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Tag Archive | "Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church"

Speaking the Truth In Love


Rev. Kim DeLong

Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church

10295 Myers Lake Ave NE • Rockford, MI 49341

 

Our worship series for the month of August at Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church is titled “…In Love.”  Given the public and political discourse lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and praying about what it means to “speak the truth in love.” In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he tells us that speaking the truth in love means building each other up, and growing up ourselves into becoming the Body of Christ.

It reminds me of a wonderful woman of the church in which I grew up. Betsy was not outspoken, but when she did speak everyone listened. Her words were always wise and kind. When she offered critique, it was constructive; never tearing a person down, but offered in such a way that the person knew they were loved.

I’m grateful for Betsy’s example for how to speak the truth in love. I’m grateful for the wise words and helpful suggestions she offered. Her words and the manner in which she spoke let me and others know that she was cheering us on. What she said helped us grow, to become more mature in our actions and our own words.

People like Betsy give me hope that we really can be kind to one another, that there is a way to offer helpful comments or a differing opinion that doesn’t tear another person down even if those in the public and political arena continue to descend into harmful and hurtful speech. Mature persons who can speak the truth—and do it with care—offer us an example of how we might disagree without being disagreeable.  

Who has built you up either with their words or their actions? How can we use our words so that they contribute toward understanding each other rather than creating distance between us? We cannot control other people’s behavior but we can control our own. Let us begin by speaking with kindness and generosity even when we disagree, especially when we disagree. In doing so, we offer others the hope of a world that can build each other up, not tear each other down. 

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Courtland family loses home in fire


The home of Brian and Melissa Weber was destroyed in a fire early Sunday morning in Courtland Township. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

A Cedar Springs family is trying to rebuild their life after losing their home and most all of their possessions in a fire early Sunday morning.

According to Deputy Fire Chief Galen Green, Courtland Township Fire was dispatched to 7272 15 Mile Road, just east of Myers Lake Road, on a structure fire, about 7 a.m. Sunday, July 1. 

The owners, Brian and Melissa Weber, were in Minnesota and heading back home from vacation. Their young adult children, Zach and Mackenzie, both in their 20s, did not go with them. Zach was sleeping on the couch at the time of the fire, and Mackenzie was at a friend’s house.

Green said that the family dog woke Zach up. Brian confirmed that.

“Our dog had to bite Zach to get him to wake up. She saved his life,” he said.

Zach suffered some smoke inhalation, and was treated at the hospital and released.

Six fire departments battled the blaze: Courtland, Oakfield, Cedar Springs, Spencer, Sand Lake, and Algoma. Green reported that one firefighter went through the floor, but was ok.

According to Courtland Fire Chief Steve Mojzuk, he went through the ruins with the Michigan State Police Fire investigator. The cause of the fire was undetermined. 

The Webers have been going through the ashes, trying to find mementoes and family treasures. Brian said that Melissa found 80 percent of their photos, including their wedding photos, that didn’t burn. He found part of his grandfather’s Civil War gun. But what he is most glad about is that his family is alive. “The rest of it is all just stuff,” he said.

In the days following the fire, people from the community have come forward to help the Webers start to get back on their feet. “This is so humbling. They say it’s easier to give than to receive and it’s true,” said Brian. “We really want to thank The Springs Church, Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church, and all the friends and community members who have donated to us; and Deputy Fire Chief Galen Green and his crew and all the other firefighters,” said Brian.

The Webers do have insurance and are planning to rebuild. They are currently staying in a home in the area. 

The Post has been collecting donations of clothing, cash, gift cards, and other items for the family. If you have something you’d like to donate, please give us a call at 616-696-3655 or contact us via Facebook messenger and we will check to let you know if it’s needed.

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God’s Good Earth


Rev. Kim DeLong

Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church

10295 Myers Lake Ave N.E.

Rockford, MI  49341

 

I love the seasons in Michigan. Spring makes my heart sing. Watching brown grass turn green. Flowers poking green leaves up through snow, then suddenly blooming in a cacophony of color. Goldfinch feathers turning to bright yellow and robins pecking in the grass for worms. Chipmunks emerging from their long winter sleep to shinny up the poles of the birdfeeders and compete for the sunflower seeds. All of it is a wonder. 

