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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs United Methodist"

Help stock the Cedar Springs food pantry

Edward Jones is collecting food through November 16

Would you like to have a chance to really make a difference in the community?
Buy a few extra items when you buy groceries this week to donate to the local food pantry and drop them off at our local Edward Jones branch.
The Cedar Springs United Methodist Food pantry, who works in conjunction with North Kent Community Services, feeds hundreds of local families each year. In 2010, they fed 794 families—1,589 adults and 932 children. “We actually saw a rise in single adult households,” noted Mary Ivanov, pastor at Cedar Springs United Methodist.
In the past the food pantry depended on the fall food drive with the local U.S. Post office to help stock their needs. Now that the carriers are based in Rockford, they no longer have the big drive to benefit this pantry, so a local business is stepping in to help restock the shelves.
Edward Jones, 4027 17 Mile Road, Cedar Springs, hopes to collect 1,250 pounds of food for the pantry before November 17. Non-perishable foods can be dropped off at their office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Some of the supplies needed include boxed or canned meals such as soups, hamburger helper, macaroni and cheese, rice, pasta, spaghetti sauce; baking and pancake mix; and canned meats. Personal care items such as bar soap, laundry soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toilet paper will also be accepted, but not weighed.
Call 696-9370 for more information.

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A brush of kindness

By Tom Noreen

On July 10, youth and adults from the Cedar Springs and East Nelson United Methodist Churches headed north on the 300-mile journey to Manistique for a volunteer week with Habitat of Hiawathaland. This is the 7th time the group has worked on a mission project in the UP.

In an effort to help more people, Habitat is expanding its mission from just building and renovating homes for families. Its “Brush of Kindness” program helps provide maintenance. This year the team undercoated and put two coats of paint on Cathy’s home and storage shed plus built a 10×14 ft deck and washed her exterior windows. Next door, we insulated the floor joist cavities for Dustin and his family.

With a crew of 17, we had the house painted in three days so asked for some other projects. One crew cleaned out a Habitat house we had worked on during our first mission trip in the UP. The family had to give up the home, as they were moving out of the area for work. Another group replaced part of the floor in a 14×20 ft cabin that vandals had set on fire. A third group helped with office chores and others built walls to subdivide a room in the Blanchard Volunteer Center for families. The center currently has male and female dorms but no facilities for families. These rooms will be used both for families working and as a place for local families in a crisis. A team also put door and baseboard trim up in the men’s dorm, one bathroom and the new shower facility.

Each year the crew gets an afternoon off to see some of the local attractions. Last year we went on a Pictured Rocks boat tour. Because we were working about 50 miles north and east of Manistique, we went to Oswald’s Bear Ranch andTtahquamenon Falls State Park.

On Thursday, July 14, Habitat held a potluck for the group and the family. Joining us this year were also Tracey and her family and Jody and Jim and children. Two years ago we worked on the renovations of Tracey’s home and last year we painted and did trim work on Jody and Jim’s home. Having them join us is a tribute to the relationships made between the team and the families.

We have already set dates for next year. Mark your calendars for July 15-21.

Representatives from Cedar Springs UMC were Shelby Towers, Lauren Falicki, Ryley Clark, Kelsi Briggs, Tyler Bevier, Josh Champion, Jackie Champion, Aaron Burnside, Jake Potter, Kenny Neville, Dan Davis, Nancy Kidder, Theresa Champion, Jim Champion, and Tom Noreen. Jenny (Hendges) Pavlak and Sabina Nelson joined the group from East Nelson.

