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Tag Archive | "The Springs Free Methodist Church"

Teens on a mission


The mission team in front of the Basilica Cathedral of Lima. Front (l to r): Shila, Aiyana, Beth, Kelsey & Sally, Back: Jeff, Josh & Joe

In the summer of 2011, a mission trip was just a dream for five students and three adults from The Springs Free Methodist Church in Cedar Springs, Michigan. But they believed that where there’s a will there’s a way.

After months of planning and fundraising, the team was able to spend 10 days in Peru this past February. The team included five teens—Beth Bullen, Kelsey Kiander, Jeff Plank and  Aiyana Plank, all students at Cedar Springs High School, and Josh Tol, a student at Algoma Christian. Adult leaders were Joe Sturgeon, the youth pastor at The Springs, Shila Kiander and Sally Nulph. With the church’s financial support, as well as the support of their family, friends and community, they raised a total of $14,000 to cover their expenses and mission projects.

The team and children at the home of Espirita & Ernesto after the Bible School event.

The main project for the trip was to sponsor and participate in a weekend youth conference. Their mission was to build relationships with the Peruvians, to teach each other about their different cultures and learn more about Christ in the process.

This was The Springs’ second mission trip to Peru. In December of 2010, a team of four sponsored “Brighten Their Christmas 2010” in Tarma, Peru. During that trip, missionaries Garry and Pat Cruce (former CS residents and former pastor at the Springs) mentioned that there was an annual youth conference every year and it is often sponsored and attended by youth groups from Free Methodist churches in the United States. One of the team members, Kelsey Kiander, shared that with her youth group when she returned, and a dream was born.

The team decided to sponsor the youth conference. The sponsorship included paying for the rental of the campground and providing event t-shirts. They also wanted to build and maintain relationships. The team went to Peru with the understanding that they were part of a bigger picture. They would rekindle relationships that The Springs church had already made, and make new friendships for future teams to build on.

Here are some of the relationships the team was able to make while in Peru:

They participated in a community outreach project for Lima Central FMC.  Partnering with members from the church, they handed out invitations for the church service at their new location. The students also handed out bouncy balls to the children on the streets.

The team attended an evening youth service at the Comas FMC, where they enjoyed the music and some of the teens gave their testimonies. They also worshipped with the Lima Central FMC on their first Sunday morning at their new location.

The team was able to visit a church in Pisco, Peru, that became a soup kitchen during the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in August of 2007. The I.E.P. Iglesia Evagelica Peruana (the Evangelical Church of Peru), has now become a Compassion International child development center, serving many children and families in their community. The adult leaders were impressed with the students, because they took up an offering using their personal spending money as a gift to the church.  At the end of the meeting, they experienced a community prayer, where they all stood in a circle holding hands and offered prayers out loud to God in their native languages, which included English, Spanish and Queshua. This was a beautiful time of prayer and thanksgiving.

One of the team’s favorite mission experiences was helping with a Bible school for under resourced children in San Juan de Miraflores, Lima, Peru. Every Sunday afternoon, a couple from the Lima Central FMC open their home to children in their neighborhood for Sunday School.

The team sponsored the youth conference for the Free Methodist Church of Peru.  The Congreso de Jovenes, is an annual event held in a different location each year.  This year it was held at a camp near Puete Piedra, Peru (North of Lima). There were over 70 participants, representing congregations from the jungle area (Amazon Rainforest), the mountains (Andes or Sierra), and the coastal desert (Lima).

Part of their mission work was to bring back SEED products to the US. SEED is a livelihood ministry that supports microenterprises in Free Methodist churches around the world. The ministry works as a wholesaler, buying products from artisans and paying them twice the living wage for the time and materials they use. Products can be purchased at www.seedlivelihood.org.

The team was fortunate to be able experience some cultural activities during their mission trip, too. The Basilica Cathedral of Lima was built in 1535. The Cathedral contains the tomb of the Spanish conquistador of Peru, Francisco Pizarro who founded the City of Lima.

They toured the Parque de la Reserva or the Magic Circuit of the Water, which is currently the world record holder for the largest fountain complex in the world, consisting of 13 distinct fountains, many of which are interactive.

The team had the opportunity to explore the sand dunes of the desert in La Huacachina, near Ica, Peru. La Huacachina is a beautiful oasis surrounded by high sandbanks. They went on a dune buggy ride and sand boarding excursion. The biggest dunes there measure more than 755 feet.

They toured the Ballestas Islands in the Paracas National Reserve. They are spectacular islands eroded into many caves and arches that provide shelter for thousands of seabirds and is home to one of the largest sea-lion colonies in the world. While on the tour they saw the Paracus Candelabra, which is a giant ground drawing etched into a sloping hill measuring 595 feet long.

