Hand 2 Hand

Dear Rose Park,

Yesterday morning I met Barb Kleeves, Diana Beltman, and Amy Lemire at Fair Haven Church in Hudsonville for the annual commissioning service for Hand 2 Hand. It was a beautiful service; one filled with heartwarming stories and convicting testimonies. However, if you aren’t familiar with the ministry, let me briefly fill you in: Hand 2 Hand is essentially a backpack-ministry providing food for the weekend to our local students and families throughout the academic year. It’s a ministry we have faithfully supported with our time, energy, and resources and it’s beginning another year of inspiration, encouragement, and hope.

Good Fences

Dear Rose Park,

Good fences make good neighbors

This is a line from Robert Frost’s poem entitled Mending Wall and it seems just as appropriate for today as it did when it was written in 1914. When I read this poem, and particularly that line, I read it as meaning neighbors are fine as long as they are kept at a distance. In other words, fences might do a lot of great things; they might keep our animals safe and they might even protect us, but they certainly don’t make good neighbors.

Sunday at 3:00PM

Dear Rose Park,

Will you strive to fulfill faithfully, diligently, and cheerfully, all the duties of a minister of Christ: to preach the Word of God in sincerity, to administer the sacraments in purity, to maintain proper discipline in the household of God, and to shepherd the flock faithfully?

I will, and I ask God to help me.

The Gold Barn

Dear Rose Park,

Last night Sam, Simon, my mom Kathy (aka “Boppy” to Simon), and I went blueberry picking at the Gold Barn on Quincy. Blueberry picking evokes great memories for me growing up in Holland. I can still remember going picking with my mom when I was younger. I remember tying the bucket around my waist and eating more than I picked. I even have a vague memory or two of picking with my Grandma Brinks and then afterward enjoying the fruits of her labor; namely, a blueberry crisp or a muffin.

Nothing Extraordinary

Dear Rose Park,

I had breakfast with a friend yesterday morning at The Biscuit in Washington Square on the south side of Holland. If you haven’t been there, I’d highly recommend it as the breakfast tacos certainly have me hooked. It was a beautiful morning: humidity was low, the sun was rising, the birds were singing, and the coffee was hot.

The Church Directory

Dear Rose Park,

Do you like to clean? Every once in a while, I get the need to tidy up. The feeling came on fast Monday morning as I was having my first cup of coffee. I spent almost thirty minutes tidying up my office; I threw away old post-it’s, filed away important notes, and organized a few books. But as I was cleaning, I also found a few vhs tapes, a couple book series from the nineties, and the always flattering church directory.

My Office Bulletin Board

Dear Rose Park,

I’m getting settled into my office. Picture frames are being organized and put into place. Books are being alphabetized and placed on shelves. Old folders and notes are being filed away for later use. My putter has found its’ home in the corner and my baseball sits quietly on my desk. And my coffee mug with Simon’s picture on it has already left a ring next to my computer. I’m definitely starting to feel at home.

Welcome Back

Dear Rose Park,

Many of you have mentioned the phrase “welcome back” several times to our family as we’ve spent time with you at our house or at worship. Not only does this phrase remind me of the theme song to “Welcome Back Kotter”, but it also warms my heart to be welcomed with such hospitality and love.