So often we are in such a hurry. When it’s spring, we’re impatient for summer. When it’s summer, we’re anxious for cooler fall temperatures. Bare trees of autumn can make us eager for the pristine white of the first snowfall.

I encourage you to slow down and simply enjoy the good creation God continues to bring forth. Savor the sunshine. Listen to the rainfall. Watch the birds build their nests.  Be fully present in every moment of this amazing season.

Best of all, share the wonder of it all with a child if you have opportunity.  

Children are naturally curious. Cultivating wonder at a young age can create a lifetime attitude of care for God’s good earth. Consider helping a child grow a tomato or bush green bean plant in a container. Let them water it. Watch wide-eyed with them as flowers appear and tiny beans and tomatoes begin to grow.

God has created an amazing world. Let’s not rush past it or through the days that we have. Especially when life is tough, taking a few moments to gaze at the stars or watch the clouds float by can bring us to experiencing the presence of the God who loves all of the universe, including us. 

  

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LYNN A. GREEN


Lynn A. Green (Bird) age 76 of Cedar Springs went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Surviving are her husband Harold and children, Brent and Lee Green, Brian and Liz Green, Jan and Mike Gareau, Galen and Michelle Green; her sister, Donna and Jim Hurst; brother Steven and Laura Bird; 14 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Services at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. In lieu of flowers, make donations to Courtland United Methodist Church Foundation fund or the charity of your choice.

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100th Birthday


ELNA JOHNSON

Friends and family are invited to a 100th birthday party for Elna Johnson on Saturday, March 24th at Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church from 1 pm to 4 pm. No gifts please.

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ROBERT H. FULLER


 

Mr. Robert H. Fuller of Cedar Springs, Michigan, aged 83, passed into his Glory on March 9, 2018, after a three-year struggle with myasthenia gravis. Robert is survived by his wife of 61½ years, Mary Lou; children, Mark Fuller, MD of Ironwood, Michigan, Scott Fuller and Barbara (Greg) Vanderkooi of Cedar Springs; grandchildren, Gabriel (Dana) Morris, Joshua Morris, Kati Fuller, Alice and Livia Fuller, Jack (Sophia Rykert) Vanderkooi, and Cheryl Vanderkooi; great-grandchildren, Madilynn and Gabrielle Morris, Kira, Laney, Jackson, and Grayson Vanderkooi; brother-in-law William (Barb) Haroff; sisters-in-law Edith (Alvin) Rector, Shirley DuBridge, and Verna (Stephen) Johnson; two special people, Megan Lewis and Beverly Harris; many loved nieces and nephews who were able to be with him during his last struggle; and his faithful companion, BUD the Pug, affectionately known as “Bob’s Ugly Dog.” He was preceded in death by his son, Kris Fuller; parents, Rev. H. Howard and Beulah Fuller; sisters Patricia Moore, Carolyn Decker, Martha Haroff; and in-laws Grant and Edna Ranney. Robert was a man of many trades during his working years. He retired as a rural mail carrier from Cedar Springs— a job he loved. He was also a member of Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church for fifty years, where he had held many positions, and loved his church family dearly. Relatives and friends may call on the family during a time of visitation from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The memorial service for Robert will be celebrated by Pastors Kim DeLong, Chuck Smith, and Thurlan Meredith at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 23, 2018, at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake Avenue NE, Rockford, MI 49341. There will be a one-hour visitation prior to the service at church. Those wishing to offer an expression of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to the Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Memorial Fund; or to the Mary Free Bed Foundation, 235 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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BETTY JANE PATTERSON


 

Betty Jane Patterson 94, of Rockford, Michigan died Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at Metron of Belding. Betty was born February 14, 1923 in Coral, Michigan the daughter of Gaylor & Elsie (Zenk) Lytle. She is survived by her children, Shirley DeYoung and Sandra Frandsen; grandchildren, Paul (Tiff) DeYoung, Cory (Charleigh) Frandsen, Andrea (Michael) VanSetters, Austin (Amber) Frandsen; great-granddaughter, Ashtynn and a great-grandson on the way. She was preceded in death by her husband Carroll in 1997; brothers, Alfred “Al” Lytle and Bruce Rasmussen and son-in-law, Tom DeYoung. The family will greet friends Sunday 2-4 p.m. at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be Monday 10 a.m. at the Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church. Pastors Kim DeLong and Chuck Smith officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the church.

