Our choir will present the cantata, Lord of Glory, on Easter Sunday, 2nd service only.
The joy and celebration of the Risen Lord are depicted here in an exciting new work. It features a blend of original music and new arrangements of popular hymns such as What Wondrous Love, and Lead Me to Calvary.
We invite all to come and be blessed by this music and the narration.
Dolores Stuhmer was the hostess for our March meeting. Our meeting time always begins by enjoying delicious refreshments. This month before our business meeting began, Ruth Ann Ford had the program following up on last month’s program concerning the needs of women and children here and around the world. We don’t need to go farther than Columbus, Ohio to find an organization that is actively involved in meeting the needs of women and young children in our area.
President Brenda Hanna conducted the business. Our February Soup & Sandwich Lunch benefiting the Powers’ mission work brought donations amounting to $673. Our March Soup & Sandwich Lunch will benefit the church camp program.
Treasurer Ann Arebalo reported a March balance of $874.52.
Plans were completed for the Men & Boys Banquet to be held on March 14th. We appreciate Ann Arebalo heading this up and Rhonda Miller planning a fun program.
Rhonda also gave the reading program update and led our prayer concerns assigning new prayer partners. Many in our church family are in need of our prayers.
The date will be set soon for our UMW Mission Sunday. We’d like for Linda Crouse to speak about her week in Florida when she was one of many who were there to evangelize to other college students who were on their spring break on the beach.
Our April meeting will be held on April 6th since our regular meeting date would fall on Maundy Thursday. We’re hoping that Giorgi Esaiashvili will be able to speak to us. We invite all in our congregation to come and hear him, men too, and enjoy refreshments. Giorgi is the foreign exchange student living with the Stuhmers.
We appreciate our men being willing to serve the Easter breakfast again this year.
It’s spring! The crocuses are bursting forth in bloom! The daffodils are flashing their bright yellow faces! After the dreariness of winter, the grass is beginning to pop out in all its glorious greenness as the trees begin to bud! We see signs of new life all around us and hear the songs of the birds! Whenever spring is in the air, it always seems to put a new spring in our steps and we face each day with a new excitement.
In Isaiah 43:19 (NLT), God says, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” I’m sure God’s not talking about spring. He’s talking about doing a new thing in the midst of Israel even though they remain a disobedient and stubborn people. He is going unleash the punishment due them, but as God says in Isaiah 43:25, 44:3 (NLT), “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again” . . . “And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children.”
Isn’t that what God has done for us through Jesus Christ? “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God” (Romans 5:6-11).
God has done something new in our lives! He has given us the Resurrection Life! We should be dead under the law of sin and death, but instead died for us and poured out His Spirit on us. “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you” (Romans 8:11 NLT). Not only did He pay the price for us to be able to live the Resurrected Life, God gave us the power to do so through the Holy Spirit living in us.
So what does this Resurrection Life that we have been given look like? Paul explains in Romans 8:15 (MSG). “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’” That’s a people that are alive.
During Lent, many have been reading Autopsy of Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive, while our prayer focus has used prayers and reflections from the book. Many have identified many similarities between the church described and New Zion. The book has sparked many discussions and reactions. Some are ready to tend to the burial of New Zion and point the finger at the pastor or someone else for its demise. Some believe that a change of leadership will solve the problems. Some don’t see any problems at all. Some have been moved to tears and prayer. Others have wrestled with it and are actively working with God having a sense of adventurous expectation. Where are you? Where does the resurrection life call you to be?
God is doing something new in our midst. It has already begun. Can you see it? Can you sense it? There is an air of expectancy as the Spirit moves and works in and through us. “What’s next, Papa?”
Grace and peace,
April 9 Palm Sunday
April 13 Holy Thursday – 7:30 p.m. Worship Service
April 14 Good Friday – 7:30 p.m. Worship Service
April 16 Easter Sunday
7:00 a.m. Sunrise Service | breakfast follows
8:30 a.m. Easter Worsip
9:45 a.m. Sunday School
11:00 a.m. Cantata
Wednesday, March 1st at 7:30 p.m.
Trinity United Church of Christ
107 N. High St.
by Terryann McCoy, United Methodist Women
ARE YOU GOING ON A MISSION TRIP THIS SUMMER?
Funding assistance will be available by the UMW from donations from the March Soup & Sandwich Luncheon for New Zion youth who are committed to serving on a mission trip this summer.
Youth must complete an application form by March 12th to be eligible. Forms are on the resource table in the Narthex. Return forms to Terryann McCoy.
Sunday, February 26th following 2nd service
Proceeds will benefit missionaries Ed & Jennifer Powers with Youth with a Mission YWAM.
Sponsored by the United Methodist Women
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.