Time To Slow Down

My mother had a plaque in her kitchen that read, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” I didn’t understand it as a child. Back then, my days stretched out before me like US 80 across Nebraska – flat, unwavering, and with no end in sight. There was time. Always, there was time to do the things I wanted to do. And if I ran out of day before I was through, well, no matter. There was always tomorrow. Today, I understand the meaning of that plaque all too well. My days seem to have gotten shorter. I hit the floor running in the morning, and sometimes, I don’t stop till I fall into bed at night, exhausted from trying to finish everything on my “To Do” list. But, the hurrier I go, the behinder I get. The busier I get, the more things seem to pile up, and running through the back of my mind is the reality that I may not have tomorrow.

I am not alone in this. I greet a friend. “Hi! How are you?” I ask.. “Oh, busy… busy.” he replies. So many people are so busy! It’s like someone pushed the fast forward button on the world and walked away and left it! Technology is advancing so fast that new devices are obsolete practically before they hit the market! New ideas are buzzing around like gnats, and for the average person, can be just as irritating. They are hard to see and harder to get a hold of! These are exciting times, and yet, most of us just need a little time to catch up! To stop the frantic pace long enough to catch our breath. To just slow down.

Lent is the time when we reach out and push the “Stop” button. It is the time in the Church year when we take time to make time – time to be alone with our thoughts and with our God. Time to sit, and think and rest. And, this year, it’s a Leap Year! This February, you get one, whole extra day – 24 whole hours – to let the dust settle around you, and let the earth catch up with itself. It’s not easy to get off the merry-go-round and quit spinning for a while. That is why we call the extra time you spend with God in prayer and worship and fellowship the Lenten Disciplines. But, it is time well spent. When you take the time to renew and refresh your spirit, the busy-ness becomes more manageable, and your “To Do” list less demanding. So, give yourself a break! Promise yourself that you will make the time to spend this Lent with God. Set aside the five Sundays in Lent to worship and share a meal with your fellow pilgrims at Zion. You know your soul is desperate for it!

Inviting you to take a slow ride this Lent…Pastor Barb <><

Stop and consider the wondrous works of God. Job 6:3

Book Of The Month Club Begins This Month!

At Home in Mitchford
At Home in Mitchford

Are you an avid reader? Do you love nothing better than to curl up with a good book? Then the Book of the Month Club is looking for you! At the beginning of each month, we will read a best selling novel that the group chooses, then gather at the end of the month to discuss the book we have read and talk about how the themes may impact our lives. We will begin by reading the first book in The Mitford Series, At Home in Mitford, by Jan Karon. You can purchase the book or check it out at the library. Our first meeting will be in the library in ZFH, February 16th at 7:00 p.m.. We will decide where our next meeting will be from there. Come on out and share your love of books with others who love them, too!

January 2012 Lutheran Youth Organization News

“Souper Bowl” Sunday
Each year thousands of youth across the nation collect donations for local charities on a day that most in our country spend money on the Super Bowl football game. We’ll collect money after Sunday School and after 11am worship for Manna House. Manna House is our localfood pantry that Zion helps to support. Help spread the word and askeveryone to bring a few extra dollars for the soup pot! This is also Scout Sunday. We will give special recognition to those who participate in our scouting program at Zion.

February Events
Wednesday, February 1st 6:00pm – 7:30pm: LIFE! (Living in FaithEveryday!) Come join us for Bible study! Remember, meal starts at 5:15pm. Youth should be finished eating by 6:00pm.

Sunday, February 5th 11:00am worship: Souper Bowl SundayYouth will lead the entire service and collect money for the national “Souper Bowl” campaign. All youth are asked to be there by 9:45am.

Sunday, February 5th 6:00pm – 9:00pm: Super Bowl Party – Youth/Parent Meeting At 6:00pm there will be a brief youth/parent meeting. I have registration forms for All GA and AFFIRM. Information about these events and a youth program update will be shared. Youth are invited to come join an evening of football, cool commercials and fun! Pizza and drink will be provided. Bring your favorite snacks and desserts to share. Also, bring any fun games you have and bring a friend!