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

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Cancer Benefit Sale for Emma Orr

Aug. 31: A Cancer Benefit Sale will be held August 31st to September 4th from 9 am – 6 pm at 3373 Egner, Cedar Springs. 9 year old Emma of Cedar Springs is battling neuroblastoma.100 percent of the proceeds will go to Emma and her family. For questions or to drop off donations for the yard sale please contact Nicole at 616-263-9662 or Robin at 616-696-2798. #35

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

Sept. 5,12,19,26: Join us for dinner every Tuesday. God’s Kitchen – Cedar Springs welcomes families from Northern Kent County and the surrounding area to a Tuesday Evening Meal. No charge – no registration required!  Served from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. For more information, call the Church office at 616-696-3904. #35

Actors del Arte Ensemble Auditions

Sept. 5,7,12: Actors del Arte Ensemble of West Michigan will be holding auditions for a Hoot’n & Holler’n Comedy “Welcome to Chicken Scratch.” Sept 5th and 7th and Sept 12th (6-8pm) at Rockford Reformed Church 11 Mile Rd., Rockford. Looking for Adults,Teens and Children. Info 616-874-5264. #35

Help Promote Literacy

Sept. 5,12,14,29: The need is urgent at this time! The Literacy Center of West Michigan has scheduled  information sessions for prospective volunteer tutors. These sessions last one hour. It allows persons interested in becoming volunteer tutors to find out more about the Literacy Center and its programs. At the end of the session there will be a chance to sign up for tutor training. Sessions are Tuesday, September 5th at 6 pm, Tuesday, September 12th at 2 pm, Thursday, September 14th at 6 pm and Friday, September 29th at 10 am. By training people to be tutors, the Center can offer one-on-one reading help to adults asking for assistance in reading or English as a Second Language (ESL). You do not need to speak another language to tutor ESL. The Literacy Center of West Michigan is located at 1120 Monroe Ave., NW, Suite 240, Grand Rapids. Please call 616-459-5151 (ext. 10) or email us at info@literacycenterwm.org to register. #35

Food & Faith Free Family Picnic

Sept. 6: You are invited to a Food & Faith Family Picnic at CS United Methodist Church on Wednesday, September 6th at 6 pm in the Fellowship Hall. FREE family event. Food, games, prizes, for all ages. Contact Sally at 616-788-8225 or office@cedarspringsumc.org. Bring a dish to pass if you wish. #34,35b

Rickerstrong Fundraiser Soccer Game

Sept. 7: A fundraiser Soccer game with Cedar Springs vs Greenville will be held at Cedar Springs High School, 204 E. Muskegon, on Thursday, September 7th. There will also be an aluminum can drive, T-shirt sale and 50/50 raffle. All proceeds go to help the Ricker boys fight their battle with cancer. Read their story on facebook @ Team Rickerstrong. #35

Chicken BBQ and Rummage Sale

Sept. 8,9: Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake Rd., Rockford, is having their annual Chicken BBQ, Rummage and Bake Sale. The rummage and bake sale is Friday, September 8th from 9 am to 4 pm, Saturday, September 9th, from 9 am to 7 pm. BBQ Chicken will be available on Saturday, September 9th from 4 to 7 pm. Half chicken and fixin’s, dine in or carry out. $10.00. All proceeds go toward community programs in 2018. #35,36b

