Letter from Karsten

September 3, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is an honor to officially accept the call to become your next pastor.  

This is an exciting season of our family’s life and ministry as we anticipate all that awaits us in Zeeland.  Our oldest daughters are excited about attending Lincoln Elementary.  Our youngest daughters are excited about exploring the manse and being so close to the Main Street candy store.  Gretchen and I are excited about the prospect of walking our children to school, being next door to a beautiful library, having restaurants a block away, and in being in a locale where neighbors talk on the front steps and invest in each other’s lives.  We’re the most excited about what it means to participate in what God is doing and will complete at 2nd.  

I’d like to personally thank the search committee, executive committee and consistory for their leadership in this search process.  I was especially impressed by everyone’s willingness to be transparent.  I’d like to thank the staff for their extra patience and dedication during the transition.  I’d also like to thank the various persons who have already begun the work of preparing the manse for our family.  

It is with eager anticipation that we plan on moving and starting at 2nd Reformed in the beginning of October.  I look forward to working with the consistory and staff in planning how to best transition into your life and join you in serving Christ.  In the meantime, I also ask for your prayers as we begin the process of ending our time at Trinity.  Our family has invested its life at Trinity and it is difficult to leave a community in which love is mutually reciprocated.  Yet we leave Trinity and join you at 2nd with great confidence in God’s past, present and future faithfulness.

Please feel free to use my new email address: karsten@srczeeland.org.  Once in Zeeland, I want to meet you, visit you, share coffee with you, listen to you, and pray with you.           

With Gratitude and Joy,

Karsten

 

Voskuil Family

Voskuil Family

Crossroad Bible Institute Inmate Art Exhibit

The Visual Arts Ministry is pleased to announce its spring exhibit, March 3, 2013 - May 26, 2013, a traveling exhibit from the Crossroad Bible Institute in Grand Rapids.

Crossroad Art Gallery, a part of the work of the Crossroad Bible Institute, was established in 2009 to honor and showcase the artistic expressions of students who create inspiring artwork despite the challenges imposed by prison bars. Both the CBI Gallery and its traveling show give viewers a more complete vision of those in prison and encourage unity within the body of Christ.

Uses of particular artistic symbols show themes to look for in the works on display: butterflies and birds (freedom), flowers and delicate scenes (new way of life), streams and bridges (a new direction or path), landscapes and open spaces (desire for the inaccessible world), family or loved ones (regret and remorse for hurt, and hope for the future), self portraits (reflection, contrition and search for new identity), skulls and crosses with flowers (seeking for transformation), scenes of innocence (desire for purity and simplicity), and Biblical subjects (visualization of truth found in scripture).  The process of art creation offers healing, transformation, communication and worship to inmates.

For more information click here.

(Photo Credits: Lynn Bekins)

The Season of Wow!

The time after Epiphany might be thought of as the season of "Wow!" The season begins with the Baptism of Jesus, accompanied by a descending dove and a voice from the heavens. Wow! The season ends with Jesus being transfigured into a dazzling appearance on the mountaintop. Wow! In between, there is water from wine at the wedding at Cana; Jesus claiming to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah; Simeon and Anna saying, "This is the One!"; but also the rejection of Jesus among his own people. Wow, for all sorts of reasons.

These are all ways that the nature and mission and ministry of Jesus began to be known among the people. Whether it was for his wonder and brilliance, or for his audacity and nerve, the response was not "Ho-hum," but "Wow."

What will be our response?

By Gordon Bruns

Advent is Here!

The church has been decorated for Christmas!  It looks amazing!  And we are all ready to jump into Advent and anticipate the coming of our King.  

Here's what Gordon had to say about Advent:

Advent means "Coming." At the beginning of a new church year, this season directs our focus onto being alert, prepared, and eagerly awaiting the appearance of Christ. While much of society and many religious activities are focused on Christmas, the church has a larger scope of vision as it looks for Christ's coming. We glean the prophetic teachings to Israel for application to our 21st century lives. We take seriously the apostolic teachings calling us to expect Christ to come a second time for a day of judgment. We heed John the Baptist's call to prepare a way in the rough and desolate places of the world, so that Christ may come to them. We hear again how even the promise of Christ's arrival turns so many things upside down. And, finally, we are reminded of how God's love became incarnate in the child Jesus, whose birth set in motion our own salvation. Let this season enrich all of your preparations for the coming of Christ, not only at Christmas, but in every place and every time that hope, peace, joy, and love are needed.

So come join us for a service this Advent.  We hope to see you here.

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