December 2020 Newsletter

From Pastor Frank’s Desk…

Places where we can meet God

In light of the Covid virus, many things have changed. Some people are staying at home to be safe. Through these changes and modifications, people can be frustrated and angry. In light of that, we are asking how we will celebrate Christmas.

Thinking about this, a theme for the holidays passed across my mind. Christmas is all about the various places where we can meet God. The reality is that many people will go to Church, and many will stay home. Some children will gather, and some children will remain at home as well.

Wherever we find ourselves; we can meet God. God is present in the waiting room in the hospital where we seek treatment. God is present behind the prison walls of our home, where we await the end of the virus.

In the gathering of family, in the silence of an empty house, God can be there. God goes with us on our journey; then, our life is not meaningless because we have shared those moments together. God is with us whether we see him or not. God’s love through Christ abides with all of us.

Like many others, this Christmas, our schedules will be full, with our hearts also full of anticipation and hope. The craving for family and normal has an overwhelming feeling right now, but remember, victory is around the corner. The vaccine is looking good, and maybe we will have it by Christmas or sometime early next year. In other words, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

I ask that you would ponder the words of the hymn, Joy to the World.

1. Joy to the world,                                                                2. Joy to the world,

the Lord is come!                                                                   the Savior reigns!

Let earth receive her King;                                                    Let all their songs employ;

let every heart                                                                       while fields and floods,

prepare him room,                                                                 rocks, hills and plains

and heaven and nature sing,                                                repeat the sounding joy,

(and heaven and nature sing,)                                               (repeat the sounding joy,)

and heaven and nature sing,                                                repeat the sounding joy,

(and heaven and nature sing,)                                               (repeat the sounding joy,)

and heaven, and heaven,                                                      repeat, repeat

and nature sing.                                                                     the sounding joy.


3. No more let sins                                                                 4. He rules the world

and sorrows grow,                                                                 with truth and grace,

nor thorns                                                                               and makes

infest the ground;                                                                   the nations prove

he comes to make                                                                 the glories of

his blessings flow                                                                  his righteousness,

far as the curse is found,                                                       and wonders of his love,

(far as the curse is found,)                                                     (and wonders of his love,)

far as the curse is found,                                                       and wonders of his love,

(far as the curse is found,)                                                     (and wonders of his love,)

far as, far as                                                                           and wonders, wonders

the curse is found.                                                                 of his love.

Jesus has come! Salvation is here! One day soon, we will dwell with him in his Kingdom! He will come again!

The Advent Sermon series

Places where we can meet God.

Where are some of the places you find God? This sermon series will focus on places we can meet God. To meet God on a walk, you take every morning as the cold air touches your face, and you notice God in the environment around you? Maybe it is in a child’s laughter or the sound of the birds. You might meet God in that favorite space where you read scripture and pray. I met God today at my friend's house, where we talked about life, peace, and times with those we love.

November 29, Week 1 Hope

Places where we can meet God.

Mark 13:24-37


December 6, Week 2 Love

Places where we can meet God.

Mark 1:1-8

December 13, Week 3 Joy

Places where we can meet God.

John 1:6-8, 19-28

December 20, Week 4 Peace

Places where we can meet God.

Luke 1:36-38

December 24, Christmas Eve 

Places where we can meet God.

Luke 2:1-10

Christmas Eve Celebration

We hope to have a Christmas Eve celebration. We will have our Children’s celebration at 5:00 and the Traditional worship at 7:00. There will be an internet service at 6:30.

Confirmation Begins again

We will begin on January 3 through March 28. Upon completing the material, we should be on target to be confirmed on April 11 at the 10:30 AM Service. We will meet each Sunday at 4:45- 5:30 PM.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

We would love to take this time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May our hearts be open to the coming of Christ and our New Year filled with a normal that is Covid virus free!

Frank & Belinda Miller

& Marley




Thanks to everyone who donated to the world hunger offering. The total received for this worthy cause was $365.



As you are receiving this newsletter, we will be entering the Advent season. This is a time of hope and celebration as we remember God coming down to dwell with mankind. If you have not already picked up your family advent devotional, today is the time to do so. You will enjoy spending time with family as you discuss the movie classic “It’s A Wonderful Life” and relate it to our Christian life. Try to schedule a time for your family to watch this film together. We pray you will take the time to worship together both at home and at church during this holiday season.


                                  LIGHTING OUR ADVENT CANDLES

The candles on our advent wreath will be lit be a few members of our Youth group and their prayer partners. We are proud of our youth and their many advisors. God has blessed us with many young people interested in developing a relationship with Him. Let’s keep them in our prayers and encourage them to continue to serve the Lord.

Thank you, Youth and Thank you Prayer partners. The youth are thee church of tomorrow.   

 A Note of Thanks!

We would like to thank everyone for your prayers and support during my brother's illness and his passing. You are a truly loving family and we thank God for your support. Please continue to pray for Deb and the children during this time of grief.

