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Archive | Church Connection

50th Anniversary




Ed and Janice Hopkins were married on February 20, 1965 at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Wyoming, Michigan. The late Rev. Fr. Felix La Pres, officiated the ceremony. Their journey together began four months earlier when two of their friends thought that they should meet on a blind date. They were right! They raised seven children in the Sand Lake area, living there for thirty-one years after moving from Grand Rapids. Their children are Jeff (Alene) Hopkins (Spencer, Jasen, Maddie and Abbey) of Cedar Springs, Melody (T.J.) Long (Jordan, Elaina, Tom and Anthony) of Wyoming, Michigan, Matt (Holly) Hopkins (Shelby, Chase, Heidi, and Ryan) of Cedar Springs, Rebecca (Jack) McHugh (Joshua and Logan) of Walker, Barry Hopkins of Grand Rapids and Mary Beth Hopkins, of Kentwood. Ed and Janice also have two great-grandchildren, Brayden and Ella. Their youngest daughter, Tammy passed away in the Fall of 1998. In 2002, the couple moved to Cedar Springs, while continuing to spend six months each year in Florida working for Walt Disney World. After leaving Florida and WDW, Ed began working at Spartan Distributing in Sparta, where he still works today. Janice is retired and has dinner ready and trips planned when he comes home. A two week Caribbean cruise was recently enjoyed to celebrate their 50th.

The secret to our success is to be willing to step outside of our comfort zones from time to time to find adventures together. But most of all, always being there for each other, not only as spouses, but as each other’s soft place to fall…..and laughing a lot and finding the silly in things, no matter how old we get….trying always to embrace that inner child.


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Happy Birthday DON REED

C-Birthday-ReedWe are so blessed to have you with us. You are the rock in our family. Thank you for your love, knowledge, the vacations and all you have done for us.


With lots of love from your honey, Barb, your kids and grandkids.


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Thank You

Our family would like to thank the community of Cedar Springs and surrounding areas for all of their support. The out pouring of generosity and love has been heartwarming. We have received an abundance of donations and gifts and want you all to know we are so very grateful. Thanks doesn’t seem enough, so we want to acknowledge the friends, family and community who have helped us in our time of need. We intend to pay all our blessings forward!


Thank you and God bless you all!

The Zain Family

Doug, Tonia, Marilyn, Gina, Alec, Dirk, William and Larraine

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Norma G. Engelman




Mrs. Norma G. Engelman, formerly Norma G. Bunker, of Sand Lake, Michigan, age 81, passed away in the comfort of her home on Wednesday, January 21, 2015. She was born to the late Norman and Gladys (Ott) Wylie in Kent City, Michigan on Tuesday, October 24, 1933. She was a life-long resident of West Michigan. Norma enjoyed doing many things in life. She loved to relax with the feel of a good book in her hands. She would also do crossword puzzles with an ink pen, because she was that good. Norma was a loving and devoted wife, wonderful and caring mother, and the best grandmother anyone could ask for. She always cherished every moment spent with her family. Her love for them was infinite. She will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by family, friends, and all who knew her. Norma is survived by her beloved husband of fifteen years, Jerry LeMar Engelman; loving children Douglas Bunker, Kim VerHage, Kathy Hall, Keitha (Thomas) Sanders, Kari Tesch, Leslie (Walt) Steil, Sarah (Marty) Brown, Michael Engelman, Dan Engelman, Katherine Engelman, and Cameron Engleman; twenty-two grandchildren; thirty-four great-grandchildren; brothers Robert (Sabrea) Wylie and Dale Wylie; brothers-in-law Larry Engelman and Kip Babcock; sister-in-law Linda (Wilber) Moore; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter Mary Jo Hall, son-in-law Rick VerHage; grandson Adam Howard; granddaughter-in-law Kim Sanders; great-granddaughter Shannon VerHage, and mother-in-law Velma Babcock. A time of visitation was held on Sunday, January 25, 2015, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, Michigan. The funeral service for Norma was held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, January 26, 2015, at Pederson Funeral Home, with Ross Merlington officiating.  Interment will be at Rockford Cemetery, Rockford, Michigan. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Memory of Shannon Dale VerHage, Attn: Development, Charles B. Wang International Children’s Building, 699 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3175; or online at  https://secure.missingkids.com/donate

Pederson Funeral Home www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

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EPSON scanner imageJackie L. “Jr” Remmele, Jr. 37 of Greenville, died Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus. Jack was born May 8, 1977 in Adrian, Michigan. He was a 1995 graduate of Cedar Springs High School and had been a volunteer with the Cedar Springs Fire Department. Surviving are his mother and stepfather, Jackie and Jim Davis; father and stepmother, Jack and Vicki Remmele; stepgrandparents, Jerry and Pat Davis; stepbrother, Joshua and Kristy Davis; stepaunt, Cindy Puffenberger; special friend and family, Tracy (Hill) Dorma and Gary and Janice Hill. A memorial luncheon and a time to greet family and friends will be held Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 12 – 3 pm at the Cedar Springs American Legion Post, 91 1st Street, Cedar Springs.

