Big and Small…
Here are a couple of perspectives on ‘big and small’.
First: Is one sin greater than any other?
Billy Graham’s (short) answer to this is… “It is always difficult and dangerous to attempt to list sins according to their degree of seriousness. In one sense, all sins are equal in that they all separate us from God. The Bible’s statement, For the wages of sin is death … Romans 6:23, applies to all sin, whether in thought, word, or deed.
It sometimes makes life easier to think that one sin is greater than another, or more serious or offensive to God. But reality is just one sin (no matter how small) makes us guilty. Here is a memorable saying worth repeating (not sure where it came from). “No sin is too heavy for Christ to bear, and no sin is too light for Christ to spare.”
Thank you Lord, it doesn’t end there…there is hope! My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:1-2. He shed his blood to pay the price for all of our sins, whether they are big or small in our human eyes.
Have you experienced this salvation and forgiveness that come only through Christ?
Second: How big is God?
I read this on Facebook and felt the need to share…
A boy asked his father, “Dad what is the size of God?” Then the father looked up at the sky and saw a plane and asked his son, “What is the size of this plane?” The boy replied, “It is very small. I can hardly see it.” Then, the father took him to the airport and as they approached a plane, he asked, “Now, my son, how big is this plane?” The boy replied, “Wow dad, it's huge!” Then the father told him, “God's size depends on how close or far you are to him. The closer you are to him, the greater and greater he will be in your life!”
How big is God in your life?
~ Vickie Curtis, Administrative Assistant
As you all know there are several changes happening here at Calvin. I would like to address a couple more changes happening in the near future.
First, we will have Connection Cards in the pews (replacing the current Attendance Sheets). Connection cards are critically important. They give people an opportunity to respond. Perhaps more importantly, they give people a way to engage. This may be someone’s first interaction with a church. Maybe the first time they’ve ever reached out for help. Maybe they’ve made a first time decision for Jesus. Maybe they want more information on baptism or our youth programs. Maybe they want to sign up for a life group or attend a Bible study. In short, it’s their next step to connecting with Calvin Church, and it matters. There is also a section for prayer concerns. Be looking for these to pop up in your pews this month.
Second, we are in the process of switching our data program from ACS to Breeze, which covers many church functions behind the scenes. One of those functions is the church directory. I have a lot of work to do to get it ready for print, but I am confident it will be published in June (in accordance with the new Council). So going forward, you can expect a new church directory each June.
If you have any questions on either of these changes, please feel free to see me in the office.
~ Vickie Curtis, Administrative Assistant
Faithful Family Verse of the Month:
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
Reflections from the Front Pew
“The sound of a church singing has preceded almost every great revival in church history. The church is God’s witness and representative on earth. Is there any wonder that a tremendous power comes about when the representative voice of God in the earth is singing.”
In March I took a Sunday off, and a pianist new to Calvin filled in for me. A couple weeks later I spoke with her, and she shared how much she enjoyed playing for me. She said she loved that Calvin was a “singing church”. It’s been obvious to me that this Calvin community loves to sing – not only the hymns of the past, but also the new songs that we’re all getting to know.
The quote beginning this article comes from CityAlight, a worship ministry located in Sydney, Australia. They have been writing Christian music as a team for 5 years, using their talents to write first for their own church & praying that the music they write will spread to other churches. They follow two main ideas when writing music: that the lyrics are biblically rich & that the melodies are simple & sing-able. Their thought is that often the song lyrics remain in our minds through the week, much like the words of a sermon.
And what great songs they are writing! My hope is to introduce their music at Calvin soon, learning a couple of the songs over the summer.
Thank you for being a singing church and for opening yourselves to new songs. The following words are not only their prayer, but mine also.
“We pray that the lyrics and melodies of these songs would fix eyes and hearts and minds on Jesus. We pray that our songs might join the many thousands of songs written through history to encourage the church, and when they have played their role, to make way for the next ones. And we rejoice that one day the only name left standing will be the name of Jesus, as it should be.”
~ Joni Wagenmaker, Director of Worship & Music
Did you know that there are over 13,000 children in the foster care system in Michigan, and that there are approximately 450 children in foster care in Muskegon County alone? Many of these children have not been able to be placed into a home because there are not enough foster parents. This is why May has been designated as National Foster Care month. Highlighting the foster care community provides us with the opportunity to recognize the needs at hand, and if possible, to act upon them.
Jason Johnson, an advocate for foster parenting, challenges others to action by reminding them that God rescued them; therefore, what pains God’s heart must pain their heart, and what drives His hands must drive their hands.
If you feel a desire in your heart to become a foster parent, are over 21 years of age, have a stable housing situation, demonstrate positive parenting skills, are willing to help children achieve identified goals and have a lot of love to give, then you are the perfect candidate to be a foster parent.
