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Tag Archive | "solon center wesleyan church"

Pastor Tom Holloway to say goodbye to Cedar Springs


Pastor Tom Holloway is known to some as the “rock & roll” preacher. He will be leaving at the end of the month to take over a church in South Carolina.

Pastor Tom Holloway is known to some as the “rock & roll” preacher. He will be leaving at the end of the month to take over a church in South Carolina.

The congregation of the Solon Center Wesleyan Church will bid their pastor, Rev. Tom Holloway, farewell at the end of the month. He and his family will be moving to South Carolina to take charge of another Wesleyan church in the North Myrtle Beach area.

Pastor Tom, with his wife Kim, daughter Taylor and sons Christian and Jackson came to Solon Center Wesleyan Church in 2007, when Pastor Tom was hired as a part time youth pastor and worship leader. Under his direction, the youth program flourished and the worship music became more contemporary in style. Each year he and the praise band would ride a float in the Red Flannel Parade, representing the church and playing their favorite songs. Over time, he fondly became known by some in the community as the rock & roll preacher.

When the opening became available in 2011, Pastor Tom became the lead pastor of the church. Since then the church has grown both numerically and spiritually under Pastor Tom’s guidance and loving care. His vision statement of  “Reaching Up, Reaching Out & Reaching In” has become a reality, as the church has worshipped freely, made its presence known in the community, and the spiritual lives of individuals have deepened in their love for God through his teaching.

Pastor Tom has been instrumental in the community on a personal level as well. Some years ago, he and fellow youth pastor C.J. Mauer had a vision to start a youth center in Cedar Springs. From their vision and efforts, En Gedi, meaning “a place to be refreshed,” became a reality and now provides students in 6th-12th grades a safe place to get away from the burdens of life and be re-charged and energized.  Pastor Tom acted as the first executive director for the center until becoming the lead pastor at the church. Pastor Craig Owens is now directing the center located at Red Hawk Elementary School, which meets after school Mondays through Thursdays.

Said Owens, “The En Gedi Youth Center is an amazing after-school program. I am sometimes given kudos for the work we do, but if our program is successful, it is because I stand on the shoulders of Tom Holloway. If it were not for his vision for this program, and his tireless effort to make it work, we wouldn’t have the life-changing program that we now have. We owe a huge debt to Pastor Tom’s vision for Cedar Springs.”

After this change Pastor Tom remained involved as a board member of En Gedi and continued to support the center through helping with fund raising efforts and Friday night 5th quarter events.

In addition, Pastor Tom has also worked over the past two years as an officer for the Community Building Development Team of Cedar Springs. The team is working to advance the construction of buildings and spaces where the greater Cedar Springs Community can gather for cultural, educational, recreational, commercial, and family/community events. Pastor Tom’s recent work primarily involved research regarding the design and construction of an amphitheater for the city.

CBDT president Kurt Mabie said, “Tom has a passion and love for this city.  He will be missed.”

He has also consistently been an active member of the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association, which meets monthly and organizes ecumenical gatherings such as the upcoming “UNITED” Community Worship Service which is planned for August 23 in Morley Park. Pastor Tom was always instrumental in leading the praise and worship portion of the service, organizing band members, vocalists, and equipment.

Brett DeGraaf, Vice Chairman of the board at Solon Center recently shared his thoughts. “Pastor Tom has truly been a blessing to Solon Center Wesleyan Church and the Cedar Springs community. Through his music and unique ministry style, he was able to grow our church family and build a spirit of serving outside of the church walls. It will be very sad to see him go but we all know that God has plans for him and for the future of Solon Center Wesleyan Church. We wish him all the best.”

Pastor Tom’s last Sunday at Solon Center Wesleyan will be July 26. The service will begin at 10 a.m. It will be the last time the congregation and guests will hear his encouraging words of “Go Be the Church!” at the end of the service. The church, friends, and family will send the Holloways on to their new destination in South Carolina, with a farewell party at 1 p.m. the same day. The invitation is open to anyone in the community who may wish to attend. The church is located on Algoma Avenue, just north of 19 Mile Road.

