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Tag Archive | "Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church"

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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Jerry Lynn Avery


c-obit-averyJerry Lynn Avery, 77 of Cedar Springs went into the loving arms of his Savior on Thursday, November 17, 2016 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born March 19, 1939 in Grand Rapids, MI the son of Donald and Caroline (Townes) Avery. Jerry had a thirty four year career as a police officer, serving in the Kent County Sheriff’s Department and before that, the Cedar Springs Police Department.  He enjoyed hunting and fishing, flying, bicycling and time with his grandkids. He was a member of Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church and the Northwest Soaring Club of Frankfort where he served as an instructor.  He was also a member of the Bad Bikers Bicycle Club, where he was known as the “Baddest Biker”. Surviving are his wife, Peggy (Beals) whom he married on November 12, 1957; sons, Mike (Denise) Avery, Tim (Kim) Avery; grandchildren, Sarah (Jordan) Brygal, James (Jessica) Edwards, Andy Avery, Jessica Martin, Jamie Jeffries III, Samantha Avery, Shelby Avery; 12 great grandchildren; brother, Leon (Janet) Avery. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Joe (Jean) Avery, David Avery; sister, Madeline (Stan) Piasecki. The family will greet friends Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. The service will be held Monday, Nov. 21 at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church. Pastors Bill Johnson and Chuck Smith officiating. Interment Courtland Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the church or Faith Hospice.

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What do you say…


Pastor Robert Eckert

Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church

10295 Myers Lake Ave NE, Rockford

…when you don’t know what to say? Brainyquote.com gives credit to Abraham Lincoln for the familiar axiom, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Lincoln has a reputation as a Bible reader so he might have been putting his own spin on Proverbs 17:28a that says, “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise” (King James Version, no NIVs or NRSVs in Lincoln’s day).

I wonder if the editor of the Post would have indulged me if I had asked to just print my name with a few inches of white space below so that even though a fool, I might be counted wise, or at least avoid removing all doubt.

It’s just one of those seasons that come along from time to time in the lives of those of us whose vocations include public speaking and frequent writing. We might have plenty on our minds, but when it’s a mix of the unresolved and personal, knowing what needs to be said, what has the potential to be useful and productive, isn’t always obvious.

Come to think of it, anyone of us can expect to find ourselves in such uncertain moments. Are you familiar with the guideline that if it’s not true, not kind, or not necessary, it ought not be said? Right now little is coming to mind that fully passes muster.

A couple of contributors to the Bible had interesting perspectives on not knowing what to say, remaining silent, holding one’s peace. The prophet Amos ran off a laundry list of wrongs being committed by certain people of ancient Israel. He named those who “abhor the one who speaks the truth,” “trample on the poor,” “afflict the righteous, take a bribe, and push aside the needy.” Then he drew an ironic conclusion after having just spoken up so loudly and clearly. The “prudent,” he said, “will keep silent in such a time.” Who says there’s no wit along with the wisdom contained in the pages of the Bible? (Amos 5:10-13, New Revised Standard Version.)

To those who find themselves at a loss in one particular form of dialogue, the Apostle Paul writes, “We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans.” (Romans 8:26, Common English Bible.)

I hope you weren’t counting on this leading up to a pithy and profound conclusion. I don’t have one, unless it counts simply to pass on that the Bible seems to indicate that it’s ok not to know what to say and sometimes, saying nothing is the only way to get where we want to be. “Stand silent. Know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10a, The Living Bible.)

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