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Archive | Church Connection

Finding your place in the body of Christ

Pastor Mike Shiery

Pilgrim Bible Church

West Pine Street | Cedar Springs

“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:27) (NKJV)

A few weeks ago our family was privileged to spend a few days in the Niagara Falls area. It was a much needed time of rest and relaxation and we happily let ourselves get caught up in some of the tourist trap offerings that go with that area. Of course one of the major highlights of the trip was the time spent right at the Falls itself. We walked around, viewed the Falls from both the American and Canadian sides, took pictures, enjoyed watching the color display at night, and we will always remember the awesome experience of riding the Maid of the Mist as close to the Falls as you can get by water.

That morning, after we disembarked from the boat, we walked over to the edge of the American side and followed the path along the side of the Falls, My wife and children went further up the path, but I stayed toward the bottom of the path and was enjoying the view from that angle. As I stood there, watching the magnificent sight of thousands of gallons of water spilling over the precipice and crashing with a mighty roar onto the boulders below, I was struck by the sight of something that seemed a little strange. Just a few feet away from that awesome cascade of water, was another tiny rivulet of water trickling down a small rut of rocks on the dry land bordering the Falls.

Compared to the beauty and power of the Falls just a few feet away, it seemed a bit ludicrous and insignificant. The scope of its size and strength was dwarfed by the Falls until in comparison it seemed like a grasshopper standing next to an elephant. But I watched as that little stream of water quietly made its way down the slope and slipped into the Niagara River, while the furious torrent of the Falls did the same just a few feet away. Then united, they ran downstream until that river spilled out into Lake Ontario just a few miles away.

There is a truth here that speaks to our lives. Paul, in our text, spoke of the fact that as believers we are all one body in Christ. In the following verses he pointed out that every part of the body is important and plays a vital role. For a human body to function perfectly as designed we need all our parts. Eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet, fingers, toes, and internal organs work together to accomplish the miracle of life. It is possible for the human body to function without certain parts, but it certainly makes life much more challenging.

In a spiritual sense, every member of the body of Christ is important. The book of Acts repeatedly shows us that if you are a believer, you are the church in action. It is true that some people, because of their abilities or position, seem to garner more attention. They are the Falls cascading onto the rocks with excitement and power and everyone seems to ooh and aah about what they do.

But there are many more people who are the quiet rivulets silently slipping into the river who are just as important. They are not as noticeable, seemingly not as exciting, but they play a vital role in filling their place in the Kingdom of God. They may not stand up in church and speak or sing, but they are the ones doing the small but significant jobs that impact the church and the community around them. They clean the sanctuary, mow the grass, run the bus routes, and connect with their neighbor over a cup of coffee. They help grieving families, take a plate of cookies to the new people moving into the area, fix a meal for a shut-in, and volunteer their time and energy at Alpha Women’s Center, North Kent Connect, and many other worthy charities. And they do it all, willingly and cheerfully, simply because they love God and love people.

So find your spot in the family, in the body of Christ. Whether it’s big or small, your help is needed to move the Kingdom forward and make the world around you a better place.

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MITCHELL E. POTES

Mitchell E. Potes age 67 of Grand Rapids, passed away Monday, September 18, 2017 at his home. He was born May 6, 1950 in Rockford, Michigan to Benjamin W. & Alice (Teesdale) Potes. He entered into the U.S. Navy after graduation and served for six years. He worked and managed several restaurants in Rockford. He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer (David) Elwood and granddaughter, Emma; sisters, Thelma (Marlin) Christensen, Sheryl (Bob) Harvey; brothers, John (Debbie) Potes, Rick (Sara) Potes; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his twin sons, Ronald and Donald and brother, Benjamin Potes. Cremation has taken place. The family held private services.

