3/18 Lent Bible Study contact the office for details 3/25 Lent Bible Study via Zoom contact the office for details 3/28 Palm Sunday Sunday School sings during worship 4/1 Maundy Thursday Service 7:00 p.m. at St. John's Lutheran 4/2 Good Friday Service 7:00 p.m. 4/4 Easter 9:00 a.m.
Zion Ladies’ Fellowship is back! All women of the church are invited to join us April 12th at 7:00 p.m. for our first meeting of 2021. This will be a business only meeting, we do have much to discuss for the year ahead.
It is with great sadness that we will be in search of a secretary. Please prayerfully consider this position.
Don’t forget your donations for the Baroda Bible Church Food Pantry. Masks are required and social distancing will be observed.
Lenten Bible Study
Join us for a Lent Bible Study via Zoom on Thursday nights from 6:00-7:00 p.m., starting February 18th through March 25th.
We will read and discuss the Scripture for the following Sunday.
All are welcome.
Please contact the church office for details!
Pennies for Patients
The Berrien County Cancer Service, Inc. is delighted to announce their Annual “Pennies for Patients” date of Thursday, May 13, 2021. Their mission is to provide compassionate, in home skilled nursing care and supportive resources at no cost for those affected by cancer or related illnesses in Southwest Michigan. We have a “penny” jar located just inside the Narthex. Our own Connie D. is a nurse for BCCS.
Please give generously.
Our church altar is so beautiful on its own, but the flowers add that little something extra. I have placed a sign up sheet on the communication desk for those interested in helping with the flowers.
You may use real or artificial arrangements. There are also some artificial arrangements in the basement closet should you choose to use those.
Please always feel free to talk to me if you have never done this and would like to give it a try. I would like to encourage anyone that would like to bring in flowers to place upfront by the organ to do so. Everyone absolutely loves the flowers!
Thanks for your help! God’s blessings, Diane D.
Paying it back — and forward
During the pandemic, acts of kindness seemed especially meaningful. Last spring, as Covid-19 hit Native American communities particularly hard, an interesting transatlantic outreach occurred.
Donations from Ireland began appearing in a relief fund for Navajo and Hopi families, leading administrators to suspect the account had been hacked. Then they realized a cross-generational payback was underway.
In 1847, Choctaw Tribe members sent $170 overseas to Ireland to help with Potato Famine relief. That generosity was never forgotten, and by May 2020, people in Ireland had contributed more than $4 million toward pandemic assistance for relatives of people who’d helped their ancestors.
Many donors included an Irish proverb meaning “In each other’s shadows the people live.”
The concept of paying it forward dates back to a 1784 letter by Benjamin Franklin. It also echoes Jesus’ Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31).
How might you live out this practice today?
A Grand Entrance
Decades ago, as English actress Gertrude Lawrence waited behind the curtain for a play to begin, the queen upstaged her by arriving at the royal box to much applause. “What an entrance,” Lawrence remarked, to which her friend, playwright Noel Coward, replied, “What a part!” Jesus certainly made a grand entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, entering to adoring shouts of “Hosanna!” But worldly glory and fame weren’t his intent. Instead, our Lord knew that his Father had prepared a sacrificial role for him. Jesus handled the adulation with dignity and poise. The humble yet courageous Son of God knew that danger, despair and death awaited — but that he must endure it all to fulfill prophecy for humanity’s sake.
The pageantry of Palm Sunday is a stark contrast to the role of Suffering Servant that Jesus faced a few short days later. Yet each event during Holy Week represents victory — for Jesus as well as for his beloved children. Palm Sunday is a glorious day, so let us wave palms and shout, “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” The Savior has come. What an entrance! What a part!
In the News!
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March 11, 2021 The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26 Dear Beloved of Zion UCC,
What a blessing it has been to have unseasonably warm weather. Remember to get out and enjoy the sun shining on your face, as a reminder of God’s blessing, and a reminder to count our many blessings. It is good for our health: mind, body, and soul. It is good for our nephesh (meaning: whole being in Hebrew).
It can be so easy to focus on the negative. We have seen that in so many ways over the past year plus. It can be so easy to want for more, and forget the blessings that God has given us already. I say this not to discount our many struggles, our grief, and our needs, but because as humans, we need to focus on the positive. We need to have hope and see the glimmers of hope in the muck and mud that surrounds us. It keeps us going, and keeps us focused on creating more hope and goodness. This is and always has been what being people of God is all about. Let us not forget the trouble that people of God throughout the biblical story and throughout history have faced, AND let us not forget how God rescued them over and over again, how God raised up new hope in the smallest weakest of forms over and over again.
And God is doing it again now. We are still in the long season of Winter and Lent, a time of waiting and preparing, but Spring and Easter are on the horizon. A time of new life and new hope is coming. Maybe God is working on us right now to find new ways of seeing the light in the darkness, through blessings we have forgotten, or never even thought of before.
God of New Hope, We give thanks for essential workers, for teachers, for scientists, for vaccines, for good touch, for real connections. We give thanks for God who walks with us, who waits with us, who hopes with us, who comforts us even in the darkest and deadliest valleys. We give thanks for your hope and new life, as we look forward to Easter and Resurrection. Amen.
Let us continue in our preparations for Easter Day, and a season of new life. We are partnering with St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday this year.
All services at our church will be both in-person and available on our Facebook Livestream.
Maundy Thursday: We are invited to St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Baroda at 7pm for a service based on the Last Supper.
Good Friday: We are hosting a Good Friday Service of Tenebrae and Stripping of the Altar at Zion UCC at 7pm, and inviting St. John’s ELC to join us. We need readers, so please contact Cal if you are interested in reading scripture.
Palm Sunday: Join us at 9am on Palm Sunday. Our Sunday School Children will have a special singing presentation for us!
Easter Sunday: Join us 9am on Easter Sunday to rejoice and celebrate Christ’s resurrection and the new life we find in Jesus!
In Peace and Hope, Pastor Cal
Whatever happens today, dear Lord, help us remember that you are present. If we find ourselves in the shadows of disappointment or rejection or pain, let us see your comforting light. If we’re in the radiant light of success or acceptance or wholeness, may we acknowledge your providence and grace. Wherever we are, grant us the assurance of your nearness. Amen.
Sometimes we get caught up in thinking we need to understand God in order to have faith. But faith is more about trust than knowledge; it’s more about believing in someone than believing information. A child, for instance, doesn’t have to know the precise roads to Grandma’s house; he only needs to believe in his parents and their ability and desire to get him there safely. Similarly, we need not understand all the intricacies of how God works; we can take a cue from the disciples and let belief in the risen Christ transform and empower us. In the words of Madeleine L’Engle (The Rock That Is Higher): “The disciples did not bother to try to understand the resurrection body. They doubted, and then they believed. They believed something so wonderful that it changed this broken, fragmented, beaten-down little group of men and women in a moment from depression to enthusiasm, from despair to new life, vibrant and unafraid.”
Zion United Church of Christ - 9105 Third St, PO Box 10, Baroda, MI 49101 - 269-422-1590 - e-mail - email@example.com