web analytics

Archive | Church Connection


c-obit-ritchieDecember 27, 1938 – June 28, 2016

Carol Ritchie, 77 years old, passed away peacefully June 28, 2016, at her home in Seminole, Florida surrounded by family and her two guardian angels. Carol was born on December 27, 1938, to Lee and Betty (Isabelle) Miller Robinson. She spent the early part of her childhood on a horse farm in Fowlerville, Michigan. Carol’s grandfather, Charles Miller (originally Kazimiris Varnigiris) who immigrated to the US from Lithuania, built the “beautiful” barn on their farm. This farm was a business where Carol, her brother Charlie, sisters Blondie and Georgia were expected to work very hard doing barn chores while caring for pregnant mares. They also collected the horse’s urine which was sold to pharmaceutical companies then used in making hormone medication. At about age 13 Carol and her family moved to Cedar Springs where they raised, broke then sold horses at auction. In spite of all the hard farm work Carol loved riding horses! In 1953 Carol married Carl Morehouse and they had four children together. They eventually divorced. Although Carol did not finish school she later completed her GED. She loved to read and discuss anything about history and politics. In 1963 Carol married Jimmy Ritchie and they had 3 children. Carol, Jim and family eventually moved to Florida where she lived for over 40 years. For several of those years she loved working as a special education para pro at Bauder Elementary School in Seminole. Carol eventually transferred her love of horses to dogs and began breeding, raising and showing champion English Bulldogs. After retirement she kept busy collecting, buying and selling antiques taking after her mother Betty. During her life Carol faced and survived many challenges. Her courage remains an inspiration to her family. Carol will be sadly missed by her dear sister and brother-in-law Georgia and Bob Johnson; her children, Cheryl (Eric) Baculy, Carla (Bruce) Springer, Curtis Morehouse, Cindy (Doug) Burnham, Jamie (Mike) Conaty, and Jacquie (Joe) McKenna; grandchildren Lee (Viviana) Myers, Dean Myers, Cheri Nan (Juell) Porter, Jacob Stanton, Cynthia McKenna, Karlena Morehouse, Cody Conaty, Jonathan Baculy and Jimmy McKenna; great-grandchildren Chloe and Nolan Myers, Joshua, Daniel and Eli Porter and many nieces and nephews. Carol is also survived by her guardian angels Standard Poodles Hallie and Buddy. She was preceded in death by her husband Jim, son Joel Ritchie, her parents, her beloved brother Charles (Charlie) G. Robinson, and beloved sister LaVerna (Blondie) Townes. A memorial luncheon will take place to share memories of Carol on October 16, 2016. Contact family for more information.

Posted in ObituaryComments Off on CAROL NAN RITCHIE

Thou shalt not murder

Rockford-Springs-Church-webPastor David Vander Meer

Rockford Springs Community Church 

5815 Fourteen Mile Rd NE, Rockford, MI 49341


“Thou Shalt Not Murder.” Among other commands, these four words were spoken to the Israelites as they began their journey to the Promised Land after being set free from slavery in Egypt. They were spoken by the one who miraculous freed them—God. Why? Why did He have to say to His people, “Do not go around taking each other’s lives?”

This question is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. Perhaps one could give multiple answers, but let’s focus on one answer quickly and then a second reason with a little more effort.

The first reason is because God knows the danger of our hands and our hearts. We murder. We murder with our thoughts, our words, and sometimes, even with our own hands. So God distinctly and clearly says to the people he has just freed not to engage in the way of death, either with their minds, or their actions. This makes perfect sense. A people will never survive if all it does is kill each other or themselves. In 2015, in Grand Rapids alone, there was 1,381 violent crimes, with suicide being the third leading cause for teenage death. This is a very present agony in our own community with 3 suicides is just one year.

But I believe there is another reason for the law. Within all of God’s laws we learn something about God. Each law gives us insight into the value system of God. Within this particular law we learn the profound truth that God loves life. He did not just create it, but He also sustains it, protects it, and cherishes it. For God, life is good. The taking of life is bad.

If someone is involved with the church of Jesus Christ, a phrase that often is spoken about or sung about is “The Glory of God.” The glory of God can simply be defined as: “The infinite beauty and greatness of all His manifold perfections (his many character traits).” For example, we see the glory of His faithfulness when He commands us to be true to our relationships: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” We see the glory of His order when we hear the command to “honor father and mother.” But when God rises up and commands “Thou Shalt Not Murder,” the glory of His love for life shines like the morning sun breaking through the darkness of the night. His light shines on life and sparkles out the beauty of its glory. So, being image bearers of God we too should love life.

So God loves life. We see this truth in this command. And we also see this truth in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus says in John 10:10 that “He has come to give us life, and to have it to the full.” So when hatred is strong, despair is heavy, chaos is overwhelming, hopelessness is controlling, and the temptation of death is luring, we need to step back and see that God loves life. The taking of life is not the answer, either by word or action. Hurting others, or myself, is never the solution. Life is good; God is good; His way is best. In our battle for an abundant life we must trust God and hold to the glory of life.

