Newsletter: May/June 2020

Embodying the Love of God in Word and Action

George Heberling, Interim Pastor

Wayne B., Consistory President

May/June 2020

 
Contents Dear Friends at Zion,

The risen Christ lives!!!  He is risen!  He is risen indeed!  He lives and the fact is even though we did not have the opportunity to gather to celebrate his resurrection, nothing can take that truth away from us.  The risen Christ is among us as he came among those first disciples huddled together in fear in a room in Jerusalem.  The risen Christ is among us as he was when he traveled with those two discouraged followers who were walking away disappointed from Jerusalem after his crucifixion.  The risen Christ is among us just as he was with Mary Magdelene as she stood crying alone at his tomb.  Whether they were gathered as a group, or as two travelers, or as a solitary person, the risen Christ made himself known to those who were open to recognizing him in their midst.  Even in the midst of our social distancing and the inconveniences we have been experiencing over these past few weeks, the risen Christ comes to us wherever we might find ourselves.  Our celebration was tempered by circumstances and yet it is still our reality to rejoice that our God has overthrown all the powers that seek to take away our hope and our confidence that the love of God reaches out to each and every one of us.  Whether gathered together in worship or alone in our homes, we are God’s own, living as a people who witness to the power of the resurrection.  Life’s circumstances will not discourage or overwhelm us for we experience the presence and the peace of Christ each day.

I hope that you are finding ways to be productive and busy in these weeks of social isolation.  It seems to be working because the hospitals and medical personnel have been able to handle the case load except in a few places that have experienced large numbers of infection.  They tell us that there will probably be a second and even third wave of covid19, so we are cautiously going to return to a new normal when businesses are re-opened, and we can resume some of our regular activities.  Hopefully, that will not be too much longer.  But, in the meantime, if you have been doing something interesting and want to share it with others, let us know how you have been spending your time over the last couple of weeks.  Send an email to the church office so we can offer suggestions to others.

We are planning for that time when we can worship together at Zion.  For the first couple of Sundays we are planning to worship on the parking lot of the church.  Bring your lawn chairs!! Kevin Cooley has volunteered to provide a portable sound system and we will even have music.  We want to gather safely until we have some certainty that we can worship inside as a large group. (we will probably handle rainy Sundays like snowy Sundays during the winter with a message on the office answering machine).   Until that time, be safe and stay healthy.  Keep praying for each other and for our community.   May God bless you!

 

Your interim pastor,

George

 

Attendance Stats   4

Consistory Summary  6-7

Congratulations!   9

Financial Stats   4

John’s Meals   6

Sunday School  8

Thank You!   9

Transition Timeline  3

Upcoming Events   5

Worship   4

 

Message from Consistory President:

Needless to say, this last month dealing with the Covid-19 virus has been a very stressful challenge.   With social distancing and the “stay at home” directive, we miss interacting with others.   From all accounts I have heard, most people are dealing with this crisis very well.

I want to provide you with an update on major happenings in the church.  As you are aware, information during this crisis changes daily, but as of this moment –

  • Church Service – our hope is to begin church services again the last half of May (looking at beginning May 17). This assumes that the state government’s May 8th date to rescind the “stay at home” directive does not change.   Initially, church services would be held outside, in the church parking lot – utilizing lawn chairs to maintain social distancing and a sound system.  Obviously, using this approach, services would be weather dependent.  Then in June, we would transition back into the sanctuary.  Unfortunately, Sunday School has been cancelled for the rest of the school year.
  • Church Survey – The initial meeting with Samaritan Counseling scheduled for March 26 to review the results of the survey was postponed due to the virus. The decision was made to have a virtual meeting on Thursday, April 23 to go over the results with Consistory and the Profile Committee.  These results will be shared with the congregation at a future date.  The Profile Committee will use the information from the survey to complete the church’s profile which will then be sent to prospective pastors.  Thanks to everyone who completed the survey.
  • SBA Loan/Grant – Zion was able to secure (through ACNB) a loan/grant through the Payroll Protection Plan for non-profit organizations as part of the virus stimulus package from the government. This money will be used for payroll and utility bills for a two-month (8 weeks) time period.  Our assumption is that this money becomes a grant which we will not have to pay back.  Thanks to Jay J. (Finance Committee Chair) and Kathy J. (Treasurer) for their time to gather the information and supporting documents for the loan, along with their prompt action before the money was exhausted.

