Newsletter: January/February 2021

 

Embodying the Love of God in Word and Action

George Heberling, Interim Pastor

Wayne B., Consistory President

January/February 2021

 

   
Contents
The Pastor’s Message
Dear Friends in Christ,

It may not have been as we would have wished, but we still celebrated the birth of our Savior, Jesus, on Christmas.  Live streaming instead of personally worshiping in the sanctuary, the usual church gatherings and preparations put on hold, the excitement of seeing the children and their Sunday School Christmas program, singing the familiar and beloved carols.  No, we did not have the opportunity to do any of that, but you know what – we still celebrated Christmas with a quiet confidence and hope that God is present with us!  We didn’t get to enjoy all the banquets and special Christmas events, Christmas shopping was probably more on-line than going to the mall, huge family gatherings were tempered with smaller groups and family members taking turns to visit rather than all together at one time, the huge meal was cut back, and it was a quieter time.  But the light of the world still shone, and the Christmas promise of “God with us”, Emmanuel, still brought peace to our hearts and a sense of God’s love at work within us.   Covid-19 could not take away the trust and the faith of the church even in the most difficult of days.

Our faith goes much deeper than the constant change of human events.  I think back, as some of you can as well, to the time when young men were in Vietnam for Christmas, separated from families, fighting a war that was far away and before instant technological connections.  A time when families waited anxiously to get a letter of reassurance that their child was safe.  Days of continual stress, not knowing and living with the constant fears for their loved one.  These were indeed difficult times for many families and their holiday celebrations were tempered and clouded by the unknown.   Yet their faith and trust in God allowed them to celebrate the holiday with family and friends who were supportive and understanding.

As was said during the Christmas Eve sermon, life is sometimes filled with complications and difficulties, with seemingly impossible issues that could overwhelm us if it were not for the fact that God sent Jesus to be with us, to sit with us, to raise us up, and to help us to be more than we can be on our own.  It is this promise that sustains us through the trying times and makes us strong enough to go forward with confidence.  Covid-19 will not overcome us because God has overcome all that threatens to destroy us.  We will be a people of hope and faith always, living within the enfolding arms of a loving God who reaches out to us.  This is the promise that sustains us wherever the journey may lead.

 

Your interim pastor,

George

 

Attendance Stats   3

Consistory Summary 6

Financial Stats   3

John’s Meals   5

Sunday School  7-8

Thank You!   8

Transition Timeline  3

Upcoming Events   4

Worship   2

 

 

Worship in January & February

Sunday, January 3, 2021

2nd Sunday after Christmas

Epiphany

John 1: (1-9), 10-18

 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

1st Sunday after Epiphany

The Baptism of Christ

Mark 1: 4-11

Sunday, February 7, 2021

5th Sunday after Epiphany

Source of Strength

Mark 1: 29-39

 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Transfiguration

Compassionate Community

Mark 9: 2-9

 

 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

2nd Sunday after Epiphany

Known and Loved

John 1: 43-51

 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Ash Wednesday

Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-21

Our Live Stream Worship 9:00 a.m.

Zoom Sunday School

10:30a.m.

 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

3rd Sunday after Epiphany

Follow Me

Mark 1: 14-20

 

 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

1st Sunday in Lent

God’s Loving Paths

Mark 1: 9-15

 

 

 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

4th Sunday after Epiphany

Power to Do

Mark 1: 21-28

 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

2nd Sunday in Lent

Always Close

Mark 8: 31-38

   
 
To sponsor altar flowers, please call the Altar Guild representative for the month.

Worship CDs will be available as soon as the Audio/Visual upgrade is completed.  We appreciate your patience.

Worship Attendance   To Meet the Budget

Annual Budget $193,679.00    

Weekly Offering Needed $3,720.27 

            In person  Live stream

 

Month Offering Rec’d Needed to Date Received to Date
Nov. 1       72          20 January $13,055.99   $14,718.08   $13,055.99
Nov. 8       62          19 February $13,460.00   $29,436.16   $26,515.99
Nov. 15     49          22 March $13,370.60   $47,833.76   $39,886.59
Nov. 22     41          54 April $16,360.90   $62,551.84   $56,247.49
Nov. 29      –            91 May $11,169.00   $80,949.44   $67,416.49
Dec. 6        –            90 June $20,440.03   $95,667.52   $87,856.52
Dec. 13      –            86 July $14,287.00 $110,385.60 $102,143.52
Dec. 20      –            97 August $11,951.00 $128,783.20 $114,094.52
Dec. 24      –          130

