The News of Zion
Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
July 8, 2020
Musings ~ Sin and then some...

“The snake was the most intelligent of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say that you shouldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?” The woman said to the snake, “We may eat the fruit of the garden’s trees but not the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden. God said, ‘Don’t eat from it, and don’t touch it, or you will die.’” The snake said to the woman, “You won’t die! God knows that on the day you eat from it, you will see clearly and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The woman saw that the tree was beautiful with delicious food and that the tree would provide wisdom, so she took some of its fruit and ate it, and also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then they both saw clearly and knew that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made garments for themselves.”
— Genesis 3:1-7

When I first began my journey of faith, I was told—in no uncertain terms—that this was the story of how sin entered the world and it was Eve’s fault and men shouldn’t listen to women. Later, it was simplified to this is how sin entered the world. But the more I read it—and without trying to apply dogma and doctrine to it unnecessarily—the more I see something else, something that I think gets missed in our modern, twenty-first century Western reading of it. This is the story of how man took off his rose colored glasses. This is God’s chosen man having to grow up and take responsibility for himself within the world God created. This is man learning to make choices about faith in God and trusting God.

Before this happens in Genesis 3, Genesis 2 happens and man, the creation of the sixth day, becomes caretaker of a garden that God has planted, specifically for that man to live in. There is more to the world outside of the garden but the garden is the special place where God allows this special man to be at peace from the world outside. What is the world outside like? Hard. Life outside the garden—and we see later in Genesis there were others outside—is a life of toil and struggle. Adam had the privilege of choosing to stay in the garden with God and Eve and all that was good and easy to care for, or leave the garden and struggle. The choice had to do with trusting that God had given them what they needed or believing that they needed more and God was holding out on them.

Adam, a fill in for mankind in the story since Adam means man in Hebrew, chose to trust in himself and the result was having to live a life of struggle rather than ease. From then on, everyone born gets to make this choice at various times through their life—trust myself or trust God. In the face of everything that is going on in the world today, I have a question. Who do we really trust? We give lip service to trusting God but when it really comes down to it, do we trust.

Are we willing sacrifice what is precious to us if God asks for it, like Abraham?

Are we willing to stand before those who ridicule us and see us as meaningless and believe God will answer our prayers, like Elijah?

Are willing to believe God will raise us when we have been called to die to self, like Jesus?

Who do you really trust, God or yourself?

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.
Annual Conference has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 1 at the Florence Center and will be live streamed at
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
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
Steve Ghent
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
Bonnie Sears
Eva Small
Greg Smith
JoAnne Smith
Mike Smith
Billy Sowell
Robbie Stepp
Matthew Sweatt
Jim Thomas
Laverne Thompson
Mike Vick
Pat Vick
Ellen Walters
David Woodruff
Kim Yost
Our President & Troops
Those affected by the COVID-19 virus
Even as we begin 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 in the life center foyer 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.
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.
July 9: Ashley Thomas
July 10: Tammy Hayes, Alicia Morris, Tony Broughton, Myra Funderburk
July 11: Phillip Hayes, Elfreida Plyler
July 12: Jimmy Parker
July 14: Tommy Baker, Suzanne Evans
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 Honor of:
Myra Funderburk by the Tommy Knight Family and Missy Snipes
Pat Vick, Myra Funderburk, and Tom Salisbury by Mary P. Knight
Kathleen Robinson on her birthday by JoAnne Smith
Pat Vick, Stephen Tammy Cooper, Tom Salisbury, Carol
Cauthen, Myra Funderburk, Marcene and Harris Plyler, and Barbara Hall by Clyde and Ellen Walters
In Memory of:
Lou Bundy by Mary P. Knight and Clyde and Ellen Walters
Eugene Blackmon by Pat Threatt
Tom Smith, Marlene and Micky Stacks, Julia Horne, and Lou Bundy by JoAnne Smith
Special Gifts to Building Fund
In Honor of:
Jamison Craig Love you, Aunt Lib
Clyde and Ellen Walters and Barbara Hall by Darlene Hallman
In Memory of:
Julia Horne by Becky Barton
Jamie Craig by Mike and Diane Rape
Lou Bundy by Libby Morris and Darlene Hallman
EmmaGene Wright (6-23) by Darlene Hallman
Our seven confirmands, who have concluded their classes online with Pastor Michael, will be joining the church in the next few weeks. We look forward to rejoicing in these new members of our church!!
The Record Speaks....
June 28, 2020

Present for Worship: 34
Needed each week for the General Fund $4,360
Received for General Fund $5405
Received for Building Fund $185

"...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
285-3864 -