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Archive | Church Connection

From the Pulpit: Golf

C-East-Nelson-UnitedPastor Herb VanderBilt 

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024 18 Mile Rd. , Cedar Springs MI 49319

By Pastor Herb VanderBilt 

“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him” (Matthew 4: 18-22).

So, what does golf have to do with fishing? Well nothing, actually, except many of us do not know someone who is a commercial fisherman but most of us know someone who plays golf. One similarity between fishermen and golfers is that it is not typically a solitary activity; in other words, it is something that you do with other people, and in fact is even better when you do it with someone else. In fact, think of what would happen if you went fishing alone and caught a record size fish that got away just as it broke the surface, or what about if you were playing golf by yourself and you shoot a hole-in-one and there is no one to see it.

Being a follower of Jesus Christ is also not a solitary activity; in fact, Jesus gives us the model for that as we see him going from boat to boat calling people to follow him to a life of discipleship. What would happen in the church today if we asked people to join us in worship as easily as we ask people to go fishing or golfing? Good Luck and hit em’ straight.




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From the Pulpit: Desiring Righteousness

By Rev. Mike ShieryPilgrim-Bible


“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) (NKJV)

We are born with important innate drives, desires, and needs. Physically we must have food, water, and shelter or we will quickly perish. Emotionally there is the necessity of being loved, and having a proper sense of self-worth or our outlook on life and others will become warped. Spiritually our needs are of no less importance than our physical or emotional wants.

It has been said that there is within every human heart a God-shaped vacuum. It is an emptiness within our soul that demands to be filled because we inherently understand, whether in a conscious or subconscious sense, that we are not complete while that hole remains. So multitudes spend their lives attempting to fill that void with something that will bring peace, contentment, and satisfaction to their daily existence.

The world systems and culture offers lots of options and many people have tried most of them. They have sought satisfaction in drugs or alcohol, contentment in illicit relationships, happiness in a never-ending quest for entertainment, fulfillment in the illusion that materialism brings joy, and security in the thought that they are the ultimate authority in their life. A quick look around an increasingly depraved culture and sick society shows the utter folly of following that road.

Jesus provided the perfect answer to that inborn empty space in our soul. He said that who hungers and thirsts after righteousness would be filled. He knew the craving of the human soul to be complete. And that completeness, the filling of that void, is only possible when we stop chasing the empty illusions of society and passionately desire righteousness in our life. When we want righteousness more than we want anything else, we will obtain it. God never taunts people. If we have a genuine desire to be righteous, God will fulfill that desire. How? It comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ because He is righteous. When we repent of our sins and invite Him to live in our heart, we live in His righteousness. He satisfies the longing of our heart and empowers us to live Godly in this present age.

Turn to Christ. He is the end of your search for fulfillment. Jesus is still the answer. He always has been and always will be.

Pilgrim Bible Church, West Pine Street • Cedar Springs

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C-Obit-HiltzDavid D. Hiltz, 57, of Cedar Springs, died Friday, April 29, 2016 at his sister’s home. David was born October 23, 1958 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Daniel and Geraldine (Wildey) Hiltz. He had worked at Target Construction. He enjoyed fishing and playing the guitar and said he enjoyed his life and had no regrets. Surviving are a son, Josh Spurrier (Hiltz); mother, Geraldine Byars; brothers, Dan Hiltz, Paul Hiltz; sisters, Jean (Sam) Yon, Joyce (Jerry) Seevers, Doreen (Adam) Church; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held Sunday, May 15 at 2:00 pm at the Seevers Residence, 16530 Algoma Avenue, Cedar Springs. Chaplain Daniel Pflug officiating.

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

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From the Pulpit: Pastor Kevin Reed


Three questions for healthier relationships   

Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing to of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”

Relationships are a struggle. Don’t get me wrong; when they are good, they are great! But when they are bad, it seems to affect every area of our lives. We have all had relationships that we struggled in, and the odds are that if you have been in a relationship for any length of time you have experienced the good and the bad. My desire in my relationships is to experience more of the good and less of the bad. Philippians chapter 2 verses 3 and 4 provide three questions that I believe will change our relationships for the good if we would ask them of ourselves when things are getting tough.

1.   “What is my motive?”  

