North Kent Presbyterian Church

A Legacy of Faith – III

July 30, 2015 // 0 Comments

Rev. Paula Vander Hoven Interim Pastor, North Kent Presbyterian Church My grandmother, Cornelia Feringa, was born in Grand Rapids of brand new immigrant parents in 1894. Very early on her family moved north to a small community south of Cadillac and her father cleared land for a farm. She received some basic education in the local schools, but her most treasured education came from the church, where she learned songs and Psalms that she would sing and quote for the rest of her life. When she was about sixteen years old, she felt a call to be a nurse and took a nursing course by correspondence. In 1911 she became one of the very first nurses at “The Association for Mentally Ill and Nervous People,” much later to become Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services” in Cutlerville. It was a new concept in the care of mentally ill patients patterned after hospitals in the Netherlands. Rather than using chains, strait jackets, isolation or beatings to control unruly patients in the days before modern mediations, Cornelia talked with them calmly and read scripture and sang to them. She taught them to knit baby blankets and brought in guest musicians.   One of the guest musicians was a young Dutch immigrant named John Vanderhoven and when he left for Northern Russia in the First World War she prayed for him and sent packages of warm hand-knit socks and sweaters. When he returned she married him. She prayed for him and their family when they tried their hand at farming in the poor soil of Northern Michigan and through the Great Depression. When there was very little work for Dutch musicians her sons had paper routes and she bought houses needing repairs. Her husband and sons repaired them and she sold them again – the first woman I know to “flip” houses. She prayed her family through serious illness and when one of her sons became a pastor in faraway places and one of her daughters went off with her missionary husband to what was then Ceylon, she prayed for them, too. In her later years Cornelia and John went around to nursing homes. He played the piano for hymn singing and she gave “messages” (which she never called […]

A Message for You

August 9, 2012 // 0 Comments

Here Come the Pumpkins by REV. HELEN H. COLLINS North Kent Presbyterian Church If you have driven or walked on Kuttshill past North Kent Presbyterian Church in the last few months, you have probably noticed that we turned some of the land around our church into quite a pumpkin patch. Odd thing for a church to do, I suppose, but we had very good reasons. There’s also a big pumpkin sign that says, “Come Grow with Us.” The pumpkin drawing is courtesy of one of our church preschool kids. So, we’re growing pumpkins as a fundraiser, and we hope we’re attracting some attention so that people will know we’re here and that anyone and everyone is welcome to join us. But here’s the thing about pumpkins: Better than any of the other fruits and vegetables God gave us, the pumpkin reveals some wonderful truths about our relationship with God. The best and most common use for pumpkins is for making Jack o’lanterns. (They make great pie too, but that’s another story.) You start by cleaning off the pumpkin, getting rid of any of the garden dirt. Then you cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin and clean out the inside. It can be a messy thing to reach in there and pull out all the yucky, slimy stuff and the seeds, but you have to do it so that you can carve a face. When I did that as a child, I always wanted to give my pumpkin a smile to start with, then a nose which usually ended up looking like a triangle, and finally some eyes. We would put our pumpkins in the living room window so they faced the street, and mom would let us put a candle inside so that people could really see the face lit up as they went by. Several years ago a piece ran around the e-mail circuit with the story of the pumpkin and how it demonstrates what God does with us when we give our lives to Him. First, Jesus picks us up and cleanses our life from sin. He removes all the yucky thoughts and the seeds of doubt, hate and selfishness that we have inside. Then he puts a smile on […]

