LETTER FROM OUR PASTOR
“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).
This is the season in which we are reminded to give thanks. As we gather around our tables on Thanksgiving, we do so with grateful and thankful hearts to our Father in heaven. I am thankful for many blessings: health, my wife and family, my church family, and my relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ. God is so good, and his mercies are new every day.
We live in challenging times. We are constantly bombarded with upsetting news. This can cause us to lose sight of how much we are blessed. We need the reminder of what God has done, what he is doing and what he will do for us. The Apostle Paul, writing to the church at Thessalonica, told the believers that he constantly gave thanks to God for them. Why was he so thankful for them?
Paul prayed continually to the Lord and thanked him for the Thessalonians' strong faith. He had preached the gospel to them, and they received the word. But their faith didn't diminish or grow cold. It continued to deepen. It is encouraging to be around other believers who have strong faith – those friends who pray for us and walk alongside us in the midst of our struggles. We need friends to speak life into us when the devil is trying to dismantle our faith!
The Thessalonians were Christians who labored in love. They put their faith into practice and shared the love of Christ with everyone – in word and in deed. They were the hands and feet of Jesus in this world, proclaiming his great love.
The Thessalonians held fast to their hope in Jesus Christ. They didn't allow the circumstances of the world around them to discourage them or redirect their attention away from the promises of God. They didn't hope in the transient pleasures of this world.
Paul saw the fruit of his labor and he was overcome with thankfulness. I can relate! I have seen God working powerfully here at Zion UMC. I also give thanks to God your strong faith, labor of love, and hope in Jesus Christ.
We have so much for which we can be thankful. God is using us and working through our many ministries. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever!
From the Buckbee family to you – Happy Thanksgiving
Pennsylvania's First March for Life
September 27, 2021, I had the privilege to participate in Pennsylvania's first March for Life rally and walk. Let me tell what an experience that was! First, I have to say that I haven't been to anything like this before. When I was asked to go, I immediately said yes. Which is something I tend to do, I answer impulsively and then later usually regret what I said, lol. I had no idea what to expect. I was very excited until the night before. Then I got to thinking about what COULD happen. You know, will there be pro-choice, pro-abortion groups there. Will they shout at us, throw things or worse? Thankfully, none of that happened except for one young lady who shouted derogatory words at us and yelled other things that I could not make out. She was only doing that while the whole crowd recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang our national anthem. Which, was really cool to have thousands of people participating in our nations’ pledge and anthem together.
When we first arrived, we walked to the capital and took our spots on the steps. We listened to some contemporary Christian music that was playing through the speakers on the stage. People were excited! They were singing the songs, talking to one another. We had some amazing speakers such as Ryan Bomberger from Radiance Foundation. He was so pumped and excited for this event. He shared his story. He was adopted. He has 6 brothers and 6 sisters. 3 were biological and the rest were adopted. From the beginning, he knew he was made in the image of God. His parents loved the Lord and shared their faith to the children. Doing some more research, I found out that Ryan's birth mom was raped. But, though horrific as that was, she still chooses life. What an amazing woman!
Toni McFadden from Relationships Matter also shared her story. While in high school or college, I can't remember which, she found herself pregnant. Her boyfriend said he would stay with her if she aborted their child. Planned Parenthood said that no one needs to know. Your parents won't have to find out, your boyfriend will stay, and your life can go on. She did have an abortion. She was in the first trimester so she took a bunch of pills prescribed to her and it would cause her baby to be aborted. She ended up hemorrhaging. Her parents, of course, found out. Her boyfriend left. Fast forward, she ran into her ex-boyfriend years later. He told her that he felt ashamed for what had happened. He couldn't face her at the time for the choice he asked her to make. He knew it was a mistake. They are now married and have children. At their wedding, they had a candle lit for their unborn child to honor him. She wants to tell people that there is help and hope for those who are like her. God is a wonderful God and there is nothing He won't forgive if you come to Him.
March for Life's President, Jeanne Mancini was present, along with Michael Grear from PA Family Institute, Rev Herb Lusk, and Bishop Ronald Gainer. Speaker of the PA House, Bryan Cuter spoke as well as PA Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, who exited the stage by starting a chant, WE ARE....PRO-LIFE!
Our last speaker was none other than former Planned Parenthood director from Texas, Abby Johnson. She has a book called Unplanned. Which is in our church library. It is a little tough to read in the beginning, but the outcome is so worth the read. It shows how God had a hand in everything. She started with Planned Parenthood in college. She was young and naive in believing everything they told her. One day after being with the organization for several years, she was asked to help in an abortion procedure. She normally was in the office not in during the procedure. This doctor used an ultrasound to guide his equipment. She saw the baby flinched and tried to, unsuccessfully, get out from the probe. That is when she realized that the babies do indeed feel pain. They are real babies and not just tissue as she was told. She left a few days later and has since founded And Then There Were None. An organization that helps Planned Parenthood workers and doctors leave their jobs and find new ones. To date, they have helped 600 workers and 7 doctors leave and have brought them to know Jesus. Can we get an amen?
