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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Harvesters engaged in the work of sharing the good news with God's people in our various states of brokenness, please be supported by these resources provided by Harvest USA at the "Finding Sexual Sanity in a Sex-Crazed Culture" conference Sept. 11-12, 2015.

Proactive Accountability document

Finding Sexual Sanity workbook

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

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Posted by on in General News

Please join us for the Ordination and Installation Service of Mr. Jeff Shamess this Friday evening, Oct. 3rd, at 7 pm. Jeff will be installed as our new Congregational Life Pastor. Refreshments will follow the service.

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The Capital Campaign continues as other ideas for raising money is being planned.  We will keep you informed of new developments.  If you would like to contribute to the New City Fellowship, use the handy online tab "contribute" or mail your check made out to Harvest OPC Capital Campaign and we will acknowledge your gift by way of a receipt.  Check out the web page for NCF and their Facebook Page for the latest updates.  See address on our webpage.  Any questions, you may direct them to me on this blog or contact the church and we will return your call.  Thank you!

Ken Vander Molen

Campaign Chairman 

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The Hills.....the runner's worst nightmare.  This is where I wore out fast.  My legs had reached their limit.  My mind was saying keep going but the legs said they need rest.  At this point it was all mind games.  With those large mile markers on the side to inform me of how far one has to go, I decided not to look at how far to the end but break up each mile into sections like run three quarters of a mile and then walk a quarter mile.  Look! There is mile marker 11!  Come on 12 I would say to myself and keep repeating it in my mind.  My mind got confused and I was saying 13 miles for a long time and then what showed up on a turn? #12?!  I miss-counted and had to run that same mile over in my mind.  That almost did me in!  A few more people asked me if I was ok.  My thought was why were these people asking about me?  I decided to take longer drinks and more of them.  The problem was that I stood too long and my legs were tightening all the more.  That was not good.  The next few miles I saw Mrs. Hunter, from church, and she was yelling and was taking pictures and encouraging me onward!  When I saw her, I know that she was in a location that signaled that John Ball Park was just around the corner.  That meant that I only had 2 and 1/2 miles to go.

John Ball Park, a place with lots of good memories but for the first time, today was not one of them.  You see that the plan was to run this U-Turn and which meant that for a while I would run away from the finish line and not closer to the goal.  This is where the organizers needed to add some distance otherwise it would not be a full 15 miles.  At the first turn into the U-turn, another family from the NCF church plant was holding signs and yelling at me to go and way to go!  I had to stop and chat just for a second.  (Now you know why my time was so long.)  I asked if the Hoven's had any water?  Right away they opened their backpacks and share some refreshing water with me.  It was soo goood!  Onward!  I made the next two turns and a man behind me yelled out in pain.  He pulled something and he went down.  Medical staff were right there to apply first aid and I realized that that could happen to me at any time.  As I continued to run, who was at the other end of the U-turn?  The Hoven family again.  They walked to greet me on the other side too!  My thirst kicked in again and I asked the second time, "Do you have any water?"

Off again to the sounds of cheers.  Go Army Strong!  Go Army!  Way to Go Army guy!  I felt I was back in the Army in 1973.  Felt good!  Now the road was flat and I picked up the pace.  "One more mile to go!", someone yelled.  O good, number 15 must be very close now!  I ran even faster for what I thought was an eternity.  And then I saw that big blue mile marker #14!  What?  Who yelled one mile to go?  Now I was really dragging and was walking and running off and on.  Just one more marker to go and then I was done with this.  There were more people now on both sides and I could hear more people shouting their cheers to keep going.  The tall buildings that looked so far away was now in front of me.  There is #15.  I can do this!  No!, no!, no!, why are all the runners in front of me still running past the sign of #15 mile marker?  WE need to stop.  Then it hit me.  Everyone calls this a 15 mile run.  What I did not know is that if one does the math, 25K works out to be 15 and 1/2 miles.  I have a half mile to go yet.  Then Mr. Hunter, a fellow elder and one who completed the 25K already saw I was struggling.  He came through the barriers and started running with me to talk me through this last stretch.  Everyone was yelling, Go Army! Way to go!  I saw my wife, my two daughters, and a few more people from church to get me across the finish line.  Thank you Lynne!  And then, the race was finished!  The organizers tell you to keep going after you cross the finish line because others are coming up behind you.  No worry there.  5,500+ had already gone before me but this was a race to finish for me.  My muscles all tightened up on me and I spent the next few hours walking like Frankenstein.  I picked up my medal for finishing and wanted my wife to drive me home right away.  I spent the next 1/2 hour in the tub soaking in epson salt and hot water while doing leg stretches.  For Sunday and now Monday has been a day of recouping and that is what is happening.  I feel much stronger this evening as I just came from two hours of Physical Therapy and a mile walk at the Grandville Mall.

