Dear friends in Christ Jesus may God bless you this May, as we continue to celebrate the Easter Season.
Many things are happening in the life of the church and it is an exciting time for the people of Zion. The end of May we will have a New members reception during service followed by food and fellowship. We are quickly approaching Vacation Bible School, which will be the first week in June. Our older youth are preparing for
AFFIRM which is also coming up in June. The Congregational Council has voted to approve the use of the fellowship hall/ education building this June and July to LEAP learning, for summer programming for elementary aged children. They are a private business that was in need of a space to educate and look after children this summer. They will be providing financial reimbursement to the congregation for the use of the space. It will be an amazing opportunity for Zion to experience the joys and struggles of having a school or daycare like group in our space. I am sure we will grow in knowledge from the experience and be able to more accurately discuss any future plans for ways to engage the community through use of our facility.
With so much going on it is easy to get lost in the juggling of all the wonderful opportunities available to us; however, our mission is unchanged. Matthew 28:19-20, is the great commission where the resurrected Jesus sends out his disciples to make disciples of the whole world. This implies meeting people where they are, walking alongside them, loving them as the people God made them. In the midst of doing this we share the driving motivation of our lives; the faith, hope, and love found in Jesus Christ. It is in genuine care and truth that we do anything, not with ulterior motivations for church membership growth or tithing increase. The authentic love of neighbor, for the sake of ministering about the undying love of God for all people.
Sunday, May 5th at 10:00 a.m., everyone is invited to join with other Effingham Churches to participate in the 140th Annual Sunday School Convention at the Methodist Campground in Springfield. Line up is at 9:45 a.m. Zion has a long history of participation in the Sunday School con-vention, but will also observe our regular Sunday morning schedule of Sunday School at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 11:00 a.m. for those not attending the convention. If you go, please take a covered dish to share for the meal following worship. Those who worship at Zion can make it to the campground in time to be there for the meal. If you have questions about this event, contact Emma Lee Dasher. (912)-658-0431.
On March 24th @ 1:00pm there will be a Hosanna Helpers ministry opportunity for Zion Lutheran and friends. We have a chance to come help feed and fellowship with underprivileged youth at Forsyth Park in Savannah. We will be providing hot dogs, fruit cups, and chips for the kids to eat; there is a sign up sheet for donations of food and eating utensils for the event. We are asking that all donations be brought in by March 17th so that we know if we are short anything before the actual event on March 24th. The Event will also include a craft to do with the kids. We are still looking for people to come help serve food and help with the craft. If you are interested the sign up is in the narthex in the back of the sanctuary and Misti Vandenhouten (912) 237-1409 can answer any questions.
It’s time to celebrate and be thankful for our many blessings before we enter the more solemn season of Lent, when we reflect on all that our God has done for us.
Please make plans to join us for our Mardi Gras Pancake Supper on Sunday, March 3rd at 5:30 pm. Come! Indulge! Enjoy some warm, fluffy pancakes with your choice of sweet toppings, and the good company of your church family! Our LYO is hosting this fundraiser event. Please bring a donation. All money collected will help the Youth Group with their expenses to attend All GA and AFFIRM.
On Sunday, March 3rd, Zion will lead the Worship Service for the residents of Effingham Care Center in Springfield. Plan to be at the nursing home by 3:20 p.m. to sing songs, pray, worship and visit with these dear folks. It is always a blessing for us to serve in this way, and we know you will be truly blessed as well.
The Season of Epiphany is drawing to a close, with Transfiguration of our Lord the first Sunday in March. Ash Wednesday comes right after beginning the Season of Lent. Some may be asking what is the Season of Lent or how do I explain this season to my non-church family or friends. The Church Season of Lent is a focused time of discipleship normally involving individualized fasting and corporate dedication to deepening the community’s relationship with God. It is the time of the year that we encourage and pray for each other to be self-reflective on the things in life that draw us away from spending time in relationship with God. It is not that we don’t engage in discipleship all year round. It is during Lent that
we make a dedicated effort to go deeper than we have before, try something new in our walking with the Lord. It is when we are all striving together and encountering new struggles that we need each others support to persevere toward Easter Sunday. Then we can all rejoice in the victory of Jesus Christ over Death and Sin.
Now, I am sure that each of us has our traditional ways of practicing Lenten discipleship. By this time you have already finished your Girl Scout cookies and removed the last of the chocolate from the house. You have steeled yourself for the forty days to come of not eating out, or purchased your devotional study that you will engage in during Lent. However, I am going to make a special appeal this year to make Sunday School a part of our Lenten discipleship. Yes, I know that Sundays are supposed to be feast days and do not actually count towards the forty days of Lent. Even so, making the commitment to come to Sunday School for the season of Lent will enrich the season that is normally spent removing things from your life by adding an extra Christian fellowship time. The groups that we currently have are great and the education committee plans to introduce a new group looking at Christian music videos starting the first Sunday of Lent. For the season of Lent there will be breakfast offered before/ during Sunday School as well. Of all the seasons of the church this season gets the most attention because of its reputation in the world as a time of fasting. However, not all discipleship is based in denial of worldly pleasures. Some discipleship is based in spending time in the community of faith supported by the Love of God. May God bless your Lenten Season.
Every year, on the first Friday in March, Christians all over the world gather in houses of worship to offer their prayers for world wide justice and peace. Each year, the World Day of Prayer is planned by a different country, which chooses the theme for the day. This year the ladies from Slovenia prepared the program.
On March 1st at 7:00 p.m., Zion Lutheran will be hosting the service. Powers Baptist, Meldrim Methodist, and
Marlow Methodist will join with us to lift up our voices and prayers with others around the globe, praying for our world. Make plans to attend this inspiring multi-faith pray-er opportunity!