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Tag Archive | "St John Paul II Parish"

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.


Dinner at the Legion

Apr. 3: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Pork Chop dinner on Monday,   April 3rd from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be pork chops, mashed potatoes & gravy, veggies, salad, roll, drink and dessert. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #13p

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

Apr. 4,11,18,25: 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. #13

Fish Fry at Courtland Oakfield UMC

Apr. 7: Courtland Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake, Rockford, will be hosting a Fish Fry on Friday, April 7th from 4:30 to 7:30. Batter fried fish, baked potato or french fries, cole slaw, coffee, punch and dessert. 1, 2 and 3 piece dinners available at $5, $7 and $9. #13

Anatomy – The Human Body @ KDL

Apr. 8: Learn how the human body works through STEAM based activities. Create models to learn how your circulatory system, skeleton and lungs function. Discover what the inside of your body looks like using a human torso model and make your own brain hat to take home. For ages 6 and older. Saturday, April 8th at 10:30 am, Nelson Twp. / Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #13

Honeybees: Pollinators, Stinging Insects and Honey Makers

Apr. 10: Come learn about honeybees and their amazing abilities with Donald Rewa, seasoned beekeeper of 20 years. Followed by Q&A. For adults. Monday, April 10th at 6:30 pm, Nelson Twp. / Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #13

Michigan Reads: Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum

Apr. 11: Celebrate the 2017 Michigan Reads book, Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler, with crafts and activities. For ages 6 and younger. Tuesday, April 11th at 10:30 am, Nelson Twp. / Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #13

Kent District Library Sixth Annual Writers Conference 

The sixth annual event features Michigan authors and publishing insiders sharing their experiences with new and aspiring authors on topics such as the current book market, dealing with publishers and rejection, social media and more. Snacks and a light lunch will be provided. All genres and skill levels are welcome. For adults. Pre-registration is required. Saturday, April 22, 9:00 am to 2:30 pm – Cascade Township KDL Branch. Visit www.kdl.org for more information. 616-784-2007. #13

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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.


 

CS Players perform at the Kent “Zombies, Werewolves and Aliens, oh my!”

Mar. 24-26: The Cedar Springs Community Players will be presenting three Sci-Fi Fantasy comedy one-act plays on March 24, 25, and 26 at the Kent Theatre. “Zombies, Werewolves and Aliens, oh my!” kicks off the 2017 fantasy-themed season. The three short comedies are set in the Old West, modern-day suburbia, and outer space in the future and feature hilarious encounters with an assortment of monsters and aliens. March 24th & 25th at 7:30 p.m. – March 26th at 2:00 p.m. Advance tickets $10 at the Cedar Springs Library. At the Kent Theatre – $12 at the door, $8 under 18. #11,12p

Indoor Spring Sale

Mar. 25: St. John Paul II Parish, 2110 – 17 Mile Rd. in Cedar Springs, is hosting an indoor spring sale on Saturday, March 25th from 9 am to 1 pm. Something for everyone! Household items, décor, small appliances, toys, books, etc…. don’t miss out! #12p

Praise the Lord at Cowboy Church

Mar. 26: 2nd Chance will be having Cowboy Church on Sunday, March 26th  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 Traditional Country and Gospel Singers. 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. Cowboy Church will introduce you to 2nd Chance and its vision. The school is in the building stage, which when completed, will teach troubled teens through God and the horse. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #12

Find Your Voice 14th Annual KDL Teen Poetry Contest

April 1-30: Two ways to win! Submit up to two poems during the month of April for a chance at a juried category prize. Stop by a branch for details or visit www.kdl.org/teens. #12

Magna-Tiles Mania

Apr. 1: Drop-in and build. Create cubes, pyramids, or other geometric shapes and patterns from two-dimensional to more complex three-dimensional systems. Discover patterns, symmetry, 3D building skills and magnetic principles. For ages 6 and older. Saturday, April 1 at 10:30 am, Nelson Twp. /Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #12