Today I sent in my notice to Harvest OPC that I have retiring from running and have done so leaving on my own terms with a personal best (only time) for running the 2014 River Bank Run.   Time?  Who cares.

This is my last entry to my blog.  Thank you for reading and your interest in the Capital Campaign for the New City Fellowship Church.  Gifts may still be given by using this website and watch for more activities at NCF as our prayer is that God will use this new church plant for his work and glory.

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First, I want to thank all of you for your support and prayers as I have completed the task and goal of running 15 miles for NEW CITY FELLOWSHIP last Saturday.  I really would not have done this if it was not for your encouragement and prayers and I felt it all along the race.  God is good!

Second, remind me never to do anything like this again.  PLEASE stop me!

Third, the campaign is not over!  We are going to announce plans to start PHASE 2.  More details to follow.

Fourth, the money raised through PHASE 1 was just the amount that God wanted us to raise!  I give God all the thanks and for all the strength given to me to get to this point.

Fifth, I have been asked so many times, what was it like.  So, let me explain what happened Saturday.

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Sunday in church I felt the inside of my leg feel a little sore.  After talking with my PT guy on Monday, he said it was my hamstring and it was hurting because I ran Saturday with shorts and it was a bit cold.  He suggested I get some compression pants to insulate the knee area and keep it warm.  I went to Dick's and they are $80.  I think I will pass!  If I was going to continue to run, maybe.  Not me!  I hang up the shoes on the 11th of May!  Maybe if I would dye my long underwear black, that might work.

10 days to race time.

Ken Van the running man.

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After 10 days and two weeks of physical therapy, I am on the road again!  Today I ran 4 miles and with very little pain.  Jeff Carter at Apogee Physical Therapy has done a fantastic job to get me over the ITB Syndrome and he will continue to work on me three times a week for two hours each time.  I have a business meeting at the Mall of America next weekend.  However, I will take my running shoes with me and keep going.  The excitement is beginning to build as instructions on how I am to pick up my running number (#4509) and where to meet and when was sent to me by email this week.  I hope to update the total for the Capital Campaign next week.  There has been some contributions that have come in this past week and they have yet to be posted on the website.  Please pray that the ITB does not come back (it can) and that my new catch up running plan gets me back to where I should be strength wise.  Thank you all!

174.54 miles run since December 1

Ken Van the running man.

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I have ITBS.  That stands for Iliotibial Band Syndrome.  12% of all long distance runners get it.  (Sounds kind of cool to be included in that running group)  It is a pain located on the outside of my left knee caused by over use of a muscle that is connected to my lower leg bone, under my knee, from my hip.  My Doctor says that an athlete (like that term) is unable to "run through" ITB pain.  When one runs or walks, this joint rubs on a natural liquid "washer".  However in my case, it becomes inflamed and hurts.  This started two weeks ago and has gotten worse.  However, it is short term (good news!) and can be helped by physical therapy.  So, I have decided to take it easy a bit, see my physical therapist, and still hope to run May 10, Lord willing, and may have to run through the pain if it shows up on race day.  Pray for healing that I may reach my intended goal on May 10, 30 days away!  Thank you all.

