WMCN Briefs 5/19/2020

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

nbWest Michigan Christian News Briefs

Editor's note: Manna Media/West Michigan Christian News continues its new feature of reporting topical information related to the regional Christian community.

Chinese Christian send masks to Calvin Seminary

Chinese Christian house church leaders recently sent more than 1,000 surgical masks To Calvin Theological Seminary. Resonate Compassion Ministry, a house church ministry in China, sent boxes containing surgical masks to the seminary and to multiple Christian Reformed churches in the Grand Rapids to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Resonate Compassion Ministry is led by a small group of Chinese house church leaders, among them Zhi Gang (John) Chen, who coordinated and channeled the distribution of the masks here in the United States.

Gowdy selected as Wedgwood Christian Services' president/CEO

Dan Gowdy has joined Wedgwood Christian Services as its new president and chief executive officer, following the retirement of Randy Zylstra, who has over 25 years of service to Wedgwood.

Gowdy has nearly 30 years of serving and leading local Christian nonprofit agencies, including 16 years in operations and 14 years in executive leadership. He holds a bachelor of theology degree from Grace Christian University and a doctorate in organizational leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Wedgwood Christian Services is nonprofit that provides residential care, counseling services and community programs to children and families facing tough problems.

Guiding Light Maintains Platinum Seal of Transparency

Guiding Light, founded in 1929 as the West Fulton St. Mission, has again been awarded a Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest level bestowed by GuideStar, the world's largest source of information on U.S. nonprofits. Of the nearly two million nonprofits the organization tracks nationally, approximately 10,000 are rated Platinum.

"GuideStar is a highly respected organization for measuring and interpreting nonprofits' progress," said Stuart P. Ray, executive director at Guiding Light. "The organization's decision to continue to recognize our commitment to accountability and transparency with Platinum status is an honor."

Guiding Light works to engage God's spirit in partnering with individuals to fulfill their God-given potential through rescue, recovery and re-engagement in the community.

Guiding Light's Back to Work program focuses on getting men off the streets and into full-time jobs, and its Recovery program addresses men faced with homelessness, substance abuse and spiritual destitution.
Guiding Light also has two social enterprises: The Job Post, a hiring and recruitment firm, and Iron House, sober-living apartments. Both social enterprises support Guiding Light's mission while also aiding in the financial sustainability of Guiding Light's four pillars of light.

In March, Guiding Light voluntarily loaned its facility at 255 S. Division Ave. to Kent County so it can serve as a temporary isolation center for those experiencing homelessness in the Heartside neighborhood who may contract COVID-19.

All the men in the Recovery program were moved to Guiding Light's sober-living apartments, known as Iron House. Men in the Back to Work program without other accommodations were offered the option to be temporarily housed elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Guiding Light has continued to keep its rescue, recovery and re-engagement programs running while ensuring employees and the men served remain safe and in good health. Group and one-on-one support meetings have been conducted virtually with video conference platforms to help the men stay connected while physical distancing. The Job Post has continued its job placement services remotely to help individuals who are temporarily unemployed or seeking career advancement.
For more information, visit www.guidinglightworks.org

Former Calvary Church minister of worship dies

Phil Brower, longtime music writer, producer of Bill Gaither's Homecoming Radio, and former minister of worship of Grand Rapids-based Calvary Church, died recently of cancer.

Brower produced The National Quartet Convention and The Singing News Fan Awards. He was known to southern gospel radio listeners for serving as announcer, producer and writer and part of the cast of Bill Gaither's Homecoming Radio.

His wife, Lynne, children, grandchildren and many friends, survives him.

"Phil made many significant contributions to Calvary Church during his 17 years on staff, and for that we remain grateful," Calvary Church said in a statement.

"Phil's legacy will be his passion for Homecoming Radio and his ability to charge ahead and get things done," Gaither Music said in a statement. "Phil loved the Homecoming Sing-Along at the National Quartet Convention and never missed an opportunity to share a joke with Kevin at Bill's expense. Bill Gaither stated, 'Phil was a dear friend and our prayers are with Lynn and his family. He was a driving force with getting Homecoming Radio marketed all over the world, and he never stopped working to grow the program. We will miss him.'"
Author Information
Paul R. Kopenkoskey
Author: Paul R. KopenkoskeyWebsite:
Paul R. Kopenkoskey is a full-time freelance writer and editor for an assortment of publications including Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Business Journal, and Faith Grand Rapids magazine. He has completed his first novel with the working title, Karl Beguiled. He and his wife, Barb, live in Wyoming, Michigan. They have three children and five grandchildren.

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