Whether we like to admit it or not, many times in relationships we have agendas, and those agendas are usually self-serving. Most relational struggles come when I am driven in a relationship by selfish ambition or vain conceit. In other words, when I am only concerned about myself and furthering my desires. My motive in a relationship should be mutual encouragement and benefit and my selfishness tends to ruin that. Checking my motive helps me to get rid of my selfishness and realign my relationships to a place of mutual benefit.  

2.   What is their value?

Often times when my relationships are struggling, it’s because I am looking at the other person as someone who is less valuable than I am. I feel that it is their job to serve me because I am the one who is important. When I stop and think about their value in God’s eyes it helps me to maintain the proper perspective. The reality is that the other person you are in a relationship with is made in the image of God, has infinite value and worth to Him, and He proved it by allowing His Son to die on the cross for them. They are important to God, and they should be important to you.

3.   What is my focus?

This one’s simple—am I thinking more about myself and my desires, or am I putting the other person’s needs and desires first?  Most relationships struggle because one or both parties are only thinking about themselves. God wants us to put others before ourselves. After all, that’s what He did in order to purchase our redemption, and that is what He has called us to do as we live out His mission on this earth.

If you ask yourself these 3 questions when it comes to your relationships with your spouse, your kids, your parents, and even your friends, I guarantee it will promote healthier relationships in your life. May each of us have the same mindset as Christ Jesus as we walk in relationship with others.

Pastor Kevin Reed

Grace Evangelical Free Church

4714 13 Mile Rd, Rockford


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In Loving Memory of BENJAMIN WALL

Our loving husband, dad, grandpa, and great-grandpa who joined the Lord fifteen years ago, April 30, 2001. Spring has come and so are all the memories of loving you. Our lives go on without you but nothing is the same. We have to hide our heartaches when someone speaks your name. Sad are the hearts that love you, silent the tears that fall. Living our lives without you is the hardest part of all. You did so many things for us. Your heart was kind and true and when we needed someone, we could always count on you. The special years will not return when we were all together, but with the love within our hearts a part of us went with you the day God took you home.

Greatly loved and missed by your loving wife Rosalynn; sons, Dennis (Cindy), Dean (Kristie); grandchildren Cory (Mandy), Zachary (Angie), Molly (Matt), Emily (Marshall), Nate (Kalli); great-grandchildren, Megan, Cody, Allie, Abbie, Maddie, Izzy, Tristin, Ashley, Aubrey, Easton, Lilly, Landon Benjamin and Caleb.

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William F. Beebe

William F. Beebe

, age 95, of Sand Lake passed away April 22, 2016. William was born November 27, 1920 at home in Ionia Township, Michigan, the son of Lloyd and Jessie (Beckhorn) Beebe. William served proudly in WWII from September 5, 1942 to December 30, 1945. William is survived by his wife of 67 years, Helen; 5 children, Kathy & Jim Britton (Pewamo, Michigan), Fay Beebe (Plainwell, Michigan), Sandy & Jim Patin (Sand Lake, Michigan), Harriet & Chuck Eisenlohr (Hart, Michigan), Bruce & Connie Beebe (Newaygo, Michigan); 15 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren. William chose to be cremated with no services. The family will have a private memorial at a later date.

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Susan E. Odren

Susan E. Odren

Susan E. Odren, 59, of Sand Lake, died Friday, April 22, 2016 at her home. Susan was born July 4, 1956 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the daughter of George and Esther (Pacewiecz) Chmurynski. She retired from the Cedar Springs office of AT&T after 30 years of service. She loved animals, enjoyed gardening and was a very generous and God fearing woman. Surviving are her husband, Phillip; children, Melissa (Matthew) Moyer, Andrew (Heather) Odren, Corene Rodriquez, Megan (Wade) VanDyke; grandchildren, Elizabeth, Brandon, Brandon, Lauren, Sally, Evan and Nickolas; mother, Esther Chmurynski; sisters, Terri (Jeffrey) Rees, Robin (David) Chmurynski-Mattman; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, George Chmurynski. A Rite of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 10:00 am at Mary Queen of Apostles. Rev. Fr. Lam Le celebrant. Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. Memorial contributions may be made to the Montcalm County Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 368, Stanton, MI 48888.

