Lent is a time for us to reflect on our lifestyle as we live as His children in His world. The glories of the Epiphany season are now behind us. We were witnesses to the proof of who Jesus is and that is: the God-man, Jesus Christ – our Savior and our friend.
How did He do this? Through His miracles and His revelation of Himself as the Son of God at the Transfiguration on the mount and from all of Holy Scripture.
Now we come back to our three dimensional world and the suffering and the conflict that plague us here.
We are now in the season of Lent in our church year. Lent is a time of heart reflection on how we are really living our lives. We must be aware that we are sinners, and that disease and death; both physical and spiritual have stained each and every one of us. And so during this Lenten Season, forty days until the glories of His resurrection, what must we do? We seek to be close to Him, to ask for forgiveness and for true knowledge of Him and His will.
How? By reading His Word; being in Sunday morning Sunday School and Worship Services, as well as attending Bible Class and Wednesday night worship service.
Take time to read Ephesians 6:10-19 where we learn how to put on the full armor of God. You really can!
See you in church ! - Pastor
Vicar Koziol – Seven Sins of Society; ENVY
We continue with our Seven Sins of Society series this month with the sin of envy. The sin of envy is a precursor to wrath, much more subtle than its counterpart, and able to slip past one’s watch over their heart easily if one is not vigilant. Envy is like a vandal, planting seeds of poisonous foliage round about the interior castle of the heart, lighting little fires of irritation and anger here and there. Where wrath rages, envy smolders.
St John Chrysostom, that most venerable Greek Doctor, warns us concerning to what degree of sin it mounts and what an abyss of punishment it digs. Here, I see this abyss as a pit of coals and burning embers that choke the soul with not only the interior suffering caused by envying others, but also with the smoke of gathering anger and annoyance that renders our souls virtually blind. Like a drop of poison put into a glass of water unnoticed, it embitters and envenoms. The sin of envy’s effects can be seen in our everyday lives – our bitterness towards a co-worker’s promotion, our annoyance at another’s stroke of “good luck” that we think is undeserved, a sense of self-justifying pride that tells us we deserve what another has. Here too, I like what St John C says; And what, tell me, dost thou envy? That thy brother has received a spiritual gift? But from whom did he receive it, tell me; was it not from God? That means that thou art at enmity with Him who gave it.
One needs to know that the disease of envy is harder to cure than any other. I would say that someone stricken with its poison is almost beyond healing. These words frighten at first, especially since I also succumb to the venom of envy myself. As I reflected on these things today, I reminded myself constantly of a tale about St. Anthony the Great. Anthony said, I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said, groaning, “What can get through such snares?” Then I heard a voice saying to me, Humility.
The fight is daunting; the Scriptures tell us Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. [Gal. 5:26] But humility is a greater virtue, contrary to the poisonous effects we encounter here. If death came into the world as a result of the devil’s envy, then Life, that is, Jesus Christ, came into the world through the Virgin Mary, because of His ultimate humility – for He has looked on the humble estate of His servant [Luke 1:48].
Humility allows us to exalt God’s Majesty all the more and to hold our neighbor in higher esteem than ourselves. If you want to be truly humble, then consider yourself lower than all, worthy of being trampled on by all; for you yourself daily, hourly, trample upon the law of the Lord Himself. [John of Kronstadt] These words, however blunt, help us to recognize that humility is true knowledge and voluntary acknowledgement of our own wretchedness. By using humility as our spiritual weapon, we force the Devil to drink his own poison.
A lot has happened since Larry and I have been in Florida! I know the elders are working on a salary package for the new full-time pastor. And, as of this point, I have not been contacted about that. I assume the Finance Committee will eventually be involved. I don’t see that there will be a big impact on the current budget, as we have been paying salaries for both a part-tome pastor and a vicar.
I don’t have any financial information for the month of February. Since the weather has been mild, I would guess this would be a pretty average month for giving. Thank you for your continued support.
In Christ, Becky Beardsley
Bible Trivia –
Who got the plague of leprosy for lying?
Treasurer’s Report – Larry Beardsley
This winter, unlike the last two, has been an uneventful winter. No Sunday services have been cancelled and no gaps in our giving. Routine is good. A wise boss of mine once taught me “Excitement usually means something has gone wrong. Boring is good”.
Each time that you can get to church
Please stop in for a visit
So when at last you’re carried in
The Lord won’t ask, Who is it?
LADIES AID – As Michelle will be in Florida on the 13th of March we have moved the meeting to April 10th. We have our Spring District LWML meeting on the 30th of April and everyone needs to know. I really want to express the importance of these meetings and how much work goes into the planning of them. They are a wonderful experience and all who can need to attend! We will also car pool at the church that A.M.