Through this pandemic – please remember to continue to check on each other and especially those living alone.  A phone call, text message or some form of communication is so very important and appreciated.  Remember to safely stay apart yet stick together!

Wayne B.– Consistory President

   Tentative Timeline – New Pastor 2020
April – May HolyCow! Survey results
May – June Complete Zion’s Profile and form Search Committee
June – July Submit profile
August – December Review profiles (resumes) of prospective pastors
By year end Hire new pastor

 

Message from Finance Chair

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Consistory felt that you should have a more in-depth report about Zion’s finances to date.  Zion’s approved 2020 budget for expenses is $16,031 per month.  During the time period from January to March 2020, the first quarter of the year, the actual income was $40,146 and expenses were $46,758 with a deficit of $6,612.  We were unable to worship the last two Sundays of March, which had a definite impact on giving, so we are grateful that your generosity through the first three months when we could worship enabled us to do as well as we did financially.

During March’s Consistory meeting, Zion’s finances were discussed at length. The second quarter finances were analyzed with projected future income and expenses, keeping in mind the coronavirus pandemic and the effect it would have on the church.  The second quarter budget, April through June 2020, was revised with projected expenses being reduced to $32,220 from the original budgeted expenses of $48,095.

Zion Consistory met again on Sunday, April 5th in the parking lot to approve Zion to apply for a Small Business Loan (SBA) through ACNB bank.  We applied and were approved for $27,425, which was 2 ½ months of payroll and utilities, as the loan application was very specific for use and then forgiveness of the loan.  The loan will be forgiven if the approved payroll and utilities are paid in full during an eight-week period, calculated to be March and April 2020.  The money was deposited in Zion’s account on April 20th.  This loan will help Zion in meeting the monthly expenses for the first half of 2020.

Please note that the Constitution and By-Laws of Zion only allow the Consistory to authorize borrowing $8,000 without a vote of the congregation.  When the Consistory met on April 5th, the Consistory voted to authorize up to that limit.   However, the bank advised that the church should view this as a grant rather than a loan, which was the way the application was revised, submitted, and approved.  This loan/grant will be very helpful for Zion to meet its financial obligations, but we don’t know what will happen during the coming year.  We hear reports that the coronavirus could return in a second, even more severe, wave in the fall and leave us in a situation similar to what we are currently experiencing.  With that in mind, the Consistory will seek to be cautious stewards of the church’s finances throughout the rest of 2020.

We will appreciate your ongoing financial support and generosity in the coming months as together we seek to support the church’s budget and maintain the church’s mission support to the community and beyond.   You can mail your contributions to Zion United Church of Christ, Box 538, Arendtsville, Pennsylvania 17303 or use the EFT forms (call the church office if you would like to begin automatic deductions from your bank to Zion).  Thank you.

Jay J.

Finance Chairman

Tentative Worship in May and June

Sunday, May 3, 2020

4th Sunday of Easter

Powerful Witness

John 10: 1-10

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Trinity Sunday

This is Good

Matthew 28: 16-20

 

 

Our Worship

9:00 a.m.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

5th Sunday of Easter

Enduring Witness

John 14: 1-14

Sunday, June 14, 2020

2nd Sunday after Pentecost

Sarah Laughed

Matthew 9:35 – 10:8

 

 

Sunday School

10:15 a.m.

