The Meaning of Christ’s Advent by PASTOR MARK W. LOVE St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Henry Carter, a pastor and an administrator of a home for emotionally disturbed children, tells of an encounter he had one Christmas Eve that gave him a new insight on what Christ’s coming is all about. Henry was busy with last-minute preparations for the worship service, when one of the floor mothers came to say that Tommy had crawled under his bed and refused to come out. He arrived in the boy’s room with not a hair or a toe showing beneath it. So he talked to Tommy about the brightly lighted tree, the packages underneath it and the other good things that were waiting for Tommy out from under the bed. There was no answer. Still fretting about the time this was costing, Henry dropped to his hands and knees and lifted the spread. Two enormous blue eyes looked out at him. He could easily have pulled Tommy out, but it wasn’t pulling that Tommy needed—it was trust. So, crouched on all fours, Henry launched into the menu of the special Christmas Eve supper to be offered after the service. He told of the stocking with Tommy’s name on it, provided by the Ladies Aid. Silence. There was no indication Tommy heard or that he even cared about Christmas. At last, because he could think of no other way to make contact, Henry got down on his stomach and wriggled in beside Tommy, snagging his sport coat on the bedsprings on the way. He lay there with his cheek pressed against the floor for a long time. He talked about the big wreath above the altar and the candles in the window. He talked about the carols all the kids were going to sing. Then, finally running out of things to say, he simply waited there beside Tommy. After a bit, a small child’s chilled hand slipped into his. Henry said, “You know, Tommy, it is kind of close quarters under here. Let’s you and me go out where we can stand up.” As they slid out from under the bed, it was then, Henry said, that he had been given a glimpse of the wonder, the glory, and mystery […]
December 2 2010
Keith-(Seeley) VanRee Jennifer (Seeley) VanRee and Andrew Keith were united in marriage on November 3, 2010 on the beach at Montego Bay, Jamaica. Parents of the bride are Larry and Nancy Seeley of Rockford. The groom’s parents are Kim and Sue Keith of Rockford and Allison Hayes of Lake Station, Mich. The newlyweds celebrated with family and friends at an open house on November 13 at the Rockford Community Cabin. They are residing in Rockford. Axdorff-Cronn Bailey Cronn and Eric Axdorff were pronounced husband and wife on October 9, 2010 at Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids. Parents of the couple are Blaine and Darcie Cronn of Cedar Springs and Rich Axdorff and Wajma Saka of Rockford. Maid of honor was Chelsea Cross, friend of the bride. Bridesmaids were Lindsey Blodgett, Darleena Haukedaul and Jessica Branch, friends of the bride. Flower girl was Fionna Noori, cousin of the groom. The best man was Alex Axdorff, brother of the groom. The groomsmen were Blaine Cronn, brother of the bride, David Bond and Sam Bogard, friends of the groom. The ringbearer was Keith Spicher, cousin of the groom. Ushers were Jake Kelley, Kyle Lienesch, Kole Daigle and Ryan Egnatuck, friends of the groom. Guest book attendants were Megan Rahn and Kyle Cushman, friends of the bride and groom.
Since opening in August 2006, Reds on the River has partnered with Rockford Public Schools on numerous occasions, including co-op work opportunities, numerous fundraisers, benefits for the Rockford Education Foundation, and the Community Unity program with the sports boosters and Youth Initiative Community Service Club. One particular favorite for both Rockford High School students and Reds is hosting the Rockford Chamber singers, led by high school music director David Duiven. For the past three years, Rockford’s top choir students have performed holiday music at Reds in December, in exchange for Reds’ donation to the Choir Boosters to help offset some of their musical expenditures. “The partnership has been tremendous,” noted Reds Executive Chef Glenn Forgie. “The students perform in quartets and meander about the dining room, singing carols. They jazz up their concert attire with fun holiday scarves and hats and really have fun with it. Our guests love the festive spirit they create, and they love the fact that we are showcasing our students’ talent.” The music has become so popular that Reds has expanded the schedule and invited other area schools to perform. The lineup includes: • Thursday, Dec. 2: Northview High School • Tuesday, Dec. 7: Rockford High School Chamber Quartets • Thursday, Dec. 9: Northview High School • Tuesday, Dec. 14: Rockford High School Chamber Quartets • Thursday, Dec. 16: East Grand, Rapids Bella Voce • Tuesday, Dec. 21: Northview High School • Thursday, Dec. 23: Forest Hills Eastern Quartet Holiday carols are peformed from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each evening.
