From the Pastor’s Desk…
For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. Isaiah 61:11
As I write this in late April it is currently 40 degrees with a biting cold wind. Last night as I stood at my son’s lacrosse game it was blowing snow sideways. Spring in Muskegon is a distant hope at best. Some years we actually see decent weather. Some years winter holds on like a gripping giant. This year is one of the latter. I am one of those, as I know many are, whom the weather effects my mood and perspective. This spring has shown its effects by keeping me in a bog of gloom with a lack of energy. I long for the sun to warm me again. I long for the sprouts to come up, for the seeds to grow, and to show us new signs of life. I long to finally put my coat and boots away. I know I am not alone in this longing. Perhaps even as you read this, spring has finally won the battle. We know eventually it will, and that will be a joyous time. Spring can remind us so much about our faith and the nature of God as well. God is always bringing new things to life all around us even when we do not always see the works in action. As I look around the life of the church here at Calvin I am astounded to see all the sprouts and seeds that are blooming. We are seeing so much engagement with many of our ministries, including life groups, youth, young families, and old. Multiple generations are finding ways to grow deeper in Christ. We are inviting new families into the life of our church. There is so much to be thankful for. I am seeing relationships among us blossom around prayer and trust. God is working deeply among us. So, what should be our response to God’s abundance towards us? A spring of praise before the nations! Our response to seeing God’s goodness ought to be out of an abundance of gratitude and praise. This spring let us join the chorus of creation in celebration of blooming life by worshipping our God together.
Grace and Peace,
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.
May: Romans 12:2
June: Philippians 2:3-4
Reflections from the Front Pew…
You make all things new
You make all things new
God of mercy and love
Do what only You can do
And make all things new
Spring, for me, is like a new year: the birds are singing again, the grass comes alive, flowers begin to bloom. It is the start of new things from the old. The dreary season of winter is leaving, replaced with a warm and fresh spring.
The Bible talks about new things - Isaiah 43:19 says “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” God wasn’t just speaking to the Israelites, He’s speaking to all of us! He sees where we all are, what we are going through, where we have been, and He’s renewing us. Again, and again, and again.
I've heard You can take what's broken
And make it whole again
Well, here's the pieces of my heart
What can You do with them?
'Cause I can't hold them all together anymore
So I let them fall surrendered to the floor
There you have it – broken pieces that need to be put together again. God uses those to create the new, just like he brings new green grass from the old each spring. He’s able to take your old stories, your scars that you want to hide, and use them for His glory.
Only You can bring such beauty
From the depths of all my pain
Only You can take this shattered heart
And make it beat again
Oh, You hold us all together in Your hands
I surrender all I have and all I am
God creates “a new thing” in us from our brokenness. He uses those things we’ve gone through and makes something even better. We read that promise over and over in the stories in the Bible: the Israelites, David, Paul, and so many more.
As you enjoy the beginning of spring this year, remember the words “a new thing” as you look around you. When you see the daffodils and new leaves pop, when you hear the birds sing, remember that God can bring a new thing into your life, no matter what pieces you bring Him.
*Song “All Things New” by Big Daddy Weave
~Joni Wagenmaker, Director of Music & Worship
Kid Ministries Summer Events…
Mark your calendars for these fun summer events:
► Sunday, May 1: Children in Worship Outdoors (4 years – 5th grade)
► Wednesday, May 18: Garden Party, 6:30 - 7:30 PM (toddler – 5th grade)
► Wednesday, May 18: Middle School Laser Tag, 6:30 - 7:30 PM
► Thursday, May 26: Parents’ Night Out, join us at Fricano’s Pizza (downtown)
► Sunday, June 5: Children in Worship Outdoors (4 years – 5th grade)
► Wednesday, June 15: Classic Yard Game Night, all ages join us for ice cream and yard games, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
► Thursday, June 23: Toddler Time in the FLC (gym), 9:30 - 11:00 AM
► Monday, June 27: Open Gym for all ages, 9:30 - 11:00 AM
Stay tuned for more information about these fun happenings this summer!
~ Courtney Kingshott, Director of Children's Ministries
The Fellowship Team will meet on Tuesday, May 3rd at 7:00 PM. We are always looking for new team members. Please join us!
Upcoming Events…Mark your calendar
May 8th: Mother’s Day Breakfast. This is a fundraiser for the youth with all proceeds going toward the service and learning trip to the Dominican Republic this summer. We will be passing out a gift to all the moms present that day.
June 19th: Father’s Day Breakfast. We will be passing out a gift to all the dads present that day.
SERVE sign-ups will be starting soon!
~ Vern Borgman, Chair
Hearts & Hand…
We were blessed to have a wonderful group of seventeen women at our March meeting. It is so exciting to see our group growing with willing workers and new ideas!
Thank you to all who helped to fill the Easter bags for our Special Friends. They were filled with many treats and thoughtful items and brought much joy to those who received them.
We would also like to extend our appreciation and thanks to the following people:
• Al VanDonkelaar – who made the special wooden crosses which were placed in the Easter bags and handed out to members of the congregation after the service on Palm Sunday.
• Vickie Curtis – who put together the special message attached to the crosses and who is always willing to help Hearts and Hands in any way that she can.
• The Gems Group – who made the unique Easter cards that were added to our Special Friends bags.
The Hearts and Hands Committee is so grateful for all of you in our church family who so willingly help with our ministries. We could not be successful without you!!
