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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
— 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 (email@example.com 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!”