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Tag Archive | "Holloway"

Endless Summer?


Solon-Center-WesPastor Tom Holloway

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs 

(just north of 19 Mile)

 

My wife and I sat down early this spring and decided that this would be the summer of “No!” We would say no to anything that took time away from our family because we are so busy during the school year with ministry, teaching, and sports. We seem to run ourselves ragged from sun up to sun down, and we needed a slow-paced summer so that we could enjoy the weather and some much needed down time. So the answer to any and every request would be, “no”.

Well, the junior ball league really needed a coach, and without it they might not have had another team so I figured that I had better fill that need. My daughter got into this really great music camp, and it’s only 5 hours away, and it could be life changing for her so we signed her up for that. And since we sent her to that, we couldn’t really say no to this great basketball camp for my son (Tom Izzo is going to be there after all!).  My wife and the kids have always gone over to the other side of the state to visit her college roommate and we couldn’t really miss that opportunity could we? Oh, and I found out that I’m going to be honored at this camp in Indiana for some worship leading that I’ve done over the years, and I’d hate to miss that! Well, you can see where this is going! The summer of “No” has turned into the summer of “Yes of course I can do that!”

I believe that our lives are full of seasons. In fact the writer of Ecclesiastes (Solomon), tells us about that.  It was even made popular in the famous song, “Corner of the sky.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4, 11-12. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance…
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”

Maybe this season in your life is not what you expected or even hoped for. Maybe you find yourself in a really difficult situation that you didn’t expect. But you can know that even though life is not what you expected, it is only for a season. There are seasons in our lives that stress us out, that make us wonder what God is up to. But we can take comfort in the fact that God has set eternity in our hearts, and if we have the “big picture” in mind we can have the “peace that passes all understanding”. So try to slow down this summer and take some time to “Be still and know that He is God” (Psalms 46:10). I’m going to try too! So don’t ask me to do anything! (Just kidding!)

 

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En-Gedi selects new Interim Director


Pastor Craig Owens is the Interim Executive Director of En-Gedi.

En-Gedi, the Cedar Springs non-profit based organization focused on strengthening families and providing a community youth center for students 6-12th grade, recently hired Pastor Craig Owens as the Interim Executive Director. Owens takes the place of En-Gedi’s first and only Executive Director Tom Holloway, who accepted the full-time position of Senior Pastor at Solon Wesleyan Church. Holloway continues to serve on the En-Gedi Board as well as volunteer at the youth center.
The after-school youth center has been operating out of Red Hawk Elementary as a Cedar Springs Public Schools Partner in Education since September 2010. Due to extremely high numbers of students participating, it was decided to separate the ages when the new school year started with Mondays and Wednesdays for 6th graders only and Tuesdays and Thursdays for 7-12th graders. En-Gedi’s youth center offers small group discussions, tutoring, monitored computer access for homework as well as serve as a cool safe place to hang out with ping-pong, pool, board games, octaball and other sports, art projects, and video games. A snack bar was added with a variety of food and drinks.
“Pastor Owens brings a great deal of experience in working with youth, commitment to our community and schools, and administrative expertise to our organization,” explained Sue Wolfe, En-Gedi Board Chairperson.
Owens is a Wayne State University and Oral Roberts University graduate currently serving as Pastor for Calvary Assembly of God Church. He, along with his wife and three children, live in Cedar Springs.
“I have followed En-Gedi through the development stage and always appreciated the purpose. Now, I am excited to be working more closely with such a promising organization,” said Owens.
“Craig is a wonderful gift to En-Gedi, our students, and community. He is already involved with many local organizations. The transition from Tom to Craig has gone well and the board is enthusiastically moving forward in securing a permanent Executive Director,” said Wolfe. “En-Gedi is ready to take a leap of faith into the next phase of organization’s goal to open a youth center room in the high school and middle school. We see the need and believe we should now move forward in expanding programs, services, and special events to our community’s youth and families. This next phase will require a full-time director.”
Pastor CJ Mauer, Worship Arts Pastor at the Springs Church, is the chair of the Director’s Search Committee. “We want to take the necessary time to find someone with a heart for youth and our community. We believe this is a local mission and we want to find the best possible person,” he explained.
The En-Gedi Board has given this committee a 6-month timeline to complete the process. Craig has agreed to serve as Interim Director during the entire search process.
In order to fund the only paid En-Gedi position of a full time director, the organization needs to secure necessary funding. Various ideas are being discussed which is dependent on the support of area residents, churches, and businesses. Jo Furhoff has been the first to step up with a donation. She, along with Barb Zahm, will be donating 100 percent of all profits from a Tastefully Simple fund-raiser. Tastefully Simple offers unique delicious food items that can be used as a gift or for personal consumption. Orders can be placed online by going to www.tastefullysimple.com/web/bzahm and entering En-Gedi as the host. Contact Sue Wolfe (696-2246) or Jo Furhoff (696-2435) for details. Deadline for orders is Friday, December 2.
En-Gedi is also preparing for the second annual “Come Be Refreshed Special Event” scheduled for Friday, May 13, which will include a silent auction of various items, entertainment, and a dessert buffet.
Donations are needed and will be greatly appreciated. They can be sent to En-Gedi through the Pay-Pal account on the website or by mailing them to 15290 Tisdel Ave., Cedar Springs, MI. To learn more about En-Gedi visit the website of www.En-GediYouthCenter.com, Facebook, or e-mail EnGediYouthCenter@gmail.com.

