The News of Zion
Love God
Love People
~Luke 10:27
August 26, 2020
Musings ~ Growing Up

I just spent 180 some odd dollars on back to school stuff for the kiddos. Among the items were a backpack, specialty tools for geometry, lots of pens & pencils, and assorted other things feel into various categories of needed or might need. One thing that struck me as odd or curious was the differences in specifics for the sixth grader and the junior in high school. Donovan needed certain items and certain amounts of them: 96 pencils, 4 packs of notebook paper, 1 set of page dividers, etc. Avery had a list of things, but the amounts were designated enough for the year or as required by school projects. In other words, there is some discretion for how much you need as you get older and as an older student, you know if you need forty sheets of loose-leaf paper a week or four.
I think there is something to be learned from this in the way we approach God. Much of our traditions and habits of worship—be it liturgy, music, preaching styles, teaching—are intended to act as training wheels of the faith. As we get older our spiritual balance gets better, we should be able to take the training wheels off and ride without them. What I mean by this is, when start your journey of faith, these training wheels are there to help you develop some basic ideas understanding about God and the Way of Jesus. Most of our practices that are communal are just that for the community—the entire community, first steps to final steps, no matter where they are in their journey. Mature practices, those of disciples that have been walking the path for years, sometimes decades are things that require deeper, more critical thinking about what we believe and our way of practicing those beliefs (remember, you don’t really believe until you put it into practice).
Many people, I would say unfortunately most, who have been members of churches for a long time, are still trying to use the training wheels. They are still focused on the parts of the journey intended for those taking their first steps and focused quite often in unhealthy ways. When challenged to move to the next stages in the journey, some become quite defensive even angry at the thought of being seen as immature while wanting to persist in the practices of the beginner. Others may say things like, “I’m just a simple Christian. I’m only able to do the basics.” We are called to learn the basics and simplicity can be a virtue but reveling in immaturity is not. Paul says to the Ephesians,

He [God] gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. His purpose was to equip God’s people for the work of serving and building up the body of Christ until we all reach the unity of faith and knowledge of God’s Son. God’s goal is for us to become mature adults—to be fully grown, measured by the standard of the fullness of Christ. As a result, we aren’t supposed to be infants any longer who can be tossed and blown around by every wind that comes from teaching with deceitful scheming and the tricks people play to deliberately mislead others. Instead, by speaking the truth with love, let’s grow in every way into Christ, who is the head. — Ephesians 4:11-16

Maturity in the faith is goal. To use another metaphor, staying in the shallows and splashing around isn’t an option for the disciple past a certain point. We are called to dive into the deeps so that we can learn the riches in the depths and teach them to others while teaching them to dive deep as well. Otherwise, we all end up being children playing on the sand and never becoming what we were meant to be.

Pastor Michael
As we continue to gather for worship together, just a few reminders....

