November 2011 Children’s Choir

Our children’s choir is a blessing to our church.  They have been doing a great job learning new songs and singing every Sunday.  Please let them know how much you enjoy hearing them sing. We will sing every Sunday and at our special Christmas Services. If you know in advance that your child will not be at one of the  Services please let me know.  We will have a Christmas party for the children on December 14th.  We will not practice again until January 11, 2012.  If you have a child that would like to sing in the children’s choir, please let me know. Thank you to  the parents and children who put a lot of time in practicing and  singing every Sunday. It is truly a blessing to our church to hear the choir singing praises to God every Sunday.  If you have any questions please contact Melinda Heidt 728-3288.

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November 2011 Senior Citizens

We had a record breaking 50 folks at our November meeting to hear Wanda Price from the Sanitation Dept. talk about the new recycling program coming  to Effingham Co.  The program should start in January and we will be able to recycle paper products, all glass, metal, aluminum, and plastic if it has a recycle symbol on it. A blue container will be provided to each household for recycling purposes.  – All at no extra cost to the taxpayer!

The Thanksgiving meal prepared by Charlie & Melinda Heidt,Cheryl Pannal, Judy Harmon, and Georgia Foss was delicious.  Thank you to them and everyone else who brought food to share and/or helped clean up afterwards.

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, Dec. 14th, at 11:30 a.m. A Christmas meal will be provided.  New toys (up to $5) will once again be collected to be given to needy children of all ages through the United Way.  (The toys should not be wrapped.)  If you don’t want to shop for a toy, you may bring several dollars to donate  towards the purchase of toys.  Bring a friend, and come on out for good food and fellowship during the holiday season.

The Miracle on Your Street

We pushed ourselves away from the table, groaning with pleasure and patting our bellies – another Thanksgiving dinner resting snuggly under our belts. We stood with difficulty, and ambled on out to the living room to enjoy another family tradition – watching the original version of The Miracle on 34 th Street. We love to watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in black and white and are delighted every year when eight year old Susan discovers that her friend, Kris Kringle, who she at first thinks is just a nice old man with whiskers, really is Santa Clause! By the end of the movie, she has come to believe.

One of the most poignant scenes in the movie is when the children line up at Macy’s to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. Susan watches with growing amazement as Kris, the store Santa, seems to know what each child wants before they ask him! Then, a little orphan girl from Holland steps up. She looks sadly at her feet as her adoptive mother explains that she won’t be able to tell Santa what she wants for Christmas, because he doesn’t speak her language. But, Kris breaks in and greets the child in her native tongue. Her eyes light up, and she grins with delight! “Oh, Sinter Klaas!” she cries, as she throws herself onto Santa’s lap. Her grief and homesickness vanish for a time as they sing a familiar carol together, and talk of how Christmas is done in her own country. For just a little while, her strangeness vanishes, and she feels at home. Better than the gift she hoped to receive on Christmas morning is the gift she is given at that moment – the gift of belonging.

All of us have the basic human need to feel we belong, somewhere, to someone. That is why Christmas is both the most loved and the most difficult holiday of the year. When you are surrounded by family and friends, and have enough of all you need, it is a celebration indeed! But, when you are alone, or out of work, or ill, it can make you feel like a stranger – an outsider, standing on the sidelines, watching the party going on, with no one who speaks your language.

But, a miracle has happened on your street! Jesus knows what you need before you even ask him! He speaks to you in a language that you can understand, and makes your eyes light up! He draws you into the family of God; makes you a part of something so wonderful, you can’t help but grin from ear to ear. He gives you the gift of belonging, and heals your homesick heart. So, don’t spend Christmas looking at your feet, feeling like you don’t belong! Come! Spend your Christmas as a part of the Zion family. Let the carols lift your spirits. Let the story of Jesus’ birth become a part of your story. Believe that miracles do happen! Let one happen to you!

May the song of the angels fill your days with joy!

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Barb <><

“It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world” John 4:4