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Tag Archive | "Christmas"

Prepare and wait for Jesus to show up and show off


Prepare and wait are two words that stand out at this time of year.  The Christian Calendar marks this season as Advent. Advent literally means “coming” or “appearance.” During the four weeks before Christmas we celebrate both the coming birth of Jesus and his eventual second coming or “appearance” to set the world right.  We prepare and wait for both.

Our world seems particularly chaotic these days. Some days we can become so overwhelmed by the acrimony and division surrounding us we’re tempted to shout, “Come, Lord Jesus—NOW!”  Those, in fact, are some of the last words in the New Testament. Strife and conflict are nothing new.  Christians have been praying for Jesus to return to calm the tumultuous seas of our lives for 2000 years.

In these days and weeks before Christmas, we can get ready for Jesus to arrive. We can prepare to be less contentious with those whom we disagree. We can prepare to reach out to a lonely neighbor. We can prepare to offer words of healing to a broken relationship. We can prepare to forgive someone who has hurt us. And, as we prepare, we wait. We wait for Jesus to “show up and show off!” To be sure, Jesus will eventually come back and all will be right with the world some time in the future, but Jesus also “shows up and shows off” today—when we do the prep work.

The good news is that Jesus shows up everyday when we’re prepared to receive him. Jesus is the one who empowers us to reach out, offer words of healing, and forgive. Jesus is the one who gives us hope that peace, compassion, and forgiveness can be experienced right now. Jesus is the one who calms our hearts and souls while we wait for everything to be made new again.

May this season of Advent be filled with the promise that Jesus will show up as we prepare and wait to receive him!

Posted in Church Connection, From the PulpitComments (0)

Santa Claus is coming


Santa Claus hugs two excited children at the 2017 Mingle with Kris Kringle. Photo courtesy CS Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

Are you ready to have yourself a merry Christmas Cedar Springs-style? Come on out and experience a day of goodwill and cheer on Saturday, December 1, when the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce presents “Come Mingle with Kris Kringle.”

The day will run from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., with various fun, family-friendly, events. The day starts with a Jingle Bell Fun run/walk. Registration at 9 a.m. and registration at 9:30 a.m. The event is a senior all night party fundraiser. Families can make and take Christmas ornaments and crafts at the Cedar Springs Library from 9-noon. You can also enjoy a story time with Mrs. Claus from 2-3 p.m. at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more. There will also be a meet and greet with Cedar Springs cheerleaders, a petting zoo, and caroling, all before the mini-parade that brings Santa to the corner of Main and Ash Street at about 4:30-4:45.

Following the parade will be a live nativity scene near the Christmas tree, and mingling with Kris Kringle at the American Legion Hall, where kids can meet Santa and write him a letter, and families can enjoy hot cocoa. 

Bring the whole family out on Saturday, December 1, for a fun, community Christmas celebration! See page 9 for more info on this event in our Holiday Happenings and check out events in the surrounding areas well.

Posted in Home for the Holidays, NewsComments (0)

The Post travels to Florida


 

Pictured (from L to R) is Perry Hopkins, Aubrianna Ensley, Patrick Ensley and Laura Ensley.

The Post traveled to Melbourne Beach, Florida over the Christmas weekend with Perry Hopkins and the Ensley family. 

Besides enjoying the weather, the friends took in some local sights.

“We sat on Melbourne Beach watching the variety of native birds catching fish, and explored their local farmers market and fresh seafood restaurants,” said Hopkins.

Thanks to you all for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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Varsity wrestlers shine on and off the mat


Red Hawk wrestler Jacob Galinis. Courtesy photo.

The Cedar Springs High School wrestling team kicked off their season early in December and have been busy handing out surprises both on and off the mat ever since.

Off the mat, high school wrestlers adopted a family for the holidays, and team mom Teresa Galinis, along with some of the wrestlers, shopped, wrapped, and delivered gifts to the family for Christmas.   

On the mat, wrestlers have brought home some exciting wins this season against schools with historically good wrestling programs, including Fruitport, Grant, Mona Shores and Greenville. 

