by Bob Wilson
“This Day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now chose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19
I love a good western. I’m of the generation when westerns were on television on a weekly basis. I remember watching: The Lone Ranger, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Bonanza, Maverick, Cheyenne, and so many others.
The stories were pretty simple. There were bad guys and good guys and sometimes other guys who you didn’t know which side of the fence they were on until the very end. One thing was certain though, “The good guys always won in the end.” I think, with that in mind, I could write my own western.
It was a dark overcast day. The rider on the horse was tired and worn out. As he rode along, he really didn’t know where he was going anymore. The horse was going its own way. Soon he came to a town where he knew he had to make a decision, to give up or keep on drifting from place to place. You see, he was a wanted man whose face and name were on wanted posters all over the county. He dismounted and walked into the sheriff’s office. “I’m the one you’re looking for,” he said. He was quickly locked up in a cell and would appear before a judge the following day. The judge just happened to be Judge Roy Bean, “The Hanging Judge.” Guilty! The whole town turned out for the execution. There hadn’t been this much excitement for a long time. The prisoner was led out to the gallows which was in the town square. The hangman positioned him over the trapdoor and tied his arms behind his back. He placed a black hood over his head and slipped the noose around his neck. A hush fell over the crowd. As the hangman reached for the lever that would spring the trapdoor, a rider galloping as fast as his horse would go, thundered into the crowd, knocking people left and right and screaming at the top of his voice. Stop! Stop! I have a pardon from the governor! The condemned man was saved.
A pretty simple story really, but you know what? It is happening today, only in a different way. You see, all of us are on “wanted posters.” Beneath our pictures and names are all of the sins we have ever committed. But, when we turn ourselves in to the “King of all Kings,” we receive a pardon and we are “deputized” to look for others who are wanted as well. Once you are part of his posse, it is the beginning of a real adventure. So, I’m going to say, “Saddle up, Pilgrim.” It’s going to be a great ride!
Next men’s breakfast:
Saturday | February 18th | 8 a.m.
Ma Maw’s Diner | Baltimore
We are a month into 2017 and the rest of the year is before us. Our mission as the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the purpose of changing the world. We work to fulfill that by caring deeply, loving unconditionally, and offering hope and new life through Jesus Christ. Those are great words, but words only go so far unless action goes along with them.
Last fall, our new District Superintendent, Tim Bias, charged us with developing a Discipleship Pathway to provide an action plan of how we were going to intentionally make disciples of Jesus Christ at New Zion Church. We discussed it at church council in November before presenting it at Church Conference.
Our pathway is a work in progress and will hopefully provide intentionality as we move through 2017. But if no one knows what that pathway is, then it is difficult to walk it and work it. So, below is our 2017 Discipleship Pathway or, perhaps, road to an intentional Discipleship Pathway would be a better title. It is both a look at what we’re doing as well as what we are in the process of doing to reach the goal of intentional disciple making.
We are all New Zion Church and it will take every member working together with God to move us to this new place where God is calling us. Read through it, pray over it, ask God where you are called to be in it, and pray for the process. I invite you to become a part of the revitalization team which meets after the second service. Pack a lunch and join us. Come and see what’s happening.
If you can’t be a part of it, pray for the revitalization team. To turn us around, it is going to take prayer matched with hard work and all of us working together. Are you ready to roll up your sleeves? God’s calling.
Grace and peace,
New Zion UMC
2017 Discipleship Pathways
For 2017, New Zion UMC will continue to be welcoming. We have a hospitality table weekly as well as greeters and ushers. We are exploring ways to improve those ministries. We are in the process of making our building more guest friendly by improving signage. We also greet new families moving into the community with an information bag about our community and our church. If at all possible, we greet them personally. Each week the gospel is presented and each person is invited to take next steps to deepen or begin their relationship with Christ. Also, members and regular attenders are encouraged to invite their family and friends, especially on special Sundays. We provide them with invitation cards to do so. Also, we have church calling cards which give the pastor’s information on one side and the time of our services with an invitation and a place for the inviter’s name and telephone number. We also have cards for people to use during servant evangelism and random acts of kindness though these events have not been well organized yet.
We are currently going through a Revitalization Consultation with Thom Rainer teaching on video and support through a Facebook group and email. He presents a 4-legged stool model of church revitalization. The first deals with expectations and includes raising the expectations of church membership. We are currently working on designing our new members class. Pastor Rick has preached on being a church member from this perspective. We are also developing plans for moving people from first time attenders and attenders to full functioning members of the body of Christ.
The second leg of the Church Revitalization stool is a clear process of discipleship. We will be hearing Thom’s teaching on this and then develop a process to grow people in discipleship that has clarity, movement, alignment with our mission and vision, and focus. This will include a component of faith sharing as well so the cycle of discipleship paragraph 122 will be complete.
