God is with you in every moment by REV. LAURIE TENHAVE-CHAPMAN First Congregational Church, Rockford The ashen remains of our house stood for three months after the fire. Often I had to meet the insurance agent there to further process our claim. It was always difficult to go “home.” Though the shell of the home still stood, the life we had lived within its walls seemed long past. Every now and then, beneath the layers of soot, I found an item that could be salvaged. There was a bronze cross my parents had given to me that hung by the back door. Underneath the charred remains of our lives, I found it. Now it hangs in our new home, a reassuring link from the lost past to the joy of the present moment. Those of you who have loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s know what it is like to lose the past. Your mother looks the same but her eyes are vacant. As the disease progresses, your husband no longer recognizes you. How difficult it is to make a trip to see them. Everything about the loved one’s “shell” reminds you of a wonderful past you shared with them. But there seems to be no connection in the present. Your love leads you to continue to visit them in spite of the heartache. Every now and then there is a treasure to be found in that present moment. She knows you are her daughter. He says your name. He refers to a moment you share from the past. You carry that moment away with you as a gift. Sometimes we are reminded that all we have is the present moment. We try to pin down our future, drawing on events from the past. But what we have is the present, and it may just hold a surprise for you—a treasure you carry forward. No matter what you have lost, trust that God is with you. Even when the future looks uncertain, trust that God will bless you in the gift of each moment. And that is enough!
March 3 2011
Roberts Mrs. Bernice “Peggy” Roberts, age 81, of Rockford went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, February 26, 2011. Bernice loved and nurtured her two children and also gave love and support to many foster children. She was very independent and enjoyed gardening and sewing. She enjoyed making clothing for her daughter and herself. Bernice loved to sing and had a beautiful voice. Her family has many wonderful memories of traveling with all of them singing in the car. Later in life, she was a caregiver to her husband. Bernice is survived by her loving husband, Thomas J. Roberts Sr.; her son, Thomas J. and Cheryl Roberts Jr. of Jenison; her daughter, Karen and Richard Prefontaine of Rockford; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; sisters, Mrs. Terry Sporcic and Cheryl (John) Patterson; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sister Patricia Sayler and brothers Charles Moore, Danny Moore and Clyde Moore. The service celebrating her life will be held Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. at Pederson Funeral Home. Inurnment will be in Courtland Township Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the funeral home on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.
Reader defends AmeriCorps Dear Editor, I was born and raised in Rockford, and have grown up with the Squire. I believe it is a great voice for the members of the community. I have been traveling the country for the past few years with AmeriCorps, working on community service projects dealing with many different issues—education, environment, and disaster relief and recovery. I feel like this issue is something that is relevant to every single American citizen. Please feel free to edit the following as you see fit. Printing this would be such a great way to spread the word about AmeriCorps. The following is a letter written in regard to the proposed budget cuts to the Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps. The budget cuts will eliminate programs that are vital to the well being of our society. Thanks for reading. The more people this reaches, the more impact we can have on the decisions that Congress is making. An open letter to the Government of the United States of America: I was an AmeriCorps member from 2006 to 2008, serving with the National Civilian Community Corps (CCC) in Sacramento, Calif., Class 13 and 14. I had the opportunity to serve communities all over this wonderful country. Because of this experience, I am stronger as an individual, I am closer to my family, and I have a network of good that spreads around the globe. I know that service has a huge place in this society and we are truly here to make each other’s lives better. My great-grandparents served in the CCC and I am honored to have been able to serve my country in the same regard. I will continue do it for the rest of my life. I’m writing this today because I feel helpless and desperate. Eliminating the Corporation for National and Community Service and therefore cutting AmeriCorps is something that I cannot fathom. I understand that it is an expensive program. I understand that the budget is complex and our country is in debt. But I want to make something clear: AmeriCorps is vital. I’m not sure if you quite understand the impact that these programs have on individuals, communities and the overall wellbeing of our nation. Being […]
When members of Girl Scout Troop 3383 out of Lakes Elementary School learned that teachers in their school were spending an average of $1,500 of their personal money on classroom supplies because of funding shortfalls by the state, the 14-member troop decided to step into action. Operation “Tools for Teachers” provides the opportunity for local and national companies, as well as Rockford Public Schools families and community members, to donate school supplies for classrooms. Items needed include construction paper, paint, pencils, calculators, markers, etc. The girls view this as a way “to be there for the teachers, when they’ve always been there for us.” Superintendent Michael Shibler remarked, “Anyone who lives in the Rockford area knows how supportive this community is of the schools. This is yet another example of our ‘Quality Community, Quality Schools’ as students learn valuable lifelong skills from parents and adults.” Collection bins will be available in the schools and Administration Office through the end of March. In May, teachers will be invited to shop through the donations for their specific classroom needs. For more information, please contact Troop Leader Nicole Pierce at (616) 885-4382 or Co-Leader Erin Wenger at (616) 240-8685.
Goodwill Industries of West Michigan (GIWM) celebrated a grand opening to its newest store and donation center at 3595 17 Mile Road NE in Cedar Springs on Friday, Feb. 18 at 9:00 a.m. “Cedar Springs is a new location for us,” said Goodwill Retail Director James Cherney. “The community has been incredibly supportive and welcoming. Everyone tells us they’re glad we’re here and we couldn’t be happier.” Located directly across from the Meijer store near US-131, the site was selected for shopper and donor convenience. Featuring a covered donation drive-thru on the east side of the building, donors can drive right up and get personal assistance in unloading their donations. “We know folks are incredibly busy,” Cherney said. “We strive to make the donation process as quick and pleasant as possible at all our locations.” Sales of community donations funds Goodwill’s mission of helping people train for, find and keep good jobs in the community. Last year, GIWM provided employment services to over 19,000 people right here in West Michigan. The free-standing, 7,000-square-foot store is the 14th store for GIWM. Other locations include: Allendale, Fremont, Grand Haven, Holland (two), Ludington, Manistee, Muskegon, Newaygo, Norton Shores, North Muskegon, Roosevelt Park, and Whitehall. A Rockford store is under construction off 10 Mile Road, east of US-131. GIWM has a build-to-suit lease arrangement with Pinnacle Construction Group for the Cedar Springs site. Construction began in early November. “Landscaping, exterior paint, and final surfacing of the parking lot will take place in the early spring,” Cherney said. The new store is providing jobs for 15 new employees.