Growing in Christ, Sharing His Love

July/August 2018 Calvin Caller

From the Pastor's Desk...

"….but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."  John 4:14
Water was of the utmost importance in the days of Jesus.  Today we are literally surrounded by the most abundant source of fresh water in the world.  We are usually no more than feet away from fresh, sustainable, clean, and life-giving water.  Not so in ancient times.  There were essentially three types of water.  Cistern water was water that was collected from run off from roofs and streets and was collected in a basin hewn out of the rock in the earth.  Cistern water was the worst type of water you could have.  It was prone to stagnation, attracted insects, and was routinely foul with disease. Well water was the next best option which was water that was dug from within the ground much as our wells are today. Well water was a safer alternative to cistern water but required much labor to obtain and could still be tainted and foul.  The third and best source of water was living water.  Living water flowed fresh from a spring and was constantly moving to avoid stagnation and resisted attracting disease.  If you had a source of living water where you lived it meant you had a sustainable and abundant life.  Jesus calls himself this living water to the Samaritan woman right before he tells her that if she drinks of him he will become a spring that wells up and overflows into eternal life.   What he means is that with him at the foundation of her life he will constantly fill her with all she needs and more.
It’s not the first time the Bible talks about life with a sense of fullness, abundance, and running over full.  David says in the 23rd Psalm, “You prepare a table before men in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”  Life in Christ is called to be an outpouring and overflowing of abundance and joy.  He fills us with so much that its pills over unto others.  These things have been on my heart because I have experienced this sense of abundance and overflowing in the life of Calvin Church. When we are together I am energized and deeply encouraged.  One of you shared with me recently: “There is a sense of joy and happiness here,you can tell that people want to be here, there is so much life here.”  This what Jesus means by the ‘welling up’of himself and the response is that we should celebrate the life our church has and be thankful.  Be thankful that we are seeing new people come to discover the hope of Jesus in their lives.  Be thankful that we have enough people to lead our church, minister to the poor, and run multiple ministries that affect our community.  Be thankful we can host over 100 kids this month and make an impact on the city of Muskegon.  God is blessing Calvin Church and life is overflowing among us.  I am excited to be a part of this great adventure God is taking us on.  Share with me this abundant life that I pray we have all experienced among us.
 ~ Pastor Mark


Reflections from the Front Pew

Imagine a church service with no instruments: no piano or organ, no guitars, no flute(sorry, Linda J). Just voices singing the hymns and praise songs. Would you be uncomfortable or would you sing even louder?  Maybe you would pay more attention to the words?
That’s what a pastor in England hoped for when he took away all the instruments in his church for a few months. This pastor had noticed that his congregation had stepped back from true worship. He felt that the music that was leading them needed to be “stripped away”, so that all that was left were the voices, pure praise.
Pastor Pilavachi wanted his congregation to be “producers” in worship, not just“consumers”. His question to them was, “When you come through the doors on a Sunday, what are you bringing as your offering to God?” This pastor’s hope was that his congregation would see God in a fresh, new way.  And that’s exactly what happened. At first there were embarrassing silences and the singing was timid, but after a few weeks, the voices became bolder. After a time, the instruments were reintroduced, and worship was different, deeper, all about Jesus. Out of this experiment something else grew.  A song…
When the music fades, all isstripped away, and I simply come - longing just to bring something that’s ofworth that will bless Your heart.
Matt Redman is a Christian artist & songwriter, and he was a member of that church. In fact, he led the praise band. His pastor’s bold move caused Matt to put words together into a song about that experience.
I’ll bring You more than a song,for a song in itself is not what You have required. You search much deep within, through the way things appear You’re looking into my heart.
The song practically wrote itself & since that time has gone around the world.Matt gives all the glory to God for the fact that his song has touched so many people. His pastor’s “experiment” birthed a renewal in the faith of his congregation and also birthed a new song!
I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.
  ~ Joni Wagenmaker, Director of Worship & Music 


Household Pantry Needs
On Saturday, June 9,Calvin Household Pantry hosted 7 families.  Two of the families were large with 6 and 9 members.  I was gripped by one woman who looked like she was on the edge, very stressed, red faced, super anxious.  I asked her about her situation.  Her family was made up of nine people.  She had her children, a couple grandchildren,including an infant, and her grandmother. She had recently added the grandmother because her sister, who was caring for her, got sick.  They had been doing “okay” when they had a house fire and they lost most everything.  She was hoping to replenish some items from the pantry.  You wonder how one person can manage so much stress and responsibility.
After that pantry we need to replenish our stock as well.  The pantry is in need of pillows, blankets (all sizes), bath, hand and dish towels,tableware (forks, spoons, knives) toasters  (Walmart has  2 slice toasters for$8.88), Crock Pots, electric fry pans for people without a stove and pots and pans.
We know we’ve tapped the congregation frequently for these items and we are so thankful for your continuing support.  We trust God to provide the items we need.
  ~The Household Pantry Committee
  Dee& Ric Scott,
  Cornie& Trudi VanTol,
  Anita Hasper
  and the many volunteers who
  host the 2 pantries each month


