web analytics

Archive | Church Connection

100th Birthday



Look who is turning 100! Bertha Hockeborn Norman, lifelong resident of Rockford Michigan, will be achieving this milestone in her life on August 16, 2015. We would be honored if you could help us celebrate her special day by participating in a Card Shower! Wishing Bertha a Happy Birthday through a letter or card would definitely brighten her day! Please send cards to PO Box 346, Rockford, MI 49341.

Posted in BirthdayComments Off



Attention friends of Chris Johansen: Chris will be moving to Louisiana to be closer to her daughter, Tiffany. She currently lives at The Brook of Big Rapids, 14595 -215th Street, Big Rapids, MI 49307, near Menards. Stop in to visit or if you would like to talk to her before she goes call Linda at 616-696-9585 for more information.

Posted in AnnouncementComments Off

50th Anniversary



Roger and Ruth (Hanes) Wright of Cedar Springs will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday, August 1, 2015 from 1 to 4 pm with family and friends at Huggard Church, 8860 – 21 Mile Rd., Sand Lake. Roger and Ruth met in 1963. They were married at Ensley Baptist Church on August 6, 1965. Roger grew up in Rockford and Ruth was from Grant. They bought a dairy farm together in Rockford and lived there until 1991. In 1991 they moved to the Cedar Springs/Greenville area, where they continue to farm today. Ruth and Roger have one child, Alan (Lisa) Wright; four grandchildren, Michelle, Nicole, Casey and Danelle; four great grandchildren, Izzy, Alexis, Bentley and Ahri.

Posted in AnniversaryComments Off

Sarah Ann Coulson


C-OBIT-CoulsonSarah Ann Coulson, 45 of Allendale died Monday, July 13, 2015 at her home. Sarah was born April 8, 1970 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Richard and Ruth (Sims) Cain. Sarah grew up in Wyoming, MI and  graduated from Rogers High School in 1988. She went on to college and graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor degree. She was very outgoing, had a lot of friends, a quick smile and was very giving to others. Surviving are her husband, Scott; children, Sasha, Zane and Zoe; father, Richard Cain of Charlevoix; brother, Shawn (Tammy) Cain of Cedar Springs, sister, Stacie (Francisco) Ramirez of Grant. She was preceded in death by her mother, Ruth (Sims) Cain and brother, Stephen Paul Cain. A graveside service was held Tuesday, July 21 at East Nelson Cemetery, 8700 18 Mile Road, NE, Cedar Springs. Pastor Bruce Chapman officiated. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate help with the funeral expenses. You may contribute at www.thecoulsons.com/funeral

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

Posted in ObituaryComments Off

True Freedom

Pastor Darryl Miller  

Sand Lake UMC, 

65 W. Maple, Sand Lake

South Ensley UMC, 

13600 Cypress, Ensley Township



We have just celebrated the independence of our country and the freedom that it has afforded us as a result. But what is freedom? What is true freedom? Paul wrote four letters from a Roman prison, in which he suffered much and longed to be with his friends again. Yet, his words seem to be unreasonable. He speaks of joy, of being thankful and of being set free. How can he feel these things while in prison, where he was placed for preaching the gospel?

The simple answer is that God is the source of real freedom—the freedom to be at peace wherever we find ourselves and in whatever situations we face. The Bible says that we have been given a spirit of “carelessness.” Now this does not mean that we can skateboard off the roof and see ourselves on one of those “Bad Idea” TV shows. In this context, the word “carelessness” means to be without care. In other words, to quote our Australian friends—“no worries!” True freedom is when we can face our lives without care, without worry—even in prison. A prison with bars, a prison of illness, a prison of depression, or any other kind of prison. Paul even spoke of how being in chains has helped his ministry to grow and to be heard—a sure sign of the presence of God even in the bleakest times.

True freedom is being able to say “Praise God!” even when we don’t feel like it or when we aren’t sure what the next day may bring. The Bible refers to sin as bonds, chains that restrain us. Our sins keep us from experiencing the freedom and grace offered us by Christ. When we repent of our sins, God breaks those chains of sin and frees us to a life of thanksgiving and joy. And when we accept Christ as our Savior, we welcome the very author of freedom into our hearts. Then and only then will we experience true freedom, finding a peace that goes beyond the world’s understanding, no matter what we may be facing—the peace of Christ Jesus. If you want to learn more, there are many wonderful churches in our community and many wonderful pastors who would love to help you. Check them out!

Posted in From the PulpitComments Off

The Illusion of Control


“Control is an illusion, you infantile egomaniac.” So said Nicole Kidman to Tom Cruise. It was a fictional movie scene, of course, but I’m sure it’s a mantra she repeated often over the course of their decade-long marriage. Digression aside, the quote itself is absolutely the truth. Control—over others’ behavior, personal circumstances, world events, the universe—is a fantasy.

It was Dr. Ellen Langer who wrote the book on the subject. Her work is entitled,“The Illusion of Control.” She believes, and her research backs this up, that human beings have a delusional sense that they can influence the outcomes of certain events, even those events over which they have no command.

Summarizing one of her observations, Dr. Langer discovered that drivers feel that they are much less likely to be in an accident when they are driving versus sitting in the passenger’s seat. No surprise there, but here is where things get interesting: Move that front seat passenger to the back of the automobile, and that individual’s feelings of anxiety completely skyrocket!