Dec. 27      –            74

September

October

November

December

$15,108.90 $14,380.90

$15,293.00

 

$143,501.28

$158,219.36

$176,616.96

$191,335.04

$129,203.42

$143,584.32

$158,877.32

 

message from Consistory President:

As outgoing Consistory President, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone on Consistory and Pastor George for all their support and efforts this past year.  The pandemic made 2020 a challenging year and many tough decisions needed to be made.  However, I feel we made the right choices while keeping all the members of Zion and their safety in mind.  The parking lot and live stream services have been a great alternative to in-person worship, and I thank all the people who worked and continue to work to make them a reality.  I realize these are not the same as our regular worshipping experience, but under the circumstances, they continue to be our best options.  We look forward to coming together again in the sanctuary sometime in 2021 and getting back to what we consider a “normal church service.

Zion’s 2020 Annual Meeting was held virtually on December 13th.  Many thanks to the 85 people who returned their proxy votes.  Also, a big thank you to Betsy B. and Roger B. for agreeing to serve on the Consistory next year.  The results of proxy votes are shown below:

Wayne B.

 

Results of Proxy Ballots for 2020 Annual Meeting
Item Votes For Votes Against
Approval of 2019 Annual Meeting Minutes 83 0
Approval of Betsy B. & Roger B. for Consistory 83 0
Approval to borrow for capital projects 81 4
Approval of proposed 2021 budget 81 4

 

 

Call Process Timeline
January – March Review profiles (resumes) of prospective pastors
By second quarter of 2021 Hire new pastor

 

Pastoral Care:  If you are interested in having a visit from the pastor, please let him know.  George is quite willing to do home visitation, but it needs to be at your comfort and convenience.

 

 

 

Happy 57th Anniversary to Bob and Joyce Binkley on February 1st.

Happy 70th Anniversary to Bill & Carolyn Lower on February 22nd.

 

 

 

A Change is Coming:  As more and more of Zion’s members develop an on-line presence, there are plans to move to an electronic newsletter sometime in 2021!  While hard copies would still be available upon request for those without email, the newsletter would be sent just as the bulletins are now, thus realizing postal and paper savings.

Live Streaming expands our reach:  Live streaming our Sunday worship service has enabled Zion to reach more people!  Members who live out of state and in other time zones have been able to worship with us in addition to more local people who can view the service at a time convenient to them.  You can also see past video services.  Just open You Tube and search for “zion ucc arendtsville”.  The search box is at the top of the You Tube screen.  Enter your text and click the magnifying glass icon

 

Covid-19 Task Force Update

 Zion’s COVID-19 Task Force continues to monitor the course of the virus and how to safely have Zion gather for worship.  Live streaming and outdoor worship services continue to be the best alternatives to in-person worship as virus cases rise in Adams County as well as the rest of the state and country.  We look forward to the vaccine distribution but recognize that “normal” worship is still a distance away.

 

Upcoming Events

 The Ramblers are hoping to do a winter hike in January and possibly February.  Keep an eye out for details in the bulletin.

 

Book Club:  Thanks to Covid-19, Zion’s readers will not meet until at least March.  At that time, we will discuss Heavy:  An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon.  Here is a synopsis:

“In this powerful and provocative memoir, genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse.  Heavy recounts growing up in a ferociously intellectual household – the only child of a single mother – as a black boy who struggles with weight. It is about the jagged, uneven road to becoming a writer and a man; it is a chronicle of daily confrontations with the twin assaults of American racism and America’s weight-obsessed culture. Heavy is a compelling record of American violence and family violence, and the wide, rutted embrace of family love.”

The following month, we will meet to discuss The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon.  A synopsis:

“One summer night in 1930, Judge Joseph Crater steps into a New York City cab and is never heard from again.  Behind this great man are three women, each with her own tale to tell: Stella, his fashionable wife, the picture of propriety; Maria, their steadfast maid, indebted to the judge; and Ritzi, his showgirl mistress, willing to seize any chance to break out of the chorus line.  As the twisted truth emerges, Ariel Lawhon’s wickedly entertaining debut mystery transports us into the smoky jazz clubs, the seedy backstage dressing rooms, and the shadowy streets beneath the Art Deco skyline.”