Pastor Tom’s last “From the Pulpit” article ran in last week’s issue of the Post. You can read it online at www.cedarspringspost.com.

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Terrance Arthur Gage II

C-OBIT-gage-webTerrance Arthur Gage II 39 of Cedar Springs, passed away on Thursday, May 21, 2015 from accidental injuries. Terry is now walking with the Lord. Terry was met by his Grandpa and Grandma Middleton, Grandpa Gage, Aunt Laurie and Grandson Israel. He was born July 31, 1975 in Lakeview, MI. Following graduation from High School Terry enlisted in the U.S. Navy, he very proudly served his country for 20 years retiring in July of 2014. He traveled a lot while in the service and his daughters were able to travel with him. Terry loved to cook and was known as the chef. He was learning to make bowls from different kinds of wood, enjoyed auction sales and flea markets and loved to hunt. He was always helping people and spending time with his family and friends. He was looking forward to seeing his son Kevin graduate from high school and his daughter Ashley from business college in Virginia. He will be missed by his family and friends. Surviving are the love of his life, Marti; daughters, Mykenzie, Ashley (Danny) Lopez, Kayli (Warren) Armock; son, Kevin; two grandson and one granddaughter whom he loved very much; father, Terry (Judy) Gage; mother, Carol Rowe; grandmother, Carol Gage; Marti’s parents, Charlie (Reta) McKee; sisters, Debbie (Tim) Prins, Sue (Joe) Molyneux, Colleen Maycroft, Chris (John) Sweeny; brothers, Paul (Jane) Ringler, David (Cheryl) Finnila, Todd Finnila; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. The family greeted friends Wednesday, May 27 from 11:00 am until time of service at 1:00 pm at Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Avenue, Cedar Springs. Pastor Tom Holloway officiating.

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

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A March to Madness

Solon-Center-Wesleyan-webPastor Tom Holloway

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs 

(just north of 19 Mile)



As I sit writing this article (which is late), I am wearing my Michigan State sweats and State Gymnastics t-shirt. I love March Madness, especially when my Spartans are playing as well as they are this year. But I don’t like madness in my life. I’m what you might describe as a control freak. I prefer to over-achieve, and I don’t like to fail.

I really don’t like to miss deadlines, and I stress out about letting other people down. Why is this article late? The first reason is the busyness of the Easter season. Throw in an auction for En Gedi on Friday, two weddings on Saturday, and my life is crazy busy. The second is an unforeseen tragedy.

The first is a matter of planning and stress control. For pastors the Easter season is one of both tremendous joy, and tremendous stress. Easter is the highlight of the Christian calendar, and the pinnacle of the church year. Some might call it Super Bowl Sunday for the church. When you plan ahead, it’s manageable. But tragedy strikes when you least expect it, and there is really no way to prepare yourself for it.

As we prepare for Easter, we are walking with Jesus as he approaches the cross. He tries to prepare His disciples for the tragedy that is about to befall them. I like to call it a March to Madness. Something is going to happen to them and it’s going to be devastating for a while (3 days to be exact). It’s going to test their resolve at the very core of their being. Though Jesus tried to prepare them for what was to come, they really didn’t get it. How could they?

This Sunday we will be celebrating “Palm Sunday,” where Jesus comes into Jerusalem triumphantly on a donkey and the people cheer and they love Him. They throw palm branches on the ground, and they shout, “Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” But soon those triumphant shouts of joy will turn to jeers and calling for the authorities to release the criminal Barabbas, instead of the Son of God, Jesus. The disciples must have been dumbfounded. How could this be? Why is this happening? What is God doing? How could He let this happen?

Then Jesus does something in the garden of Gethsemane that I think is key to this whole thing. He’s praying to His Father, and asks Him, is there another way? Can you take this situation from me? Then Jesus says, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”

I’ve found that in situations that I find myself in, especially the difficult ones, that there is something bigger in play. God is always trying to teach me something bigger than myself. We cannot avoid tragedy no matter what we do. Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” You are guaranteed trouble, but I think despite these tragedies God wants to teach you something, as he did Michigan State basketball player Travis Trice, when he became ill in 2012 with a virus that no doctor could diagnose. He was sick for 8 weeks and lost 20 lbs. Travis said that while he was sick, he got a newfound outlook on life, and every day had new meaning. He saw God’s hand on his life, and his healing. In his illness there was a greater thing at work.

