Be attentive by REV. LAURIE TENHAVE-CHAPMAN First Congregational Church, Rockford As summer draws to a close, we reluctantly step on the treadmill of fall programming. We leave behind the quiet of the lake, the watery mist of a boat ride, and the relaxed conversations at sunset from back decks. As I entered the high school with my daughter to accomplish registration for a new year, the noise seemed deafening. So much energy goes into launching a new initiative. How do we hold on to the replenishment of the summer? The Lakota Indians say to one another, “Be attentive.” They exhort one another to be so attuned to their world that, even when a trail of tiny ants walks by, it will sound like drums. A gift of the Native Americans is their awareness of their life-giving connectedness to all of creation. They balance community life and celebrations with solitary immersion in God’s world. As we step back into busy schedules, clutching our day planners lest we miss an appointment, let us be attentive to God’s grace. We must become aware of our own biases that obscure an honest appraisal of our surroundings and look for God in the faces around us. Let’s listen for voices of need that count on our response. If we are humble, we will find God’s blessing from people and circumstances we might have considered beneath us. As the noise amps up in dance studios, school cafeterias, football stadiums and boardroom discussions, we are challenged to BE ATTENTIVE to the still, small voice of God. The prophet Elijah was unable to hear God in the storm that swirled around him. It was in the hush that followed, with his senses heightened, that he knew God’s presence. God grants us energy for all that is required of us. God gives us meaning so that our activities are carried out with holy purpose. Without God, we simply slog through each day, weary and emptied. Let us BE ATTENTIVE as we register for autumn opportunities so that we will be able to hear God always!
August 30 2012
With the help of ChoiceOne Bank, Sparta Area Schools teacher Larry Carter and the Sparta Township Historical Commission (STHC) have made substantial progress in their efforts to open a museum that displays various artifacts from Sparta’s history in a downtown Sparta building. Originally named the House of Flavors, the building was built in 1963 and holds special significance for Carter, a community leader of this effort, who used to spend time at the store as a teen. The STHC is currently renting the building from ChoiceOne Bank. Thanks to ChoiceOne’s generosity, the STHC is in the process of purchasing the building for a great price. “Sparta has a rich and interesting history that I am proud to be a part of,” said Carter. The town is currently using another historical building to house its current museum, which represents a one-room schoolhouse. As more artifacts were donated, the STHC realized that they were going to need much more display space. “We’ve had a building fund for about five years now. There are some generous donors who got our fundraising started with very large cash contributions. We also have published and sold books, plays, and held other fundraising events to raise the money. Because of the generosity of Jim Bosserd and ChoiceOne Bank, we are able to purchase the building, repair the basement and remodel the space,” said Carter. ChoiceOne is proud to call itself a community bank that focuses on the needs of its town and responds eagerly to the people of Sparta. When Bosserd, president and CEO of ChoiceOne Bank, was called upon to help with this project, he didn’t hesitate to lend a hand. “I immediately recognized the importance and value of this project,” said Bosserd. “Celebrating Sparta’s history and putting it on display for everyone to see is a great way to boost community moral. I wanted ChoiceOne to help in any way possible to make this museum great.” With a large, wide open space for displays, a bank of computers for research, and greater visibility in Sparta’s downtown, this building is a great space to expand the museum and educate Sparta’s citizens about the history of their town. Carter said, “We are moving full steam ahead with our renovation. It’s too soon to […]
by TERRY KONKLE President, Rockford Area Historical Society Let’s begin with the answer to the last “Nugget of Rockford History” question. The only Rockford varsity football team to win all of their games was the 1962 group. All other teams in our history had a loss or a tie. Today, because of the Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs, a team would have to win all of their regular season games and then capture the state title to win every game. That would be a tough task, but it is possible. Al West, a member of the 1962 team, and Gordon Ploeg were the only readers to give me the correct answer. I also want to give credit to Barbara Driscoll for knowing that Don Verduin was Rockford’s varsity head coach for more years than any other. Here is a new question for readers to consider: “What profession or business area are the following names associated with in our town’s history? Hessler, Morrison, Becker, Stanfield, Patrick, Langridge and Powers.” Contact me at (616) 866-0530 with your answers. People are contacting us with auction items. We will have three auction venues: online with Miedema Auctions through September 