Our Vision: "To Humbly Serve God through Loving and Caring for Others"
Worship at MZUMC
We are excited to resume in-person worship as well as continuing to have an online presence. We will now be live streaming our worship services on our YouTube page at 10:00 am. Previously recorded and streamed services can also be found here at any time.

To access the worship service please see our Youtube Channel or go to Youtube.com and search for Montrose Zion UMC to access our page which appears as a big “M” in a gray circle. You will find our worship there! Try it out this week and catch up on any past services you may have missed!  
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Prayer Concerns
Dorris Benson
Kaye Davis
Ethington Family
Joel Gerberich
Lake Family
Jim Noetzel
Peterman Family
Ernestine Small 
Dick Sutherland
Jackson Weber and Family

*Please call the church with any prayer requests or pastoral care needs
News and Opportunities to Serve

February Challenge

For the month of February we have the challenge of collecting 10,000 tablets of "low dose aspirin." When we asked OPEN M for their most pressing need they said they have had a hard time getting low dose aspirin for their medical clinic. With this need in mind and with February being Heart Health Awareness Month, we know that this is the perfect time for us to fulfil this need. You can drop off your donation in the box outside the main doors at any time, you can also order aspirin to be delivered directly to the church through Amazon or any other delivery service. Updates will be provided during our worship service each week with our progress. 
*Sams Club and Cosco currently have Bayer Low Dose Apsirin on sale right now!
** So far we have collected over 12,000 aspirins!! Keep bringing them in, wouldn't it be great if we could double our original goal?

Calling all Montrose Zion Parents! 

We know that managing a pandemic is hard and especially managing kids. Some of you have your kids learning remotely while other parents have kids doing in person learning. It has been an interesting journey so far. For many, this has been a time of immense change and uncertainty. Maybe you lost a loved one who you really couldn't say goodbye to the way you normally would have or you had to try and juggle being a teacher to your kids while working full or part-time. 

Maybe you struggled deciding whether your kids should return to in person learning or should they stay remote? Maybe you used to work at an office and now you have a home office and have to figure out the boundaries between work life and home life. Maybe you lost your job and are now taking online classes while managing the new norm. We all have our own stories. We all have our own struggles. We think it is important for everyone to realize that we are not alone. It is hard during this time of social distancing to not be around other people the way we used to be. 

We thought it would be nice to start doing monthly Zoom Discussions where we can come together as a community and discuss our successes and struggles. We could share our best practices or encourage others who are currently trying to get through the day to day. We are planning our first discussion for Thursday, February 25th at 8:30pm EST.

Next steps:
-We are looking for church members to attend monthly Zoom Discussions and contribute to the discussion, please email the office or mzumcstudent@gmail.com to receive the zoom invite. 
-Additionally, we are looking to see if anyone is interested in hosting/leading any of these sessions
-The goal is to have monthly sessions start at 8:30pm and lasting an hour to an hour and 30 minutes
-We ask you all to invite people you know who might be interested in the discussion

Lenten Book Study

Our Lenten Book Study is “Savior: What the Bible says about the Cross”. The Cross is the central symbol of the Christian faith. But what does the Cross mean? The author of Savior, Magrey deVega, guides us through the images of Jesus’s death and resurrection to achieve a richer understanding of the Christian faith. By exploring the mystery of salvation through the cross, we can deepen our love for God and others and strengthen our commitment to follow Jesus. 

This virtual book study meets each Sunday for 6-weeks starting on February 21 at 11:00 am in Zoom. It is a great opportunity to catch-up with your church family and discuss our faith. The room opens at 10:45 am to casually meet and visit with others. We begin at 11:00 am with everyone given the opportunity to say hello and share happenings in their lives. A video is viewed with discussion following. The session will end at noon. For information, please contact Sue Kroll at suekroll@att.net for the Zoom meeting number.  