I believe that God wants to work in your life and my life in the same way, though we don’t always understand it. You can take comfort in 1 Corinthians 13:12, which says: “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

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Affordable health screenings 


HEA-LifeLineScreeningFebruary 28, at Solon Center Wesleyan

Residents living in and around the Cedar Springs, Michigan can learn about their risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and other chronic, serious conditions with affordable screenings by Life Line Screening. Solon Center Wesleyan Church will host this community event on Saturday, February 28. The site is located at 15671 Algoma in Cedar Springs.  Steve Hennigar of Oscoda, MI attended a Life Line Screening and said, “I’m sure Life Line Screening saved my life.”

Screenings can check for:

  • The level of plaque buildup in your arteries, related to risk for heart disease, stroke and overall vascular health.
  • HDL and LDL Cholesterol levels
  • Diabetes risk
  • Bone density as a risk for possible osteoporosis
  • Kidney and thyroid function, and more

Screenings are affordable, convenient and accessible for wheelchairs and those with trouble walking. Free parking is also available.

Packages start at $149, but consultants will work with you to create a package that is right for you based on your age and risk factors. Call 1-877-237-1287 or visit our website at www.lifelinescreening.com. Pre-registration is required.

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Peace on Earth

Solon-Center-Wesleyan-webPastor Tom Holloway

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs 

(just north of 19 Mile)


The holidays are here and that means families get functions, work parties, Christmas programs, and most of all stress! The holidays can be the “most wonderful time of the year,” and also the most painful for many people. For some people it will be the first Christmas without a loved one, the first Christmas without a significant other, the first Christmas without a warm place to sleep. Yet it is for many the best time of the year.

I love celebrating Christmas with my family and my loved ones, and I love giving gifts. I love seeing my children’s eyes light up when they get that thing that they never thought they would get. Of course we can’t give all of the things we would like to give, and my wife and I have basically given up on giving each other anything significant, though I always spend more than I promise to spend on her. As a pastor of a local church, Christmas is the second busiest season of the year next to Easter. So it is one thing after another, and it is the most stressful time of the year for me personally. Yet I still manage to find some peace at Christmas. The question is why?

Why can some people feel stress and some people feel peace? Why is this time of year the best of times for some, and the worst of times for others? I think the answer is the real reason for the season. The birth of Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas, though some in the world would try to disagree. In fact, Jesus’ birth is the reason that we count the years on a calendar.  The term Anno Domini is medieval Latin, translated as In the year of the Lord, or AD on your calendar. He is the reason that we count time. When Jesus came to the earth He came to give us peace. In fact is says this in Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

I don’t think that peace means a life of solitude and a life free from stress and worry. In fact Jesus came into the world in a time of great unrest for His people the Israelites. They were under Roman rule, and they had lost the great power they once had. It was anything but peaceful for Israel and for Jesus. He was persecuted, beaten, mocked, and eventually crucified on a cross for doing nothing wrong. Doesn’t seem very peaceful to me! But He defeated death by His resurrection, and by showing us how to have peace “despite” our circumstances. He allowed us to believe that this kind of peace is possible.

So when you are out shopping and that person snatches that last Furby, or when that crazy uncle comes to the family gathering and starts that political argument, or when you realize that this will be the first Christmas without that special someone, you can have peace.  Peace in knowing that someone loved you so much that they came from Heaven, from their rightful throne, and gave up all their rights so that they could come and serve you and show us how to love others. Christmas is all about giving to others because you have been given the greatest gift you could ever receive—the gift of Jesus, the gift of love, and the gift of eternal life!


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Halloween Happenings


Check out some of the fun, fall activities going on in our area for Halloween!


MCC Haunted Indoor Forest

Oct. 24, 25: Montcalm Community College Art Club hosts a Haunted Indoor Forest from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Instruction North Building, on the college’s Sidney campus. A $2 donation is suggested.