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

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MURIEL JOYCE BURKE

 

Muriel Joyce Burke, age 88 of Grand Rapids, passed away Sunday, September 17, 2017. Joyce was born July 5, 1929 in Cedar Springs, Michigan the daughter of Vern and Blanche (Hessenius) Moore. She was preceded in death by her husband, James (Sparky) Burke; son, Jimmy; four sisters and two brothers. Surviving are her children, Shirley (Leon) Avery, David Burke, Timothy (Darlene) Burke, Steven (Heather) Burke; special daughter-in-law, Deborah (Charlie) O’Hanesian; stepchildren, Jacob Callen, Jennifer (Chad) Cunningham; grandchildren, Mike (Erin) Avery, Josh (Julia) Avery, TJ (Trisha) Burke, Naomi Burke, Tyler Burke, Stacia (Jonathan) Bridges, Brendan Burke and Ethan Burke; great-granddaughter, Presley Avery; special friend, Barb (Burns) Plank; many nieces and nephews. The family will greet friends Monday, September 25th from 11:00 a.m. until time of memorial service at 12 noon at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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

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MERANDA LYNN BAGUSS

Meranda Lynn Baguss, 33 of Sand Lake, died Friday, September 15, 2017 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Meranda was born August 17, 1984 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2003 and was attending Montcalm Community College. She had worked at Spectrum Health Butterworth on 7-South for 10 years. She was a beautiful mother, very kind hearted and always put others ahead of herself. She will be greatly missed. Surviving are her twin sons, Tony Lee Anthony III, Chauncey James Anthony; significant other, Tony Lee Anthony II; mother, Jamie Fischer; sisters, Kimberly Brassel, Jenna Worthy; grandfather, Jerry Baguss; aunts, uncles and cousins. She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Gay Baguss. The family will greet friends today, Thursday, September 21 from 5-7 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs where the time will conclude with a service at 7:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to a gofundme for expenses at https://www.gofundme.com/jn5a88-meranda-baguss-tony-chauncey

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

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PAULA L. ALLEN

January 10, 1968 – September 22, 2007

It’s been ten years since we lost you.

We miss your smile, wit and compassion you had for others.

We miss you more than words can say.

Whenever we see a sunset or a heart we are reminded of how special you are to us.

Love, Mom & Dad 

Angie, Duane & Katie Bittner

Eric & Melody Allen and Jim Maxwell

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What are you being called to do?

Pastor Inge Whittemore

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024 18 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

 

Hello and happy fall! Well, truth be told, I am sad that summer is drawing to an end because I love the long days and warm evenings. Yet September brings us to many new activities and our ambitions are quickened and we get back into our routines and there is actually some joy in that. I believe many parents of young children especially appreciate it.

The fall brings about a renewed focus on the activities of the church since everyone is returning from summer vacations and the routine sets in. Kid ministries start up, including the KidzClub here at East Nelson Church on Thursday evenings. Mission trip planning gets into full gear. High school youth begin meeting. It’s a lot of fun to watch the joy that comes from community activities.

September is a great time for each of us to recommit once again to what the Spirit might be calling us to do. Might a Bible study group be calling to you? How about a recommitment to daily devotions? Maybe there’s a new sense of calling to attend regular worship? Are you feeling called to begin some new ministry?

We read that Jesus told his disciples that discipleship requires commitment and then we take that and begin to worry that a commitment might be a cross that we could not possibly bear. But, if we try to do this on our own and try to figure out ways to do this all by ourselves, we can get all tangled up! Jesus told his disciples “for mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God, all things are possible.” Let’s open ourselves to the working of the Holy Spirit and answer the call on our lives.

The terrific news is that the Holy Spirit is at work all the time. The work of the Holy Spirit is in leading and guiding us, counseling and inspiring us. When we feel called yet worry that we can’t do it or we simply don’t have the time, just listen to the words of Jesus and understand that we are not in this all by ourselves. The Holy Spirit will give us the strength to work together and we will be given the ability to support each other. We will be able to do the work of our church communities.

So, should you think you can’t, open yourself to the workings of the Holy Spirit and you will be filled by the amazing action of God in your life.

