Embodying the Love of God in Word and Action
George Heberling, Interim Pastor
Wayne B., Consistory President
|Contents||Happy New Year everyone!!
Where has the time gone? It’s hard to believe that the year 2019 is ending and the new year beginning. How did that happen so quickly? I was just getting used to writing 2019 on checks and letters! How many weeks or months will it take to adjust to writing 2020? Each year seems to pass by a little more quickly than the last.
I remember distinctly when I was a teenager and thought that seventy years of age was “ancient”, but now I am on the other side of that marker and I reflect on all the passages of life that I have lived in the intervening years. I have been blessed in so many ways with mostly wonderful adventures and opportunities, meeting interesting people along the way, growing and learning and experiencing so much that has given my life a sense of meaning and purpose.
Time has a way of slipping away from us. We tend to procrastinate, to say “wait until tomorrow,” and, consequently miss out on opportunities to experience life to the fullest. Sometimes, because fear is the decision-making factor in our lives, we also miss out on opportunities to learn something new and interesting. Time brings with it many changes, and we tend to resist change because it is uncomfortable and unfamiliar to us – but in the process we find ourselves more separated from those who embrace change and use it for their advantage. Time leads us into the unknown and we feel unprepared to tackle the things or events in life that my unexpectedly come our way.
We need to remember that one of the gifts that God has given us is the gift of time. All of us, no matter who we are, will have 365 days in the new year; that’s 12 months, 52 weeks, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, and 31,536,000 seconds from January 1st, 2020, until January 1st, 2021 (although because 2020 is a leap year, add 24 hours and the appropriate number of minutes and seconds to the total). How will we use the time that God has given us?
We can make many choices in regard to how we use our time in this upcoming year. We can choose to seek to be healing agents, bringing hope and understanding to those we meet; or we can choose to perpetuate divisions and mistrust between people. We can choose to embrace those who are different, or we can hold them at a distance with suspicion. We can choose to work toward the good of the entire community or we can focus on self-interest that seeks advantage for ourselves and our friends. We can choose to guard our time, or we can willingly reach out and volunteer in touching the lives of those who have needs. We can explore how we need to change in order to live out God’s changeless message of love and mercy and grace, or we can resist change and find that message reaching very few. We can use the time that God has given us to learn and to grow in prayer and service, or we can choose to ignore that God is still desiring to speak to us in new ways. This coming new year provides us with opportunities and challenges. How we use the time that God has given us reflects our trust in the gracious presence of God, who seeks our response in faithfulness and obedience.
Your interim pastor,
|Attendance Stats 3
Consistory Summary 5
Discernment Process 2
Financial Stats 3
Hoss’s Update 5
John’s Meals 5
Sunday School 7
Thank You! 8
Upcoming Events 4
In the Interim Continuing the Search Process
As we enter into 2020, the discernment and visioning part of the search process for a new called permanent pastor for Zion continues. This past November we had our first Congregational Chat to learn more about the thoughts of the congregation regarding what is important to the members about the life of Zion. We will continue to seek more information at the next Congregational Chat scheduled for January 19, 2020, following worship services. We encourage you to attend to share your thoughts and your concerns.
Also, at that Congregational Chat we will introduce to you a survey opportunity using the Congregational Assessment Tool. It is scheduled to begin on January 26th with a return date of no later than February 16th. You can choose either a paper copy or to complete the survey online. The purpose of this survey is to help determine the style and the kinds of ministries that will best serve and be most suitable for Zion in the coming years and also help to identify the pastoral skills and abilities that will best fit for Zion. By identifying both of these aspects of church life, the Search Committee will be better equipped to interview potential candidates and choose the best person who meets the needs of the congregation.
When the survey is completed, representatives of Samaritan Counseling will meet with the Consistory and Profile Committee to review the results, with a second consultation meeting to explore the skills and abilities of a future pastor more in depth. We will also seek a time to share the results with the congregation on a Sunday morning.