The third leg is an intentional outward focus. Every decision we make needs to include this focus. We aren’t here primarily for us. We are here to fulfill the great commission. We currently focus on generously giving to missionaries around the world and sending out missionaries from our congregation on short term mission trips. We have an active UMW and UMM. We partner well with ministries in the Baltimore community and have a number that serve in these arenas. There are only two things that New Zion is known for in the community and that is for our Vacation Bible School and our Live Nativity. These reach out into our community and are great. We will be exploring with Thom different ways to be more intentionally outward focused.
The fourth leg of the stool is developing leadership and relational skills so that ministry may continue. We look forward to exploring this more with Thom as well.
This is a plan that will unfold as we move forward in our Church Revitalization Consultation. We desire to fulfill our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the purpose of changing the world as we grow through Christ in living out our vision of caring deeply, loving unconditionally, offering hope and new life through Jesus Christ.
Presented at Church Conference, 11/14/2017.
by the Trustees Committee
The Trustees would like to remind everyone to please follow these instructions when borrowing items from the church:
- Contact the office (Karen Horn) by phone, e-mail or complete a form located outside the office door. Information to provide: your name, the date, contact information along with the item(s) you would like to borrow and the date you need them and when they will be returned.
- The office will then contact you to let you know if the items you have requested are available.
- When the items have been returned, contact the office to let us know.
Saturday | Sept. 17th | 8 a.m. – ?
7800 Amanda North Rd.
Sign-up sheets will becirculating soon!
September 7th 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!).
New music has been ordered and we also enjoy singing anthems that we’ve sung before. 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 Margo Bader, outreach ministries coordinator
Baltimore United Methodist Church hosts the gathering of middle and high school students after each LU football game 9–10:30 p.m. Help is needed to keep this outreach a safe place that kids can meet friends after the game. Good Neighbors in the Village has agreed to assist Baltimore UMC.
New Zion UMC will be chaperoning and providing cookies on September 30th.
What is needed?
* COOKIES can be baked and donated. The kids love cookies and the more we can provide the better. Any unused cookies can be frozen. Bring your cookies to the church kitchen. Mark as cookies for 5th Quarter and they will be delivered to the church.
* HELPERS: 6 adults are needed to help serve as chaperones on September 30th. 2 gentlemen are to be included as part of the 6 workers. The Baltimore police stand by each time in support of this program.
New Zion has donated $200 towards the purchase of pizza for the evening. This is part of our Missional Outreach giving.
Meijer Simply Give Program
The Baltimore Food Pantry will benefit from the Simply Give program at the Lancaster Meijer store through September 24th. Until then, if you make a $10 donation to the Baltimore Food Pantry at the Meijer checkout, Meijer will match your donation.
On September 1, 2 and 3, your $10 donation will be double matched by Meijer, turning your $10 into $30. That’s a good deal!
by Margo Bader
The Good Neighbors in the Village have initiated an After School Program for Liberty Union Elementary children. The program began August 17th at Faith Lutheran Church which is next door to the elementary school on Main Street. The program is limited to 20-25 children.
Kay Williamson is responsible for the program and welcomes occasional volunteers. Volunteers can play board games, read a book, listen, teach them how to make cookies, show them how to crochet, demonstrate your skill.
Contact Kay for more information or sign-up to be an occasional volunteer. Call or text (740) 407-7554.
by Holly Harman Fackler, chair
Hello partners! God has provided us with resources and helpers to continue and even increase our outreach in the community.
The Community Lunch Program kept the kitchen at Christ United Methodist Church’s Family Life Center abuzz with activity through August 4th. Teams of volunteers prepared and served hundreds of meals during the 9 weeks of the program. Kids not only ate, but played games, did crafts, borrowed books from an informal lending library, and even got involved with meal service and cleanup. We sent home 86 weekend bags of food during the summer. We know we are only scratching the surface of need with this program, but it is a good start and we look forward to continuing to build a collaborative outreach that makes good food accessible to children and families throughout the summer.
The After School Program, a project of Good Neighbors hosted at Faith Lutheran Church, opened its doors August 17th. An ad-hoc committee had been meeting for months to make plans. Efforts shifted into high gear in early July as we turned our attention to organizational needs. Since then, a 7-member advisory board has been elected/selected to oversee the After School Program. Initial members of this group are Jennifer Blackstone (school rep), Jeff Dupler (community rep), Debbie Wooster Miller (parent rep), Holly Harman Fackler and Frances Wells (GNIV reps), and Deborah Fisher and Katie Williamson (hosting group reps). If you’d like to be involved with the program as a volunteer, please leave a message and contact information (name, phone number, email address) with Darcy at Christ United Methodist Church and we’ll get back with you.
GNIV ramp builders are tackling their third project of the year.
Good Neighbors is an independent tax-exempt organization and your contributions are tax deductible. To donate to our programs, make your check payable to Good Neighbors in the Village and mail to GNIV, c/o Christ United Methodist Church, 700 S. Main St., Baltimore OH 43105.
The Good Neighbors board had an “eating meeting” (potluck) August 2nd at the Basil Park shelter house. Our next quarterly gathering will be at 6 p.m. November 7th at New Zion United Methodist Church. Please join us (and we’ll put you to work). (419) 564-0964