Growing in Christ, Sharing His Love

July/August 2017 Calvin Caller

Take A Step of Faith… 

Matthew 14:22-33, Jesus Walks on the Water:

…Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.  Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified.  “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage!  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.  “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” 

This very well may be my last article that I share, so I am writing about my all-time favorite Bible story!  Let’s break it down a bit… 

First, we might wonder how they didn’t know it was Jesus.  In the middle of life’s storms, battered by waves of doubt and disappointment, we miss Jesus all the time.  It takes eyes of faith to see Jesus, so we definitely need to be looking.  

Next, when Peter stepped into the water and his faith started to faltered, he immediately reached out to Jesus. In his time of greatest fear, he called on his Savior to rescue him.  And to no avail, Jesus was there and He will be there for you too.  Just reach out to Him. 

Lastly, As Jesus enters the boat, the storm immediately ceases, which reminds us that under His arms there is always safety.  This is the one and only place of rest for your soul.  The storms of life prove the strength of our Anchor. 

I once did a Bible study on the book, “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat”, by John Ortberg.  This is an amazing study on stepping out in faith and trusting God.  Is there a part of you that wants to walk on the water – to leave the comfort of your routine and take a step of faith?  What “next step” will you take today to move forward in your faith?

~Vickie Curtis, Administrative Assistant


Reflections from the Front Pew

When was the last time a song made you cry?  Or laugh?  Or want to shout?  Music can have that effect on us.  Just the way a song is written can lift our spirits or bring peace to our souls.  The keys that are used – a fast song in a major key can bring about a happy feeling, while a slow song in a minor key can make us feel sad.  Music can also bring about memories – of joyful times or possibly difficult times in our lives.

These facts are true in every culture…and in every age.  In the Bible, we read about how Saul was soothed by David’s harp playing and also about how the ram’s horns called the Israelites into battle.  When we were in Hawaii, we experienced music from many island cultures.  It was easy to tell the songs & chants that were joyful from the music that expressed anger or discouragement.

We also find songs that heighten our emotions through repetition – phrases repeated over & over.  The same is true of the Psalms (sacred songs) – especially Psalm 136.  “His love endures forever” – the more you say (sing) it, the more you believe it.  Many of the new praise songs have a “bridge” – words that repeat a few times.  There are some people that don’t like words that repeat so much, but I view those “bridges” as words that lift us higher, that repeat over & over a truth about God.  As we repeat those words, the music grows louder & we may feel the emotion that the words express.

The songs we sing in worship cover a broad range of emotions.  We usually begin worship with a couple songs that praise & celebrate, ending with a song expresses our awe of God.  Other songs in worship may be songs of reverence,  repentance, or the joy of having been forgiven.  Think of Christmas & Easter music and how those melodies move you to sing joyfully & loudly.  Then remember how the melodies of Lent cause you to think deeply of the sacrifice made – the grief endured.

Not every song we sing will affect you emotionally, but the combination of the words and the music CAN bring your worship to a new, higher place.  Let the music of worship bring you closer to God.  Listen closely, sing joyfully or reverently, and let God touch your heart.

~ Joni Wagenmaker, Director of Worship & Music


Hearts & Hands

Serve one another in love.   Galatians 5:13   (NIV)

The food collection project for Sacred Suds was a great success!  Thank you to all who contributed to this worthy cause. 

One of our members suggested that those who have an immediate need might place a notice on Calvin's Facebook page.  She received a very quick response for an item she needed to borrow and felt that this idea could be a helpful addition or option to the Needs and Deeds Board in the narthex. 

Reminder:  You may place a note for the Needs and Deeds Board in the basket in the narthex and it will be posted for you. 

Hearts and Hands will not meet during July and August, but the work of the committee will continue throughout the summer.  Our next meeting will be held on September 11, 2017 in the Fireside Room.  We meet on the second Monday of the month.  We always welcome new members to our committee and hope that you will decide to join us in the fall.

~ Antje Waldo


THANK YOU to the congregation for all the help, participation in the many events and for your great support.  We do this for the Glory of our Lord!

~ Vern Borgman, Fellowship Team Chair


Prayer Corner

Don’t Stop Now 

For two years we have been praying, asking the Lord to guide our Search Committee as they looked at, interviewed, and eliminated potential pastors.  The Holy Spirit has led us to choose Pastor Mark Milkamp and we are grateful to God and to our Search Committee.

But our prayers cannot stop now.  We must keep Pastor Milkamp before God’s throne, interceding for him and his family as they move here and adjust to our church.  He will need daily prayer as he learns what this congregation needs and what God has in store for us.  And don’t pray just for him, also Joni, Brian, Vickie, and Cal need prayer support as they fulfill their roles and adjust to the new pastor. 

Intercessory prayer was one of the main responsibilities of the priestly tribe in the Old Testament and continues to be the duty of Christ’s high priests and priestesses in His Church today.

~ Mary Ann Mellema


Synod 2017

Synod ~ what does that word mean to you or bring to mind?  For me initially, it meant a long business meeting and very slow progress.  It meant an annual issue of the Banner.  It meant an issue would come up in the CRC and it is years before it is resolved.  Well, that was “then” and this is “now”.

