Until further notice, send bulletin announcements to:

For those who did not fill out a church member information sheet, please click on the following attachment, print, fill out, and scan or mail to Judi M. 

Information Form 


In accordance with the wishes of the church membership expressed in the annual meeting of August 2017, Beaver Island Christian Church has created an endowment fund at the Charlevoix County Community Foundation to provide financial support of our mission for the long-term. 

The Community Foundation provides professional investment  management and administration of the Fund, and each year the income from the Fund (after we reach the $10,000 minimum necessary to be eligible for the annual distribution) provides another source of funding for our church.  

The Fund provides options for donors, who may:

  1. give directly to Beaver Island Christian Church,
  2. give to the Beaver Island Christian Church Fund in support of the long-term financial health of our church, or
  3. both. The endowment fund also presents an excellent option for donors who want to make estate gifts.

To learn more about the Beaver Island Christian Church Fund, contact Rick Speck at 231.448.2393 (home) or 231.448.2830 (work) or at

You may complete a donation on-line or find additional information on the Charlevoix County Community Foundation and its gift program by clicking the following link:  Charlevoix County Community Foundation or calling 231.536.2440. You may also mail a check to Charlevoix County Community Foundation, PO Box 718, East Jordan, MI  49727.  Be sure to indicate your support of the Beaver Island Christian Church Fund on your check. 

Below is a link to the Community Foundation’s donation page. All gifts are fully tax-deductible. You will receive a written acknowledgment of your donation, which you should keep for your financial records.

Community Foundation Donations


Letter Received From Live Oak Missionary Baptist Church in Galveston, Texas:

“Please accept this letter as a written expression Live Oak Baptist Church and I have for your financial support.  First, please excuse us for the delay in responding for your kindness.  I recognize the sacrifice the Beaver Island Church has made to partner with us during our recent tragedy.  When I received the call from SBC I was told to expect a small gift from a church in Michigan. However, your gift is not measured by the number of zeroes, but the size of your hearts.  Thank you for partnering with us.  The damage incurred this August from Hurricane Harvey was not as extensive as Hurricane Ike in 2008, but the most significant damage was the loss of our church van.  So your gift will go a long way in helping us to replace the van. Please be sure to pass our appreciation to the members of Beaver Island. Your kindness will never be forgotten.”  

The money collected was $877.17 and the Board rounded that number to $1,000. Thank you for your generous support of this project.


Moderator Judi Meister called the regular meeting of the beaver Island Christian Church Board to order at 3:30pm on February 12, 2018. Meeting held at Beaver Island Rural Health Center. Also present were Mary Ellen Dawson, Ralph Williamson, (Mary Jane Lawson and Bev Vicstein, by phone), Rick Speck and recording secretary, Jean Wierenga and visiting Pastor Dan Johnson.  Bob Bass was absent.

Opening prayer was given by Pastor Dan Johnson.

No additions to the agenda.

No correspondence.

Motion by Ralph and seconded by Mary Ellen to approve the minutes of the January board meeting as written.  Motion carried.

Motion by Judi and seconded by Bev to approve the financial report as presented.  Motion carried.

Motion by Ralph and seconded by Bev to approve a donation of $100 to the robotics team at Beaver Island Community School.  Motion carried.

Mission’s Trip:  Ralph stated to board that he and Kim will not be going to Haiti this spring, however, they are actively involved with the program.  The interpreter who assists Kim in her work in Haiti does not have the $500 to continue her education in Haiti so Ralph is asking if the church would consider a donation towards her education.  The board agreed to send a donation and suggest taking the funds out of the Benevolent Fund.  Judi will recommend to the Benevolent Fund Committee to use the funds, then get back to board with the committee’s response.

Worship and Music:  The wording of the Lord’s Prayer will not change from what is being used at this time.

Women’s Circle:  Both the Lighthouse Church and Holy Cross Church members will be asked to help with the Easter Brunch.   

Nancy Butler will take over the cleaning of the parsonage after May 1st when Mary Ellen retires.  Mary Ellen made out an instruction sheet to be posted in parsonage regarding the cleaning.  Women’s Circle will pay for the cleaning.

Old Business:  Church Car – Car still having problems, but will again have Adam Anderson try to solve the issues with it.

Ongoing Business:  Outreach/Growth – Pastor Johnson recommends constant invitations to people to attend our church.  It should not just be a onetime request but many times. 

Round Robin:  As the bulletin board is being updated with pictures, Ralph suggests including all our visiting pastor’s pictures as well.

Next meeting on March 12, 2018 at Beaver Island Rural Health Center. Meeting adjourned at 5pm.

Respectfully submitted,  Jean Wierenga, Recording Secretary


Moderator Judi Meister called the regular meeting of the Beaver Island Christian Church Board to order at 3:30pm on January 15, 2018.  Also present were Mary Ellen Dawson, Ralph Williamson, Bob Bass, (Mary Jane Lawson by phone), Rick Speck and Recording Secretary, Jean Wierenga.  Absent were Rose Spershott and Bev Vicstein.

Mary Ellen opened meeting with prayer.

Correspondence:  Judi read a letter received from the Pastor of the Live Oak Baptist Church in Galveston, Texas.  This was a thank you for the $1,000 sent to the church after the recent hurricane there.

Minutes:  Motion by Bob and seconded by Ralph to approve the October 2017 minutes as written.  Motion carried.

Motion by Mary Jane and seconded by Mary Ellen to approve the November 2017 minutes with one spelling correction, Altar, not alter as written in minutes.  Motion carried.

Financial Reports for October, November, and December:  Motion by Mary Ellen and seconded by Mary Jane to adopt the three month’s financial reports as written.  Motion carried.

