by Holly Harman Fackler, chair
Dear partners in service,
School has begun and that means the After School Program sponsored by Good Neighbors in the Village and hosted at Faith Lutheran Church is underway. And it means that you will see monthly nudges in this space offering you the chance to get involved in a program that is changing lives. During 2016-17, 24 adults and 16 high school students helped provide a supportive, interesting, and helpful learning (and play) environment to some 35 Liberty Union students who may otherwise have gone home to an empty house. Quite a few of those volunteers will return, but more are needed as we become better equipped to meet the academic challenges of our students and respond to their curiosity and interests. In particular, we need volunteers who can help our students explore their interest in music and singing. We need nature lovers, gardeners, bird watchers, woodworkers, scientists, mechanics, artists, crafters, etc. If you have a hobby that fascinates you, chances are that it might inspire one of “our” kids, especially if it can be introduced to them in a hands-on way. Volunteers don’t have to commit to being at the After School Program every day. You can come once and do a project. Or you can come once a week, or once a month, or everyday for a week. For more information, contact Kay Williamson (ASP administrator) at 740-407-7554, or Deb Fisher (ASP board chair) at 740-407-2245.
The Summer Lunch Program experienced lower attendance this year than last, causing us to question whether our model for getting food to children and families in need is the right one for our community. We have formed a working group to try to better understand the local need and consider options for 2018. Does our program need to look beyond delivering calories to examining ways in which we can help build the capacity of families to stretch food dollars and simultaneously get better nutrition? If you have an interest in being part of this working group, please contact me (see number below). All that said, we appreciate the efforts of kitchen leads, cooks, servers, cleaner uppers, door and restroom monitors, craft wizards, bakers, and all those who contributed time and talent toward this summer’s lunch program, or who provided
Our ramp builders have been pretty busy this year, but if you or someone you know has a legitimate need for a wheelchair ramp, please call us. We can help.
We’ve set Dec. 10 as our annual date for caroling. We’ll soon contact the music/choir directors at partner churches and invite them to contribute some voices. We also will need names and addresses of households that could use a visit from these bearers of Christmas cheer.
Good Neighbors’ weekly activities
* Bible study: 2 p.m. Mondays at Walnut Creek Village Apartments, led by Worth Harman
* Chair volleyball: 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays at CUMC Family Life Center, followed by a hot lunch at 11.
* After School Program: 2:30 to 6 p.m. every day that school’s in session.
Save the dates
- ASP board meeting, 6 p.m. Sept. 6 at Faith Lutheran Church
2. Good Neighbors quarterly board meeting, 6 p.m. Nov. 6 at New Zion UM Church
3. Caroling, Dec. 10
REMINDER: During the next few weeks, Meijer’s Simply Give program will benefit the Baltimore Food Pantry, a ministry that serves everyone in this community in one way or another. Between now and Sept. 16, Meijer will give $10 in food purchases to the pantry for every $10 you donate to the pantry when you visit the Lancaster store. And on the “double match days” of Sept. 1 and 2, Meijer will match each $10 donation with $20. Use the Simply Give cards being distributed among area churches or that are available near the checkouts at Meijer (be sure the bar code on the card is 0882002527). You can make your donation when you purchase your groceries.
Is God calling you
to be a Good Neighbor?
There is work to be done.
by Will & Ruth Beckwith
Meijer Simply Give Program
The Baltimore/Thurston Area Food Pantry will benefit from the Simply Give program at the Lancaster Meijer store from August 20th through September 16th.
Until then, if you make a $10 donation to the Baltimore Food Pantry at the Meijer checkout with your Simply Give card, Meijer will match your donation.
On September 1st & 2nd, your $10 donation will be double matched by Meijer, turning your $10 into $30. That’s a good deal!
Thank you for your continued support. May God bless each one of you.
Resumes September 5th at 10 a.m.
