Our summer lunch program is in full swing, with meals being served from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 10 at the Family Life Center of Christ United Methodist Church. The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette did a story about the program in their June 9 edition. We know we are not reaching all the children and adults in need, but we are doing something, and building relationships at the same time. If you want to join us for lunch, please stop in!
The following churches have agreed to provide 2 volunteers to greet and monitor guests and 4 dozen cupcakes, brownies or cookies (no nuts or peanut butter, please) on each of the days indicated below. Desserts should be brought to the meal site by 11 a.m. and the two greeters should arrive no later than 11:45. Anyone assisting in the kitchen should report by 11.
- Faith Lutheran Church: July 6, 11, 13
- New Zion: July 18, 20, 25, 27
- OPEN: Aug. 1 and 3
- Life Bridge Church: Aug. 8 and 10
We are hoping one of our partner churches will pick up the open week. If you can help, contact Gayle McCreery at 740-438-3820 or me (phone number below).
Add an hour of playtime to your summer schedule and come make a craft with the lunch bunch! Susan Kocher dreams up hands-on crafts and activities and gets supplies together, but extra hands frequently come in handy.
We still need contributions of good quality prepackaged foods for the send-home bags. Churches may call Darcy at the CUMC office, 740-862-4343 or Rita Radford at 614-204-0818 to arrange a pick up of donated food. Here’s an idea of the kinds of nutritious options we’d like to include in the bags:
- flavor packets for water
- spaghetti sauce
- spaghetti noodles
- breakfast bars
- cookies (individual packs)
- juice boxes, applesauce
- fruit cups and vegetables (individual packs)
- peanut butter
- mac and cheese (boxes or individual prepackaged servings)
- corn chips
- dried fruit
- pudding cups
- celery/carrot sticks, etc.
Other bits of Good Neighbor information:
— The senior events on Wednesday (chair volleyball followed by a hot lunch) continue to attract a sizable audience. Seniors are showing up earlier and earlier to get more games in, so that what used to start at 10 a.m. is now starting before 9:30. We love that enthusiasm!
— TeenServe organizers need cooks to help prepare breakfast and supper for 400 work campers who will use Bloom Carroll High School as their home base while they perform maintenance and repairs to homes in Baltimore, Thurston, Lancaster and Carroll from July 9 to 15. Contact Diane Mertz at email@example.com.
— Our After School Program hosted by Faith Lutheran is starting to make plans for the 2017-18 school year. To learn more about volunteering, contact Deb Fisher (firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-654-7345) or Kay Williamson (SharonKayWilliamson@yahoo.com or 740-407-7554).
— Do you know someone who needs a wheelchair ramp into their home? We design and build ramps through a partnership with the Fairfield County Center for Disabilities. We are working on our fourth installation of the year. Let us know if we can solve your access problem.
— GNIV needs a recording secretary and a webmaster. Can you help?
All kinds of research shows that people who feel connected to others have fewer health problems and more satisfying lives. So keep on being a Good Neighbor where you live – it helps others and it helps you!
Our June 8th meeting was held in the Sunrise Room at 7:30 with Terryann McCoy providing delicious refreshments for us to enjoy while socializing with each other. President Brenda Hanna presided over the business meeting which began with the secretary and treasurer’s reports. Our June balance is $709.85. Selling Rada cutlery added $131.95 to our treasury. Catalogs are available for anyone who wishes to purchase these fine knives.
Our Pledge to Mission offering will be designated to go to UMCOR to help bring relief to an area damaged by floods in our country.
UMW Mission Sunday will probably be held some Sunday in August when a recipient for this years Special Mission Recognition will be announced.
Your help is needed to make noodles for the Liberty-Union-Thurston school booth at the Fairfield County fair. The dates are July 10,13,17,19 and 24. Mark your calendar now and plan to join us around 8:00 a.m. We usually are ready to go home early afternoon so we can get a nap!
Stoutsville camp time is July 16th to July 28th. Volunteers are needed to stay in the cabin the first week. Rhonda will have a sign-up sheet for food donations.
We will give $100 to VBS and also to Stoutsville Camp if needed. We gave that same amount to the Miracle offering which was taken at Annual Conference. A date was set for our annual Women and Girls Banquet. It will be October 19th on a Thursday. Rhonda Miller will plan a game show program. Rhonda then had the program with the theme being “Our Purpose is Faith in Action” based on Philemon 1:6 and 7. She challenged us to do an activity this month that would demonstrate putting our faith to work.
