Sunday, May 22, 2011

This Summer At Zion Church

It’s a busy summer at Zion.
Don’t think that just because the suns out and the weather has warmed up that we’ll be closing the church. We’ll be here to do ministry each week and here’s a look all the things going on this summer. We hope you’ll be participating in many of the exciting events. Some of the things you may recognize from previous years:

Wednesday’s offer the opportunity for your kids to come and have fun at Zion from 1-3 p.m. each week beginning June 8.

Vacation Bible School is looking for volunteers. Don’t forget to register all the kids in your life either in the lobby or online at

And some of the things are brand new.
CANVAS Art Camp.
Something new for us this year at Zion. CANVAS: Crafted by God, Creative for Jesus is an art camp designed to reflect on Ephesians 2:10, “We are His workmanship created for good works in Christ.” CANVAS is an opportunity for children third through seventh grade to learn painting, collage and 3D art from Christian artists and find ways to express their God given creativity. Artist Ann Williams will also be joining us from Lincoln, NE. You may remember her as one of the artists who exhibited at Zion’s art show last spring. The camp is a Zion project led by Grace Kline with help from Cyndee Buck who runs the Express Your Faith art ministry at Lutheran Church of Hope. CANVAS will also be an outreach event with kids from the neighborhood attending. We’re also pleased to announce that a youth group from Hayward, WI, on a mission trip will be helping us. CANVAS will be held July 11-15 between 12 and 4:30 p.m. Lunch is included. Registration is $25 per child and will begin in June. Watch the weekly bulletin and the website for details.

Summer Book Club for Adults
Want some good spiritual books to read this summer? Come join us on Sunday mornings June 21, July 19 and August 23 at 9:15 at Zion. The three books we’ll be reading are, Practicing the Presence of God: Letters from a Skeptic; and The Ragamuffin Gospel. Check the Adult Discipleship page on the Zion website for more details. Conversations about the books will be led by Bob Norris.

Invited Inn
It’s time for more homeless families to call Zion their home for a week. Our guests will be here the week of May 22nd. Make them welcome and if you can help, sign up in the lobby.

Summer Adult Discipleship
All offerings are held in the Fellowship Hall at 9;15 a.m. Sundays
June 12, Rev. Harold Hosch, “The Shema in Our Lives” (Deuteronomy) The Shema is Israel’s confession of faith, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” Find out from our scholar in residence the significance of this statement to our life and faith today.
July 10, Shannon Bauer, “Identity in Christ” Shannon Bauer is a therapist currently practicing at a clinic in Ankeny, at Zion, and at Hope Lutheran on the Eastside of Des Moines. Shannon will led us through a discussion of who we truly are and expose who we are truly not.
August 14, Rev. Shola Falodun. Shola’s life experience could be a topic all of it’s own. From life in Nigeria to hurricanes Katrina and Gustav, Shola has experienced much and found God at work in all of it. Come and get to know our very own community missionary.

Outreach Events
We have seen so much fruit from the simple outreach events we did last summer that we’d like to do it again. We plan on revisiting the Douglas Terrace apartment complex on Sunday and brining our bounce houses, some food and music as well as games and things for the kids to do. We’ll be asking for volunteers and hope to know the exact dates of these outreaches soon.

We also plan on doing a new outreach, similar to those at Douglas Terrace, to the four apartment complexes clustered around the Wunder Years Academy (Head Start) at Clarkson and MLK. Wunder Years has expressed a desire to do something for their neighbors and we plan to help. So a party is in it’s planning stages and we’ll keep you abreast of this new outreach opportunity.

Redeemer (Lutheran Church) Neighborhood Outreaches
Zion and Redeemer are sister churches in the same denomination (LCMC) and we dream of one day being able to tithe Redeemer some of our members and a pastor so that they can “re-plant” their church. Redeemer is strategically located in the Drake neighborhood, just blocks from the University campus. There are many apartment complexes very close to the church and we feel that this summer is the perfect time to start a Douglas Terrace type outreach at Redeemer. Four Sunday dates have been chosen. They are: June 5, July 10, August 7 and September 11. We hope that you’ll consider coming to Redeemer on these Sundays and helping us reach out to their neighborhood and introduce them to Christ and his church.

Street Outreaches Continue
We’ll keep on during the summer reaching out to the homeless with lunches and prayers. Every third Saturday you can come at 9:00 a.m. and make lunches and then go and distribute them.

Out of town on weekends this summer?
Try our midweek worship service.
The more service will continue this summer. Wednesdays are the new Sundays. more offers a different look at the Sunday sermon in a casual, come as you are, relaxed environment in the Fellowship Hall. Service begins at 6:35 p.m. A light supper is available beforehand beginning at 5:45.

New Clothes Closet (and furniture and housewares, too)
To better serve our community and our Zion family, Zion will be having a clothes closet. Donations of clothes and household goods can be made in the Fellowship Hall.  They will be sorted and available for distribution downstairs in room 110.  Jodi Whitsitt will be heading up this ministry.  We are currently seeking donations of plastic tubs, hangers, and garment racks in order to get started.  These items can also be dropped off at the church. This ministry will function in conjunction with clothing donations made to our Street Outreach ministry and Hope Ministries.

Community Gardens
Where are we with our plans to make garden plots available to the community and church members on the land just to the south of our building? Well, we have some great volunteers waiting for land to till and mark off in plots. We also have great volunteers looking for truckloads of compost to improve the poor soil quality that currently exists on the site. Once we have the dirt and a way to mix it into our current soil, we’ll be ready to start. Even if we can’t get a crop in this summer, we’re still excited to be ready for next year with plots assigned to members and friends in the community. Many of the plots will be given to immigrant families who miss their connection to the land. If you have any compost to donate or would like to help with the project in any way, please contact Pastor John. Brian Thielges is our new project manager on this exciting new project.

Well Done
A huge thank you to all who volunteered this past academic year at Zion. Thank you to everyone who helped clean the church, teach Sunday School or other classes, who gave time or money to help us in our mission efforts. Sunday School and Wednesday Wow volunteers will be honored at 9:15 on Sunday, May 22. It was a fantastic year and we wish you all a magnificent summer and hope to see you back in the fall.

A big thank you as well to those of you who drove kids to school this year. From December 1 through the end of the school year, we have transported 14 kids to and from school each school day. This effort has resulted in 13 van driving volunteers. Thanks.

Thanks to all who folded bulletins, stuffed letters, helped with IT or the website or answered phones or ran vacuums or went on a Street Outreach or a Monday Night Supper or who made our guests welcome during an Invited Inn week.

And for those of who have been helping tutor kids on Wednesday night or helping us with crowd control - praise God! What more can we say. We had 15 steady volunteers and saw and increase from 4 kids in September to nearly 70 in May. Thank you.

And to the Wednesday night kitchen crew and those who did the grocery shopping and Tuesday night food prep - thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your efforts are greatly appreciated and this year we had a new record for meals served on a Wednesday night - 289. Thank you.

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