From the Pastor’s Desk…
As a kid watching college football with my dad, my favorite thing was when the play came down to a ‘Hail Mary.’ The quarterback’s last-ditch attempt to help their team score by hurling the ball as high and as far down the field hoping someone will catch it and run it in for a touchdown. The Hail Mary is a sacred prayer held dear to many Catholics around the world. They use the term in football because it is the last final option a team has to score and it has little chance in succeeding. In faith circles, I have noticed that we often use and speak of prayer as a ‘last ditch attempt’ in our faith. When something terrible happens we often say ‘at least we can pray’, ‘all we can do is pray,’ or ‘we are hanging on a prayer.’ It’s as if all our other options of helping or interceding have been exhausted all we have left to do is hang our hopes on our cries out to God for help.
As Christians we know in our heads and hopefully our hearts that prayer is anything but a last-ditch attempt for us to beseech our God. It is the sacred and holy privilege we have to communicate with the King of the universe. There are some 650 prayers mentioned in the Bible, including 450 answers to prayers that are recorded. The gospels tell us of 25 times Jesus prays and Paul brings the topic up countless times in the rest of the New Testament. Prayer should be at the forefront of our spiritual discipleship and therefore a driving force of our church today. I know that prayer is already an integral part of our life as a church. I am confident right now, even as I write this, someone is praying for someone else in our church. I am confident that when many of you tell another you will pray for them, they are not empty words. We need to be a community who is connected to God in prayer so that we are sure of where God is leading us.
Recently the Council approved a new Prayer Team to come together to be the leaders of prayer at Calvin Church. Before now we have not had a formal team who oversees, directs, and brings passion towards all our prayer efforts of church. In the last year it was essential to have prayer to help guide us. We have had to navigate many difficult decisions in an increasingly complex world with the realities of COVID and many other factors. As leaders we have felt your prayers and are abundantly thankful for that and also for your support. Going forward as a church it is vital that we keep prayer as the driving spiritual force that propels us. The Prayer Team will oversee our Sunday morning prayer time as well as our Prayer Partner Ministry. They will also seek to create ways to allow prayer to be a vital part of our individual lives as well as the corporate life of our church.
If you have passion for prayer or in any way, feel stirred by this new opportunity, we would love for you to be on our new Prayer Team. The commitment will be minimal as the team will most likely only meet a few times in the year. Should you be interested, please talk with MaryAnn Mellema, or myself.
This fall we will launch on a new adventure into another exciting year of ministry. Let us all continue on in prayer together as God leads us.
May the peace of Christ be with you all,
Reflections from the Front Pew
Many years ago when I started college, I began as a Music Major. My young 18 year old self was SURE I wanted a career in music, in some way. That 1st semester was eye opening for sure – I never realized that majoring in music totally immerses one in ALL things music, including writing a piece for a band or orchestra. What? Writing music? There I sat at the piano plunking out tunes, then writing those tunes down in all the parts & keys necessary for the various instruments. Finally came the day when the gathered instruments would play all the pieces our class had written. “Wow,” I thought, “some of these people could be REAL composers”. Their pieces were so good! Then came mine; obviously I did not have the same gift. My composition sounded very dull and boring, like it was written by a child! Right then, I decided that maybe Elementary Education would be a better major!
Fast forward to these last few years and my position as Music Director at Calvin Church. I don’t write any music, but I’ve become very familiar with those who compose Christian music. Whenever we learn a new song here at Calvin, I always research who wrote the lyrics and how they came to put those words together – I love reading their “song stories”.
Our newest praise song – “Great Things” – was written by Phil Wickham. Phil has written many songs, including “Living Hope” that we’ve begun singing. As a singer and a worship leader, Phil was looking for a song to lead his congregation into worship. Spending time in Scripture, he realized just how often God was praised for doing “Great Things” – and the words of the song came from that.
Maybe I’ll never write music that sounds professional or words that touch people’s hearts, but I can find songs that do just that! My prayer is that “Great Things” will lead you to praise our God, who is “faithful through every storm” and “faithful forevermore”.
~Joni Wagenmaker, Director of Music & Worship
Faithful Family Verse of the Month
We are using a designated verse(s) in some way during worship on a monthly basis. Our hope is that this verse will go home with you, and be in your heart and mind during each month.
You will find our monthly verse in the bulletin, on the website and used in various ways during the month.
Let’s keep digging into God’s Word together.
September: Job 19:25 October: Hebrews 10:23-24
Children & Youth Ministries
A huge THANK YOU to everyone that shared a Children’s Message this summer!
Fall Children & Youth Ministries at Calvin will begin this month.
We are looking to kick-off the year with our 3rd Annual Community Carnival & Cookout! Hope to see you there...
Date: Wednesday, September 15th
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 PM
High School Youth Group meets every Sunday night from 6-7:30 PM. Our meetings include a meal together, an interactive activity, a lesson/message, and a game to end the evening. Our first meeting is on Sunday, September 12th.
Children in Worship nurtures our children’s faith and prepares them for worship with the whole congregation and is for children 4yrs old – 5th grade. CIW meets during the morning worship thru the school year. Our first meeting is on September 19th. If you are interested in volunteering as a leader, please contact Courtney.
Wednesdays at Calvin meets at 6:30–8:00 PM, every Wednesday, except 1st Wednesday of each month. Pizza is served at 6:00 PM for $2/person. This ministry consists of Lil’ Peeps, Cadets, GEMS, Middle School Youth Group. Our first meeting is on September 22nd. See Courtney or Brian for more information.