Church to create U-pick pumpkin patch on property

May 24, 2012 // 0 Comments

Community invited to enjoy the gardening by BETH ALTENA Got grass? Then you have the makings of a beautiful garden. Area residents are invited to watch—or help—as North Kent Presbyterian Church’s grassy acreage is turned to a new task in the form of gardens that will be a U-pick pumpkin patch by fall. The “Come Grow with Us” campaign kicked off with a ceremony attended by church members, local Scouts, and Master Gardener John Venman, who is assisting in the garden project. Using Venman’s calendar, “Gardening with the Moon,” the church hopes to engage the public as the garden flourishes, providing giant pumpkins, pie pumpkins, gourds, leaf lettuce, tomatoes, beans, squash, flowers and other vegetables this summer. Seed starting day began on May 20 with 350 pumpkin seeds, which will eventually become the U-pick portion of the garden. Fred Adgate, of Independent Bank, who is a member of the church, said the project is an outreach that will help the church be more interactive in the community. Key dates for the church’s garden project include Planting Day on June 16. All summer long, members of the church will tend the garden as it grows in its large property at 6175 Kuttshill Drive. The public is invited to see the garden growing and purchase produce and flowers beginning September 29 through October 27. On October 13 the church has secured a booth at Rockford’s popular farm market in downtown Rockford. Anyone interested in participating in the garden is invited to contact the church by phone at (616) 866-2230 or e-mail at Sunday worship service from June to August is at 10 a.m.; from September to May, service is at 10:45 a.m. “A small church with a big heart,” North Kent Presbyterian Church is a family of believers that supports faith in Jesus Christ through education, challenge, inspiration and outreach.

A Message for You

December 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

Give Yourself a Little Rest by REV. HELEN H. COLLINS North Kent Presbyterian Church It’s the week after Christmas. Soon it will be time to take down the tree, pack away the ornaments and other decorations. My mom always set out all the Christmas cards we received on every flat surface in the dining room and living room and it was a sign that the holidays were done when she took down the display. At this point there will still be some family get-togethers as we ring in the New Year, and we won’t do our “undecorating” party at church until after worship on January 8, but for the most part, by the time you read this, Christmas will be over. I like to send and receive Christmas cards, although I frequently run out of time before the holidays to get them in the mail. I try to find the card that will carry not only my love and greetings, but something of the true meaning of the holiday. Several years ago I found the one that so far has been the most unforgettable. It opened accordion style with five panels. On the front of the card was a full Christmas tree with lights and ornaments. The second panel showed the tree having lost a few of its needles—the way your “real” tree might look a few days after Christmas, especially if you forgot to water it. The third and fourth panels showed the tree as it progressively lost more and more of its needles and as ornaments, with nothing to hang on to, fell to the floor. And in the last panel, the cross became visible as all the trappings, the needles, lights and ornaments were gone. The message was clear that underneath the biggest and best holiday we celebrate each year, underneath the love, the carols and Christmas specials, underneath the family time, the presents and parties, when all is said and done, when everything else is gone, the cross of the One whose birth we proclaim, the giver of God’s immeasurable love is still there. We’ve been doing some landscaping around our church in the last year or so. If you drive down Kuttshill before the snow flies, you’ll be able to […]

North Kent Presbyterian Church celebrates 50th anniversary

October 13, 2011 // 0 Comments

North Kent Presbyterian Church at 6175 Kuttshill Drive, Rockford, will conclude a year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary on October 16 with a special worship service at 10:45 a.m. followed by a luncheon in the church’s fellowship hall. Officially, the North Kent Presbyterian Church came into being by the formal organizing act of the Presbytery of Grand River on May 7, 1961, and became a congregation of the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. Before that ever happened, a few families first met in the old Belmont Town Hall in 1958. As interest grew, in October of that year they moved to the old Sage School on Belding Road. In 1960 they moved to the present location on Kuttshill Drive. On Palm Sunday, April 11, 1965, the church received a setback when a tornado blew the roof off the building and knocked down the rear wall. Members responded quickly, and the damage was repaired in time to welcome their new pastor, the Rev. Jack Luidens. The church continued to grow and on June 13, 1999, a groundbreaking ceremony was held and an expansion of the building was started and has since been completed. The Rev. Helen H. Collins is the current pastor. Anyone interested in attending the luncheon, or would like more information, is welcome to call the church at (616) 863-6546.

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