 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

6th Sunday of Easter

Witness of Love

John 14: 15-21

 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

3rd Sunday after Pentecost

Daring Discipleship

Matthew 10: 24-39

 

 

 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

7th Sunday of Easter

Spirit of Witness

John 17: 1-11

 

 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

4th Sunday after Pentecost

Holy Welcome

Matthew 10: 40-42

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Pentecost Sunday

Strengthen the Church

John 20: 19-23

 
   
 
The Greeter Sign-Up, Flower Calendar, and Bulletin Sponsor Sheets will all be available for you to participate in church life when we are able to worship in the sanctuary again.

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 

  Month Offering Rec’d Needed to Date Received to Date
Mar. 1    78 January $13,055.99 $14,718.08 $13,055.99
Mar. 8    103 February $13,460.00 $29,436.16 $26,515.99
Mar.15   57 March $13,370.60 $47,833.76 $39,886.59
Mar 22    0 April $16,360.90 $62,551.84 $56,247.49
Mar 29    0 May   $80,949.44  
Apr. 5      0 June   $95,667.52  
Apr. 12    0 July   $110,385.60  
Apr. 19    0 August   $128,783.20  
Apr. 26    0 September   $143,501.28  
    October   $158,219.36  
    November   $176,616.96  
    December   $191,335.04  

 

Happy 55th Anniversary to Bill and Jane S. on June 26th.

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

 If the “stay at home” and social gathering directives are lifted, the Ramblers are planning a Battlefield hike later in May. We encourage anyone who wants to get a little fresh air to join us, and please feel free to wear masks although we will maintain safe social distancing while walking. Look for details in the bulletin.

The Ladies Breakfast Group and Mens Breakfast Group are looking forward to the time when they can resume meeting at the Apple Bin for fellowship and food.  Keep an eye on the bulletin for updates.

Book Club Meeting – If the stay-at-home directive is lifted, Zion’s Readers plan to meet on May 14th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.  Here is a synopsis:

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. This is the compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

In June, our readers will meet at the Battersbys to discuss The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson.  A synopsis:

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a powerful message about how the written word affects people–a story of hope and heartbreak, raw courage and strength splintered with poverty and oppression, and one woman’s chances beyond the darkly hollows. Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek showcases a bold and unique tale of the Packhorse Librarians in literary novels — a story of fierce strength and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home.

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 March 31st, the balance in the account is $4,514.23.

UACT News –

John’s Meals is distributing weekend meal bags to food-insecure students and siblings in the Upper Adams School District during the COVID-19 virus pandemic.  Bi-weekly distributions for 2 weekends’ food bags are coordinated and set up in conjunction with the UASD school lunch bag grab-and-go distribution during the federally mandated times at the Biglerville Elementary School.  Thank you to our volunteers who have been staging, packing and distributing these meal bags to the John’s Meals roster of students.  We are in constant communication with the UASD, Upper Adams Food Pantry, and the Adams County Food Policy Council trying to feed the students. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated during this difficult time.  Any questions, please contact Angie V., and donations may be mailed to UACT-John’s Meals, PO Box 593, Arendtsville PA  17303.  Thank you.

And a message from our neighbor, Phil W., at The Upper Adams Food Pantry:

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, The Upper Adams Food Pantry must change the way we “lend a helping hand”.  If you need food, call Phil W. at 717-262-8960 or email him oldwarrior71@gmail.com, and he will set up a time to come to the Centenary United Methodist Church Upper Adams Food Pantry location to give you what food we have.  Phil will post on the Biglerville Borough Facebook page when the Upper Adams Food Pantry is reopened, and you can also look for the sign to be put outside the Centenary United Methodist Church at 99 N Main St in Biglerville.  We will get through this.  Stay calm, stay at home, stay safe.

