April 21 2011

The “Old Rugged Cross” with a new slant

April 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

Just in time for Holy Week for one West Michigan church by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL In 2009 the church family of Cornerstone United Methodist Church of Caledonia moved into their beautiful new church home at the intersection of 84th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue. From humble beginnings in 1990, in the basement of Pastor Brad Kalajainen and wife Colleen’s home, Cornerstone has grown to a church family of some 1,100 members with weekly Saturday evening and Sunday morning services now approaching 2,000 attendees. The new church facility was created as an engaging and welcoming facility that would become a destination for the community. Toward that end they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Designed and constructed in a contemporary/industrial style, the Cornerstone facility was meant to be nontraditional and flexible, demonstrating stewardship through the wise use of resources and respect for the environment. Set back from the busy intersection, the building lacked the look of a traditional church, prompting the church’s administrative council to look for a visible symbol to identify the building’s purpose to the countless hundreds of daily passersby. A decision was made to erect a large, prominent cross in the center of the circular driveway in the front of the church. Not just any cross, mind you, but a cross to be designed to mirror the image of Cornerstone’s logo—that being a slightly tilted cross “meant to convey the church’s personal style of being more casual and less rigid,” said church member Jay Brooks, the logo’s designer. Enter Rockford metal sculptor Steve Anderson of Anderson’s Metal Sculpture, who was brought to the church’s attention by Rockford resident and Cornerstone member Tracy Bowers, Cornerstone’s director of outreach and coordinator for the cross project. Squire readers will recognize Anderson as the creator of, among other notable sculptures, “Water Dance”—the depiction of three leaping fish that grace the face of Rockford’s Rogue River Dam. Locally, other prominent Anderson’s sculptures are the “Tom Brown Fire Hawk” located at the front entrance of the Cedar Springs High School football stadium and “The Rockford Fighting Ram” at the front entrance of North Rockford Middle School. Quickly recognizing Anderson’s genius, the church commissioned the sculptor to design and create a gleaming and textured-surface, stainless steel cross. Church leaders embraced […]

Rockford Odyssey takes on the world

April 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rockford’s Odyssey of the Mind teams were among competitors for state titles on Saturday, April 16, and 10 of the 11 teams sent to state finals placed in sixth and above. Five teams placed third to sixth, receiving honorable mention status at state finals, and five teams will be advancing to world finals, placing first or second. This is another record set for Rockford Odyssey of the Mind, 10 out of 11 teams receiving honors. The Cannonsburg Elementary B team took ninth and was coached by Susan Witte. With this accomplishment, the team did not place but still scored a top 10 win. The Cannonsburg Elementary team A took a sixth-place win under the direction of Coach Karen Dufendach. This earned them an honorable mention. The Valley View Elementary team A had an amazing performance which won them a third-place win. They were coached by Joan Lawton and earned the placement of bronze medalists. North Rockford Middle School’s team C earned a sixth-place win. They are coached by Joni Colovos, Shari Waldvogel and Michele Ferguson. This earned them an honorable mention. Rockford High School took third place and were recognized as bronze medalists. Roguewood Elementary team A earned a fifth-place win under Coach Wendy Goushaw. They also earned an honorable mention. North Rockford Middle School’s (NRMS) A team brought home an amazing second-place win under Coach Catherine Behrendt and will continue on as a world finalist team. North Rockford Middle School’s B team also wowed judges and brought them a second-place win under Coach Deb Playford. They will also go on to compete as a world finalist team. Belmont Elementary earned their place in world competition by taking a first-place win under Coach Terry Younker. Also going on to compete in the world finals was the Roguewood Elementary B team with a stunning first-place win under the guidance of Coach Jen Masternak. Finally, the East Rockford Middle School team, which also has NRMS team members, brought home highest honors with a first-place win under Coach Sue Hagedorn. They will be joining the Rockford “crowd” that will compete against other Odyssey of the Mind teams from around the globe as a world finalist team. The following teams were recognized with special awards: • Roguewood Elementary team […]

Chandler Woods practices to be bully-free zone

April 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

Nationally acclaimed youth speaker Mark Brown came to Chandler Woods Charter Academy recently to talk to the middle school students about bullying. With his “tell it like it is” approach, Brown challenges some of the most serious problems in the schools today. Chandler Woods is a “bully-free” school, so it helped the students to see and hear how bullying has its effects on other students. Brown leaves a positive message to young people as he visits schools all over North America in hopes that it makes for a better life for students.    

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

April 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

August 14, 1935 What’s it like to get old in America? I’m an expert on this topic. Yep, aches, pains, and various ailments are part of it—but, generally speaking, elderly Americans can afford food and shelter. For most Americans, getting old once meant spending the remaining years in want after a lifetime of work. Then, on August 14, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. It rescued America’s elderly, at least from the worst kinds of poverty. No wonder we hear people voice distress about Social Security being not so secure. The system isn’t broken; it has simply become obsolete because of our increased longevity. That’s a good thing! In 1935, the average lifetime was a lot shorter than now. My grandfather Allen retired and got one Social Security check before he died. I’ve received 216 (so far!). He and I contributed part of our wages for the same length of time before retirement. If we want to live longer and collect for a lifetime, we have to pay in more. Raising the age of retirement is one way, and a logical one. Another solution is to pay more in taxes while employed. I don’t think it would take punitive taxation to guarantee the Social Security safety net. Personally, I think it would be worth it. Use it or lose it A woman was talking on the phone with a friend: “My body has gotten totally out of shape. I got my doctor’s permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided on an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got those leotards on, the class was over.” Two more old folks An elderly couple, childhood sweethearts, had married and settled down in the old neighborhood. To celebrate their 50th anniversary, they take a stroll down to their old school. Holding hands, they find the desk they shared. There he had carved, “I love you, Sally.” On the way back home, a bag of money falls out of an armored car practically at their feet. Sally quickly picks it up. They don’t know what to do with it so they carry it home with them. […]

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