Ken Van, the running man.

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12 miles are in the history books for this guy!  Saturday I laid out a run that went along the Kent Trails starting at 44th heading south to 84th then West to Wilson, South to 52nd, West to Canal and then the home stretch to 44th and Canal at our current, temporary residence.  Two people from church noticed me and commented on how sorry they felt for me jogging along.  I have to admit that I did a lot more walking and resting this time around.  I have developed a small pain when I run in my left leg but I am going to try to wait it out and not force the run.  With the race just 33 days out, I can smell the 15 mile finish line.

162.54 miles run in training since December 1, 2013

Ken Van the running man....

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Posted by on in Capital Campaign

With these much longer runs toward the goal of 15 miles, there is a need for planning refreshments (and Men's Room stops) along the way.  In planning last Saturday's run of 11 miles, and by the way I did it!, I ran from the corner of Canal and Rivertown Drive along 44th to Clyde Park.  There were two gas stations I stopped by to load up on water.  Then I ran South on Clyde Park to Harvest OPC, my church, where I earlier in the day stocked the church refrigerator with Gatorade and GU.  I liked the clean bathrooms and the use of the kitchen area during this stop :)   Then onward and homeward along 52nd street with a stop at the Pasma's home, a member of the church.  Thanks guys!  I was at this time reflecting on how long 11 miles really is!  With my last turn in sight, I began the last home stretch North on Canal and then my iphone reminded me that I had reached my goal of 11 miles, just 1/2 mile of my apartment.  Yea!!!!!  I stopped and called my wife to come and pick me up.  I was not going to go any farther than needed!

150.49 miles run since December 1.

Ken Van the running man. 

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Posted by on in Capital Campaign

Saturday is here.  My goal today was 10 miles and I did it!  Last week I pretty much ran a pattern after the letter "L" and found out that 4 1/2 miles one direction and then back again for a total of 9 miles was pretty boring.  This week I laid out 10 miles patterned after the block letter "O" and went around a huge block twice.  This was a whole lot more "fun" than last week.  Everything went well but I think I am going to need help getting to my feet tomorrow in church to sing.  Maybe they will do the singing sitting down. NOT!  Still getting around and excited about hitting the 10 mile mark.

138.99 miles of training since Dec 1

Ken Van the running man.

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What a great day!  Sidewalks have no snow and I can run there instead of the streets.  With the goal of 9 miles today, another first for me for distance, I did all those stretches needed before the run.  Now being in a new location to start from, I mapped out where I needed to go on Google Earth.  Because of the longer distance, I was told by my marathoner friend at work that I should start drinking Gatorade used in the Fifth/Third Run so that my body would get use to it and not reject it if taken first time at race time.  With stretches done, dressed for 20* more than the current temp, water, and Pineapple GU, an energy boost.  Everything seemed to work as planned and my air was just fine but it takes a bit of mind control to keep my legs moving.  After completing the run, I worked on preventing sore muscles from getting too stiff and took a nap.  By the way, I left out the waffles.  Never eat them 1/2 hour before your run.

128.99 miles of training since December 1.

Ken Van the running man.

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Posted by on in Capital Campaign

I have been away for a bit but here is an update.  This past week the running has been on a sabbatical.  Everything is fine but it has just been too busy with other things like working on a Mission Conference, moving, and having a birthday.  Now living in a different location, I need to figure out the new territory and the lay of the land.  Mostly, what streets are clear and safe to run on. :)  With a new location and those other things behind me, last Saturday I hit the road with 8 miles!  With one mile to go and running on Canal street heading South, I hear, "Way to go Ken!  Keep on running!  Happy Birthday!  You are doing good!"  I do not know who these people are!  So I give the thumbs up sign anyway and yell a thank you back and then I see who it was.  Eunice Pearce, my assistant at work and her husband, Ed, members of Harvest OPC!  Thank you guys for giving me that little extra to finish the last mile.  Next major goal is 9 miles Saturday.

