Wednesday Letter

Happy Wednesday Church

I hope you are having a blessed week!  I know this is only Wednesday but I wanted to get my letter out before our Holy Week Services start tomorrow evening.  Just a reminder that the only activity at church tonight is the Financial Peace University Course – no Prayer meeting / Bible study this week only.

Once again our world is a different place because of what happened in Belgium yesterday.  My prayer is that we don’t become numb to these kinds of things and that we let it rip at our hearts just like 911 did almost 15 years ago.  Pray for the people of Belgium and for our leaders as they deal with this.  Here is a link to an article that will be in USA Today that explains a bit why this is getting worse instead of better and what needs to be done to stop it.

Maunday Thursday Service: Thursday night at 7 pm in the Sanctuary.  As we share in a communion service, people attending the service will be asked to share a testimony of affirmation for another Christian.  I would like for this to be someone that is still alive and a part of your life right now.  What I am asking you to do is to make yourself vulnerable to others by sharing how God has used them to help you live for God.  Let’s also avoid the “I’m thankful for everyone” kind of statements.  Please give some thought to people that have helped your journey through life and affirm them.  I can’t wait to hear these testimonies.

Good Friday Service: Friday at 7 pm in the Sanctuary.  This will be a new Tenebrae Service (A service of shadows and gradual darkness.)  I have found some new readings that I think will speak to your hearts as we remember the death of Christ.  The service will end in darkness and you will be asked to leave in silence with the anticipation of the resurrection on Sunday A.M.

Easter Egg Hunt: 2 pm Saturday at the Young Farm.  This is always a fun time for children and parents.  This is a great event to invite a family you know to join us.  Click Here for Directions

Easter Sunrise Service: 6:30 am Sunday at Parks Pavillion – Click here for Directions.  The weather is supposed to be good for Sunday but please dress appropriately.  Jesus arose from the grave at Sunrise – join us as we celebrate that event at the same time of day it happened that first Easter.  Coffee and hams biscuits will be available after the brief service.

Easter Sunday Worship Service:  Easter Sunday is one of the best times of the year to invite someone to church with you – you will be surprised at how open they will be to your invitation.  This year my Easter Sunday message will be from John’s account of the resurrection – Finding Yourself on The First Easter Morning.  John records three specific people that find the empty tomb that first Easter; Mary Magdalene, Peter and John.  These three people could not be more different than each other and I would suggest that all of us can relate to one of them. The good news is that they all found the risen Christ that day . . . and you can too.

Holy Week sets us up for the best weekend ever – the resurrection of Christ on Easter.  Christians for almost 2000 years have celebrated the passion of the Christ during Holy Week – you are invited to keep the tradition going.  I look forward to seeing you this week and on the weekend!  I can love you and love being your pastor because Christ first loved us and gave himself for us.

In His Service with You,

Pastor Andrew Matthews

March 17 Letter

Happy Thursday!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I hope you’re having a blessed week!  Since it is St. Patrick’s Day here is a little background on the Saint from Ireland:

“As a teenage boy, he was taken from Wales by Irish raiders and sold into slavery. He eventually escaped and returned to his family, but instead of returning to a normal life, he joined the church and returned to Ireland as a bishop. In his Letter, one of two surviving works by Patrick, he explains the reason for his return: “I live among barbarous tribes, a stranger and exile for the love of God.”

St. Patrick is famous for taking an ordinary part of nature, the common clover (shamrock) and attributing a Christian belief to it, the Trinity. That God is three distinct persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit yet one God.  Today when you see all the shamrocks and even the prevalence of the color green please be reminded this Christian Saint used that to teach the trinity – a fundamental doctrine of orthodox Christianity.

This Sunday at Zion

This week we wrap up our winter sermon series Ancient Words with a message on the Tower of Babble titled “The Root and Cure of Cultural Differences.”  Cultural differences in our world have been and continue to be a great source of tension for the human race.  There is both a theological cause and cure for this problem.  The church of Christ ought to be the great unifier of cultures and races around the globe – it is what our world needs and only the church can provide it.  The second birth surpasses our first birth, replacing the prominence of race and culture from the first birth.  The second birth places us in the race of God’s family as well as the culture of his righteousness, providing a common culture that unifies the human race and removes our differences.

