The News of Zion
Love God
Love People
~Luke 10:27
July 23, 2020
Musings ~ Ghost Army

  In 1944, the 23 rd Army Special Headquarters landed in Britain after training in Tennessee and New York. The 23 rd was made up of 1,100 men who came from unusual backgrounds for your average soldier of the war: art school students, advertising executives, stage technicians, set designers, and audio/visual engineers. They started off with borrowed equipment from the British and used whatever they could get their hands on. In spite of, or perhaps because of this, this ragtag army developed some of the most ingenious ‘weapons’ and helped the Allied forces win the war in Europe. Oddly enough, most of them never used a weapon to do it.

The 23 rd Army was also known as the Ghost Army. They were the army that wasn’t really there. The 23 rd used inflatable tanks borrowed from the British and loudspeakers blasting the sounds of troops, equipment, and gunfire recorded at Fort Knox to mimic troops moving around the German positions. With this setup, they were capable of creating the illusion of thousands of troops moving through the countryside. They created dummy airfields, artillery positions, and troop bivouacs to make the German army think the Allies had set up bases in places where there actually no troops. They faked crossings of the Ruhr and Rhine rivers and staged positions along the Maginot Line and Hürtgen Forest, drawing German troops away from the actual troops and creating opportunities for other units to attack. At one point, they convinced part of the German army that a larger force of 30,000 men was surrounding them, creating fear and confusion that helped drive a German occupation force out one French town.

This is a really neat story (in fact I thought it was so cool I bought a t-shirt with the Ghost Army insignia on it) but sometimes I think that we might be part of a Ghost Army called the Church. If you look around there are buildings all over the place that bear the name church but are there really forces of and for good—Jesus style good—in them? I sometimes hear people talk about the ideas of church from time to time or get fired up about some religious based caused when a politician says the wrong or right thing, but other than voting or complaining on social media, are they doing anything? I have a hard time seeing the things that Jesus advocated for in his ministry and taught his disciples visibly in the world. For instance, if there is a large force of Jesus followers, why is so much hate in the world and why does so much of it come from religious leaders and religious people—especially on social media? If there is a large force of Jesus followers, why are there so many people left hungry, thirsty, clothesless, homeless? If there is a large force of Jesus followers, why are so many people so turned off by the church and the way they have been treated by the church? I could go on but I think you get the picture.

I realize that this little indictment is not a you guys should have done this but a we should have done this sort of thing . We have failed to be the church. We have gotten good at hiding behind the ideas of the church but we have failed—miserably at times—to live into the ideas. I think the greater Church has chosen to be a clearinghouse for arguing over doctrine rather than a sending house for missionaries of the Jesus Way into the world.

I can’t speak for you, but I can’t be a part of that kind of church anymore. I also can’t see leaving the church either. That leaves one option—reformation. I think it is time for a new reformation, a reforming of the Church from what we turned it into back to what Jesus called it to be—a place where the needs of people both spiritual and physical are met, a place where anyone and everyone is welcome to explore the possibilities of what it means to follow the Jesus Way, a place where no one is left out, behind, or beside the way. It should be a place where love of the person and the needs of the person is the deciding factor in ministry decisions. It should be a place where people look to as the example of who Jesus was and what he stood for and not a warning for what not to do with Jesus’ message or the Jesus Way.

Fanciful, unrealistic pipe dream? For some, maybe. For others it may just be a haven, a place to work towards and from to share the true gospel—the real good news— of Jesus. Otherwise, we may well lose the greater war against the darkness that we have created in this world and become a true ghost army—invisible, ineffective, nonexistent.


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.
Our Pastor, Michael Jarrell, has been elected and approved as a member in full connection in the United Methodist Church of South Carolina. 
The United Methodist Women's “Virtual Mission U" will be held on July 18, July 25, and August 8. The theme this year is “Finding Peace in an Anxious World”. Visit www.umcsc.org and click on the tab for 'UMW Virtual U' to find out more information and to register!
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 lmjarrell@umcsc.org or zionumc@comporium.net; 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
Suzanne Evans
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 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 www.zionumc.com
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 23: Alyssa East, Mr. and Mrs. Robin Smith
July 24: Brandon Steele, Heather Parr, Eric Broughton
July 25: Emma Curtis
July 26: Darlene Hallman, Rhett Blackmon, Brett Blackmon
July 28: Mr. and Mrs. Brett Craig
July 29: Karen Steele
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, www.zionumc.com 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!
TOGETHER, WE ARE the CHURCH!!
Special Gifts to Zion Church
In Honor of:
Thank you all for the cards, calls, and prayers. I am much better!  by Max and Myra Myra Funderburk
 
  In Memory of:
Eugene Blackmon by Sonny and Marion Curtis
 
 
 
Special Gifts to Building Fund
In Memory of:
Archie Sweet, Peggy Knight, and EmmaGene Wright by Margie Vincent

__________________________________________________

BIRTHDAY CLUB
In honor of Alicia Morris
by Libby Morris
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....
July 19, 2020

Present for Worship: 33
Needed each week for the General Fund $4,360
Received for General Fund $1,975
Received for Building Fund $80

"...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 - www.zionumc.com