April 2021

"The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." 


A Note From Our Pastor


Like so many people, I watched Bridgerton on Netflix.  In fact, at the end of Season One, I went to the library (via my kindle app) to read more from the Bridgerton series.  While I was number 118 in line for one for the 10 copies of the ebook (the first three stories in one book), I was notified last week that the book was available.  As such, I have spent my past few evenings reading about the Bridgerton family and their romances.


The love interest in the third book (as I said, I have spent the past few evenings reading) has a very interesting description.  Although she is the unloved step-child in the model of Cinderella, she has a persona of happiness and glows from an inner joy.  What a wonderful description to have!


Happiness and joy…  While there are some similarities, joy is the deeper of the two emotions and is more internal (e.g., an inner joy) and is more personal.  Worldly possession, personal accomplishments, even the people in our lives, are blessings that can make us feel happy, and happiness does fuel joyfulness.  But happiness is fleeting and can be based on circumstances.  Joy is a feeling that is both steadfast and sustaining.  When we think about steadfast and sustaining, we realize the source of all joy comes from Christ with his steadfast love and sustaining spirit.  Joy is rooted in who God is and much of our own joy comes from worshipping God.


Rejoice this Easter Season and let joy be a part of our lives! Rejoice in Jesus’ sacrifice to take away the punishment for our sins!  Rejoice in Christ’s resurrection to demonstrate that God’s love is greater than death!  And let our faith in Christ lead us to a glorious joy that touches our inner self and allows the joy in our life shine so that others may see!


Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9)







We would like to extend a special thank you to Libby Hall for making the covers for our Crismon Bible case.  Not only does the cover assure that the restored Bible is not damaged by sunlight, but the fine material and exquisite workmanship highlights the place of honor for the Bible and case in the sanctuary.


Also thank you to the team that restored the historical Zion placards outside the church near the cemetery, slave door, and church office.  Thanks to Dennis Gallahan and Walter Rawls for resubmitting the history, Debra Paytes for re-typing and formatting the information, and Dale Rauch for re-building, painting, and sealing the information in the frames.


Sue Rauch

Administrative Council Chair




It has been an incredible joy to be back in worship at Zion!  The Healthy Church Team (HCT) has done a wonderful job of preparing and maintaining the protocol for in person worship.  The members of the HCT have not only prepared the church to welcome back its members, but has also taken on the role of ushers for the first 4-5 weeks.  Because it has been over a year since we gathered in the sanctuary, there has been a need to re-establish the volunteer list of ushers.  The duties are light and we are hoping to schedule each person once a month or less.  We need you!

If you are interested in helping Zion as we get back into our weekly worship services, please contact Christine Braxton at




The Staff/Pastor- Parish Relations Committee (S/PPR) is awaiting the announcement from the District of the new pastoral assignments.  Once the announcement is made, we will be passing this on to our church family.  Please continue to keep Zion in your prayers.


Pastor Barry will be having knee replacement surgery on May 18th.  With recovery time and vacation time between mid-May and the end of June, Pastor Barry has offered to video-tape the sermons and prepare the worship services and bulletins ahead of time.  We expect to gather on the last Sunday of June to celebrate Pastor Barry’s time here at Zion and his retirement.  Please keep June 27th on your calendars.


A donation has been offered to invite a guest pastor to speak one of the Sundays in June.  The Committee has reached out to Rev. Barbara Jacobs and she has graciously accepted our invitation.  Rev. Jacobs will be our guest on Sunday, June 13th.


The S/PPR Committee will be coordinating the welcoming of our new pastor.  Because the first Sunday in July is the 4th, we are considering spreading this welcoming over the first two Sundays of July.  We encourage all members to gather together those days to share in the celebration. Additional information will be forthcoming.


Christine Braxton

S/PPR Chair




The Trustees met on April 11th to review the utility easement in front of the church proposed by Development Consulting Services (DCS).  DCS is the developer for the project proposed on Courthouse Road.  The meeting was open to members of the congregation and was attended by about 10-12 members of the congregation who had an opportunity to express their views on the proposal.  After considerable discussion, the trustees voted to reject the contractor's proposal and not grant the easement.




Zion UMC is having its annual Spring Clean-up.  The period for the clean-up is scheduled for April 24th - May 8th.  There is a sign-up sheet in the back of the sanctuary if you are available to assist/accomplish a task. Below is a list of proposed tasks.