I was honored to be the Deacon delegate to Synod 2017 from Classis Muskegon.  The nomination process at classis was easy… I volunteered and since no one else did I was elected to go based on a single slate of nominees!  Synod allowed deacons to be delegates for the first time in 2016 so I was still going to something fairly new.  I was one of many first time delegates (deacon, elder and pastors) that met on the campus of Trinity College in Palos Heights, IL. from June 8 through June 15.   An important role that I had not known before is that Synod is an ecclesiastical assembly and as such is a deliberative assembly.  This means that the church comes together to discuss and deliberate issues as well as make decisions.  This differs from a representative assembly where the delegates come to advocate for a particular position based on the views at home they represent.  Delegates come together to discern the leading of the Spirit on the matter in question and then collectively make a decision that best serves the welfare of the church.  The first order of business was orientation especially to the Parliamentary Parlance…aka Robert’s Rules of Order, etc.  I think I got that down quite well… motion, second, discussion, call question, or vote.  Table, amend, rescind, reconsider… it got a little dizzying at times.  Oh and don‘t forget to not talk about anything out of committee especially if you don’t agree on what is happening there.

I was assigned to advisory committee 8 which was affectionately known as the “Belhar” committee. We discussed, deliberated and worked hard in committee and presented a report to synod that was passed after some modification.  If you have not recently read the Belhar confession, I encourage you to do so.

Synod also approved the name of the new combined mission agency of the CRC, which is “Resonate Global Mission”.  It is an interesting name that will open many doors of discussion for sure.  We met and approved the candidates for ministry.  We heard from 10 “Fraternal” or “Ecumenical” delegates from Ethiopia, Congo, Burundi, Kenya, South Africa, Netherlands and South Sudan.  We discussed the blog “Do Justice” at length and made recommendations.  (Have you heard of this? Read it? I have to admit I never had.) 

If you are interested in more of what synod accomplished, go to the CRCNA web site:

Over all, my experience at Synod was positive and a blessing. I now understand why issues at Synod take so long to be resolved and I am OK with that.  Prayer, praise, networking, and new friendships were everywhere.  God was present in all meetings. Would I go back?  Yes, in a heartbeat if asked ~ even with the parliamentary procedures!  I guess they do keep order with that many people wanting to talk!

~ Jan Weiden, Deacon


World Renew Updates



World Renew regional managers are connecting with the NGO Alliance in Ontario to determine how World Renew can best help after the flooding this month. They have also been in touch with churches in Ottawa.


World Renew regional managers have connected with churches in Montreal regarding May flooding and will work with local responding efforts to find out how World Renew can best help.



Regional managers have been on conference calls regarding the recent flooding to determine how best World Renew can assist.


A World Renew unmet needs assessment team completed its work in the Albany area which was hit by tornadoes and high winds in January.


Regional managers are working with the Office of Kentucky Emergency Management on a possible unmet needs assessment for a small community that sustained damage from straight line winds.

North Carolina

World Renew is making plans to open a reconstruction site in Tarboro this fall. Regional managers are working out the details with World Renew’s longtime partner in North Carolina, the United Methodists.

South Carolina

World Renew regional managers continue to connect with long-term recovery groups in South Carolina in response to the flooding in 2015.


The reconstruction sites in San Marcos and Rio Grande Valley closed for the summer. Both sites will open again in the fall.

Among Ourselves 

Anniversaries… Our best wishes are sent to the following couples who will celebrate their anniversaries in July & August (50+ years!).

John & Yvonne Wyn celebrating 60 years on July 25.

Chuck & Sara Wilks celebrating 60 years on July 26.

Howard & Marie Allen celebrating 59 years on August 9.

Cornie & Trudi VanTol celebrating 56 years on August 11.

Bill & Jeanne Hyma celebrating 54 years on August 16.


Birthdays… We are happy to acknowledge the following people who are celebrating their birthdays in July & August:                       

July 2 – Doris Kalinowski                   July 24 – Beth Postema

July 2 – Ron Komarek                        July 24 – Dan Best

July 2 – Mary Konyndyk                    July 26 – Pat Lewis

July 3 – Ron Maycroft                        July 30 – Brenda DeWind

July 3 – Laurie VanDonkelaar            July 30 – Jamie Peterman

July 4 – Elaine VanderWel                 July 31 – Kathy Bowmaster

July 6 – John Mellema                       July 31 – Addison Fairbanks

July 7 – Peggy DeHoog                     Aug 2 – Bev Walhout

July 9 – Mary Jane Wolffis                 Aug 2 – Kristen Dethloff

July 9 – Sherry Apostle                      Aug 2 – Elijah VerMerris

July 10 – Barb Scanlon                      Aug 3 – Bradey Grimm

July 12 – Pat VanDonkelaar               Aug 5 – Don Willea

July 12 – John DeHoog                      Aug 6 – Gary Katerberg

July 13 – Jeanne Maycroft                 Aug 8 – Nancy Elliott

July 13 – Tom Shepherd                    Aug 9 – Anita Hasper

July 13 – Courtney Kingshott             Aug 11 – John Dood

July 14 – Bob Hoffius                         Aug 13 – Doris Jacobson

July 15 – Rocky Spoon                      Aug 15 – Christie VanHouten

July 15 – Gary Wickerink                   Aug 16 – Erin Piper

July 16 – Lois Veenstra                      Aug 17 – Marva Jacobson

July 16 – Louise Ypema                     Aug 17 – Char Sikkenga

July 16 – Kyle Wolffis                         Aug 19 – Breanna DeWind

July 17 – Lisa Willea                           Aug 20 – Jene Grimm

July 18 – Kara Komarek                     Aug 22 – R’Na Komarek

July 19 – Mary Lane                           Aug 23 – Antje Waldo

July 23 – Shirley Fisher                      Aug 23 – Lauren Dethloff

July 24 – Jeanne Hyma                     Aug 25 – Henriet Meyers

July 24 – Merlin McPheron                Aug 27 – Wayne VanderWel

                                                            Aug 31 – Juanita Fowler

Directory Updates…

Reminder:  If you have changes (address, phone, email, etc.) during the year, please let Vickie in the church office know.  

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