CALENDAR NOTES /EVENTS FOR MARCH
March 2 8:00 pm COUNCIL MEETING
March 6 Joyful Noise Bell Choir Resumes Practice 8:00 AM
March 20 Palm Sunday
March 24 Maundy Thursday 7 PM Service
March 25 Good Friday 7 PM Service
March 27 Easter Sunday
Easter Breakfast – will take the place of March 27th Sunday School. Helpers are needed to prepare for the breakfast at 8:00 AM on Saturday, March 26th ; and to serve from 8:00-9:15 on Easter Sunday. Kids are needed to help clear tables, serve beverages and make toast! There will be an Easter egg hunt at 9:15 and all are asked to send in plastic eggs if you have them. See Shannon or call her at 260-333-2250 for more information.
Easter Lily Sign-up – A sign-up sheet is available now for all those who wish to order Easter lilies. Remember that the lilies are placed on the cross during the service and may be taken home with you afterward.
The Church Year – March 2016
Easter comes early this year, so as we enter March, we find ourselves ending the Season of Lent. Lent is that time when we consider the weight of our sins and the price that the God-Man Jesus paid for our salvation through His crucifixion and resurrection. March 6th and 13th are the fourth and fifth Sundays in Lent. At Zion we use the three-year series of readings and in this series March 20th, Palm Sunday, is called “The Sunday of the Passion”. In our service, the children (of all ages) are invited to join the processional with palm branches and lay them at the altar in recollection of Jesus’ welcome into Jerusalem. In our readings, we consider Christ’s betrayal, trial and crucifixion in preparation for Holy Week and Easter.
March 24th is Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday). We celebrate Maundy Thursday with Communion; remembering Christ’s institution of this sacrament.
March 25th, Good Friday, is celebrated at Zion with, the evening service formally called “Tenebrae”, The Service of Shadows and Darkness. This is the most solemn and sorrowful service of the Church. Lighting in the church is suppressed; the celebrants and altar are vested in black. At the end of the service the altar is stripped of its paraments and the Christ candle is extinguished. The church is in darkness. A door is slammed loudly, symbolizing that Christ has been sealed in the tomb to await the resurrection. Worshipers leave the church in silence and depart without lingering – much as did Christ’s disciples after He was taken down from the cross.
Then, on Sunday March 27th, we celebrate The Resurrection of Our Lord! As we gather we greet one another with the greeting that dates to the very earliest days of the Church; “He is risen” and the reply “He is risen, indeed – Alleluia”! Our worship is joyful – filled with light, a contrast to the darkness and sorrow of Tenebrae.
The color for vestments and paraments for Maundy Thursday, Easter Sunday and The Sundays of Easter is white. On Good Friday and Holy Saturday, black is appropriate. Two special observations fall in March, neither of which fall on a Sunday:
March 19: Joseph, Guardian of Jesus
March 25: The Annunciation of Our Lord to Mary
February 28, 2016
Dear members of Zion Lutheran Church,
We have been blessed for 17 years to have the presence of Reverend Al Wingfield as interim pastor of our church. He has served us faithfully, and has touched many hearts. At a Voter’s Meeting last Sunday, it was decided that Zion was ready for a full-time pastor, and a call will be made for our current vicar, Stephen Koziol, to fill that position.
When Pastor Wingfield retired from the Fort Wayne Seminary last October, Zion began operating without a called leader. As Elders, we fulfilled our responsibility to form a call committee and brought two possibilities before the voters. Pastor Wingfield was considered as a part-time pastor, and Stephen Koziol as a full-time pastor. Stephen has completed his classes and will be ordained in the near future. Once call papers are completed, they will be submitted to the Seminary and to the District. We assure you that our worship services will continue with ordained ministers officiating throughout the process as Stephen is ordained, called, and installed.
We hope to honor Pastor and Marge Wingfield with an event to celebrate all that they have done for Zion. Please speak to an elder if you would be interested in serving on a committee to plan this.
Please watch the bulletins for further information. We will share information as it becomes known to us.
Thank you to all members who attended the voters’ meeting – for your thoughtful questions and for your prayerful desire to discern God’s will for the future of Zion.
Blessings to all,
Zion Board of Elders
Stream Lutheran Programming
It’s not unusual to see folks sitting or walking about with a set of earbuds plugged into their iPhone, iPad or I-whatsis, tuned into whatever music or programming suits their fancy. If you want a change from light rock – or even reform church inspirational preaching, try listening to our Lutheran radio station, KFUO from St. Louis. You can stream KFUO from: