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Archive | Church Connection

Janice Graves

 

Janice Graves age 65 of Morley passed away on October 30 at Spectrum Health Butterworth Campus. She was born March 27, 1949 the daughter of Charles and Arlyle (Plumb) Phipps. During her working years she worked in customer service, a waitress and even day care. The last fourteen years she has worked for Rite Aid in Cedar Springs. She enjoyed bowling, camping, golfing and kayaking. Janice was a member of the Cedar Springs UMC. She loved spending time with family and friends. In 1988 she married Robert Graves who survives. Also surviving are her Mother Arlyle Phipps of Greenville; children Ronda Smith of Cedar Springs, Bill (Kim) Shepard of Cedar Springs, Bob (Cecelia) Graves of Kalamazoo, Dawn (John) Kennebeck of Whitehall, Ken (Cheryl) Graves of Howard City; Several grandchildren and several great-grandchildren; Her loving pet dog Spanky; Three brothers Gale Phipps, Alex Phipps, and Craig Phipps; Five sisters Delberta Windiate, Ethel Palmer, Geneva Dean, Valerie Green, Cheryl Hellar; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father and a brother Jerry and sister-in-law Dixie. Funeral services will take place on Tuesday at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church with Pastor Steve Lindeman officiating. Visitation will take place on Sunday from 4-6 pm and on Monday from 6-8 pm and prior to services at the church on Tuesday.

 

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The Lesson of the Blue Jay

The Rev. David Meyers

Holy Spirit Episcopal Church

1200 Post Dr., Belmont, MI  49306

 

 

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I stopped at one of the many harvest markets in the area. Committed to supporting our local farmers and orchardists, we loaded up our car with all sorts of goodies. One of our purchases was a nice bunch of Indian corn. What lovely reds, oranges, blacks and yellows on those ears! With careful arranging, a nice bow, and florist wire, it looked beautiful hanging outside, next to our back door.

This week, as I was backing out of the driveway, a big, beautiful, bold blue jay swooped down from the trees and landed on that prized bunch of corn. He thought we had sent out invitations and prepared a feast for him. Upon closer look, I noticed this was not his first visit. One of the ears was entirely stripped of kernels. While I was tempted to shoo the bird away, I started chuckling at the lesson of the blue jay.

What better use for that beautiful decoration than to feed God’s creatures? Sometimes we put much thought into the frills and decorations of our lives, forgetting that there could be more important needs. I know I like to adorn my life with extras and luxuries, occasionally forgetting that some others are concerned with basic survival. That is not to deny the validity of beauty in our lives. “Art for art’s sake” is a legitimate goal. It is important, however, to examine what we have and how we employ it. Maybe we treasure too many things that could be put to better use. This is an important question that should be asked, knowing that there are wonderful resources in our cupboards, our buildings, in our bank accounts. It is prudent to weigh the private satisfaction our possessions provide with the possibility that God may have another idea—a higher purpose.

The Gospels talk about not burying our talents, not keeping our lights under a bushel, not letting our salt lose its taste. Jesus told us if we had a couple of coats, we should give one away to the person who has none. Those are pretty important lessons. People easily get overly focused on the fluff of life. Christians have to be mindful of the stewardship of possessions. We have to ask ourselves, “Where will the corn do the most good?”

I know I got more pleasure watching that old blue jay gobble up my Indian corn than I ever did when it hung quietly on the side of the house.

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NATALIE GRACE BENNETT

C-Birth-Bennett-web

 

Kirk Bennett, Lacey Wyn, big sister Dalanee and big brother Brody of Grant are welcoming home their daughter, Natalie Grace. She was born on October 11, 2014 at 9:03 pm. Little Natalie weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 21 ¼  inches long. Proud grandparents are Karen and Gene Bennett, Betty and Larry Wyn. Great-grandparents are Ann and Ken Mitz, Leona and Art Bennett, Linda and Lloyde Combs. Great great-grandparents are Christina and Clifford Wright and Myrtle Bean.

 

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Happy 90th Birthday

C-BDay-Nielsen

ALGER NIELSEN

 

The family of Alger Nielsen, retired Cedar Springs High School teacher and coach, invites you to help celebrate his 90th birthday at an Open House on Saturday, November 8th from 4:30 to 8:30 pm, at the D.B.S. Community Center in downtown Trufant, MI. A supper buffet will be served from 5 to 7 pm. Join us for a great evening, but NO GIFTS, please!

