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Archive | Church Connection

Happy 80th Birthday Shirley Pitsch

23C B-day PitschHappy Birthday Shirley Pitsch… Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Friend, Businesswoman, Mejier Store Greeter…. On June 12, Shirley (Brooks) Pitsch will be celebrating her 80th Birthday. This wonderful milestone is celebrated the same year as her 60th wedding anniversary to her husband Albert. Shirley and Al raised 11 children on their fruit farm in Rockford. With grandchildren and great grandchildren, the family now numbers over 50! The couple has served the community with various complimentary businesses from a cyder mill and shop in Squires Street, to retail and wholesale fruit packing and sales in Rockford and Sparta. Today Miss Shirley or “the penny lady”, as she’s known to the children of Cedar Springs, has worked as a greeter at the Cedar Springs Meijer for five years. Since the store opened, she has offered pennies to the children for rides on Sandy, the pony at Meijer. To all who walk through the store doors, she offers a sincere welcome and even kind words and a hug to those who need it. Shirley is endeared by all who have had the pleasure to have been hugged by her throughout her life of caring for those around her. Her family is her foundation. In addition to her partnership with her husband in running the family’s fruit businesses,Shirley has been a successful business woman. This includes being the first woman ever to be appointed by the governor to serve as a member of the Michigan Apple Committee. Anyone who would like to offer their best wishes to Shirley are invited to leave her a message at HappyBirthdayShirleyP@gmail.com (The Post printed a column by Pastor, Tom Holloway, in 2011 where he expressed his admiration for Shirley.)

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Moving on from mistakes

Pastor Jim Alblas

Pioneer Christian Reformed Church

Cedarfield Community Center • 3592 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs

Cedarfield Community room

 

On a few occasions in my life I’ve made the mistake of forgetting to roll up my car windows before a rainstorm. It’s always a terrible feeling to get ready to go somewhere only to realize that your seat is soaked! But sometimes in life the mistakes we make are much more serious. I’d like to share with you an example of a regrettable matter that came from Peter, one of Jesus disciples.

When Jesus had been arrested and led on a series of early morning trials, Peter followed from a distance to see what would happen to his master. Peter saw Jesus beaten, slapped, spit on, insulted and told that He was worthy of death. Soon after, someone noticed Peter watching all of this and questioned whether or not he was one of Jesus disciples, but Peter said no. A little while later another person questioned him about this and again he denied any connection to Jesus. A third time Peter was accused in this way and a third time he disassociated himself from Jesus. Peter’s disowning of Jesus was very sad, especially when we consider how well he did know Jesus and how much Jesus had done with and for Peter. It’s no surprise, then, that immediately afterwards Peter went out and wept bitterly in regret.

For many of us, we can identify with Peter’s experience. Certainly, we have all done things to hurt others, even people that we love. And perhaps, like with Peter, we feel very guilty about it. Maybe it’s hard for us to enjoy these nice sunny days we’ve had because we still dwell on our mistake. Is there any hope for mistake-prone people who do regrettable things? The answer is yes.

After His trials, death upon the cross and eventual resurrection from the dead, Jesus made it a point to talk with Peter knowing what he had done. Three times Jesus asked the question “Peter, do you love me?” Perhaps Jesus asked him three times as a reminder of how Peter had denied Him three times. When Peter answered yes, Jesus told him to Feed His Sheep and take Care of His Lambs. Jesus probably didn’t have any real sheep or lambs, but he was speaking figuratively. What Jesus was communicating to Peter was that He wanted him to work as a shepherd, caring for the spiritual and material needs of people. That Jesus offers Peter this job showed that Peter was forgiven and there was still a future for him. As it turned out, Peter’s regrettable actions were not the end of him, but rather a turning point for something special heading forward.

In the same way, our mistakes don’t have to be the end of us. When we confess our sins to God, when we repent of our regrettable ways, The Lord offers His forgiveness to us, and, a bright outlook for future service to Him. Don’t dwell on your mistakes and stay trapped; instead, dwell on The Lord’s grace and use that as a springboard to do better and brighter things for Him moving forward.