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MAXINE ELLEN KNOX

Maxine Ellen Knox age 89 of Belmont, our beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother passed away Saturday, September 9, 2017 at Sanctuary of St. Mary’s. She was born January 28, 1928 in Ensley Twp. to Hans and Hilda (Larson) Hanson. She attended Howard City High School and graduated in 1947. She enjoyed singing, dancing, cooking for all occasions, watching sunsets, and tending flowers in her garden. She worked at the GM Alpine plant for 32 ½ years. After retiring she moved to Belmont, MI where she enjoyed her family and wonderful friends including her best friend and companion, Ralph Bosgraff. She loved bringing joy to others and her kindness and love was felt by whomever she met.  She is survived by her son, Stephen and Denise Knox; daughter-in-law, Kay Knox; grandchildren, Kyle (Katie) Knox, Kristine (Ehren) Dollberg, Craig Knox and Christa Knox and many great grandchildren; sister, Shirley (Jack) Hanes; brother-in-law, Loren Frey; several nieces, nephews, cousins and precious friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald; her baby girl; son, Stan Knox; grandson, Cory Knox; sisters, Pauline (Norman) Kranz, Violet Frey, Lorraine (Fay) Gordon. The service was held on Wednesday, September 13 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. Pastor Paul Frey, officiating. Interment North Ensley Cemetery. The family would like to thank the Sanctuary of Saint Mary’s for the compassionate care Maxine received in her final days. Memorial contributions may be made to South Ensley Methodist Church or charity of one’s choice. Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs.

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ROBERT HAVENS

 

passed away August 29, 2017 surrounded by his children. Bob was an active outdoorsman who loved hiking, fishing, camping, panning for gold, hunting, sunsets, the Great Lakes, and story telling. He will be remembered for his engaging debates, his ability to fix anything and his love of history. Bob spent winters in Golden Valley, Arizona followed by summers in Michigan with family. He is survived by his children Michelle (Rick) Wernet, Michael Havens, Mitchell (Carolyn) Havens; special friend Valerie Adams; grandchildren Marc, Kurt (Caitlin), Trevor and Ali Wernet, Cody Havens; great-grandchildren William and Kensley; and brother-in-law Dave DeBruyn. Bob was preceded in death by his wife Charlotte, friend Gloria Mulholland and sister Nancy (Dave) DeBruyn. A celebration of life was held Friday, September 15, 2017 at Caledonia Lakeside Park pavilion, 370 N. Lake St. SE, Caledonia, MI 49316. The family received visitors from 6-7pm followed by a memorial at 7pm. The family wishes to express their gratitude for the nurses and doctors involved in his care this summer, especially his nurse Anna. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Bob’s name to the American Cancer Society.

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Thank you

Thank the Lord for sending his angels of protection to watch over me when I was in a car accident on White Creek Avenue last Wednesday night, September, 6th.  It was a very scary thing to have someone’s headlights coming at me in my lane and swerving off the road to avoid hitting the oncoming car head on. I know I ended up in the ditch and totaled my car but it could have been a lot worse if I had hit the car head on. Too bad the driver of the other car never stopped, I don’t even know if they even were aware of what happened.

Thank you to the kind couple that stopped to help me after my accident. You were very kind and helpful and I appreciate it very much. Thank you to Rockford Ambulance for getting me to Spectrum Butterworth where I got checked over and nothing was broken, just bruised pretty good. I’m doing much better now.  Thank you to my husband, Michael Sanderson for coming to my aid so quickly and being by my side at the hospital. Thank you to all the doctors and nurses that helped take care of me.

With many thanks, 

Belinda Sanderson

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BETTY JANE PATTERSON

 

Betty Jane Patterson 94, of Rockford, Michigan died Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at Metron of Belding. Betty was born February 14, 1923 in Coral, Michigan the daughter of Gaylor & Elsie (Zenk) Lytle. She is survived by her children, Shirley DeYoung and Sandra Frandsen; grandchildren, Paul (Tiff) DeYoung, Cory (Charleigh) Frandsen, Andrea (Michael) VanSetters, Austin (Amber) Frandsen; great-granddaughter, Ashtynn and a great-grandson on the way. She was preceded in death by her husband Carroll in 1997; brothers, Alfred “Al” Lytle and Bruce Rasmussen and son-in-law, Tom DeYoung. The family will greet friends Sunday 2-4 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be Monday 10 a.m. at the Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church. Pastors Kim DeLong and Chuck Smith officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the church.

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

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