Deacon’s Corner
When I look back to 3 years ago, I had no idea how God would use me as a Deacon at Calvin.  I didn’t mean to leave my name in the nomination/selection process as I thought that if my spouse’s name was in, mine would automatically be removed.  I was a“busy” oncology nurse with inconsistent working hours (I knew I’d NEVER get to the meetings on time!) and I was the President of the West Michigan Shoreline chapter of the Oncology Nurses Society (oh what responsibilities I had there! I mean, I was the President after all!).  I could relate to Moses and just knew God couldn’t and wouldn’t need me to serve Him as a Deacon.  Anything else, but not as a Deacon!
What did I know about being a Deacon anyway?  My spouse had been one…he “knows the ropes” I thought.  My dad had been one, but that was eons ago and he no longer was around to ask questions of and I’d heard the role is changing.  So why didn’t I just ask to have my name removed???   Help!!!
I don’t think it’s sacrilegious to say that God has a sense of humor…  He did create some strange looking animals after all!  When I was chosen as a Deacon it was as if God was saying to me, “Oh, Jan.  You think you’re so important and too busy to serve me as I desire and you want to serve me only as you desire?  Well do I have an opportunity for you!  Just watch me work!” 
We have heard many times: “those the Lord calls, He also equips”.  Well, it’s one thing to have the head knowledge and another to experience it firsthand.  But it’s so true.  I had the blessing to go to a deacon training sponsored by Volunteers In Service in the fall of 2015, which opened my eyes to what it meant to serve God in diaconal ministry.  It so encouraged me, that I brought it to Calvin in 2016.  I have been blessed to attend several Classis Muskegon meetings (I know I’m a strange one and I love to see how the CRC denomination works locally and I don’t mind business meetings).  I was doubly blessed to attend Synod in 2017 as the Deacon representative of Classis Muskegon (again, I know I’m unusual but I was able to see firsthand God’s faithfulness to the CRC!).  At Synod I met many members of the “Diaconal Ministries of Canada”, a very active organization with exceptional resources and was able to share many of them with the Deacons during my term as Chair.  All along, God was showing me that He didn’t and doesn’t leave us unequipped.
When I think about what it means to be a Deacon in the CRC and at Calvin, I know I’ve only scratched the surface or seen the tip of the iceberg, but I am grateful for having the opportunity and experience.  Please pray for the Deacons as they serve God,you and the Muskegon area.
“Great is Your Faithfulness, Oh God MY Father… Morning by
Morning new mercies I see; all I have need of, your hand has
provided!  Great is your Faithfulness, Lord, unto ME!”
  ~ Jan Weiden 


Missionary News:  The Holtrop family
Violence and unrest in Central America has been in the news lately, resulting in a tremendous uptick in families seeking asylum at our southern border. One of our missionary families, the Holtrop family, has been serving in Nicaragua during this time.  Even though,until recently, the family has felt relatively safe in this area of the world,they have been praying for discernment and a clear vision to address this situation.  The unrest had caused schools to be closed, private property to be left unprotected, and many injuries and deaths.  Anxiety and stress had been increasing over the past months, but hope was held that Christians in the area would be able to be a light in this darkness.  Prayers for a miracle were offered, but recently, in mid-June, the Holtrop family was requesting help in evacuating out of the area to a safe place in the States somewhere.  Prayers were answered and the family was able to fly to Michigan for a temporary respite.
The family has been experiencing so many emotions: relief, anger, thankfulness, anguish, sadness.  It is their hope that Nicaragua will return to a stable position and that the family will be able to return at the end of July.  Please pray with them that the widespread repression and violence end so that they can return to their beloved home of 15 years.
  ~ Bonnie Bergman, Deacon Chair


Hearts & Hands
Serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13  NIV
Thank you to all of you who signed up to be a part of the ministry to provide meals to those in our church family going through difficult times. A large group signed up, and several of you offered helpful suggestions for making the program a success!
This month we were blessed to be able to give donations in support of two worthy organizations:  Volunteer for Dental (assists those who cannot afford needed dental work) Camp Anew (held at Grace Youth Camp to support children and families going through grief)
Hearts & Hands does 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 10, 2018 at 1:00 pm in the Fireside Room.  We meet on the second Monday of the month and hope that you will consider joining us in the fall.
  ~ Antje Waldo 


Building & Grounds Team
Building & Grounds has two new projects in process. Both are intended to reduce our electrical usage and eliminate some nagging repair costs…  
Project 1 will be to change all the outside parking light fixtures to LED lighting which will reduce electrical usage every night throughout the year.  LED fixtures eliminate the necessity of replacing burned out light bulbs.  Replacing light bulbs costs $200.00 to $300.00 per time. Consumers Energy is contributing$1,921.00 to the $3,867.00 cost.  Our payback is less than 12 months at $2,100.00 per year.  This project has just been approved by Consumers Energy and will be installed before the end of June.
Project 2 will change all the lights bulbs in the Family Life Center to LED.  Total cost of this project is $4,200.00 with Consumers Energy contributing $1,224.00. Our energy savings will be $100.00 per month giving us a 29 month payback.  It will also save us $200.00 to$300.00 per year in bulb maintenance cost reducing our payback to approximately 24 month.  This project will need to be approved by Consumers Energy before we begin. Estimated to happen sometime soon after SERVE.
  ~Wayne Bishop 