Posted in From the PulpitComments Off on Thou shalt not murder



Donald A. (Pete) Shier, age 82, passed away peacefully on Wednesday Sept 14, 2016. Surviving are his wife Carol Shier of 62 years; four daughters, Terri (Pat) Peterson, Laurie (Kim) Patrick, Quinn (Pete) Meade, and Shalyn Ralston; nine grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Family and friends will be able to meet with Pete’s family Saturday, September 17th from 1-4 pm at the First Presbyterian Church, 125 E. Main St. in Ionia, Michigan. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Posted in ObituaryComments Off on DONALD A. SHIER

When you are lucky enough to reach 80 years old you find you are especially lucky to have 90 plus family and friends throw you a surprise 80th birthday party, complete with your brothers, five children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren from Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Cedar Springs, Kent City, Howard City and points near and far. Lots of tears of happiness, laughter of joy. Many good memories were made. Thank you all for those memories.

A birthday is just the first day of another 365 day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip.

Betty Morris

Posted in Thank YouComments Off on

Thank You

A heartfelt thank you to all the friends and family who showered Josephine (Jo) Smith with cards and letters in celebration of her 90th Birthday.

Posted in Thank YouComments Off on Thank You

Thank You

The family of Walter Kilts would like to extend our deepest appreciation to family and friends who have shown their support during our time of sorrow.

Posted in Thank YouComments Off on Thank You

Rough Spots

Solon-Center-Wesleyan-webRev. Chadrick Brown

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma Ave NE

Cedar Springs, MI 49319


Michigan has a lot of things going for it, the great lakes, the in-land lakes, the rivers that run all through it, the sand dunes, beautiful lighthouses and a ton of golf courses. Some of these places are absolutely beautiful, but I can’t golf if my life depended on it.

One of my best friends a while ago was a semi-pro golfer and instructor. Quite often, he would invite me out, just to hang out and deepen our friendship. Each and every time he asked, I would decline. Not because I didn’t want our friendship deepened, but simply because he was a semi-pro golfer and I was simply terrible. In fact, I really don’t like the game. I’ll drive the cart in a heartbeat, but don’t make me play. But just like a good friend, he would not take “No” for an answer. He kept inviting me and told me that he would show me a few tips and help me with my game to make me a better golfer. Well, I gave in, but every time, without fail, I was terrible and could not get that little ball to straighten out. You would think as a pastor, God would have given me the gift of playing golf, but He didn’t, so I’ve given up on golf.

But I did hear something interesting. When they first manufactured golf balls, they made the covers smooth. Then it was discovered that after a ball had been roughed up, one could get more distance out of it. So they started manufacturing them with dimpled covers. That’s why the golf ball looks the way it looks today.

That got me thinking. Isn’t that how life is? It takes some rough spots in our lives in order to make us a better person. It takes some bumps and bruises to help us understand and gain wisdom. It takes going through difficulties to truly appreciate the good times. And it takes our trust being broken to really understand how special it is to trust someone again.

So friend, the next time life gets a little hard or difficult, don’t get upset, discouraged, or even mad. Just see what you can take away. Don’t get depressed, or try to get even with a person for the bumps and bruises they have caused you. But see what you can learn to make you go farther in this life. Here is a fact of life that we all know. Difficult times come and go, so let the difficulties in life make you better, not bitter; stronger, not sourer. See how bumps in your life can take you farther.

Posted in From the PulpitComments Off on Rough Spots



Hope J. Flasch 89 of Cedar Springs, passed away Thursday, September 1, 2016 at Bishop Hills, Rockford. Mrs. Flasch was born June 11, 1927 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the daughter of William and Anna (Worgul) Kuyat. Surviving are her children, Joyce (Joel) Andrus, Jerry (Vivian) Flasch; grandchildren, Nikki (Wayne) Bugden, Kerry (Charlie) Boyer, Katrina (Justin) Craven, Eric (Tamara) Flasch; 8 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles in 2000 and 3 brothers. Visitation and service was held Monday, September 5 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Michigan, 989 Spaulding SE, Ada, MI 49301.

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

Posted in ObituaryComments Off on HOPE J. FLASCH



Jerry Lee Klock Jr. age 44 passed away on Saturday, September 3, 2016. He is survived by his children, Jerry, Michele, Jason, and Joshua; his parents, Jerry Sr. and Holly Klock, Karen and George Beardslee; brother, John Klock; many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held on Thursday, September 8, 11:00 a.m. at the Funeral Home with Rev. Bruce Wilson officiating. Interment in Pine Grove Cemetery, Comstock Park. Friends met the family at the funeral home on Wednesday 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to His Children’s Educational Fund.

Arrangements by Hessel Cheslek Funeral Home www.hesselcheslek.com

Posted in ObituaryComments Off on JERRY LEE KLOCK JR.



Loretta E. Lewis 90 of Cedar Springs, died Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at Faith Hospice – Trillium Woods. Mrs. Lewis was born April 8, 1926 in Unionville, Michigan the daughter of Jasper and Loretta (Rock) Sweitzer. She enjoyed doing word search, spending time with her family and camping. Surviving are her children, Wayne (Patricia) Lewis Jr., Jasper (Sally) Lewis, Raymond Lewis, Barb Lewis, Jeanette Lewis, Layne Lewis, Jayne Lewis, Etta Jones, and Ella (Benny) Wise; 7 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Wayne Lewis Sr. in 1997. The family will greet friends Friday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service will be held Saturday 11:00 am. Pastor Chuck Smith officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Faith Hospice.

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

Posted in ObituaryComments Off on LORETTA E. LEWIS