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 […]
North Kent Presbyterian Church
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 NKPChurch@gmail.com. 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.
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.