web analytics

Archive | Church Connection

RENAE LYNN HEISS

Renae Lynn Heiss, 31 of Cedar Springs, died Wednesday, August 30, 2017. Renae was born August 30, 1986 in Grand Rapids, Michigan the daughter of Roy Heiss and Loraine Cope. She enjoyed reading, writing, flowers and living on the farm. She was a very happy, social and caring person and loved being a mother. Surviving are her husband, Juan Perez Jr; children, Alanah Ann Alvarez, Juan Perez Jr, Elias Ezayelle Perez; father, Roy (Alesia) Heiss; mother, Loraine Heiss; brothers, Joshua Heiss, Tyrell (Stephanie) Heiss, twin, Ryan (Miriam) Heiss; nieces and nephews. Visitation and services were held Tuesday, Sept. 5th at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Interment Crandall Cemetery, Ensley Township. Memorial contributions may be made to a fund for her children at Choice One Bank.

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

Posted in ObituaryComments (0)

Finding rest 

Pastor Kevin Reed

Grace Evangelical Free Church

4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford

 

Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (NIV).

All you who are weary and burdened…” I am not sure about you, but that phrase tends to describe me quite often. Weary and burdened, translation = tired and weighed down. It’s in these moments when I begin to become overwhelmed with the burdens and pressures of life that I often think, “I just need a day off.”  Wouldn’t that be nice? A whole day to myself to do whatever I want. No responsibilities of dropping kids off somewhere or picking them up from somewhere else only to transport them to the next thing. No phone calls, e-mails, or texts from work. No honey-do list or chores to take care of.  Just me, a TV, a book and my couch.  I often find myself thinking that if I could just have a day like that, then everything would be better. I wouldn’t be so tired. I wouldn’t be so weighed down. Instead I would be rejuvenated and re-energized. “Yes, if I could just get a day off, then everything would be restored back to order and life wouldn’t be so weary and burdensome.” That is the lie.

The reality is that no matter how much rest or relaxation we may get, it doesn’t take long being back in our normal routine of life where we end up finding ourselves “weary and burdened.” The solution isn’t how much time we can find to rest but rather where we go to find our rest. While our couch, or the TV, or our favorite book may sound like a welcomed destination for relaxation, they will never provide the rest that our souls crave. Jesus knew this and that›s why when He was around the weary and burdened he didn’t tell them to take a day off, or find an afternoon where they could only do what they wanted to do. Instead, he welcomed the weary and burden to the only place where they could find rest for their souls—in His presence.

The invitation is simple; come. In other words, leave behind all that is weighing you down and simply come be with me, come sit with me, come dwell with me, and you WILL find rest for your souls. Are you weary and burdened down by the struggles and trials of life? The invitation is open to all. Come to Jesus. Sit in His presence. Let him carry the load and walk with you side by side . Stop trying to do it on your own, and stop trying to find what only Jesus can give in anything or anyone else. Come to Him, and you WILL find rest for your souls! It’s really that simple, the decision is up to you.

Posted in From the PulpitComments (0)

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it

Father Lam T. Le, Pastor

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd.

Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319

616-696-3904

 

On August 15, the Catholic Church celebrated the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the faith of the Roman Catholic Church that Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven when her earthly journey was completed, because God “would not allow her to see the corruption of the tomb, since from her body she marvelously brought forth your incarnate Son, the Author of all life” (Preface: the Glory of Mary Assumed into Heaven, the Roman Missal).

The faithful was surprised to hear the Gospel passage chosen for the Vigil Mass of this great Solemnity, Luke 11: 27-28: “While he was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

The true blessedness that Jesus spoke of in Luke 11:27-28 should not be interpreted as a rebuke of the mother of Jesus. Rather, it emphasizes that attentiveness to God’s Word is more important to Jesus than biological relationships. Mary lived her life in attentiveness and obedience to the Word, “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled,” said her cousin Elizabeth (Luke 2:45). The Church honors Mary for her role in salvation and looks to her as a model of discipleship.

