Greetings in the wonderful name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
What a blessing it has been for me and my family to serve at Zion UMC these past three months. I am continually encouraged to see God working in this congregation in its many discipleship, fellowship and outreach ministries. I trust that God will continue to do great things in and through you.
1) What do you like most about Zion UMC?
2) What are you most excited about during the next two years here?
3) What scares you the most about the future here?
4) If money were no issue, what is something that you would like to do for the gospel at Zion?
I would like to focus on the first question and share your response about what you like most here at Zion. In every group, the first answer given was always the same one. Without hesitation, you emphatically said "The people!" I would have to agree. The church is the people and you are the most welcoming church that I have seen. I sense the presence of God when I am here on a Sunday morning. I have heard numerous people (visitors and newer attenders) comment on how they feel such a warm and welcoming environment at Zion. Romans 15:7 says, "Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." Let's continue to be a welcoming church!
Most people decide whether they will return to a church a second time within minutes of arriving in the parking lot. Questions abound... " Are the people friendly? Do they smile and talk to me? Is it easy for me to find my way to the children's wing and the sanctuary?" Put yourself in the position of a new attender and the anxiety that they feel when walking into Zion for the first time. I believe that it is a good exercise for all of us to visit a church that we have never attended before (at least once a year). When I visit a church for the first time, it is uncomfortable and unfamiliar. Experiencing this helps me to be a more welcoming person in my own church, helping visitors to feel more comfortable and at ease.
We are called to invite and welcome people from all backgrounds to be a part of the life of this church. I want to encourage and challenge you to invite new people to our church, especially as we approach the Christmas season. I also want to challenge you to meet one new person at church every week - whether they are new to our church or have been attending a long time. Go out of your way, step outside of your comfort zone, and introduce yourself to that person you don't know. You will find this to be a rewarding and uplifting experience. It is amazing how a smile and a handshake can put joy into someone's day.
Again, I am continually amazed at how this church responds to God's calling for us to spread the kingdom of God in Myerstown. I hope that you have a wonderful fall season - I know that I will be enjoying the beautiful weather and spending time with my family!