Worship and Music: 

  1. Pastor List distributed.  Several open dates at this time.  Judi will be sending out informational letters on the open dates.
  2. Blue Hymn Books –  Bob is requesting the church discontinue the use of the blue hymn books since there are so many unfamiliar hymns and feels many are uncomfortable trying to sing from the blue hymn books.  It was the general consensus of the board to discontinue use.
  3. Lord’s Prayer –  Bob ask whether we should use the word “who” or “which” in the first sentence of the Lord’s Prayer?  He also feels we should not be telling the people which to use, ‘trespasses” or “debtor’s”, since we are a non-denominational church.  After some discussion, Mary Ellen suggested we use the translation in the pew bible in our church for the Lord’s Prayer.  Final decision tabled until February meeting.

Building and Grounds:

  1. Back door at parsonage destroyed by the wind.  Will need all new door and maybe reverse it which would help avoid being taken out by wind.
  2. Mats by doors in church building – Need to replace old ones.  Will get new heavier 6ft.  ones.
  3. Take down chairs in sanctuary – Ralph and boys will take care of this, leaving 32 for the winter season.
  4. Missing Microphone – Need to have two new microphones.  Ralph will purchase one of the two.

Women’s Circle:  Easter Brunch – Rose stated she will not be doing the Easter Brunch.  Will need to ask for more help from the community again for the dinner.

Bingo:  Plan to have a shorter Bingo season this year running from May thru October, which Rose will still be in charge of.

Old Business:

  1. Outreach/Growth – Nothing definite at this time.
  2. Church car back in shop because of dead battery again.  Will be checked to find out what is causing this problem again.

New Business:  None

Round Robin:  Mary Ellen has been taking are of the cleaning of the parsonage and stated she will be retiring on May 1st.  Board will need to find someone to take over those duties, which is done weekly.  Once a year the church members do a cleaning.  

Next meeting will be February 12 at the BIRHC.

Meeting adjourned at 5:40pm.

Respectfully submitted, Jean Wierenga


The regular meeting of the Beaver Island Christian Church Board was called to order by Moderator Judi Meister at 3:30pm on November 6, 2017.  Also present were Mary Ellen Dawson, Mary Jane Lawson (by phone), Rick Speck, and Recording Secretary Jean Wierenga.  Absent with notification were Rose Spershott, Bev Vicstein, and Ralph Williamson.  Bob Bass was also absent.  Meeting will continue as scheduled with discussions only and no motions made without a quorum present.

Judi opened meeting with prayer.

No additions to agenda.

Correspondence:  Letter received from Pastor Boven which will be discussed later in meeting.

Financial Report:  No action on financial reports.  Will hold until January meeting.

Worship and Music:  Christmas Cantata to be held on Sunday, December 3, 2017.

 Farewell Potluck for Howard Davis to be held on November 13, 2017:

  1. Allow time for people to share memories.
  2. Gift to Howard. A gift certificate in the amount of $200 from Russ’s Restaurant will be given to Howard.
  3. Master of Ceremonies: Will ask Bob Bass

Women’s Circle: Thanksgiving Dinner to be held on November 17, 2017.  John Robert’s family and Kathy Broward will help with the dinner.  Alter Society will provide the desserts.

Bingo:  Last games for season to be November 8, 2017.

Old Business:

  1. Disburse special offering for hurricane victims:  Total donations received was $877.17.  Amount   will be rounded to $1000. And will be sent to one church in Texas.
  2. Letter from Pastor Steve Boven:  A copy of the letter will be sent to each visiting pastor who will be staying a full week.  Pastor Boven is suggesting the visiting pastor visit with church members during his stay. 
  3. Outreach/growth: Judi suggests leaving on agenda to keep in our minds.

New Business:

  1. Endowment Mailings:   Judi will be working on a letter to be sent out regarding the endowments. Have letter ready to go out by November 17.
  2. Snow Plow Bid: Jean’s Lawn Service bid was approved for 2017-2018.

Round Robin:  Mary Ellen is requesting to use the Gregg Fellowship Center for a woodworking class.  Use would be for 6 to 8 weeks.  She would charge $2.00 per person for those in class with the money to go for the heat cost.

No meeting in December.  Next meeting January 9, 2018.

Respectfully Submitted,  Jean Wierenga


The Beaver Island Christian Church Board regular meeting was called to order by Moderator Judi Meister ay 3:30pm on October 9, 2017. Meeting held at the Gregg Fellowship Hall.  Present were Rose Spershott, Mary Ellen Dawson, Ralph Williamson, Bob Bass, Bev Vicstein, Rick Speck and recording secretary Jean Wierenga.  Mary Jane Lawson was absent.

Mary Ellen opened meeting with prayer.


  1. Card from robotics team:  Motion by Judi and seconded by Mary Ellen to give $100 to support          the robotics team.  Motion carried.
  2. Letter from Pastor Boven: Pastor Boven had suggestions for future visiting pastors while on Island.  He suggested each pastor visit members of the church and keep a list available for the next pastor so no one would be missed.  He also had suggestions for the church car and its use.  The board decided not to get the major repairs done at this time since it gets so little use.  Just continue to monitor the situation.

Minutes of September Board Meeting:  Motion by Ralph and seconded by Bob to approve the minutes of the September meeting as written.  Motion carried.

Draft minutes of Annual Meeting:  One correction on spelling (Alana).

Financial Reports for August and September:  Very few changes on income or expenses for first month of new budget year.  Motion by Rose and seconded by Mary Ellen to approve financial reports for August and September.  Motion carried.