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Marguerite Lynn Totten

C-BIRTH-Totten-web

Marguerite Lynn Totten was born May 2, 2014 to her loving parents Benjamin Sr. and Jennifer and big brother Benjamin Jr. She weighed 8 lb. 4 oz and was 19 inches long.

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DANIEL A MARVIN

Daniel A. Marvin 57 went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, May 23, 2014. Daniel was born April 18, 1957 in Kalamazoo, Michigan the son of Donald and Ruth (Piper) Marvin. Surviving are his sons, Ben (Maryellen) Marvin, Steve (Patty) Marvin; father, Don (Linda) Marvin; brothers, Dave (Jeannie) Marvin, Tim (Bonnie) Marvin, Tom Marvin, Jon Marvin, Jody (Tina) Marvin; 2 grandchildren, James & EmmaLee; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Ruth Nichols. The family will greet friends Saturday, May 31 from 10:00 am until time of service at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church, 233 S. Main, Cedar Springs. Pastor Gene Hawkins officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to GLC Hope Ministries, 1015 E. Washington St., Greenville, MI 48838.

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

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DOROTHY A. ZANK

C-obit-ZankDorothy A. Zank 90 of Cedar Springs, Michigan went home to be with Jesus Sunday, May 25, 2014. She was born October 3, 1923 in Solon Township, Michigan the daughter of Henry and Edith (Clemens) Zank. Dorothy lived most of her life in Cedar Springs. After graduation from high school, she worked in the factory at Wolverine World Wide supporting herself for over 44 years. This was an amazing feat considering she was legally blind from birth. Dorothy was a dedicated Christian from an early age. She loved to sing Gospel Music and was in several trios and quartets. She shared recently, that she sang at many, many funerals. Now she has joined heaven’s choir. Dorothy was a kind, generous, caring, loving person, and will be dearly missed by all who knew her. She is survived by her sister, Marjorie Cole; sister-in-law, Dorothy T. Zank; several nieces, nephews and many dear friends. Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, brother, James Zank; sister, Delores Eldred; brothers-in-law, Preston Cole and Vernon Eldred; niece, Carol Eldred Tiede; and dear friend, Linnie Sickmiller. Visitation was held Thursday, May 29 from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home Cedar Springs. The funeral service will be Friday, May 30 at 1:00 pm at Pilgrim Bible Church, 361 Pine St.,Cedar Springs. Pastor Michael Shiery officiating. Interment at Elmwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to the Pilgrim Bible Church, Hospice of Michigan or African Inland Mission in support of her great-niece, Tianne Cole now serving in Sudan. Please share memories and sign the online guest book at www.blisswitterspike.com

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

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Makoto Kamekawa

EPSON scanner imageMakoto Kamekawa, 82, of Sand Lake, passed away Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at his home. Makoto was born December 3, 1932 in Yokosuka, Japan, the son of Yorozu and Toyo (Osada) Kamekawa. He graduated from Yokosuka Technical High School in Japan and had studied at Illinois Institute of Technology Graduate School. He was an original member of the design team for Toyota Sports 800 and other Toyota cars. He had won numerous awards for all sorts of designs. Surviving are his wife, Fumiko whom he married on Nov. 3, 1956; daughter, Yuko Roberts; grandchildren, Amber, Matthew, Ariel, Melody, April and Noah Roberts; sister, Yoko Saito. Private family services will be held. Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home,  Cedar Springs.

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GREGORY K. MAC DONALD

21C-mem-Mac-Donald

March 25, 1947 – May 24, 2013

 

Calm and peaceful he is sleeping!

Sweetest rest that follows pain.

We who loved him sadly miss him,

But trust in God to meet again.