Praying for our community during COVID-19
We have an opportunity to pray for those in our community outside the walls of our building for their concerns with the COVID-19 virus. There will be a message on our roadside sign inviting people who pass by to feel free to drop off written concerns into the designated drop-off box at the outside North entrance area (under the carport type roof) so that our congregation will keep them in prayer. The prayer concerns will be routed through the existing prayer chain. Anyone in our congregation who feels called to participate in praying with this focus, please call Margie Cossin at 330-882-9658 to be added to the prayer chain list, receive the prayer concerns and begin praying.

Lenten Devotional Bag Pick-up

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday coming up on February 17. Our church staff has had a great time putting together Lenten devotional bags over the last few weeks! Whether you are worshipping at home or joining us for in person worship, make sure you get your bag (1 per family). Within the bag you will find:

1.   Ashes for our online Ash Wednesday service
2.   Weekly Lenten prayers
3.   A devotion guide with writing prompts
4.   Weekly objects that go along with our sermon series

One of the items in the bag is a kazoo. We have included two kazoos per bag. If your family would like more, please just contact the church office to arrange for a pick up! The Lenten devotional bags will be available outside the main doors in a bin to be picked up at your convenience or you can take one home with you Sunday just after worship at 10 AM. Prayers and blessings to you all in this coming holy season!

MZ 5K Run/Walk

We are always looking for new ways to reach out into the community here at MZUMC. One way the church has done this in the past and we would like to do again is through a 5k run/walk in May. This is an opportunity to reach out to our friends and neighbors to encourage health and fitness while enjoying God's creation. We are looking for people who are willing to help put this race on. If you are interested in reaching new people and would like to help with this event please let us know at the church or me directly at mzumcstudent@gmail.com.

Children's Ministry
Contact: Cyndi Liming limingcmboa@icloud.com
Check out the Children's Ministry Website for updates here
Sunday School and Children's Church lessons can be found on the church's YouTube Page. Each week Cyndi will be recording new and interactive lessons that your child can listen to from home!
Student Ministry
Contact: Jennifer Dyer mzumcstudent@gmail.com
Lenten Study

This Sunday is the start of our Lenten Study. For those who will be attending in person please meet in the lounge downstairs after the worship service.  
We will be doing a study based on the book "Soul Reset" By Junius Dotson. Each week we will look at ways of being with God. The goal for all of us is wholeness and this study will help students learn practical tips for stepping away from "constant business and allowing God to transform their life." This study will run February 21st through March 28th. We will meet from 11:15-12pm Youth are encouraged to attend the worship service at 10am either in person or on YouTube and then attend this study. The study will have a virtual and in person option

Mission Trip

I have had a few questions about the mission trip this year. The plan for this year as of right now is to have it locally again. Hopefully this year we are able to go to some of the local charities that we have here in the area. We will probably split into groups of ten, coming together as a group in the morning and the evening. Tentatively the dates are June 22-24. More details to follow. 
Contact: Sharon Paige spaige@mzumc.org
This week we will be learning about snakes, spiders and painting with spaghetti during our Letter “S” excitement. A “Discover Space” area will be filled with space slime, space felt pieces, and space books to explore during the week.   On Friday, we might even make a big batch of “instant snow” to play in since we haven’t had very much this winter! LOL

Our Chapel lesson on Wednesday will have Ms. Sharon Telling the story of Joseph sharing with his brothers. (Genesis 42:2-43:43) This will be a great opportunity to talk about how we can share with others at home and in our community. 
Registration for our 2021/2022 school year has begun this month. Please help us advertise our preschool by taking a flyer to your place of employment, Mother’s Group, or to your neighborhood friends with children. Like us on “FaceBook” and please share our registration posts in the community.  

Music Ministry
Contact: Joe Leaman joeleaman@me.com

Anyone who is interested in providing Special Music during the special music time on Sunday mornings, please contact Music Director, Joe Leaman via email: joeleaman@me.com.
An Update from Joel Gerberich

Once a stranger and now a friend, Joseph Lokwar plays the turee! This photo is from last February; last night we took the Jesus film to Lokwar's compound.