In fact, the further removed from the driver’s seat he or she was placed, the more the test subject felt an accident was inevitable. Why? He or she was not the one in control of the situation. This is one reason why I recoil from the bumper sticker, “God Is My Co-Pilot.” Oh, for heaven’s sake.

Can any phrase in our lexicon be more descriptive of our neurotic need to be in control, and yet tip our hat to The Maker in case we get into a situation that is just a bit too much for us? Even then, we want to remain firmly ensconced in the driver’s seat; we want to remain the gods of our universe.

Critics of faith often argue that belief in God defies the evidence. God cannot be “proven,” goes the reasoning, so ceding command of life to such a hypothetical Being is simply foolish. Philosophically, I understand and appreciate this argument. Yet, I counter that we all have confidence in something, in some foundational truth or principle that guides our lives.

So, if you find faith in God to be illogical, I respect that. But, surrendering the management of the universe to a Higher Power makes a lot of sense when there is so little we can personally control. After all, control is an illusion, and the evidence on that matter is irrefutable.

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


Posted in Keeping the FaithComments Off



Della May Michaels, 95, of Cedar Springs, died Monday, July 13, 2015 at Arbor Rose Senior Center, Mesa, Arizona. Della was born October 12, 1919 in Grant, Michigan, the daughter of John and Cora (Kennedy) Lamb. Following graduation from high school she attended Western Michigan Teacher’s College and began teaching in one room schools in 1939. She later received her bachelor degree from Western Michigan University and her master’s from University of Michigan. She taught the majority of her years for Grand Rapids Public Schools. Della enjoyed gardening, and along with her husband enjoyed square dancing, ballroom dancing and traveling. Her greatest passion was her family. She was preceded in death by her husband of 72 years, George in 2014. Surviving are her children, Mary Nunnaley, Gene (Linda) Michaels, John (Carolyn) Michaels; three grandchildren; 10 great granddaughters; several nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place and there will be no service. Interment will take place at West Cemetery, Big Rapids.

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

Posted in ObituaryComments Off



Leona J. Sheppard, 67, of Sand Lake, passed away Monday, July 13, 2015 at Spectrum Health United Memorial Hospital, Greenville. Leona was born August 29, 1947 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the daughter of Eddie and Orvena (Woolston) Johnson. She loved her family and grandchildren and enjoyed knitting, needlepoint, reading and camping. Surviving are her husband, George Sheppard Jr. whom she married on May 7, 1976; children, Lisa (Bruce) Westbrook, Scott (Darci) Harig; grandchildren, Alec, Courney, and Nicole Westbrook, Stephanie, Isabella, and Annalise Harig; sister, Caroline Timmerman. A celebration of her life will be held at the Scott Harig residence. 11274 W. Briggs Road, Trufant, on Thursday, July 16 at 3:00 pm.

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

Posted in ObituaryComments Off



28C-obit-Inman28C-obit-Inman-2-webDionna Angeline Inman, age 74, was peacefully escorted by angels into the arms of her Lord and Savior, while surrounded by her loving family, July 9th, 2015. Born in Grand Rapids and a life-long resident of Cedar Springs, Donie was crowned Red Flannel Queen in 1956. A seamstress by trade, her handiwork has clothed many a child, drama team members, and Halloween enthusiasts. Best known for her unconditional love for everyone she met and warm, welcoming smile. She was preceded in death by her parents, Dio and Virginia Shaffer; her husband, Russell Inman; son Stanley Levanduski; and brother, David Shaffer. She will be lovingly remembered by her children, Dawn (Ken) Brecken, Ronda (Lee) Olds, Sherry (Bill) Kerr, Russell (Chris) Inman, Stacy (Paul) Thrasher, Charlie Roberts; grandchildren, Zachary Rogers, Kia Ribic, Paige Rogers and Russell Inman, and many great grandchildren; as well as many other extended and honorary grandchildren; sister, Judy (Keith) Hemmila; and brothers, Phil (Ruth) Shaffer, Doug (Judy) Shaffer, Jeff (Lisa) Shaffer; and sister-in-law, Karen Shaffer; numerous nieces and nephews, and beloved puppies Bella and Misty Bear. A time of visitation was held on Sunday, July 12, 2015 from 2:00 to 4:00p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street, Rockford, MI 49341.The service celebrating Donie’s life was held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, July 13, 2015, at Pederson Funeral Home, with   Rev. Keith Hemmilla officiating. Interment will be in Solon Township Cemetery. Those wishing to offer an expression of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to Faith Hospice – Development Office, 2100 Raybrook Street SE, Suite 300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home Pedersonfuneralhome.com

Posted in ObituaryComments Off


In Memory Of



July 17, 2013

We will miss you day and night

We will always remember your kisses and hugs

You will be missed all day long

We wish you would come to hear our song

We wish you were here forever and now

There is no time for a hip-hip hurray

We will be sad for the rest of today

You are now gone and out of our lives

We wish we weren’t in so much pain and strife

Sadly missed by

Mom & Tom

Shae, Justin & Austin

Mark & Nicki & Family

Great Grandpa, and all family & friends

Posted in MemorialComments Off