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Tag Archive | "Rise Up Church"

Pumpkin giveaway hits the mark


By Judy Reed

It may have looked a little different this year, but last Saturday’s Green Family & Friends pumpkin giveaway was just what the doctor ordered for families in Cedar Springs this fall. 

The event, a drive-thru trunk or treat and pumpkin giveaway put on by the Cordell Green family and supported by partners from City Impact, Rise Up Church, and more, estimates at least 1,000 people attended.

The event was held from 2-6 p.m. in the Cedar Trails drop off/pick up area. About 300 cars entered from Northland Drive and on to Holton Drive (by Green Acres) and took turns driving through the drop off area. The area was set up with regular masked volunteers, and costumed volunteers who decorated their car trunks and served kiddoes in each car with all kinds of candy treats as they made their way around the circle. Kids saw all kinds of costumed characters, including sharks, spiderman, a dinosaur, and a gorilla who sometimes stole their candy!

Cordell Green estimated 300 cars drove through, and they gave out 850-900 trick or treat bags. They also gave out over 1,000 hot dogs, chips waters, cotton candy, and cookies. At the very end, each child also got a pumpkin.

“I’d like to thank all the volunteers and co-hosts,” said Green. “Without them, it wouldn’t happen.”

Kelley Bergsma, with City Impact, was also excited on how well the event turned out. “The event was fabulous!” she said. “So many families commented that it was an amazing idea for the times we are in. There was joy! (There was) a sense of community and love, so many smiles and fun creative trunk or treat stations, so much yummy food and pumpkins! What a day of fun and it was bumper to bumper almost the whole time. Families said it was well worth the wait. Once again, Cordell Green’s event blessed this red flannel town! It was fun to partner with so many people.”

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God’s law brings blessing


Correction: On last week’s “From the pulpit” article, we had the wrong pastor listed as the author. We are re-running the article with the correct pastor and church this week. The message is the same, and the words are still wise, no matter who wrote them, but we like the original author to get the credit (and I’m sure he does, too)!

Pastor David VanderMeer

Rockford Springs Community Church

Today’s article is based on Deuteronomy 22. Please read it when you get a chance. It is packed with law. Lots and lots of law!

It has laws on what to do when your neighbor’s livestock gets out. It has laws on how men ought to dress and how women ought to dress. It even has laws on what to do with a bird’s nest. And yes, even laws on sexual immorality.

Law is so good, so necessary, and so helpful. I do not always appreciate the law telling me what to do, but in the end, I find that God’s law is just the right thing for me and the people I love.

The other day my wife found a baby’s pacifier on our sidewalk. So, she took a little stick and poked it in the ground so she could hang the pacifier on it alongside the walk. A couple of days went by and I saw a neighbor walk by pushing a stroller. He reached down and took the pacifier and immediately saw it belonged to his child.

Such a small gesture by my wife, and yet it is exactly what we see in Deuteronomy 22. Here we have another list of laws that when followed bring blessing to the community and promotes the holiness of God.

I need to love the law of God more! It is so good.

The law of God says to love others:

If you see your neighbor’s sprinkler head is broken, tell him.

If you see your neighbor’s dog get loose, tell him. And if our neighbor is gone, catch the little pooch and take care of him for the day.

If your neighbor doesn’t have a generator when the power goes out, run a line to his house so he can keep his freezer working.

These are just basic laws we should not even need. But we do.

The Law of God promotes His holiness.

The text before us teaches us that if a woman is raped, she should receive justice

The text before us teaches that if a couple sin they should face the discipline of the church to keep the fellowship holy.

The text tells us that men should act like men. Women should act like women. This is God’s will.

So, the law points out sin. It defines it. The culture of the day may not like it. But God’s

Law does not change.

Finally, the Law of God points us to our need for Christ’s forgiveness.

The grace of God helps us see that when we break the law of God, He is there to forgive us through Christ. I am glad it is grace that helps me see I am a law breaker. Grace calls me with a word of love, peace, and hope.

May the Law of God speak to us today, in our own hearts, in our homes, and in our communities so that we will learn to love and not hate. May it help us forgive. May it help us see our daily need for Christ. Thank you, Lord, for your Law.

