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Tag Archive | "United"

Churches UNITE to send audio bibles to refugees


Post photo by J. Reed


by Judy Reed

The churches in the Cedar Springs area are pretty good at making history.

In 2009, eight area churches joined together in Morley Park to worship together, something rare in most communities. Last Saturday, August 23, the churches met together in Morley Park for their seventh UNITED service, and did something no other community ministerial association in the country has done—together they raised $5,000 to send audio Bibles to refugees in Kurdistan, Iraq, through World Mission.

The audio Bible, called the Treasure, is about the size of an MP3 player. World Mission uses the Treasure as a tool to deliver the Word of God to those who have never heard, targeting especially unreached people. It is a solar-powered audio Bible given to oral learners in their own language.

post photo by J. Reed

post photo by J. Reed

According to Craig Carter, Pastor of North Kent Community Church and part time representative for World Mission, he had previously worked with World Mission on the project, and when he presented the project to the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association pastors, they liked the idea. Area churches presented it to their congregations, then began to collect change in banks through Vacation Bible School offerings and throughout their churches.

“We are absolutely the first ministerial association to do this,” said Carter. He said that World Mission CEO Greg Kelley was excited about it and made a video at the UNITED service. “He thinks it will inspire other communities,” he explained.

Overall, the $5,000 will purchase about 225 units. Fifty went to Kenya on a mission trip with Pastor Kristi Rhodes and Hillcrest Community Church, and the rest will go to Kurdistan. Carter said that they chose Kurdistan because of the problems with ISIS and the persecutions taking place. He estimates that the audio Bibles will reach a minimum of 25,000 people in one year.

“Audio learners—people who cannot read—are very social. They gather with others, and the audio Bibles will be shared in listening groups. We estimate they will be shared at least 10 times in a year,” he explained. He said they will stay in the field for a minimum of three years, so could reach as many as 75,000 people.

“It’s exciting,” said Carter. “If we have the ability to reach that many people (25,000) in one event, we should also be able to reach our own community, which is about that size.”

Another thing they did this year is took the $1,000 they would normally spend on a hot dog lunch after the service, and decided to donate it to feed refugees in Kurdistan. “It should feed about 3,500 people,” he said.

The Treasures are expected to go to Kurdistan in October, when a medical team is going and the food distribution will take place.

To find out more about the Treasure, you can visit www.worldmission.cc, or contact Pastor Craig Carter at 616-550-6398.

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Area churches stand United

Nine area churches suspended regular Sunday services and united for a joint worship service together at Morley Park, in Cedar Springs, on Sunday, August 24. This is the 6th year the churches have held the joint service, which they call “United.”
About 500 people attended the event, which included contemporary worship music, a sermon by Pastor Craig Owens, of Calvary Assembly of God, prayer, lunch, and a worship concert.
Churches attending included Calvary Assembly of God, Cedar Springs United Methodist, Crossfire Ministries, Grace Evangelical Free, Hillcrest Community, North Kent Community, Pioneer Christian Reformed, Solon Center Wesleyan, and The Springs Church.
To learn more about this event, visit http://unitedcedarsprings.com.

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2013 Suzanne Christensen Volunteer Award

Pictured from left to right:  Shelly Westbrook, Foundation Director Sadie Springsteen, Volunteer – 2013 Suzanne Christensen Award Recipient  Tina Freese-Decker, President

Pictured from left to right:
Shelly Westbrook, Foundation Director
Sadie Springsteen, Volunteer – 2013 Suzanne Christensen Award Recipient
Tina Freese-Decker, President

Spectrum Health Foundation United & Kelsey Hospitals presented the 2013 Suzanne –Christensen Volunteer Award on Wednesday, November 13.

A volunteer appreciation luncheon was held in honor of the Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals volunteers and Kelsey Hospital Guild members. The luncheon was held to thank hospital volunteers and guild members for their kind and caring dedication to Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospital’s patients and staff.

The 2013 Suzanne Christensen Volunteer Award was presented at the luncheon. The Suzanne Christensen award is given annually to a recipient who has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospital community through volunteerism or other significant goodwill. It is with great excitement and honor to announce that Sadie Springsteen was this year’s recipient.

Sadie has been volunteering at United Hospital since July 2012 and supports United Lifestyles and the Foundation. Sadie has exhibited true dedication, enthusiasm and a giving heart. United and Kelsey Hospitals sincerely appreciate the work that Sadie does and congratulate her on this noteworthy honor.

Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals currently has 25 Guild members and 74 active volunteers who serve in 15 departments. The volunteer services program has expanded this year to include volunteer safety assistants and additional greeter positions at United Hospital. At Kelsey Hospital, a new outpatient surgery hostess volunteer is providing a therapeutic distraction to family members who are waiting. The volunteers at the hospitals selflessly give of their time, talents and efforts. The hospitals would like to thank Sadie and the many other devoted volunteers of the hospitals for their spirit of volunteerism and support.






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“United” we stand

by Judy Reed

Hundreds of people looked past their denominational differences Sunday when they gathered in Morley Park in Cedar Springs for the third annual  “United” community worship service. The event, put on by the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association, involved at least eight different churches in the greater Cedar Springs area.

A praise team made up of individuals from area churches led the worship time, and area pastors taught on the faith, hope and love from I Corinthians 13. They also emphasized the importance of the unity of believers in Christ, despite some of their doctrinal differences. It was a message that seemed to resonate with the crowd.

After the service, they served a hot dog lunch, held games for kids, and a free concert.

Five hundred-plus people attended the event—more than the previous two years.

“I’ve had really great feedback from people,” said Pastor Craig Carter, pastor at North Kent Community Church, and chair of the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association. “We are very pleased with the spirit and feeling of unity and participation of the churches and their members. It was a really big success this year.

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