WMCN News Briefs 9/21

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

nbDegage Ministries launches $1.3 million public fundraising campaign to expand services

Faith-based homeless support agency Degage Ministries recently launched a capital campaign on the grounds of their expanded property at the northwest corner of Sheldon Avenue and Cherry Street in downtown Grand Rapids.

Its goal is to receive $1.3 million in donations from the public as part of an overall $6.7m campaign to expand its facilities and increase its capabilities to serve more meals, provide more wellness activities and add more beds to its women and children shelter program.

“Mr. Hymn Sing” Remembered As A Faithful Encourager

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Lehmann Maury hi rezMaury Lehman, a long time Christian music executive and for decades a song leader at numerous hymn sings throughout West Michigan, was memorialized in an evening service of remembrance Sept. 11 at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids. He died June 30 at age 96.

"We can remember together, we can smile together and we can sing together. And we're going to sing together a lot tonight," said Bruce Huseby, Calvary Church pastor of senior adults who officiated at the service.

Music of the faith was a lifelong pursuit of Lehmann, who for many years served as an executive and producer with Grand Rapids-based Zondervan Corp. In the company's musical heyday of the 1960s and 70s, it had a strong musical presence. Its music publishing arm was called Singspiration, and on the recording side was the Diadem record label. Diadem later became Milk & Honey, which produced the national debuts of several contemporary Christian music heritage artists such as Michael Card and Twila Paris.

The Declining Influence of Christianity On American Culture

Written by Dr. Rex M. Rogers on . Posted in Local

rexsat7Dr. Rex M. RogersThe United States of America has been called a Christian nation.

While the accuracy of that designation has been frequently debated, there is no question the founding and history of the USA was influenced by biblical Christianity like no other nation on earth.

A Nation With the Soul of a Church

The USA was founded upon principles of liberty, many of them drawn from an understanding of Scripture. In time, the core values of the Founders: self-evident truths that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and then property and free enterprise, equality before the law, justice, moral responsibility, no established religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof, freedom of the press and peaceable assembly became the American creed.

Profile: Brian Elve

Written by Editor in Chief on . Posted in Local

Brian Elve 1Serving as director of Guiding Light's Recovery program, Brian Elve has helped develop and hone an effective long-term program that helps men struggling with addiction learn a different way of life – and a new way of being in relationship with the world.

As an intensive drug and alcohol treatment program, Guiding Light Recovery is designed to give men structure and opportunity to engage in positive and transformative change. With an emphasis on spirituality, staff works with each individual to begin or renew men's journeys to lifelong abstinence and develop caring relationships with people who have traveled a similar path along the way.

Elve is one of those people. Like many of Guiding Light's team, he knows the differences between an effective program and the revolving-door nature of others because he's actually been there himself.

The Unique American Experience and Christianity

Written by Dr. Rex M. Rogers on . Posted in Local

rexsat7Dr. Rex M. RogersAmerica has been called a Christian nation, though this description has been hotly debated.

America has been called “the first new nation ” by eminent sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset.

America has been called “The Great Experiment ” by no less than George Washington.

America has been said to be great because it is good, and that it would cease to be great if it ceased to be good .

This observation has been variously attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville and others, but whoever said it the phrase captures America’s sense of itself as the land of opportunity, the land of the free and the home of the brave, ideas rooted in the Judeo-Christian moral consensus that gave meaning and destiny to the American people their first two hundred years.

Terry’s Picks for September 2020

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

EVENTS2Wow. In this year of COVID-19, it's been months since I've been able to give any kind of a preview of upcoming events that are reasonably certain to happen. There have been concerts and other events from last spring that were rescheduled, but subsequently had to be either "re-postponed" or canceled outright.

QAnon Seducing the Church, Anonymous No More

Written by Dr. Rex M. Rogers on . Posted in Local

rexsat7Dr. Rex M. RogersIf you haven’t heard of QAnon, you will soon. It hasn’t been around long, but QAnon is bona fide, it’s here, and it’s “no longer fringe.

At its most basic, QAnon is a conspiracy theory whose followers believe an underground cabal of liberal elites are in control of everything globally, including the “deep state” clandestinely running the US government. The elites are Satan worshipping pedophiles who run a human trafficking sex ring. Donald Trump and his allies, QAnon believes, are working to expose, stop, and bring these elites to justice. Q, the mysterious, anonymous—hence QAnon—intelligence or military insider with secret knowledge of this cabal, provides clues to followers, helping them know the truth and build a resistance.