Worship and Music:  Plans for Christmas Eve service discussed. Christmas Eve day Sunday, December 24 a regular service will be held without a visiting pastor and the regular Christmas Eve service will be held at 6pm that evening.

Farewell potluck for Howard Davis on November 13:  The regular board meeting is also scheduled or that day, but will change meeting to November 6.

Women’s Circle:  Rose reported the Bite of Beaver was very successful.  Three more upcoming events for the church are the potluck for Howard, Thanksgiving Dinner and the Cookie Carnival.

Bingo:  Three more times to hold bingo for this year.

Old Business: 

  1. Special offering for hurricane victims:  So far $761.67 has been collected, however will continue to have buckets out around town until end of October, and disperse money on November 6.
  2. Bob has made contacts on where to send the money collected. He located a small Baptist church in Galveston, Texas that was heavily damaged from the hurricane.  Before a definite decision is made, Bob will also try to get information on a church in Florida as well. Final decision on where money will go will be made at the November 6 meeting.

New Business:

  1. Thanksgiving Dinner:  This year the dinner will be held on Sunday before Thanksgiving.  Suggested it be called the Community Thanksgiving Celebration.
  2. Endowment Fund: Rick Speck will be the local contact person for the Endowment Fund.  The #1 priority is to get to $10,000 before any distribution can take place.  A mailing needs to go out before the end of the year to allow people to get their donations in before 12/31.  Rick will draft the first letter and then send to Sara at the Charlevoix County Community Foundation for review before sending out.  It is recommended using the assistance of the Charlevoix County Community Foundation as much as possible.
  3. Snow Plow Bid:  In bid notice add proof of insurance be included with bid.
  4. Outreach and Growth:  Frank Solle will be contacted to print more cards to be placed at Boat Co, Airports, and other locations about the church. 

Meeting adjourned at 5:20pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jean Wierenga, Recording Secretary


Moderator Judi Meister called the regular meeting of the Beaver Island Christian Board to order at 3:30pm on September 11, 2017.  Meeting held at Gregg Fellowship Center.  Also present were Mary Jane Lawson, Mary Ellen Dawson, Bev Vicstein, Rose Spershott, Bob Bass, Ralph Williamson, and Recording Secretary, Jean Wierenga.  Rick Speck was absent.

Mary Ellen opened meeting with prayer.

Judi welcomed new board members Bev and Bob.  Thank you cards to be sent to both Howard Davis and Jon Fogg for their service on the church board.

Minutes of August board meeting:  Two corrections to minutes:  Jon Fogg name omitted from August minutes, and the new policy for one week stay for visiting pastors in summer, should read mid-April thru mid-October.  Motion by Mary Jane and seconded by Mary Ellen to approve the minutes with corrections.  Motion carried.

Financial Report:  Financial report for August tabled until next meeting.

Worship and Music:

  1. Judi reviewed the changes in the Pastor list for the remainder of the year.
  2. Christmas program to be held on December 3.

Farewell potluck for Howard on November 13 being planned as a community potluck.  Howard will be here on November 12 for the last time to preach as he says he is retiring for sure. 

Women’s Circle:  Considering changing the Thanksgiving dinner from Thanksgiving Day to the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Bingo:  An extra game held on September 20 to replace August 23 cancellation.

Building Use:  Christmas Bazaar to be November 12 in the Gregg Fellowship Hall.

Old Business:  Endowment Fund agreement signed by Judi and Rose on September 13.

New Business:

  1. Election of Officers:

Motion by Rose and seconded by Mary Jane to appoint Judy as moderator. Motion carried.

Motion by Ralph and seconded by Mary Jane to appoint Rose as Treasurer.  Motion carried.

Motion by Ralph and seconded by Bob to appoint Mary Ellen as Corresponding Secretary.  Motion carried.

  1. Response to Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma: 

Motion by Mary Ellen and seconded by Rose to do a separate collection on October 8.  Motion carried.  Suggestion given to send monies received to a church in the area of the hurricanes so,  

Bob will look into where to send the money.  Bev will set out canisters around Island for additional donations.

Goals for this year: Main goal is to encourage church members to bring a new family each Sunday.

Be sure church bulletins are on racks at both airports and also put advertising at the boat company as none is there at this time. Place book marks at library. Contact the radio station about advertising as well.

Next meeting on October 9, 2017

Motion by Rose and seconded by Mary Jane at 4:55pm.  Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Jean Wierenga, Recording Secretary


The Beaver Island Christian Church regular meeting held on August 14, 2017 was called to order at 3:30pm by Moderator Judi Meister.  Also present were Ralph Williamson, Rose Spershott, Mary Jane Lawson by phone, Rick Speck and recording secretary Jean Wierenga.  Absent were Howard Davis, Jon Fogg, and Mary Ellen Dawson.

Judi opened meeting with prayer.

Correspondence:  A thank you note from Connie Boyle and Connie Wojan was received thanking the church for use of the Fellowship Hall for the annual blood drive.  Also included in note was their request for use of the hall on July 26, 2018 for next year’s blood drive.

Minutes of the July 10, 2017 meeting were approved by Ralph with one correction.  Change name Larson to Lawson.  Motion seconded by Rose.  Motion carried.

Financial:  Motion by Rose and seconded by Mary Jane to approve financial report.  Motion carried.

Proposed budget for 2017-2018 presented by Rick.  Motion by Ralph and seconded by Mary Jane to approve the proposed budget as presented.  Motion carried.

Worship and Music:

  1. Communion schedule reviewed.
  2. Judi presented an updated pastor list.  All Sunday’s covered at this time.
  3. Jean’s notes from meeting with Howard on August 6:  Jean reported that Howard recommends changing schedule to allow one week only stay for visiting pastor’s in the summer. 
  4. Recommendation for scheduling visiting pastors, beginning with 2018 schedule:    A new policy to be put into place beginning each year in mid-April thru mid-October for visiting pastors allowing them one week visit because of a full slate and also a waiting list.  Motion by Rose and seconded by Mary Jane to approve new policy.  Motion carried.