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God—the great “give-away-er”

Cedar Springs United Methodist
140 S. Main Street, Cedar Springs
Pastor Mary Ivanov

Last week, I was watching the evening news, and a “good news” story came on.  Though these kinds of stories don’t get a lot of press, I know good news happens everyday. This story was about a man named Loren Krueger who had given away a total of over $3 million dollars to all of the churches and many organizations in his hometown of LeRoy, Minnesota. People were stunned by Krueger’s gift, especially because he seemed very frugal with his money. It was only after his death that people realized how generous he was. His gifts to the community have allowed churches to offer new ministries, the local senior center to thrive, and the community nursing home to make much needed improvements so that they can better care for the residents who live there.
When the news was over, my daughter asked some questions about what this man had done. And then she said, “Wow, he was a great give-away-er!” I wrote down her quote immediately because I’d never heard that expression before.
As I sat thinking about what she said, I realized that she hit on the true spirit of Christmas. Yes, we give gifts out of love and thankfulness, but we also give because our faith rests in a God who is the ultimate Giver of all that is good. God is a great give-away-er!
On Friday and Saturday, many of us will gather in our churches to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I look forward to Christmas Eve services every year. And it’s not just good memories that come back for me; it’s faith memories.  I remember sitting with my family and singing hymns. I remember going out of church and seeing stars on cold, clear nights. I remember the wonder of those moments as a child.
And even though we might know the story (read in Matthew 1: 18-25 and Luke 2: 1-20), every time we gather, the Holy Spirit brings it to our hearts again. Jesus is the One who comes to save us from our sins. Jesus is Emmanuel—God with us!  Jesus is the One the people had waited for—the Messiah.  And, Jesus is the One we have been waiting for!
God is a great give-away-er! God gives us the most precious gift of all—the Son of God who comes to be with us and be one of us so that we might know better what God is like and what God wants us to be like as we live in God’s world.
As you give gifts this year, remember that God is a great give-away-er who offers you a gift that cannot be bought in a store or online. God offers a relationship that brings forgiveness, healing, and hope. As you worship this year, I pray that the story that’s so familiar would sound fresh and new on your ears so that you can claim God’s promises again or for the first time.
And if don’t have a church home or have been away for a while, consider getting back to church or trying it out for the first time. I invite you to worship with us on Christmas Eve at 7:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m., join us this Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.
We share the love and hope of Jesus Christ!

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A community united in worship

By Judy Reed

Post photo by J. Reed

Post photo by J. Reed

It was a historic moment in Cedar Springs on Sunday, August 31, when at least eight different churches in the area joined together for a community worship service at Morley Park. “We weren’t Methodist, or Baptist, or Pentecostal, or Christian Reformed, or any other denomination,” explained one worshiper. “We were just Christians, worshiping as a community, and remembering what we all had in common, rather than what separates us.”

“It was awesome,” remarked Pastor Kevin Reed, of Grace Evangelical Free Church. “It was good to see so many people come together. There was a lot of energy. People were excited about worship.”

The event, called United—a community for one! was put on by the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association, with Reed as organizer. He estimated that at least 500 people attended, and maybe more. “I was extremely pleased with the turnout for our first year of doing this,” he noted.
Unseasonably cool temperatures and morning clouds may have kept some people away from the outdoor event, although the weather cleared and the sun came out when the service began. “Nobody prayed harder than I did that the weather would be good,” said Reed with a laugh. He said that next year they might use a tent.
A worship team made up of worship arts pastors and musicians from various churches led the singing. It was followed by messages from a couple of different pastors, and several pastors offered prayer for specific community needs. Churches represented included The Springs Free Methodist, Cedar Springs United Methodist, North Kent Community, Crossfire Ministries, Solon Center Wesleyan, Grace Evangelical Free, Pioneer Christian Reformed, and the Journey. Hillcrest Community joined in activities later in the afternoon.
After the worship service, there was a free picnic, games for kids, and a dunk tank where parishioners could dunk their pastor for a donation. There was more music later in the afternoon.
The offering that was taken raised over $1,000 for the En Gedi Youth Center, and the pastor dunk tank raised $130 for the Alpha Family Center.
Reed said he had nothing but positive feedback from those that attended, and some would like to see it happen more than once a year. But Reed isn’t sure whether that will be possible. “It was a lot of work,” he explained. But they would like to do it again next year, and they hope that sense of community lives on all year long.

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