Harvest Brains at Sand Lake/Nelson Library

Oct. 25: Program for teens, at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, October 25. Save your brains! Build a survival bag, practice your aim, and learn what it takes to stay alive during a zombie apocalypse. The library is located at 88 Eighth St., Sand Lake.

Harvest party

Oct. 25: Cedar Creek Community Church, at 2969 14 Mile RD NE Sparta, will host a harvest party on Saturday, October 25, from 5-8 p.m. There will be hayrides (using straw due to allergies), pumpkin painting, dunking for apples, cake walk, games, face painting, soup, hot dogs, popcorn, and lots of fun! All are welcome. Call 866-9829 for more info.

Pumpkin Carving and Lit Trails Walk

Oct. 25: Pumpkin/Carving and Pumpkin lit trail hike from 5-8:30 p.m. at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16290 Red Pine Dr., Kent City, on Saturday, October 25. Suggested donation is $8 per person or $30 for family of four or more, including pumpkin to take home. (No one turned away for inability to pay. This donation helps keep HCNC operating.) Pumpkin carving from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and pumpkin lit walk through our spooky Enchanted Forest from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Friendly enough for your toddlers. Non scary animals will be on display in the forest, weather permitting for the mock-animals). Includes pumpkin to take home or leave at the center for the wild animals to munch on. Dress up as your favorite nature character. Open to all ages.

Trunk ‘r Treat at Courtland-Oakfield UMC 

Oct. 25: It’s our fourth annual Trunk ‘r Treat for kids of all ages. Saturday, October 25, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake NE. Candy outdoors; hot dogs & baked beans indoors.

Trunk or Treat at East Nelson UMC

Oct. 25: Bring your kids and come “Trunk or Treat” at East Nelson UM Church, 9024 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs on Saturday, October 25 from 5-7 p.m. Warm up with hot chocolate and sloppy joes. Games and fun for all.

Fall Festival  

Oct. 29: Fall Festival for all ages at the Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs on Wednesday, October 29, from 6:30- 8 p.m. For families with children 5th grade and under. Games, prizes, snacks, boy and girl door prizes and candy, candy, candy! The church is located on Algoma, just north of 19 Mile Road.

Nightmare on Cherry Street

Oct. 30: Calling all 4th to 6th graders!  You are officially invited to come to our “Nightmare on Cherry Street” party at the Cedar Springs Library! The fun, games, and food will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 30 and go until 7:30. Registration is required, so come into the library to sign up or call 616-696-1910

Trick or Treat Trail Walk

Oct. 31: From 3-5 p.m. on Halloween, bring your kiddos by Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16290 Red Pine Dr., Kent City, to take a short walk down one of our trails to collect some candy, so we don’t get tricked!

Cedar Springs Spooktacular

Oct. 31:  The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, businesses and churches in Cedar Springs are sponsoring the annual Main Street Halloween Spooktacular on Friday, October 31. Some of the free events include: spooky storytelling and crafts at the Cedar Springs Public Library, 4:30 p.m.; a haunted school house at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park 5-7 p.m.; a Kids Carnival, hosted by Calvary Assembly of God 5-7 p.m.; Trick-or-Treating at local businesses between 5-7pm; and Trunk or Treat at The Springs Church from 6 to 8 p.m. (see more details below).

Kids carnival

Oct. 31: Calvary Assembly of God will be presenting a free carnival during the Chamber of Commerce’s Spooktacular event from 5-7pm on Friday, October 31. The carnival will be at the corner of Ash and Main Street, next to DJ Nails, and will have lots of family-friendy games, with prizes and candy.

Haunted school house

Oct. 31: The Haunted School House is back this year at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park from 5-7 p.m. again. Nolan Patin has worked up another fun spooky event for the museum. We do adapt our spookiness when young children are coming through and will be handing out treats.

Trunk or Treat at The Springs

Oct. 31: Creative costumes—check. Oodles of goodies—check. Lots of giggles and loads of fun—doublecheck! You’ll experience it all at The Springs Church at Trunk or Treat on Halloween night from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be lots of candy for the taking, carnival games, a giant slide, and refreshments. It will be fun for the whole family, and a safe, well-lit environment for kids. The church is located at 135 N. Grant St., in Cedar Springs.

