So much to be thankful for! God’s faithfulness to Zion is abundant and we are seeing it in concrete ways all over this place.
If you ever doubt that there is hope for the world, I invite you to pause on a Sunday morning or Wednesday evening here at Zion and observe all that is happening. The building is alive with more and more people, and I find it so refreshing to be in a place where smiles, hugs, genuine care, and hospitality abound. In other words: where the community of Christ vividly shines forth.
We have been focusing on Zion’s mission to trust in Christ, live for Christ, and serve with Christ Jesus our Lord for the past few months. We are renewing our commitment collectively and individually to that mission. It fits so well with God’s preferred future for us. What is God’s preferred future? It is a phrase that describes how we need to be praying for and listening to what God would have us do well into the future. It is to approach the future asking, “What is God leading us to that we know we couldn’t do unless we fully and completely rely on Him?” It is shorthand for trusting, living, and serving with Jesus so that we are always working toward God’s preferred future.
While many areas of Zion’s ministry are growing, there is room for more growth…and always room for more people. We have successfully and faithfully expanded our youth ministry and while we continue that focus, our mission also calls us to expand opportunities for young adults, young marrieds, empty-nesters, retired folks, and many others. Zion has future plans for growing opportunities for engagement. We will implement what we will call Next Steps. One of those Next Step opportunities will be Micah Groups. For now, I will leave it for you to pray and dream about how amazing it would be for the entire congregation to gather in small groups, around Micah’s vision for all to “act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God” [Micah 6:8].
During Advent this year, we will be experiencing the abundance of God as we look at this weary world and still find reasons for rejoicing. Aren’t we all looking for reasons to hope? Reasons for joy? And desperately praying for peace? Worship will center around experiencing God’s vision for hope, joy, and peace in our lives and this world.
I hope you are finding ways to invite friends and neighbors to your church. We should follow the example of our Middle and High School students who, week after week, invite friends to come and be a part of what is going on at and through Zion.
My dear friends in Christ, I count it a privilege to serve as your pastor. I pray daily for you and the rest of this faith family and ask that you do the same for me. Be sure to read the good news on page 5 about the Call Committee’s work in our search for an Associate Pastor. And be sure to remember that you are loved beyond measure by a generous God and by this blessed pastor.
In the joy that is ours in Jesus,
Pastor K. Bahe