  • If you are sick or have been sick in the last week before gathering, please stay home. We want to see you but more importantly, we want to see you get better. If you are immune-compromised or part of an at-risk group and concerned about your health, we suggest you consider staying home for your safety.
  • On Sunday mornings, we will continue to gather underneath the covered walkway that leads into the family life center nearest the sanctuary. The ground will be marked by at least six-foot intervals to keep people separated as we enter. Once inside, there will be more markers. Once inside the gym, an usher will direct you to chairs that will be at least six feet from any other chairs. Please stay in these areas during the service. Please do not hug, shake hands, or make physical contact with   others gathering, for their safety and yours. When the service is over, we will file out one area at a time, going out the doors nearest the area where the buses are parked.
  • Masks will continue to be available for folks to wear during the service. These are not optional. Please expect to wear a mask if you join us for worship.
  • We will continue our prohibition of all other activities other than worship for now.
For the safety and well-being of each person that gathers with us, we pray that you will be willing to abide by these safety measures. We also STRESS the need to SOCIALLY DISTANCE! Please do not compromise the health of yourself or others during this time. May we all continue in prayer for our church family, community, and country.
August is our month to support HOPE in Lancaster with donations of food for those less fortunate. Particular needs in August are canned vegetables, canned fruit, peanut butter and jelly, canned pasta (beefaroni, lasagna), and spaghetti sauce. Please place your donations either in the hallway as you enter the life center or at the double doors as you leave worship.
Friends of Zion,   No words can adequately express our sincere appreciation and thanks for your prayers, beautiful cards, flowers, telephone calls, visits, delicious food, and the memorials you sent. Clyde loved Zion and each of you. Please continue to remember us in your prayers as we travel this difficult journey ahead without him. May God richly bless each one of you.
               ~ Love in Christ, Ellen, Bryan, and Donna Walters
You are invited to a drive up wedding shower honoring
Brittany Jordan and Mitchell Montgomery
on Sunday, September 13, 2:00-3:00 pm. 
Please, don’t leave your car! 
Just drive up to the car drop
off at Zion’s Thompson Family Life Center
and the happy couple will greet you! 
In case of rain, please drive under the carport
entrance to drop off gifts. 
Brittany and Mitchell are registered at
Amazon and Belk. 
Gift cards to Home Depot and Walmart would also
be greatly appreciated. 
A virtual Charge Conference will be held on Thursday, October 15th at 7:00 PM via Zoom. We need to prepare for our nominations and our budget for 2021. Please watch for scheduled socially distanced meetings so that we can complete the business needed for the New Year for our church. 
Be the light in the Darkness
Please remember to call and check on your church family and friends during these troubling times. Many of our members are unsure or afraid of returning to worship  together and have also lost the connection of Sunday school. A call or a card can make a world of difference to those who are struggling with fear, loneliness, and isolation. 
Pastor Michael continues to offer morning prayer and Bible study. Join us each morning at 7:00 AM for Prayer and meditation. Join us, also on Thursdays at 12:00 Noon for Bible Study. Pastor Michael is hosting these from our Facebook page. If you are unable to log in LIVE, these offerings remain available for viewing after on our website and FB page.
While the church office remains closed, you are encouraged to reach out if you have a need or know of a need. You may call Pastor Michael at 1-859-475-8800, call the church office, 285-3864 and leave a message, call Missy at 804-2434 or email or; these emails are being monitored daily. The answering machine will also be checked daily. During these times, we ask everyone to pray together for each other, our church family, our community, our country, and our world. May God be with us all.
Please remember these in prayer:
Nancy Ackerman
Angela Bailey
Francis Bell
Phillip Bell
Rick Black
Marion Boswell
Chance Bowers
Carol Boyles
Randy Boyles
Caleb Catoe
Sue Catoe
Carol Cauthen
Brandy Champion
Ann Chappell
Linda Coker
Sandra Cope
Bill Dingler
Sophia Dixon
Angie Dobson
Heather Elder
John Elder
Ashley Fort
Betsy Gardner
Mike Gay
Judy Goodnight
Travis Gordon
T.R. Grier
Ovedia Griffin
Catherine Hammond
JoAnn Hinson
Rev. Shelly Holder
Kevan Horton
Eric Hough
Libby Hunter
Melinda Hunter
Rick Joyner
Henry Ray Knight
Mary Jane McAteer
Kevin McCorkle
Ann McManus
Tammy McMillian
Debbie McWaters
Marie Moree
Rusty Mosier
Bell Perry
Betty Jo Phillips
Ann Powers
Vicky Pickett
Ann Reed
Kathleen Robinson
Mayme Jo Robinson
Nancy Rushing
Tom Salisbury
Bonnie Sears
Eva Small
Greg Smith
JoAnne Smith
Billy Sowell
Robbie Stepp
Matthew Sweatt
Jim Thomas
Mike Vick
Pat Vick
Ellen Walters
David Woodruff
Kim Yost
Our President and Troops
Those affected by the COVID-19 Virus
Even as we offer in-person worship, our services will still be made available online on our Facebook page. Log in to our Zion United Methodist Church Facebook this Sunday for our service if you are unable to make it to church!! The service will also be available on our website at
Current Upper Room Daily Devotionals are available for pick up at the church! We will place some of these on the table as you enter the life center and some in the plastic communication box outside of the life center doors where the buses are for those who do not have access to the church for you to pick up. There are large and regular print copies available.
While our United Methodist Women will not be meeting for now, our thoughts and prayers remain with each one of you and with all in need during these trying times! If you know of a need that our women can help with, please contact an officer in the women’s group so that we can try and meet any needs! Executive officers are Sharon Haile, Darlene Hallman, Terry Robinson, Missy Snipes, Dianne Sweatt, and Mary Knight.
August 26: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Woodward
August 28: Gail Adams
August 29: Mike Pardue, Meagan Smith, Colt Twitty
August 30: Beverly Knox
August 31: Emilie Morris
Our United Methodist Men's third Sunday meeting and our weekly Saturday Bible Study meetings have been suspended until the stay at home order has been lifted and we are told that we can begin to gather again.

To all church members: please understand that we are unable to allow folks to meet inside the buildings at this time. If you had a reservation for personal use inside of one of the buildings over the next few weeks, we are unable to honor those reservations at this time and will announce when we will again be able to honor reservations. As it is, gatherings inside our facilities is not possible.
The members of Zion ARE CONTINUING
to support the ministry and outreach
of the church!!!
Thank you to each one of you who have adjusted to this change in our lives and have continued to support the ministry and outreach of Zion UMC and for your continued presence at online worship!!! You can continue to give online through the website, by clicking on the donate tab. You do not need to have a PayPal account to use this option, simply click on the donate button and follow the prompts, you can text your giving to 803-525-1834 and follow the secure link, or you may give by mailing your tithes to the church at 1665 Zion Road, Lancaster, SC, 29720. If you have misgivings about online donations or mailing your donations, a locking mailbox has been installed under the covered carport where the buses are. You may place your contributions in the box and it will be checked daily.
Together we can move forward.
Together we can continue and make a difference!
Special Gifts to Zion Church
In Memory of:
Clyde “Shorty” Walters by The Buntons and Jack and Becky H. Steele
Special Gifts to the Building Fund
In Honor of:
Ellen Walters, Barbara Hall, Carolyn Massey, “Frontline Workers”, and “Maw Frank” (Darlene Hallman) on her birthday by Jack and Becky H. Steele
Special Gifts to Epworth Children’s Home
In Memory of:
Clyde “Shorty” Walters by Frances Robinson
Our seven confirmands, who have concluded their classes online with Pastor Michael, will be joining the church on Sunday, September 13 during worship in the TFLC!!! We look forward to rejoicing in these new members of our church!!
The Record Speaks....
August 23, 2020

Present for Worship: 42
Needed each week for the General Fund $4,360
Received for General Fund $2,097
Received for Building Fund $450
Received for Epworth Children's Home $25

"...because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to."
Deuteronomy 15:10,,
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