27, silent at the new museum on September 28 and 29, and live on Saturday, September 29 in the parking lot on Main Street behind the new museum. Online items are already up and can be viewed and bid on by going to www.1800lastbid.com. Readers have probably noticed a featured item in The Rockford Squire each week. Once again, thanks to that newspaper for their outstanding dedication to our new museum cause. In addition to the featured items, other donations have been received. Many of them will be appearing online, so keep checking that area. Others will be only in the silent and live auctions, and readers will be made aware of most of them soon. Please try to keep the weekend of September 28-29 open, so that you can be present to bid. Some things we have received include: artwork, a complete king-sized bedroom set, new items in original boxes, first edition books, hand-painted chairs, quilts, figurines, special plates, sport equipment, sport and movie memorabilia, pottery, glassware, dishes, lamps, patio items, gift certificates, gift baskets, pianos, sport cards, […]
As progress continues toward the creation of a new Rockford Area Museum (RAM), members of the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) are seeing that interest in the project is growing tremendously. Instead of encountering people who are surprised to learn that Rockford even has a museum, as has often happened in the past, RAHS members are now being approached by people who have questions about the new museum. The questions include: Exactly where is the new museum located? When will the new museum open? What will it be like? Will it be open more often than the current museum? What services will it offer? Who will operate it? The answers to those great questions and many others are very encouraging, and the RAHS is anxious to share those answers with the entire community. What began as the dream of a few of your dedicated neighbors is now becoming a reality for the entire Rockford area. The huge challenge that began just about a year ago has been met head on. The pieces of the gigantic puzzle are falling into place and RAHS wants to share the excitement of what this new museum will mean to us all. To accomplish that, the RAHS will have a meeting on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Community Cabin at which information about the entire new museum project will be presented. All area residents and business people are invited to attend. The Community Cabin is located at 220 N. Monroe, just south of Lewis St. The meeting will feature a short presentation about how the topic of a new museum began, and how plans for the new museum have been, and are, progressing. Information about what the community can expect from their new museum will also be provided. The meeting will be kept as brief as possible. Refreshments will be served. This will be the perfect opportunity for area residents who have questions, to get them answered, and also for residents to share their thoughts about what they would like their new museum to be like. The excitement is building. The RAHS is working with a highly respected museum designer who intends to make our new museum his signature piece for small city museums. It will include […]
The Rockford High School (RHS) boys 2012 tennis season is in full swing with a slate of exciting matches having already taken place. The Rams have started a very busy August with two invitationals and three dual matches to date. The season started on August 15 with a three-way meet with RHS versus Okemos and Williamston high schools. In their first match of the season, the Rams varsity team was victorious over Williamston by a team score of 7-1 (won seven individual matches versus lost one match). The singles play was strong against the Eagles with impressive match wins by Mark Vietengruber (6-0, 6-0), Ryan Korlewitz (6-1, 6-1), and Luke Van Fleet (6-0, 6-0). Coming in with points on doubles wins were Cade VanRooyen and Thomas Hall (6-4, 2-6, 10-5), Sam Dater and Gregg Witt (6-1, 6-2), (3-6, 6-4, 6-2), Zak Riebschleger and Ken Smith (6-2, 6-0), and John Macgregor and John D’Amore (6-0, 6-0). Overall, it was a great team win. In the second match of the day, the Rams netters faced a tough Division II tennis powerhouse in Okemas. The singles play was strong against the Chiefs with impressive match wins by Mark Vietengruber (3-6, 6-4, 10-5), Ryan Korlewitz (6-1, 7-5), and Luke Van Fleet (6-1, 6-2). The doubles teams faced a stiff challenge and came home with a match win by John Macgregor and John D’Amore (2-6, 7-5, 10-2) to help the team to secure a team tie in this match at 4-4. Overall, it was a great display of team play on the courts at Okemos. The Rams then went into the weekend with the always tough Elliott Pearce Invitational (EPI) hosted by Forest Hills Central. The EPI is known to have one of the toughest draws in the state with six of the eight teams in the field finishing 2011 in the top 10 in their respective divisions. While the competition was stiff, the Rams finished well with singles match wins by Tyler Kowalk, Ryan Korlewitz, Luke Van Fleet and Mark Vietengruber (#1, #2, #3 and #4 singles). The Rams also took away three doubles match wins as well to finish with a respectable seven points. All in all, it was a good day for a “Tom Izzo like,” competitively […]