Traffic Squad/Fire Department

Oct. 31: There will be cider, donuts and candy at the Cedar Springs Fire Department on Maple Street from 5 to 7 p.m. or while supplies last.

Halloween Hospitality Center

Oct. 31: Warm up station at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main Street, Cedar Springs, on Friday, October 31, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Serving hot chocolate and popcorn, everyone is welcome to join us.

Halloween party – Courtland Fire

Oct 31:  Stop by the Halloween party at the Courtland Fire station #2, 9535 Myers Lake road from 5-9 p.m. Games, snacks candy, cider, coffee,  car trunks with treats welcome. Sponsored by women auxiliary, and many stores in the area.

Family Harvest Celebration

Oct. 31: Pine Ridge Bible Camp invites you to its annual Family Harvest Celebration on Friday, October 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. This free event includes hayride, games, puppet show, cider, donuts and trip through Treat Town. Please bring a bag for collecting treats. It is a fun night for the whole family. Costumes welcome but not necessary. Please no witches, ghosts, monsters, etc. Pine Ridge is located just 5 miles east of town at 8415 17 Mile Rd. Call 616-696-8675 for more information.

Trunk or Treat at Crossfire Church

Oct. 31: Trunk or Treat at Crossfire Church, 4780 Cornfield Drive, Cedar Springs, from 6-8 p.m. There will be games and prizes, candy for the kids, hot dogs and chips available.

Ghostbusters at the Kent Theatre

Oct. 31, Nov. 1, Nov.2: Don’t let the Halloween weekend go by without spending some time at the Kent Theatre. A special showing of Ghostbusters will be on the big screen October 31, November 1 and 2, in celebration of Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary. Now in digital format, watch your favorite ghost busting team in action! Showing Halloween night at 6 and 9 p.m., Saturday at 3, 6 and 9 p.m. and Sunday at 3 and 6 pm. Tickets are only $3.00.

Sand Lake Fire Department

Oct. 31: The Sand Lake Fireman’s Association will host their annual Halloween festivities at the fire station at 2 Maple Street in Sand Lake from 6-8 p.m. There will be games, a bounce house, prize drawings, goody bags, cider, donuts, and coffee. There will also be a costume contest. Judging is at 7:15, must be present to win the contest. Call 636-8854 for more info.

Trick or Treat at Meadowlark

Oct. 31: Meadowlark Retirement Village in Sparta loves having trick or treaters. Their doors will be open from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, October 31. The residents can’t wait to see all the kids dressed up! Meadowlark is located at 65 Ida Red Ave, Sparta. Call 887-8891 ext. 102 for more info.




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“Could that Happen Here?”

Solon-Center-WesPastor Tom Holloway
Solon Center Wesleyan Church
15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs
(just north of 19 Mile)