 

Matthew 25 Update:  Our Matthew 25 fund is set up to provide assistance to families in need, whether members or non-members.  It is not designated for general mission or relief work.  As of September 30th, the balance in the account is $5,699.00.

 

A program of Upper Adams Christians Together

 

UACT News –

Thank you to Zion UCC for your financial support and for the Mac N Cheese donations during this school year.  We are continuing, during these difficult times, to feed the hungry students and their siblings of the UAIS and Elementary Schools.  The supplemental weekend food bags contain 5 meals/vegetables/fruits and snacks for families in food-insecure homes.  Thank you for your prayers, and if you wish to volunteer even just a few hours a month, please contact Angie V..  Monetary donations may be made payable to UACT-John’s Meals and mailed to PO Box 593, Arendtsville PA  17303.

 

Community Aid:   We are currently in a Virtual Partnership with Community Aid.  At this point, Community Aid is still picking up items from our bin located in parking lot by Zion House.  They will be removing this bin in the future.  If you take any donations to any of the Community Aid locations, please give the name of Zion UCC in Arendtsville to have these donations and their weight applied to so that Zion will still receive that credit.  Any questions, please contact Angie.  Thank you for your support of this important Mission program.

 

Homewood Auxiliary Dues:  Thank you to 5 couples and 9 individuals from Zion who have renewed their 2021 Homewood Auxiliary dues.

 

Homewood Christmas Gifts:  Thank you to Zion members for your support of Homewood residents with Christmas gifts and cards that included a total of 142 Christmas cards, 22 bottles of unscented lotion and 34 boxes of tissues.

 

 

 

                     


Consistory News Summary

Thanks to Covid-19, the Consistory had a yo-yo kind of November and December!  In-person worship in the sanctuary was held for most of November, but then the rise in cases in Adams County indicated a need to move only to live streaming the Sunday worship service.  This made the logistics of the annual meeting a bit of a problem.  However, thanks to the clause in the by-laws, Zion was able to live stream the meeting and have all members vote by proxy.  See the results under the President’s message above.

 

Committee news:

The Personnel Committee is refining job descriptions as they develop annual contracts for employees.

Stewardship thanks all who contributed to the Christmas Fund.

The Fellowship Committee activities continue to be suspended in light of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.  Normally this time of year the committee would be organizing the Christmas Cookie Social, Annual Meeting refreshments, group trip to see the Totem Pole Playhouse production of “A Christmas Carol” at the Majestic Theater and preparing for the annual congregational dinner in January.  Hopefully, this time next year we will be back to the normal calendar of events.

Membership reminds you to send updated pictures for the on-line directory which is being prepared.

The Finance Committee submitted the proposed 2021 budget.

The Mission Committee allocated the following funds in November: Holiday Family Outreach – $500 donation in lieu of the Lego sets that we sent in previous years.  This money will be used to purchase gift “toy” gift cards for children in need.  In addition, individuals were asked to make donations directly if interested.  UASD Gift Cards – $1,000 to the Upper Adams school nurse to purchase gift cards from Target and Giant for students in need.  YTD the Mission Committee has allocated $7,630 of the $8,000 budgeted.

The Property Committee is considering bids for re-paving the church parking lot and replacing the Sunday School roof.

From Christian Ed:  Chris B. is our new Christian Ed Director. During this time of no in-person worship or Sunday School, Chris is doing Zoom Sunday School lessons.  If you and your child are interested in joining and are not getting e-mails, please contact Chris.

 

What’s New/Upcoming Events

 The children were given Advent calendars to work on in December.  We have also been having Zoom Sunday School.  Above is the schedule for Sunday School when we

begin in-person classes again.  We will continue to do Zoom Sunday School for those who are interested, learning about Abraham and Sarah.

 Volunteer Sign Ups

Please watch the bulletin for an announcement when in-person Sunday School will be reopening because we will need to fill our calendars with Teachers and Shepherds.  This is a wonderful program in which to be involved, so please consider volunteering.  We can’t do it without your support!

Clearances in 2021

There are many people who will need to renew clearances this year.  A letter will be sent to you directly if you have submitted clearances and are due for new clearances in the next few months.  These are done every five years.