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Archive | Church Connection

Stanley C. Kukla

Stanley C. Kukla age 56 of Cedar Springs, died Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at his home. Stan was born June 13, 1962 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Stanley and Cornelia (Dancha) Kukla. He was a manager at Great Day Foods in Cedar Springs, loved Johnny Cash and Stroh’s. He had Parkinson’s Disease for many years. Surviving are his wife, Carrie (Hall); sons, Steven (Heidi), Taylor (Bethany Weeks), Bryce (Gabrielle); step children, Caitlin Daniels, Hunter Daniels; mother, Connie Kukla; grandchildren, Reagan, Brock and Alexander; siblings, Greg (Cheryl), Sharon (Jim) Wynkoop, Connie Murray; many nieces and nephews; in-laws, Gerald (Amy) Hall, Shelly (Mike) Marion. He was preceded in death by his father, Stanley J. Kukla and a brother-in-law, Gerald “Jerry” Murray. A graveside service will be held Thursday, June 13 at 11:00 am at Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. A gathering will be held following the service at Steven Kukla’s home, 1207 13 Mile Road NE, Sparta.

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

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Come, Holy Spirit

Rev. Bill Johnson

Cedar Springs United Methodist

140 S. Main St. | Cedar Springs, MI  49319


“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:1-2).

In Christian churches across the world, this coming Sunday will be celebrated as The Day of Pentecost. The Book of Acts confirms it is the day that Jesus promised before he left—the day that the Holy Spirit would return to inspire a movement that would change the shape of their religion and have the capacity to change the world around them. It was the birthday of the Church. 

Pentecost today can interrupt the normal life we’re living, the routines we’re doing, and it can transform; it can shake the world where we live. With fire and wind, the Spirit has the power to do more than we imagine or expect. It even has the power to move those who do not realize their need to be shaken. Many of the faithful will be in worship this Sunday, expecting as always that the Spirit will move with power enough to send them back into the world to live another week. Oh, that it may be so!

 For others, June 9, 2019 will be a day for other things. Ours is not to judge. Ours is to remember that the Spirit blows where it chooses, and though some may not acknowledge their need, that won’t stop the power of Creator God to flood over and sweep all into the same wind and fire. Worship attendance is neither a guarantee, nor the sole environment for the influence of the Holy Spirit. It is merely a place where hearts come prepared and expectant, where there is always the hope that people will meet face to face with something greater than routines can offer. 

So, what of the others? We live in a climate of growing isolation unlike we’ve seen before. Loneliness freezes us from building relationships; we forget how to talk to one another and be with one another. Antagonism creeps in where loneliness has broken ground. We trust less, and therefore fear the risks of compassion for others. Whether purposeful or unwitting intent, we are finding ourselves with connections severed, with little hope for mending the ties that once bound people together. Yet for Christians, compassion is the language that matters. Every church is called to be a place of security for all God’s children. 

Here is the hope: Pentecost doesn’t wait for an invitation. It arrives, shaking us loose where we are stuck, cut off from relationship. Wind and fire expose our need for one another. At the first Pentecost, people who would never have spoken to one another found themselves united. Frozen minds and hearts were melted, and a movement began that continues today. As Pentecost comes this weekend, pray that hearts will be touched, minds opened, lives transformed by the wind and fire that knows no human bounds. Come, Holy Spirit, come!

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THOMAS TROTT BEACH


Thomas Trott Beach, age 83, of Ann Arbor, MI formerly of Cedar Springs died Monday, June 3, 2019 at Heartland Health Care Center in Ann Arbor. Tom was born July 5, 1935 in Cedar Springs the son of Curtiss and Mae (Trott) Beach. He served in the United States Army and was a ramp agent for United Airlines for many years. Tom truly enjoyed Christian campground work. He is survived by his daughter, Kathleen Rachel (Keir Daniel) Murray; granddaughters, Rachel Daniel Murray, Ansley Kathleen Murray; brother, Allen (Joan) Beach; sister, Ruth Andrus; special friend, Leona Wainwright; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Rachel; siblings, Sami Beach, Curtiss Beach, Ruby Hayden and Rhea Parker. The family will receive friends 10:00 a.m. Saturday until the time of service at 11:00 a.m. at the Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs Pastor Bill Dixon officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Solon Center Wesleyan Church. 

