WHO WE ARE
People need a place to belong, a group where they can be themselves, and yet, be connected to others in a meaningful way. We want to be that kind of community: "Gathering Community, Growing in Christ".
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We usually say we are Cottonwood, or Cottonwood Church, but our longer name is Cottonwood Christian Reformed Church. A few words about who we are and what we believe:
WE ARE COTTONWOOD
Cottonwood is a local church in Jenison, Michigan. We are located down the hill next to Maplewood Park. Our desire, and God’s will, is for us to be a community actively involved in our community sharing good news with our neighbors through what we say and through what we do.
WE ARE A CHRISTIAN CHURCH
We believe the Bible is the Word of God: It leads us to God; shows the way of salvation and reveals how God calls us to live. We believe in a Triune God: Father, Son and Spirit. God is our perfect heavenly Father, creator of everything. Jesus is the eternal Son of God. The Son who died on the cross and rose from the grave. He is Savior and Lord. And the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Lord present with the church. The Spirit leads us into God’s truth. The Spirit enables us to believe and empowers us to serve our God. And we believe in grace. God’s grace. “By grace are we saved through faith.”
WE ARE A REFORMED CHURCH
Saying we are Reformed means we are part of that historic branch of Christianity. We believe the teachings of the historic Christian creeds (especially the Apostles’ Creed) and the Reformed confessions (especially the Heidelberg Catechism). Being Reformed also means we believe our world belongs to God and all of life is to be lived to His honor and glory. And, finally, to be Reformed means that the church is to be ever-reforming; listening and submitting to the Spirit of God.
WE ARE A CHURCH
God has called us to be a people that worships and serves Him. We are called to do this together. We are a community of believers desiring to grow in God’s grace together. We say that Cottonwood is a church where we gather community and grow in Christ. Our purpose is to grow in our faith and to continually invite others to join with us in seeking God.
Pastor Matt and Connie came to Cottonwood in 2000. Pastor Matt is the primary preacher and is involved in leadership, pastoral care, outreach, and in many of the day-to-day activities of church life. Pastor Matt and Connie are at a newer stage of their lives, kids are grown, grandchildren arriving. Now they are able to visit more people together and are especially enjoying meeting new and younger people and families. When not working they are chasing grandchildren, heading off to see their children (right now two are local, one is in Boston and another in San Diego), and Pastor Matt is always hunting for the next book to buy.
Wes joined the Cottonwood team in 2018. He has an incredible vision to team up with families and leaders to encourage students as they take ownership of their faith. He faithfully walks along side them as they follow Christ and grow in their relationship with Him. When he's not serving our youth, he enjoys hitting the gym, playing baseball/softball, playing a round of disc golf and cheering for Ohio State.
Eric faithfully works behind the scenes by coordinating the worship selections, musicians, vocalists, sound, and video technicians each week to make our worship service spectacular. Eric is married to Lauren, who also sings and helps lead worship at Cottonwood. They are the proud parents of Hudson. When Eric is not preparing for a service or playing his guitar you can find him on the golf course, the lake or on the hockey rink.
Kathy is involved in making our ministries run efficiently. She helps with recruiting volunteers, assisting ministry leaders, overseeing the small group ministry, and assimilating new members. Kathy is a wife to Allen and mother of two. She spends most of her time caring for their children, Campbell and Decklan. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with family and friends.
YOUTH MINISTRIES ASSISTANT
Emily has been attending Cottonwood since 2012. She has been involved with the youth ministry programs since first coming to Cottonwood, and has previously served as the Discipleship Resident from 2013-2016. She is currently serving in an interim administrative position for the upcoming school year. Emily also works as an Occupational Therapist at the Center for Childhood Development. Emily was recently married to Aaron Brooks in 2016, so her last name switched from Fleming to Brooks. Her hobbies and passions include playing with her cat Zory and dog Kimber, knitting, reading, cooking, eating pizza, and napping.
COTTONWOOD LEARNING CENTER DIRECTOR
Kim is married with 3 children and the best part is, all of her kids were able to attend Cottonwood Christian Learning Center while she worked! Kim is certified in infants and toddlers and has her child development associates degree. She has worked with children in a daycare setting since the age of 16. Children have always been her passion and we are so blessed to have her serve our community through this ministry at CCLC!
Bernie has been called to use his experience in business to compliment the many talents and gifts that our Staff have here at Cottonwood. He is married to Joyce and they have 3 daughters (3 Sons-in-law) and 8 grandchildren. Bernie believes we are certainly blessed to have such a vibrant ministry here and he is privileged to be a small part of it.
At Cottonwood, you are always welcome to join us in worship. Our services are a time for you to connect and communicate with God. We use a variety of music, congregation participation and practical Biblical messages applicable to everyday living. Come as you are! We welcome guests and look forward to worshiping with you! Please feel free to dress casually for the service.