Community Aid:  Due to the COVID-19 virus, Community Aid is closed.  No bins will be emptied until this difficult time is over.  Please hold on to your recyclable items like clothing, shoes, draperies, linens, purses, and belts until PA is open again.   Our bin is already full, and we will need to wait our turn for the pick-up truck. Please do not let anything sit alongside the bin as the weather will deteriorate the items and, unfortunately, all those items must be put in the trash.   Depending upon the number of items you have to donate, you may wish to drive them directly to the Community Aid in Hanover or Mechanicsburg once the stores have reopened.  Please let them know that your donations are for Zion UCC in Arendtsville, and we will still get credit for that weight.  When the bin is ready to be used again, we will send out a mass email.  Thank you for your help.  Any questions, please call Angie V.                                                                                   

REACH News:  There are BIG changes to this year’s REACH trip!  Due to the Covid-19 virus, REACH will not be travelling out of the area as it usually does.  However, the Hanover and Upper Adams groups ARE planning on doing “Reach in your Hometown” as long as we are permitted social gatherings this summer.  We are currently in the planning stages to work on projects that were slated for the Littlestown work camp in Gettysburg and New Oxford.  This would occur during the same week in July when we were supposed to go to New York (July 13 -19)..  We aim to use a local church in the Gettysburg area to have the Hanover group and Upper Adams group meet for breakfast and the evening meal AND hope to have volunteers from local churches help with those meals.  REACH plans on having their programming available both online and through the written program booklets. They will also provide T-shirts and project assistance at the reduced fee of $150.  For this reason, all our future fundraising has been suspended (we currently have enough money to fund this local plan).  We will be exploring some grants to assist with materials for the work sites.  As COVID-19 develops, we will continue to make plans.  Our adult leaders will be meeting every 2 weeks via Zoom to continue the planning process.  Any questions, please contact Chris P.

Consistory News Summary

March and April were unusual and busy times for the Consistory which met on March 15th just before the social gathering restrictions went into effect.  They met again March 30th to discuss how worship might be handled during the stay-at- home directive and decided to have the service, sermon, and announcements sent by email.  With the announcement of the virus stimulus initiative and the drop in local offerings, the Consistory met again on April 5th with appropriate social distancing to review the requirements for applying through ACNB for a Payroll Protection loan/grant for non-profit organizations through the Small Business Administration.  It is delighted that the loan/grant was approved (please see the Consistory President’s and Finance Chair’s messages in this newsletter).  These are unprecedented times, and the Consistory is working hard to steer Zion safely through the choppy waters.

Committee news:

The Personnel Committee is very grateful to Kathy J. for her hard work to complete the grant application.

Stewardship reports OGHS donations are sporadic, and the Strengthen the Church offering will be held on Pentecost.

The Fellowship Committee sadly reports the Totem Pole Playhouse trip has been cancelled due to the virus situation.  Hot dog roasts and the church annual picnic are still under discussion.

Membership encourages everyone to send updated pictures for the online directory to zion_ucc_arendtsville@comcast.net.  We encourage parents to assist their children in completing the assignments Dana as sent all Sunday School kiddos.  And we remind you that Vacation Bible School is around the corner July 6-10, and Zion needs to provide a snack leader, games leader, pre-school leader, and shepherds.

The Finance Committee worked with the Treasurer to complete the loan/grant application.  This grant is a bridge to get Zion over the troubled waters of reduced giving.  All members are encouraged to either mail their offerings or use EFT to continue their support of Zion.

The Property Committee reports that outside work has been done, including trimming shrubbery and cleaning the spouting at church.  New light bulbs have been installed at church, thus completing the sanctuary lighting project.

From Christian Ed:  Kudos to our Sunday School Director Dana B. for continuing online instruction during this unsettled time.

The Worship Committee thanks Pastor George, Bill S., and Dan W. for video recording the Easter message and successive sermons and uploading them to youtube for viewing by members.

The Audio/Visual Committee has added videotaping and uploading to youtube to its repertoire.

HELPING HANDS

Don’t forget that you can apply for help with outside projects through Zion’s Helping Hands initiative.  Contact the Office Manager at Zion House for an application. 

ZION UCC SUNDAY SCHOOL TIMES

  LIVING GOD’S WORD:  MAKING CHOICES

 (MAY 2020)

While Sunday School is cancelled for May, this schedule may be helpful as you use the suggested instruction Dana sends via email.