                           Bruce Silar

Children’s Ministries

This advent season our KWH will focus on “Jesus’ Family Tree” known as the Jesse Tree. On Sunday, November 29 there will be no KWH, but instead a children’s sermon during the 10:30 worship service. At that time the children will be introduced to the Jesse Tree and given a family devotional along with a tree to take home. Hopefully each family will enjoy this devotional daily in their own homes preparing for Christmas during this advent season.


The United Methodist Women will not meet during the month of December. Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

Adult Choir

The adult choir will rehearse on Wednesday, December 9 at 6:35 PM following Wednesday evening Prayer Group. The choir will be singing on Sunday, December 13 and during the Christmas Eve service on December 24.

Christmas Cards

Please take time to look through the Church Directory and consider sending a Christmas card to any church member or church friend who has not been able to attend church since the Corona virus began affecting services and our mode of worship. This is a time to share our love for our Savior with those we hold close. In an attempt to protect those receiving our wishes during the Christmas season, there will be no delivery of cards to persons who are housebound or who are in retirement homes, so please mail your cards. Thank you.

Blessings During Covid 19

As I continue my journey of cancer, going to Apple Hill Cancer Care Associates every 4 weeks for my injections, I would like to share my experience on trip #16.

Usually my appointments were later morning or early afternoon but November 16, I had an 8 AM appointment. I arrived, checked in and took a seat in the waiting room till they called me for my lab work. As usual, I took my little book on healing which was given to me by Kendra Holcomb, out of my purse to start reading and heard a voice coming from the check-in desk reading scripture. A young lady in scrubs was reading from a handbook and prayed a most beautiful prayer. As she said Amen, I could hear amen throughout the room where staff was among us patients.

As I went through the morning procedure talking to staff, I came to find out this young Physician’s Assistant volunteered at the beginning of covid to start each day with scripture and prayer. One of the secretaries shared with me she is a 4-time cancer survivor which she praises God for being here today. 

The reason I chose to share this experience is we see such negatively in our world and need to be reassured there are positive things going on around us.

There was an 8 AM appointment available for my December visit which I did not hesitate to take. The calmness and reassurance of God’s presence in the cancer center is so obvious through the love and care shown to each patient.

In this season of Thanksgiving I want to express my attitude of gratitude to each one as you continue to lift prayers and thoughts for each and every cancer patient. Our HOPE lies in Jesus!

Andrea Gemmill





Meeting held via Zoom Meetings: Welcome and Prayer by Bruce Silar

Minutes: Following a motion by Christine and a second by Brenda, the minutes were approved as presented.

Family Ministries/Children’s Ministries: Outreach – Terri Mellinger: Still not sure about Christmas activities, will know more after a EP Community Pride meeting on Thursday.

Youth Fellowship – Lindy Holzer: Need to establish a system to make sure all Safe Sanctuaries policies are followed, including making sure volunteers have all clearances.

Children’s Ministries/Kid’s Worship/Sunday School: Andrea Gemmill/Janay DiBerardino – We still need leadership in this area for next year. Several suggestions were made by members of this Council.

For next meeting: What new ideas can we use in our Children’s Ministry? The pastor tells us we need to do something new, everything we have tried hasn’t worked, but what are those new ideas?

Adult Education: Ferne Gochnauer- Next year’s schedule has been made, should be mailed out soon.

During the Advent season, for 4 Sundays, the adult Sunday School class will be using material from our “It’s a Wonderful Life in Christ” series we will be using for the Advent season.

Congregational Care – Christine Miller Ideas of what to give those that are in Adult Living facilities, that can’t get out: the devotional from our Advent material, a daily devotional calendar for next year

United Methodist Women – Laurie Herbst: Thank Offering Service will be Sunday, November 22.

Men of Zion – Bruce Silar: Christmas offering: the family has 3 or 4 children. Bruce will be contacting them for more information.

Worship – Cynthia Silar: Advent devotionals based on the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” The first Sunday in advent in worship; we will have families come forward to place a decoration on the tree, similar to what we do at Easter. The Advent candle lightings will be done by Youth and their Prayer Partners.

Library: Brenda Holcomb:

Bible Adventure: Elaine Hengst – 

Next meeting: December 7th




Our annual church conference was held here at Zion with Pastor Frank Miller presiding. He opened our conference with prayer. Sixteen members of the congregation were in attendance. This meeting was held via Zoom Meetings.

The first order of business was to elect Terri Mellinger secretary for this conference. The minutes from last year were presented and approved.

The annual audit report was also presented and approved. Thank you to all involved.

Trustees report was presented and approved.

The slate of officers for next year were approved. A motion by Carl Belcher, with a second by Bruce Silar to allow our Church Council to fill any open spots on our Council during the coming year was approved.

The membership report and the parsonage inspection report were both presented and approved.

Brian Holzer was elected as our lay member delegate to Annual Conference, with Bruce Silar as alternate.

The pastoral compensation package was also approved by those present.

Our “Safe Sanctuaries” report was approved.

This brought our Annual Church Conference to a close for 2020.

Respectfully submitted,

Terri Mellinger





November 05, 2020

November 2020 Newsletter