Join us as we study Walk As Jesus Walked by Ray VanderLaan
September 6th at 7 p.m.
by Ruth Ann Ford, director
Our choir is always delighted to have new members, so if you are one of those interested in singing praises to our God, please let Ruth Ann know so she can prepare your folder before that date. There are no auditions required–just a willingness to be faithful in attending practice and watching the director (even if she makes mistakes!).
Rehearsal time lasts for one hour only, and we also work in some fellowship and laughter during that hour, so call 740.862.4283, if you’re able to join us.
by Rhonda Miller
What a great time we had at Stoutsville Church Camp this year! Inspiring speakers, motivating videos, and lots of time to spend in fellowship with other campers.
With the help of several people, we were able to have the cabin open both weeks of camp from Tuesday, July 18th through Friday, July 28th. Many thanks to the people who went down to clean the cabin on the Saturday before camp. Plus many thanks to everyone who donated food, supplies, and their time.
Thirteen people came down and spent time at the New Zion cabin. Eight people stayed overnight, we had 2 children and 6 adults. One of the children accepted Christ while at Stoutsville this year!! Praise God for the moving of his Holy Spirit at camp!
There were many activities to celebrate the 100-year anniversary including a concert by the Gospel Harmony Boys.
Morning Bible study from the First Epistle of John
Dr. Campbell gave us a detailed breakdown verse by verse. I am still amazed at all that I learned from his teaching!
Afternoon: “Goliath MUST Fall”
While the children attended a Bible School in the Children’s Tabernacle, the adults watched and discussed a very interesting video from Louie Giglio called “Goliath MUST Fall” Using 1 Samuel 17, Louie explained how we need to have Jesus bring down the Goliaths in our lives. It is not God’s will for us to have giants in our lives to demoralize us and steal God’s glory from us. Some of the “giants” that Louie discussed made perfect sense to us– like anger, fear, rejection, and addictions. But the giant of “comfort” really made me sit up and take note!
The giant of “comfort” is a sneaky giant. When was a time when you had to put aside personal comfort in order to do something God asked you to do? The Christian life is not a spectator sport. It’s not about sitting in a comfortable church celebrating a Savior who led an uncomfortable life. Jesus did not come to live an easy life and retire in luxury. He came to fulfill a purpose, and he calls us to fulfill the mission that he gave to us. Can you see any areas in which your desire for comfort is limiting what you might do for God? Don’t wait until it’s too late. Remember the man with the many barns who was going to “retire” in luxury? Don’t live in ease saying you’ll serve God later in your life. God will accomplish his plans one way or another, yet God is inviting you to be part of his plans. It won’t always be comfortable. It won’t always be easy. Yet if you move in faith, God will always breathe life on your journey. – Louie Giglio
Evening Services with guest speakers from around the country
We heard some of the best preaching ever from people like Roy Lauter, Aaron Holley, Tom Hermiz, and Tim Burden. A couple quotes below:
Desperation implies that
I’ve come to the end of my road.
But greatness is most often achieved
in moments of desperation
because it’s at the end of our ability
that God gets to show off HIS!
— Aaron Holley
We stopped being fishers of men
and became keepers of the aquarium.”
The United Methodist Women held their monthly meeting on Wednesday evening, August 9th. Ruth Ann Ford served as hostess and Brenda Hanna doubled as president and program leader after we ate refreshments. Treasurer Ann Arebalo reported that we gave $100 to our VBS. In addition, 207 pounds of noodles were made (120 bags are provided for the Liberty Union School booth at the Fairfield County Fair). We appreciate all those who helped make the noodles. It was great to see so many very young workers help and even enjoy the work! Our balance at this time is $1,177.12.
It is a blessing for us to provide meals after funerals. We never charge for doing that, but the Woolever, Locke and Bower families gave generous donations. Several women attended the Galilean service and potluck at the Infirmary Park on August 10th.