Afterward we walked around the capital. There were thousands of people participating. To see the diversity of the people was just so refreshing. Black, white, and every color in between, young, old, men, woman, kids. We were sisters and brothers in Christ, speaking for the ones without a voice
Why did we walk? Why did we have to have this rally? Because on June 22, 1973, Roe Vs Wade in a 7-2 decision, by the Supreme Court voted to strike down the Texas ban as unconstitutional and gave women the fundamental rights to choose, without excessive government restrictions, whether or not to have an abortion. Since that time, it is estimated that over 62 million babies were taken by abortion. Those babies could have been so many things. A brother, cousin, teacher, singer, musician, doctor, governor, mother, father, sister, Girl Scout or Boy Scout leader, missionary, mail carrier, and so much more. Our world is broken. We need to have more love and support and less selfishness.
We need to come together as one to spread God's love and forgiveness. Our religion affiliations are not so different. We have more in common than we may think. The bus that took me to this event was filled with Catholics and 4 of us were Methodist. But that day we were Christians speaking up for the unborn babies whose voice many are trying too silent.
Homeless Mat Project: Saturday November 13th, 8:30-11am. Pop in and stay as little or as long as you'd like. We will be prepping the bags so they can be crocheted into the mats. We could use people to cut the bags, tie the bags into strips, and roll them into balls. We would greatly appreciate anyone who crochets, or would be willing to learn (it's easy, I promise!) to make the mats. We are hoping to do this on the 2nd Saturday of each month. The goal is to send these to the Philly Dream Center each time our church does a trip. Any questions see Sue Kerschner or Missy Krause.
We will be decorating our Christmas trees with Nativity animals this year!
I have some exciting news! A gracious donor has given our library Season 2 of The Chosen. If you haven't seen this show yet, you are missing out! We now have the first 2 seasons. I've heard your suggestions and ordered the books. So, we added Let's Roll by Lisa Beamer B.O. expected date 11/08, It's Okay Not to Be Okay: Moving Forward One Day at A time: Sheila Walsh and for teen girls; The Truth About Dating, Love and Just Being Friends: Thomas Nelson. Thanks for all of your suggestions. The library is here for you so please, let me know what you enjoy reading. Just a friendly reminder, we gladly accept books, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks but we are no longer accepting VHS and cassette tapes. Thank you!!-Missy
Book of the Month: Pushout
by Monique W. Morris
In the compelling and thought-provoking appeal to everyone from educators and counselors to parents and law enforcement acclaimed author and advocate Monique W. Morris chronicles the experiences of Black Girls whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judge – by teachers, administrators and the Justice system – and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Pushout exposes a shocking world of confined potential and supports the rising movement to challenge the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures.
This book is a bonus, so it counts as two books on our record sheet, both in the same category.
United Methodist Women News:
Is it November already? They say that time flies when you are having fun.
We are having fun, right?
Please bring your Thank Offering offerings along on November the 21st.
Myerstown Holiday Parade will be held on November 27th. Our UMW will again be selling food – hot dogs, hot chocolate, etc. in front of our church. If you wish to help at the sale or donate food or money to buy food, contact Sandy Sandoe.
Thanks to all for supporting our Apple Dumpling Sale the end of October. We hope you enjoyed them – and put a few in the freezer to enjoy later.
Parish Visitors - We are launching a new ministry at Zion UMC - Parish Visitors. If you are interested in visiting our homebound members on a monthly basis, please contact Pastor Keith (email@example.com) or Judy Vindich in the church office for more
Blue Christmas: December 7th at 6:30 PM
OBSERVATION OF ALL SAINT’S
Ray Klein – 11/01/2020
Betty Jane Wentling – 01/12/21
Christine Hopple – 01/17/21
Richard Purnell 01-19/21
Jeannie Moore – 02/27/2021
John Huber – 03/02/2021
Ed Rothenheber – 03/04/2021
Gloria Schneck – 04/27/2021
Linda Schlappich – 06/20/2021
Anita Krise – 06/30/2021
William Zulker – 09/04/2021
Isabel Zulker – 09/17/2021
You are invited to help decorate our church for Christmas by contributing red poinsettias in honor or in loving memory of your loved ones. Please fill out this form and place it in an envelope with $8.00 and return it to the church office by Sunday, November 28th.