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TIMMY BROWN

C-MEM-Brown

October 7, 1982 – November 4th, 2005

 

Because of love you remain with us,

For love itself lives on.

Our cherished memories will never fade,

No matter how long you’re gone.

Because of love we can never part.

For as long as there are memories,

You will always live on, in our hearts.

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ALICE MAE HOLTON

C-MEM-HoltonOctober 31, 1927 to October 21, 2013

 

Those we hold closest to our hearts never truly leave us. They live on in the kindness they’ve shared and the love they brought into our lives. You gave all of us these gifts in abundance.

 

Lovingly remembered and missed by your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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Thank you

 

Thank you so very much for the lovely cards and flowers that were sent to me from friends and relatives during my recent illness.

 

Ruth I. Andrus

 

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Thank You

We would like to thank all our friends and relatives that attended our 50th Anniversary party on September 7th. A special thank you to our children and sisters for all the planning and work they did. The food was delicious! A big thank you again for a day to remember.

 

God Bless you all

Jim and Verna Smigiel

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The Trick to the Treats

By Ronnie McBrayer

By Ronnie McBrayer

That faint noise you hear is the sound of pint-sized spooks gathering on your lawn. They will soon be knocking at the door, plastic pumpkins outstretched. Spare yourself the tricks and give up the treats – the unhealthy, sweet, nougat-filled goodies in your cupboard. Keep your stinking apples, raisins, toothbrushes, and granola bars. In a few short years the tykes will have to turn in their costumes, so don’t deprive them of this rite of childhood passage.

This doesn’t mean adults don’t get in on the fun. Americans spend nearly $3 billion each Halloween, not on adorning their children for the festivities, but on themselves. Adults love to play dress-up, it would appear, and not just in October.

We all hide behind masks, masks we have worn for so long, we forget the real person who lurks beneath. We so over-identify with our dress-up characters, that is the roles we play in life, that when the roles change—and they will change—we experience miserable frustration.

One Halloween my son dressed as the cartoon spaceman Buzz Lightyear for Halloween. It was fun—“To infinity and beyond!”—and that’s how long I thought the boy would wear the costume. In his mind, this wasn’t a temporary role he was playing. Buzz Lightyear was who he really was. Every time he had to lay aside his costume, it was the proverbial end of the world with weeping and gnashing of teeth. It was as if he was losing himself, as if he couldn’t live apart from that imaginary facade. Of course the real him was beneath that rayon spacesuit—everybody knew it—except him.

This is a common affliction. We build dramatic images of ourselves, who we think we are, who we should be, what we should accomplish, and once constructed, these have to be maintained and protected. We never let a tear or a crack show in our veneer, and the mask to which we cling slowly becomes a prison. We go through life kicking and screaming every time a perceived threat begins to pull at the hem of our make-believe cape.

Here’s a better way: Fulfill the roles that God, fate, or life has assigned to you. Fulfill them with gusto. But never accept the masks you must wear as a substitute for the person you really are; that’s the trick to a sweet life.

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

 

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JOHN J. GOLLER

C-obit-GollerMr. John J. Goller, aged 89, formerly of Rockford passed away Friday October 17, 2014. He was born June 16, 1925 in Solon Township, attended the former Briggs School and Cedar Springs High School. During WW II he served with the 35th Division, US Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was a member of the Rockford United Methodist Church, V.F.W. Post 3946 and Glenn Hill American Legion Post 287. Surviving are his wife Peggy; his sons and their wives John M. (Debra) Goller and David (Deborah) Goller; his grandchildren Andrea (Erich) Staman, Lynee’ (Pete) Buhl, Aelise Goller, Amy (Steve) VanBeekom, John D. Goller, Kathleen Goller; he was preceded in death by two brothers and one sister. Funeral services for Mr. Goller were held on Tuesday October 21, 2014 at 11:00 am in the Rockford United Methodist Church. Visitation was held on Monday, October 20th from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Pederson Funeral Home. Those desiring an expression of sympathy are asked to consider with the Rockford United Methodist Church or the Michigan Home for Veteran’s, 3000 Monroe N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49505.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home

www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

 

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