The word “Church” as the Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 775 and 777 teaches ecclesia in Latin and ekkalein in Greek means to “call out of” or “convocation.” It designates the assembly as those to whom God’s Word “convokes,” or gathers to form the people of God. Thus, to be the people of God is to be attentive to the Word.

In short, to be Church is follow the example of the mother of Jesus: “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).  To be Church is to hear and to keep the Word in our heart. Amen.

(In addition to being the priest of St. John Paul II Parish, Cedar Springs, Father Lam also proudly serves as Pastor of Mary Queen of Apostles Parish, 1 W Maple Street, Sand Lake, Michigan 49343. Phone 61- 636-5671.)

Posted in From the PulpitComments (0)

TODD ALLEN

 

9/2/1969 – 7/30/2012

It’s hard to believe five years have gone by.

We have loved you and missed you every day.

Happy 48th birthday, Todd.

You were our hardest good-bye.

       Dad, Mom, Laura, Drew, & Piper

Posted in Birthday, MemorialComments (0)

DORIS SHELER

Doris Sheler, age 90, of Kentwood, went to be with her Lord on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. Doris was a member of Calvary Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, Gilbert; son Keith; son-in-law, John Hudson; parents, Arlo M. and Anna Monschein; three sisters and one brother, and their spouses. Doris will be lovingly remembered by her children, Kirk (Barb) Sheler, Penny Hudson, Theodore “Ted” Sheler, Sally (Timothy) Becker; 13 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews. The family will greet visitors on Saturday, September 2, from 10 – 11 a.m. at Stroo Funeral Home, where the service will begin at 11 a.m. Interment will be in Grandville Cemetery.

Arrangements by Stroo Funeral Home, Grand Rapids

Posted in ObituaryComments (0)

SUSAN L. WHITNEY

Susan L. Whitney 61 of Rockford, died unexpectedly Sunday, August 27, 2017. Susan was born January 25, 1956 in Detroit, Michigan the daughter of Ted and Betty (Newnom) Green. She was a hair stylist at the Hair Craft Company in Cedar Springs for over 25 years. She had a love and zest for life that included her family and grandchildren, holidays and vacations. She was a very positive and generous person with an awesome smile. She will be greatly missed by her family and many friends. Surviving are her husband, Ken; children, Michelle (Joe) Murdoch, Paul Cox; stepdaughter, Leslie (Josh) Lillie; grandchildren, BreAnne, Seth, Bernadette, Sullivan, Christopher, Kevin, Ike, Ian, Asher and Grace; one great-grandson, Oliver; mother, Betty Fath and Earl Fath; sisters, Diane (Jeff) Piatt, Julie (Wayne) Kwiatkowski; parents-in-law, Don (Eleanor) Whitney; many nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her father; son, Christopher Cox; and granddaughter, Halee. The family will receive friends Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service will be held Friday 11:00 a.m. Visitation on Friday beginning at 10:00 a.m. Pastor John Frye officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to fund for her grandchildren’s education, Christopher and Kevin Cox at any Independent Bank.

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

Posted in ObituaryComments (0)

FLOYD EDWARD CHAMBERLAIN

Floyd “Floydie” Edward Chamberlain age 54 of Cedar Springs passed away Saturday, August 26, 2017 at the Meijer Heart Center-Butterworth Hospital. He was born January 23, 1963 in Norfolk, Virginia to Clare E. and Janice (Heckart) Chamberlain. Floydie was an avid outdoorsman, and enjoyed, hunting, fishing, golfing and spending time with his family and friends. He worked for over 25 years at Irwin Seating. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends. He was preceded in death by his father Clare and a sister Suzanne Casey. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Angie; mother, Janice; son and daughter, Hunter and Ally; brothers, Bruce (Becky) Chamberlain and Jeff Guzman; sister, Pam Deshano; father & mother-in-law, Paul and Jauana Hoskins; brother-in-law, Dale Hoskins; aunt and uncle, Nan and Dick Heckart; several nieces, nephews and cousins. The family received friends Tuesday, August 29th at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Visitation continued on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. at the Rivertown Funeral Chapel in Kawkawlin where the funeral service will be held Thursday at 12 noon. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.