Women’s Circle:  Bake sale successful with over $1,000 received.

Bingo:  Going Smoothly

Building Use

  1. Memorial for Doris Shirk to be held September 2, 2017.
  2. Ralph has repaired chimney at parsonage and now wait for rains to check for any leaks.

New Business: Further discussion on Endowment Fund.  Board feels the church should wait a year, however a presentation will be made at Annual Meeting and leave it up to a vote of the church members when to begin.

Meeting adjourned at 5 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Jean Wierenga


Moderator’s Report (including Food Pantry and Benevolent Committee):  August 27, 2017

This report will highlight some of the events of the past year.  More in-depth information can be obtained from the minutes of the monthly board meetings, which are available for your perusal upon request—contact me if you would like to see the minutes of a meeting.  Bev Vicstein has offered to put the minutes on the church website after they have been approved, so we will do our best to get those minutes to her in a timely manner after the monthly board meetings.

This year marked the 54th   year of Beaver Island Christian Church as a church family, as a loving, caring community of believers, as an active participant in the community where we live.  God has been faithful for more than 50 years; we go into the future trusting that God will continue steadfast and unchanging,  “The unfailing love of the Lord never ends!  Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day” (Lam 3:22-23)—therefore we have hope—Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for good, to give you a future and a hope.”

Each week of our lives, no matter how busy we might be, begins in God’s house in meaningful worship.  We have been blessed and encouraged and challenged this past year by many visiting pastors.  Our God has been faithful in sending the right person at the right time to lead our worship service.

Pastors come to us in many different ways—sometimes it’s by recommendation of one of our current visiting pastors, or it’s by word of mouth because he/she had been talking to a friend who had recently been a visiting pastor here, sometimes the pastor had been a summer visitor to a church service, sometimes the contact comes from someone looking at our church website—God uses many different means to accomplish his purpose for Beaver Island Christian Church.

Beaver Island Christian Church is a popular destination for visiting pastors and the list of those who would like to minister here grows every year—to the point that the board decided at a recent meeting to schedule visiting pastors for one-week visits from the middle of April through the middle of October so that more pastors would have the opportunity to lead a worship service.

And, as I mention each time I give this report, if you know a pastor who might like to lead a worship service, please give me their name and some contact information.

The weekday Bible Study continues on Tuesday evenings with the visiting pastor as the leader. 

Other church activities this past year included a Christmas Musicale, participation in the community Thanksgiving service, the Thanksgiving dinner and the Easter brunch, the Women’s Circle Cookie Carnival, a Baccalaureate service in May for graduates of Beaver Island Community School.

Smaller, but equally important, activities were the Tuesday morning men’s coffee, summer picnics, and other small gatherings of our church family.

But we, as a church, also have a responsibility to our community.  We do not exist in a vacuum—we CANNOT!!  We are more than a church family; we are part of a community family as well.

The Food Pantry, a community Food Pantry housed in the Gregg Fellowship Center, fills an important need in the community.  The monthly distribution consistently assists 9-12 individuals or families.  In addition there are holiday distributions at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, providing supplies for a holiday dinner.

The Food Pantry is funded completely by donations of food and cash and by Fundraisers. 

For several years, the Food Pantry staff has provided a soup luncheon at the Christmas Bazaar for a free-will donation; another fund-raiser is the Trivia Quiz hosted by Stoney Acres.

It’s interesting to us how people step up with fund-raising ideas they have thought of:  Larissa McGinnity made a batch of pottery soup bowls and donated half of the proceeds to the Food Pantry for a month; Marie LaFreniere and Linda Wearn planned a Road Rally in July, with the proceeds donated to the Food Pantry; Andy Stebbins suggested the “Can” you help box at McDonough’s Market with the suggestion that shoppers buy an extra can or two when they do their grocery shopping.

Deb Plastrik has also written articles for the newspapers and BINN encouraging donations of leftover food when people leave the Island after a vacation here or when they close their cottage for the winter.

The Food Pantry would like to acknowledge the services of Larry and Mary Ellen Dawson, who purchase meat (from donated funds), repackage it and store it in their freezers at home—what a help that has been to the Food Pantry.  And Andy Stebbins purchased a new upright freezer for the Food Pantry.  We are very grateful for their contributions.

Current Food Pantry committee members are Beth Croswhite, Mark LaFreniere, Chris Heikka, Judi Meister, and Deb Plastrik.

The Benevolent Committee and the Benevolent Fund were established several years ago to help members of our church family and our community family when unexpected expenses crop up.  The establishment of the Food Pantry covers the food needs, so the Benevolent Fund can be used for other purposes such as assistance with heating bills, transportation for medical appointments, etc, or help funding needed items that insurance does not cover.

The Benevolent Committee members are:  Bob Bass, Jean Carpenter, and Judi Meister.  You can talk to any of these committee members when you are aware of a need within our church family or in the community.  All needs are treated with confidentiality.

A community Vacation Bible School was held early this summer, sponsored by the four local churches and hosted once again by Beaver Island Christian Church.  It was a fantastic 3 days centered around the theme of “Following Jesus, the Light of the World.  Bible stories were told to the 7-12 year-olds by Deacon Jim and Pastor Jan Beaderstadt.  Sue Duram told the Bible stories to the preschool children all 3 days.  The children learned that Jesus gives us courage (the story of Peter walking on the water); Jesus gives us direction (from the Sermon on the Mount) and Jesus gives us love (dying for us and coming to life again).