We look forward to your participation in both the Congregational Chat on Sunday, January 19th, following worship and in the Congregational Assessment Tool survey to follow.
|Tentative Timeline – New Pastor 2020|
|January 19||Congregational Chat to introduce the Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT)|
|January 20 – February 8||Completion of CAT either online or by paper copy to facilitate profile creation|
|February||Compile results and present findings|
|March – April||Complete Zion’s Profile and form Search Committee|
|May – June||Submit profile|
|June – December||Review profiles (resumes) of prospective pastors|
|By December||Hire new pastor|
Worship in January & February
|Sunday, January 5, 2020
Second Sunday after Christmas
John 1: 1-9, 10-18
|Sunday, February 2, 2020
4th Sunday after Epiphany
The Vision Beautiful
Matthew 5: 1-12
|Sunday, January 12, 2020
Baptism of Christ/
1st Sunday After Epiphany
Matthew 3: 13-17
|Sunday, February 9, 2020
5th Sunday after Epiphany
Matthew 5: 13-20
Sunday, January 19, 2020
2nd Sunday after Epiphany
All That We Are
John 1: 29-42
Sunday, February 16, 2020
6th Sunday after Epiphany
From the Heart
Matthew 5: 21-37
Sunday, January, 26l
3rd Sunday after Epiphany
Matthew 4: 12-23
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Matthew 17: 1-9
|Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Matthew 6: 16, 16-21
|The 2020 Flower Calendar is posted in the vestibule. Please remember to sign up!
New – the Greeters Sign-up Sheet and Bulletin Sponsorship Sheet are now beside the Flower Calendar in the narthex! Please consider greeting fellow members on a convenient Sunday and sponsoring the bulletin.
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|
|Nov. 3 84||January||$14,682.12||$14,881.08||$14,682.12|
|Nov. 10 72||February||$13,743.14||$29,762.16||$28,425.26|
|Nov. 17 73||March||$17,147.16||$48,363.51||$45,572.42|
|Nov. 24 77||April||$15,711.17||$63,244.59||$61,283.59|
|Dec. 1 107||May||$14,829.03||$78,125.67||$76,112.62|
|Dec. 8 82||June||$15,607.90||$96,727.02||$91,720.52|
|Dec. 15 136||July||$14,321.32||$111,608.11||$106,041.84|
|Dec. 22 128||August||$11,530.30||$126,489.18||$117,572.14|
|Dec. 24 150||September||$17,440.37||$145,090.53||$135,012.51|
|Dec. 29 69||October||$14,905.79||$159,971.61||$149,918.30|
Cancellations due to weather If inclement weather threatens, Rev. Heberling and Consistory President Wayne Bushey will confer and reach a decision early Sunday morning. Members should dial the church phone number (717-677-8319) after 7:30 a.m. to hear any cancellation news
Ramblers – The Ramblers had a great hike on the eastern side of the Gettysburg Battlefield on November 9th. We may try a winter hike in January or February. Look for details in the bulletin and come join us for a brisk walk!
Ladies Breakfast Group – We will meet on January 13, 2020 at the Apple Bin at 9:00 a.m. for food, fun, and fellowship! Then we will meet on Monday, February 10th at 9:00 a.m. again at the Apple Bin and repeat! Ladies, feel free to bring a friend.
Book Club Meeting – On January 9th at 7:00 p.m., Zion’s Book Club will meet in the Mustard Seed room to discuss The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. Here is a synopsis:
At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.
The story is told by Cryil’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.
Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives, they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.
In February, our readers will meet on Thursday, the 12th, to discuss our selection, Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt. A synopsis:
“When I look back on my childhood, I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: The happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.” So begins the Pulitzer Prize winning memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy– exasperating, irresponsible and beguiling– does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: A story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies. Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation, and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors–yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.
Imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, this is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.
Trivia Nite. Mark your calendars, our next Trivia Nite will be Sunday, January 12, 2020. Find some friends who like to test their knowledge of all things and come enjoy the thrill of competition and a delicious light meal.
