May 20, 5 p.m.: Constitution Review Comm. meets via Zoom
May 20, 7-8 p.m.: Open Zoom gathering: ID: 845 8978 9669, password: 743680 or link <https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84589789669?pwd=NTV1VitZL0xDayt2T1duSDRhY3BsQT09
May 25: Memorial Day: Members desiring to place flowers at the Zion Menn. Ch. Cemetery are encouraged to utilize “natural/live” flowers. If it is difficult to obtain those, or cost is an issue, contact the pastors; a member has offered assistance.
May 28, 7 p.m.: Spiritual Life Board meets via Zoom.
May 31 a.m.: Pentecost worship (with communion): we’re tentatively planning a “live” Zoom worship service in which all who wish can join simultaneously. More details will follow.
June 1, 7 p.m.: Outreach Board meets via Zoom.
June 7, 6 p.m. (postponed): Hymn sing on Zion church parking lot; bring lawn chair and hymnbook, if you have one.
June 8, 7 p.m.: Governing Council meets (via Zoom?).
June 9, 9 a.m.: Deacons meet.
June 21, 9:45 a.m.: (?) Zion summer Business Meeting.
Important Zoom announcement: Zoom has released several updates recently, with major changes: all meetings henceforth require a password, and all Zoom interaction soon will be encrypted (perhaps causing issues for those with slower connections or older devices). You will not be able to log onto Zoom meetings after May 31 unless you update your app by that date.
This summer, Camp Mennoscah is committed to sharing the camp community and God's love with you through videos, a Camp in a Box, and/or activities posted online. The videos and activities posted online will be free. A Camp in a Box will contain a camp tee shirt, crafts, activities, devotions, and nature fun, and will cost $40; a tee shirt alone will be the usual prices of $11/$16. To order, go to <www.campmennoscah.org
> and click on Register Online at the top of the page, or contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290. Orders accepted until June 3.
It is with both appreciation and sadness that the Camp Mennoscah Board of Directors announces the resignation of Michael Unruh from the position of Executive Director, effective July 1, 2020. In a statement, Michael shared, “I am grateful for each staff person and board member who has worked tirelessly to develop camp’s ministry, and the hundreds of camp supporters I have had the privilege of getting to know.” Michael will begin as Campus Pastor at Bethel College this summer. In the interim period, the Camp Mennoscah Staff and Board of Directors will continue to fulfill camp’s mission by providing space and programs for people of all ages to connect with God, nature, others, and self.
Amos 5:21-23 2020-05-20; Zion Menn. Ch. (Elbing, KS)
Being caught between anxiety and anger seems to be the mood this week. Should we re-open, maybe even have corporate worship in our building, of do we continue to stay safe by social distancing? What do we gain? What do we lose? How careful can we really be? Will those who are most vulnerable stay home? Do we simply trust God? The unknown is hard to live with at the moment.
As I’ve tried to live with the tension, several thoughts have run through my heart and mind. First, worship isn’t just being in a sanctuary with singing, scripture and a sermon, as we used to do before COVID. The prophet Amos wrote, “I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies…take away from me the noise of your songs.” It’s a good reminder that the people of God have not always worshipped in a sanctuary. The early church worshipped in people’s homes. Most of us have also worshiped outdoors at camp or in other places. Hopefully, we have all discovered that worship can happen in many places, even on-line. We can pray, study the Bible, share with others, and more—even when we are at home. God is everywhere. It may take a bit of adjusting, but we can find different, new ways to worship, even as we are separated, but still together. The blessing of this time is to realize that scripted corporate worship in a sanctuary is not the only way to worship together. There is a blessing in this time. Can you see it, taste it, feel it?
Secondly, while we may be eager to resume our communal worship, we have to be aware that we are being influenced by our individual thinking, rather than remembering the best interests of all in our community. We’ve been conditioned to think we have individual rights, but I don’t see the Bible showing much interest in individual rights. Our lives are gifts of God, who wants us to care for our neighbors and even our enemies. We learned in the Sermon on the Mount and other verses in the Bible that God wants us to give food to the hungry, to shelter the homeless, to consider the needs of those who are medically vulnerable. We ought not be fixating on our rights at the expense of love, compassion, and mercy taught to us by the Word of God.
We will gather again in person someday. It may look and feel different. But God is with us even now. We are blessed and loved. Praise God.