I am in my fifth year as your pastor Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church. In January, 2020, as my third year began, I had a grand plan in mind for how ministry would take place that year in our corner of God’s world. I learned when a new pastor begins at a church there is some order to how things should happen.The first year is the time to listen, learn, build relationships, preach, teach, and implement very few changes, if any. The second year, begin implementing new ideas and suggesting changes methodically and with respect. The third year, I called this the year the “rubber would hit the road.” The Session members would be ready to begin the work of the new year and implement their committee work, we would maintain the wonderful relationships with our mission partners, and we would continue to reach into our local community and serve Christ through serving our community.
However, God would lead us in another direction. Like the rest of the world, we were called to respond to the Coronavirus in ways that we were not certain would be effective. Questions were raised such as: How will we get the message to our congregation? How will we sing hymns together? How will we gather? How will we connect?
Historically, Mt. Zion has responded to changes and difficulties with grace and hope. The worldwide pandemic caused by the Coronavirus did not change Mt. Zion’s response to its community and church family. Your Mt. Zion leadership and you, the congregation responded beautifully! We continue to provide livestreaming and have people far and near who join us through the camera each week for Sunday School, worship, and Bible studies. We felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit during the pandemic leading us into something different. In obedience to God’s leading, we explored what that meant for Mt. Zion. After a period of prayer, discernment, and awe, we opened a food pantry. This was not what we were expecting, however, God’s expectations and provisions were much greater than we imagined.
Yes, in the midst of a global pandemic, new beginnings happened at Mt. Zion. Though the world was shut down we began new opportunities to serve God in “our corner of the world.” New opportunities brought new faces and renewed ways for us to grow as disciples of Christ. This is an exciting time to be at Mt. Zion to see what God continues to be up to in the world to which we have been called to serve God.
Though we are a small congregation and know most everyone, I hope you will use this new pictorial Church directory to connect names and faces within our church family that you may not know well. By using this directory, we can connect with each other on a more personal level.
If you see someone on Sunday morning that sits across the sanctuary from you that you do not know well, reach out to that person or persons. This directory gives you the opportunity to send birthday cards, caring notes, make phone calls, send a note you are praying for that person, send emails or texts. Learning someone’s name is an introductory act of Christian love. Building relationships with your Church family is life giving in many ways.
I look forward to continuing on the journey with each of you,