes around, comes around,” which is what appears to be the prevailing opinion in Luke’s writing.  It was a common belief at that time that good people have good things happening in their life, while these Galileans, were obviously sinful and this was God’s judgment on them. 

In an unexpected way, Jesus mentioned the Tower of Siloam that fell, killing 18 people, and questioning “… think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?” (Luke 13:4b KJV). In other words, do you think these also got what they deserved?

There is no simple explanation for why good and bad things happen to all people; the faulty part of our formed opinions is that we presume to judge God’s goodness. It’s easy to form an opinion or take a position that sin and sinners can be judged on a scale of one to ten; to draw a line to connect catastrophe with God’s judgment.  

This is essentially to judge God’s judgment, a liberty that we take at our own jeopardy.  Again, there are three truths we should begin with: 1) God is sovereign; 2) God is good, and 3) evil is present in the world. Peter writes, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2nd Peter 3:9 KJV).  

Jesus’ words “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” were spoken in love, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV). When we repent, we acknowledge we need a Savior, and tragedy can be a motivator to know God’s truth. God sent his Son, and men crucified him because of their sin-formed opinions; yet God still seeks to save the lost today. “Whosoever” is for all of us. 

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Mark D. Purcey, age 65, of Reed City, passed away Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at his home surrounded by his family. Mark was born August 28, 1953 in Fremont, MI the son of Clair and Verna (Caldwell) Purcey. He served in the U.S. Air Force during Vietnam and graduated from Ferris State University as a Respiratory Therapist. Mark always had a real spirit of adventure and found joy in the great outdoors. People who knew him saw him as a man full of integrity, loyalty and had a great “left-of-center” humor. Friends and co-workers referred to him as “wretchedly reliable” and as a father and husband he was a real rock. He left behind his wife, Bonnie; and son, Scott (Marlee) and family. A small private burial has taken place at Crandall Cemetery, Ensley Township. A gathering for friends and family will take place on Saturday, July 20 at 1:00 p.m. at the Reed City Depot, 200 N. Chestnut, Reed City. Please dress casually, and come and remember Mark as you personally knew him. In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to either Right to Life of Michigan or Alpha Family Center, Cedar Springs. 

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

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Things can become clear

Pastor Dallas Burgeson

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs

You know what’s reallyhard a lot of days? Discernment. What is right and wrong in some of the situations we find ourselves in?

You know why discernment is so hard? There are probably many reasons, but here are just a couple:

First, good luck finding any person who always does right and never does wrong. Check out Romans 3:10 on this. We can’t trust one single person to always do the right thing! Aleksandr Sozhenitsyn, the famous author who endured terrible things in Communist Russia, tells us that “the line between good and evil is never simply between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ The line between good and evil runs through each one of us.”* 

Second, you and I often tend to think we already know what’s right and wrong in mostsituations. Because of this, we don’t generally build any “feedback loops” or “checks and balances” into our lives that would teach us to recognize opportunities to change our minds about any number of things. 

Which brings up the question: Do we really want to know what’s right or wrong? If so, there is hope, but also a challenge. The Bible, which in many ways is the basis of our discernment, is a still pretty large and challenging book to find simple, Google-style “answers” for the kinds of questions with which life seems to regularly confront us. But read it–you’ll get there. Work at it. Ask for help. Few things in life are more worth your time and energy.

But for today, let me offer this: The prophet Micah wrote the bible book that bears his name when things in his world were at least as confusing as ours are. He writes to a group of people who had a background of seeing God do some amazing things for them. Because there was this history, God used Micah to create a feedback loop for these people—a way that He could give them clarity in their fog.

Here’s the catch, though. God has some things to say in Micah chapter 6 that they’re not going to want to hear. It starts with reminding them of all the ways that He had looked out for them in their history. They would’ve recognized these old stories immediately, and would’ve then realized that they had forgotten God. Then, Micah asks a very important question: 

“What can we bring to the Lord [because of all this]? …the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” 

Reading Micah’s seven chapters will begin to show you what God calls right, merciful, and humble. The 10 Commandments in Exodus 20 and the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 will, too. 

Things can become clear. Just don’t forget Him.

*See p. 38 of N.T. Wright’s Evil And The Justice Of God, IVP, 2006.

