Newsletter November/December 2020

Embodying the Love of God in Word and Action

George Heberling, Interim Pastor

Wayne B., Consistory President

November/December 2020


The Pastor’s Message
Dear Friends of Zion,


We are entering the “dark days” so to speak. The time change arriving at the beginning of November will result in longer hours of darkness and the daylight hours shortened significantly.  The colder days will probably result in more time spent indoors, and we will feel that sense of being confined and “cooped up” at home.  That can be difficult enough during normal times, but these are not normal times.   In spite of many people experiencing “pandemic fatigue” and wanting to return to some semblance of normalcy in their lives, we are being warned that there is a growing sense that the numbers of people affected by covid-19 will increase substantially over the next three to four months.

There are so many uncertainties right now.  I hear people wondering how they will be able to celebrate the upcoming holidays in the midst of social distancing and wearing masks.  Will families be able to gather as usual?  What about all the preparations for the holiday season?  What about Christmas Eve services at church?  These are all discussions that people are beginning to have in these days.

If that weren’t enough, we face a difficult election time when our nation appears deeply divided and we are unsure how our lives and the life of our nation may be disrupted until there is a clear picture of the future.

How will we as Christian people handle all the uncertainties and unknowns of the next couple of months?   I hope that we can remember that all of God’s children need to be treated with dignity and respect, that our faithful witness in these difficult days can make a huge difference, and that we remain embraced in the merciful arms of a Savior who gives us an abiding hope and confidence that we will be held in his care through even the darkest of nights.

As I was reflecting and pondering over these present days, I would suggest the following possibilities to maintain your steadfast faith in the coming months:

Remember to pray, not only for yourself and your family, but for your friends and neighbors as well as our entire nation.  Pray for all those affected by covid-19 and those doctors and nurses who are providing care.  Pray for a new sense of understanding and reconciliation between people who are deeply divided.

You might try reading from the daily devotional, These Days, which is available at the church or find another devotional that brings you some comfort.  You might try reading from the Bible, maybe one Psalm a day for the next 150 days.  Keep yourself grounded in Scripture.

Make a telephone call a day (or an email a day) to someone with words of encouragement and hope.  Pick a name out of the church directory if you can’t think of anyone to call.

Remember an uplifting moment in your life that brought you joy or a sense of accomplishment.  Memories can be a great way to put a smile on your face.

We will rely on each other to get through these difficult times.  That is what Christian people have always done and we shall do it again!!

Blessings, George

Your interim pastor


Attendance Stats   3

Consistory Summary 7

Financial Stats   3

John’s Meals   6

Sunday School  8-9

Thank You!   9

Transition Timeline  3

Upcoming Events   5

Worship   2



Worship in November & December

Sunday, November 1, 2020

22nd Sunday after Pentecost

Partners in Service

Matthew 23: 1-12


Sunday, November 8, 2020

23rd Sunday after Pentecost

Tending God’s Light

Matthew 25:  1-13

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Matthew 21: 33-46

Messengers of Hope

Mark 1: 1-8


Sunday, December 13, 2020

3rd Sunday of Advent

Shouts of Joy

John 1:6-8, 19-28



Sunday, November 15, 2020

24th Sunday after Pentecost

Extravagant Opportunity

Matthew 25: 14-30


Sunday, December 20, 2020

4th Sunday of Advent

Birthing a Promise

Luke 1:26-38

Our Worship 9:00 a.m.

Sunday School

10:00 a.m.


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Reign of Christ Sunday

Reigning Compassion

Matthew 25: 31-46



Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve

Birth of Christ

Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)





Sunday, November 29, 2020

1st Sunday of Advent

Where Are You, God?

Mark 13:  24-37


Sunday, December 27, 2020

1st Sunday after Christmas

Long-Awaited Gift

Luke 2:22-40

The Greeter Sign-Up, Flower Calendar, and Bulletin Sponsor Sheets are available for you to participate in church life.