Mixing Magic! A World of Color, Optics and Light

Apr. 4: Explore how we see our world by mixing color and playing with light. Discover magical optical illusions and other natural phenomena such as rainbows! For ages 6 and younger. Tuesday, April 4th at 10:30 am, Nelson Twp. / Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #12

Help Promote Literacy

Apr. 4,13,19,24: 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, April 4th at 10 am, Thursday, April 13th at 2 pm, Wednesday, April 19th at 6 pm and Monday, April 24th 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. #12

Fish Fry at East Nelson

Apr. 5: East Nelson United Methodist Church’s annual Fish Fry will be held on Wednesday, April 5th from 5 to 7 pm. East Nelson UMC, 9024 – 18 Mile Rd. NE, Cedar Springs. #12

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Living in gratitude


Father Lam T. Le, Pastor

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs

 

November reminds us of that the great civil holiday in the United States of America—Thanksgiving. If you attend Church on that Thursday morning with a Catholic community, chances are you will hear Luke 17:11-19:

As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met [him]. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” 

Let’s reflect upon the importance of the gift of healing for these ten lepers.

Leprosy is a terrible illness for those who lived before and during the time of Jesus:  According to Mosaic law, those who were inflicted with this illness were declared unclean by the priest, and they were prevented from encountering others so as not to make them unclean (Lev. 13:45, 46; Deut 5:2). Jesus, in the Gospel today, not only healed the ten lepers but also instructed them to “Go show yourselves to the priests” (Lk 17: 14). Jesus made this command so that the priests could declare them clean and thus not only would physical healing be complete, but their emotional well-being would also be restored.

Sadly, only one person returned to thank Jesus and that led the Lord to say, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” (Lk 17: 17-18). Jesus called the Samaritan leper who returned to give him thanks “this foreigner” as a reminder for us of the mutual animosity between Jews and Samaritans. From the Jews’ point of view, the Samaritans were “the illegitimate” siblings and were unclean. Samaritans, considered to be unclean by Jews, constructed their own place of worship, a temple on Mt. Gerizim, erected in the fourth century B.C. Jesus highlights the thankfulness of the cleansed Samaritan leper as an example to His contemporaries and to all of us as well: the characteristic of being people of God is not whether we are born as a Jew or Samaritan, but it is in living a life of gratitude to God who heals all of our spiritual leprosy, namely sin which damages our relationship with God and with one another.

So, on Thanksgiving, don’t forget to gather in Churches or houses of prayer to show gratitude to the Lord for the many gifts, especially for healing of our spiritual leprosy by the Blood of Christ poured out on the Cross.

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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.

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

SHINE Weight loss support group

Sept. 6&20: Meeting the first and third Tuesday of every month, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The meetings are held locally in Pamela Cooke’s home. Each meeting will have a different topic. There is no weigh in, fees or dues. No buying of any pills, powders or pre-packaged foods. You are accountable to yourself. This is an open support group to anyone facing struggles with weight loss.
Contact 616-745-7000 for more info Or find us on Facebook: SHINE Weight loss support group. #35p

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

Sept. 6,13.20.27: 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 of Rockford Auditions

Sept. 8,13: This is our 14th Season of theatrical productions. We are holding Auditions for: “A Cautionary Tale” (Once upon a time re-visited) Fairy Tales as you have never seen them before. Needed Adult men and women and Teens (12-17). September 8th and 13th from 6-8 pm at the  Reformed Church, 4890 11 Mile Rd., Rockford. Contact (616) 874-5264 for details. #35

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

The Road Home Tour

Sept. 15: The Road Home Tour featuring Jason Crabb and Natasha Owens is coming September 15. Located at: 9530 N Federal Rd., Howard City, MI 49329. Doors open 6 pm, concert begins at 7 pm. $20 (online), $25 (day of), $50 (VIP), for tickets, visit: itickets.com/events/365663. Presented & hosted by: Crossroads Worship Center. #35,36p

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St. Mary Magdalene: The Evangelizer


Father Lam T. Le, Pastor

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs, Michigan
www.jp2-mqa.org

 

On June 10, 2016, a decree by the Congregation of Divine Worship formalized Pope Francis’ decision to raise the July 22 Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene to a Feast on the church’s liturgical calendar.  In doing so, the Pope wants to highlight St. Mary Magdalene’s role as one of the first witnesses of Christ’s resurrection and as a “true and authentic evangelizer.”