Individually, five wrestlers placed at the Kent County Championships held two weeks ago, where 22 schools were represented, and that number is expected to increase before finals in February. Off-season training camps along with an unbeatable work ethic, depth, returning talent and upcoming talent has propelled Cedar Springs wrestling to a viable (and feared) contender in a very difficult OK White conference. 

Wrestlers head to Greenville today to face both Lowell and Northview in what was sure to be a nail biter in an OK White conference showdown. Come out and show them your support!

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Post travels to California


Solon Township residents Ken and TJ Norris got a great gift from friends in Southern California over the Christmas weekend: a visit to warm weather! The daytime temperatures were in the low 70s but it got cold (by Southern California  standards) at night—the low 50s. This photo is taken at Point Magu beach, just south of Ventura.

Thanks so much to Ken and TJ for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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Let’s keep Advent


Father Lam T. Le, Pastor 

St. John Paul II Parish 

3110 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs

(616) 696-3904

 

Sunday, December 3, marks the season of Advent and the beginning of the Church’s new liturgical year. The word Advent comes from the Latin word “ad-venire,” which means “to come to.” 

“Advent has a twofold character, for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered, and likewise a time when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. For these two reasons, Advent is a period of devout and expectant delight.” (See Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and Calendar, no. 39). 

In our culture of instant gratification, there seems to be no room for such a period of devout and joyful preparation as the liturgies of the Church suggest. But as people of faith, the Parable of the Ten Virgins reminds us; unless we are prudent (carrying a lamp with enough oil while awaiting the bridegroom) we are not suitable for the Feast (Mt 25:1-13). Unless we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord, whether in the celebration of Christmas or at the end of time, we will not be prepared to enter the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Or, as Matthew 22: 11-13 indicates: we might enter, but not with the proper attire for the Feast. 

“Prepare the way of the Lord” is the exhortation that is properly applied to all of us as we celebrate Advent! Concretely, how should we keep advent? As the voice of one crying out in the desert indicates, “Make straight his paths!” (Mk 1:2). We make our paths straight by removing the obstacles in our hearts that separate us from God. Those obstacles can be sinful acts and unhealthy attachments to the “stuff” we accumulate in this life that consumes our hearts and souls, leaving no room for God. 

Let this Advent be unlike any other! Let us be like the five wise virgins with lamps filled with oil to await our Redeemer, Christ the Lord! Amen. 

(In addition to being the priest of St. John Paul II Parish, Cedar Springs, Father Lam also proudly serves as Pastor of Mary Queen of Apostles Parish, 1 W Maple Street Sand Lake, Michigan 49343. Phone 616 636 5671)

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Sand Lake to host live nativity


 

The indoor live nativity at Sand Lake United Methodist will take you through the town of Bethlehem on the day Jesus was born, with actors of all ages dressed as various characters. Courtesy photo

By Judy Reed

Shepherds from a past nativity. Courtesy photo.

If you’d like to experience a fun family activity to celebrate Christmas that’s a little different this year, head to Sand Lake and experience the entire town of Bethlehem on the day Jesus was born through their live nativity.

The event will be held at Sand Lake United Methodist Church this weekend on Friday, December 1, from 6-8 p.m., and Saturday, December 2, from 1-3 p.m. in the church’s fellowship hall.

As you walk through the nativity, actors will reenact the story. You will see shepherds watching their flocks; soldiers registering people for the census; people peddling wares; angels singing; wise men searching for the Christ child; Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. Real live animals will greet you, and a real baby will play the part of Jesus. Visitors can also enjoy hot chocolate and cookies in the courtyard area.

This is the 5th year for the event, which was originally created and put on by South Ensley and Sand Lake United Methodist Churches, and now includes cast members from many of the village churches and even some that aren’t members. 

“The program takes about 30 people and we love having visitors,” said Sandra McConnell, who decorates and does publicity for the nativity. She said over 100 people walked through the live nativity last year, and they are hoping for more this year.

McConnell said that they got the idea for the live nativity when they saw one in Coopersville several years ago. “We went through it, and decided we wanted to do something like that,” she explained. Little by little, people came forward to help to make it into the event it is today. “We’ve added a lot in the last four years,” she added.

