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Tag Archive | "Owens"

An Open Letter To The Cedar Springs City Counci


 

Dear Mayor Charlie Watson & City Council,

I attended the budget workshop on Saturday, at which you reviewed your budget for the upcoming fiscal year. It’s no secret that times are tight economically, and so tough decisions regarding the City’s budget have to be made. Throughout the meeting I heard words like “depressing” and “discouraging” several times. But I would like to offer a different take. I see four great things about the current budget situation in Cedar Springs:

1. It’s an opportunity to learn new ways of doing old things. I think this poem from Robert Browning Hamilton says it best:

I walked a mile with Pleasure –

She chattered all the way

But left me none the wiser

For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow

And ne’er a word said she,

But, oh, the things I learned from her

When Sorrow walked with me.

There are some things we learn in difficult times that we simply wouldn’t learn at any other time.

2. You have the opportunity to involve new partners. Just like the B2B group stepped in to help run the Spooktacular, and Calvary Assembly of God and the Community Action Network organized the Mingle With Kris Kringle event, and business partners jumped into to help with the Red Flannel Festival, I know others will step in to help as well. We are a community of citizens that love Cedar Springs, so we are willing to help, if you will give us the chance.

3.  You can increase community awareness. As many of you remarked, there were more concerned citizens at this year’s budget workshop than in previous years. When times are tough, it gets our attention. We want to know what you are doing, and our involvement now will probably translate into our continued involvement when Cedar Springs comes out of this economic downturn.

4. You are building our trust. It’s been said that trust is built on difficult ground. Anyone can make smart decisions when times are good and the City coffers are abundantly filled. But as you are making wise decisions during these tough times, you are building our trust in your fiscal responsibilities.

We’re all in this together. We elected you to help lead us through good times and bad times. So we’re behind you. We will come out of this time stronger, more unified, and more committed to making Cedar Springs the best place to live and work in West Michigan!

Sincerely Yours,

Craig T. Owens

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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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Small business Saturday and Sunday


Everywhere you turn, you hear and see ads and commercials promoting Black Friday specials at the big chain and department stores. But what about the small mom and pop shops—the small businesses—whose survival depends on you shopping there?
Charlie Owens, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, the state’s leading small-business association, is encouraging holiday shoppers to invest in their communities by shopping at small businesses the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving.
“Black Friday is when a lot of people get up early and line up outside the giant department stores, but if you’re looking for something unique and want to support your community, then you need to shop at small businesses, too,” said Owens.
According to a 2011 report by Ernst & Young, more than 90 percent of all businesses in Michigan are registered as flow-through companies, usually sole proprietorships, partnerships and other small operations.  They account for more than half of all jobs in the state.
“Small businesses drive our economy, and if we’re going to create jobs in this state, we need a healthy small-business community,” said Owens.
“Small and independent business owners are among the most generous supporters of civic groups, local charities, youth sports, school activities and virtually every other form of community activity,” Owens said. “Shopping locally is a way for people to help their friends and neighbors and create jobs and opportunities in our communities.”
Check out the ads and specials in this week’s paper to find small businesses in our area. And check out our website at home page for some Internet-only coupons!

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Dinner that’s more than dinner


Pastor Craig T. Owens

Calvary Assembly of God

810 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs
www.cscalvary.org

The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told Him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. (Mark 6:30-32, NLT)

Sometimes dinner is more than dinner.

Jesus recognized this. He wanted to get away with His friends just to have a quiet meal and some meaningful conversation.

In many ways our lives are as busy as those who tried to talk with Jesus. In the hustle and bustle of over-filled calendars, after-school activities, and the constant bombardment of TV, computers and cell phones, we don’t even have time to eat together. And the biggest victim is our kids. Just like Jesus’ followers were longing to spend time with Him, your kids are longing to spend time with you.

So set aside time for dinner this week.  In fact, set aside as many days in the week as you can. Turn off the TV and cell phones and iPods, and just enjoy each others’ company.

Check out the advantages of simply eating together:
•    Families who eat dinner together eat healthier.
•    Families who eat dinner together have higher communications skills.
•    Children in families who eat dinner together perform better academically.
•    Children in families who eat dinner together are less likely to try cigarettes, illegal drugs, or alcohol.

Mom and Dad, dinner with your kids is way more than just dinner. It’s an investment in their future that will return incredible rewards! So when you make time for dinner, you’re making time for something far greater than just food.

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