Newsletter: March/April 2021

Contents
The Pastor’s Message
Dear Friends in Christ,

Life is sometimes very difficult.  As we learn to accept the reality that during our journey through life we will encounter obstacles, struggles, pitfalls and challenges, we will be more mature and wiser people.  We have a choice to make when life becomes difficult – we can throw up our hands in despair and give up, or we can seek healthy and productive ways to deal with those problems.

There are many people who, when confronted by life’s difficult moments, tend to feel overwhelmed.  You can hear them complain about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy for other people, and as if life ought to be easy.  They let it be known that their difficulties are unique and have somehow been placed especially upon them.  I suspect that all of us have, at times, fallen into this trap and this way of thinking.

But as I reflect on Scripture, I realize that Jesus’ journey through life was difficult as well.  Wherever Jesus traveled, he encountered people making demands upon his time and his energy.  Wherever Jesus traveled, he met opposition from those who disagreed with his message of hope and love.  Wherever Jesus traveled, he found himself in the midst of situations where he had to make decisions and choices.  Indeed, it would have been much easier for Jesus to give up, to retreat from his commitment, and to withdraw to some remote village.  At least that would have looked easier and would have seemed to be the way to rid himself of the difficulties he encountered along the way.

But I believe that Jesus was able to deal with life’s difficulties because he had developed a unique and meaningful prayer life.  No matter where he went, Jesus seemed to find the time to pray.  Indeed, it seems that prayer was a necessary part of his daily life.  It is in prayer that Jesus found the strength to carry on when all the pressures and difficulties threatened to overwhelm him; it is in prayer that Jesus found the courage to speak out in the face of his opponents; it is in prayer that Jesus discovered a healthy way to deal with the issues that confronted him.

Prayer can do the same for us as we are open to listening to God’s answers.  In prayer we open ourselves to the guidance and the direction that God offers to us.  In prayer we will find encouragement to press on with the reality of life’s difficulties.  In prayer, we will discover a “calmness” that helps us to deal with our issues in creative and healthy ways.  In prayer, we will find ways to accept the things that cannot change.  In prayer, we will be blessed so that we might be a blessing to others.  A healthy, daily prayer life can change things – maybe not our life situation, but the way in which we handle our life situation.  Consider this during the season of Lent.  Has our prayer life been lacking?  Have we neglected a steady diet of God’s nurture?  Have we turned to God only when we have a need or a desire that we think ought to be fulfilled?  Have we treated God like a vending machine – we put in our prayer and God should give us what we want?  Where is our prayer life?  In what direction have we been going?  In what direction ought we to go?

Yes, life does have its difficult moments.  But through prayer we can find all that is needed to deal with those difficulties in a healthy way.  This time before Easter gives us an opportunity to work on our prayer life, to build daily communication with God, in both expressing our concerns and in listening to God’s words to us?  As we are open to God’s Spirit, so we shall grow and so we shall find wholeness and peace in our lives.

 

Your interim pastor,

George

 

Attendance Stats   3

Consistory Summary 6

Financial Stats   3

John’s Meals   5

Sunday School  7-8

Thank You!   8

Upcoming Events   4

Worship   2

 

 

Worship in March and April

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Third Sunday in Lent

Beautiful Law

John 2: 13-22

 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Fourth Sunday in Lent

No Matter What

John 3:  14-21

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter

Now What?

John 20: 1-18

 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Second Sunday of Easter

Marks of Faith

John 20: 19-31

 

 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Fifth Sunday in Lent

Deep in Our Hearts

John 12: 20-33

 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Third Sunday of Easter

Christ Among Us

Luke 24: 36b-48

Our Live Stream Worship 9:00 a.m.

Zoom Sunday School

10:30a.m.

 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Palm Sunday

Sixth Sunday in Lent

Into Jerusalem

Mark 11: 1-11

 

 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Enfolded By Love

John 10: 11-18

 
  2
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 $199,425.00    

Weekly Offering Needed $3,835.10 

                Live stream

 

Month Offering Rec’d Needed to Date Received to Date
Jan. 3            94 January $13,836.90   $19,175.50   13,836.90
Jan. 10         138 February      
Jan. 17          87 March      
Jan. 24          96 April      
Jan. 31          85 May      
Feb. 7           80 June      
Feb. 14         99 July      
Feb. 17         88 August      
Feb. 21         80

Feb. 28

September

October

November

December

     

 

 

message from Consistory President:

 

After the liminal year of 2020, we head into a new year of new beginnings, new hopes for 2021. I look forward to working with a great team of members on the Consistory in my new role as president.

The upcoming year bodes to be an exciting one, with the advent of a new pastor in May; capital improvement projects starting in the spring, including a new roof on the Sunday school building and the rebuilding of Zion’s parking lot; our expanding foray into live streaming not only inside services but also services when we return to outdoor worship March 21st, and special events; and just getting back together in fellowship as hopefully we get vaccinated and the pandemic slowly diminishes.

