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Pastor's Pen 2/6/2013

Blessings and Opportunities at Zion abound.....
This Sunday is the last Sunday before Lentbegins.  It is Transfiguration Sunday, apowerful remembrance of the transformative power of the Christ energy in all ofcreation -including you and me.
On this Sunday we declare our personal commitmentto the Open and Affirming statement that we as a people proclaim.
The Lenten Season is upon us and is filled withspiritual opportunity...
Ash Wednesday, February 13th,  provides a time of community and gatheringwhen we share our meager meal and a time of prayer.  We recall God’s blessing for us in the takingof Ashes - a reminder that this life is a temporary state of being; that we arecalled to live in a profound way as Jesus has shown us to live and given usexample of sacrificial loving.  This isthe beginning of our journey of living into the Open and Affirming Declarationthat we profess as the family of God.  Itis not to be taken lightly.  It is ourprofession of understanding and unconditional love for all of God’s creation.
Opportunity Knocks: Church Vitality Expert at Zion UCC
What a tremendous opportunity to live the LentenSeason, remembering all that Jesus has and does mean to us.
Taking action, speaking up, making a difference asfollowers United  and Uniting in theChurch of Christ,
where we know that God is STILL SPEAKING! ...andthat we should NEVER put a Period where God has put a COMA!!!
Take a breath... That's the coma... That's thewhisper of the Divine, It is up to us to make the sacred and sought afterPresence known.
Everyone, member and friend of the church, isinvited and encouraged to be a part of Zion's future story.
Pastor Jim Oates, Church Vitality expert, will behere to guide us in moving Zion UCC into the future.
Please come and enjoy a lite dinner at 6:00followed by our workshop with Pastor Jim.
We will be considering the Vision and Mission ofour church at this time in Steubenville. 
We will discuss church organization models to helpus be effective, productive and comfortable with our current activemembership. 
We will look at what it takes to be a Vital andInviting Church Presence.,, a place where the compassionate love of JesusChrist is all.
To accomplish all of this is a big order. We willbegin with dinner at 6:00 on Friday evening. Saturday morning  we will resumewith Coffee Hour at 9:30.  We will endwith prayer at 11:55.
Please call the Church Office to let us know if youintend to participate in ALL or PART of the workshop. You can attend Fridayonly, Saturday only or both!  You areencouraged to be there for the entire process, however, you are welcome forwhatever times work for you.
This is YOUR CHURCH.  Make a difference in her future.  God has called each of us to this verymoment.
Blessings All and Fullness of Life as we listen tothe still speaking God in our midst.
With love and gratitude for each and every one ofyou,
Pastor Carol

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