 

Loved and missed by your loving wife Joan

Ron and family

James and family

 

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WAYNE EUGENE SURVANT

Wayne Eugene Survant, 85, of Cedar Springs, Michigan, formerly of Rocky Ford, Colorado and Whittemore, Michigan passed away on Monday, May 19, 2014. Wayne was born August 18, 1928 in Branson, Colorado the son of Eugene and Mabel (Stephenson) Survant. He was a lifelong cowboy and was still participating in cutting competitions into his 80’s. He was passionate about quarter horses, rodeos, and 4H fairs. He will be missed by his family and friends. Surviving are his children; Gerald (Rebecca) Survant, Janice Drayton, Michael (Sue) Survant; 8 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Dolores; daughter, Lori Ann and a brother. A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 24 at 3:00 pm at the United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main, Cedar Springs. Pastor Mary Ivanov officiating. Interment of cremains will be in Colorado.

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

 

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Remember those who served

Pastor Darryl Miller  

Sand Lake UMC, 65 W. Maple, Sand Lake

South Ensley UMC, 13600 Cypress, Ensley Township 

 

 “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” Matthew 20:28 (NIV).  

It’s hard to imagine that in a couple of months we will observe the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War—the “War to end all Wars.” And in a couple of days we will observe Memorial day. For too many this day, Memorial Day, simply marks the beginning of summer. Now before we go any farther, please understand that this is not a discussion of the morality or immorality of war. Instead I want to remind us that it is because of the sacrifice made by thousands of men and women that we are able to celebrate our faith.

Many of us have relatives who have served. Some are still alive, most are not. Some came home from their service, some did not. But I am sure that all of them felt that they were serving the people back home and were willing to sacrifice themselves to protect us all from any harm. It is because of brave men and women who decided that this country should be a place of freedom, so much so that they were willing to put everything on the line, that our country was formed so we were allowed to worship freely. And it is because of the sacrifice of many more today that we are still able to do so.

There are still places in the world today where people can be tortured or killed for worshipping the Christian God. We sometimes forget how blessed we are to have the freedoms that we do. Remember that true freedom comes from God. And true freedom is not only worth dying for but it is worth living for. We should remember to live our lives each day sharing the true freedom that Salvation gives us. We do not need to join the service to be in service. We are in service every day—serving our community by living our lives as Jesus taught us. By feeding the hungry, both spiritually and physically, giving drink to the thirsty, from the well of living water as well as the faucet and by giving them freedom, freedom from the oppression of sin in their lives by introducing them to the one who can take those sins away.

So I thank all of you who serve, whether in the military, or in God’s fields. Your work is appreciated and your service is a blessing. This week, if you know someone who served in the military, be sure to thank them for their service. And thank all those who serve God’s people with actions, words and love.

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Turn around

Solon-Center-WesPastor Tom Holloway

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs (just north of 19 Mile)

 

As I write this article I am coming off of preaching my “Mother’s Day” sermon, and trying to encourage the mothers in our church to turn around and take notice of the things around you that you might miss. Not the kinds of things like a spot on the carpet, or the dust on a ceiling fan. Instead we are talking about the things that aren’t obvious until you put on a new type of lens—a spiritual lens you might say.

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Corinth tells them this…

2 Corinthians 3:15-18 “15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

When we turn to the Lord, when we make a choice to follow after Jesus, we get a gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we receive that gift, the lens that we look through will change. That lens will allow us to see with new eyes, and we will then be able to see what God wants us to see, not only about ourselves (it does that in the form of encouragement when we need it, correction when we need it, and joy when we need it) but it also gives us a heart for others.

What I challenged the mothers in our congregation to do is the same thing I’m challenging you with today. Who needs your attention? Who needs encouragement? What or who have you been avoiding, even though you keep feeling this prodding to get involved? Turn around and get involved.

I think that once you see with new eyes, you will see a change in not only the things you see but the person you are becoming. You will not only affect the change in those around you, but the change will be in you. There are so many needs in the Cedar Springs community, so many hurting and needy families and children. What is God calling you to get involved in? How can you help? How can you be the change agent in those that God is putting in your path?  Turn around and look with new lenses!

 

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