The significance of this decision is obvious when we visit the Universal Norms for the Liturgical Year and Calendar (hereafter UNLYC) in the Roman Missal, which classifies the roman liturgical celebrations:

“Celebrations, according to the importance assigned to them, are hence distinguished one from another and termed: Solemnity, Feast, and Memorial” (UNLYC no. 10). The instruction continues: “Solemnities are counted among the most important days, whose celebration begins with First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) on the preceding day. Some Solemnities are also endowed with their own Vigil Mass, which is to be used on the evening of the preceding day, if an evening Mass is celebrated…Feasts are celebrated within the limits of the natural day; accordingly they have no First Vespers (Evening Prayer I), except in the case of the Feasts of the Lord that fall on a Sunday in Ordinary Time or in Christmas Time and which replace the Sunday Office…Memorials are either obligatory or optional; their observance is integrated into the celebration of the occurring weekday” (UNLYC no. 11, 13, 14).

It should be noted that the designation of Feast is often given to the celebration of the apostles in the general Roman calendar. Thus, with the above decision, the Pope indeed highlights the special mission of St. Mary Magdalene, who is an example and model for every woman in the Church, in witness to the resurrection of the Lord. The witness to the resurrection of the Lord belongs to the entire Church: women and men are included.

As St. Mary Magdalene was among the first witnesses to the resurrection of the Lord and addressed the resurrected Lord in Hebrew, “Rabbouni, which means Teacher” (Jn 20:16), may all of our mothers teach their children the first word in their lives: “Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Mt 1: 21).  Amen.

 

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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.

CS Youth Football Sign-ups

July 21: Cedar Springs Youth Football sign-ups will be held on Thursday, July 21st, Tuesday, July 26th and Thursday, July 28th  from 6-7:30 pm at Skinner Field Concession Stand or sign up online @ www.cedarspringsyouthfootball.com. Rocket: 3rd – 6th grade, Middle School, 7th  – 8th. Contact April Victorson 616-890-5869, a_victorson@yahoo.com. #29, 30p

AYSO Registration

July 28: The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) Registration for the Fall season TODAY. Visit www.ayso902.org. Registration ends Thursday, July 28th. #29,30p

July CS UMC Sesquicentennial Event

July 31: The public is invited to an Old Fashioned Hymn Sing and Ice Cream Social on July 31st at 4 pm at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church on the corner of Church and Main Street. This event of singing and fellowship is part of the church’s 150th Anniversary Sesquicentennial celebration. Everyone is welcome! #30

Dinner at the Legion

Aug. 1: The American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Roast Beef & Onions dinner on Monday, August 1st , from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be mashed potatoes and gravy, veggies, salad, roll, drink and dessert. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #30p

Craft It Up at KDL

Aug. 1: Refashion old t-shirts into headbands, bracelets, gladiator sandals, dog toys, tank tops and more. Please bring a pair of flip-flops. Monday, August 1st at 1:30 p.m., Nelson Twp./Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St., Sand Lake. #30

Free Basketball Camp

Aug. 2-5: Gowen Bible Church will host its free annual basketball camp for kids 3rd – 8th grade from 9 am to 12:30 pm on August 2 – 5 at its Meddler Campus, 16415 Meddler Ave., Sand Lake. Register online at www.gowenbible.org or call 616-984-2525. Contact this number for more information. #30

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

Aug. 2,9,16,23,30: 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. #30

Heritage Festival

Aug. 4-6: the 30th Annual Heritage Festival is August 4 – 6 at Montcalm Heritage Village on Montcalm Community College’s Sidney campus. The three day celebration features historical displays, refreshments and must for all ages. Visit www.montcalm.edu/heritage-festival for more information about Montcalm Heritage Festival. #30

Help Promote Literacy

Aug. 4,10,19,23: 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 August 4th at 2 pm, Wednesday August 10th at 6 pm, Friday August 19th at 10 am and Tuesday August 23rd at 2 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. #30