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

Posted in ObituaryComments (0)

C. MICHAEL SHIERY

CORRECTION

Please Note: The Memorial Service for Jeffrey L. Shick has been changed. It will be held on Sunday, September 17, 2017 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the VFW Hall in Sand Lake.

C. Michael Shiery, age 69, of Adrian, Michigan passed away Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at his son’s home. He was born in Denison, Iowa the son of Rev. Charles Melvin and Dorothy A. (Petersen) Shiery. He was an excellent accountant and worked in a wide-ranging variety of financial institutions, including Housing Mortgage Corporation, Mellon Bank, First National Bank, and Calumet Securities Corporation, often filling the role of Executive Vice President or Chief Financial Officer. For several years he worked for the FDIC helping to straighten out savings and loan associations that had failed. In later life he worked as a consultant for Corvus Group, Watkins Consulting Group, and Garcia & Ortiz. Michael loved to travel, and career responsibilities as well as vacation times enabled him to visit most of the states in the mainland of the United States. He was an ardent Christian, passionate patriot, loving husband, and a proud father and grandfather. His principles and convictions were inviolable, his character uncompromised, his generosity consistent, his love unfailing. His interest in American history was unsurpassed, his passion for cooking and baking legendary, his pride in his family and their heritage unquenched. His kindness to people was noted by many, as was his ability to make Christmas truly the most wonderful time of the year a reality for everyone around him. Above all, he loved God, served Him whole-heartedly, and lived for the day when Heaven would become reality. He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Karen; mother, Dorothy Shiery; son, Michael (Evie) Shiery and their children, Evie Marie and Zane; daughter, Karalynne (Jason) Watters and their children, Katie, Chandler and Michaella; a sister, Debby (Eldon) Mahan; brothers, Charles Shiery and James (Linda) Shiery; special neighbors, Rob (Jackie) Clark; his beloved cat, Sam and a host of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Melvin and a sister, Kathy Shiery. The funeral was Saturday, August 19th at the Pilgrim Bible Church in Cedar Springs. Memorials to Spectrum Health Hospice.

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

Posted in ObituaryComments (0)

LLOYD RAYMOND HANSEN

 

Lloyd Raymond Hansen, beloved and loving husband of Beth Allison Hansen for 72 years. Father of four loving children: John (Joyce); Beth (Ray); Thomas (Paula); David and former wife, Teresa. He also leaves eleven beloved grandchildren: James, Jeffrey, Katrina, Anthony, Roy, Crista, David, Lloyd, Michelle, Andrew and Matthew. A granddaughter, Tamara, is already in Heaven to greet him. He also leaves two brothers, Russell and Winton, and two sisters, Eda Fae and Marda. Four siblings have passed on: Mildred, Loren, Elwood and Paul. Many other relatives mourn his leaving. Lloyd was ordained a minister in 1949. He served faithfully in several churches, both Evangelical United Brethern and United Methodist. His faith took him to Africa where he served three years in Zambia and after retirement served one year in Puerto Rico at a Seminary. He served as interim pastor at several churches after retirement for short periods of time. In 1995 he and his wife moved into Clark Retirement Community. He organized and ran an in-house TV channel for about 15 years. He also taught residents how to make stained glass ornaments and sun-catchers. He also was a great help to the “Clark Artists” by matting and framing their paintings. He made himself available to helping others in many capacities. He was in the nursing center at Clark for about four months before passing. The Benevolent Fund at Clark Community would be happy to receive any donations in his honor. The memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 2 at 2 p.m. at Clark Memorial Chapel where friends may visit with his family beginning at 1 p.m. To sign his guestbook, or to share a favorite memory, visit www.lifestorynet.com

Arrangements by Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Grand Rapids

Posted in ObituaryComments (0)

Promoted to friends

Pastor Craig Carter

North Kent Community Church

1480 Indian Lakes Rd. NE

Sparta, MI 49345

 

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” John 15:13-16 (NIV).

