cropped-10433196_10155014252950160_8630091949154276867_n.jpgOnce again our very talented children & youth will be performing a Christmas Program on Sunday, Dec. 11th. All participants must arrive at 3:30 p.m. for costumes and dress rehearsal. The play will begin in the Fellowship Hall at 5:30 p.m. We look forward every year to having our youth tell the Christmas story in creative ways, and invite you to come and experience it with us! Offering collected will go to Manna House. Bring finger foods to share for fellowship afterwards. If you have any questions, please contact Tricia Parrish or Emma Lee Dasher.

Note from Pastor Dave

Almost 40 years ago two Voyager spacecrafts were launched to  explore interstellar space. Included on the spacecraft were  recordings of sounds and images from Earth that other intelligent  life might interpret to get an idea about humans. Recently several  people were discussing if the opportunity came to create another recording of sounds and images of earth what would people want to include this time. Technology has greatly increased the capacity of recordings and so there was the possibility of many more things  being included. But one person among the group suggested that  more data (images and sounds) does not necessarily convey an  accurate portrayal of human life. She talked about human beings as more than what we read, more than the music we listen to, or capture as photos. We are greater than the sum of activities we engage in while living.

As Christians we individually need to be able to convey a meaningful portrayal of our Christian faith. Worship is needed, but faith goes beyond worship. Christian faith goes beyond the words print-  ed on paper and called the Bible. Christian faith is more than a name on a membership list. Faith is more than the sum of our  activities. It is what we do because we realize that Christ has  redeemed us from our sins. Faith is how we live day by day and  treat other people as we are motivated by acknowledging the eternal love and grace of God.

In the vastness of space no creature may ever find the Voyager spacecraft and understand those recordings. However, your daily living will be seen by others and hopefully be interpreted so that  they too will want to participate in the Christian faith because it has real meaning as revealed through you.

Pastor Dave

Trunk or Treat

imagesMonday, October 31, 5 – 9 PM

Join us Halloween Night for tons of fun and treats! We’ll have trunks full of treats and an award for the Best Trunk. Trunks will also be stations for fun activities.

5:00 p.m. Trunk Setup (come earlier if you need to)

6:00 p.m. Trick-or-Treaters begin to arrive

7:00 p.m. Trunk Judging

8:00 p.m. Clean up!

If you plan to set up a trunk please notify Patricia Parrish at 713-5706, Melinda Heidt at 429-5691, or Emma Lee Dasher at 658-0431.

Hope to see you there! (But then, we won’t know it is you, will we?)

Zion Parade Float!

Once again, Zion will enter a float in the Effingham County Fair Parade in Springfield. The Evangelism and Social Ministry committees have designed a creative float to go along with the Fair theme. Fair week is October 17th – 22nd. The parade is Monday, October 17th. Line up begins at 4:30 p.m., with the parade starting at 5:00 p.m. We are looking for members to ride on the float.


Pastor Dave Rasmussen’s Comments for October 2016

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 If you have concerns, call me (232.6215). Pastor Dave

September 2016 Note from Pastor Dave

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.

Pastor Dave

Pictures from 2015 VBS

Check out our Facebook Page for ongoing updates. See everyone at closing tonight.

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Vacation Bible School June 8-12, 2015!

Vacation Bible School June 8-12, 2015!

hometown-nazareth-vbs-logo-og-imageAt Hometown Nazareth, kids get to meet Jesus’ mother, Mary, and hear her stories of Jesus’ boyhood. As kids hear Mary tell about how she knew that Jesus was God’s Son, they’ll explore how they can stand up for their faith in everyday life. Come, join in the fun, with crafts, games, and snacks all designed to get to know Jesus better!

When: June 8-12, 2015

Time: 9:00 – Noon– ZFH

Ages: PreK (must be 4 by Sept. 2015 and potty trained) through 8th grade.

The 6th, 7th & 8th grade class will travel off site to lend a helping hand in our community. (These are the grades that your child completed for this school year.)

HELP NEEDED!! If you would like to volunteer in any way, please contact Tricia Parrish , Chair of Christian Ed Committee, at 858-2093 or 713-5706.

Confirmation Day…

confirmationWe are moving, and for the past month, every spare moment has been spent sorting and packing our stuff; deciding what to keep, and what to throw away. In the closet under the stairs, was a box marked “Barb – from a former life. Keep.” I had forgotten what was in it. So, I pulled it out, opened it up, and became lost in time. There were old year books, my orange and black pom-poms (Go Chiefs!), a rainbow-colored bandana, a peace sign necklace and a 45 vinyl record from my Acapella Choir days. And, there was my old, worn Bible that my parents had given me on my Confirmation Day!

I ran my finger over my name, engraved in gold letters on the front cover, then opened it up to the first page. There, in my mother’s handwriting, was written, “Presented to Barbara on her Confirmation, May 29, 1966, from Mom & Dad.” I sat back on my heels, and thought about my Confirmation. For two, long years, I spent every Tuesday evening in class with my pastor and several other 7th & 8th graders, memorizing the Small Catechism, and learning what it meant to be Lutheran. After all that written and memorization work, we still had to correctly answer random questions taken from the Catechism as we stood, sweating in our white robes, before the whole congregation! It was nerve-wracking, and yet wonderful, because, from that day on, I was no longer a child in the eyes of the Church, but an Adult Member.

I placed the Bible carefully back in the box with a smile. “How fitting” I thought, “that this Bible should be kept in a box labeled “from a former life.” My Confirmation had made a profound impression on me, and my life was never really the same again. And, now, I am privileged to help other young people prepare for their own confirmations in what is called the Rite of Affirmation of Baptism, which we at Zion observe on the Day of Pentecost. Each of them, in their own way, says, “When I was baptized, someone made promises for me about God. But, today, I make those promises for my self.” Then, I, along with their parents, lay my hands on them in blessing, fanning into life the flame of the Holy Spirit that has dwelt in them since their baptisms.

It is an awesome thing to see the Spirit take wing and move in their young hearts as it did in mine, as they leave the former life behind to move into the future that God has prepared for them. One day, they will pass the faith on to other young people. And so it goes, from generation to generation. Of such is the work of the Holy Spirit, and of the Church.

May you and yours be blessed this Pentecost season,
Pastor Barb <><

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,
which is in you through the laying on of my hands… 2 Timothy 1:6