Ponderings at the beginning of a New Year…

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand in the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!” So, I went forth and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And he led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
Minnie Louise Harkins, 1875-1957

In a world that is always telling us to “Grow up!” I find this poem to be a gentle reminder that the best way to live our lives may be to become more child-like. Jesus said that unless we become as humble as a child, we will never enter into heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

A child will humbly place her hand into the hand of God in complete and utter trust that God has her best interests at heart, and will take great care to guide her over the rough and rocky terrain that is life. A child will humbly allow God to lead him where God will, confident, that when he falls, God will pick him up, dust him off, comfort him for as long as is needed, then set him back on the path.

Notice that even with such loving guidance, the child still may fall. That is the reality of living in a “broken” world; bad things do happen. But, a child is resilient. Unless he or she is sick, a child will bound out of bed in the morning, looking forward to the adventure the new day will bring, in spite of a set back. This is trust at it’s best.

Paul Tournier said, ‘The spiritual life consists only in a series of new births. There must be new flowerings, new prophets, new adventures – always new adventures – if the heart of man, albeit in fits and starts, is to go on beating.” Every New Year presents us with new opportunities to find the blessings God has prepared for those who love him. Every day of the spiritual life has a miracle hidden in it, waiting to be discovered. The spiritual life is an adventure, for those who are not afraid to reach for it.

As a new day dawns, may it find you standing at the gate of the year, child-like in your humility and trust, ready to put your hand confidently into the hand of God, ready to trod gladly wherever he may lead. For God is a faithful companion on your journey, and safer than a known way.

May God gladden your heart, blessing you and those you love with new flowerings, new prophets and new adventures in 2011!

Happy New Year!!! Pastor Barb <><.

Behold, I am making all things new… Revelation 21:5

January 2011 LYO Update

December Highlights

Thanks to all who participated in the Christmas program. You did a great job! Also thanks to all who went caroling and shared some holiday cheer. Special thanks to the Effingham chapter of Thrivent for providing money to purchase gifts to distribute as we went caroling. After caroling, we enjoyed a meal with our special guests. Thanks to WELCA for preparing a delicious meal!

January

Wednesday, January 5th 6:00pm-7:30pm: Youth Bible Study Please make plans to join us for this spiritual growth opportunity. Remember the meal starts at 5:15pm.

Wednesday, January 19th 6:00pm-7:30pm: Youth Bible Study Come enjoy Bible study with us. Remember the meal starts at 5:15pm

Sunday, January 23rd 4:00pm-5:00pm: Souper Bowl Sunday Planning Join in the planning for our annual Souper Bowl collection. Come learn what it’s all about!

Sunday, January 30th 12:15pm-until: Youth/Parent Meeting & Super Clean Project All youth and parents are asked to meet in the education building immediately following worship. Please make plans to attend as we make plans for our youth program. We need input from everyone. Parents should be prepared to complete health forms for youth. Following this brief meeting, we will clean both the education building and the church. For all who stay to help with cleaning, lunch will be served. Please make lunch reservations with Dana Lee by Sunday, January 23rd.

Plan Ahead

Sunday, February 6th: Souper Bowl Sunday

Friday, March 11th to Sunday, March 13th: All GA Youth Event at New Ebenezer Retreat Center

All youth in grades 6 – 12 are invited to participate in youth activities. For additional information contact Dana Lee Smith

January 2011 WELCA update

Another new year is here! As you begin this new year, think about how you can get involved in all that WELCA has to offer. Remember, every female member of Zion is automatically a member. All ladies are encouraged to take part and become involved in one of our four women’s groups at Zion. It is a great way to work with others and make a real difference. One way that you can make a difference is through our special Love Offering. All WELCA units from churches in the Southeastern Synod collect a special offering during the year. This year’s Love Offering will be collected to support campus ministry within our synod.

WELCA provides a great opportunity to serve God and others! Get involved! Please check the Zionews calendar for the monthly meeting schedule.

January 2011 Senior Citizens Update

The December weather was cold, but that didn’t stop a great showing of 41 folks from coming out and enjoying Christmas fun together. The meal prepared by Charlie & Melinda Heidt, with Cheryl Pannal and Judy Harmon as helpers, was delicious. Thanks to everyone who helped prepare the meal &/or provided food. Besides playing Christmas games, 64 toys were donated by the senior citizens, & later delivered to DFACS, to help many children have a fun-filled Christmas.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, January 19th at 11:30 a.m. Several representatives from the Effingham Hospital will be our guest speakers. They will be updating us on programs and construction work going on there. The meal will be provided. Our average attendance in 2010 grew to 41! Folks enjoy getting out & visiting with others while eating a delicious meal. Don’t stay home by yourself. Come join us at the January meeting.

The Annual Congregational Meeting

The Annual Congregational Meeting is scheduled for Sunday,
January 9, 2011 at 4:00p.m.
in the Zion Fellowship Hall. The Agenda for this meeting will be presented at the Sunday, January 2nd, Council Meeting.
¨ Voting members (all members of legal age who have
communed or made a contribution of record during the
current or preceding year) of the congregation are
encouraged to attend.
¨ Voting Registration is from 4:00p.m. to 4:30p.m. Please
register at the door and get a voting sticker between this
time.
¨ Elections will include Congregation Council, Congregation
Officers, Sunday School Officers and Representatives to
Conference and Synod Assemblies.
¨ The complete Book of Reports will be distributed at the
meeting.
¨ Please bring finger foods for our fellowship meal following
the meeting.
¨ Childcare will be offered.
We hope to see you all there!