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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs United Methodist Church"

Church to celebrate 145 years


Looking at photos of Cedar Springs from the mid to late 1800s, you can’t help but notice the church with the towering spire at the corner of Church and Main Street. While the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church no longer looks like it did then, it is still integral part of the community today.
The church, located at 140 S. Main Street invites everyone to come celebrate their 145th Anniversary on Sunday, October 23, at a special program and ice cream social at 3:00 p.m.
“What a blessing to celebrate God’s faithfulness and the witness of so many faithful people over so many years,” said Pastor Mary Ivanov.
According to the Cedar Springs Story, by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, the first sermon preached in Cedar Springs was in the summer of 1855, by a Methodist Episcopal preacher, Rev. W.W. Johnson. On October 6, 1866, the Methodist Episcopal Society of Cedar Springs was organized, and the Cedar Springs Circuit served the following outpoints: Pierson, Black Creek, North Nelson, Pine Lake, Horton School House, White Swan, and Courtland Center.  In September 1869 all the outpoints except Pine Lake were dropped off, and the Cedar Springs charge was formed with Rev. John Graham as pastor.
Initially classrooms were held in the village school house. Melvin J. Clark, a prominent lumberman of Cedar Springs, offered to furnish the lumber to build the church, provided that it would be a certain size, height, etc., and that they would buy the lot for the building before noon that same day. C.B. Moon, a lumberman at Pine Lake, happened in town that morning. The preacher told him of the offer that had been made by Mel Clark. Mr. Moon went that morning and purchased the lot where the present church now stands on the northeast corner of Church and Main.  The cornerstone was laid August 17, 1870 and the church was dedicated June 7, 1871. It cost $6,000 and was the tallest building north of Grand Rapids.
Over the years it underwent several remodeling and repair jobs. But it was all lost on January 27, 1946, when the church was completely destroyed by fire.  The Cedar Springs Story relates that the blaze was discovered by the Jack McCoy family who lived next door. The Clipper newspaper gave the following account: “Hundreds of citizens stood in the cold of early morning as the church, second oldest house of worship in Cedar Springs, lost form and shape in the consuming blaze. The beautiful stained-glass windows gave out a hollow cry as they cracked and shattered, and a raucous clang rent the air as the belfry toppled and the bell, which had called people to worship for more than three-quarters of a century, fell to the snow-covered ground with knell-like thud.”
The book said the origin of the fire was apparently in the chimney and was attributed to an over-heated furnace. Many citizens joined the firemen in fighting the fire, and Rev. Paul Lowry, pastor of the church, grief-stricken at the rapid devastation of the church, worked with the fire fighters.
The congregation made plans to build a basement, and in the meantime, services were held in the Cedar Springs State Bank and the Dr. J.H. Teusink’s office building.  The cornerstone of the new church was laid Sunday afternoon November 17, 1946. On June 29, 1947, a unit opening service was held in the basement of the present church. After a few years the present church was built and held its first service on Easter Sunday, 1955.
The church is still active in the community today, and provides a variety of community outreach ministries to families in the area, including housing the Cedar Springs Community Food Pantry. They support the annual CROP Walk, offer small groups like Men’s Group and United Methodist Women, offer book and Bible studies, a weekly Love ‘n Stitches crafts group, and Christian service and mission projects to ministries in the Upper Peninsula.
“Our mission here is to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ.  We live out this mission through many ministries that build our faith community and reach out into the broader Cedar Springs community and around the world,” said Pastor Ivanov.
Two worship services are offered on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., and Christian Education for all ages (infant through adult) is offered at 10:15 a.m.  There are also weekly Wednesday evening dinners throughout the year.
The general public is invited to the October 23 celebration.  The 3:00 p.m. will include a short program of thanksgiving followed by a time of fellowship and an ice cream social.  Special historical information also will be featured.
For further information about Cedar Springs UMC, please contact the church office at 616-696-1140.

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Cedar Springs food pantry seeks donations


Need for emergency donations at all-time high

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25: 40).
This message from Matthew describes the guiding principle for the more than 30 volunteers who provide assistance, compassion, a listening ear, and comfort to those families who come to the Cedar Springs Community Food Pantry, at Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, on the corner of Main and Church Streets.
The Cedar Springs Community Food Pantry, a staple in the community for 26 years, was started at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church in 1985 for families who had suffered a house fire.  More volunteers were needed to help as the pantry began to assist more clients in need.  Today, up to 30 families a week, from all parts of Northern Kent County, can be referred to the pantry by North Kent Service Center to receive a week’s work of food and essentials.
Today the pantry “store” is located in the basement of the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, in several converted nursery rooms and the choir robe storage room.  Several freezers and refrigerators hold baked goods, chicken donated by church members, venison donated by area hunters, and hotdogs, hamburger, and other meats. The pantry shelves are stocked with food and staples bought by pantry volunteers, food from a faithful volunteer who has a “coupon mission,” foods from government commodities, and donations from individuals and food drives in the community.
However, with the distressed state of the economy and the job market crisis, the need for emergency food support is at an all time high. Food prices and transportation costs have sky rocketed. Children will soon be out of school for the summer adding to the need for extra food for families.
The pantry needs help! In addition to food items or cash donations, the pantry is always in need of personal care items such as dish soap, laundry soap, tooth brushes, toothpaste, bar soap, toilet paper, facial tissue, deodorants, shampoo, and feminine hygiene items.
Donated items or money can be dropped off at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church office any time during office hours Monday through Friday. The pantry accepts checks made out to the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, and in the memo line put “Community Food Pantry.”

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Care group at Cedar Springs UMC


If you have a serious illness or life changing health condition and would like to share your journey with others, please feel welcome to attend Care Group. The goal of this support group will be to find hope in the midst of difficult circumstances. This is an open group, and all are welcome to attend. We will be exploring Ed Dobson’s devotional book, “Prayers & Promises when facing a life-threatening illness.” Care Group will begin on Monday, January 10, 2011 at Cedar Springs United Methodist Church (140 S. Main St.) at 7:00 p.m. downstairs in room #1 and will be led by hospice nurse Cathy Forrest, R.N. Please call the church office if you have questions (696-1140).

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