UNIT

54

Kindergarten-

1ST Grade

2ND-3RD

Grade

4th-6th

Grade

SUNDAY,

5/3/20

ART/

SCIENCE

STORY/

MOVIE

GAMES
SUNDAY,

5/10/20

GAMES ART/

SCIENCE

STORY/

MOVIE

SUNDAY,

5/17/20

NO SUNDAY SCHOOL

Bowling Party 1:00 @ Rockwell Lanes

NO SUNDAY SCHOOL

Bowling Party 1:00 @ Rockwell Lanes

NO SUNDAY SCHOOL

Bowling Party 1:00 @ Rockwell Lanes

SUNDAY,

5/24/20

MEMORIAL WALK MEMORIAL WALK MEMORIAL WALK

 

What’s New/Upcoming Events?

  • Sunday School has been cancelled for the remainder of the year. The Bowling Party and Memorial Walk are TENTATIVE.  Please stay tuned to the information provided through Zion’s Email blast and also Facebook.
  • End of the year bowling party!! We hope to hold this on Sunday, May 17th at 1:00 at Rockwell Lanes if they can re-open.  Please RSVP through email to Dana B.with the number from your family who will bowl as well as your preference for duck pin/regular bowling.  Hope we can hold this event, and if so—Hope to see you there!
  • On Sunday, May 24th, we hope to hold the walk to Fairview Cemetery. If we do, children are asked to bring loose flowers to lay on the veterans’ graves, and we will accept donation of loose flowers that AM as well.  It’s also always nice to have snacks for the kids when they’re done.  Please let Dana Brashear know if you can provide a snack.
  • It seems so far away, but Vacation Bible School will be here before we know it!! It will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Arendtsville the week of July 6th-10th with the theme of ROCKY RAILWAY-Jesus pulls us through.  There will be a presentation of songs at both churches on Sunday, July 12th.  Mark your calendars now!!  We will be looking for leaders as well as shepherds for all classes.  Any volunteer must have current (within 5 years) Child Abuse and PA State Criminal Backgroud check clearances.  Please see Dana (brashear@fcps.org) if you’re available to volunteer.  Teen helpers are always welcome too!!
  • As the Christian Education Coordinator for the 2019-2020 Sunday School year, I would like to say Thank you to all of our volunteers, parents, and church members for their donations of time, talents, and monetary support for our program. I truly appreciated all of the “pats on the back” and support throughout the year!  I pray that you continue to support our thriving program here at Zion.  It was sure fun to see all of these “students of Christ” attend weekly and fill their hearts with Jesus.

FALL SIGN UPS…

It’s never too early to start planning for the fall.  Sign-up sheets for the fall rotation are available and will be emailed out to current volunteers and parents within the next month.  Please sign up as you are able.  If you will need updated clearances for next year, Dana will be in touch.  And it’s never too late to become a volunteer if you haven’t volunteered before.  Please see Dana B. if interested.

 
Health Updates . . .

Jean S. had a brief stay in the hospital and is recuperating at home.

Valerie B. had successful surgery and is recuperating at home.

Prayers are asked for Bonnie O.’s mother who resides in a residential care facility and is exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19.

Congratulations to . . .

To all of Zion’s members for surviving a month of radical change and finding new ways to support and care for each other in these unsettled times!

To Parker and Amy S. on the birth of their daughter Teagan Lin.  She weighed 8 lbs. 2 oz.  Congrats also to grandparents Mike & Ann S., and great-grandmothers Jane G. and Nancy S.

 

 

Thank you . . .

To Jay J. and Kathy J. for the hours of work navigating the SBA loan application and its required supporting documentation.

To Bill S. and Dan W. for videotaping Pastor George’s sermons and uploading them to youtube so they can be accessed by members.

To Donna M. for delivering Easter flowers to those who purchased them.

Our Sympathy To:  Kelly and Tim F. on the death of Tim’s father on April 14th due to complications from the Covid-19 virus.

 

                                                                       

 

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