I hope you will join us for some of our Holy Week Services.  This is the most spiritually intense season of the year and a time when I believe God want to do business in our lives.  Here is what we have planned for the week –

  • Maunday Thursday Service – March 24th @7 pm in the Sanctuary. In obedience to Christ’s command to “Love one another” people attending this service are invited to share testimonies of affirmation for other Christians.  We will also celebrate the Lord’s Table of Communion.
  • Good Friday Service – March 25th @ 7 pm in the Sanctuary. Join us as we recount the events of the passion of Christ on the day of His Crucifixion.
  • Easter Egg Hunt – Sat. March 26th 2pm Young’s Farm. This is fun for the entire family.  Lots of eggs and prizes for kids.  Contact the church for directions if needed.
  • Easter Sunrise Service / 6:30 am at Parks Pavilion (click here for directions) Join us for sunrise over Metompkin Bay as we remember that first Easter morning and the resurrection of Jesus.
  • Easter Sunday Service – March 27th @ 10:30 am

I Hope you have a great weekend!  Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day and keep an eye out for those symbols of the Christian Faith.  I look forward to seeing you and Sunday.  I love you and love being your pastor.

In His Service with You –

Pastor Andrew

Letter – March 10, 2016

March 10, 2016

Happy Thursday Church!

I hope you are having a blessed week!  This week Zion has lost another one of our senior saints – Ruth Thornton.  Ruth had a very small natural family and no children to carry on the family line.  But we all know and understand that Ruth had a deep spiritual family here at Zion Baptist.  Yesterday at the two Bible studies we took some time for people to share their thoughts of Ruth and the influence she had on so many people.  I felt uniquely privileged to hear about her relationships with so many of you.  There may be no physical decedents from Ruth and her husband but she has a large spiritual family that carry a legacy of faith because of her influence on them.  Ruth was a mother in a profound way – a spiritual mother to many of you.  Let’s pause and give thanks for a life lived in service to God and other people.

Saturday at Zion – Men of Purpose Conference

After months of planning and preparing our conference is finally here. We have a great line up of speakers on a various topics of interest for men.  If you haven’t registered for the conference you are still welcome to come.  You can let me know ahead of time or if you want to just show up on Saturday we will have room for you.  I want to thank our men’s ministry team that has worked with me to put this together: Dave Dryden, Brian Corbin, Kit Laxton and Rick Wallace.

This Sunday at Zion

This Sunday we continue the series Ancient Words with a message on the flood account in Genesis 6&7. The Flood is one of those larger than life accounts in Genesis that we learn about early in Sunday school.  The account of a big boat and saving all the animals reads very well with children.  As a matter of fact we have a large painting of Noah’s Ark and the animals in our nursery. The flood narrative actually captures for us the most violent event to happen in all of human history: the destruction of the planet’s surface including all the people save Noah and his family.  Many questions come out of the floor account:  was it real, why did God do this, why save just Noah’s family?  Sunday we will seek to find answers to those and other questions.

Spring Ahead! – Don’t forget this is the weekend to Spring Ahead one hour on Saturday before you go to bed.

Funeral for Ruth Thornton

Ruth’s funeral will be Sunday at 2 pm in the church Sanctuary.  We will have a simple reception in the Social Hall following the service.

Some people have recently shared with me that at times they are not receiving my letter by e-mail.  If that happens to you please understand I am not taking anyone off the list.  From what I can understand sometimes our computers will block a message when it is from a large distribution list.  Our church e-mail list is growing all the time so this may continue to be a problem.  I am looking into other solutions but in the short term I will be posting church communications on my blog https://andymatt723.wordpress.com/  If you don’t get the letter on any Thursday you can find it on the blog.

I hope you have a great weekend!  I am excited about the conference and that our church is having the opportunity to help the larger body of Christ grow on the Eastern Shore.  Imagine what God could do with a large group of men on fire for him in the churches of our area.  I look forward to seeing you this weekend.  I love you and love being your Pastor.

In His Service with You,

Pastor Andrew Matthews