Zion is a busy place! Sometimes we get so involved with the many things going on that we don’t do a good job of communicating what is going on. Everything we do requires volunteers, financial support, and energy from many people to make happen. So a list like this is really bragging on YOU and thankfulness from pastors like us for making it all happen.
1) Vacancy – Both pastors continue covering the vacancy at Emmaus Lutheran, Tripp. Emmaus and Zion, Delmont form a dual parish, and they are proceeding with calling “from the field,” that is, a pastor who is already serving a parish somewhere. If they have not received a pastor by the end of the year, they have left the option open to switch gears and call a candidate from the seminary. Either way, things are moving forward! Thank you for your patience as we serve our neighbors in Tripp! Please remember to keep them in your prayers as they move forward. And if you’re in Delmont, take a look at their new building! Thanks be to God.
2) Building Project- The Building Planning Committee is preparing a presentation to the voters at the October meeting. Most of the last year has been spent waiting on Puetz Construction to give us some cost estimates. But now we have most of the information we were waiting for! The committee, which has around 20 people on it, has worked for almost two years evaluating and kicking around the pros and cons of a bunch of different options. I think you’ll be excited with what they will propose! Remember, the committee was only asked to study the issue – not build a building. What happens with the study is up to the voters! The voters meet October 24 at 7:00 PM. Come join us and be part of the conversation!
3) New Parsonage – On Memorial Day 2017, a bunch of volunteers moved the Browns from their old parsonage on West Birch to the new one on Pebble Beach. What a whirlwind! The new parsonage is a beautiful two-story house with ample space in all the right places for a family of 10. Since then, trustees and various volunteers have been hard at work finishing the (mostly) unfinished basement. When all is said and done, the house will have 6 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. Almost all of the work has been a volunteer effort. What a blessing to the church you all are!
4) Movie Night – On October 19th at 7:30, we will be watching “Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World” at Logan Luxury 5 in Mitchell. Tickets need to be purchased in advance, and you can order from the church website (zionmitchell.org) or by stopping by the church office. Thank you to Pastor Grimmer for working so hard to organize this event! There is still room to sign up – the more the merrier!
5) Sunday School / Midweek – Our youth education programs are underway for the 2017-2018 school year. There are over 75 kids in our Sunday School, and 53 in our midweek program. Soon we’ll be planning for the Christmas Program. Can you believe it? If you’d like to help out in our education program, let us know! Many hands make light work!
6) Weddings and Baptisms – I couldn’t believe it when I realized this, but we’ve had 5 weddings so far this year, and there are 8 more weddings in the works! And we’ve had – no kidding – 17 baptisms this year! God be praised!
7) Adult Bible Studies and Fellowship – Opportunities for Bible study abound. Starting on Sunday, there is the adult Bible study at 9:15 in the church basement. Once a month on Sunday nights we have Table Talk, which is a casual Bible Study at a local bar and grill with Pastor Grimmer. Monday our Outreach team makes contact with those who we haven’t seen in a while. Tuesday mornings the ladies meet with Pastor Brown. Wednesday nights have Life Light for a deeper look at the Word during midweek classes, followed by the women’s choir. Thursday mornings are the men’s turn, meeting with Pastor Grimmer. One Friday a month we have Young at Hearts, meeting at various houses and places around the area. Then there’s LWML, Altar Guild, bell choir, children’s choirs, and more! Whew! If it seems overwhelming, just talk to one of the pastors and we’ll help you make some connections.
8) Mission Fest – Our annual Mission Festival will be the first Sunday in October (probably after you’ve received this newsletter). This year we are blessed to host Dr Schulz from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne.
9) Hosting District Events – Did you know that we are often invited to serve our neighbors in the South Dakota District? We host a variety of activities and meetings for the work of the LCMS in our area. This month on September 25, we’re going to host the tri-annual district planning conference. In January, we host a preaching workshop for pastors from our state, plus from North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Last spring, we hosted a district pastors conference and almost every LCMS pastor in South Dakota joined us for a wonderful Divine Service in our sanctuary. Many comments were heard about the wonderful music from the organ and bells, and the beautiful sanctuary we have. Afterwards, we had a pie and ice cream reception in the basement fellowship hall. Thank you to all of the volunteers who made that work!
10) 125th and 500th anniversaries – this is a big year! On November 11 and 12, we celebrate 125 years of ministry for Zion Lutheran Church, Mitchell, SD. Long time pastor of Zion, Rev Hyle Anderson will be our guest preacher. We’ve invited a number of recent pastors to come and celebrate with us. And then in October, we celebrate 500 years since the posting of the 95 Theses by Martin Luther, kicking off the Lutheran Reformation. What an incredible moment!
I’m sure I’ve missed so many things that could be included, like our annual July bratwurst feed when we support a local charity and cook and serve over 700 bratwursts in our parking lot, our Christmas Eve candlelight services when we pack into the sanctuary with 700 of our closest friends to celebrate the birth of Jesus, Easter services which are joyous and memorable, the free CPR class led by two of our own members, and so much more. But above it all, I am thankful for this group of broken sinners who work together, serve together, watch out for each other, and are quick to provide a solution to every need. And I am thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ, who continues to feed us all with His body and blood week after week, strengthening our faith and forgiving our sins. Finally, I am thankful to be called worthy to serve as your pastor. May God grant us many more faithful years together!