As I look at the events that are taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, it makes me ask the question, “Could that happen in Cedar Springs?” Have you thought about that? Or do you just assume that something like that could never happen here? I think it would be foolish of us to think that something like that couldn’t happen here; but at the same time, I believe that the things our community is doing is building in safeguards so that those kinds of things won’t happen here.
What are the safeguards in our community? The first is that we are truly a community. We are a group of people that values a greater sense of purpose. The idea is that there is something larger than our own personal interests. The fact that 8 or 9 churches can come together on a Sunday morning and forego their own offerings and take one large offering and give it to the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association to help the hurt, and needy in our community is proof.  Think about that for a second–that’s like taking your family’s paychecks for the week and giving it away to someone or something other than your own needs.  Yet, the cell phone bill still comes, the groceries need to be bought, the lights need to stay on, the mortgage payment still needs to be paid, and for the churches the staff still needs to be paid.
That is enough to make church people and leaders squirm and to not get involved in something bigger. But after six years of doing “United,” the churches continue to close their doors to meet in the community. If you’ve never been a part of a church then you might not see that as a big deal, but it shows that there is a common unity and a trust in this community that isn’t prevalent in a lot of other communities.
The second safeguard that we have in our community is a sense of leaving Cedar Springs better than we found it. I don’t know about you, but I want to leave our community better off than it is now. I want to know that when I’m dead and gone that I helped make our little corner of the world better than I found it. Do you know that we have a Community Building Development Team? What is their goal? To make the community better by working together with the current resources, and to remember the past by honoring it, and also building community buildings that will be the highlight of the community.
Why are they doing that? Is it to put their name on a building, or to get a pat on the back? Not at all. They are doing it because they know that an investment in the community that builds community will enhance living in Cedar Springs, which will lead to more families choosing Cedar Springs over other communities.  Which also means more of a tax base, more resources to spend at the local stores, more students to help build more and better schools, and more and better athletes that will enhance our already great sports teams.
When many people are in a time in their life where they can just sit back and relax, those people are seeking to develop the place where we live. When we see that others truly care about a larger purpose, it builds trust when others would seek to divide us.
The final safeguard that I believe is in place is simply the Lord. In a time in the world when it’s not popular to claim the name of Jesus, I believe that our community is proud to claim His hand on us. I have seen so many times that God has had His hand on our community it blows my mind.
Jesus was asked what the most important law was and He told them that it was twofold. The first was to love God, and the second was equally important. Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. In other words, we need each other in order to be right with God. It’s more than just living your own life, and doing all of the right things. It’s much bigger than that. There is a larger purpose in mind.
The original question was, “Could what happened in Ferguson happen to us?”  I believe if we in Cedar Springs continue to love and serve our God, who has been so generous to us, and to put others ahead of ourselves, it can’t happen here.

But it’s up to us individually, and also collectively. So the next time you are tempted to think bad about someone or their actions, trust that they have your best interest at heart. It’s up to you!

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Turn around

Solon-Center-WesPastor Tom Holloway

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs (just north of 19 Mile)


As I write this article I am coming off of preaching my “Mother’s Day” sermon, and trying to encourage the mothers in our church to turn around and take notice of the things around you that you might miss. Not the kinds of things like a spot on the carpet, or the dust on a ceiling fan. Instead we are talking about the things that aren’t obvious until you put on a new type of lens—a spiritual lens you might say.

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Corinth tells them this…

2 Corinthians 3:15-18 “15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

When we turn to the Lord, when we make a choice to follow after Jesus, we get a gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we receive that gift, the lens that we look through will change. That lens will allow us to see with new eyes, and we will then be able to see what God wants us to see, not only about ourselves (it does that in the form of encouragement when we need it, correction when we need it, and joy when we need it) but it also gives us a heart for others.

What I challenged the mothers in our congregation to do is the same thing I’m challenging you with today. Who needs your attention? Who needs encouragement? What or who have you been avoiding, even though you keep feeling this prodding to get involved? Turn around and get involved.

I think that once you see with new eyes, you will see a change in not only the things you see but the person you are becoming. You will not only affect the change in those around you, but the change will be in you. There are so many needs in the Cedar Springs community, so many hurting and needy families and children. What is God calling you to get involved in? How can you help? How can you be the change agent in those that God is putting in your path?  Turn around and look with new lenses!


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Community Building…Building Community?

Solon-Center-WesPastor Tom Holloway

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs (just north of 19 Mile)


Community Building and Building Community—are they one and the same? They are the same words for sure. But do they mean the same thing? I hope that our answer in Cedar Springs is “Yes.” A community building is a place where a community would come together in a physical space that is common.  A physical space where the needs of the community are both felt and met. In order for this to happen, or course we need to first build a sense of community.

The “church” often feels this tension, too. When I say that I go to church at “such and such” church, for me that church is (Solon Center Wesleyan Church), to you it might be a different location. But when we say that we are going to church, does that mean that we go to a physical location that has an address? I’d say both yes, and no. For us at Solon Center, our physical location is at 15671 Algoma Ave, yet when we leave that place we are called to “Go be the church” to the communities, schools, workplaces and families we represent. That is what is so great about the church; it can be a location where we worship and do the things of God, and it is also a place from which we are sent to do the work of the church.