The first day of spring is only 4 weeks away and already I am hearing the calls of spring birds.  The red-wing blackbirds and grackles have shown up at my feeders; robins and bluebirds cannot be far behind. In the season of Lent may we not dwell on what we have given up but look forward to what we will gain.

 

Debra Scarborough, Consistory President

 

 

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.

 

A Change Has Arrived:  This newsletter is being sent by email.  If you do not have access to email, copies of this and future newsletters will be available in the brown wooden box on the wall of the back porch at Zion House and also available at outdoor worship.

 

Live Streaming:  We are excited to announce that Dan W. and Bill S., our very dedicated tech crew members, are diligently working out the details of live streaming our outdoor worship services from Zion’s parking lot.  We plan to move outdoors on March 21st, weather permitting, and are looking forward to gathering again in one space even if safely socially distanced.  If the weather is inclement, the service will be live streamed from the sanctuary, but there will be no in-person attendance.  An email blast and a message on the church answering machine will let members know of any necessary weather-related changes.  Here’s hoping we can equal our successful outdoor season of last year!

 

Covid-19 Task Force Update

Zion’s COVID-19 Task Force will be working with Consistory and Zion’s new pastor to determine under U.C.C., state, and federal guidelines when in-person worship in the sanctuary can be safely resumed as well as in-person meetings.  The Task Force members thank you for your patience as they continue to make the health of congregation members their priority.

 

Upcoming Events

 Winter was not kind to the Ramblers so far, but we are scheduling a hike for Saturday, March 6th and hope you consider exploring the Battlefield with us.  Masks are required in federal parks, so please bring yours – they can actually be helpful if the wind is chilly!  We will meet at the picnic area on West Confederate Avenue just off the Emmitsburg Road at 9:00 a.m.  We look forward to stretching our legs and searching for signs of spring.

Book Club:  Zion’s readers hope to meet on Thursday, March 11th, masked and socially distanced, to 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.”

In April, 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.”

 

One Great Hour of Sharing:  On March 14th, the OGHS collection will be taken.  Zion supports this way to extend our assistance through the wider U.C.C. to those in need of help due to natural disasters and refugee emergencies.  Your generous contributions are appreciated.

 

Who Is That Person in the Mirror?  If you don’t recognize yourself at times when you walk past a reflective surface, what about someone who can only compare you to an image taken 10 or more years ago?  As we plan to roll out the on-line directory when our new pastor comes aboard, it would be great to have current pictures of our members available so the new pastor can recognize us!  To that end, Zion is sponsoring a Selfie Sunday on March 21st, our first outdoor worship date.  Pictures don’t need to be professionally or formally done – just grab your cell phone and snap individual or family groups.  If you want someone to take the picture for you, ask them after worship that day.  Send those pictures via email to zion_ucc_arendtsville@comcast.net.  Let’s put our best face forward!

 

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 $5,974.23.

UACT News –

Thank you to Zion UCC for your financial support and for the Mac N Cheese donations during this school year (you can drop your Mac N Cheese in the bin in the closet on the Zion House back porch).  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.  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.

 

Consistory News Summary

January and February found the Consistory immersed in details of the Call Process for a new settled pastor.  There were many weekly meetings as well as updates from the Search Committee, the members of which have the deep gratitude of the Consistory for all their hard work and numerous meetings.  If you talk to Wes M., who chaired the Committee, Fred M., Heather B., Kim J., Juli H., Dave W., and Jess P., please give them your thanks and congratulations for representing Zion’s interests so well.

 

Committee news:

The Personnel Committee will be sending contracts to employees for their signatures.

Stewardship reminds all members that the One Great Hour of Sharing collection is March 14th.

The Fellowship Committee is hoping to plan some outdoor events as the year progresses.

Membership asks for updated pictures (selfies are great!) for the online directory so the new pastor can meet us all.

The Finance Committee awaits the PPP form for loan forgiveness from ACNB.

The Mission Committee will be meeting in early March to consider budget designations and other potential projects.  If you are not already a member of this committee and would like to serve, please contact Betsy B. or Tom D.

The Property Committee has decided on contractors for the Sunday School roof and parking lot and is working to get the projects scheduled soon.

From Christian Ed:  Zoom Sunday School classes are going well and the students are making cheer cards for older members of Zion.  If you would like your child to attend and are not receiving emails, contact Minda H. or Chris B.

