If our Christian faith is only active during Sunday mornings, then we have limited influence in society. As Christians we do not have answers to the many problems of society, but if we do not offer any engagement outside of Sunday mornings we certainly will not have any influence at all in helping correct some of society’s problems.
Many people believe that politics and religion do not mix, but that depends upon what you define as politics. There are partisan politics in which some folks seem to think that God is on their political party’s side and it is their way or the highway. Think of the prohibition movement that led to the changing of the Constitution of the United States and the mess that followed when alcohol became illegal. It has been a long standing saying that you cannot legislate morality, but it is possible to legislate deterrence.
It is of some benefit to society that we have drunk driving laws and that the law can make people take DUI classes after their conviction for driving under the influence. Those laws came about because of politics working towards public safety, and public safety is something that Christians are to consider. It is not politics for this congregation to allow the use of its facilities as a polling place during elections. It is a service to the community much in the same way when the congregation’s facilities are used by other community groups such as the Scouts or the Farm Bureau. What is not permitted is the use of funds of the congregation in support of a specific candidate or political party.
In this time of sound bites and pseudo-reporting on the Internet, people need to consider a variety of opinions in order to make better decisions. It is true that money talks but so do ordinary voices. To help you in the area of advocacy you can visit the following website http://elca.org/our-work/Publicly-Engaged-church/ELCAvotes. If you have concerns, call me (232.6215). Pastor Dave
It’s Almost Time to Celebrate our 144th Anniversary!
Sunday, September 25th, 2016
Each September, we gather with family and friends of Zion’s congregation to celebrate the blessings God has bestowed upon us. As is our tradition, we will begin our celebration with worship at 11:00 a.m. Our service will be a time to thank God for the many years of service that this church has provided to the community and beyond. It will be a time to pray, sing, hear God’s word and share in the Lord’s Supper. After worship, we will continue the celebration in the Fellowship Hall with a buffet luncheon (provided). Please join us for a special day of remembrance as we rejoice in the past and look forward to an awesome event.
A note of appreciation to all the persons who participated in the Ministry Site Profile (MSP) surveys that were available after two worship services. The five MSP Task Force members combined all the opinions and have produced several summary pages. For those interested in looking at the summary pages of the raw data, they will be available on the tables at the entrance to the worship area. For those persons interested in a condensed interpretation of the data, continue reading.
There were 39 survey packets turned in with responses on at least some of the pages. There were 27 sheets of page 4 that had one or more hand written comments and another 12 sheets that contained no responses at all regarding the top priorities for the pastor to focus on for the first year of ministry and also what congregational members would do to help the new pastor focus on those ministries. At a total of 39 surveys, the packets reflect the opinions of a limited number of members in the congregation. Some of those opinions converge in agreement and others point in different directions. In other words, we will need to acknowledge that we are individuals and yet we need to work together, not for our own goals, but for the goals that will help in achieving ministry through the congregation.
The opinions of survey participants show the majority agreeing that the perceived critical tasks for the pastor during the first year are youth ministry, worship, pastoral care and visitation, and building a sense of community. There was also an interest in the pastor being an effective communicator and helping people develop their spiritual life. There is much ministry to be done, and in order to accomplish it, the members of the congregation will need to work together with each other and participate in a variety of activities.
Please be in prayer that the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be felt and will lead the decisions of all the many people that will be involved in the call process.
Get ready to serve! “God’s work. Our hands. Sunday” September 11, 2016
On Sunday, September 11th, Zion will join nearly 10,000 congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in a special day of service. We will put our faith into action by serving and sharing God’s love. We ask those who have them to wear their official “God’s work. Our hands.” T-shirt. You can also wear your Thrivent shirt. If you need a Thrivent Shirt you can contact Emma Lee Dasher or Mary Lou Thomas. On Sunday, September 11th, everyone is asked to bring a sack lunch to eat following worship. Our Social Ministry Team is researching a really great service project, and we will let you know what they have decided in the September Zionews. Whatever we do, there will be plenty of work for all ages and abilities. Mark your calendars and join your ELCA family for this special day of service!
Please join us for “Rally Day/Promotion Sunday” August 7th, 2016
Rally Day is the beginning of the new Sunday School year! This year, we will have a continental breakfast followed by Sunday School Promotions on Sunday, August 7th at 9:45 a.m. We would love for you to come by and see what we have available for you! We will provide a Continental Breakfast including coffee, tea, milk, juice, Danish, fruit, and donuts for you and your family. We invite you to come fellowship with us and we know you will get as excited as we are about what God has to teach us this new Sunday School year! Pastor Dave will commission Sunday School teachers at the 11:00 a.m. worship service. Looking forward to seeing you there! Thank you, The Christian Education Committee.