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


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EPSON scanner imageEdna Andersen, 94 of Cedar Springs, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at Metron of Cedar Springs. Mrs. Andersen was born November 21, 1920 in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Jacob (Jack) and Bella (Kasen) Stoll. She served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was stationed in North Carolina at Moore General Hospital. There, she met and fell in love with a fellow soldier, Niels Andersen. They enjoyed 65 years of marriage and working together, living at 21 different addresses. Her associations included the Cedar Springs Women’s Club, founding member of REGM (Ruth Estrin Goldberg Memorial) for Cancer Research, and Cedar Springs Historical Society. She volunteered many hours calling for Red Cross Blood donations and spent many happy hours working with Niels in the Cedar Springs Museum Gift Shop. Surviving are her children, Soren (Diane Novak) Andersen, Beth Andersen, Karen (Ronald) Meier; grandchildren, Tony (fiancée, Claire Peters), Carmen (Tim) Sheehy, Joe, Jack, Steven and Tom; great granddaughter, Annabelle Sheehy; special friends, Waleed Howrani and Donna Clark. She was preceded in death by her husband, Niels in 2010. The family will receive friends Saturday from 10:00 am until time of service at 11:00 am at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Donna Clark officiant. Interment with Military Honors by the U.S. Army at Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Cedar Springs Public Library, 43 W. Cherry St., P.O. Box 280, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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


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C-OBIT-PeerLouis C. Peer, Jr., age 94, of Greenville, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at his home under the loving care of his wife, daughters, and Spectrum Health Hospice. The son of Beryl (Snider) & Louis Clint Peer, Sr., he was born on May 3, 1920. A very proud veteran of World War II, Louis served in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Pennsylvania. Following the war, on December 7, 1946 he married Geneva Ostrom and raised seven children, and enjoyed over 68 years of marriage. Louis retired from Federal Mogul Corp. after 32 years of service and enjoyed woodworking, golfing, hunting and fishing. Lou volunteered many hours at North Kent Service Center and Cedar Chase Golf Course for many years. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Wilda Morris and Janice Hauff; brothers, George, Stanley and Donald Peer; daughters-in-laws, Wilma Peer and Patricia Peer; and two infant grandchildren. Surviving are his wife, Geneva Peer, children, Duane and Anne Peer, Devere Peer, Phyllis Peer, Darwin & Linda Peer, Marvin & Bobbie Peer, David & Molly Peer, Doreen & Kim Akkerhuis, and Dawn & Randy Kincaid of Cedar Springs; brother-in-law, Martin Hauff; sister-in-law, Lisa Peer; also many grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Visitation is Thursday from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. Service at 11:00 a.m. on Friday at Christiansen Cremation & Funeral Care, 511 S. Franklin Street, Greenville. Committal services, with full military honors at Forest Home Cemetery, Greenville, will take place in the spring.

Visit Louis’ online guest book at: 


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Forgiveness is a wonderful thing

Cedar-Christian-ChurchPastor Ryan Black

Cedar Springs Christian Church

340 West Pine Street, Cedar Springs




Sometimes one of the hardest things to do in life is forgive. When you have felt some one has intentionally offended you or has purposely done something that negatively affects your life, this can lead us to hold grudges, bitterness and even hate against someone for what they’ve done. Some issues are easier to forgive than others. Some people are easier to forgive than others. However, according to scripture, neither the person, number of times they wronged you, nor the severity of the situation matters.  Forgiveness is a must for every Christian’s life, not only for a healthy spiritual life, but a healthy physical life as well.

This is perfectly laid out for us in Matthew 18:21-35. In this passage, one of Jesus’ disciples named Peter, asked Jesus how many times should we forgive someone who sins against us? Peter answered with the question, “up to seven times”? Jesus response is extraordinary. “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. This is telling us that no matter how many times someone does us wrong; we still need to forgive every time. Release them from their guilt.

The passage continues with Jesus speaking a parable about a king who forgives a servant’s large amount of debt because of compassion. The servant later refuses to forgive a smaller debt of another individual. The king finds out and is furious.  The debts that the king had previously forgiven now were to be paid in full. Jesus explains the point of the parable. “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” In other words, if we want forgiveness from God we have to learn to forgive others regardless of what it is. Ephesians 4:32 reminds us of this same thing: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Forgiveness is needed for a healthy spiritual life. But it also plays a vital role in your physical well-being as well. The mayo clinic claims that refusing to forgive can cause anxiety, depression, loss in relationships and numerous other physical hardships.  We need to release any bitterness, grudges or hate towards someone for what they may have done to wrong us.