We finished planning for the UMW Mission Sunday. Dan and Peggy Zimmerman were our speakers for both services. We were blessed to hear what they do to reach Spanish speaking people in the Columbus area having Bible studies after giving English lessons. Souls are being won to Christ because of their efforts. We have the privilege of praying for this ministry and gave $100 to the Zimmermans.
The Mission recipients for this year are Jackie and Vernon Brown who’ve given many hours of their time serving the Lord and our congregation in many ways. Be sure to let them know that you appreciate their service.
It was the 100th anniversary of Stoutsville Camp and Rhonda Miller reported that, as usual, the services were great. The highlight of their time there was the fact that her granddaughter accepted Christ! Those who donated food, paper goods or money are to be blessed.
Our annual Women & Girls Banquet will be on October 19th at 6:30. Be prepared to enjoy delicious food and a fun program. Dana Lochard will be accepting paid reservations. Watch the bulletin for more details.
Brenda’s program theme was “The Gift of Prayer” and reminded us of the blessings we enjoy by talking with God. Rhonda led us in our prayer time. There are many on our list who need our prayers.
Our next meeting will be September 14th at 7:30. We invite all women in our church to join us and help us accomplish our many goals and enjoy the fellowship that we always have. Our hostess will be Linda Wilson and Ruth Ann Ford will have the program.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
While reading the daily devotions from “Men of Integrity,” I came across an interesting question, “If you did nothing else and you died tomorrow, what’s the one thing you want to be sure you’ve accomplished?” Right away your mind starts to think about the things you have wanted to do, but haven’t had time for yet. To be sure, there are many things that are competing to be in the number one position. But, if you had room for only one, what would it be?
Everyone has a “bucket list,” things you have dreamed you would like to do, but because of time or money you can’t or probably won’t be able to do. When Linda and I went to Washington D.C. several years ago, we were able to take a tour of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts because a college friend and her husband worked with the symphony that performed there. I actually was able to sing When Irish Eyes are Smiling from the main stage. There was no one in the audience of course, but I could cross that off my bucket list by singing there.
Also, when we took our annual trip to Charlotte, North Carolina to help pack shoe boxes, our group drove on the Charlotte race track to view Christmas lights that were set up around and through the race track. I was able to check that off my bucket list, because I had driven on a NASCAR track, even though I was only driving five miles an hour. Actually, I never really had a bucket list, but I figured if I had one those are some of the things I would want on it.
But, when you think about the original question above, and the answer we put there, it reveals those priorities that reflect our true desire. Not who we think we are, but who we truly are. Are we teaching our children or grandchildren those priorities?
So what is the right answer you might ask? I think it depends on the individual and where they stand with the Lord. Hopefully, if I know someone in my “sphere of influence” who doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus, that should be a priority in my life, especially if my time on earth is short. If what we have answered in the above question doesn’t measure up to what God expects of his disciples, then he will work through our well-targeted priorities to turn us into that person who we are actually becoming. I will have to “empty my bucket” and start over. And, in the meantime, I’ll try to be like Paul; I will continue to “press on” to the high calling of Jesus. Praise his name!
Next men’s breakfast:
Saturday | September 16th | 8 a.m.
Ma Maw’s Diner in Baltimore
Twenty-five years ago in a visioning meeting in the first church I served, as we visioned for that church of 31 attendees, one of the dear older saints piped up and said, “This isn’t going to make a difference anyways, we’re just a small church.” Maybe it was the brashness of my youth talking, but, more than likely, it was the Holy Spirit, when I looked that gentleman in the eye and said, “In ourselves, as a small church, we can’t do anything. But I know a God who lives in each of us through the presence of the Holy Spirit. That Spirit is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead and if he can turn the world upside down in just a few short years with just 120 people, just imagine what He can do with 31 people. Perhaps, a quarter of the world . . . or more will be turned upside down for Jesus?” All objections stopped and they stopped looking at what they couldn’t do and started focusing on what God could do through them. There are parts of that vision that they are still working to live into all these years later and other parts that have been lived into and redefined. Living into God’s preferred future can happen instantaneously, but usually happens over a period of time.
