Relay for Life Update

I would like to thank all of you for supporting the Zion Relay for Life Team. With your help we surpassed our goal. Our team raised over $2400 to help support cancer research. Mckenzie Lott won the kid walk by raising the most in that division. For all of those who came out, thank you. Those who spent the night and participated in the Redneck Games and won were Abby Hutcheson and Jody Dixon, Great Job Ladies!!! If you missed the fun we will be having a team next year and we can’t wait to see you there.

Cheryl Pannal

Senior Citizens Update

WOW! There were 45 folks playing Bingo at our March meeting, and everyone went home with at least one roll of toilet paper and/or other prizes that were given out! (Thank you to the Sisters of Faith Circle for donating 10 jars of soup mix as prizes.) Everyone had a great time winning gifts.
Thank you to Charlie & Melinda Heidt, Georgia Foss, and Cheryl Pannal for the delicious meal they prepared and to those who brought food to share. Thanks also to those who helped with cleanup.
At our next meeting on April 20th, Sgt. Ed Myrick from the Sheriff’s office will speak to us about the project “Lifesaver.” – (That’s where a person wearing a special bracelet can be located if they wander off.) Plan to come out starting at 11:30 a.m. to enjoy food, fellowship, and an educational program.

2011 Vacation Bible School – Son Surf

Our theme this year is “SONSURF BEACH BASH.” Classes are for ages 4 (by Sept. 1, 2011) through 5th grade. Please remember to register your children for VBS and we are also asking that you tell your friends &/or bring them with you. We have a week of fun activities planned and would love to share these with the community. Forms will be placed in the rear of the Church and may be turned in to Cheryl Pannal or Teresa Sikes. We are asking for donations of the following items: Peanut Butter (creamy), Jelly, Cookies, Potato Chips/Cheetos. Please see Cheryl or Teresa if you have any questions about donating snacks.

If you wish to volunteer, it is not too late. We will be setting up on Sunday, June 12th at 3 PM.

The whole congregation is invited to the Friday night 7 PM closing program & hot dog supper. Please bring a food item to share that goes with hot dogs.

Also, “Surf’s Up” is the movie being shown that night, planned for outside, at 8:30 PM, so plan to stay for that. Thank you, and we look forward to having a fun filled week because you know we all love going to the Beach and we are bringing the Beach to Zion with the Bible Beach Bash! Please contact Cheryl at 772-5465 if you have any questions.

The Great Gift of Easter

It is still dark as night. The sun has not yet topped the trees. A slight breeze blows, breaking the mist into long fingers that twirl among the gravestones, wispy and white. We gather around the bonfire, a lit candle in our hands, grateful for the light and each other’s company, as we wait for the dawn.

There is something so very meaningful about gathering on the edge of a cemetery to await the Easter sunrise. The contrast between darkness and light, life and death, is vivid. You can literally reach out and touch it. The memory of loved ones long gone is sharp, and the longing to see them again intense. You speak in whispers, and move slowly as you wait for the music to begin – the sound that pushes the shadows away, and makes your heart rise and fall with the melody. You yearn for the words; to hear once again the promises of Easter – the empty tomb, the angel voices, the risen Lord, alive and well! And, as the sun spills its liquid gold over you, the reality of the resurrection races through your veins, and you throw back your head, and cry, “He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”

We Lutherans live in the shadow of the cross. We remember the life, suffering, and death of Jesus all the time. We follow him out into the world, carrying his cross before us. But, the center of our faith is the resurrection! Because, without the resurrection, the cross would be meaningless. If God had not raised Jesus from the dead, his death would have been for nothing! But, it was not for nothing. Jesus was raised. Jesus is alive. And, because he lives, we have been given the great gift of Easter – the gift of hope. The hope that this world is not all there is. The hope we need to fully live our life today. The hope that when this temporary earthly tent in which we live wears out, we will be given a permanent room in heaven, and will see our loved ones again. And, best of all, Easter gives us the hope that we will see God face to face, and live in the joy of his presence forever!

Basil C. Hume said, “The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope – which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.” This is the gift we celebrate each Easter. This is the gift that we are blessed to receive and blessed to share with those who have no hope.

Come! Receive, once again, the great gift of Easter! Be reminded that miracles do happen! That the impossible becomes possible! Let God fill your soul with the gift of hope that leads to other gifts – to joy, and laughter, and the peace that only God can give. Come celebrate Easter with a community of faith that gathers in silence, but goes home dancing! Come, just as you are. We’ve saved a seat for you…

Easter Blessings,

Pastor Barb <><

Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.
Matthew 24:5

“Celebrate More Birthdays!” with Relay for Life

Grab your party hats and join our Zion Relay for Life team as we “Celebrate More Birthdays!” Our team will be on the track at this year’s event supporting all of our friends and family whose lives have been affected by cancer. The Relay begins on April 1 at 7:00PM and ends April 2 at 7:00AM. The walk will be at Rebel Field which has been designated as Effingham’s official site for all walks. If you can’t walk with the Zion Relay for Life team, you can still be a part of the team by helping us reach our goal to raise $1500 to fight cancer. The free will donations collected at the Lent Sunday meals, March 13th, 20th, and 27th will be added to the money our Zion Relay for Life team collects and will be donated to the American Cancer Society. Zion’s Relay for Life “party coordinator” is Cheryl Pannal, who is happy to help you with any questions or provide more information. You can call Cheryl at 772-5465 or 667-5315. All of us together can make a difference! To join the Zion Relay for Life team and celebrate life, go to Zion’s website or FaceBook page and register online or checkout the information in the church narthex. We hope to “Celebrate More Birthdays!” together with you!