Money has been coming in and I hope to update the total collected so far for the campaign soon. 

119.93 miles run in training since December 1, 2013

Ken Van the running man.

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Posted by on in Capital Campaign

Saturday night, while at the 3 mile mark of a 7 mile run, this white vehicle pulls up and rolls down the window and yells out, "Hey Ken, need a ride?"  Thanks for your kindness S Ter H and D Ter H!  :)  I did not take them up on the offer and I completed the 7 miles and look forward to the 8 mile run this coming Saturday.

110.93 miles of training since December 1!

Ken Van the running man.

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Last night I went to the Rivertown Mall to follow the task for the day.  I was required to walk for 40 minutes.  With pools of water in the streets and cars splashing it up on you if I walked, I figured the Mall was the best place to go.  This helped a lot as I could feel the strength coming back into my legs from all the running.  Oh the temptations that abound as I pass the fudge shop four times!  Those A&W Root Beer Floats, the Dairy Queen Sundaes, Biggby Coffee, oh, this is not good.  Back to the streets today ;)

Ken Van the running man


PS  I went to my CPA today and dropped some things off.  I showed them my flyer, that I carry with me all the time, and they wrote me a check for $50.00 just like that.  All you have to do is ask!

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Posted by on in Capital Campaign

I am thankful for advice given to me from someone in our office who runs marathons.  She is younger than I but I think she knows what I have been going through since December 1 in training.  In talking with her, I have decided to try to take it a bit easy on my legs.  I have been outside running every day except Sundays and one day because of a blizzard.  She said the schedule I am following is a bit agressive.  I am going to still run the distances but take more days off inbetween to rest.  Last night I ran at 10 pm during the snow storm in which we were getting dumped on with 5 more inches or more.  After 1 mile I just stopped because the street was just too hard to run in grooves made by cars.  Thanks M. T. for your comments!  This past Sunday, I was glad that someone was sitting in the seat in front of me in church because I needed that backrest to help me pull myself up.

103.93 miles in training since Dec 1 and working toward the short term goal of a second Saturday in a row of 7 miles.  Next week 8 miles.

Ken Van the running man

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I finished my 7 mile run today and it was a great day to be out!  This run brings my total mileage to 102.93 miles since December 1.  If this is what old feels like, I don't like it.  My lungs are just fine.  I get plenty of air running and that is not the hard part.  It is my leg muscles.  At least I get a massage tonight right Trudy, Trudy, Trudy?.  Looks like I might not.

Goal for next week is 7 more miles Saturday and then 8 the next weekend.  This is almost the halfway distance of the 25K.

Ken Van the running man.

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Posted by on in Capital Campaign

The snow is melting! (kind of)  I have exchanged my daily, all-terrain shoe for running shoes!  Stridders, located almost next door to me, did a great job in picking out shoes that fit my situation.  I wanted shoes that will last until May 10 and then they will be hung up and used in other ways.  The advice I got was to wear them all the time so that my feet can adjust to them.  All day I wore them and even ran 3 miles last night with them.  When I woke up this morning, I was wondering why Trudy had a shoe imprint on her back.

95.93 miles run in training since December 1

Ken Van the running man

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Posted by on in Capital Campaign

I got a call from Dan B and he is doing what we all need to be doing to get us to the goal of $200,000.  Dan is talking to everyone he meets and tells them about the campaign.  He is handing out flyers and asking his clients to visit the website.  You should adopt Dan as your campaign manager for your half of the goal.  As I always say, I know these are bad odds but Harvest members are going to have to put up with me against you!  Keep up the good work Dan B.!  See you at the finish line!

92.93 miles run in training since December 1

Ken Van the running man

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This Sunday

9:30 AM - Morning Service

11:15 AM - Sunday School

5:30 PM - Evening Service

Notable Events


Annual Congregational Meeting


2018 Men's Retreat


Anchored Spring Banquet


Anchored Mission Trip


2018 OPC Family Camp