Overall their trip was great blend of mission experiences and cultural opportunities. This wasn’t just a trip; it was one destination in their life long journey of serving God. The teens have decided that even though they won’t be able to physically attend the youth conference next year, they can still raise money to help financially sponsor the event. “Our goal is to make changes in our lives because of the life changing experience of our mission trip to Peru,” said Shila Kiander, one of the group leaders.

If you want to read more about their trip, check out the team’s blog at www.peru2012.wordpress.com.

 

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PinkaPurplicious party a pinktastic success


Photo by S. Read.

By Sarah Read
Little girls ages 4-8 were filled with glee and glamour Saturday afternoon in Cedar Springs thanks to a delightful PinkaPurplicious Party sponsored by The Cedar Springs Public Library and hosted at The Springs Free Methodist Church.
Based on the popular children’s book series Pinkalicious and Purplicious, the event gave area girls a chance to hear the stories, dance, make necklaces, have their nails and hair colored pink and purple, frost and eat cupcakes and even “walk the runway” on the stage with an announcer describing their outfits along the way.
“It was so much fun,” shared Melissa Almas, of Greenville. “My girls had a blast, even my husband joined the fun and had his hair sprayed pink and purple!”
The Pinkalicious books are available at the Cedar Springs Library, located at 43 W Cherry Street.

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City Council Clips


By Judy Reed

Mayor Hunt retires

Mayor Linda Hunt and Rockford Mayor Janiece Rogers

Mayor Linda Hunt and Rockford Mayor Janiece Rogers

The Cedar Springs City Council held a surprise retirement party for Mayor Linda Hunt last week, who is retiring after a total of 24 years on the council. She retired once before, back in 2004, but was urged to run for office again after Mayor James Charon died in 2005. “I think the party means more to me this time than it did the first time, because I did come back, and they felt strongly enough to do it again,” remarked Hunt. “Either that or they were glad to get rid of me,” she said with a chuckle.

Attending the party were 30 to 40 well-wishers, including Cedar Springs staff and community members; Wyoming City Manager Curtis Holt, who once served as an assistant manager here; former Cedar Springs City Manager Frank Walsh, who is now City Manager for the city of St. Joseph; and Rockford Mayor Janeice Rogers.

Former CS City Manager Frank Walsh gives Mayor Linda Hunt a hug.

Former CS City Manager Frank Walsh gives Mayor Linda Hunt a hug.

During her time on the council, Hunt served as mayor five times, and mayor pro-tem on numerous occasions. She said that she feels the greatest accomplishment achieved while she was on the council was the building of the wastewater treatment plant. “It allowed growth and development of the community (not just the city) and will continue to allow growth and development in the future,” she noted.

Hunt said she thinks the biggest obstacle facing the council this year will be learning to live without revenue sharing. “I think it will just get worse,” she said.

Hunt admitted that while she’s ready to retire, she will miss it. “I will miss the connection with the progress of the city—how it evolves, and not making decisions on how we develop,” she explained.

As for future plans, she’s going to spend winter in Florida for the first time. “I’m going to learn how to relax,” she said. And then, as an afterthought, “I heard they need a lot of help down there, too,” she joked.

Make a difference awards

Sonya Conkright revieves "You make the diffference award."

Sonya Conkright revieves "You make the diffference award."

The Cedar Springs City Council awarded two “You make the difference awards” at last Thursday’s council meeting. The first went to Sonya Cronkright, owner of Reflections by Design. “She walked door-to-door and obtained approximately 40 letters of support from area businesses for the MNRTF grant for the staging area project on the White Pine Trail,” explained City Manager Chris Burns.

Youth pastor Joe Sturgeon accepts award on behalf of The Springs Free Methodist Church.

Youth pastor Joe Sturgeon accepts award on behalf of The Springs Free Methodist Church.

The second went to the Springs Free Methodist Church, for their community-wide clean-up project the Sunday before Red Flannel Day. “Thank you for what you did,” said Mayor Linda Hunt. “That was really neat.” Pastor Barry Briggs was out of town, and youth Pastor Joe Sturgeon was on hand to receive the award for the church.

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Church to give back to community


The city of Cedar Springs and its residents will get a helping hand with yard chores this Sunday.

According to Cedar Springs City Manager Christine Burns, members of The Springs Free Methodist Church in Cedar Springs will forego a traditional church service on Sunday, September 27, 2009, and will instead disperse into the community to perform a city-wide clean-up.

“Congregation members will be trimming hedges, washing windows and pulling weeds in public areas along with a host of other tasks,” said Burns. “Pastor Barry Briggs approached the City several weeks ago, requesting a list of items that needed to be accomplished before the Red Flannel Festival on October 3rd. Pastor Briggs tied the concept of community service to a recent sermon, hoping to spark others to give back.”

Burns said the congregation also plans to assist homeowners at Cedar Springs Mobile Estates with basic home repair and maintenance. It is estimated that 200 worshipers will spend 2 hours canvassing Cedar Springs.

“If you see them, please extend a warm ‘thank you’ for their contribution to make Cedar Springs a great place to live, work and play,” she remarked.

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