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Great Expectations


By Rev. Tom Holloway, Senior pastor
Solon Center Wesleyan Church
15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs
(just north of 19 Mile)

Do you have any expectations for the Christmas season this year? Does your family have any traditions at Christmas? Many people use the day after Thanksgiving for the tradition of rising early and battling the other shoppers at the big box stores for the hopes of a new TV, I-Pad 2, or some other electronic gadget at a bargain basement price.  I have to admit to doing some shopping on “Black Friday” this year, and though I didn’t get up early and wait in lines at 3:00 a.m., I must admit I have done it in the past and I really like watching that TV!
Our family has some other traditions that we like to do every Christmas, and one of them includes going out to a local tree farm and cutting down our Christmas tree on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Some times when we do this the weather is warm, and sometimes it’s cold, and when we’re lucky there is snow on the ground. This year it was both unseasonably warm and dry. It didn’t start raining until after we had gotten the tree loaded up on top of the minivan, and got on the road. But now it’s up, lit, and decorated, and it looks awesome!
These are the traditions, and the expectations that are a joy to me. I must admit that I have a certain level of expectation when it comes to the Christmas season, and when all of my expectations are met life is good. However, I have found that often times my expectations go unmet. Sometimes life just gets in the way, and what I would expect and anticipate doesn’t always happen. I, like you, have had Christmas seasons that I would like to forget. Losing a loved one close to Christmas can make the season that I love the most very difficult. Unfortunately, I have lost two grandparents very close to Christmas, and those years were not filled with joy, but rather sorrow.
When we read the Christmas story from Luke, we meet some characters in the Bible.  One of them is Jesus’ mother, Mary. Mary has some expectations in her life. She is engaged to a man named Joseph. Joseph is from the family line of King David, the most powerful King in Israel’s history. The Messiah would come from this family line, and when Mary gets a visit from the angel Gabriel, she finds out that her expectations are about to change.
28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
When met with some unexpected news, Mary reacts in a way that many of us would, she is “greatly troubled.” Wouldn’t we all be? When we find out that our lives are going to change, and that our expectations are going to be altered, we are usually greatly troubled. It happens when we lose a job; when we receive bad news about an illness; when we lose a loved one; when we are downsized, etc. Life can throw us some real curveballs.
Gabriel gives Mary the best news though, because he tells her that God is with her. Life is going to change for Mary and Joseph; it will be difficult to deal with the news of this miraculous birth, because people will question the validity of it. People will question Mary’s character. Joseph will have to be brave.  Life is going to change and be more difficult, but even through it all, God will be with them.
So you might have some unexpected news this Christmas, and life may get altered. Life might throw you a curveball you didn’t see coming. But Jesus is there for you, and He’s not in the manger—He is with you to walk you through life’s difficulties. Expect and anticipate great things this Christmas season. As the angel tells Joseph, “Immanuel” means God with us!

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Youth center growing


En-Gedi, meaning “a place to be refreshed,” seems to have brought a breath of fresh air to the Cedar Springs Community as area residents and business professionals strive to provide the much-needed support to keep this community youth center alive.

En-Gedi provides 6-12th graders with a place to hang out, provide special events, mentoring, tutoring, intramural sports, and community service opportunities. The center is growing by leaps and bounds, with 85-plus kids attending every day, Monday—Thursday, from 2:15-5 p.m. at Red Hawk Elementary. With that many kids, an additional classroom was greatly needed, according to En-Gedi Director and Solon Wesleyan Youth Pastor, Tom Holloway.

The Mabie Family (Don, June, Chris, and Tim Mabie) recently stepped up to make that  happen with a second significant cash contribution after learning a fifth room was needed.

“We have over 200 students registered with En-Gedi now,” said Holloway. “Recently we had 110 students at En-Gedi all on one day. We keep outgrowing our space. En-Gedi has the general gathering room with a ping-pong table, video games, couches, and a pool table; the media center for reading, art, and tutoring; the computer lab for students to use and the food room/oasis room provides an area for snacks, drinks, board games, and a television.” He said that with the Mabie donation, a fifth room was added so a “Ga-Ga Ball” court could be assembled. “This is a smaller-scaled circular version of indoor soccer,” he explained. “The kids like some physical activity and this new game is both fast-paced and exciting. Volunteers will be painting and decorating the recently added rooms over spring break,” he added.

Holloway continued, “This youth center has been on the hearts and minds of many people within this community for several years. I believe God is leading this project which is why En-Gedi’s needs continue to be met one-by-one just when we need them the most.”

En-Gedi board member Sue Wolfe feels the same way. “We are so grateful for our local business supporters that have donated either funds or equipment for En-Gedi,” said Wolfe.  “Many individuals, the ministerial association, and churches have donated money and volunteered hours to En-Gedi, which is a non-profit Christ-centered 501c3 organization. We are very grateful for the outpouring of support,” she added.

Most recently, CAN (Community Action Network) decided to assist En-Gedi by volunteering. “This exemplifies En-Gedi’s vision of working together with organizations already in place to help students make positive life choices and under the belief the community is Better Together,” explained Wolfe.

Read more in next week’s Post about a special event to be held on May 13 at Cedar Springs High School at 7 p.m. called “En-Gedi—Come be refreshed.” You won’t want to miss it!

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