Fruit of the True Vine

The grapes are coming in. Large, purple globes the color of fresh bruises nestle among dark green leaves, hoping to escape the notice of the bluebirds that perch on the vines to cast a practiced eye upon the ripening fruit. It will be a contest as to who gets them first – the birds, or my neighbor, who is gearing up for his annual wine-making. The sweet, musky aroma of muscadines, warm from the sun, hangs in the air like the morning mist, making my mouth water. No wonder the birds have set up vigil! I, too, know how good it is to bite through the thick skin to get to the juicy pulp. And, I have been the lucky recipient of some mighty fine homemade muscadine wine!

It is no surprise to me that the first miracle Jesus performed was to change water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana. He did this not because he liked wine so much, but because he liked people. And, he loved his mother. She asked him to save a newly-wed couple from the real social stigma of running out of wine at their week-long wedding feast. Mary believed in her son, so much so that she didn’t have to ask him how he would fix it – she just knew he would. She told the servants to “Do what ever he tells you,” confident that all would be well. And, to please his mother, Jesus changed water into a wine so good even the wine steward was impressed! This tells us two things. First, that Jesus listens when those he loves bring their cares and concerns to him. And, secondly, that he has the power to change things for the better – even beyond our expectations.

How good it is to know that Jesus is willing and able to help us with whatever we bring to him! How good it is to be able to hand our problems over to him, then step back and let him take care of things in his own way, in his own time, believing that he will make something good come out of it all. This is the source of the peace that only Christ, the True Vine, can give. May the fruit of peace gladden your heart like fine wine.

Fall Blessings,
Pastor Barb <><

You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart… Psalm 104:14-15

September 2011 Lutheran Youth Organization News

August Highlights

Thanks to everyone who supported our Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser. After expenses, we raised almost$300!

Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

Also thanks to all who helped us raise $243 at our car wash!

LYO Car Wash

In addition to our fundraising activities, we managed to enjoy a “Back toSchool” pool party and cookout.

September Events

Wednesday, September 7th 6:00pm – 7:30pm: Youth Bible Study
Wednesday meal and Bible study program begins. Join us for games,music and fun as we kick off our Bible Study program. The meal beginsat 5:15pm. Please make meal reservations with Norma Ralph at(912) 313-2465.

Sunday, September 11th 9:45am – until: Anniversary Sunday
Join us for Sunday School, worship, fellowship meal and fun as we celebrate Zion’s anniversary. Please make plans to attend and join in this special occasion!

Wednesday, September 21st 6:00pm – 7:30pm: Youth Bible Study
Join the fun as we continue to grow and learn together.

Sunday, September 25th 12:15pm- 2:00pm: God’s Work – Our Hands!
Youth will meet to work on the fair booth for the Effingham County Fair.If you are interested in being a part of this special outreach, please join us! Bring your lunch to church, we will meet immediately following the service.

Plan Ahead

Wednesday, October 5th 6:00pm – 7:30pm: Youth Bible Study
Sunday, October 9th 12:15pm – 2:30pm: Work on Fair Booth
Saturday, October 16th 9:30am – until: Put booth in the Effingham County Fair
Sunday, October 23rd: Social – TBA

Please Note!!!! All youth who are assigned as crucifer and acolyte are asked to meet in Pastor Barb’s office at 10:50am for a time of instructions and prayer. All youth in grades 6-12 are invited to participate in youth activities. For additional information, contact Dana Lee Smith at 728-3227 or 665-1377.

Adult Bible Study Resumes In September!

Starting with our 1st Wednesday, September 7, 2011, Pastor Barb will offer a Wednesday Night Bible Study with what she hopes will be lively discussion on the scripture readings for the up-coming Sunday. We will meet from 6:00 – 6:45 p.m., every Wednesday before choir rehearsal.

We will post the readings for the next Sunday in the bulletin each week, so you can read and pray about them before coming to the study. Then, you can share how God has spoken to you through the texts with the group, so all may benefit from your insights. Or, you may just come and listen. This should prove to be a great way to deepen our understanding of each Sunday’s readings!

Christmas Program Plans are Underway!!

Zion’s Christmas program for our children and youth is being planned this year by the Christian Education & Music and Worship Committees. It will be performed on Sunday, December 11th at 5 p.m. Using the Biblical story of Jesus’ birth from the prophecy of Micah to the visit of the Wise Men, all our children and youth will have the opportunity to share their musical talents. Rehearsals will take place throughout the fall during junior choir rehearsal times on Wednesdays and during short rehearsals in our Sunday School classes. There will be a final total group rehearsal to pull the program together. Costumes will be provided to all participants from our church performance wardrobe. Our goal is to share the Christmas story in a simple and meaningful format. Please invite family and friends to participate and join us for a wonderful celebration of God’s love.

139th Zion Anniversary Celebration

Oldest Known Picture of Zion

On Sunday, September 11

th, we will be celebrating Zion’s 139thAnniversary!

Our 11:00a.m. worship service will include specialrecognitions & a baptism. Following worship, we will celebrate

with a delicious buffet luncheon, prepared by Dana Smith and his

Committee. Donations to help defray the cost of the meal may be

placed in the Sunday offering plate and designated for the luncheon.

Please invite family and friends to join us as we celebrate 139 years

of ministry here at Zion!