“Souper” Bowl Sunday! Zion will be having a canned soup drive on Sunday, January 26 and February 2 with a football field set up in the front of the church. Please ring your cans of soup, (tomato, vegetable, chicken noodle/rice/star etc.) and place them in the end zone of the team you think will win the Super Bowl. After the game is played, we’ll see if Zion was correct in picking the winner. The soup will then be delivered to John’s Meals. Last year, we donated 272 cans. Let’s see if we can top that amount this year!
Matthew 25 Update – Our Matthew 25 fund is set up to provide assistance to families in need, whether members of non-members. It is not designated for general mission or relief work. As of December 30th, the balance in the account is $3,989.23.
UACT News –
Currently John’s Meals is delivering approximately 165 weekend food supplemental bags to students and siblings of the UASD Elementary Schools. Thank you to Zion UCC for your continued financial support and donations of Mac/cheese individual cups/packs which are served on the rotating bi-weekly menu. Thank you to our Zion UCC members and friends who volunteer to keep John’s Meals running successfully. John’s Meals was a grateful participant in the Adams County Community Foundation Giving Spree and received generous donations totaling just over $7500. These donations help tremendously towards our $40,000 annual budget. John’s Meals is always looking for volunteers. Please contact Angie V. if you are able to volunteer even for just a few hours for John’s Meals.
Reminder From the Treasurer: When making a donation to more than one account, please write a separate check for each designation. For example, when making a regular offering and a donation to Altar Guild, if paying by check be sure to include two separate checks noting the appropriate account on each check. With so many funds, it is important to identify your giving with a separate check. This will make the accounting much easier for the money counters and the treasurer. Thanks so much!
“Undie” Sunday Update – 63 packages of socks/underwear/t-shirts were collected; Chris P. delivered appropriate sizes to Biglerville Elem. & HS, Arendtsville Elem., and the homeless shelter. Thanks to all who gave!
Homewood Update: Zion UCC delivered 66 boxes of tissues and 45 bottles of unscented lotion to Homewood for the residents. Thank you Zion UCC for brightening the Christmas season for the Homewood residents.
Homewood Auxiliary: Dues were collected through December 2019 for Homewood Auxiliary 2020 with 19 members signed up for 2020.
Holiday Toy Drive Update: Wow! Gina B. delivered 55 LEGO sets for the Holiday Toy Drive Christmas distribution. Thanks to Zion’s members for their generosity.
Community Aid: Thank you for your donations to the Community Aid Bin located in the Zion UCC parking lot. To date in 2019 we have received $1,613.31 which is used in the Mission Budget. Requested donation items include clothing, shoes, purses, belts, draperies, linens, and curtains. Please bag your items and be sure to place in the bin. If the bin is full, please DO NOT let items by the side of the bin. There is also a Community Aid Bin located in the parking lot of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, off Franklin St. in Biglerville. This bin is sponsored by UACT/John’s Meals, so your donations will still remain local. Please contact Angie V. with questions.
Hoss’s Fundraiser – Our most recent fundraiser netted $106.77. The next one is scheduled for Monday, March 16, 2020. Take a friend to dinner and give to Zion at the same time – what a deal!
REACH News: Anyone wishing to attend this year’s REACH mission trip to Columbia County, New York (Albany area) needs to talk to Chris P. The trip is planned for July 11-19, 2020. Registrations are being accepted now and $100.00 will hold your place (and Zion will underwrite this registration fee).
Consistory News Summary
The Consistory met November 18th. The minutes from the October meeting were approved as was the Treasurer’s reports for October. In the Pastor’s report, Pastor George noted that the first Congregational Chat in the discernment/visioning
process of the search for a called pastor was well attended. People participated and provided great data for review by the Profile Committee and Consistory. Steeple repair was discussed, and this has since commenced. Consistory candidates for 2020 were nominated, and the Annual Meeting on Dec. 8th was discussed. Development of an Internet Security Policy is ongoing. New treasurer Katherine J.was formally hired, and the 2020 proposed budget was reviewed and approved. In December, the Consistory meeting was cancelled due to bad weather.
