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Archive | Church Connection


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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Take time to reconnect

Pastor David G Ward

Pilgrim Bible Church

361 Pine Street, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

My grandson scooped up his latest discovery with a huge grin on his face.  I had left my cellphone in a place within his reach!  He walked around the room, carrying on an imaginary conversation.  “Papaw, Papaw, Papaw,” he said.   Hearing my name, I poked my head around the corner to see what was going on.  Rather than scolding him, I decided to have a little fun.  “Hello, this is Papaw.  Is this Mr. Trenten?” His little face lit up with joy!  Suddenly, this phone was no longer a toy.  Someone had answered back.  He was connected!

In this day of ever-expanding technology, we have all kind of ways to connect with people.  Our phones come with unlimited minutes.  Facebook allows us to rediscover friends and acquaintances from years gone by and from every corner of the world.  Video calling allows us to see others face to face.  Apps connect our gaming and other everyday experiences.  Why then, despite the tools within our hands, do so many people feel so disconnected and alone?  

Today, as much as ever, we need to take the time to really connect with people, to step out of the virtual world and into the real world.  We need the warmth of personal encounters where we walk in the moment together.  We need to rediscover the power of personal connection.  We don’t so much need more ‘virtual’ friends as we do real ones.

Take the time to reconnect with others.  Make room in your schedule for a face to face conversation.  Turn off the electronic devices and communicate without distractions.  For most of us, this would be harder than we might think, but the rewards are worth it.  We were wired to thrive on personal connection.

While you’re at it, don’t neglect your personal relationship with God.  He’s been waiting to hear from you too!  One of the reasons Christ came to earth as a human was to rebuild the connection that sin had destroyed.  Though no longer available to us in human form, we can still experience the warmth of His presence and the comfort of His embrace.  He truly is a friend that “sticks closer than a brother.”

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Thank You

We are grateful for the kindness shown to our family during the illness and death of our beloved Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Great-Great Grandmother, Martha Parker. Your thoughtfulness will never be forgotten.

The family of Martha Parker

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Stanley “Chip” Conrad Gabel of Pierson, MI, age 73, passed away on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. He is preceded in death by his parents Stan and Iva and his sister Sara Dreyer. Chip is survived by his beloved wife Sylvia J. (Grimes); sister, Charlotte Zikan; brother-in-law, Ken (Rose) Dreyer; four daughters, Tina (Mike) Auge, Beth (Bob) Mazur, Becca Lockhart, Marcie (Scott) Duncan; three sons, Martin, Scott (Susie) Misner, Matt (Kelly) Misner; 18 grandkids and 11 great-grandkids. Chip was a tool and die maker for over 35 years and enjoyed spending time in his tool shop listening to Rush while working his mechanical wizardry. He also enjoyed flea markets and auctions with his buddy Ken and time with his favorite dog Sophie. The family would like to thank Spectrum Butterworth Hospital for their care and compassion. The funeral service for Chip was celebrated on Friday, May 17, 2019 at Pierson Bible Church, 101 Grand St, Pierson, MI 49339. Pastor Jeff Wallace officiated. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to Pierson Bible Church, 101 Grand St, Pierson, MI 49339.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford 

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Hold on gently

Pastor Inge Whittemore | East Nelson Church | 9024 18 Mile Rd | Cedar Springs MI. 49319

Raising canaries is an interesting hobby. I read that one of the most difficult parts of taking care of canaries is trimming the bird’s nails. You have to catch the bird and gently cradle it in your palm and your last three fingers (while holding each ankle one at a time between your forefinger and thumb). 

You then carefully cut each toenail but just don’t cut it too short or leave it too long. It is a carefully executed process. You can’t grab at the bird because that will scare it. You can’t squeeze the bird because that will hurt it. But you also can’t hold it so loosely that it tries to get away and hurts its fragile self in the process.

It is a bit like the scene of Mary Magdalene on the morning of the first Easter. Meeting the risen Jesus was, for Mary Magdalene, sort of like holding a canary. When she saw the risen Lord, her first thought was to run to him and grab hold of him and hold on to him tight and never let him get away. 

But in her heart she knew that he could not stay. He told her he was going to the Father. She had followed Jesus for some time now. She had heard Jesus’ invitation, “Repent and believe in the Gospel, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” She’d followed and heard and had repented and believed and she was a changed person for it.

This invitation to “Repent and believe in the Gospel, for the Kingdom of God is at hand“ continues to echo today to all who wish to experience true transformation of the deepest kind. It is the good news that brings hope to all. 