Have you ever wondered how a mouse can become an angel? “No problem!” says 7-year-old Hanna Prost of Rockford. Who would think that this cute little Valley View Elementary School second grader can make that transformation effortlessly in but a few minutes, from a frightening little mouse who scares the living daylights out of Clara Stahlbaum to a sweet little angel who welcomes Clara to the Land of Sweets. Prost, who also enjoys ice-skating and soccer, has been studying ballet for three years at Rhythm Dance in Belmont. In her first year as a member of the junior company of the West Michigan Youth Ballet (WMYB), Prost has been rehearsing her parts every Sunday for the annual production of Tchaikowski’s Nutcracker Ballet. Prost is joined by another young dancer from her home studio, Mary Camp. Camp is 8 years old and a third grader at St. Patricks. This is Camp’s second year with the WMYB, and she has three parts: gingerbread, big mouse and reindeer. The WMYB has over 90 dancers, ages 6-18, from different dance studios in the Greater Grand Rapids area, Ada, Holland, Muskegon and Lansing. For all of these dedicated and talented young people, rehearsals are a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun as they prepare to present once again this timeless ballet for our community. Performances will be on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 1:00 and 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m., in the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center, 600 Forest Hills Ave., Grand Rapids. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children aged 10 and under, and can be obtained at www.wmyb.org, at the door, or by calling (616) 682-4853. Saturday at 11:30 a.m., there will also be a special Nutcracker Tea, with crafts and refreshments, photo opportunities with Clara, and meeting some of the Nutcracker characters in costume. Tickets for that event are $12. Prost and Camp would love to have their friends come and see them perform. And they promise they won’t scare off anyone, but they will be as sweet as an angel and a gingerbread man.
Where are all the hurricanes? by CRAIG JAMES The 2010 hurricane season officially ended on November 30. How did the forecasts made by NOAA and other hurricane forecasters before the start of the season turn out? Most of these forecasts called for anywhere from 12 to 20 named storms and better than a 50/50 chance for a major hurricane to strike the U.S. Actually, it was a pretty good forecast for the number of storms, but not for either intensity or number of land-falling storms. This season tied with 1995 and 1887 for the third highest number of named storms in the Atlantic Basin. There were 19 named storms, which is well above the average of 10, and there were 12 storms that became hurricanes, which is more than double the average number of five. There were five storms that reached Category 3 or higher, attaining the status of a major hurricane. However, not one hurricane of any intensity struck the United States. To point out how unusual that is, consider this: Since 1900, there is no precedent of an Atlantic hurricane season with 10 or more hurricanes where none has struck the U.S. Some forecasts were calling for nearly an 80 percent chance of a hurricane hitting the U.S. The five previous seasons with 10 or more hurricanes each had at least two hurricanes strike our shores. The period 2006-2010 is one of only three five-year consecutive periods without a U.S. major hurricane landfall (the other two such periods were 1901-1905 and 1936-1940). There has never been a six-year period without a U.S. major hurricane landfall. I guess that means the odds of one hitting the U.S. coast next season are pretty high. In addition, the last hurricane to make landfall on the USA was Hurricane Ike on September 13, 2008. It is now likely that we will see the string of hurricane-free days extend to June 1 of next year, the official start of hurricane season, when it will be 991 days. And if there is no U.S. land-falling hurricane in the nine days after that, it will hit 1,000 days. Chances are good this will happen. While the Atlantic Basin saw a large number of storms, other ocean basins have been almost […]