On August 7th, Facebook reminded me of something that I posted seven years ago in 2010. That was the year that I was placed in an induced coma and on a ventilator for two weeks in late February and early March as I was paralyzed from the neck down with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and was also fighting MRSA pneumonia. On March 7, 2010, I pulled my own vent and was breathing on my own at 97% oxygen. On August 7th, five months later, I posted, “[I] was excited
to see the wheelchair leave today without [me] in it! I also sent the walker home this week. I also notice that I’m getting more of my body back slowly-a fingertip here-a place on the lower leg there. Praise God for the progress. Still need prayer particularly for my right side which is returning slower than my left. My right side seemed to be hit the hardest but I’m trusting it will
return fully.” The recovery was slow. But healing and rebuilding a body decimated by disease doesn’t occur overnight, if at all. It requires patience. It requires prayer. It requires hard work. It requires not easily giving up. It took me over a year of rehab and continuing exercises since to make and maintain progress.
To work with God in revitalizing and rebuilding a church like New Zion, barring miraculous intervention, it is going to take hard work and patience—patience at the slower than expected progress and patience with each other. It is going take working together instead of pointing an accusatory finger toward another brother or sister in Christ and proclaiming that they don’t care.
It is going to take encouraging one another to not lose hope or not to give up easily. It is going to take celebrating the littlest of change and improvement. It is going to take prayer. Prayer not just for God to bless our plans, but earnest prayer for what God wants us to do next. To truly pray, “What’s next, Papa?” and expect an answer and to not give up praying until we hear where God is calling us.
“Dear brothers and sisters,
I close my letter with these last words:
Grow to maturity.
Encourage each other.
Live in harmony and peace.
Then the God of love and peace
will be with you.”
–2 Corinthians 13:11
Grace and peace,
During New Zion’s VBS entitled, Hero Central the church was filled with heroes who wanted to learn what being a hero for God was all about. The Bible stories about heroes were from the Old Testament and the New. The children learned about: “Heart – David, Courage – Abigail, Wisdom – Jesus, Hope – Beatitudes, Power – Holy Spirit.”
I’m glad I was able to participate in Bible School, be-cause in the past, I basically babysat the grandkids who were not old enough to attend. This year would be the first year when I wouldn’t have to do that be-cause the youngest would be four and could attend. Plan A was forming in my mind about having a morn-ing free to do whatever.
Two weeks before VBS, I was asked to fill in for the regular Bible Story teacher who realized she had a conflict during the week of VBS. I sensed a “tugging” at my heart, and so I said I would do it. Plan B was now in effect. I learned along with the children what a hero for the Lord should be. (All of the above.)
The question, have you ever thought of Jesus as a “Super Hero?” He doesn’t have a utility belt filled with weapons or other crime fighting machines, but He does have the following:
Cloaked his true nature to appear as a human (Philippians 2:6-7)
Altered the chemical composition of natural elements (John 2:7-9)
Controlled the weather (Mark 4:37-39)
Used special vision to see a person at an impossible distance (John 1:45-50)
Met his archenemy face-to-face and defeated him (Matthew 4:1-11)
Moved between the physical and metaphysical realms at will (Matthew 17:1-3)
Proved that it was impossible for anyone to truly kill him (1 Corinthians 15:20-25)
Created something from nothing (Colossians 1:16)
Looked inside people to see what they were thinking (Luke 6:7-8)
Demonstrated mental power over animals (Mark 5:11-13)
Could totally restore the physical capabilities of a person (John 5:1-9)
Defied the laws of gravity (Matt.14:25-26)
When we watch a super-hero movie, they fight and defeat evil by the time the movie ends. In real life, we need Jesus, Mighty God, who came as Immanuel (God in the flesh) who illuminates our path and liberates us from our desperate situation. Jesus is our Savior, our mighty hero. Is He your hero?