Northeast-side Congregations Partner to Form One Church with Two Campuses

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

northvewThe auditorium of the Northview campus of BHBC was completely renovated.Blythefield Hills Baptist Church in Rockford and Northland Baptist Church in the Northview area are coming together in a partnership in which Northland becomes the Northview campus of Blythefield Hills (BHBC).

"We've been in the process of extending ourselves to befriend and partner with a number of churches, particularly smaller churches that don't have as many resources," said lead pastor Matt Zania. "We opened the door to a relationship with Northland; Ben Phebus, the pastor, open the door to a multisite partnership."

Sunday, September 17, is the official kickoff of the new partnership, with long-time BHBC pastor Don Pearson taking on the role of Northview campus pastor.

Mission India’s New Location Signals ‘God is in This Whole Project’

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Mission India No. 1Mission India’s new address is 1142 44th St. SE, Kentwood.Next year will mark a milestone for Mission India when it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Another high point arrived sooner when the nonprofit recently relocated from its Grandville location to a 9,500-square foot building in Kentwood at 1142 44th St. SE.

Its new digs equate to about 500-square more space where a staff of 42 work at what is Mission India's world headquarters; another nine regional directors work off-site.

"We could have renewed the lease (in Grandville) but we wanted to see what was available," said Mike Jackson, Mission India's vice president of finance and administration. "This one came up here and in the right price range for us."

Eerdmans Announces Fall Warehouse Sale

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

erd25Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company opens the warehouse doors for its first Fall Warehouse Sale on Sept. 8-9, inviting buyers to take advantage of deep discounts on many Eerdmans titles.

"We invite people to shop in our warehouse and see what's in there, and also visit the bookstore to see the specials there," said Scott Watson, bookstore manager.

Hundreds of titles will be 60-80 percent off, and all Eerdmans titles will be at least 50 percent off, Watson said. The bookstore's usual discount of 20 percent will apply to books by other publishers.

Diagnosis: In-Law Syndrome

Written by Dan Seaborn on . Posted in Local

dan seabornOnce again, cold and flu season is again about to be overcome by a mysterious disease. This new disorder is caused from marriages that have occurred over the summer. It is typically the busiest bridal season.

All of this means one key thing: there's a whole new batch of parents out there who are going to be newly exposed to the life-threatening grips of In-law Syndrome.

In-law Syndrome (ILS) is a unique disease that appears in parents whose children are married. Parents whose children are unmarried seem to be largely unaffected by ILS; however, in some instances the onset of the disease is premature, brought on when a child gets engaged, begins dating, or (in most severe cases) develops a crush on that other kid in the playpen.

Roosevelt Park Ministries Offers Labyrinth of Services

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

roosBree Bode is RPM’s program director and Steven Drewry is its executive director. There are some very good reasons why Roosevelt Park Ministries' moniker is in the plural.

Since it's founding 21 years ago by the former Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in partnership with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, RPM has grown to include 25 programs. Services range from employment help, to counseling and legal services, to youth development, community enrichment and tax services, as well as support services, such as translation of documents.

Baker Book House Sees Huge Growth in Popular Summer Reading Program

Written by Sarah Traill on . Posted in Local

bakersummerThe Baker Book House children's summer reading program grew by nearly 30 percent over last year. The 1,168 children participated in the Adventures in Michigan program, which encouraged learning about the state and included a good number of local authors reading at story times throughout the summer.

"We've never had a summer reading program quite this large before," said Becca Niswonger, hospitality coordinator for the store.

One of the most popular events was the Cars party, where kids could build and decorate "cars" from boxes and sit in them while they watched the movie Cars. Susie Finkbeiner, mother of three summer reading program participants, said, "It tapped into their creativity. They got to make the cars into their own personality by adding bumper stickers!"

New Music Review: Kenneth Henderson

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Kenneth Henderson - Everything I Got - CD coverArtist: Kenneth Henderson Album: “Everything I Got”Local worship leader/music artist Kenneth Henderson has some new songs to share in his latest effort, "Everything I Got."

The three-song EP is highlighted by the anthem "Worship 'til Heaven." With its crisp background vocals and instrumental flourishes, it's a masterfully-arranged and performed invitation to praise.

The title song "Everything I Got" begins as a slower ballad, but builds as the lyrics echo the scriptural challenge to give "my life as a living sacrifice."

New Music Review: Ty Gonzalez

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

GonzArtist: Ty Gonzalez (Gonz) Album: “Big League Dreaming”Baseball references abound in the latest project from West Michigan-based hip-hop/rap artist Ty Gonzalez (Gonz).

"Big League Dreaming" takes listeners on a tour through his youthful goal of sports heroism to his newer pursuit of musically communicating gospel truth.

The title track's music video (online) visually tells the story. Raps such as "Triple Crown" and "No Shame" carry the baseball metaphor. But "Bottom of the Ninth" actually reveals his new passion: "...It's time to rap, ain't nobody stop me....walk and not be faint, like an eagle I soar..."

Fall Concert Line-up Sprinkled with Doves

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Jon Foreman of SwitchfootJon Foreman of Switchfoot in his July 31 performance at Frederik Meijer Gardens (photo by Mario Centeno)."We sing these songs because we believe hope deserves an anthem," said Switchfoot lead singer Jon Foreman at the band's recent concert at the Meijer Gardens amphitheatre.

Christian music artists with a similar outlook are preparing their West Michigan concerts for this fall. And many of those artists are coming freshly adorned with 2017 Dove Award nominations.

The 48th annual Dove Awards are sponsored by the Gospel Music Association and are considered one of the top awards for faith-based music artists. Nominees were announced August 9 at a Nashville news conference, with award ceremonies set for Oct. 17.

Evangelicals Must Adopt Christian View of Leisure to Influence Culture, Says Scholar

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

Acton Institute Speaker Seth Bartee cutline No. 1 Seth Bartee: “One of the ways we can change the culture is taking this concept of leisure seriously.” Seth Bartee is confident Russell Kirk is not a household name for many Protestant evangelicals, which is one reason he believes the United States' Christian moorings in floundering.

Bartee, who teaches intellectual history at East Tennessee State University and is a visiting scholar at The Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in Mecosta, Mich., spoke recently at the Acton Institute's Lecture Series, said despite all the good works evangelicals perform in the U.S. and world (international adoptions, volunteering at churches and political activism, for example), they have failed at changing America's predominate culture.

UNITY Poised for a Festive Experience

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Powell Mac soloMac Powell, lead singer of Third Day, performs at Unity at 7:10pm Saturday Aug. 12Kevin Newton has part of the Unity Christian Music Festival since year one. And it's been quite a ride.

"We certainly didn't know back in 2001 that it would become not only an annual event, but one of the largest Christian festivals in the U.S.," said Newton, Unity director and part of Alive on the Lakeshore, the umbrella organization sponsoring the four-day event.

The festival draws tens of thousands of fans each year and showcases today's top Christian music artists, as well as offers various other faith-related opportunities.

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