Wednesday, February 15th 6:00pm – 7:30pm: LIFE! Come join Bible study!!

Plan Ahead
April 27th – 29th: All GA – 6th thru 12th grade
June 17th – 22nd: AFFIRM – 6th thru 12th grade

January 2012 Senior Citizens Update

Staci Ravita with LifeLink presented a very informative program at our January meeting. She told us about the importance of signing up to be a donor so life saving organs & tissues can be transplanted to help save someone else. Remember to indicate your willingness to be a donor when you renew your drivers license. Thank you to Charlie Heidt, Amelia Dominy, Judy Harmon, andCheryl Pannal for preparing a delicious meal served to 35 hungry folks. Thank you also to all those who brought additional food &/or helped clean up.Our next meeting will be on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22nd, at 11:30 a.m.

Bill Tyson from the Effingham Extension Office

Bill Tyson from the Extension Office will be our guest speaker. Plan to come and enjoy good food & good fellowship. Bring a friend with you!

February 2012 WELCA Update

Our regular quarterly meeting will be held immediately following worship on February 12th. All ladies are asked to join in this brief meeting to get anupdate on the work of your organization. Please planto attend! Zion will host a Leadership Training Workshop for all ladies in ourconference on Saturday, February 25th from 9:30am to 2:00pm. This workshop will be led by Southeastern Synod Women of the ELCA board member, Norma Reed. All ladies are invited to take advantage of this opportunity. As host, we will provide morning snacks and lunch. Please RSVP to Dana Lee Smith at 728-3227 by Friday, February 17th if you would like to attend. Also, let her know if you are interested in helping with snacks and/or lunch.

Please check the Zionews calendar page and make plans to join in one of our Bible study opportunities. If you’re not sure which one fits your needs, you are invited to visit each group. We would love tohave YOU involved! All Zion women are members of WELCA. You are invited to take part & get involved in your organization. Bible study meeting times and locations are listed in Zionews.

Mardi Gras Festival – February 19th

Featuring our 3rd Annual Chili Cook-Off

Beginning at 4:00PM: Sweet Treat Walk, Artistic Spin Station, Mask Decorating, Face Painting, Hair Wrapping, Fire Pits andand Roasting Marshmallows, Cornhole Tourney and Train Rides (weather permitting).

Beginning at 5:30PM: 3rd Annual Chili Cook-Off complete with Best Cornbread Contest. Put your money where your mouth is…if you like the chili and cornbread vote with a penny (or anychange). The chili and cornbread with the most votes (money) will be crowned the winners. All money raised from the contests will be donated to Lutheran World Relief Kits. Everyone is invited to enter your favoritechili and/or cornbread.

Beginning at 6:00PM: Chili and Cornbread supper, along with some great extras (salad, chips, cheese, sour cream) and a familymovie on the big screen. For dessert, we’ll have Mardi Gras king cakes!

RSVP Here.

Congratulations To The New Zion Leadership

The following are the results of the elections during last night’s Annual Congregational Meeting:

New Council Members:
David Harris
Elliott Foss
Gloria Sheppard

Congregation Vice President:
Charlie Heidt

Congregation Secretary:
Sherri Pittman

Sunday School Superintendent:
Teresa Sikes

Assistant Sunday School Superintendent:
Rene Atkinson

Sunday School Secretary:
Cheryl Pannal

Sunday School Treasurer:
Joy Hutcheson

2013 Synod Delegates:
Joy & Ronald Hutcheson


2012 Annual Congregational Meeting

The Annual Congregational Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, January 15th, 2012 in the Zion Fellowship Hall. Registration is at 4:00 p.m. and the meeting starts at 4:30. Please register at the door and get a voting sticker at this time.

The Agenda for this meeting will be finalized at the Sunday,January 8th, 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.

Elections will include Congregation Council, Congregation Officers, Sunday School Officers and Representatives to Synod Assembly and Conference. 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 provided.

A Note From Pastor Barb: The Annual Meeting is an important day in the life of Zion. Your prayerful input and vote do make adifference! We in leadership positions look to you and the Lord for the direction Zion is to take in the coming year. Thank you for serving God with your prayers and presence.