The Personnel Committee recommended Katherine J. for the Treasurer position.
Stewardship Christmas Fund envelopes will be placed in the Christmas Eve bulletins and in the pews. Offering envelopes will be available soon in the rear of church.
The Fellowship Committee will serve tea and cookies at the Christmas Social after church on Dec. 22 and will meet in January to plan events for 2020.
The Finance Committee developed the 2020 budget.
The Property Committee reports that Zion House’s porch posts have been wrapped with coil stock; the steeple repair is underway; and they are obtaining 3 proposals for the spotlight replacement.
From Christian Ed: The Skating Party in November was a huge success – many thanks to the anonymous donor who paid the rental fee! The Children’s Christmas Play was wonderful, and a pajama party is planned for Dec. 22nd during workship.
Per the Worship Committee, Christmas Eve service plans have been finalized.
The Audio/Visual Committee reports that the platform and console is under construction.
Don’t forget! If you have need of some assistance with a project around the house, Zion’s Helping Hands folks are ready and willing. Just grab an application form from the credenza in the rear of church, fill out the details of your project, and return the form to the Zion House office either by dropping it off or mailing it. Your project will be evaluated and project volunteers coordinated. Give us the gift of being able to help you spruce up your home.
ZION UCC SUNDAY SCHOOL TIMES
UNIT FIFTY: FOLLOW THE STAR?
|CREATIVE COOKERY||CREATIVE COOKERY||CREATIVE COOKERY|
UNIT FIFTY-ONE: BURNING BUSH & OTHER IMAGES OF GOD
|CREATIVE COOKERY||CREATIVE COOKERY||CREATIVE COOKERY|
WHAT’S NEW/UPCOMING EVENTS
- I am working on planning a spring outing. Details will be coming shortly. Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome!
- Many, many thanks for your donations for Jesus’ Birthday Party. They were thrilled to receive so many useful items and overwhelmed by our generosity. We also surprised 6 of our elderly members with no-sew blankets and cards. They were elated with the gifts, and the students learned so much in the process of making the blankets.
Please see the sign-up sheets in the hallway between the Mustard Seed room and Sunday School room. There are lots of spaces just waiting for you to sign up. J I am in need of a games leader in January and all teaching positions in February! This is a wonderful program in which to be involved. Please consider volunteering.
CLEARANCES IN 2020
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. We will be scheduling a Sunday in which you can receive assistance in submitting the new clearances. Stay tuned………
NEXT SUNDAY THAT CHILDREN WILL SING IN CHURCH IS FEBRUARY 23rd!!
|Thanks From . . .
The United Church of Christ for your participation in Our Church’s Wider Mission collection – Together we are building a just world for all.
SCCAP for your thoughtful gift of $300.00 to support SCCAP’s programs. Your gift allows us to provide food, shelter, job training, child care, and support for families. You help transform lives! ~Megan S., CEO
Adams County Habitat for Humanity for your kind donation of $1,000.00. Your donation helps us fulfill Habitat’s world-wide mission: “A world where everyone has a decent place to live”. ~ Lori W., Board Secretary
I am truly grateful for the gift cards, socks, t-shirts, and underwear you recently donated. Several families have benefited from your kindness. Thank you!
~ Sally J., School Nurse
Biglerville Middle & High
|Thank you . . .
To the anonymous donor who paid for the skating rental at our November skating party at Magic Elm. What a wonderful gift!
Congratulations to . . .
Danielle B. and Zachary T. on the baptism of their son, Levi, on December 1st!
Blake and Charlotte W. on the birth of their first child, Riley , on Nov. 24th. Congrats also to grandparents Matt & Luann B.
Samantha and Gregg R. on the birth of daughter, Chiara , on Nov. 29th. Congrats also to grandparents Ellen & Lynn R. and great-grandparent Miriam R.