Free Lake Effect Concert

Aug. 7: Free Lake Effect Concert featuring the band “Round Brown Suitcase” will be held on Sunday, August 7th from 12 to 3:30 pm (band starts at 12:30 pm). The concert will be held at Bostwick Lake UCC Church, 7979 Belding Rd. NE, Rockford. Donations and food sales will benefit Pause with a Cause. Contact Lisa Atchison, 616-634-6459 with any questions. #30,31p

Celebrate Curious George’s 75th Anniversary with a Day of Discovery

Aug. 10: Make a yellow hat to wear as you learn about space, rainbows, the senses, the sun and the ocean through various crafts and hands-on activities. Note that while we celebrate his character, Curious George will not be in attendance. Wednesday, August 10th at 10 a.m., Spencer Twp. KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #30

Rummage Sale at CS UMC

Aug. 10,11: The Cedar Springs United Methodist Women will hold a rummage sale in the fellowship hall on the corner of Main and Church Streets. August 10, Wednesday, from 9 am to 7 pm and August 11, Thursday, from 9 am to 2 pm. There will be a bag sale on Thursday. Proceeds go toward their mission projects. #30,31p

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In His rising, the life of all have risen


Father Lam T. Le, Pastor

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd. 

Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319

 

Finally, spring is here! Having many friends and relatives who live in warm parts of the country, whenever I visit them, they always ask, “When will you move here with us and stay in the sun-shining states instead of Michigan?”

My response to them is always the same. “Only in Michigan will you experience four distinct seasons and, after a long winter season, you will appreciate spring time. What happens during spring is a wonderful analogy to Easter, the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.”

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, at all times to acclaim you, O Lord, but in this time above all to laud you yet more gloriously, when Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.  Through him the children of light rise to eternal life and the halls of the heavenly Kingdom are thrown open to the faithful; for his death is our ransom from death, and in his rising the life of all have risen. Therefore, overcome with paschal joy, every land, every people exults in your praise and even the heavenly Powers, with the angelic hosts, sing together the unending hymn of your glory, as they acclaim: Holy Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts. . .  (Preface II of Easter, Roman Missal-Third Edition).

I would like to call your attention to what is highlighted in the prayer: the resurrection of the Lord has an impact on not just human beings, but on all. That is the faith of the Church! Christ’s resurrection changes all things for the good! Alleluia.

This is when spring in Michigan can help us explain the mystery of Easter. After a long winter, grass, flowers, and tree leaves appear again. It is refreshing! When you walk into your house, it seems like a new one! What spring does for the environment, the Resurrection of the Lord does even more so for the world. The Lord, the Creator of all, has entered the world and by his death and resurrection has redeemed the world. Nothing has been untouched in this earthly field by the resurrection of Christ.

The challenges us now is to listen to the teaching of the Apostle Paul: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory” (Col 3: 1-4).

Our entire world has been changed by Christ’s resurrection. Let’s us focus on “what is above.”  Amen.

 

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A Merry Christmas and a Holy Year of Mercy


Merciful-artFather Lam T. Le, Pastor

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs, Michigan
www.jp2-mqa.org

This Christmas is a unique one for Catholics throughout the world. This is due to the fact that the spiritual leader, Pope Francis, declared an Extraordinary Jubilee for Mercy from December 8, 2015-November 20, 2016. This is a “special time for the Church, a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective” (Misericordiae Vultus, no. 3). In other words, the Pope calls upon Catholics and men and women of good will to see in Jesus, the Mercy of God made flesh and challenges us to engage in the works of mercy in our everyday lives. “The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities” (Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 2447).

