FROM OUR PASTOR

The Season of Epiphany is drawing to a close, with Transfiguration of our Lord the first Sunday in March. Ash Wednesday comes right after beginning the Season of Lent. Some may be asking what is the Season of Lent or how do I explain this season to my non-church family or friends. The Church Season of Lent is a focused time of discipleship normally involving individualized fasting and corporate dedication to deepening the community’s relationship with God. It is the time of the year that we encourage and pray for each other to be self-reflective on the things in life that draw us away from spending time in relationship with God. It is not that we don’t engage in discipleship all year round. It is during Lent that

we make a dedicated effort to go deeper than we have before, try something new in our walking with the Lord. It is when we are all striving together and encountering new struggles that we need each others support to persevere toward Easter Sunday. Then we can all rejoice in the victory of Jesus Christ over Death and Sin.

Now, I am sure that each of us has our traditional ways of practicing Lenten discipleship. By this time you have already finished your Girl Scout cookies and removed the last of the chocolate from the house. You have steeled yourself for the forty days to come of not eating out, or purchased your devotional study that you will engage in during Lent. However, I am going to make a special appeal this year to make Sunday School a part of our Lenten discipleship. Yes, I know that Sundays are supposed to be feast days and do not actually count towards the forty days of Lent. Even so, making the commitment to come to Sunday School for the season of Lent will enrich the season that is normally spent removing things from your life by adding an extra Christian fellowship time. The groups that we currently have are great and the education committee plans to introduce a new group looking at Christian music videos starting the first Sunday of Lent. For the season of Lent there will be breakfast offered before/ during Sunday School as well. Of all the seasons of the church this season gets the most attention because of its reputation in the world as a time of fasting. However, not all discipleship is based in denial of worldly pleasures. Some discipleship is based in spending time in the community of faith supported by the Love of God. May God bless your Lenten Season.

God loves you and so do I,

Pastor Ben

Annual World Day of Prayer

March 1st at 7:00 p.m.

Every year, on the first Friday in March, Christians all over the world gather in houses of worship to offer their prayers for world wide justice and peace. Each year, the World Day of Prayer is planned by a different country, which chooses the theme for the day. This year the ladies from Slovenia prepared the program.

On March 1st at 7:00 p.m., Zion Lutheran will be hosting the service. Powers Baptist, Meldrim Methodist, and

Marlow Methodist will join with us to lift up our voices and prayers with others around the globe, praying for our world. Make plans to attend this inspiring multi-faith pray-er opportunity!

From The Pastor – February 2019

Grace and Peace, to you, from our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is a year that we get to have a longer Epiphany season reaching all the way through the month of February. Ash Wednesday is not until March 6th and Easter falls on April 21st. So what will we do in the month of February; as we will not yet be in the season of Lent? What sort of spiritual discipleship should we, as people of God, be engaging in during this season of epiphany? The season itself has much to do with the revelation of Jesus Christ to the people. We started with the star and the wise men, but we make our way deeper into Jesus’ ministry through the Gospel of Luke. While most of us are familiar with Jesus’ ministry, this Epiphany season gives us an opportunity to read and study together the early ministry of Jesus told through the Gospel of Luke. All of the Gospels are good, but many times we end up mixing them all together instead of reading them one at a time in their entirety. For all the Gospels give their own perspective of Jesus Christ that should be received as it was revealed to them. The Gospel of Luke is no different; it portrays Jesus Christ in a different way from the other three Gospels. Only the Gospel of Luke continues the story of revelation past the resurrection and appearing of Jesus Christ into the Book of Acts. Luke wants the reader to know the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit and the continuity between the past, the present, and the future. This may open our eyes and ears to allow the Holy Spirit to give us an epiphany this season. So let us set time aside, in our personal Bible study moments, to read the Gospel of Luke, allowing space for the Lord to challenge our memories of how the story goes, and read with fresh appetite the revealing of Jesus to the people.

May God bless your study times and please share your experiences of

revelation with me and others at the church.

God loves you, and so do I;

Pr. Ben

Youth Souper Bowl/Scout Sunday

February 3rd, 2019!

Sunday, February 3rd 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 Cub 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!

Funeral for Melinda Heidt

Melinda Almeda Barner Heidt

January 30, 1942 – January 07, 2019

Marlow – Melinda Almeda Barner Heidt, 76, passed away January 7, 2019 at Memorial Health.

The Effingham County native was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, where she was active in W.E.L.C.A.,  the senior citizens group, Sunday School, and Christian Education.  She was very involved in the community where she volunteered for many years.

Her greatest joys in life were being a wife, mother, and grandmother. She enjoyed cooking, sewing, and baking, especially for those she loved.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Hurley Jefferson Barner and Lucy Taylor Barner; sisters, Geraldine Latham, Joann Smith, and Priscilla Burnsed; brother-in-law, Ewell Heidt; sisters-in-law, Magdalene Mooney, Birdie Strickland, Minnie Butler, Odell Wise, Doris Wallace, Sonia Siebert, and Amelia Dominy.

Survivors include her husband, Charlie J. Heidt; children, Sondra Einig (Gerry), Phyllis Heidt, Debbie Heidt (Bonnie Presley), Rebecca Heidt (David Harris), Charlene Bulovic (Mirko); brother, Rev. William Barner (Kay); grandchildren, Jake and Jack Einig; Anna Lee, Christian, Charlie, Melina, Ella, Rebekah Rae, and Belle HeidtHarris; Luka, Eva, and Lazar Bulovic; sisters-in-law, Lida Peth, Mary Harden, and Maree Patrick; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Zion Lutheran Church, 121 Noel C. Conaway Road, Guyton, GA 31312. Mrs. Heidt will lie in state from 10 a.m.

Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers remembrances may be given to Zion Lutheran Church, 121 Noel C. Conaway Road, Guyton, GA 31312.

Thomas C. Strickland & Sons Funeral Home, Effingham Chapel. 754-6421

Pastor Ben Mandrick’s Comments

May old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind” The old Scottish New Year‟s song may be at hand but many wonderful things come with the New Year as well. The church‟s annual meeting is approaching. I will be starting to teach the middle school Sunday school class at the beginning of the New Year at 9:45 am every Sunday morning. Also we will be calling a meeting soon for all parents and youth who are considering beginning confirmation. Confirmation is the process in which baptized youth claim (or confirm) the statements of faith made for them during their baptism. It is our way as a church to help the youth grow in their faith journeys, toward realizing how special and important faith in Jesus Christ is to everyday life. Many of us still remember our own confirmation classes and the fun of being part of a group of youth all learning about the faith together. Others of us from different church backgrounds may be wondering what confirmation class is all about. All are welcome to come and sit in during class and participate with our youth in learning about the grace found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Be on the look out for other new opportunities to get plugged into the life of the church. It‟s a new year why not try something new this year?

Everyone at Zion is super welcoming and friendly. So be brave this New Year join in with the choir, come help with the youth, come join WELCA, try coming to one of our many Sunday school classes. There are lots of different ways to be with us here at Zion, make some time to give it a try; odds are you’re going to love it. Grace and peace,

Pastor Ben

LET’S GO CHRISTMAS CAROLING!

On Sunday, December 16th, Zion Lutheran Youth invites you all to come caroling with us! We will be visiting the elderly members and friends of our congregation and serenading with all the love our vocal cords have to offer! All of Zion is welcome to participate. We leave Zion at 3:15 p.m. and return at 6:30 p.m. for our LYO and 80+ Senior Dinner.