A few weeks ago, while on vacation, the Lord led me to this passage. In fact, it was on the first day of vacation, during my personal time of reading. I was touched by verse 15 where Jesus said he “no longer called his disciples servants but friends.” I felt like He was saying to me, “Craig, I want you to be my friend, not my servant.” This simple, yet profound truth has done so much in my heart and life in a few short weeks. You see, I have for most of my Christian life, strived to be a very good servant of the Lord. At times, even trying to be the best servant possible. I have preached many sermons on being a good and faithful servant for Jesus. I never recalled a sermon on being Jesus’ friend; after all, He is God. Servanthood is important, and yes biblical, but if not careful, servanthood alone can become your sole source of purpose and identity. It can rob you from your intimate relationship and friendship with Jesus. It steals your joy and your ability to really hear from and follow Jesus. It can leave you empty, tired and worn out. Once rested, we tell ourselves, I have to do a better job of serving him, not be a closer friend of Jesus.

The first thing I noticed is that Jesus says that the disciples were only his friends if they did what He commanded! Then before they could ever fulfill a command as his servants, he says, I NO LONGER call you servants! What? Wow! He promoted them. In one statement, he changed the status of their relationship. They were just invited into His inner-circle. Why? The reason is simple, because servants do not know their master’s business. Servants are limited in their information access. They are limited in their understanding of their master’s heart and decision-making process. Often, they are the last to know anything. You see, masters and bosses do not reveal major decisions and important plans to their servants, but friends do! Think about it, everything important, any valuable or intimate piece of information you ever received from anyone, you received based on your friendship with him or her. So, it is with Jesus.

For example, those of us who are married realize we do not know the personal, intimate and important things about each other based on serving one another, but on our friendship. You open your heart to friends. It’s been said, “people want to know you care, before they care to know.” As a pastor, I do not strive to build a church based off servanthood, but friendship. The Heart of God is the same. Jesus is not building his family, the church, off servanthood, but friendship. If Jesus is your Savior, you are His friend and He is yours! Plain and simple. You have access to the intimate things of His heart before you ever do a thing for him. Jesus holds no secrets from you. Verse 16 states, everything His father shared with him, He shares with you. Learn to be a friend of Jesus. Slow down, even stop your serving long enough to hear what He has to say. How he loves you and cares about every about you. Many people think if no one serves in the church, our families or jobs, nothing will get done! This is simply not true! People are not motivated by servanthood. A servant’s mentality alone will never sustain anything of value or importance. Great example from Luke 10:38-42, is the story of Martha and Mary. Martha was so busy serving, she never heard Jesus’s heart. Her serving distracted her. If Jesus wanted a clean house and a sandwich he would have said so, and Mary would have made him one. Martha, on the other hand, just cleaned the house and made five sandwiches just because. She made them just in case Jesus needed or wanted them. Many Christians are like this. We create unneeded work for ourselves, even doing things that were never asked or desired of us.

In hopes of helping you develop a better friendship with Jesus, I would like to leave you with four things to consider. They contrast the difference between a Servanthood vs. Friendship mentality. One is freeing and empowering, while the other leaves us empty and requiring more.

Friends live from His presence, not his commands.

Friends find value in relationship, not assignments.

Friends work “with” God, not “for” God.

Friends live “from” God’s favor, not “for” God’s favor.

Brothers and sister in Jesus, Friends of God, cultivate your friendship with Jesus. It is the key to knowing His love and heart for you.

Posted in From the PulpitComments (0)