When the church loses focus on what they are called to do, they get off track.  When the church becomes so much about us and our own needs, we forget what we are called to do. The Great Commission spells is out:

Matthew 28:18-20: 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

A building that we call church is a great thing, and I am very proud of how warm and friendly our building is, but it is nothing without the people. Just look at all of the empty church buildings in Europe that have become nothing more than museums. When we fail to meet the needs of our community, our halls will grow dark and empty.

Right now in Cedar Springs there is great enthusiasm for a “Community Building” to be put together to meet the ever-growing needs of an ever-growing community.  Even now people are working hard just to find out what our community needs so that we can not only survive, but we can thrive. We have a vision for a building that will enhance the great things already taking place in Cedar Springs, and that will also take us to the next level. I’m sure that all of the details will be coming out soon to answer all of the questions that the community must have, but you can know for sure that our primary goal is not to just build a “Community Building,” but rather to “Build the Community” of Cedar Springs. I love these words spoken to the prophet Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 33:3: 3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’”

When a community comes together united in their goal, and united in their love for their community ahead of there own personal interests, there is no end to what God can do.  We are called to be the church in our community, which means putting the needs of others ahead of our own. We as a community are called to see the needs of our current generation as well as the needs of future generations. Hang on—it’s going to be a great ride!


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Being a guide and having a guide

Pastor Chad Hampton

Solon Center Wesleyan Church

15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs (just north of 19 Mile)

Huntin The Truth Ministries




The first day of October marks an extra exciting season in the life of a select group of people: deer hunters. This day marks the opening of archery deer hunting season. This time of year brings the excitement and anticipation of hopefully harvesting those deer that you have been watching on your trail cameras, dreaming of, and talking to other hunters about the entire year. This is not to mention seeing pictures of some of the nice bucks being harvested by our youth during the early youth hunt that builds the excitement! Speaking of youth, for a ministry I’ve founded called “Huntin the Truth Ministries,” this also brings the excitement of having the privilege and opportunity to fulfill our mission. We take youth and physically challenged men and women out into the fields to hunt those deer and use the opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ with them and help guide these men and women spiritually as they also “hunt” the plan that God has for their lives.

This year as I pondered the great memories we will make hunting and guiding other hunters, I began thinking about how God is providing for a new chapter when it comes to my family life and ministry. Even though I have been in ministry for 15 years, hunting for almost 25 years, and approaching my middle-aged years of life, this will be a season I have never been through before. Even though I have security of knowing that God is in control at every new season that life brings, I know that God uses people in our lives to help guide us along each journey, much like we do with the youth in our ministry during hunting season.We teach them where and how to hunt, how to use their weapons, and sometimes warn them of the dangers of what lies ahead based on the hard lessons we have learned from our successes and our failures. I began to realize that although I guide others and have gained experience from the years I have lived on this earth, I also need a guide, or a mentor, who God will use to lead me through this new phase in life.  I need a wise person with experience in this stage who will educate me on the ups and downs that occurred throughout a past season of his/her life.

The Bible actually tells us that even if we are wise, we will seek out and listen to more wisdom!  Proverbs 9:9 says, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: Teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” We see in Proverbs chapter 1 that Solomon declared that he wrote the Proverbs “That the wise man may hear, and increase in learning: And that the man of understanding may attain unto sound counsels.” Solomon, who God blessed with greater wisdom than anyone of his day, also had his share of failures even though he had wisdom to that degree. He is trying to teach us a great lesson from his life: Even though you might have much wisdom and experience, you always need more.

I began to realize this year—more so than ever—that our entire lives are cycles of seasons that we have never been through before. Whether you are a young boy or girl just entering junior high school, a young man or women who is entering a new marriage or having children, a middle-aged man or woman who is experiencing the empty nest, or a man or woman approaching retirement, these are all fresh stages in life; these are times we can navigate through easier with the wisdom and direction of someone who has already been through your current season.

So, let me ask you: Do you have a guide or mentor in your life who God could use to help guide you through this current season of your life and the seasons ahead? Regardless of our age, we have never been through our current stage of life, and I would recommend seeking God on whom that person or persons would be to help guide you! Furthermore, if you have never been a mentor to another person, I would recommend that you seek God and your church leaders concerning who you could mentor through times you have already experienced. God bless you, and if you’re a hunter, God bless your hunting!



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