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Tag Archive | "Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist"

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.

Red Flannel Prince and Princess Registration

ATTENTION KINDERGARTEN PARENTS!! Register your kindergarten boy or girl for the RED FLANNEL PRINCE AND PRINCESS Contest! Visit www.redflannelfestival.org to download a packet of information, pick one up at Kindergarten Roundup or call the Red Flannel Office at 616-696-2662. All students in the Cedar Springs School District (CTA, Algoma Chirstian, Home School) are eligible!! #33-36b

Chicken BBQ and Rummage Sale

Sept. 9,10: 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 9th from 9 am to 4 pm, Saturday, September 10th, from 9 am to 7 pm. BBQ Chicken will be available on Saturday, September 10th from 4 to 7 pm. Half chicken and fixin’s, dine in or carry out. Vegan option available. $10.00. All proceeds go toward community programs in 2017. #35,36p

Car Bash – Michigan vs Michigan State

Sept. 10: Join us for a Car Bash – Michigan vs Michigan State and Solon Market Giveaways Saturday, September 10th to benefit Velsy Park. Market runs from 9 am until 1 pm and the Car Bash runs from 10 am until 12 pm. Support your team! No open toed shoes please. Rain or shine. Questions? 616-696-1848 or check out the event on Facebook/Solon Market. #36b

Praise the Lord at Cowboy Church

Sept. 11: 2nd Chance will be having Cowboy Church on Sunday, September 11th  at 6 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Rd). The message and music will be shared by the duet of Maxine Vader and Leon Seiter. Invite your family and friends. Cowboy Church will be every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Each service will have different people sharing God’s word and music. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #36

Take off pounds sensibly

Sept.13: Take off pounds sensibly (TOPS), a non-profit weight loss support group for men and women, meets every Tuesday at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Sand Lake. Your first visit is free so come check out what TOPS can do to help you reach your weigh loss goals! Weigh-ins 8:15-9am, meeting starts at 9:15am. In case of inclement weather, meetings are cancelled if Tri-County or Cedar Springs schools are closed. Call Barb at 696-8049 for more information. #36

Help Promote Literacy

Sept. 15,23,28: 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 Thursday September 15th at 10 am, Friday September 23rd at 2 pm and Wednesday September 28th at 6 pm. 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. #36

Red Flannel Wine & Craft Beer Tasting

Sept. 17: A Red Flannel wine & craft beer tasting will be held on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 6-9pm at the Whitefish Lake Golf and Grill, 2241 Bass Lake Rd., Pierson, MI. Local craft beer and wine tasting includes a delicious dinner with beer and/or wine samples. Only $40 per person. Buy tickets at the Red Flannel Offices, 18 S. Main St. There will also be a Silent Auction to benefit the RFF Queen’s Scholarship Fund. #36,37b

Howard City Harvest Festival

Sept. 17: Howard City will hold its 14th Annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, September 17th. For more information please check out the event schedule online at www.howardcity.org. #36b

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Resolutions for every day of the year

Courtland-OakfieldUMCPastor Robert Eckert

Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist

10295 Myers Lake Avenue

Rockford, MI 49341



One of the privileges of being a pastor in this area is taking my turn when it comes around to contribute to this column in the Post. I have no idea whether anything any of us writes ever has the impact we hope it will when we’re writing it; still, the opportunity to gather, sift, arrange and present one’s thoughts on what it means to be a person of faith in the 21st century, even in a brief format such as this, helps keeps those of us who do so accountable and attentive to the message of God’s grace that each of us, in our own way, hopes to convey.

So you’d think this spot in the rotation, the week when we’re all turning the corner from one year to the next, would be especially attractive. With 2014 getting one last look before we say farewell and forecasts for 2015 being made, this would seem to be the perfect context for insights on tying up loose ends and stepping forward with bold conviction. You know, the whole New Year’s Resolutions thing.

But how tedious and predictable is that? We’re all capable of googling what the most popular resolutions are and the low success rate people have meeting the goals they set in January. Is there anything at all that a pastor could offer that isn’t just another bow to the clichés of pop culture?

Maybe a different take on resolution would be worth something. Traditionally, during days of auld lang syne, the operative definition of the word involves statements of firm determination relative to particular actions, either to be taken or to be avoided. One might resolve to lose weight, for example, or quit smoking.

Another definition of resolution has to do with problem-solving. Resolution is the just and equitable settlement of a dispute or controversy.

There’s nothing wrong with self-improvement. All of us would do well to take better care of our emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual health and we have nothing to lose by declaring our intentions to do so. In fact, “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” (That comes from one of those google searches, http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/)

But an article that I, or any of our area pastors, could write no matter what time of year it is would speak to the need for the employment of every resource of grace—forgiveness, compassion, reconciliation, redemption. It would encourage us to “let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream” (Amos 5:24, NRSV) and it would remind us that Jesus called peacemakers blessed.

We don’t need to wait until it’s time to flip a page of the calendar to “learn to do good, seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16b-17, NRSV). New Year’s resolutions? Let’s make New Day’s resolutions, every day, always to be part of the solution, actively and intentionally.


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Liberty and justice for all

Courtland-Oakfield-United-MethPastor Robert Eckert

Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church

10295 Myers Lake Ave., Rockford


I’m still thinking about Independence Day. Celebrations of “liberty and justice for all” are still fresh in mind. Even though the nation was founded with some limitations on the word “all” (African slaves, women, non-landowners, for example, weren’t originally included), I am grateful that there have been courageous, visionary leaders along the way to push us toward a full realization of the ideals on which our country was founded.

“All” is a potent little word that is particularly challenging in world made up of such a diverse collection of people. Whether by age, race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnic heritage, cultural affinities, or any of a number of other characteristics, each of us can be defined and categorized in ways such that no one is identical to anyone else.

I am a transplant to this area having grown up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and lived for more than 30 years in Grand Rapids. There are reminders of many aspects of our nation’s diversity that are more evident in most cities than one is likely to find in the town-and-country living of the Cedar Springs area.

There are, however, other reminders of the full diversity of all creation in this part of the world, diversity of a different sort than shows up in urban settings. House wrens and grackles are just about the only birds flying the skies of Grand Rapids, along with the occasional cardinal, blue jay, or mourning dove. Here there are hummingbirds, orioles, and red-breasted grosbeaks; woodpeckers, bluebirds, and indigo buntings; Canada geese, blue herons, and bald eagles.

The writer of Psalm 139 has this to say about all that God has knit together and our place in the diversity of creation: “I give thanks to you that I was marvelously set apart. Your works are wonderful—I know that very well” (Psalm 139:14, CEV).

We often struggle with our differences; we let them breed discomfort, fear, and resentment, but they are evidence of God’s hand in all that is (there’s that word again) and all who are.

“Liberty and justice for all” is not only a promise for Americans in civic and political arenas, it is the promise of God for those parts of our lives that yearn for wholeness and spiritual peace. The apostle Paul put it this way: “Creation itself will be set free from slavery to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of God’s children” (Romans 8:21, CEV). That’s something to hope for, something to work for, something to grow toward, and that’s something for us to do together, all of us.


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