Good afternoon on this rainy and overcast Thursday in May.
This is Pastor Doug and I’m glad to be with you again…even if it’s simply through email. I’ll be sharing one of your stories of blessing, some important information you need to know, and a passage that God’s been using in my life this week.
It continues to encourage and bless me to hear your stories of God sending you to be a blessing to your neighbors. The stories that got me this week have to do with gratitude. There were several instances of your gratitude to God for sending people to help, bless, and encourage you. You were on the receiving end of blessing. How does that line up with my first sentence in this paragraph? When God’s people express gratitude for God’s provision we are a blessing to our neighbors. People with gratitude in their hearts bring holy light with them into their communities and relationships. It changes our hearts when we open them enough for thankfulness to flow. It’s almost like we give ourselves permission to joyfully receive. And when we joyfully receive, we then express the value of the generous hearts of others. And expressing someone’s value is an amazing way to bless them.
Important Info You Need to Know
The election of our new Consistory for 2020 will be ending soon. Voting will be closing this coming Sunday at 6 pm. There are multiple ways to vote and if you haven’t already, please take some time to do that now. You can vote through our website, here is the link to the voting form.
You can vote by emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year we also opened voting through a simple voice mail message. If you are reading this you may not need that option, but if you know someone who does not have the technological ability for the other options, please share this option with them. Call the church office, (616) 772-4907, and leave a message in Pastor Doug’s voice mail.
There are 7 vacancies, and the 7 nominees this year are:
- Rajean Wolters - Elder-at-Large
- Patrick McKenney - Missions Deacon
- Bobbie Jo Bruursema - Hospitality Deacon
- Carey VandenBeldt - Hospitality Deacon
- Trevor Overweg - Facility & Finance Deacon
- Todd Cooper - Spiritual Formation Deacon
- Matt Wolters - Spiritual Formation Deacon
Thank you for your help discerning God’s will for His Church.
"The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Missionary Update from Parkview AFC Home
Thank you so much for reaching out to us and checking in on our well being here at Parkview AFC Home. This time has been challenging for not only our 11 residents but staff as well. About two weeks before Covid-19 hit we lost a resident very suddenly. Trying to process that loss all while navigating a pandemic and residents staying home all day and unable to see family has been a very hard road to walk.
But through these challenges we have been able to invest so much time into each resident individually and as a family. We have worked on writing and learning new skills and enjoyed our family meetings together on Sunday nights around the dinner table. We are riding our bikes around the block lots and lots. So much so that 4 of our residents have already hit the 100-mile mark this year! WOW!
As for houseparents and staff, we are good, we are leaning on each other for support and are so so grateful for our staff that has been able to continue to work, but have also picked up shifts and helped in more ways than I could imagine.
We are still in the process of building and completing the beginning stages of a houseparent living space at Parkview. The current living space is a bedroom off of the living room, so weekends off still involve being right in the center of the home, and during this time having a space to get away and take a break is vital. This space would mean so much to Zach and I and all future houseparents and the growth of Parkview Homes. This will be a big project and we will need help, through volunteers with trade skills and monetary donations. We also need all the good vibes, thoughts, and prayers through this time as the extensions and ever-changing status of the pandemic bring a lot of stress on our residents. The residents grow weary during this time and get discouraged. A few ways you can help the residents directly is by sending them mail to:
214 E Central Ave
Zeeland, MI 49464
or getting a small gift for our residents from our wishlist on Amazon that can get sent directly to our home through this link:
Thank you for your support of Parkview AFC Home.
Missionary Update from Grace Covenant Ministries in Annville, KY
Dear Prayer Warrior,
“Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8) is reassuring to us as we navigate through these uncertain times. The news this past month about Covid - 19 has been discouraging. For a short time, Jackson County was considered the hot spot for the virus in the state. The nursing home in Annville had 52 cases of the virus confirmed among staff and residents and 12 of the residents have died from the virus. According to the Lexington Herald Leader, the unemployment percentage in Kentucky is the highest in the nation. As the rate of confirmed cases are now starting to drop, we are trying to prepare for the “new normal”.
Our plans for this summer are under revision. Following state guidelines, we will not be offering our normal camp programs and the swimming pool will remain closed. We are trying to work out details on how to offer a virtual VBS camp in July. It does appear that we will be able to reopen our trade stores in June. We are also looking for other opportunities to be of service as we enter the new normal. We do have a couple of opportunities for small volunteer groups (6 – 8 members) to help with some on campus improvement projects. With these projects, we will strive to abide by health guidelines and limit the interaction outside of your group. If you are interested in more information about these projects, please contact Tommy at the office number listed above.
We are also grateful for the financial gifts and the donations of used clothing and household items that are coming in during these uncertain times. It is our desire to bring back our furloughed staff as soon as possible. We thank you for your prayer support and partnering with us. You are helping us to make a difference in our community.
Your partner in missions,