Cedar Springs Churches Making History

This is an article from the Cedar Springs Post

N-United1-300x225The churches in the Cedar Springs area are pretty good at making history.

In 2009, eight area churches joined together in Morley Park to worship together, something rare in most communities. Last Saturday, August 23, the churches met together in Morley Park for their seventh UNITED service, and did something no other community ministerial association in the country has done—together they raised $5,000 to send audio Bibles to refugees in Kurdistan, Iraq, through World Mission.

The audio Bible, called the Treasure, is about the size of an MP3 player. World Mission uses the Treasure as a tool to deliver the Word of God to those who have never heard, targeting especially unreached people. It is a solar-powered audio Bible given to oral learners in their own language.

N-United2-300x225According to Craig Carter, Pastor of North Kent Community Church and part time representative for World Mission, he had previously worked with World Mission on the project, and when he presented the project to the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association pastors, they liked the idea. Area churches presented it to their congregations, then began to collect change in banks through Vacation Bible School offerings and throughout their churches.

“We are absolutely the first ministerial association to do this,” said Carter. He said that World Mission CEO Greg Kelley was excited about it and made a video at the UNITED service. “He thinks it will inspire other communities,” he explained.

Overall, the $5,000 will purchase about 225 units. Fifty went to Kenya on a mission trip with Pastor Kristi Rhodes and Hillcrest Community Church, and the rest will go to Kurdistan. Carter said that they chose Kurdistan because of the problems with ISIS and the persecutions taking place. He estimates that the audio Bibles will reach a minimum of 25,000 people in one year.

“Audio learners—people who cannot read—are very social. They gather with others, and the audio Bibles will be shared in listening groups. We estimate they will be shared at least 10 times in a year,” he explained. He said they will stay in the field for a minimum of three years, so could reach as many as 75,000 people.

“It’s exciting,” said Carter. “If we have the ability to reach that many people (25,000) in one event, we should also be able to reach our own community, which is about that size.”

Another thing they did this year is took the $1,000 they would normally spend on a hot dog lunch after the service, and decided to donate it to feed refugees in Kurdistan. “It should feed about 3,500 people,” he said.

The Treasures are expected to go to Kurdistan in October, when a medical team is going and the food distribution will take place.

To find out more about the Treasure, you can visit www.worldmission.cc, or contact Pastor Craig Carter at 616-550-6398.

Love Broadly, Love Deeply

Charles Spurgeon had it right…

C.H. Spurgeon“I am sure, if we shall ever learn the breadth of Christ’s love, our love will grow broad: we shall no longer confine our love to our own church, but shall care for all the churches of God; we shall feel an affection not only for Christians of our own name, but to Christians of all names. Then our love will gain length also. We shall love Christ so that we cannot leave off loving Him. We shall persevere in love, we shall abide in His love as He abides in it. We shall constantly have the flame of our love going up to heaven. And then our love will acquire depth.” —Charles Spurgeon

Join us this Sunday for UNITED as we learn to love more broadly and more deeply. Our UNITED service begins at 11am.

UNITED Prayer

Over 100 years ago, South African pastor Andrew Murray penned these words which still ring true today—

Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray

UNITED prayer is a great privilege, and its power waits to be experienced. … if friends believed how effective two or three praying in concert could be; if in every prayer meeting faith in His presence and expectation of an answer were foremost; if in every church united prayer was regarded as one of the chief purposes for which Christians come together—the highest exercise of their power as a church; if in the church universal the coming of the kingdom, and the King himself, first in the mighty outpouring of His Holy Spirit, and then in His own glorious person, were matters of ceaseless pleading with God, who could predict what blessing might come through those who agree to prove God’s promises?

In Cedar Springs, we want to see the blessings that God will pour out on our community when “the church universal” unites in prayer.

Please join us for UNITED 2015 on Sunday, August 23, at 11am.

Partners

PartnersThe Cedar Springs Ministerial Association is all about partnerships. Every month our pastors partner with each other, and they seek out other organizations with whom we can partner to help better serve Cedar Springs.

At UNITED 2015 we want to introduce you to some of our partners. During the free lunch following the service, you will find multiple display tables setup by our many community partners.

Our partners help us minister to the needs of people in so many different ways, and we are very grateful for their involvement in our community! So please stop by and see the wonderful resources they have available for you!

UNITED 2015 is Sunday, August 23, at 11AM.

** If you are a community service or non-profit organization which serves northern Kent county, and you would like to have a display table at UNITED 2015, please email us for all the details. We would love to have you partnering with us! **

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 2015 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 23, at 11am.