Nice To Meet You!

This is article, by Craig T. Owens, a pastor in Cedar Springs, that appeared in the Cedar Springs Post last summer. This will help give you a feel of what UNITED is all about —

Here’s my submission for the most obvious statement of the year: It’s a lot nicer being with people you get along with than it is being alone or with disagreeable people.

Probably not much to argue about that statement, right?

So if that’s true, why are so many people lonely? Why do the number of people calling themselves “alone” and “unhappy with life” continue to rise year after year?

Smiling facesPart of the problem is that we’ve gotten rid of so many places where we used to meet others, and we’ve replaced face-to-face time with screen time. We watch others’ victories on TV, we admire others’ vacations on Facebook, he laugh at others’ jokes on Twitter, and we live others’ lives at the movie theater.

C.S. Lewis said, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one!’” But this requires us spending time with a potential friend.

Albert Camus observed that a friend is one who can sing your song to you when you’ve forgotten the words. But this means spending lots of time “singing your song” with your friend.

In the Bible we read, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). That’s the theme for this year’s UNITED service. UNITED is a huge church service in Morley Park where all of our churches come together, face-to-face, and celebrate God and the friendships He has given us. It’s a place where you can sing side-by-side with other Cedar Springs friends.

Won’t you join us Sunday, August 24, at 11am? Perhaps you’ll meet a new friend, or deepen a relationship with a current friend. Someone is waiting for you to step into their life, and I’ll bet someone wants to step into your life too! Don’t rob yourself or your friend of a chance to banish loneliness!

Happy United

It was a great day in Cedar Springs Morely Park! Churches from across the city came together at our annual UNITED service last August to celebrate Jesus Christ.

Here are a few pictures from Lori Oxford (if you’d like to see more, click here to go to Lori’s Facebook page)—

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Mark August 24, 2014, on your calendar for this year’s UNITED service.


On the fourth Sunday of every August, all of the churches in the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association unite for a city-wide worship experience.

We are many churches, but we come together UNITED in our worship of the one true God.

We come from many backgrounds, but we come together UNITED in our purpose to lift up the name of Jesus Christ.


Red Blood Cells

The Bible talks about the Church in terms of a human body. Each part of the body, the Apostle Paul writes, is necessary for the whole body to be healthy (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

It’s easy to understand that with some of the obvious parts, like an arm, or the brain, or the stomach. But what about some of the less obvious parts of the body. What about a lower level of pyruvate kinase?

red blood cellsPyruvate kinase is an enzyme which is involved in the final stage of the production of red blood cells. Without this enzyme, the red blood cells don’t have as much energy, and they end up falling apart while trying to carry life-giving oxygen throughout the body. This results in a condition called anemia, where the human body simply runs out of energy while trying to do even the simplest of tasks.

On the spiritual level, it’s possible for the Church to be anemic.

Unless every member of the Body of Christ is doing his or her part—even if it’s something as obscure and unseen as being the spiritual pyruvate kinase enzyme—the whole Church can be robbed of the energy it needs to carry out its mission.

Our UNITED service is a good reminder for all of us that each and every one of us is vital. We would love to see all of you on Sunday, August 24, at 11am.

“Forget Having Names!”

In the 1730s, George Whitefield figured prominently in the Great Awakening in America: a revival that swept through the colonies, calling people back to their biblical roots. One day while preaching from the courthouse steps in Philadelphia—

“Father Abraham,” Whitefield cried, as he looked up to heaven, “whom have you in Heaven? Any Episcopalians?”

“No!” Whitfield called out, answering his own question.

“Any Presbyterians?”


“Any Independents or Seceders, New Sides or Old Sides, any Methodists?”

“No! No! No!”

“Whom have you there, then, Father Abraham?”

“We don’t know those names here. All who are here are Christians—believers in Christ.”

“Oh, is that the case? Then God help me, God help us all, to forget having names and to become Christians in deed and in truth!

This is what UNITED is all about… no names, no labels, no denominations.

Just Christians—believers in Christ—worshiping Him together.

Join us Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11am.

Ascending In Harmony

There are a series of psalms in the Bible called “The Songs of Ascents.” Since Jerusalem was at a higher elevation geographically, pilgrims going to worship at the temple literally went up to worship God. But the Bible also teaches that when people praise God, the aroma of their praise also ascends up to Heaven.

One of The Songs of Ascents is found in Psalm 133 —

How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!

For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe.

Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion.

And there the Lord has pronounced His
blessing, even life everlasting. (New Living Translation)

The worshipers recognized that there was such a huge blessing in the harmony of worship.

That word harmony is a great description for a choir and for our UNITED service. We come from many backgrounds and many denominations, but all of us will be together in harmony on August 24, 2014. We hope that you will be able to lend your voice to our harmony as we believe our UNITED praise will bring unity and blessing to Cedar Springs.