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 

             Online  Outdoor


Month Offering Rec’d Needed to Date Received to Date
Sept. 6       10         92 January $13,055.99   $14,718.08   $13,055.99
Sept. 13      8          52 February $13,460.00   $29,436.16   $26,515.99
Sept. 20      3          45 March $13,370.60   $47,833.76   $39,886.59
Sept. 27      6          53 April $16,360.90   $62,551.84   $56,247.49
Oct. 4         5          51 May $11,169.00   $80,949.44   $67,416.49
Oct. 11       5          59 June $20,440.03   $95,667.52   $87,856.52
Oct. 18      15         76 July $14,287.00 $110,385.60 $102,143.52
Oct. 25      10         46 August $11,951.00 $128,783.20 $114,094.52




$15,108.90 $143,501.28







message from Consistory President:

 Search Committee Update

            Heather B., Juli H., Kim J., Jessica P., Fred M., Wes M., and Dave W. have been asked and agreed to serve on Zion’s Search Committee as we take the next step toward finding a new permanent called pastor for the church.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers in the coming months as they continue through this rather lengthy process to find the person who will be a good fit for the needs and hopes of Zion.

The members of the Search Committee are currently going through a period of preparation in order to understand the procedures and the process in choosing the best candidate for Zion.  We want them to be confident and comfortable in dealing with each profile and ready to begin interviews if a profile seems promising.  We trust that the Holy Spirit will give them guidance and wisdom as they work together toward the final goal.

The Search Committee will share information on a regular basis while maintaining the confidentiality of the search process.  Again, please keep these members of the Search Committee in your thoughts and prayers.

Wayne B., Consistory President


Tentative Timeline – New Pastor 2020
November Complete Search Committee Training
November – March Review profiles (resumes) of prospective pastors
By second quarter of 2021 Hire new pastor



Message from Finance Chair:

Zion’s year-to-date income as of September 30th is $129,554.00 with expenses to that date totaling $128,201.00.  This leaves a surplus of $1,353.00 as of the end of September.  Finance is presently working on the 2021 proposed budget which will be presented to the Consistory on November 16th for their approval.  It will then be mailed to church members for the annual meeting on December 13th.

In other news, Zion submitted an application for a FAIRs grant, which is a federal program administered by the Adams County Commissioners.  In this application, Zion is requesting reimbursement for utilities from March to December 2020, supplies that are needed due to Covid-19, and Audio/Visual equipment for live streaming worship services.

Please continue to support Zion with your donations to meet the 2020 budget and to have a solid foundation as we go into an unsettled 2021.

Jay J., Finance Chairman

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 51st Anniversary to Richard & Sue H. on December 20th.

Happy 82nd Birthday to Betty T. on November 7th.

Happy 89th Birthday to Carolyn W. on November 8th.

Happy 89th Birthday to Betty B.on November 17th.

Happy 92nd Birthday to Jane T. on November 23rd.

Happy 91st Birthday to Elaine E. on December 1st.

Happy 96th Birthday to Carolyn L.. on December 22nd.



Confirmation Service

Having completed two years of preparation in the Upper Adams Christians Together Confirmation program, Aubree D. and Charlotte S. were confirmed on Sunday afternoon, October 25th, during a special service held at Trinity Lutheran Church, Arendtsville.  We offer our congratulations to them and welcome them into full membership and fellowship with Zi


Covid-19 Task Force Update

The COVID-19 Task Force has developed a plan for the return to in-person worship on November 1st.  Details about how this will work have been distributed to the Congregation via the bulletin and in this newsletter. The sanctuary was set up for safe worship on October 19th.  Sunday School program protocols have been developed and communicated to the parents.  We ask that you bear with us during our transition back to the Sanctuary for worship as we continue to refine our procedures to keep us all s

Returning to In-Person Worship

In-person worship begins on Sunday, November 1st, at 9 a.m., with the service also being live streamed that day (the link for services will be sent out via email during the week prior).  We ask for your patience and your cooperation as we begin this adventure in our new normal circumstances.

You are asked to use only the Gettysburg Street door to enter and to leave the sanctuary (the other doors will be marked “Do Not Enter”).  There will be a greeter at the door to welcome you to worship and to ask if there are any special prayer requests that you might have.   There will be another person to write down your name in case we need to do contact tracing in the week following worship.  An usher will escort you to an available pew for seating; families who normally socialize are invited to sit together as we maintain social distancing.    Masks will be required, and if everyone wears their mask for the service it will allow us to sing the hymns.

After worship services, the ushers will release one row at a time in order to maintain safe distancing upon leaving the sanctuary.

We will not be taking your temperature upon entering the sanctuary, trusting that if you are not feeling well or have had recent contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 you will choose to live stream the service.