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A new pastor in town



Jon Huizenga of Rise Up Church

Jonathan Huizenga is originally from California but found his way to Grand Rapids, Mich. to attend Calvin College and later Calvin Theological Seminary. While he was at Calvin, he met his wife Sam (Joyce) and today they have four married children and five grandchildren.

Jon and Sam started coming to Cedar Springs about a year ago. They started coming because there was a growing sense amongst the regional Christian Reformed Churches that God wanted the ministry of Pioneer CRC (now closed) to carry forward.  Jon responded favorably when he was asked by the regional churches to plant this new church in Cedar Springs, now known as Rise Up.

Jon has a lot of good experience starting new churches. After graduating from Calvin Seminary in 1987, he was called to plant a new church in Jacksonville, Fla. where he stayed until the year 2000. After Jacksonville, they move to Rockford, Mich., where they planted another new church called River Rock. Jon was the senior pastor at River Rock for 18 years. In 2019, Jon began the work of planting a third church—Rise Up.

You may recognize Jon’s picture because he spends considerable time all around town. In fact, you may have already spotted him hanging out in one of our coffee shops, always ready to enjoy a conversation with someone new. Or, maybe you’ve chatted with him at a school function. Or, maybe you’ve rubbed shoulders with him at one of our town planning meetings.  

Jon and Sam now live in Cedar Springs after building a new house on Dio Drive. They wanted to live in town so they could be close to the people they love and serve.  

I hope you get a chance to meet Jon. If you do, you’ll discover that he loves meeting new people. If you have time to chat, I hope you have a chance to hear the beautiful vision he has of gathering all the people of Cedar Springs into a community that reflects the deep compassion and unconditional love of Jesus.  

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Rise Up Church holds grand opening



Pastor Jon Huizenga closes the service with a blessing. Courtesy photo.

The weather kept them guessing but Sunday, January 12 turned out to be a fine day for a grand opening of a new church in Cedar Springs named Rise Up Church.

Volunteer offers one more snack for the road. Courtesy photo.

“It was a wonderful day,” said Dave Van Harten, of Cedar Springs, a “launch team” participant who has been helping to develop the new church since early last year.

Rise Up Church has been holding weekly launch team gatherings, monthly invitation events, and monthly community engagement activities since early last year in order to invite people to get involved and to discern how they might join the city and the city’s people in helpful ways.

Launch team Dave Van Harten interacting with attendees. Courtesy photo.

Sunday’s grand opening at Cedar Springs Middle School at the corner 16 Mile and Northland Drive marked the beginning of every-Sunday worship services for the new church. Worship services will now be weekly at 10 a.m. at the school. Pastor Jon Huizenga invites Cedar Springs area residents to “come and help us become a community of love in the name of Jesus, in and with and among all the people of Cedar Springs.”

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Rise Up Church to hold first worship service


Sunday, September 15, at Cedar Springs Middle School

Some of the launch team members preparing for September 15. Courtesy photo.

Rise Up Church, a new church in Cedar Springs, is holding its first ever worship service on September 15, at 10:00 a.m. at Cedar Springs Middle School. The church’s pastor, Rev. Jon Huizenga, said that this would be the first of three monthly services scheduled (September 15, October 20, November 17). A grand opening of weekly Sunday worship will follow later.

“We want to be an accepting, non-judgmental church community that celebrates God rising up to show his compassion in Cedar Springs,” said Huizenga. The young church has been active since January holding weekly launch team gatherings plus monthly invitation events and monthly community engagement and serving projects. 

According to church information, one can expect to experience at the service: “Safe, enjoyable children’s ministry for infants through elementary school. Drinks and snacks. Freedom to wear what you want and to be accepted as you are. A new church community that celebrates God rising up to show his compassion in Cedar Springs.”

Jon and his wife, Sam, have worked with teams to start two other churches. Most recently Jon started and led River Rock Church in Rockford. The Huizengas are planning to move into their new home on Dio Drive at the end of September. “We love the city of Cedar Springs and look forward to living alongside all of our neighbors here,” Huizenga said. “We would love to meet you on September 15 if you are able to join us.”

Follow them on Facebook, just search for “rise up church.”

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union

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