Forgiveness can be hard thing to do. But it’s something we need for our own soul as well as our physical bodies. It also helps release any guilt from the person that has hurt you. God loves us all so much and He wants to release us of our debts and our sins. When we release others from their debts then God is more than willing to release ours. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing!


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Money: What it’s good for

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

There is a single word that has overtaken contemporary US society, one concept that defines life in 21st century America: Security. Online purchases, firearms, national borders, airports, software, elections—none of these can be used in a sentence without the word “security” somewhere being invoked.

So much for the days when a statesman dared say, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Because now there is everything to fear. Cars, computers, houses, politicians, pharmaceuticals, and wars are all marketed with fear as the motivating factor. Nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to economics.

But to tell you the truth, if you are trusting your money to keep you secure, you probably should be afraid. Don’t get me wrong. We all need a few dollars to pay the bills. Even a handful of investments, mutual funds, and IRAs are good for as far as they go. They just can’t go far enough.

Why? Because once you have a little pile of dough you have to go on guard duty; perpetual protection mode, always on the wall, always peering out at the economic boogeymen, always defending, hedging, and hoarding. This produces mind-racing, palm-sweating, turf-defending worry, something about as far from peaceful contentment as one can get.

It’s as elemental as this, really: our level of peace will depend upon what we depend upon, no more and no less. If the source of our security and well-being is this world’s economic promises, we should hire better money managers, take more medication, and stuff more gold coins under our mattresses. But if our subsistence is Christ, then no, life will not be easy, but the source of his strength is endless and the peace he offers surpasses all understanding.

Now, this doesn’t mean we build a bunker, stockpile canned goods, and buy an arsenal. That’s just more of the same fear and anxiety run amok. No, we joyfully live in this world, but recognize it for how fragile it is. We see that ultimately it cannot meet our deepest needs.

That responsibility belongs to God, because it’s not a matter of if our stockpiles will fail us, it’s a matter of when. That’s not fear mongering, it’s simply stating that trusting Christ to give us what we need and sustain us is not nearly as dangerous as trusting a system that is bound to collapse.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, blogger, pastor, and author of multiple books. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

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Eugene “Spud” Ensing

Ensing, EugeneMr. Eugene “Spud” Ensing of Rockford, age 88 went home to his Lord and Savior Saturday, January 17, 2015. He was born in Grand Rapids to Gerritt and Dorothy (Hart) Ensing in 1926. Spud served his county and flag in the US Navy during WWII and in the US Air Force during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He retired from the US Air Force in 1968. After retirement he worked for Northern Air and Herman Miller’s flight department. In his spare time he volunteered for many organizations, such as the Cedar Springs Historical Society, as a flag marshal for Sports Car Club of America and Championship Auto Racing Teams. Spud also was a member of International Plastic Modelers Society, a charter member of the Smithsonian Air Museum, and a member of National Naval Aviation Museum. In his lifetime he also visited 127 countries and all 50 states. Despite all these achievements and interests, one of the most important things to him was spending time with his family. Eugene will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by his family and all who knew him. He is survived by his loving children, Priscilla (Fred) Finch, Gordon (Connie) Ensing, Deborah (Mitch) Millhuff, Donald Ensing; grandchildren, Shannon Finch, Shawn Finch, Meghann (Sean) Evans; great-grandchildren, Haley Finch, Zoe Evans, Sammy Evans; step-mother of more than 60 years, Ethel Ensing; brothers and sisters, Donna (Ensing) Alverson, Gary (Jan) Ensing, Tammy (Bill) Heydens, Marlene (Eddie) Vasquez, Dale (Debra) Ensing, Kevin (Deena) Ensing, Steve (Shari) Ensing; brothers-in-law, Barney Townes, George Allington, Larry Squires; and many nieces and nephews. Eugene was preceded in death by his parents; loving wife Alma (Weller); and sister, Eleanor Squires. The Funeral Service will be 11 am Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S Main Street, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. There will be a time of visitation from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at the Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N Monroe Street, Rockford, MI 49341. In lieu of flowers please make memorial contributions to Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S Main Street, Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or Vista de la Montana United Methodist Church, 3001 E. Mira Vista Lane, Tucson, AZ 85739 or National Naval Aviation Museum, 1750 Radford Blvd., Suite C, Navel Air Station, Pensacola, FL 32508 or The 390th Memorial Museum, 6000 East Valencia Road, Tucson, AZ 85756.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home


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