If we determine that there are too many people interested in attending in person worship services to safely worship at one service, we will decide by November 8th if we will begin two services, one at 9 am and the other at 11 am.  On November 15th, you will be given the opportunity to decide which service you would like to attend (up to the limit that is safe) and will be asked to tell one of the ushers, so that we would begin two services of worship on November 22nd.

Also, we will be following the decisions of Upper Adams School District regarding in person school.  If UASD returns to all remote learning due to a rise in the number of covid19 cases, we will suspend in person worship and use both YouTube video and live stream (with only essential persons on the sanctuary) to continue to provide opportunities for you to worship.

Thank you for your support and understanding during these times.  As we seek to continue in-person worship, we will make changes as needed in order to maintain your safety and comfort for worship.


Upcoming Events

Sunday School begins for children on November 1st running from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m.  Students will report directly to their rotational rooms.  The program is in need of teachers and shepherds as well as snack sponsors.  See Minda Harbaugh if you would like to volunteer.  Snack sponsors should make checks payable to Zion UCC and note “Sunday School snacks” in the memo line.  Checks may be placed in the offering basket in the back of church.  The position of Christian Ed. Director is still open; see Minda if interested.


Annual Meeting:  Mark your calendars!  The annual congregational meeting will be held on December 13 during worship.  New Consistory candidates will be presented for consideration and voting.  The proposed 2021 budget will be presented for your approval.  If you cannot attend in person and would like to request a proxy vote, please notify the church office either by phone or by email in a timely manner, and a proxy form will be sent to you.

Christmas Poinsettias:  The Altar Guild will be sponsoring the sale of poinsettias for Christmas again this year.  Look for ordering details in the weekly bulletins in November.

The Ramblers are planning a hike on the battlefield for November 7th.  The rain date (should we be so lucky as to get rain!) will be November 14th.  We will meet at the Peace Light at 9:00 a.m.  Come join us for fresh air, fellowship, and healthy walking!

The Ladies Breakfast Group:  On November 9th, Zion’s ladies will meet at the Apple Bin at 9:00 a.m. for breakfast followed by their annual White Elephant Sale.  Over the years, we have raised $1,200.00 for the church with this fundraiser!  If you have never joined us before, just bring a new or gently used item worth at least $20.00 and wrapped in pretty wrapping paper or even a brown paper bag!  Bidding is done in $5.00 increments, and you need to have a hint ready for the item you brought.  It is great fun, and there is room to social distance.  Then we meet again at the Apple Bin for breakfast on December 14th also at 9:00 a.m. Join us!

Mens Breakfast Group:  Zion’s men will meet at the Apple Bin for breakfast on the third Monday of the month.  All men are invited to attend at 8:00 a.m. for food and fellowship.

Book Club:  Zion’s readers will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 12th in Fellowship Hall to discuss Heavy:  An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon.  We invite you to join us!  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.”

On Thursday, December 10th at 6:30 p.m. we will again meet in Fellowship Hall 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 $5,574.23.

UACT News –

At the beginning of the 2020-21 school year and our seventh year, John’s Meals has started packing and delivering 152 bags of supplemental weekend food bags containing 5 meals/vegetables/fruits/snacks to UASD students and their siblings residing in food-insecure homes.  Zion’s donations of Mac-N-Cheese are greatly appreciated to help with costs, plus difficulty in bulk buying for our inventory needs.  Thank you to Zion UCC for your prayers, food and monetary donations, and to all our volunteers who keep our mission running smoothly.  If you feel it in your heart, and have any time at all to volunteer to John’s Meals, please contact Angie V.

Community Aid:    Due to extremely high waste bills and transportation issues, Community Aid unfortunately has decided to remove more than 1000 bins from their total Central PA service area.  Our Zion UCC bin will be removed in the near future.  We are still in a Virtual Partnership with Community Aid.  This means that Zion would still be able to receive quarterly payments for donations, apply for Grant Funds, and receive Care Cards for Distribution Stores.  When making your donation deliveries directly to any of the Community Aid Stores, please make sure to note that this donation is for Zion UCC, Arendtsville.  That weight will be added to our Zion account.  Also, we are discussing a drop-off day monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly for Zion members.    More information to follow……

Homewood Auxiliary Dues:  Current Homewood Auxiliary members may have received a letter regarding 2021 dues. Please give dues to Angie Vines. Anyone interested in joining the Homewood Auxiliary, dues are $3/single or $5/couple. Please see Angie.