"If there weren't passengers on board, I could definitely let you fly a bit." - Pilot. Dreams are possible!
I love a small world! On a hike in Rwanda with Dan (left, not me), my college friend Parfait (back), and my teammate Noblesse (front).
Kithaoi Montrose Zion,
(key-thou-way, hello)

Thank you for all of your support, love, and encouragement; I think the team of people receiving this email, that includes you, is awesome! Today I am writing my 365th poem, marking 1 year since I flew from Nairobi's Wilson Airport to our small dirt runway in the Boya Hills. Wow! "Yah-kiin!" (as the Laarim might translate it). 

Our thermometer finally hit 40 degrees celcius, and Dan and I have officially termed dry season, "juice season". Juice mix, water, and salt is my new favorite and necessary drink.

In some recent times of prayer, I have been encouraged/convicted press into the incarnational-living aspect of ministry here. The last handful of months have brought more and more emphasis on proclaiming God's word through Discovery Bible Studies, the Jesus Film, and our gathering for worship on Sunday mornings. But these times of prayer have been helping shape my way forward.

Matthew's gospel is packed with stories about Jesus being approached by countless people as he was walking from place to place, visiting friends' homes, taking boat rides across lakes, being visited by blind men, walking in the fields, sitting by a lake, mourning the loss of a friend, going to new places, sitting on a mountainside, going for walks, climbing a mountain with his friends, being with little children, answering peoples' questions, stopping to talk to people on the road, looking for food on his way to town, sharing a table with friends and strangers, and while they're not in Matthew's gospel, Jesus is recorded drinking at a well and having breakfast with his disciples. 

Surely Jesus taught in synagogues, but in almost every chapter between the Sermon on the Mount and his arrest, he is ministering in totally normal contexts.

Please join me in praying for continued opportunities to minister in the totally normal contexts of life here. A couple stories:
A Neighbor's Death
When we came back from our break to Rwanda, we attended the funeral of a neighbor, Lomua, who had been killed a few days earlier. While we sat at the funeral, his closest brother asked us something like, "if God gives us eternal life, why do people still die?" I shared about the hope we have in Jesus for a future resurrection, and the conversation continued for a little while as the other men joined in. We were able to bring some food for the women and offer chai and cookies to the now orphaned boy and his "sisters", but there is no greater thing we can offer than the name of Jesus. Being in a land where people have not heard the Gospel can bring heavy theological questions, but we continue to trust God as we share the great hope for a world that is free from brokenness. 
The Long Dirt Road
As I walked the 7km to Yei, I enjoyed some conversation with a boy and a neighbor-woman before parting ways. On the way back, I was joined by another two boys who were heading to our house. When Kema, one of the boys, asked about our friends who visited from Torit some months ago, I told him that they may come back as they are deciding where they will move for their next term with AIM. He asked, "if they come and the place is good, will they move here?" I shared that they are also praying and asking God what he thinks. Kema knows some Bible stories, the songs, and I've heard him pray, but this threw him for a loop. "Like they are talking with God?!" It turned into a sweet conversation about how God communicates with us and hears us. I'm not sure if Kema is leaving for Uganda for school soon or not, but we trust that God will continue to work in his life.

Prayer Request
The two boys, Lokorai and Logemet, who Noblesse has been discipling, many people have been praying for, and who have been leading a Bible study in the Cauwa community recently left for school in Kenya. This was and is pretty devastating news for Noblesse and our team. Their friendship with Noblesse and lives as disciples of Jesus in this land will be very missed. Pray for them as they go and pray for Noblesse as he wrestles through this and continues ministering here. Thanks! 

I have begun sending monthly prayer calendars (here's this months) as well. If you are not receiving those and want to be, email me and I will add you to that list!

To the ends of the earth,

Contact Information
565 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Akron, OH 44333
Rev. Dr. Bill Liming x202
Katie Constantine
Office Manager
Jennifer Dyer x204
Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries
Sharon Paige x205
Preschool Director
Cyndi Liming x206
Children's Ministry Director
Joe Leaman x207
Music Ministry Director