Followers of QAnon also believe that there is an imminent event known as ‘The Storm,’ in which thousands of people, members of the cabal, will be arrested, possibly sent to Guantanamo Bay prison or to face military tribunals, and the U.S. military will brutally take over the country. The result of The Storm (or The Great Awakening) will be salvation and utopia on earth.”

Adored Boutique: A Ministry with a Storefront Helping Women Break Free from Human Trafficking, Heartless Working Conditions

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Cutline No. 1-99Emily Smith is dedicated to showing women just how much the Lord adores them.When women purchase casual contemporary garments from Emily Smith's Adored Boutique, they're not only enhancing their wardrobe.

They're helping women from around the world break free from the clutches of human trafficking and working in sweat shops that force them to earn as little as 3 cents per hour, working up to 100-plus hours a week, according to https://www.theworldcounts.com/.

"The whole industry is designed to hold people down, oppress people," Smith says.

Smith on the other hand is doing her part to give that grime reality a knockout punch by showing women just how much their Creator adores them.

WMCN News Briefs 8/28

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

nbGR area hospice adds 2 physicians to handle growing caseload

Holland Home's hospice division, Faith Hospice, has added two palliative care physicians to its staff, Drs. Kayla Andres and Michael Dozeman With these additions, the organization now offers seven physicians trained in hospice and palliative care to serve the organization's 3,500 patients. The move strengthens the organization's commitment to providing expert physician services to its patients at home, in the community and inpatient settings, which allows more hospice patients to receive physician care and symptom management visits at home. Faith Hospice is a Christian faith based organization that ministers to patients of all faiths, as well as those with no expressed faith and serves over 3,500 patients annually through its hospice and palliative care programs.

Muskegon Pregnancy Services receives new ultrasound machine

Muskegon Pregnancy Services has received a new a Samsung HS50 ultrasound machine valued at $90,000 that is capable of both 2D and 3D imaging, made possible through the fundraising efforts of the Knights of Columbus Prince of Peace Catholic Church Council #15337, local businesses, churches and donors.

The ultrasound machine shows pregnant women the undeniable first signs of human life, movement and human form even at its early stages of gestation. 80% of women who see an ultrasound of their baby's heartbeat will choose life, as will 90% of dads who see an ultrasound of their baby's heartbeat.

WMCN News Briefs 7/30

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

nbBack to God Ministries International renamed

Grand Rapids-based Back to God Ministries International has been renamed Reframe Ministries, effective 2021. The decision was made at a special meeting of the Christian Reformed Church in North America Council of Delegates. Its new tagline is "God's Story. Today's Media." The new name better introduces the ministry and its ongoing purpose to people who don't know Jesus yet, according to BTGMI director, Kurt Selles.

$1 million tuition assistance offered

Grand Rapids Diocese Bishop David Walkowiak announced that up to $1 million in tuition assistance is available for returning and new families whose finances have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tuition assistance is available for the 2020-21 school year. Families may apply at CatholicSchools4U.org. The additional $1 million in COVID-19 tuition assistance is possible through diocesan savings.

Gospel Stories Come to Life in “40”

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Tanis led children come pageArtist Joel Schoon-Tanis’ conception of the gospel account “Let the children come…”There's more than one way to complete a book project.

And with some side-stepping in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Holland artist Joel Schoon-Tanis used a kickstarter effort to help produce his latest art-filled book "40: The Gospels."

"Like a lot of us in (this year) 2020, I had to pivot," said Tanis, 53.

The artist had spent the better part of the last year painting scenes depicting stories from each of the four gospels. He had lined up an exhibit/tour of churches throughout the Midwest, showing the artwork and garnering pre-sales to be used for publishing costs for a forthcoming book.

But then the pandemic mushroomed, and the entire tour had to be cancelled.

Collaborative 70x7 Life Recovery Provides Mentoring and More to Those with Criminal Records

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Cutline No. 1-88Sought after and received forgiveness. From left: Benjamin Rosa, Marybeth Sims and Beniam Johnson.Beniam Johnson defies the ex-convict typecast.

The city of Wyoming resident is articulate, focused and determined to make something of his life following his release from prison for a sex offense.

Johnson credits his new outlook on life to an enduring relationship he's gained with Jesus Christ and the mentoring and support services he received from 70x7 Life Recovery, a local Christian nonprofit that imparts guidance and employment opportunities to men and women released from jail or prison.

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