Every day started with spirited singing—lots of motions and movement; the Imagination Station and Outdoor Games were geared to the theme of the day. 

There were close to 40 children each day and about 20 volunteers—group leaders and helpers, craft leaders, imagination station, snack ladies.   How great it was to see our facilities bouncing with such activity!!!

Almost 4 years ago now, Beaver Island Christian Church began hosting bi-weekly bingo nights for the community.  This continues to be a time for good fellowship as well as an opportunity to add a few dollars to the Building Fund for improvements to the Gregg Fellowship Center. Plans are to continue with bi-weekly games in the fall and spring and weekly games in the summer.  There is no bingo during the winter months of November—March.

Throughout its existence, Beaver Island Christian Church has been a congregation of volunteers, a congregation of God’s servants—doing what needs to be done as a service to Him.

Each event, large or small, requires preparation and set-up—the chairs and tables don’t magically arrange themselves in the Fellowship Center for Thanksgiving and Easter, someone sets up chairs for the Christmas Cantata or a funeral, someone takes those chairs down afterward, someone volunteers to be a worker or a caller for bingo, someone weeds in the church garden, someone changes lightbulbs or washes windows, someone waters flowers, someone arranges flowers in church or bakes cookies or serves coffee, someone cleans the parsonage after the pastor family leaves.

Romans 12—some comments

We truly are a congregation of volunteers, a congregation of God’s servants.

In this vein of volunteerism as God’s servants, I once again add 2 comments:

First of all, ALL OF US can volunteer to do something; God has given each of us gifts or talents that we can use in His church.  Quite often it is the same people who volunteer time and time again; God can use each one of us in some capacity.

Second, let’s not forget to say thank you.

No one does something as God’s servant expecting a thank you, but that does not mean that he/she does not appreciate a thank you.  Each of us can participate in this way also.  A heartfelt thank you is a blessing to both the receiver and the giver.

As a congregation, we thank the worship leaders, the music leaders, those who provide special music, those who lead responsive readings or serve as greeters, those who teach Sunday School, those who serve coffee and cookies, those who work behind the scenes to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. 

As board moderator, (introduce board) I thank each board member for your faithful and careful service, your prayerful concerns, your thoughtful insights as we discuss church matters large and small. God is using each one of you for His purpose for Beaver Island Christian Church.

Many of you pray for this church on a regular basis.  As moderator and board, we thank you for your prayers as we make decisions regarding church matters.  And we would like to remind you that since this is YOUR church—the board is always open to your suggestions.  Feel free to share your thoughts or concerns with any board member at any time and rest assured that we will discuss that concern at a board meeting.

And remember, you are welcome to attend board meetings at any time as a visitor.

Please continue to pray for Beaver Island Christian Church, for our church family, for our visitors, for the community in which we live and whom we try to touch with our love and caring outreach.

Respectfully submitted,

Judi Meister, board moderator

August 27, 2017  


If you or one of your visitors is willing to play piano or organ or provide special music, please contact Judi or sign up on the bulletin board.


The annual meeting of the Beaver Island Christian Church was called to order at 11:00am on August 26, 2016 by Moderator Judi Meister.

Howard Davis opened the meeting with prayer.

The minutes of the annual meeting held on July 26, 2015 were unavailable for the meeting.

Election for board members held, with nominating committee to count ballots.


  1. Women’s Circle:  President of the Women’s Circle, Rose Spershott gave a detailed report of the accomplishments of the Women’s Circle over the past year.  The Bite of Beaver, Thanksgiving   Dinner, and Cookie Carnival were all successful. The annual bake sale raised over $4,000.  Rose thanked Jean Carpenter, who recently retired as head of the circle for her many years of service to the Circle.  Also recognized Mary Ellen Dawson for cleaning and taking care of the parsonage.
  2. Moderators Report: Judi Meister gave a full report of the events of the church for last year.  2016 was the 53rd year for the Beaver Island Christian Church.  The visiting Pastor list continues to be full each month.  Weekly Bible study each week on Tuesday evenings with visiting pastor presiding.  Christmas Cantata held again past year.  Men’s coffee held each Tuesday morning at Dalwhinnies.  Food Pantry fills needs in community.  Serving on Food Pantry committee are Beth Crosswhite, Mark LaFreniere, Deb Plastrik and Judi Meister.  The Benevolent Fund assists those in need with heating costs and transportation.  Serving on the Benevolent Fund committee are Bob Bass, Jean Carpenter, and Judi Meister.  Bible School which is supported by all the Island churches had 35 children attend this year and 20 volunteers helped.  Bingo has been going in the summer months only for 4 years now and has been well attended.  Furnace to be replaced this year.  Bev Vicstein is the new Sunday School Teacher.  Judi also thanked all those who volunteer and recognized all the board members.
  3. Business Managers Report:  Rick Speck gave a detailed report of the financial status of the Church.  Offerings down over past year as well as expenses down also. Motion by Ed Troutman and seconded by Ralph Williamson to approve the financial report.  Motion carried.

Presentation of Proposed Budget:

Rick Speck presented the proposed budget for 2016-2017.  Motion by Jon Fogg and seconded by Bob Bass as presented.  Motion carried.

Determination of Financial Institution:

Chair will entertain a motion to recommend that he checking account remain at Charlevoix State Bank, and that any certificates of deposit shall be placed in a financial institution recommended by the Business Manager and Board Treasurer and approved by the Administrative Board.          

So moved by Jean Wierenga and seconded by Bob Anderson.   Motion carried.

Election Results:

Mary Ellen Dawson and Mary Jane Lawson were elected as the new members to the Board. 