A Different Kind of Selfie at KDL

Sept. 9: Creating Self-Portraits Using Mixed Media. Anyone can create art and what better subject than your own beautiful face! Using a variety of unique materials and a canvas, create your own version of yourself to show the world. For ages 6 and older. September 9th at 1:30 pm at Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #35

10th Anniversary Picnic

Sept. 10: American Legion Post #120 in Rockford will hold its 10th Anniversary Picnic on Sunday, September 10th from 12 noon to 6 pm. Public Welcome! Chicken Dinner, Adults $6.00, kids $2.00. Games, horseshoe tournament, music and prizes. #35

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Rev. Kim DeLong appointed to Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church


 

Rev. Kim DeLong

The Rev. Kim DeLong and the Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church have a common denominator in that they are both familiar with change. On July 1, the congregation welcomes yet another new pastor. Pastor Kim has moved about in West Michigan since she began in 1998. She has held appointments in Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Belding, Turk Lake, Greenville, and three Big Rapids area congregations linked together by assignment of the Michigan Area Bishop: Third Avenue, Paris, and Rodney. Her new appointment includes Courtland-Oakfield UMC and Wyoming Park UMC, serving half time in each congregation.

Kim’s broad experience began as a Local Pastor, which led Kim to attend Garrett-Evangelical Theological School, in order to be ordained a Deacon in the United Methodist Church. After serving as Deacon she then felt a call to move her ordination status to that of Elder, which she earned in 2016. This sojourn through the categories of professional ministry exposed her to opportunities to serve the church in a variety of circumstances, enlarging her vision of ministry while benefiting the congregations as well. She is a seasoned, gifted and learned pastor.

Courtland-Oakfield Governance Board Chair Megan Harding says, “We are really thrilled that Pastor Kim has agreed to serve our church, and I have total confidence that she will continue to lead us as we move forward with our values as we learn to become people who love as God loves.”

Kim lives in Rockford with her husband, Cameron. They have three children and four grandchildren.

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Practice makes perfect


Courtland-OakfieldUMCRev. Bill Johnson

Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church

10295 Myers Lake Ave NE, Rockford

Three activities occupied me during the summer I turned 16: I took U.S. History in summer school to get it off the credits check-list; I took driver’s training for obvious reasons; and I fielded ground balls at every available opportunity.

I bought a smooth rubber ball, baseball-sized, just the right weight, and soft enough to bounce well on the grass in our backyard. I threw it at a target drawn in chalk on the back of our garage. Sometimes I tossed it gently and worked on charging slow rollers. Other times I threw hard to stretch my range. Sometimes I worked on technique; other times I worked on accuracy.

I worked on the short hop, the long hop, the pivot and quick release, the line drive, and if I could hit the garage siding just right, I could get pop ups. I loved fielding ground balls, and those hours behind our garage paid off the next spring when competing for the second base job. Even though I struggled to hit my weight at the plate, when I got to college it was fielding ability that kept me on the team.

Those hours behind the garage taught me something I’ve never forgotten: After thousands of repetitions, some things become second nature, automatic. Gracefulness and confidence come, maybe without even thinking.

Spiritual disciplines like prayer, fasting, service and meditation are like this. When his friends asked him about prayer, Jesus said the most important thing is to keep at it. When the time comes for us to seek or to thank God for direction, or comfort, or courage, or wisdom, thousands of repetitions pay off. The power in prayer comes from practice.

For Christians, the Season of Lent looms ahead. For other faiths, there are other seasons no less vital to growing spiritually. So, if your leanings have a Christian orientation, how’s your spiritual life as Lent arrives March 1? Do you have a “behind-the-garage” place for yourself for practicing spiritual discipline? We don’t have to be athletic to know it is never as easy as it looks. But whether faced with a screaming line drive or a spiritual crisis, gracefulness and confidence can prevail. Practice makes perfect.

If you haven’t already, why not consider thinking ahead to Lent as a chance to spend some time behind the garage, wherever or whatever that may mean to you?  Life is complicated, busy, stressful and at times out of balance, but when life hits one at you, would you want to be the one who responds with grace, or the one who wishes they’d practiced more?

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