Middle School Youth Group follows the Wednesdays at Calvin schedule. Our first meeting is on September 22nd at 6:30 PM. This group is for 6th - 8th grade students. During our meetings we: have a fun and interactive activity, a message/lesson, eat ice cream, and end with a game.
~ Courtney Kingshott, Director of Children’s Ministries
~ Brian Kingshott, Director of Youth Ministries
Heading off to Campus?
As you study, experience a multitude of perspectives and worldviews, and develop new relationships, why not also be part of a diverse community that gathers together to grow in faith and to engage God’s world? There are over 35 CRC Campus Ministries on campuses across North America, comprised of students, faculty, and staff. To find out if there is one on your campus, check this map: resonateglobalmission.org/campusmap. No campus ministry at your school? You can also locate a nearby CRC here: www.crcna.org/churches.
For more information about these unique ministries, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Household Pantry News…
Each month the pantry serves between several families by providing household items that help them establish a home. The families are usually small (1-4 people), but sometimes they are very large. To serve this many people we need to continually restock the pantry. We are in need of the following items, new or gently used: blankets, comforters, dinner plates, cereal bowls, plastic drinking cups. Monetary donations are also helpful because it allows us to purchase items as we need them. Thank you for helping our community in this way. Items can be placed downstairs on the table near the elevator. If you have questions, contact any of us.
~ Ric & Dee Scott, Cornie & Trudi Van Tol.
Feeding America Food Trucks…
Please pray for Calvin’s Mobile Food Pantry Ministry as we resume hosting food trucks over the next six months. Our streamlined truck-to-trunk/drive through model has been very well received by recipients and will be maintained.
Fall dates are the first Saturday of each month, October 2, November 6, and December 4. If you are willing to help, please contact Nancy Mellema at 231-750-1627 or email email@example.com. Thank you.
Hearts & Hand…
The Hearts and Hands Ministry is excited to begin its 29th year at Calvin Church as we resume our monthly meetings this fall. Please plan to join us in our efforts to reach out and care for members of our church family and others in our community. Our meeting will take place on Monday, September 14, 2021 at 1:00 P.M. in the Fireside Room. We always welcome new members and look forward to seeing you!
~ Antje Waldo
Muskegon CROP Hunger Walk
Ending hunger one step at a time. This year’s walk is on Sunday, October 3rd.
Go to events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/event/muskegonmi for more information on how to participate or donate.
~ Carl Bergman, Mission & Outreach Chair
Birthdays: The following people are celebrating their birthdays in September:
Sept 1 – Cheryl Searles Sept 14 – Jeff Hopkins
Sept 1 – Alex Rop Sept 14 – Robin Semelbauer
Sept 1 – Emma VanAndel Sept 15 – Len Fisher
Sept 2 – Len Hartman Sept 16 – Ray VanVoorthuysen
Sept 3 – Ron Rop Sept 18 – Darlene Dirkse
Sept 5 – Kate Thayer Sept 21 – Bobbi Lakatos
Sept 7 – Jim Bos Sept 22 – Val VanWoerkom
Sept 8 – Joyce Borgman Sept 24 – Jean Wilbur
Sept 9 – Carol Marcil Sept 25 – Kurt Wolffis
Sept 10 – Mark Meengs Sept 27 – Stacie Bannink
Sept 11 – Matt Russell Sept 29 – Karen Swords
Sept 11 – Jana Sneller Sept 30 – Casey Gould
Birthdays: The following people are celebrating their birthdays in October:
Oct 1 – Natalie Katerberg Oct 12 – Branden Riner
Oct 2 – Sara Nekic Oct 13 – Wilma Pontius
Oct 4 – Lois Potts Oct 13 – Phil Marcil
Oct 4 – Rhonda Bolema Oct 13 – Marcia Tortorice
Oct 4 – Sydney Murray Oct 13 – Annie Teusink
Oct 4 – Lainey Postema Oct 15 – Dava Lakatos
Oct 5 – Jan Dethloff Oct 17 – Jim Bartkowiak
Oct 8 – Al VanDonkelaar Oct 17 – Julie VanderMeulen
Oct 8 – Chris Beisel Oct 18 – Barb Workman
Oct 8 – Rick Hyma Oct 21 – Nick Wolffis
Oct 8 – Leah Sneller Oct 25 – Bill Hyma
Oct 9 – Judy Henderson Oct 26 – Carl Bergman
Oct 10 – Chuck Wilks Oct 28 – Pam LaFayette
Oct 11 – LouAnn Karum Oct 29 – Liam Milkamp
Oct 11 – Tim Meyers Oct 30 – Braden Twining
Oct 12 – Naurine McPheron Oct 31 – Ken Sherburn
Oct 12 – Andrea Twining
Anniversaries: Our best wishes to the following couples who are celebrating their anniversaries in September/October (50+ years together)…
Ron & Jeanne Maycroft celebrating 64 years on September 6.
Tom & Cheryl Veldman celebrating 55 years on September 9.
Ted & Darlene Hewitt celebrating 51 years on September 25.
Bob & Ruth Keessen celebrating 60 years on September 29.
Earl & Pat Lewis celebrating 61 years on October 14.
Craig & Brenda DeWind celebrating 50 years on October 22.
Dick & Gail Kraft celebrating 57 years on October 24.
Al & Judy Henderson celebrating 57 years on October 30
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