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Shirley (Phelps) Roberts passed away unexpectedly on July 8, 2019 at her home in Howard City. She was born on August 26, 1942. She was a graduate of Cedar Springs High School. She was proceeded in death by her parents, Kenneth and Helen Phelps; husband, Arthur Roberts and brother, Ronald Phelps. Shirley worked in retail and finished her career at Hospice of Michigan. Some of her greatest pleasures in life were spending time with her family, her grandkids and siblings. She had a knack for canning, sewing and caring for everyone around her. She was survived by her children, Chris (T. Scott Jewett) Karen ( Bill Misner) Mike (Terri Roberts) and Sheryl Parker; brother Dan (Henri Phelps); her sisters, Susan (Bill Sigel) Sandra (Bill Ives) and brother Kenneth (Cindy Phelps). Many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was loved by so many people, and will forever be missed. She had such an everlasting bond with everyone she knew. Friends, family and others whose lives Shirley touched are invited to Heckman Funeral Home in Howard City for a viewing Friday, July 12 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Funeral will be held at Croton Grace Community Church on Saturday July, 13th 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Donations can be made to Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Arrangements by Heckman Funeral Home, Howard City

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Kathleen Ann Britton, age 69 of Pewamo, passed away on Friday, July 5, 2019. Kathleen was born on November 18, 1949 to William and Helen Beebe in Grand Rapids. Kathleen married James Britton September 9th, 1972. She enjoyed reading and gardening and loved her time spent with grandchildren. Kathleen is survived by her husband, James Britton of Portland; mother, Helen Beebe of Cedar Springs; sons, Shawn (Kelli) Britton of Hubbardston and Chad Britton of Belding; brothers, Bruce (Connie) Beebe and Fay Beebe; sisters, Harriet Harris (Chuck Eisenlohr) and Sandy Patin; and sister-in-law’s, Larain (Harold) Irish and WendyJo (Bob) Barr; and grandchildren, Wyatt Britton, Alisha Britton and Chase Britton. Kathleen is preceded in death by her father. A Memorial Luncheon will be held 11:00 a.m., Friday, June 12th, at the Pewamo Fire Department, 137 E Main St, Pewamo , MI. 

Arrangements in care of Lake Funeral Home of Ionia. Online Condolences can be made at www.lakefuneralhomes.com.

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Selma Bertha Reed, age 95, of Sand Lake, passed away at home on July 3, 2019 in Sand Lake, Michigan. She was born on July 19, 1923 to Karl and Jessie (Smith) Schnicke in Winfield Township, MI. On July 1, 1942 she married Harold Reed in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Selma worked as a Assembler for Kelvinator for many years until she retired in 1972. She was a long time member of Huggard Bible Church. Selma enjoyed sewing and quilting. She also enjoyed camping and being with family. Selma is survived by her children, George (Roberta) Reed, Paul (Donna) Reed, Virgil (Wilma) Reed, Dale (Rita) Reed, Jane (Al) Sadler; fifteen grandchildren; twenty-seven great-grandchildren; twelve great-great-grandchildren; sister, Madelin (Charles) Reed; sister-in-law, Alice Sluijer; brother-in-law, Lester Ridgeway. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Harold Reed in 2014; sister, Bernice (Bruce) Armstrong; brother, Karl Schnicke. Funeral services were held on Monday, July 8, 2019, 11:00 a.m. at the Huggard Bible Church, 21 Mile Rd, Sand Lake, MI 49343, with Pastor Rick Malone, Pastor Ron Workman and granddaughter Angie West officiating. A time of visitation with the family was held one hour prior to the funeral service at church. Burial will be in the East Nelson Cemetery. Memorials contributions are suggested to Huggard Bible Church Kitchen Fund. Please share your memories of Selma online at www.pedersonfuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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Terry A. Rizzon, age 68, of Cedar Springs, died Monday, July 1, 2019 at Metro Health Hospital, Wyoming. Terry was born May 14, 1951 the son of the late Anthony and Florence (Swarthout) Rizzon. He was a member of the Michigan National Guard for 20 years serving in Desert Storm. He enjoyed restoring military trucks. Surviving are his wife, Donna; children, Terry Rizzon Jr., Jamie (Ron) Hoppa, Anthony (Beth) Rizzon; grandchildren, Abby, Ron Jr., Hannah, Brenden, Tyler, Alexander. Cremation has taken place and a private family gathering will be held. Private interment East Nelson Cemetery. 

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

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