1.     Clear debris from roof of fellowship hall

2.     Paint trim on outside of Office door

3.     Reposition parking lot markers

4.     Paint old shed

5.     Powerwash and stain deck behind fellowship hall

6.     Powerwash and stain (waterproof) deck to food pantry trailer

7.     Stain cemetery benches

8.     Stain bench in front of fellowship hall

9.     Clean up leaves in front of food pantry trailer



1.     Scrub carpets: classrooms, nursery, fellowship hall

2.     Clean kitchen floor

3.     Clean oven and microwave

4.     Clean kitchen windows

5.     Clean classroom windows

6.     Clean fellowship hall windows

7.     Paint vent cover in sanctuary balcony


If you need to purchase supplies to accomplish a job and would like to be reimbursed, save your receipts and submit your request to one of the Trustees or to the Church Office.


Dale Rauch




March Operating Expenses:  $8,704

March Income:  $10,179

YTD Operating Expenses:  $19,564.09

YTD Tithes/Offering: $19,782

Weekly Average: $1,521

Weekly Needed:  $1,600


Any questions please contact:  Betty Carter-Gelfuso, Finance Chair




Reminder about Admin. Council Notes:  Minutes are provided in the newsletter once they have been approved.  Keep in mind that this occurs during the meeting for the following month.


Zion United Methodist Church

Admin. Council meeting

Held March 2nd, 2021


In Attendance

Those in attendance: Sue Rauch, Dale Rauch, Betty Gelfuso, Pastor Barry, Bill Crislip, Arlene Crislip, Karen Robison, Lisa Hockman, Sue Chamberlin, Richard Reichert, Walter Rawls and  Libby Hall.


Sue R called meeting to order and Pastor Barry led us in prayer.


January minutes were approved {noting a few typing errors} with motion by Arlene and seconded by Betty.


Team Reports:


Worship: Arlene

Worship recently met with the HCT so we could plan a trial in-person worship.  We are planning this for March 21st.  We are labeling this a soft opening because we will not be advertising this to the public so that the Zion congregation can gather and enjoy being together while we work our way through this.  We will follow all of the conference guidelines including: masks and social distancing.  We will reconvene as a team after this service to determine how we move forward. This is an exciting, long awaited event and we are doing our best to make it safe for everyone involved.  There will be registration of all those in attendance. Easter Services will be April 4th at 9 and 11.


Lay Leader: Richard

Richard has been working on cabling in the sanctuary and will have it finished tomorrow.


Nurture and Education: Sue Chamberlin

Saturday's Adult Sunday School met twice in February:




Care Card Ministry is busy with the addition of sending birthday cards.   Please notify me if you know of anyone needing a card.


Food Pantry: Bill

Food Pantry will be open for clients on March 4 to make up for the one we missed. I have changed the sign to reflect this. I mailed this information to those clients that have registered their addresses and hope they will spread the word.

Thanks to all our volunteers who are making this makeup session possible.


Communication and Clothes Closet:  Karen

Communication: Upcoming two days of March  pantry/closet was posted to social media and FLS with times listed as 3:30-5:30.


A letter crafted specifically for the Keswick community has been completed. Special thanks to Arlene and Barry for this endeavor. Walter and I are the contact points.


Clothes Closet:  At end of February, donations were brought in and picked up for our March Closet.


Missions: Lisa

Lisa reported nothing different from Pantry and closet.  Quilters are busy working on quilts for Project Linus and Veterans.


Trustees: Dale

Trustees' Meeting Report

28 February 2021


Review/update of Old Business

·       Sealing brick on outside of sanctuary: Kenny Wolfrey has the lead on this item. Cost of materials will run $3,000 to $5,000. Labor is to be donated and will be done once it gets warmer.

·       Plaster repair in sanctuary: to be done after bricks are sealed.

·       Cemetery Trees: Awaiting meeting with True Green to get an estimate/proposal

·       Shutter Repairs: Kenny Wolfrey, Charles Jett, and Walter Rawls to complete this item once the weather improves.

·       Sound system in Fellowship Hall:  Richard Reichert and Tim Alger are still working on this item and formulating a plan to complete the work.