Comments:  Howard Davis thanked Judi Meister for all she does for Beaver Island Christian Church.

Meeting Adjourned at 11:40am.

Respectfully Submitted:  Jean Wierenga


                                                                                                April 23, 2017

Dear Christian Friends,

Greetings from Beaver Island Christian Church.  It is good to greet each of you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

It seems unreal as we usher in 2017 and the year 2016 passed by so quickly and again it is time for our yearly newsletter.  The articles in this newsletter are compiled by many in the church who are representatives of various committees and church organizations that will share the ministries of the church from their perspective.

Winter was slow in coming again this year.  We did not get any snowfall to speak of until almost Christmas and then it was mostly rain mixed with snow.  We have dealt with a lot of rain and fog and very little snow but lots of ice.  Most people that lived on the island for a long time have not seen so many foggy days in a row as it has this year.  We had long periods where the planes could not fly because of the fog.  One particular day we started with sunshine then fog then icy rain then sunshine and ended with fog. The joys never end when you live on an island. Each day we grow closer to a warm spring day.

Be sure to check out the church website at  Thank you to Alan and Bev Vicstein who keep our website running smooth and updated.

Our church newsletter is going out a little late this year but the news that it contains is still very much newsworthy.  We hope that each and every one of you had a most Joyous and Blessed Easter.

Together in God’s service,

Mary Ellen Dawson

Corresponding Secretary


Easter Sunday service 2016 was led by Pastor Dan Johnson with a great message of hope and the miracle of the Resurrection.  There were 28 attending service and afterward everyone went to Gregg Fellowship Center for Easter brunch hosted by our church. A very delicious meal was served to about 73 people from our church and community.  Ham, scrambled eggs, baked French toast, pancakes and many kinds of coffee cakes, rolls and fruit rounded out the meal.  The rain did not dampen the day as a wonderful time was had by all.

A new furnace was installed in the church this past fall.  The new furnace will be more efficient and be less expensive to operate for the church.  The good news, the furnace is fully paid for through fund raisers and church money.  It is amazing that as a small church, our members are so very generous in the needs of the church.


April: 16,23,30  Jan Beaderstadt

May:  7th- Howard Davis;  14th– Mark Bonham;  21st– Steve Boven; – 28th Paul Scaringi, Duluth MN.

June:  4th– Dan Johnson; 11th– Gene Drenth;  18th– Jennifer Ryder, Holland MI;  25th– Jan Beaderstadt.

July:  2nd– Karl Hinkle Music Ministry;  9th– Mike Gafa;  16th– Joseph Fox;  23rd– Ed Ross;  30th– Todd Sutton.

August:  6th– Todd Sutton;  13th– Gene Drenth;  20th– Dan Johnson;  27th– Pete Harris.

September:  3rd– Pete Harris;  10th & 17th– Greg Lawson;  24th– Steve Boven.

October:  1st– Dan Johnson;  8th– Howard Davis;  15th– Gerry Heyboer;  22nd– Josh Johnson; 29th– Bob Whitlock.

November:  5th– Bob Whitlock;  12th– Howard Davis;  19th-open – 26th– open.

December: 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th– Dan Johnson; 30th  Open                                          


The Thursday morning ladies Bible study is currently studying the book of Isaiah.  We have a great group with lively discussion along with studies.  All ladies are welcome to join.  We meet either at the Parsonage or the Sunday school room at 10:30 a.m. 


Moderator Judi Meister brought to order the annual business meeting held on August 28th after the morning church service.  One of the items on the agenda was the election of two board members.  The current terms of Doug Amstutz and Mary Ellen Dawson were expiring.  Those that were nominated are Doug Amstutz, Mary Ellen Dawson, Mary Jane Lawson and Satch Wierenga.  Other items of business including the budget and finances by Rick Speck, Women’s Circle report by Rose Spershott and report including the Food Pantry and Benevolent Fund by Judi Meister were discussed and then followed by voting.  Those that were elected to the board for 3 year terms were: Mary Ellen Dawson and Mary Jane Lawson.


Every spring and summer we look for volunteers throughout the season to help with the many needs of the church.  We welcome anyone who would like to help keep the church and grounds looking neat and tidy. Any one at anytime can come at their own time and schedule to do garden work or ask what needs to be done.  This past summer we had many volunteers who came forward to help.  We were overjoyed at the turnout to say the least!  We had volunteer students from CMU that came and washed all the windows and screens inside and out at the Parsonage.  We also had many from the church and visitors come who washed windows, screens, washed walls and cupboards in the church kitchen and did many landscaping duties. We were so very humbled and grateful for all these wonderful people who worked hard to make our church and grounds look beautiful.  We would like to thank the Andersons: Bob and Alana, Eric and Amy, Jacob and Sarah. We would also like to add to that list, Jaynee Boyles, Jean Carpenter, Howard and Mary Davis, Bill and Nadra Johnson, Judy Jones, Dave, Diana, Amy and Beth Kuhl, Kristen and Sean Gilbertson, Judi Meister and Lydia VandenHeuvel, Rene and Ed Rogers, Rose Spershott and Ed Troutman.  We thank those who volunteer whenever the need arises and faithfully help to keep our church and grounds looking nice.  Remember: Jesus Christ came to earth to serve and not to be served…and that should be our motto at Beaver Island Christian Church.

A new warming oven was installed in the Gregg Fellowship Center, purchased with funds from the Ladies Circle fundraisers.  The oven is a nice addition to the upgrades in the kitchen.

PARSONAGE NEWS:  Mary Ellen Dawson

There were a number of improvements to the Parsonage this past year.  New carpeting was installed in the living/dining room in October.  The carpeting is a light grey fleck that complements the color scheme.  The bathroom and small ante- room off the bathroom were painted a soft yellow and trimmed in white.  The Parsonage now has Wi-Fi for all visitors with computers.  A new Shark vacuum and a De-Humidifier were purchased for the Parsonage also.  The de-humidifier is a necessary item to ward off dampness in the summer months and helps with the steam from showers since the bathroom does not have a vented fan.  The back entrance and kitchen walls were washed and the furnace room was cleaned out. We have had many positive comments from visiting Pastors and their wives on all the upgrades.  We strive to improve and make the Parsonage an enjoyable place for all our visiting pastors and their families.


May 1st was the Baccalaureate service for the graduates of the Lighthouse School.  Seven students were honored and given Bibles with their names imprinted on them.  Congratulations and best wishes to Trace Butler, Cody Dooley, Acacia DuHart, Jordan Marsh, Aurora Sizemore, and Dustin McPherson.

May 8th was the Baccalaureate service for the graduates of Beaver Island Community School.  Three students were honored and presented with Bibles with their names imprinted on them.  Congratulations to Sarah Avery (Valedictorian), Zack Bousquet and Emily Burton.  Also Honored was Ryan Boyle who graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy.


A Community Vacation Bible School was held early in the summer of 2016, sponsored by the four local churches and hosted once again by Beaver Island Christian Church.  It was a fantastic 3 days centered around the theme of “Conquering Challenges with God’s Mighty Power”.  Bible stories were told to the 7-12 year-olds by Chelsea Reynholt, a seminary student from Holland Mi, and by Deacon Jim.  Sue Duram told the Bible stories to preschool children a 3 days.  Every day started with spirited singing—lots of motions and movement.  Each day the children learned something about God’s almighty power. 

God has the power to provide (the story was titled “God Provides for Elijah”)

God has the power to comfort (“God Speaks to Elijah in the Still, Small voice”)

God has the power to forgive (“Jesus dies on the Cross to Take Away our Sins and then Comes Back to Life”).

There were close to 35 children each day and about 20 volunteers—group leaders and helpers, craft leaders, imagination station and snack ladies.  An exciting new addition was the introduction of outdoor games that reinforced the Bible Point of the Day.  How great it was to see our facilities bouncing with such activity!!!

June 27-29 are the dates set for VBS 2017.  The theme this year is “Following Jesus, the Light of the World”.  Volunteers will be needed.  Please pray how God can use you.  Please pray for staff.  And, most of important, please pray for the children who will be attending VBS.

SUNDAY SCHOOL:  Bev Vicstein

This past summer was my first year to teach Sunday school.  My format for Sunday school was to begin each week with the following questions:  1-What has God done for you this week? 2- What have you done for God this week?  3-Have you done something really good for someone else this past week?  4-Is there someone you know who needs our prayers?  From there we moved on to Bible lesson/Scripture followed by a craft relating to the story, and ending with a closing prayer.  Some of the stories we covered were Jonah and the Whale, Parable of the Wise and Foolish builders, Noah and the Flood.  One week we discussed prayer and each child created a prayer tree and added names and causes to the leaves on their tree.  I am very blessed and grateful to have Alana Anderson and Kim Mitchell as substitute teachers when I am away.  I have enjoyed meeting and getting to know each child and look forward to seeing them all again this summer.


Church picnics were held at 6:00 every Tuesday evening at GFC.  A picnic theme table service greeted members of the church and their guests as they gathered each week for a pot luck dinner.  Everyone enjoyed their time together and would like to extend an invitation to others to join in the festivities this next summer.  More info will be in future bulletins starting in June followed by Bible Study.


Alana Anderson and Sandy Howell were in charge of the August summer bake sale.  Alana wanted the sale monies to go toward a warming oven for the GFC kitchen at a cost of $2,595.00 and said she had a matching funds donor.  The Andersons and Howells arranged the tables artfully to receive all the delicious breads, cakes, pies and other baked goods donated by church members. The sale and matching funds brought the sale total to a whopping $4,119.00!  Great job ladies! The money was also used to purchase the new carpeting for the parsonage, at a cost of $1,575.00.

October 1st was Bite of Beaver on the Island with Alice Crown, Pat Rowley in charge of the “Heavenly Desserts Table.”  The table was loaded down with pies, cakes and desserts of all kinds that were donated by our church members. Profit made from the sale was $341.00.

Trunk or Treat was held on October 31st at GFC.  Rose Spershott was in charge of the event.  There were ghosts and goblins in a wide array of costumes, greeted by huge inflatable characters loaned by Paul Niehaus and decorated tables full of treats. All the party-goers had a fun time and feasted on soup, chili, chips, cookies brownies and cider for a donation to warm the participants. 

Cookie Carnival was held on Saturday December 10th this year.  Usually the sale was held on a Thursday, but this year we heard many comments from the Islanders that they wished it was on a Saturday, so all the working people could attend the event.  Preparation began on Wednesday before the sale with Rose Spershott and Betty Scoggins making dough for the party cookies and Nutmeg Logs.  Later more volunteers arrived to mold and get them ready on cookie sheets for baking. Thursday’s volunteers came and baked more cookies and frosted nutmeg logs.  More volunteers folded boxes and got pre-orders ready and getting tables ready for the sale. The hall was decorated with many Christmas decorations and the tables laden with cookies and breads of all kinds.  The morning of the sale many people from the church and community brought in baked goods and cookies and candy that they donated to the sale. People were lined up at the door waiting for the sale to begin. Profit from the sale was $1,173.00.  Next year we will have to add more cookies because of the demand.  It was a great sale and a huge thank you to all who worked so hard and donated bake goods to make this possible.