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

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TERRY LEE ELDER


Terry Lee Elder, age 58, of Fanning Springs, FL died May 29, 2019 while riding his hand bike in Florida. He was born in Grand Rapids, MI on January 30, 1961 to Jack and Emma (Cooper) Elder. He proudly served in the Navy and National Guard. He was injured in a logging accident and moved to Florida eight years ago. Terry is survived by his brother, Lester; grandmother, Virginia Fisher; several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Vickie Lyn Elder and brother, Jack Elder Jr. At Terry’s request cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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

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WANDA H. RAYMOND


Wanda H. Raymond, age 92, of Reed City went to be with her Lord on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at Reed City Rehab and Nursing Center. Wanda was born June 24, 1926 in Cadillac, MI to Harry and Gladys (Demory) Ryan. She canned, worked as a beautician and in a factory, raised a big garden and four kids. Surviving are her children, Darcey Raymond Sr., Patricia Asplund and Suzanne Raymond; several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Farrand Raymond Sr.; son, Farrand Raymond Jr.; grandsons, Jesus Dale Raymond, Darcey Raymond Jr., Russell St. Clair Jr.; sisters and brothers. A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 15, 2019 11:00 a.m. with a luncheon to follow at the United Methodist Church, 140 Church St. Cedar Springs. 

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

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BOB SIEBERT


Bob Siebert, age 67, passed away in the care of hospice in Cape Canaveral, FL on Thursday, April 18, 2019.  He was born on February 1, 1952 at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, IL the son of Elmer and Mary (Brown) Siebert.  Bob graduated from Sturgis High School.  His love for the mechanical side of everything that moved, how it moved, why it moved, how long it moved, and the knowledge of being able to help others with anything found him the perfect job with Amway for 46 years as a machine mechanic.  During those years, he built a house for his family, a small barn for alpaca, a garden shed to maintain a gorgeous yard without dandelions, a huge pole barn for tools, boats and tractors.  He enjoyed motorcycle racing, boating on Lake Michigan, lighthouses, car racing, kayaking, his dogs, ferrets, nature except for the rabbits that ate his trees, cats, his children and grandchildren.  Bob is survived by his wife, Connie Patton; son, Neil Siebert; daughter, Gwen Barrett; 7 grandchildren; sisters, Geri Myers and Donna Smith; brother, Roger Siebert; sister-in-law, Brenda Houghton; brother-in-law, Mark Stevens; many nieces and nephews; cousins; aunts and uncles and friends.  Bob was preceded in death by his parents and mother-in-law. A Memorial Service will take place 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 15, 2019 at Stegenga Funeral Chapel, 1601 Post Drive NE, Belmont with a luncheon following the service.  Friends and family will gather at 10:00 a.m. to share memories and visit.  Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Health First or Cedar Creek Church.  Contributions may be left at the funeral chapel. To share a photo, memory and sign the family’s online guestbook please visit www.stegengafuneralchapel.com.

Arrangements by Stegenga Funeral Chapel, Belmont

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Happy 87th Birthday


Kathleen Peterson

We love you!

Melissa, Evan, Skyler, Ella

Terry and Machell

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Arnold Family 5 Generations


The Arnold family spent time together over the Memorial Day weekend and got this 5th generation photo. 

Great-great-grandmother, Kathleen (formerly Arnold) Zemaitis, of Pierson; (her daughter) great-grandmother Holly (formerly Arnold) Smith, of Belding, (her son) grandfather Brian  Arnold, of Stanwood; (his son) Levi Arnold, of Big Rapids; (Levi’s baby) daughter Aubree Lynn (being held by great-great-grandma Kathy). 

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PAULA JEANNE RAU


Paula Jeanne Rau, age 73, of Sand Lake passed away Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Jeanne was born October 27, 1945 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Howard and Bessie (Burg) Russell. She graduated from Cedar Springs High School and the Grand Rapids Beauty College. She was a member of South Ensley United Methodist Church. A retired school bus driver, who served for 30 years, including 11 years driving for special needs students. Jeanne was a woman of deep faith and conviction who will be remembered as an incredibly strong person known for her kind and compassionate spirit. You could always count on Jeanne for her dimpled expressive smile and a show of love through her cooking and caregiving. Surviving are her husband, John whom she married 55 years ago on February 8, 1964; children, Nick (Amy) Rau, Brenda (Lloyd Penn) Rarick; grandchildren, Samantha Rau, Ben Rau, Arianna Rau, Kyle Rarick; 2 great-grandchildren; brothers, Glenn (Betty) Russell, Dale (J Ann) Russell; sister, Donna (Patrick) Valentine. The family will greet friends Friday, May 31 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be Saturday, June 1 at 11:00 a.m. at South Ensley United Methodist Church, 13600 S. Cypress Avenue, Sand Lake. Pastors Darryl Miller and Dick Selleck officiating. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs, with a luncheon immediately following. Memorials may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice, 750 Fuller Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

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

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Thank You

We would like to thank everyone for all of the cards, love and supports we received at the time of loss of our son, brother and husband. God has blessed us with amazing family and friends. We also want to thank Bliss Witters & Pike for the compassion and comfort we received. 

“Kurt is loved with a love beyond all feeling and missed with a grief beyond all tears.”

With God’s Blessings,

Art, Carolyn, Alan & Family, and Helen Probst

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