Rhonda then gave a reading program update and led us in our prayer concerns and prayer time.
Our next meeting will be *Wednesday, August 9th at 7:30 in the Sunrise Room with Brenda Hanna having the program. Ruth Ann Ford will be our hostess.
*Note change to Wednesday
by Bob Wilson, New Zion lay delegate to the West Ohio Conference
Be not afraid, God is with us. God is with us, Be not afraid.
This statement was declared time and time again at this year’s annual conference. The focus this year is: Be not afraid, facing the future. (Isaiah 43:1-2.) This will be the theme for the next four years.
The prayer that set the tone for this year’s conference is:
Holy God, as you have gathered your people together, generation to generation, to share in your life, so gather us together in the work of this Annual Conference, that through your gracious presence, we might grow more fully into the likeness of Jesus Christ, and move devoted to serving the world as a people generous in mercy, courageous for justice, and bold in love. In the name of Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.
Sunday, 7:30 p.m.
Once again, I would like to thank New Zion UMC for the privilege of being your laity delegate to the 2017 Annual Conference. We arrived Sunday evening in time for me to get registered, and then to attend the opening service. As we entered Hoover Auditorium, we heard and saw a youth choir singing and playing beautiful hymns on bells. We then sang “How Great Thou Art” and “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah.” If you can imagine 3000 plus people singing these hymns, then you know how truly blessed we were. The Roll Call of the Victorious was called. Bishop Palmer’s sermon was called “Treading the Verge of Jordan.” We then closed the service by singing “In Christ Alone.”
Monday, 10:30 a.m.
After an inspiring worship service in which the Lord’s Prayer was played with a solo hand bell, the General Session began. Some of the activities were: Rules Committee report; Preliminary Nominations Committee report; Extended Cabinet introduction, Missional report, Laity Address, and Light the Way presentation.
Let me say a few words on the Light the Way Campaign. Last year Bishop Palmer announced a major campaign effort to begin new churches and to help existing congregations to prepare for a new lifecycle of ministry. The time is right to focus our mission efforts here in the 58 counties that comprise West Ohio. The goal is to raise 5 million dollars to create 12 new churches and help 325 churches begin new lifecycles. Did you know that 50% of Ohio is not affiliated with a church at all?
After lunch, we heard an exciting message from a woman who was incarcerated at the Women’s Prison in Marion. Three women from Whitehall UMC involved with the UMC All in Community visited her. When she was released, they invited her and her children to their church. She said that until they visited her, she felt unworthy, and that no one could love her because of the crime she had committed. Because of the outreach of these women and their church, she is a different person who has experienced God’s love.
The Corporate Session of the day started with recommendations which pertained to finances for 2018 and Equitable Compensation and 2017 board of Pension & Health Benefits. Connectional giving through apportionments is the main source of support for our mission and ministry. 2017 connectional giving provided 75% of conference income. Churches paid 75% of what was apportioned which was nearly $1 million below plan. The total amount of apportioned connectional giving in 2018 will be $19 million dollars. After we voted on the above recommendations, we were dismissed.
We reconvened at 7:00 for General Session with the Episcopacy Committee Report . This report is about the Bishop’s office and staff which includes new faces coming and old ones leaving. The Bishop and Episcopal staff are working hard to connect and convene United Methodists to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Bishop Palmer gave the Episcopal Address which focused on the question: “What do we have in common with other Christians? It should start with what we have in common and not what divides us.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 and Joshua 1:9 were included in the address because they fit with the conference theme of “Be not afraid.” The Light the Way Campaign was again mentioned and the question was asked: “Why does the church continue to exist? Bishop Palmer answered the question with: “To glorify God, and to make disciples. Everything else is decoration.” The church is God’s strategy for evangelism. Two things that define this campaign are:
- INVEST IN EXISTING CONGREGATIONS WITH THE VISION TO SPARK A NEW LIFE CYCLE OR EXPAND THEIR REACH.
- INVEST IN FAITH COMMUNITIES THAT OFFER THE LIGHT OF CHRIST TO A HURTING WORLD.
Tuesday, 9:00 a.m.
The Light the Way Worship Service with Missional Offering started with the Ebenezer UMC Church Choir singing hymns in the African Language. The opening hymns were: Come Thou Font of Every Blessing, Rise, and Great Are You Lord. The scripture for the morning was Matthew 5:13-16 followed by the message by the Bishop, “Holding up the light.” Bishop Palmer talked about “big lights and small lights. Which are you? Light exposes and it does not blend in. The church should do what only the church can do. We need to poke holes in the darkness that surrounds us.”