In that one incredible encounter at the garden tomb, God created space around Jesus and Mary, enough for Mary to be able to know that the Lord had risen just as he had promised. She stayed with him as long as he was there. And then, when he was gone, she went and told the others what she had seen and what Jesus had said to her. She was privileged to be the first to announce the Good News that Jesus had not died, but truly lived.  

Every year, this piece of history (his story) moves us along from searching in sadness, to incredible disbelief, and finally to immense joy. And that’s another reason I love canaries. Canaries’ songs are joyful. Canaries remind me that even while they are fragile and delicate their song is strong. Let us hold on to the joy throughout Eastertide—the 50 days from Easter until Pentecost and even longer. Let’s not hold on too tight that we keep it only to ourselves. Let us not hold so loosely that we casually let the meaning of Easter fly away. How about we continue to rejoice in the resurrection by holding the story up for all to see.  

Let us be like Mary and rejoice and sing out, “I have seen the Lord! (John 20:18 NIV)

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Richard C. Mockerman, age 64, of Morley passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 surrounded by his wife and many family and friends. Rick is survived by his wife, Shirley; children, Bella Mockerman, Bridgett (Jimmy) Holmes, Rob Mockerman, Rick (Amy) Mockerman, Amanda Hunt; stepchildren, Melissa Stout (Pat Keating), Alex Phipps; mother, Bernadine Poling; siblings, Teckla (Mike) Lane, Wahneta (Chuck) Cornell, Sandy Finney, Lisa Russell, Fred Mockerman; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters-in-law. Rick was a great man and was loved by so many, he enjoyed laughing, being a mechanic and fixing most anything. He loved his family, most of all his wife and children. The family will greet friends Saturday, May 18 from 1:00 p.m. until time of service at 2:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 248 N. Cass St., Morley. Pastor Steve Finn officiating. A luncheon will be held at the Deerfield Hall, 369 Jefferson, Morley following the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Funeral Home to help with funeral expenses. 

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

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Denise L. Fisk, age 59, of Trufant, died Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at her home. Denise was born August 24, 1959 in Grand Rapids, MI the daughter of Ross and Laura “Kathy” (Hamilton) Fisk. She has been paramedic for Montcalm County EMS and a paramedic instructor. She enjoyed sports, her dogs and rock collecting. She loved the outdoors, wildlife and watching the deer and birds. Surviving are her parents; Ross and Kathy Fisk; sisters, Shellie Chilcote, Jill (Dan) Singleton; brothers, Brent (Kate) Fisk, Jack (Kacie) Fisk; special friend, Terri Duzenbury; many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by a sister, Nadine and brother-in-law, Timothy Chilcote. The family will greet friends Friday, May 17 from 6-8 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the service will be held Saturday, May 18 at 11:00 a.m. Pastor Rick Malone officiating. Private interment in Solon Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Spectrum Health Hospice or Huggard Bible Church.

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

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September 4, 1953 – April 24, 2019

Ralph Dietrich, of Cedar Springs Michigan, born on September 4, 1953 in Mercy Hospital Manistee, Michigan, to Sally (Jim) Wiley and the late Paul Dietrich, passed away peacefully at the age of 65 on April 24, 2019 at Spectrum Grand Rapids, Michigan, after a long battle with Parkinson’s. Ralph served in the Air Force and he also worked at K&M Dodge as a mechanic. Ralph was the beloved husband of Denise. He was preceded in death by his son Matthew. Ralph is survived by his son, Paul (Trisha); daughter, Heather Kaver; stepson, Michael; stepdaughters, Sara and Christina; brothers, David (Gretchen), Tom (Kelly), Daniel (Sharon); sisters, Paula (Schultheis) and Karen Rice; 8 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. We will always carry your memories in our heart. Friends and family members attended a memorial service on Monday, April 29th at 1 p.m. at Resurrection Church, 3233 10 Mile Rd., Rockford, Michigan.

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Joan C. Reed

August 7, 1931—May 13, 2004

If roses grow in heaven

If roses grow in heaven, Lord

Please pick a bunch for me.

Place them in my Mother’s arms

and tell her they’re from me.

Tell her I love her and miss her,

and when she turns to smile,

place a kiss upon her cheek

and hold her for a while.

Because remembering her is easy,

I do it everyday,

But there is an ache within my heart

That will never go away.

With love from your family

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