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

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Louise Marie (Brunnenkant) Bassett

Louise marie Bassett

Louise marie Bassett

Louise Marie (Brunnenkant) Bassett, age 86, of Gowen, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. She was born March 25, 1930 in Mt. Pleasant, the daughter of Otto and Margaret (Hein) Brunnenkant. She was a member of the Bethel Lutheran Church in Howard City, loved gardening, motorcycle riding, cooking, family gatherings, family Doctor receptionist, bookkeeper of husband’s business, mother, grandma great-grandma and a homemaker. She will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 65 years Ramon Bassett and her four children, Renae & (Stanley) Kimes of Belding, Debra & (Norman) Chee of New Mexico, Judy & (William) Fish of Rockford and Jeffrey (Debbie) Bassett of Sparta; 10 grandchildren, Matthew Kimes of Belding, Michelle Kimes Schreiner of Cedar Springs, Peter & (Brandilyn) Fish of Cedar Springs, Kathryn Fish & (Brooks Hobson) of East Grand Rapids, Emily & (Kevin) Ritzema of Cedar Springs, Abigail Bassett of Howard City, Whitney Bassett of Sparta and Hannah, Brian & Ben Chee of New Mexico; 6 great-grandchildren, Colten, Dakota and Shalynn of Cedar Springs, Mason and Madison Hobson of East Grand Rapids and Aiden Ritzema of Cedar Springs. She is preceded in death by her parents Margaret and Otto Brunnenkant. Funeral Services were held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 25, 2016 at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Howard City, with Pastor Steven Frentz officiating. Visitation was Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Marshall Funeral Home, Greenville and on Monday from 10 a.m. at the church till the services on Monday. Burial took place at Elmwood Cemetery in Cedar Springs following the luncheon at the church. In Lieu of flowers those wishing to make a contribution in Louise’s name are asked by the family to contribute to Lacks Cancer Center of St. Mary’s or the Bethel Lutheran Church.Arrangements are by the Marshall Funeral Home, Greenville, with complete obituary online at www.marshallfuneralhomeinc.com where you can leave a message of condolence for the family.

Arrangements by Marshall Funeral Home, Greenville

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In His rising, the life of all have risen

Father Lam T. Le, Pastor

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd. 

Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319


Finally, spring is here! Having many friends and relatives who live in warm parts of the country, whenever I visit them, they always ask, “When will you move here with us and stay in the sun-shining states instead of Michigan?”

My response to them is always the same. “Only in Michigan will you experience four distinct seasons and, after a long winter season, you will appreciate spring time. What happens during spring is a wonderful analogy to Easter, the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.”

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, at all times to acclaim you, O Lord, but in this time above all to laud you yet more gloriously, when Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.  Through him the children of light rise to eternal life and the halls of the heavenly Kingdom are thrown open to the faithful; for his death is our ransom from death, and in his rising the life of all have risen. Therefore, overcome with paschal joy, every land, every people exults in your praise and even the heavenly Powers, with the angelic hosts, sing together the unending hymn of your glory, as they acclaim: Holy Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts. . .  (Preface II of Easter, Roman Missal-Third Edition).

I would like to call your attention to what is highlighted in the prayer: the resurrection of the Lord has an impact on not just human beings, but on all. That is the faith of the Church! Christ’s resurrection changes all things for the good! Alleluia.

This is when spring in Michigan can help us explain the mystery of Easter. After a long winter, grass, flowers, and tree leaves appear again. It is refreshing! When you walk into your house, it seems like a new one! What spring does for the environment, the Resurrection of the Lord does even more so for the world. The Lord, the Creator of all, has entered the world and by his death and resurrection has redeemed the world. Nothing has been untouched in this earthly field by the resurrection of Christ.

The challenges us now is to listen to the teaching of the Apostle Paul: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory” (Col 3: 1-4).

Our entire world has been changed by Christ’s resurrection. Let’s us focus on “what is above.”  Amen.


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50th Anniversary


C-ANN-Shevock1C-ANN-Shevock2Gary and Trudy Shevock

Gary and Trudy Shevock were married on April 16, 1966. They celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary at a surprise party with family and friends. Gary and Trudy are both retired. They enjoy traveling and spending time with their family and friends. They are blessed with two children: Scott (Duinn) and Jamie Shevock. They have 5 grandchildren: Christopher, Nicole, Meagan, Morgan, and Malory Shevock. Congratulations and may the two of you have many more years to come.

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