The Missional Offering was then taken from all the West Ohio Churches including New Zion. We gave $200. It was later announced that the offering totaled $72,397. From the 5K race that morning and other private sources, the Light the Way Campaign has raised $1.2 million dollars. As we closed the morning service, we all were led in singing, “We Are Holding Up the Light of God.” People started to move into the aisles and dance up and down Hoover Auditorium singing the anthem. “What a blessing.”
General Session was convened and we discussed and voted on a recommendation which was handed to us by General Conference from 2016. It was titled: We Are God’s Children. In general it states, “Therefore, be it resolved that the West Ohio Conference of the UMC affirms the human rights of all migrants, immigrants, refugees and foreign students and others on extended visas to the United States, and through its offices and congregations will seek to provide opportunities for such persons to attain legal status if they so desire.” This recommendation received plenty of debate and a few amendments to the wording, but was finally voted on and the recommendation passed.
At 1:30 we had a teaching session led by Dr. Elaine Heath. Dr. Heath is a theologian, preacher, teacher and writer who serves as the Dean of Duke Divinity School. Her message was titled, “God Unbound: Wisdom from Galatians.” “God is doing a new thing, but the vast majority of Christians can’t see it. Lay people are the hope of the new church.” She gave examples from all over the world of lay people changing the way their church operates so they can reach certain people in their community.
The Order of the Day included a message from the Bishop of the Ohio East Conference, The Board of Ministry report, and the names of the 2017 pastoral candidates for graduation. A report of the Commission of the Way Forward was given. We dismissed for supper. Later on that evening the ordination services were performed.
Wednesday, 8:30 a.m.
The morning worship service included a Missionary Commissioning. A young woman named Lori Elizabeth Heft was presented to the conference to be consecrated as a missionary. She took the stage and was led by Bishop Palmer in some questions. One of them was: “Do you sincerely believe that you have been led by the Spirit of God to engage in this work and to assume its responsibilities?” She answered: “With Christ’s help, I will.” She will be serving the church in the Middle East.
We then entered another teaching session with Dr. Elaine Heath. We had more reports from various organizations within the conference. One of those reports from was a West Ohio project called Wings of the Morning. The conference had raised over $2 million for an airplane for the North Katanga Conference in Africa. This plane is being used to fly people from remote areas that need medical attention to cities where they can get help. Several stories were shared by the pilot. A student from Africa University which is supported by our conference, spoke about what the programs offered there. 674 students will graduate this year. This is another example of our connectional giving.
At 1:30 we convened for General Session. More reports were given by different agencies supported by UMCOR such as International Child Care. One example that was given was Grace Children’s Hospital in Port a Prince, Haiti. It treats over 400 patients a day. Each patient receives medical care at no cost.
The attendance report was given. There were 907 clergy, 955 laity, 188 spouses, and 188 visitors, for a total of 2,238.
When you, as a delegate, can see where your apportionments go, it makes a difference when you can see and hear the impact each individual church can make.
We then entered the closing worship service. The final litany ended with this: “It is time to go, to carry with us the courage we have found in this place, and face the future unafraid. We are not afraid! God is with us!”
Over the last six years that I have been among you, we have been praying for New Zion. Three years ago that prayer took the form of our 7:24 prayer that we would pray at 7:24 in the morning and in the evening. Our prayer then was and still is, “What’s next, Papa? What dream do you have for our church that only You can fulfill? Let us at New Zion see the new possibilities you have for us to reach new people and make new disciples for Jesus Christ. Amen.” We pray trusting God and God’s Word. We pray believing God’s promise to Israel and to us through the prophet Isaiah, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” (Isaiah 43:19a NLT).
We have seen and experienced some new things already and we will see other new things happening over the next few months. There is new sound equipment which allows for enhancements in what we can do with music and drama in worship. As his Eagle Scout project, Tristan White designed and built a prayer garden in the wooded area on our grounds. We’ve seen new playground equipment for children installed and the play area moved. We will breaking ground to improve accessibility to all levels of our building to improve our handicap parking. God is doing new things. Do you not see it?