More than a few decades ago and across this nation on the West coast, public schools did not start until the Tuesday after Labor Day and did not get out for the summer until in June. So school starting in August and especially early in August does seem strange. Things that are not part of our experiences seem a little strange and at times foreign or even wrong just because they are different from our background.
Roman Catholic friends of ours became God parents to a baby girl some decades ago. The child grew up and recently got married in Indonesia (the homeland of her parents). Included in all the festivities was the wearing of tradition wedding apparel which was not in the style of United States apparel. The God parents were invited and traveled to Indonesia and were furnished with traditional wearing apparel. The pictures of the God parents showed them looking far different than normal, but they did it out of love for their God child. Because of our love of God, there will be times, when we will need to show our love by better understanding how people different from us are still God’s children and live different lives than we think. People receiving welfare cash assistance are not necessarily lazy slobs, but may have been laid off from their work. In fact in the 20 years since States started receiving cash welfare money in block grants, many States have used much of that federal taxpayer money for other actions. In Michigan part of the welfare money is used to fund grants to help pay for tuition at private colleges of even middle income students. People with criminal records may have made one mistake and that was being in a car with someone else when the car was stopped and drugs were found in the car. What is it like to be a police officer? What is it like to have people treat you differently simply because you are short, or over weight or your skin is a different color or any number of other “differences” that set you apart from others?
The apostles were a different group of people even as we think they were all from the same area. Simon the Zealot (a patriot of Israel) was not likely to think kind thoughts about his fellow apostle Matthew who had been collecting taxes and handing them over to the occupying Romans. Somehow with Jesus’ love they were able to work together and in their situation to even travel together to accomplish what was their ministry for their time and place. May we see not differences that separate us but the love of God that brings us together.
One of the many steps involved in calling a pastor, is completing a Ministry Site Profile (MSP). The MSP is about the ministry of the congregation and the context in which that ministry takes place. There are questions that need to be answered by members of the congregation regarding what types of ministry would seem to be the most important for the congregation as a whole to be involved in with the new pastor. The five member MSP Task Force will be announcing in the coming weeks the Sundays on which surveys will be available for members of the congregation to complete to help provide data in the MSP. Watch for announcements in the bulletin.
These surveys will ask for your impressions about the congregation and will also be asking what abilities a pastor needs to have to serve the needs of the congregation. The idea is for you to think beyond your individual perspective and preferences to think what would help the ministry of the whole congregation. Additionally, we need to realize that the society around us has changed and therefore what was needed may no longer work well. In the 1950s congregations would form by building a building. Now it takes the individual evangelism of the members inviting persons to participate in some aspect of the ministry of the congregation.
At Barnyard Roundup, kids discover that Jesus, their Savior, knows them by name, rounds them up, and brings them home. Kids learn that Jesus is with us always and forever– no matter what! Come, join in the fun, with crafts, games and snacks all designed to get to know Jesus better! When: June 6-10, 2016 Time: 9:00—Noon—ZFH Ages: PreK (must be 4 by Sept. 2016 and potty trained) through 5th grade. The 6th-12th graders will stay at church to lend a helping hand (These are the grades that your child completed for this school year.) At the end of the week on Friday, June 10th, there will be a Hot Dog Supper and Closing program. The Hot Dog Supper begins at 6 p.m. followed by the Closing Program at 7 p.m. We hope to see you there.
The days of summer vacation will soon be here, but some are already on their summer break, at least local students are on summer break. Some youth from Zion are going to participate in June in the Southeastern Synod’s annual Affirm event which should be fun and inspiring. Some families will take summer vacation trips that hopefully will be fun and relaxing. Summertime is a change of pace for some people and for others their routine continues on unchanged or only changed slightly.
For the congregation there will be some slight changes and there will be some significant temporary changes as in the case of providing a Vacation Bible School program for the first full week in June. The ministry of a congregation may change at times from the hectic-ness (and sometimes hectic mess) of Holy Week to a more relaxed schedule in the summertime (but only after VBS is accomplished). Yet there is always ministry to do and there is always the need for disciples supporting the ministries of the congregation with their presence, their abilities, their prayers, and their financial resources. There is no break from maintaining the facilities of a congregation even when members are absent from worship, whether it is winter or summer or at any time of year. So remember that even when you are away from worship because of vacation, work, illness, or any other reason, your congregation needs your continued financial support.