Basking in CityFest’s Afterglow: What’s Next?

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

CityFest Cutline No. 1-1A combined 33,000 people attended the Sept. 8-9 CityFest to Ah-Nab-Awen Park. The recent two-day CityFest West Michigan drew a collective 33,000 people to Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids that resulted in more than 2,000 making commitments for Christ. But now that the evangelistic outreach is finished, the larger question remains: what happens next?

Cornerstone University president Joseph Stowell, who served as the CityFest's co-chair, said the evangelistic outreach, produced by Portland, Oregon-based Luis Palau Association, succeeded in crossing denominational lines by bringing 435 Grand Rapids-area churches and nonprofit ministry organizations to work in unison toward one goal.

New Music Review: Tiffany Coverly

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Tiffany Coverly EP coverSinger-songwriter Tiffany Coverly has issued the lead single/video from her forthcoming extended play (EP) recording. The song she selected to front the self-titled project is a version of the For King & Country song "Joy."

Initially the song was proposed by her vocal coach, Anthem Lights singer Spencer Kane. "The more I listened to the lyrics, the more I realized how much it resonates with us as Christians," she said. "It's about choosing joy above our feelings." (See and hear the rhythmic track online.)

Tiffany is the wife of Christian illusionist Tom Coverly. And she officially released her music video just before the end of August when the couple re-located from the Grand Rapids area to Gulf Shores, Ala.

“Unbroken: Path to Redemption” is well worth seeing

Written by Edwin L. Carpenter on . Posted in Local

Unbroken image from imdb"Unbroken: Path to Redemption" is a stirring film, which touches the emotions and offers hope at the same time. Based on the best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand, and the true story of Louis Zamperini, the film powerfully tells the story of the former Olympian who lands back in America after he is freed from being a P.O.W. This sequel to "Unbroken" picks up where that film left off, with this one focusing on Zamperini's salvation, following his battle with alcohol and his bitterness toward the Japanese prison guard who beat him while he was incarcerated. This faith-based film definitely focuses on the spiritual life of Zamperini, much more so than the first film. And it features Billy Graham's grandson, Will Graham, as the world renowned evangelist, Billy. Zamperini's life changes when he attends an L.A. tent meeting held by Graham. His wife, Cynthia, a Christian, keeps at Zamperini to attend. His drinking is destroying his family life, including putting a damper on the birth of his first child. So, after Cynthia's unflagging perseverance in urging Louis to attend, he finally caves in and does. In a dramatic moment in the film Zamperini is literally walking out of the meeting when Dr. Graham himself tells him there is no running from God.

Art Prize A Connection for Churches

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Blessed“Blessed are” – The expressive painting is an ArtPrize entry displayed at First (Park) Congregational Church Sally Lundquist is happy to see this year's ArtPrize entries going up on display at her First (Park) Congregational Church in downtown Grand Rapids.

A year ago, the congregation wasn't sure it would be a venue for the 2018 art competition.

"We were all concerned about our sanctuary repair project, and weren't sure it would be completed," said Lundquist, Art Prize committee chair for the historic downtown church at 10 E. Park Pl. NE.

The church's large social hall, usually filled with temporary gallery walls for ArtPrize displays, was still being used for worship during the first part of September as sanctuary repairs were completed.

Capernaum Campers Demonstrate Leadership Skills

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Sara Webb Cutline No. 1Sara Webb’s 13-year-old son, Malachi, was not a Capernaum camper but served as a volunteer, nevertheless and made friends. “They’re fun people,” said Malachi. "What might the church look like if people with profound and complex intellectual disabilities were conceived of as disciples with a distinct vocation—a calling given them by Jesus?" author John Swinton.

While the summer camp season is in the rearview mirror of history, Sara Webb is filled with the conviction that hope springs eternal.

The reason for Webb's optimism is because of what she experienced with a group of young adults with cognitive disabilities at a four-day discipleship camp at Timber Wolf Lake camp in Lake City.