The Beaver island Food Pantry, a community food pantry housed in the Gregg Fellowship Center, fills an important need in the community.  The monthly distribution consistently assists 10-12 individuals or families, more in the winter.  In addition there are holiday distributions at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, providing supplies for a holiday dinner.

The food Pantry is funded completely by donations (food and/or cash) and by fund-raisers.  We provide a soup luncheon at the Christmas Bazaar for a free will donation; Stoney Acres hosts a Trivia Quiz to support the Food Pantry; Larissa McGinnity (a local potter) made a special batch of stoneware and bowls and donated half of her sales to the Food Pantry.  These are just a couple of ways we raise money for the Food Pantry.

Deb Plastirk has also written articles for the newspapers and Joe Moore’s website, Beaver Island News on the Net, encouraging donations of leftover food when people leave the Island after a vacation here or when they close their cottage for the winter.

Bill Detwiler graciously designated the Food Pantry for memorial donations in memory of Shirley, because she always loved feeding people.

Current Food Pantry committee members are Beth Croswhite (representing the school), Mark LaFreniere (representing Holy Cross), Judi Meister and Deb Plastrik (representing the medical center).   

BINGO NEWS: Rose Spershott

Wednesday night Bingo is run by the church as a community outreach.  We have a license for Bingo to do this from the State Of Michigan and have to send in many returns.  Once a year we are audited by an inspector from the Charitable Gaming Commission.  Profits are not as high as only a small percentage of the receipts is allowed to be kept to cover operating costs.  Residents and visitors enjoy it as it gives them somewhere to go and enjoy themselves.  We played for 19 weeks during 2016 and our average attendance about 30 per session with a low of 14 and a high of 44.  If anyone would like to assist in this community service during 2017 please see Rose Spershott.

2017 HAITI MISSION TRIP: Ralph and Kim

 March 29th-April 11th, four adults and one teenager ventured once again to Mizak, Haiti to do mission work.  Both Sharon United Methodist Church of Manchester MI and Beaver Island Christian Church of Beaver Island MI helped greatly to fund this trip.  Thank You!

Kathy Martin was the team leader and this was her second trip to Haiti and her first as being team leader for this trip.  Besides leading the team, her primary work was with the women artisans as continue to develop specific artwork to sell in person as well as on-line.  Kathy spent numerous hours with the management of HAPI (Haitian Artisans for Peace international).

Kim Mitchell again taught a class for expecting moms which covered labor and delivery, breastfeeding and infant care and a class for new moms that focused  primarily on infant care to preschool child development and education.  The women that attended these classes walked up to 2 hours one way via rocky mountain paths. Each class had close to 30 women in attendance.  Kim and Ralph’s son Riley, helped with these classes as well as with two Saturday classes called Peace pals which are similar to Vacation Bible School with lessons by a Haitian pastor followed up with activities and games.  Approximately 50-60 children attended each Saturday.

Ralph Williamson, a Master Electrician and Larry Aiken, an Industrial Electrician continued their training of several Haitian men that were also just ending their six month electrician formal classes.  Ralph and Larry taught the students how to read and understand basic ladder wiring diagrams and provided hands on experience for them to practice on using relays to activate different warning devices that would later be installed on the solar system for fault warning.  Also a class was taught on conduit bending to give them experience for later use. The students were also instructed on trouble shooting the electrical system that is supplied by the solar system.  In Haiti that piece of paper that the students received for completing the six month training course was like “gold” for them.  It was with great pride to hand each of them their certificates.  With these certificates these men now have value to their lives.

When not working, the team spent numerous hours visiting with Haitian friends they have made in previous years, dining on specially prepared Haitian food.  Spending evening on the balcony discussing their daily devotion, provided by  Pastor Pete Harris. While this team was small in number, it was agreed that many important projects were accomplished and everyone was proud in the ways their skills, their passion, and their love for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

We are sorry that pictures provided with these articles were not able to be included because of computer problems.


We are sorry to report the death of Harold Kruse, a most loved Pastor that has served us many times on the Island.  Harold passed into the loving arms of Jesus in December just before Christmas.   He will be missed dearly by his wife Naomi and family and all of us who had the opportunity to know him.  Harold and Naomi stayed all winter some years to serve with us and participate in the many functions of the church and what the Island had to offer.  He will always leave an everlasting memory for all of us who knew this kind and gentle man.  A Celebration of Life will be held for Harold on May 27th at 2:00 p.m. at the Congregational Church in Central Lake, Michigan.  In lieu of flowers the family asks that you live your life as Harold lived his.  Let the Love of Jesus shine through you every day.

Shirley Detwiler went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, March 15th.  Bill and the family said that one of “Shirley’s favorite activities was feeding people.” Bill and the family request that donations large or small be donated to the Food Pantry in her memory.  Send to: Beaver Island Christian Church c/o Food Pantry, P.O. Box 21, Beaver island, Mi 49782.  “So much more can be said about Shirley and if you bump into me, I will be happy to tell you all about her.  She loved you and the life here on the Island.  I thank you for all the love you have shown her.  A celebration of her life will be held sometime this summer after all the summer people are back.  Details later.  Thank You, Bill Detwiler.”

Nancy Jo (Frey) Whitlock 54, passed into the loving arms of Jesus on February 13, 2017 after a battle with Leukemia, with her loving family at her side.  Nancy was the wife of Bobby Dale Whitlock, a visiting pastor to us here on the Island.  A celebration of her life was held on February 17th at the Lee Chapel in Muskegon MI, with Pastor Bob Whitlock officiating.  Nancy was a gracious lady who will be missed by our church and many on the Island who knew her.