The theme, contemplating Jesus, Mercy of God made flesh, is clearly expressed in the logo of the Jubilee.  The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization explains:

“The logo . . . presents . . . the theme of mercy. In fact, it represents an image quite important to the early Church: that of the Son having taken upon his shoulders the lost soul demonstrating that it is the love of Christ that brings to completion the mystery of his incarnation culminating in redemption. The logo has been designed in such a way so as to express the profound way in which the Good Shepherd touches the flesh of humanity and does so with a love with the power to change one’s life. One particular feature worthy of note is that while the Good Shepherd, in his great mercy, takes humanity upon himself, his eyes are merged with those of man. Christ sees with the eyes of Adam, and Adam with the eyes of Christ. Every person discovers in Christ, the new Adam, one’s own humanity and the future that lies ahead, contemplating, in his gaze, the love of the Father.”

In this blessed season, indeed we celebrate that God showed us His love in a very special way:  sending His Son “in the likeness of our sinful flesh” (Rm 8:3).  Through this Mercy of God “made flesh and made his dwelling among us” (Jn 1:14), may our entire life be the praise of God’s mercy.

Have a blessed 2016 and may you and your family be transformed in this Jubilee Year by God’s merciful love!  Amen.

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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.


Start your New Year with TOPS

Jan. 5: Keep your New Year’s resolutions with TOPS (Take off pounds sensibly). TOPS is 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. #52

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

Jan. 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. #52

P.A.T.H. For Diabetes Workshop

Jan. 7: Personal Action Toward Health (P.A.T.H.) for Diabetes is a six week workshop designed to provide skills and tools to help you improve your health and manage your symptoms. Thru PATH for Diabetes you will learn to deal with the challenges of not feeling well, effectively talk to healthcare providers and family members, increase your energy, stay independent, and set goals. This is a FREE class, held once a week for six weeks beginning January 7 from 9am-11:30am at Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave. Cedar Springs, MI 49319.  To register, or for questions please contact  Christi Demitz, MSU Extension, 616.632.7881, demitzch@anr.msu.edu. #51,52p

Ugly Sweater Cupcake Wars

Jan 13: Cupcake Wars are BACK! This time with a holiday twist. Teens are encourages to wear their ugliest (most unique) holiday sweater and decorate a holiday themed cupcake. Judges will give awards for the ugliest (most unique) sweater and cupcake decorating skills. Pre-registration is required and participant spots are limited. For teens grades 6 – 12. Wednesday, January 13th at 6:30 pm at the Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. 616-636-4251. #52

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Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive


Father Lam T. Le, Pastor

St John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd NE, Cedar Springs

 

A Reflection on the Visit of Pope Francis to the United States of America

C-Pulpit-popeMuch excitement surrounds the first visit of Pope Francis to the United States of America from September 22-28. The Pope has a busy schedule, first visiting the White House in Washington, D.C., then traveling to New York City to address the United Nations, and most importantly, presiding over the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. The World Meeting of Families is an international gathering that was founded by Pope (now Saint) John Paul II in 1994, and is held every three years to promote and encourage families throughout the world.

The 2015 theme of the World Meeting of Families says it all: “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” which emphasizes the impact that the love and life of families has on society. Why does the Pope put so much emphasis on strengthening family life among Catholics and non-Catholics? The answer is, I believe, found in three important paragraphs (1655-1657) of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that his immediate predecessor Pope Benedict XVI put much effort in preparing. It is important to fully quote them:

Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and Mary. The Church is nothing other than “the family of God.” From the beginning, the core of the Church was often constituted by those who had become believers “together with all [their] household.”  When they were converted, they desired that “their whole household” should also be saved.  These families who became believers were islands of Christian life in an unbelieving world.

In our own time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For this reason, the Second Vatican Council, using an ancient expression, calls the family the Ecclesia domestica [domestic Church]. It is in the bosom of the family that parents are “by word and example . . . the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each child, fostering with special care any religious vocation.”

It is here that the father of the family, the mother, children, and all members of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way “by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, and self-denial and active charity.” Thus the home is the first school of Christian life and “a school for human enrichment.” Here one learns endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generous – even repeated – forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one’s life.

As the Pope visits our country to encourage, strengthen and bless families throughout the world, it is good for us to ask ourselves this question: “What am I doing to strengthen my family?” and more importantly, “What am I doing to make God present in my family and community?” Let love be our mission and let our family be fully alive in Christ.

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