Upcoming CityFest to Mingle Sports, Music, Kids’ Fun with Messages of Hope

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

CityFest Cutline No. 1Luis Palau has spoken to more than 30 million people in 75 countries.The Sept. 8-9 CityFest West Michigan promises to be an inspirational blend of liveliness.

Think of the two-day faith-based gala at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids as part heart-pounding concert, part sports derring-do, part kid-friendly amusement, with a healthy dose of a ageless human essential: the Gospel of hope.

In other words, CityFest is more of an emphasis on making it a festival than the crusades previous generations have known.

Admission is free and the start time is 3 p.m. for both days.

Crowned Free’s Fashion Line Funds ‘Massive Need’ to Restore Victims of Human Trafficking

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Crowned Free Cutline No. 1Heidi VanderWal: “God has spoken supernaturally through this whole journey.” Heidi VanderWal purposely keeps a journal next to her bed.

The direct sales entrepreneur keeps pen and paper at hand because she never knows when a concept will unexpectedly sprout in her mind that she can use for her custom fashion business named Crowned Free that her and a friend founded.

The ideas VanderWal says she receives from God are vital because they are fused to Crowned Free's mission of helping survivors of sex trafficking.

Busy Fall Concert Scene Has Plenty of Highlights

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

West MatthewMatthew West comes to West Michigan October 11 This fall brings a good selection of Christian music concerts to West Michigan - in churches and other venues of all types and sizes.

Take September, for example.

*One of the hottest new worship songs these days is “Reckless Love.” The anthem just scored a 2018 Dove Award nomination as overall Song of the Year. The songwriter, worship leader Cory Asbury of Bethel Music, comes to Grand Rapids for a 7:30pm Thur. Sept. 20 concert in Christ Chapel at Cornerstone University. Also performing is fellow Bethel artist Kalley Heiligenthal. Tickets range from $35 to $18; available online
or by phone at 800-965-9324.

Reunion Concert Brings Memories and Music

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

His Image 2018"We'd been talking about doing some kind of reunion for some time," said Ken Reynolds of his former gospel music group His Image.
And after 17 years the West Michigan-based, urban contemporary ensemble is finally coming together again for a concert on Sun. Aug. 26.

The artists individually are involved in various Christian ministries in the area but worked out a time on a Sunday morning when all of them could get together. The performance is part of the New Hope Baptist Church's "Summer Breeze" series.

I’m Not Any Good At That

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornDan Seaborn Parents, here’s a phrase you’re definitely going to hear your kids say somewhere along life’s road. They’re going to say, “I don’t want to do that because I’m not any good at it.”

I have had this experience at one time or another with all my children but I remember when it happened with my youngest child. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to play a certain sport at school because she didn’t think that she would be any good.

Isn’t the same true for many of us? Don’t we only want to take part in events where we know for sure we are going to excel or be the best? Kids need to be reassured that they aren’t alone in these feelings and that it’s okay not to always be the top dog. It is some of the best preparation we can give them for life.

Alpha Family Center of Lowell Serves Pro-life Front Line with New Tapestry of Enhancements

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Alpha Family Center of Lowell No. 1With the help of Eric Bartkus, Christa Wetzel holds the exterior sign that will be displayed at Alpha Family Center of Lowell’s new location. The Alpha Family Center of Lowell's (AFCL) pro-life mission remains firmly intact, but a tapestry of enhancements enable this pregnancy and family nonprofit to stand against the headwind of abortion more effectively.

Recent changes include switching its name in 2016 from Alpha Women's Center to its more inclusive moniker that does a better job of reflecting the services it provides to both women and men; the purchase of an ultrasound machine that affords sharp images of unborn babies at its earliest months of development; adding a volunteer medical staff; and as of July 12 of this year a new, larger location, complete with a remolded interior that conveys an open, bright and welcoming vibe.

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