Prayer Corner
A Puritan’s Prayer
As I was reading a devotional, I came across an old prayer that made me think differently about my attitude while I pray. It is a sobering prayer which humbles me but gives me hope.
“Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, and the exceeding wonder of grace. I am guilty but pardoned.  I am lost but saved.  I am wandering but found.  I am sinning but cleansed.  Give me perpetual brokenheartedness.  Keep me always clinging to Thy cross.” 
  ~ MaryAnn Mellema 


Fellowship Team
Fellowship will NOT have a meeting in July or August.  
THANK YOU to everyone who has come to support the Fundraisers for the Youth program.  We do appreciate all your help and many smiles. Also, Joyce and I want to THANK everyone who has helped setup, prepare food, served and supported the many events over the past 6 months.  The Lord has blessed us in so many ways as we continue to do His work.
It’s been a blessing for the committee to provide these gatherings and share God’s love.
  ~ Vern Borgman, Fellowship Chair 


Among Ourselves

College Graduates… Congratulations to the following college graduates! 
   Chad Beisel –BSA at Calvin College
   Michael Wilks (grandson of the Wilks) - MAcc at Calvin College
Anniversaries:  Our best wishes to the following couples who are celebrating their anniversaries this month (50+ years together)…
   John & Yvonne Wyn celebrating 61 years on July 25.
   Chuck & Sara Wilks celebrating 61 years on July 26.
   Howard & Marie Allen celebrating 60 years on August 9.
   Cornie & Trudi Van Tol celebrating 57 years on August 11.
   Bill & Jeanne Hyma celebrating 55 years on August 16.
   Verne & Jan VanHouten celebrating 50 years on August 23.
   Bill & Marcia Workman celebrating 50 years on August 23.
   Vern & Joyce Borgman celebrating 50 years on August 24.
Birthdays:  The following people are celebrating their birthdays in July & August…          
  July 2 –Ron Komarek                                              July 24 – Merlin McPheron
  July 2– Mary Konyndyk                                           July 24 – Tim Bannink                             
  July 3– Ron Maycroft                                              July 24 – Beth Postema        
  July 3– Laurie VanDonkelaar                                  July 24 – Dan Best
  July 4– Elaine VanderWel                                       July 26 – Pat Lewis    
  July 6 – John Mellema                                            July 27 – Kyle Adams
  July 9– Bob Scanlon                                               July 30 – Brenda DeWind           
  July 9 – Mary Jane Wolffis                                      July 30 – Jamie Peterman        
  July 9 – Sherry Apostle                                           July 31 – Kathy Bowmaster
  July 10 – Barb Scanlon                                           
  July 12 – Pat VanDonkelaar                                    Aug 2 – Bev Walhout      
  July 13 – Jeanne Maycroft                                      Aug 2 – Kristen Dethloff              
  July 13 – Tom Shepherd                                         Aug 2 – Elijah VerMerris
  July 13 – Courtney Kingshott                                  Aug 3 – Bradey Grimm
  July 14 – Bob Hoffius                                              Aug 5 – Don Willea
  July 14 – Mark Milkamp                                          Aug 6 – Gary Katerberg
  July 15 – Rocky Spoon                                           Aug 8 – Nancy Elliott
  July 15 – Gary Wickerink                                        Aug9 – Anita Hasper
  July 16 – Lois Veenstra                                           Aug10 – Sharon VanDyke
  July 16 – Louise Ypema                                          Aug10 – Kurt VanDonkelaar
  July 16 – Kyle Wolffis                                              Aug11 – John Dood
  July 16 – Cordyn Twining                                        Aug13 – Doris Jacobson
  July 17 – Lisa Willea                                                Aug15 – Bob Keessen
  July 18 – Dara Komarek                                         Aug15 – Christie VanHouten
  July 19 – Mary Lane                                                Aug16 – Erin Sova
  July 20 – Hudson Milkamp                                      Aug17 – Marva Jacobson
  July 23 – Shirley Fisher                                           Aug17 – Char Sikkenga
  July 24 – Jeanne Hyma                                          

                                    August Birthdays cont’d
  Aug 17 – Zeta Lakatos                                             Aug 23 – Lauren Dethloff
  Aug 19 – Breanna DeWind                                      Aug 25 – Henriet Meyers
  Aug 20 – Jene’ Grimm                                             Aug 27 – Wayne VanderWel
  Aug 22 – R’Na Komarek                                          Aug 28 – Addison Twining
  Aug 23 – Antje Waldo                                              Aug 29 – Scott VanDonkelaar
  Aug 23 – Kyle Witt                                                  Aug 31 – Juanita Fowler 

Directory Info…
If you haven’t downloaded the Online Church Directory app yet, make sure you give it a try.  It’s pretty awesome!  Instructions are at the Welcome Center or call the church office if you are having difficulties.
Reminder:  If you have changes (address, phone, email,etc.) during the year, please let Vickie know and updates will be put in this section of the monthly Calvin Caller (but not included on the website).  

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