Cross Connections

Weekly News from Zion and our Ministries Under the Cross: Evergreen Academy & Nina's Place

January 25, 2023

Make Disciples: A Job Description for Us

by Cantor Kurt R. Schmidt

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the local Refuel Conference at Grace Church in Pompano Beach. For the second year in a row, the main topic for discussion was discipleship. According to Dr. Rod Dempsey, a nationally-regarded expert in mission-driven churches, we need to begin with the Great Commission, which Dr. Robin Larson quoted in her annual letter to us. Statistically, 51% of church-going Christians have never heard of it; and 25% have heard of it, but do not know what it means. That means 3 out of 4 Christians do not understand this central text. Are you one of them?

In the original Greek, there is one main verb ("make disciples"), three participles ("go," "baptizing," and "teaching"), and one promise ("I am with you always."). Our task as Christians is to make disciples by showing and sharing the Gospel. We show the Gospel by feeding the hungry, working for justice, etc. but we as Lutherans need to do a better job of sharing the Gospel by listening to people's faith stories and being comfortable and willing to share our own.

The most interesting piece of this text is the three participles, indicating ongoing action. In this season of the Sundays after Epiphany, we hear Jesus' invitation to "come and see." But, as Christians, our call is not to "come and see" what we already know, but to "go and be" Christ in the world.

The word "go" is more accurately translated "as you are going." In other words, it doesn't matter where you you are at home, as you are in the grocery store, as you are at work, as you are among friends, you and I are called to make disciples by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. It's not an easy task, and we're carrying the cross until we draw our final breath; but, we're all in it together because Jesus is with us always, to the end of the age.

Opportunities to "Just Show Up"

Free Exercise Classes Begin Wednesday, February 1st

We are partnering with our friends from the Saturday Night "Old Timers" AA Group to offer free exercise classes for seniors, involving gentle stretching and chair yoga for all levels of ability and comfort.

Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to Noon in Katie Luther Chapel

Those who wish to participate should wear comfortable clothes and sneakers and bring a bottle of water.

First Friday in February

Friday, February 3, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.

Baja Cafe

1310 S. Federal Highway

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

(Baja Cafe is located on the east side of Federal Highway just south of Target.) 

Don't make dinner plans and come as you are! We enjoy delicious food and one another's fellowship. We each pay our own way, but everyone is invited to the table — friends, family members, and neighbors!

Opportunities to Serve Joyfully & Give Selflessly

Nina's Place is changing lives. We continue to serve over 100 families every Saturday and give away an average of 2,000 pounds of food each week to individuals and families in need.

We have heard stories of unaffordable housing, unavoidable homelessness, and crushing monthly expenses, like water bills. We pray that God would keep us ever mindful of the needs of others and spark generosity out of our abundance.

This Saturday, we will be serving a hot meal and providing resources to unhoused individuals and families in our community from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Give to Nina's Place
Sign Up to Volunteer (Adults)
Sign Up to Volunteer (Students)

This Sunday: Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

Who are the blessed ones of God? For Micah, they are those who do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. For Paul, they are the ones who find wisdom in the weakness of the cross. For Jesus, they are the poor, the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who mourn, and those who hunger for righteousness. In baptism we find our blessed identity and calling in this countercultural way of living and serving.

On Sunday, Zion will join RIC communities across the country to celebrate our shared commitment to the ongoing work of welcome, inclusion, celebration, and advocacy for LGBTQIA+ people in the life of the church.

Notes & Reminders
  • Two AA Groups meet weekly at Zion: Women's AA (Mondays at 7:00 p.m. in the Boardroom) and Old Timers AA (Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. in Katie Luther Chapel).
  • To claim a special date for altar flowers on a Sunday morning, contact Cantor Kurt Schmidt. The cost of the arrangements is $40 and you may take the flowers home after Sunday morning worship.
Quick Links & Contact Information
Zion's Website
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Cantor Kurt R. Schmidt
954-421-3146, option 2 (Church)
954-913-2125 (Cell)

Zion is a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) community, and extends God's radical welcome to all people, because we're all created in God's image.