 

Camping News:         The Lutheran Camping Corporation of Central Pennsylvania

PO Box 459, Arendtsville, PA 17303

717-677-8211 ● www.LutheranCamping.org

 

Covenanting together is part of our call to ministry.  This year, the Penn Central Conference Executive Board decided to covenant with the Lutheran Camping Corporation of Central Pennsylvania to provide camping and retreat services to youth and adults within our Conference. Kirchenwald (outside Lebanon, PA) and Nawakwa (outside Biglerville, PA) are offering open house events on March 21st and April 11th from 2 – 4:30.  If you are considering sending a child to camp this year or are even contemplating participating in an Adult event, this is a great opportunity to visit one or both camps to discover the amenities offered at each location. Forget nights of sleeping in tents, the rustling of critters next to your tent, and dark trips to an outhouse. Today’s camping experiences are comfortable and still connect campers with the beauty of God’s wilderness.

The Lutheran Camping Corporation has a long history with CampPerson’s.  A CampPerson is a liaison between the Lutheran Camping Corporation and one’s own congregation.  They serve as a resource person for outdoor ministries.  As an added benefit, all children of churches that offer a CampPerson receive a discount at the time of registration.  And additional discounts are available for families registering more than one child!

Memories created at camp shape the lives and faith formation of people of all ages.  Lasting friendships, leadership skills, and discernment about the big questions of life develop through rich camping experiences.  Be kind to yourself – treat yourself to time with God and allow yourself to grow.

If you would like more information about Summer Camping opportunities, becoming a Camp Person, Open House, or 2021 events, please contact the Rev. Susan Fritz at revfritz1958@gmail.com who is representing the Gettysburg Association on behalf of the PCCUCC.

 

ZION UCC SUNDAY SCHOOL TIMES

MARCH/APRIL 2021

JOURNEY TO THE CROSS / EASTER

(March 2021)

UNIT

6/7

Kindergarten-

1ST GRADE

2ND-3RD

Grade

4TH -6th

Grade

SUNDAY,

3/7/21

ART/SCIENCE GAMES STORY /MOVIE
SUNDAY,

3/14/21

STORY/

MOVIE

ART/

SCIENCE

GAMES
SUNDAY,

3/21/21

CREATIVE COOKERY CREATIVE COOKERY CREATIVE COOKERY
SUNDAY,

3/28/21

GAMES STORY/

MOVIE

ART/

SCIENCE

 

DANCE FOR JOY!

(April 2021)

UNIT

8

Kindergarten-

1ST GRADE

2ND-3RD

Grade

4TH -6th

Grade

SUNDAY,

4/4/21

HAPPY EASTER

NO SUNDAY

SCHOOL

HAPPY EASTER

NO SUNDAY

SCHOOL

HAPPY EASTER

NO SUNDAY

SCHOOL

SUNDAY,

4/11/21

ART/SCIENCE GAMES STORY/MOVIE
SUNDAY,

4/18/21

STORY/MOVIE ART/SCIENCE GAMES
SUNDAY,

4/25/21

GAMES STORY/

MOVIE

ART/

SCIENCE

 

WHAT’S NEW/UPCOMING EVENTS

  • The above are the schedules for when in-person Sunday School begins again. We are still doing Zoom every Sunday morning at 10:30. When outdoor Worship Services begin, we will discuss a new time for Sunday School Zoom.
  • The children have made Cheer cards for several of the members of our congregation and are planning on making some more. They have also decided to continue saving money to add to last year’s total to the SPCA for their Mission project.

 Please keep in mind that as soon as we are able to reopen the Sunday School to in-person learning, we will need to fill the teachers’ and shepherds’ positions.

  • I would like to update our volunteer list for teachers, shepherds or anyone who would just like to help out now and then. You would need to have clearances which I could help you to get.  We need everyone’s help and support to keep this wonderful program for our children going.  Please let me know if you would like to be placed on the list or have any questions.  Chris B.
  • I would also like to start a list of children who are planning to attend Sunday School in the fall. Also, if there are any 2- and 3-year-olds who would like to start joining us in our nursery, we would love to have them. If you could let me know as soon as possible, I can make sure that I have enough material.

 

 
Congratulations to:

Carly W. and Ryan E. on the baptism of their daughter, Sydnee Rayne on January 31, 2021.  She joins sister Teighan.  Congratulations also to grandparents Bonnie & Douglas W.and great-grandmother Carolyn W.

 

Alex and Rodney W. on the birth of their son, Emory Arthur , on January 18, 2021. He joins siblings Kamden, Charlotte, and Eloise.  Congratulations also to grandparents Kandy & Craig L.

 

Dylan & Cheyenne E.on their recent wedding.

 

 

Our Sympathy to:

Angie & Bob V. and their extended family on the deaths of Angie’s mother, Shirley, and step-father, Ralph S. in January.

 

 

 

 

Thank you. . .

…Before her death on January 10, 2021, Jane T. had asked that in the next newsletter we publish her thanks to all the members of Zion who sent her birthday cards and helped make her 92nd birthday on November 23, 2020 very special.  So here, posthumously, are thanks from a very gracious lady.