Two local organizations that would love to help you explore the opportunities available to help foster care children are Kids Belong and Bethany Christian Services. Kids Belong is an organization that helps to connect churches with the foster care community. If you would like to know more about Kids Belong and the foster care community their website is www.kidsbelong.org, or you can email Jeff Steele at email@example.com or call 616-510-7051. Bethany Christian Services also has information available about how to become a foster parent. Their website is www.bethany.org or you can call 231-733-1618.
Even if you cannot become a foster parent, your prayers for the children, their foster parents, and the organizations that help them are needed. Donations to the organizations that work with foster children and parents are also greatly needed and appreciated. Please consider donating to Calvin’s special offering for Bethany Christian Services on June 23rd. Your actions of love will positively impact a child’s life.
Jean Wilbur, Deacon
Mission and Outreach
Our church will be hosting Family Promise from Sunday, June 2nd through Sunday morning, June 8th.
The Family Promise Team will be looking for people to cook and serve dinner each evening, stay overnight (on very comfortable cots) during the week, drivers each evening and again in the morning, and people who can help set-up the living area downstairs and clean-up when we are finished.
Finding housing for people in our community with unfortunate circumstances is becoming increasingly difficult. Family Promise steps in for families in a crisis situation by offering safe places to stay along with case management while the family takes steps to solve their difficult situation.
Be a part of this hands-on, loving outreach to hurting families in our community. Look for the sign-up sheets in the Narthex during the Month of May.
~ Bonnie Bergman
MOTHER’S DAY BREAKFAST at Calvin from 8:15 to 9:45 Come and enjoy a special time together with family. Mother’s will be given a special gift. It will be a wonderful time to worship together, as God shows his love for us through food.
~ Vern Borgman, Fellowship Chair
Hearts & Hands
As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:10 NIV
Thank you to all of you who have been so faithful in providing meals for our Meal Ministry. Rosemary Datema is happy to report that she had a full schedule for April and some slots already filled for May. For those who are interested in volunteering and have not yet participated, you can sign up by accessing the program called Take A Meal through Calvin's Facebook page. If you are not on Facebook you may contact Rosemary and she will be happy to add you to the schedule.
It is spring cleaning time! Please remember our Calvin Church Household Pantry as you clean out those cupboards and closets. A big thank you to Cornie and Trudi VanTol for all of the work they do in organizing and managing this ministry. It is a blessing to so many in our community!
Marilyn Hartman shared information with us about the work of World Renew. We would like to express our thanks and appreciation to those in our church family who have volunteered their time and effort to support this organization. The needs are many and the work a tremendous blessing to those suffering loss from natural disasters.
Our next meeting will be held on May 13, 2019 at 1:00 pm in the downstairs meeting room. We meet the 2nd Monday of the month. You are welcome to join us for the meeting, fellowship, and dessert.
~ Antje Waldo
Prayerlessness – The Great Sin of the Modern Church
Why is the church today losing ground in the war to influence our Godless culture? Some believe it is our lack of prayer, which is tied to our lack of humility. “No wonder we stand powerless against the onslaught of evil in the media, in our schools, and even in our homes. We have to repent of many sins, among them, is our prayerlessness”
Despite our many spiritual needs in America, few churches have a regularly scheduled prayer meeting. When I asked a megachurch pastor if they had a prayer meeting, he replied “no”. I asked a follow-up question: “How bad would it have to get before you scheduled a regular prayer meeting?” He did not answer.
from The Church in Babylon, by Erwin Lutzer
~ MaryAnn Mellema
Anniversaries: Our best wishes to the following couples who are celebrating their anniversaries this month (50+ years together)…
Kirby & Karen Swords celebrating 57 years on May 26.
Birthdays: The following people are celebrating their birthdays this month…
May 1 – Kirby Swords May 10 – Linda Bos May 22 – Audrey Kingshott
May 1 – Greg Kamp May 10 – Bonnie Bergman May 23 – Kelly Wierenga
May 4 – Barb Rasmussen May 13 – Jeane Smit May 24 – Donna Wickerink
May 4 – Bill Sorensen May 16 – Marilyn Vanderlinde May 27 – MaryAnn Mellema
May 6 – John Wyn May 16 – Holly Gould May 27 – Andrew Swords
May 6 – Andrea Heeres May 17 – Owen Milkamp May 27 – Aiden Kempf
May 6 – Rosemary Datema May 18 – Roger Johnson May 27 – Julia Best
May 7 – Vi Wiersema May 19 – Sheri Byers May 29 – Desiree Culver
May 8 – Cheryl Veldman May 20 – Ric Scott May 30 – Trudi Van Tol
May 8 – Lou Gifford May 20 – Kevin Datema May 30 – Char Reed
May 9 – Wendy Hoogstra May 20 – Maddox Mellema May 31 – Paul Wilson
May 9 – Lexi Carlston May 21 – Dee Scott May 31 – Sue Milkamp
May 10 – Chuck George May 21 – Kathy Jansen
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.