Homewood Christmas Gifts:  This year, Homewood is accepting for the residents signed Christmas cards along with UNWRAPPED, UNSCENTED, any brand body lotion and UNWRAPPED cube style tissue boxes.  Residents enjoy seasonal winter themed tissue boxes. Cards with blank envelopes and signed with name/church and a brief message are appreciated. Cards and lotion/tissues can be placed in boxes in Church until 12/6. Thank you for helping to brighten the Christmas season for the Homewood residents. Any questions, please contact Angie V.


Consistory News Summary

The Consistory has worked with Zion’s Covid-19 Task Force planning for in-person worship in the sanctuary beginning on November 1st.  Pews have been taped off to assure safe social distance, and hymnals and Bibles have been removed from the pews.  A Search Committee has been approved, and commenced training.  Possible avenues of funding for Covid supplies are also being pursued.

Committee news:

The Personnel Committee will begin preparation of 2021 contracts.

Stewardship thanks all who contributed to the Neighbors In Need Collection in October.

The Fellowship Committee has found its activities cancelled due to Covid concerns.

Membership requests members to update directory information and pictures by sending them to the church office.

The Finance Committee is working with the Treasurer to complete reporting for the Payroll Protection loan/grant.  Work on the 2021 budget is beginning.

The Property Committee took down the tree behind Zion House, cut out dead limbs from the tree by the little bridge, trimmed bushes and cleaned up around Zion House and the church. Two large projects for the spring are replacing the Sunday School roof before it leaks and redoing the parking lot which is in unsafe condition.  Estimates for the roof run between $20,000 and $22,000 for materials and labor.   However, Wayne B. has arranged for Carlisle Syntec to donate the roofing materials saving the church $8000.  Bids for the parking lot are coming in at around $70,000.  It looks like the total for the two projects will be be in the $90,000 to $100,000 range.  If anyone has questions or concerns, please contact Bob V.

From Christian Ed:  Sunday School resumes on November 1st from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m.  Children will report directly to their rotational room.  Teachers and volunteers are needed in the coming months.

The Worship Committee is preparing for worship in the sanctuary.

The Audio/Visual Committee announces that sanctuary worship will be live streamed beginning November 1st.



November/December 2020

Noah’s Ark

(November 2020)

UNIT 3 Kindergarten

1st Grade






































The Gift of Jesus

(December 2020)















The fall and spring rotation have many spaces available!!

Please see the sign-up sheets in the SS hallway and volunteer as able.

We are excited to bringing Sunday School back into the Church starting November 1st.  We cannot wait to have everyone back into the building.  Please remember to have your mask, emergency forms, photo permission, and CoVID-19 waiver available when attending our first Sunday School session.  Sunday School will be held at 10:15 in the Sunday School area at the back of the church.  See the bulletin board in the hallway for any announcements or additional information.



Our Sympathy to:

Bonnie and Frank O. and their extended family at the death of their daughter, Jennifer F., on October 28, 2020.


Joan R. her children and their extended family at the death of their husband and father, Ronald R., on October 25, 2020.


Ed and Peggy D. and their family at the death of Ed’s brother, Kenny D., on October 2, 2020.


Joseph S..and Carol P. and their family at the death of their brother, J. Richard S., on October 4, 2020.


Jeff and Ileana M. at the death of Jeff’s father, Willie M., on October 6, 2020.


Thank You To:

Linda and Ed M. for the donation of pumpkins to the Sunday School program.




Kevin and Sharon C. for the use of their speakers and audio equipment while Zion worshipped on the parking lot.


Dan W. for his technical assistance with the cd player and audio equipment during worship on the parking lot.


Thank you From. . .

A special thank you to my Zion family for the concern, prayers, cards, and food during my recovery.  A special thank you to Pastor Heberling for his phone calls, visits, and prayers.

                     ~  Kitty M.


Many thanks to our church family for the prayers and cards at the death of Ed’s brother, Kenny D.  Your thoughtfulness was appreciated.

                     ~ Ed and Peggy D.


We thank Zion and the Fellowship Committee for your unending generosity, support, and prayers and look forward to future collaborations!

                     ~  Reach In My Hometown