·       Nursery ceiling repairs: Lights have been removed by Richard and Kenny has coordinated the replacement of damaged ceiling wallboard. Tim Alger has agreed to paint the ceiling.  Once the ceiling has been painted, Richard will be installing the new lights. Thanks to Richard, Kenny, and Tim for their efforts.

·       Sanctuary Chandelier:  Richard is to replace bulbs with LED bulbs.  Price of bulbs will be $45

·       Spring Cleanup:  To be scheduled for late April/early May.  Karen Maskew and Dale Rauch will have the lead on this.

New Business:

·       Crismon Bible Display:  Bob Scott donated a table/stand that matches the Bible display case, and it will be displayed on the left side of the sanctuary. Thank you, Bob.

·       Exterior placard display:  Placards stands need to be painted and the signs have gotten wet and are unreadable. Walter Rawls is working to get copies of the write-ups.

·        Linda Struebing has volunteered to donate a new flag to replace the the old, worn one.  Thanks, Linda .

·       Re-opening of the Church for in-person worship:  Will need to schedule a deep cleaning of the church before re-opening. This will need to be a coordinated effort between HCT and Trustees.

·       Bad Weather Plan:  On weekdays, the church will normally be closed if Spotsylvania schools are closed.  Trustees can make can exception to this in rare cases.  On Sundays, the trustees will determine if services/activities are to be cancelled.  An all church email will be sent out no later than 2 hours prior to scheduled service/activity.

·       Kenny Wolfrey has indicated, along with Charles Jett, that he will continue to handle snow/ice removal from the church parking lot. Thanks again, Kenny and Charles.

Parsonage items

·       Kenny Wolfrey recently replaced the locks on the front door at his own expense.

·       The issue of providing the use of the parsonage for a new part-time pastor or continuing to rent it out was discussed at length.  It is the position of the Trustees that the parsonage should not be provided for a part-time pastor.

Future meeting:  It was decided as a rule to hold Trustee meetings after the last Sunday service of each month.  Accordingly, the next meeting will be on March 28.


PPR: Christine reported the committee met on January 29th to review and discuss the pastor job descriptions for 3/4 time and 1/2 time.

Pastor Barry told us that there is a possibility that a ½-time pastor may have a full time job. We discussed what our expectations might be look like as we transition from 3/4 time to 1/2 time.

* The committee spent time discussing the unique characteristics of Zion, required by the
DS, for our upcoming Zoom meeting with him on Feb. 23rd. This will help him and the Cabinet in searching for a new pastor come July 1. The characteristics included our ministries, strengths, weaknesses, and traditions.

* The salary range for the new pastor was submitted as in our budget, $21,500.

*  The parsonage is not available for the new pastor as it is leased through September. The District office did say that the offer of the parsonage would be a nice perk for a 1/2 time pastor.

* Pastor Barry will take vacation in June.

*  The committee discussed ways to improve communication and strengthen the relationship between pastor and members. This will be an ongoing effort.

*  Debra, our Administrative Assistant, is back at work after foot surgery. There is some concern of people coming to the office door looking for food or financial help as happened recently. We need to discuss how to best address this in a manner that keeps her safe but continue to help those in need.


Discussion: it was suggested we make up sign directing person to call the office and secretary will direct them to right person.


Finance:  Betty

1.  Hillcrest Finance ladies have agreed to do our audit again this year.

2. We do not qualify for second PPP loan under the new guidelines

3. Deposits were down for February, expenses included insurance we pay

twice a year which made the difference bigger this month.


PPR: Pastor Barry

Next up was a discussion of the PPR report submitted by Christine.


Betty stated that donations were down by 2000 Nov and Dec. There is no way we can support a full-time preacher with salary and  other expenses that go with it.  Walter asked about equitable compensation and was told by Pastor Barry that that option was not available to a local pastor.  Parsonage was discussed. We need the rent from the parsonage to supplement the church expenses.  We discussed having a student from seminary and a charge with a bigger church.


A motion by Betty and second by Lisa, stated that:  Zion would ask for half-time Pastor with lodging or travel allowance.  In addition, we would accept a seminary student or a multi charge..

The motion was carried.



The meeting was adjourned with Pastor Barry leading us in prayer.

The next meeting is scheduled for April 13th at 5:00.


Respectfully submitted,

Libby Hall