It has been the trend that by the end of February the physical fitness centers have fewer people in them even though January is typically a month of increased membership and participation. After the holidays people often feel the need to exercise (get rid of those extra holiday pounds) and so they head to the fitness center. But the newness wears off faster than the pounds wear off and people choose to spend their time in other places. To be in appropriate physical shape (a healthy condition, not a pro athlete’s condition) requires one to participate regularly in physical activities. So it is also with your spiritual fitness. Regular attendance at worship along with time spent in personal and/or family devotions are positive ways to help one’s spiritual fitness. As we enter into the Lenten season on March 1 with Ash Wednesday, there will also be the opportunities to strengthen the congregational fitness by participating in those special weekday worship opportunities and the Sunday evening Lenten devotionals. Come and share faith and fellowship as we strengthen the spiritual aspect of the congregation.
It’s time to celebrate and be thankful for our many blessings before we enter the more solemn season of Lent, when we reflect on all that our God has done for us. Please make plans to join us for our Mardi Gras Pancake Supper on Sunday, February 26th at 5:30pm. Come! Indulge! Enjoy some warm, fluffy pancakes with your choice of sweet toppings, and the good company of your church family! Our WELCA is hosting this fund raiser event. Please bring a donation. All money collected will be given to the Youth Group to help with their expenses to attend All GA, AFFIRM, and the National Youth Gathering.
Sunday, February 5th, is our Youth Souper Bowl of Caring and Scout Sunday. Each year, the Zion Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO) and thousands of youth across the nation collect donations for local charities on a day in which most in our country spend money on the Super Bowl football game. Our Zion Youth will collect an offering in soup kettles following the worship to fight hunger locally through Manna House. Checks should be made out to “Zion” for Souper Bowl of Caring. They are also collecting canned foods to donate as well. Please help spread the word, and bring a few extra dollars for the soup pot! In celebration of our youth, it is our tradition to welcome our Boy and Girl Scouts to our worship on Youth Souper Bowl Sunday, to hear an update of their activities by their Scout Leaders and to lift the Scouts up in prayer. This is always an uplifting service! We look forward each year to the opportunity to pray with the Scouts, whose ministry we support throughout the year.
That evening at 6:00 p.m., the LYO will also be hosting their annual Super Bowl Party! It is a fun event where youth are provided with food and activities all the while watching the biggest football game of the year, the Super Bowl. All youth, grades 6th through 12th, are invited to attend a night of food, fun and football!
Once 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.
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.
Monday, 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?)
Here is the youth group at their booth
And here is this year’s 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.
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 http://elca.org/our-work/Publicly-Engaged-church/ELCAvotes. If you have concerns, call me (232.6215). Pastor Dave
It’s Almost Time to Celebrate our 144th Anniversary!
Sunday, September 25th, 2016
Each September, we gather with family and friends of Zion’s congregation to celebrate the blessings God has bestowed upon us. As is our tradition, we will begin our celebration with worship at 11:00 a.m. Our service will be a time to thank God for the many years of service that this church has provided to the community and beyond. It will be a time to pray, sing, hear God’s word and share in the Lord’s Supper. After worship, we will continue the celebration in the Fellowship Hall with a buffet luncheon (provided). Please join us for a special day of remembrance as we rejoice in the past and look forward to an awesome event.