Here is the January 2018 Newsletter in MS-Word format, with all of the neat clip art that Kathy finds to spruce up the text:
JAN 2018 NL
And – here is the plain vanilla version:
The Zion Messenger
0389 CR 12, Corunna, IN 46730
Pastor Koziol: New Year’s Resolutions – 2018
New Years is usually accompanied by some degree of anxiety, in expectation of some unknown change. There is an expectation that somehow there is some hope for some miraculous change to occur – that in that countdown to the New Year there is a new opportunity – that this time there is truly a chance to make it right. Those New Year’s resolutions spew forth from every overactive anxious human will – “I will quit smoking,” “I will lose weight,” “I will quit drinking,” “quit this destructive behavior or that one.” “I will make more money, get to the top.” Although resolutions are often masked under a more pious covering, “I will go to church more,” “be more spiritual,” “get my life together,” etc.
While it may be positive to make specific disciplined changes in life, Satan loves emboldening that human will into grand self-willed and self-directed private ‘covenants,’ ‘pacts’ and resolutions. He sets us up for despair with every broken promise that we do not keep. That tempter always wants us to be something other than what we are. He always wants to have that ‘best life now’ to be that new and better you. He wants you to make your own baptism, to descend into your own delusions, and arise in that false hope of your own making – that desolation and anguish of personal promises and plans that could never be fulfilled.
That mystical wish that surrounds New Year’s Eve is that something unexpected might happen or you can be ‘something other than what you are.’ That mystique is usually crushed quickly, often times accompanied by that hangover or splitting headache from cheap champagne. That next day is usually the same as the year before. Within weeks you fall back into that secret sin, or have that cigarette, or overeat, or backpedal on whatever dream was dreamed up. That new life—that hope that things may be different is always misplaced, and that hope is also hooked on the wrong things. For that new life, we have one promise that does not break, and is not loosely hitched upon our own plans or ambitions. It’s not dependent on your commitment and execution of your personal resolution. That testimony of Christ overwhelms and kills our plans, and brings us safely into His.
Our New Year’s resolutions must be bound up in that confession that Christ has resolved to redeem and sanctify his people. In that faith we may be moved out in freedom to fear, love, and trust in God above all things and receive that spontaneous joy to turn from ourselves and move into that service and love of neighbor. When it comes to making disciplined changes in the New Year, be it resolved that the Lord Christ attend to you, in His gifts of forgiveness, His preaching, along with the prayers of the church. With those temptations and bad habits that overwhelm us, we may rest in prayer, letting Christ do our fighting against hell for us – interceding – praying – dying and rising for us. For only through Him, are all the powers of Satan, sin, and death overcome—and thanks be to God! May God continue to bless all His children here at Zion Lutheran Church this 2018.
Treasurer’s Report – Larry Beardsley
Treasurers keep track of the seasons by which bills are showing up – summer is electric bill season for air conditioning and time to pay the lawn care company; winter is propane season for heating and the electric bill, again! The great news, the Treasurer just looked at the bills and said “ho-hum –just pay it”. We have been blessed this year by your continued faithful giving.
As I write this we still have a week to go in 2017, but barring anything out of the ordinary occurring, this has been a good year financially for Zion. God has indeed been gracious to us as a congregation. The budget we adopted in November 2016 proved to be a good estimate of what we would need to operate the church and support the ministries in which we engage. We had some unanticipated maintenance requirements on the church and Fellowship Hall in late in 2016, but we planned – and we were able – to replenish these reserves in 2017. Continued faithful giving (there is that phrase again) has allowed us to execute the plans we made.
2018 will bring new financial opportunities to us. At the Voter’s Meeting we decided to continue to give 15% of our Envelope and Plate giving to support the Seminary Food Bank. We will continue our support to the Indiana District, with a designated portion to go directly to the Synod as an unrestricted gift. Your continued faithful giving will allow us to meet these opportunities.
The Church Year – Larry Beardsley
December with all of its hustle and bustle is behind us as we start a New Year on the secular calendar. Christmas was kind of crazy with Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday, but for 2018 our Church Calendar and the secular Calendar fall into line as the first Sunday in January, the 7th, marks the first Sunday in Epiphany.
On that Sunday we open the season of Epiphany by celebrating the Baptism of Our Lord by John the Baptist at the river Jordan. Epiphany is a season of enlightenment for us. The word Epiphany itself means an awakening or a realization – an “ah-ha” moment. During this season we will study the life and works of Jesus, looking at specific events and happenings as we become more familiar with his earthly ministry. The color of vestments and paraments for ordinary Sundays in Epiphany is green.
For the feasts and festivals celebrated in January, white vestments and paraments are appropriate as is the seasonal color, green.
New Year’s Day Circumcision & Name of Jesus
January 6 The Epiphany of Our Lord
January 8 The Baptism of Our Lord
January 18 Confession of St. Peter
January 24 St. Timothy, Pastor/Confessor
January 25 Conversion of St. Paul
January 26 St. Titus, Pastor and Confessor
CALENDAR NOTES /EVENTS FOR JANUARY
JANUARY 7 – CHURCH OFFICER INSTALLATION
CHURCH COUNCIL MEETS 11:00 AM
JANUARY 13 – Remove Decorations 9:00 a.m.
JANUARY 20 – MEN’S CLUB BREAKFAST 7:30 AM
JANUARY 28 – ELDERS MEET – 11:00 AM
BABY SHOWER FOR MADISON POST
After Worship in the Fellowship Hall.
[She and Tanner are expecting a daughter in March.]
Board of Elders – Lance Hoffman, Chairman
All men of Zion are encouraged to attend a Men’s Club Breakfast on Saturday, January 20th, 7:30 A.M. until we are done. (9:00?)
Cracker Barrel in Auburn
Agenda: Food, Fellowship and Fortifying Faith
Ladies Aid – Linda Hoffman
The Ladies Aid sold lengths of ribbon to decorate the choir loft rail during Advent. Thank you to everyone who not only helped to beautify the church, but participated in this fundraiser.
Ladies Aid celebrated Christmas at the home of Stephanie Walker. We enjoyed delicious (and plentiful!) food, revealed secret sisters, laughed, and meditated on the real reason of Christmas. Our hearts know the great love and sacrifice of Jesus, our Savior in the midst of envy, frenzy, and panic. Thank you to all who participated.
The Ladies Aid is hoping to host a “Little Ladies” event sometime in February. Look for invitations and information coming in January in the church bulletins and in mailboxes.
On Sunday, Dec. 17th, 13 children led worship to tell the story of Jesus’ love. They worked for weeks to practice speaking, learning songs, making ornaments, and studying the Biblical account of the birth of a Savior. Organist/pianist Renee Marinko accompanied the congregation in this special and festive service. Thank you to all the parents and children who practiced and participated and to all who helped with and attended the service.
All children are invited to attend Sunday school in 2018. Classes meet from 9-9:45am on Sundays. Any member of Zion wishing to encourage families with very young children to attend is welcome to help staff the nursery during this time. Please contact Linda Hoffman (email@example.com) if you are interested in this important ministry.