If there is anyone else who would like to be part of the nativity, you can call Sandra at 616-570-8713. 

 

Posted in Featured, Home for the Holidays, NewsComments (0)

Post to collect toys for needy


 

Would you like to do something special for families in need this Christmas? You can partner with us to provide toys for needy children in Kent County. The Post is participating in the Toys for Tots program again this holiday season, as a drop off site for toys. Toys for Tots is a volunteer organization whose goal is to collect new, unwrapped toys for kids 0-16, and distribute them to children who would not otherwise receive a gift during the holiday season. Toys for teens are always especially needed.

Cedar Springs Wireless Zone, 4021 17 Mile Rd, and Independent Bank, 4115 17 Mile Rd, are also collecting Toys for Tots.

“We have been participating in the Toys for Tots campaign for the past four years,” said Renee Doren, general manager at Cedar Springs Wireless Zone. “The community support last year was our largest yet as we had a couple of boxes full of toys.”

Doren feels it’s important to give back to the community. “Being in a small town like Cedar Springs, there is such great community support for events like these and giving back and pulling together when needed.”

The program runs now through December 19. Just bring a new, unwrapped toy to any of the businesses mentioned. If you’d like to bring one to our office at 36 E. Maple Street in Cedar Springs, we are open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you can’t make that time, call us to make other arrangements.

Visit https://grand-rapids-mi.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/donate-toys.aspx to find a drop off location near you.

Together we can make this Christmas special for many children!

Posted in Featured, NewsComments (0)

Post to collect toys for needy


Would you like to do something special for families in need this Christmas? You can partner with us to provide toys for needy children in Kent County. The Post is participating in the Toys for Tots program again this holiday season, as a drop off site for toys. 

Toys for Tots is a volunteer organization whose goal is to collect new, unwrapped toys for kids 0-16, and distribute them to children who would not otherwise receive a gift during the holiday season. Toys for teens are always especially needed.

The program runs now through December 18. Just bring a new, unwrapped toy to our office at 36 E. Maple Street in Cedar Springs, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you can’t make that time, call us to make other arrangements.

Together we can make this Christmas special for many children!

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Grant woman dies in crash


Christina Perales, 35, died in two-vehicle crash last weekend. Photo from the gofundme page set up to provide food, clothing and Christmas for her boys.

Christina Perales, 35, died in two-vehicle crash last weekend. Photo from the gofundme page set up to provide food, clothing and Christmas for her boys.

A 35-year-old Grant woman died last weekend when the car she was driving collided with a pickup truck.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred about 12:05 p.m. on Saturday, December 17 in Alpine Township.

The investigation showed that a 2015 Ford F150 pickup truck was headed westbound on 6 Mile Rd NW, and a 2002 Chevy Malibu was headed south on Baumhoff when they crashed. Police said it was undetermined if the Grant woman, the driver of the Chevy Malibu, had rolled through the stop sign, or made a complete stop and then pulled out into the intersection. The pickup truck had the right of way.

The driver of the Malibu, Christina Lenora Perales, 35, of Grant, died at the scene. The front seat passenger, Brent Thomas Aishe, 39, of Grant was taken to Spectrum Butterworth with serious injuries, including a broken left hip, cranial bleed, and abrasions on his elbow. One of the back seat passengers, Melinda Marie Lynch, 20, of Fremont was taken to Butterworth laceration to her forehead. The other back seat passenger, Dylan Rogers, 17, of Grant, was taken to Butterworth with a cranial bleed.

There were three occupants in the pickup truck, all from Essexville, Mich. The driver, Brent Joseph Raap, 45, was not injured. Passenger Benjamin Matthew Raap, 15, sustained a minor injury and was taken to the hospital by private transport, where he was treated and released. The third passenger, Judith Louis Mcelhinny-Raap, 45, was not injured.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

Assisting at the scene was the Walker Police Department, Alpine Fire Department, Walker Fire Department, Aeromed, LIFE, Rockford, and AMR ambulance services.

The crash is still under investigation.

Christina was a single mom, and there is a gofundme page set up to help with food, clothes, and Christmas for her three boys. Go to https://www.gofundme.com/please-help-these-boys.

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