The following donations from the Pickleball Fund were approved by the committee this month:
• Resonate Global Missions (Matching Gift Challenge)
• World Renew (Ukraine Conflict)
We are grateful to the pickleball players whose contributions make it possible for us to bless so many organizations with much needed support.
There is a continuing need for volunteers who are willing to provide meals through the Meal Ministry. Thank you to those who are so faithful in continuing to serve others in this way. Please contact Rosemary Datema or sign up in Calvin's Facebook group if you can help.
Our next meeting will be held on Monday, May 9, 2022 at 1:00 PM in the Fireside Room. We offer an opportunity to show God's love to others, to fellowship with good friends, and to enjoy one of Maryann's delicious desserts. We would love to have you join us!
~ Antje Waldo, Hearts & Hands Secretary
Greetings from McLaughlin Grows Farm…
The growing season is fast approaching! We are still looking to fill a few more spots for our Summer CSA Program. If you aren't familiar with a CSA, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. By becoming a member, you will receive a share of the farms produce for the season. McLaughlin Grows Farm grows about 70 different varieties of produce and every week when we harvest, we put together our CSA boxes with what is currently available and in season. The shares usually contain about 10 different veggies and can be either picked up from the farm or delivered to your home. Our produce is very high quality and is grown using organic practices, it is harvested either the day before or day of pickup. You also have an option to receive a share every week or every other week. Follow this link to sign up on our website! http://www.communityencompass.org/csa-shop. For questions please email: email@example.com.
2022 College Graduates…
Wendy Hoogstra – Grand Valley State University – Doctorate in Physical Therapy
Brian Kingshott – Western Theological Seminary – Master of Divinity
Hanna Swords – Grand Valley State University – Master’s Degree in Social Work
Sam VanAndel – Cornerstone University – Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management
Kennah VerMerris – Muskegon Community College – Associate’s Degree in Arts & Science
Morgan Henderson (Al & Judy Henderson’s granddaughter) – Ferris State University – Doctor of Pharmacy Degree
2022 High School Graduates…
Jason Anderson – Western Michigan Christian High School
Lily Moser – Western Michigan Christian High School
Owen Varnado – Western Michigan Christian High School
May 1 – Kirby Swords May 19 – Sheri Byers
May 1 – Greg Kamp May 20 – Ric Scott
May 2 – Ellen Rop May 20 – Kevin Datema
May 2 – Isaac Holter May 20 – Maddox Mellema
May 4 – Barb Rasmussen May 21 – Dee Scott
May 4 – Bill Sorensen May 21 – Kathy Jansen
May 5 – Doug LaFayette May 22 – Audrey Kingsott
May 6 – Andrea Heeres May 23 – Josie Staley
May 6 – Rosemary Datema May 26 – Chloe Hyrns
May 8 – Cheryl Veldman May 27 – MaryAnn Mellema
May 8 – Lou Gifford May 27 – Andy Swords
May 9 – Wendy Hoogstra May 27 – Aiden Kempf
May 10 – Chuck George May 27 – Julia Best
May 10 – Linda Bos May 27 – Athena Barker
May 10 – Bonnie Bergman May 29 – Desiree Culver
May 13 – Jeane Smit May 30 – Trudi Van Tol
May 16 – Marilyn Vanderlinde May 30 – Char Reed
May 16 – Holly Gould May 31 – Paul Wilson
May 17 – Owen Milkamp May 31 – Sue Milkamp
May 18 – Roger Johnson
June 1 – Steve VerMerris June 14 – Charlie Boomer
June 1 – Kennah VerMerris June 16 – Lexi Nichols
June 1 – Adaline Gillette June 17 – Elaine VanDonkelaar
June 2 – Charyn Hain June 17 – Marie Allen
June 2 – Miles Mabrito June 17 – Kathy Hoogstra
June 4 – Vonnie VanderPloeg June 17 – Jackson Kempf
June 4 – Joni Wagenmaker June 18 – Vern Borgman
June 5 – Rick Dethloff June 18 – Jacob Murray
June 5 – Carol Mogdis June 19 – Emily Teusink
June 5 – Mae Sneller June 20 – Sherry Wilson
June 5 – Madelyn Wilson June 20 – Tom Mellema
June 6 – Bonnie Meengs June 20 – Jessica Russell
June 8 – Millie Patt June 20 – Zayne DuBois
June 8 – Ron Konyndyk June 21 – Chuck Gillette
June 8 – Dave Mellema June 22 – Paul Bergmann
June 8 – Alec Nicholas June 22 – Tim Jansen
June 9 – Cindy Beisel June 22 – Iyla Holter
June 9 – Aerley Holter June 23 – Bob Hoogstra
June 10 – Pat Bolema June 26 – Miley Porter
June 12 – Cody Hyma June 29 – Russ Baker
June 13 – Kylie Riner June 29 – Barb Hoffman
June 14 – Gail Kraft June 29 – Christian Hain
Anniversaries: Our best wishes to the following couples who are celebrating their anniversaries in May & June (50+ years together)…
Kirby & Karen Swords celebrating 60 years on May 26.
John & Terry Hoekstra celebrating 65 years on June 15.
Bruce & Marian Schlukebir celebrating 66 years on June 22.
Jay & Nancy Milkamp celebrating 54 years on June 28.
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