Those are all tangible things. We have seen new enthusiasm stirring in people with new outlooks. There’s been a new desire to connect with our neighbors. One group covered the area within 3 miles of our building with around 1500 packets that contained Vacation Bible School information and New Zion Kids information and a survey about the needs of our community. We received some surveys back and have had a new guest as we’ve reached out. We’ve planted yard signs for Vacation Bible School and created a new internet link to the kid’s page on our website, NZKids.org. Whoever goes there can find out about our ministry to kids and registration for Vacation Bible School and New Zion Kids. July 2, we are launching a redesigned Sunday School for kids that will have the feel of Vacation Bible School and the excitement that goes along with that. We can provide transportation and have many volunteers lined up to help. God is doing new things. Can you see it?
On September 3, we will be moving to one worship time with a blended style of worship. We will also be seeing changes occur to move us so that we can offer more excellent worship to God as the body of Christ. Our Sunday School will move to starting at 9:00 a.m. and our worship together will begin at 10:10 a.m. Romans 10:10 (NLT) says, “For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” One way we openly declare our faith is by worshiping together and we will do that as we worship together at 10:10 each Sunday. God is doing a new thing. Do you see it? Will you be a part of it?
These are all changes that we can see, but the real change has to be in each of our hearts. We can make all these changes, but still not impact the world like Jesus calls us to do. We need to be changed from the inside out as well. Neil Cole said it well when he said, “Jesus didn’t come to earth just to change your Sunday morning routine. He came to change your life every day and in every way.” Let Him do a new thing in you. You won’t regret it.
Grace and peace,
Sunday, July 16 to Friday, July 28, 2017
Would you like to have a “family-friendly” camping experience this summer? Did you know that our church, New Zion, owns a cabin on the campgrounds at Stoutsville Camp close to Circleville? That’s right! The cabin is open to anyone from New Zion who wants to come and stay. Why not plan to bring your family down to camp and spend a day, a night, or even a week during Stoutsville Camp Meeting the last two weeks of July. There is NO CHARGE to come to the camp for your family, and we have a wonderful, cozy cabin on the grounds! OH, and did I mention, you don’t even have to pay for meals! All food for our cabin is donated.
This year camp officially begins Sunday evening, July 16th, and runs through Friday, July 28th. Our church’s cabin will be open beginning Sunday afternoon, July 16th. We will have a light Sunday supper, served at 5 p.m. and dessert following the evening evangelistic service that starts at 6 p.m. on Sundays.
To celebrate the Centennial, we would like to invite everyone from New Zion to bring friends and family to a POTLUCK at noon on Saturday, July 22nd. Drinks and table service will be provided. If you have never been down to the cabin, this is the PERFECT chance to get to tour the grounds.
Stoutsville Camp is a non-denominational family church camp. There is a children’s Vacation Bible School from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-2:30 p.m. There are youth activities four times a day (10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and Ring Circle at 10 p.m.) (Youth must be going into the 7th grade to stay without parents. Children younger can stay with a parent). Afternoons hold recreational activities and tournaments like volleyball, soccer, basketball, and softball. There are also youth fun days, a youth band, a youth talent show, and special speakers.
Adults also have activities together like Bible studies, videos, and guest speakers. Each evening at 7 p.m. there is an evangelistic service, which all age groups attend, where guest evangelists come in from all over the country to speak (we have some really terrific ones this year for the Centennial celebration!)
I will put sign-up sheets in the foyer beside the sanctuary for food donations for the cabin meals. If you can sign up to help keep the New Zion cabin open, please give Rhonda Miller a call (740-862-4921). In order to keep the cabin open, we need people willing to help prepare meals and oversee the routine at our cabin (including monitoring any youth who might be staying). We plan to have the cabin open all two weeks.
Please begin praying for the camp, the workers, the youth, the evangelists, and everyone attending camp. Be sure to visit the camp website for pictures from last year’s camp. Go to www.stoutsvillecamp.com.
Hi my name is Avtandil Anarbekov.
I’m an exchange student from Kyrgyzstan. While here in the US, I’m doing a service project with Heartbeats of Newark. This is a pregnancy care center.
I will be collecting items and donations to help supply their store where clients can use “points” earned in parenting classes to “spend” on baby supplies. They are in need of consumable items for example: bottles, formula, pacifiers, diapers and new or gently worn baby clothes.
There will be a box and baby bottle (for monetary donations) in your church lobby.
Thanks for your consideration.
In a world that seems to run on money, greed, power, and more,
what would our world look like if it ran on the love of God?
How can we infuse this world changing love into our lives?
April 23 – The Distracted Life
April 30 – Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher