July 2020                                                                                                                              

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


A Note From Our Pastor

Periodically, I hear the question about what makes a Methodist different from a Baptist or a Presbyterian.  I sometimes try to answer the difference between Methodist and Baptist based on the belief in baptism and the difference between Methodist and Presbyterian based on the belief in salvation/predestination.  But when the question arises, I am reminded that John Wesley himself wrote about “The Character of a Methodist.”

In responding to the question of “what is a Methodist,” John Wesley initially stated that the distinguishing marks of a Methodist are not a particular set of opinions.  Further, Methodists are not set apart based on any “peculiar mode of speaking,” or special words or phrases.  John Wesley believed that Christians in general accept Christ to be the eternal, supreme God and that “all scripture” has been inspired by God and the Word of God is the “only and sufficient rule of both Christian faith and practice.”  He is well-known to have said: “As to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think.  So that whatever they are, whether right or wrong, they are not distinguishing marks of a Methodist.

A Methodist is one in whom “the love of God has been poured out into (his or her) heart,” and one who deeply loves the Lord his God in return.  John Wesley believed in God’s perfect love and God’s love would lead to peace, hope, and joy.

What then is the mark?  Who is a Methodist, according to your own account?  I answer:  A Methodist is one in whom “the love of God has been poured out in (his) heart by the Holy Spirit who was given to (him)” (Romans 5:5); one who loves the Lord his God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his minds, and with all his strength (see Mark 12:30).  God is the joy of his heart and the desire of his soul.

Lastly, John Wesley believed that the character of a Methodist was based on actions.  A Methodist “does good to all men, to neighbors, and strangers, friends, enemies – and that in every possible manner.  Not only to their bodies by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting those who are sick or in prison,” but a Methodist also seeks to bring others to Christ.

This might be too much to offer someone who asks about what it means to be a Methodist, but a short summary might be the following.  A Methodist is one who has been touched by God’s love and then shares that love by service and discipleship.  We should strive to have the character of a Methodist.


Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  (Mark 12:30)



Greetings from your Admin Team.  This month we held a special event in place of our monthly meeting.  Pastor Carrie Moffitt, of Jollivue UMC in Staunton, VA, was our guest facilitator for the evening.  You may recognize the name…yes, she is Pastor Barry’s daughter.  Much to our pleasure, she presented us with food for thought and for our souls.  Our quilters provided a lovely cross quilt in appreciation for the time she spent sharing God’s word.  Many thanks, Pastor Carrie.

Thanks, too, to Betty and Walter for providing our chicken dinners for the evening.  In this time of separation, it was comforting to be together again even though we were masked and 6 feet apart.

Next month we will resume our regular meeting schedule on Tuesday August 4th at 5:00.  If you would like to attend, please do. Masks may still be required.  If you have a topic you would like the admin team to discuss, please let me know so I can add it to the agenda.

Missing seeing all of Zion’s family.

Godspeed, Arlene Crislip, Admin Chair



As the Coat Closet has gently reopened on the blacktop during the monthly Food Pantry, we greatly appreciate donations.  Clothes, shoes, accessories, and hygiene items are needed.
Frequently, the church is locked.  When you have your donation ready for drop off, 9013 Judiciary Drive is now another drop off location.  Just roll down the driveway and drop off in front of Arlene’s garage door.   Many thanks for considering the Coat Closet for your donations.

Karen W Robison



The June Micah breakfast was a huge success. The Zion Church family fed 52 of our homeless neighbors. Praise God! Thank you Zion Church family for your big hearts!

The next 5th Monday Micah breakfast is on August 31.  An update will follow.

Linda Struebing



The Zion Quilters are at it again.  It is so nice to be meetings with fellow quilters in the fellowship hall (even while wearing masks).  We are meeting on Mondays from 10:00 a.m. till 2:30 p.m.

During the pandemic, we have been working from home, but still have been busy.  We have made over 200 masks which were given to nursing homes and food pantry clients, as well as family and church members.  The quilters also gave 51 quilts to the Project Linus Coordinator.  She will distribute them to hospitals, shelters, and camps – wherever there are children who need a hug.

The quilters will be focused on Veterans quilts for a while with the goal to provide these quilts to McGuire Veterans Hospital in December.  The quilters also have been working on two queen size quilts that will be for sale at an auction later this year.

We invite all to drop in on Mondays to see what we do.

Libby Hall



June Operating Expenses:  $4,280.04

June Income:  $7,384

YTD Operating Expenses:  $39,582.03

YTD Tithes/Offering: $47,529.60

Weekly Average: $1,828

Weekly Needed:  $2,100


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 on June 9th, 2020


In Attendance:

Arlene Crislip (Chair); Lisa Hockman; Linda Struebing; Pastor Barry Blakley; Betty Gelfuso; Karen Robison; Sue Rauch; Sue Chamberlin; Walter Rawls; Richard Reichert; Vivien Richardson.


Observers: Bill Crislip; Ken Wolfrey; George Hockman; Tim Alger.


Arlene welcomed all to the meeting.


Minutes of May meeting:  Lisa motioned to accept the May minutes; Betty seconded; all agreed.


Team Reports



Sue (and Dale) Rauch have generously offered their farm property for a church service until we can worship in the Sanctuary.  Electricity and Wifi will be made available.  Congregants will bring their own chairs.

There was nothing else to report because of the stay-at-home regulation.



With the ongoing pandemic restrictions still in force, there is nothing to report from the Outreach team.


Lay Leader:

Richard reported he is helping Pastor Barry with the Sunday services while they are being streamed.  He hasn’t been able to do hospital or home visits because of Covid-19.



Sue (Chamberlin) reported Care Cards are still being sent – please let her know if someone should be receiving a card.  She is sending Fact Files about the Old Testament and Bible Heroes every couple of weeks to Joshua and Eva Alger, and Wesley McLendon.



Lisa’s email report said there was a successful Food Pantry in May. Bill has been trying to order food when it becomes available. Hopefully, this mission can continue.


Quilters have started up on a limited basis.


Walter reported School Dressing Days will be held in early August on a modified scale. He and Carol suggested people wishing to help send monetary donations, and the Rawls will shop for whatever is needed. They will circulate an email to Zion congregation.


Linda mentioned the next Micah breakfast for Zion UMC will be on June 29th.  She would also like monetary donations so she can buy the food.  She would like some hard-boiled eggs if anyone would like to donate them.  Linda will send an email to Zion congregation to remind them of Micah breakfast.


Bill (Crislip) sent his Food Pantry report:

“Food Pantry continues to operate using safe distancing and masks.  Between 35-40 patrons were served during each of the last two months.  We received a contribution of $1,000 from a non-Zion UMC donor. Food availability is now limited due to little salvage being offered by the Food Bank. Items available are purchased commercially for Pantry selection thus we will be providing restricted varieties of foods, plus costs for Zion will approximately double.”



Linda reported in her email:


·       The grass in the field is being cut and maintained regularly. And the grass was cut in the gravel parking lot.  Grass/weed killer will be applied to the gravel parking lot.

·       Ant killer was applied to the huge ant nest in the church office.  Contacted and scheduled Permatreat for ant treatment to the church office.

·       Contacted and scheduled Shelby Deavers for June cleaning in the church before June 9th Admin Council meeting.

·       Repairs to leaks are in the process on the ladies’ bathroom small toilet and the men’s bathroom urinal – they are temporarily out of order.

·       Tim Alger, as trustee member, will serve on the HCT.

·       Contacted and scheduled TLD services for A/C maintenance in the church and to repair the A/C drip onto the soundboard.


Linda added to her report at the meeting by saying the ladies’ bathroom toilet has already been repaired.


Betty said she had contacted the school nurse at Courtland Elementary school. The nurse would be willing to serve on the Healthy Church Team.



Walter’s email report - which he reiterated at the meeting:

“The SPR [PPR] committee completed Barry’s yearly review and I went over it with Barry.  The evaluation has been sent to the District.  Angelia requested to cut her hours from May 1, 2020 to July 15, 2020 to 4 hours so she can receive unemployment.  The committee approved her request and we will reevaluate her hours in July.  Pastor Barry will be our pastor for the coming year.”



Karen sent the following email report:

“There have been changes to visit with their format, and I am no longer uploading there. The other media has the live streaming information uploaded to their publications. My contact at the Free Lance Star did a great job with giving us rich exposure in the form of a display ad. on our Food Pantry outreach in F&C Notes. If anyone has publicity news, please let me know.”


Karen added at the meeting Free Lance Star and Patch published a photo from our May Food Pantry.  She said Sue Chamberlin, Nancy Wicks and herself are meeting tomorrow (June 10th) to sort the clothes donated to Coat Closet and decide which to keep.  The others they wish to donate to a charity store which is open and will take them: i.e. Goodwill?  It was discussed that the clothes racks would be taken outside the building and Food Pantry clients be told to wear masks and gloves plus only one person at a time search through the racks.



Betty emailed the May Financial Report to Admin Council members.  The closing amount in the checking account at the end of May was $43,004.53.  Betty also emailed the following report:


1.         Update on PPP loan: I guess getting approved was the easy part. I receive emails almost weekly from the bank letting me know that the online portal to apply for the forgiveness part will be coming soon.  In the meantime, we are working on the eleven-page report and gathering information so it will be ready when the online portal becomes available.


2.         Giving for May was down from April.  We are still not paying the conference apportionments at this time and the loan payment is coming from loan reduction. That saved us around $2,000 off the budget line.  We will be getting an updated apportionment amount due to the pandemic, and hopefully we can meet the new amounts.


3.         Reminder you can still mail, or drop your check right in the locked mailbox or do bill pay through your bank.  All three are still working.  Thank you, Bill, for continuing to make deposits on Fridays!


4.         With everything on hold since March, I have not asked the Trustees for the 5-year plan for parsonage, but hopefully we can get back on track and complete it.  Thanks Linda!


At the meeting, Betty highlighted the PPP being approved, we will be informed about conference apportionments next month and the five-year plan for parsonage.



Pastor Barry reminded us of the revised guidelines for opening church services. He said the Conference realizes the challenges for some churches. There are “pioneer” churches who are opening within Stage 1 guidelines, and some churches are conducting drive-in services.  Some conditions are hard to achieve – such as digital media requirements – for some churches and these churches are, including Zion UMC, going to wait until Stage 3.  More revisions will be forthcoming in a few weeks.  What Zion needs to do before opening is have a Healthy Church Team in place.  The first HCT meeting will be held during the week of June 21st.  The members of the HCT currently are: Pastor Barry, Arlene Crislip, Sue Rauch, Tim Alger, and the Courtland Elementary school nurse from Betty’s place of employment.


Some people have expressed interest in continuing with online services after we can congregate in the Sanctuary.  We will need to have a couple of volunteers to video the service.  We also need volunteers to run the soundboard each Sunday as there is now a vacancy. A discussion followed about the best system to use for streamlining the services: an upgraded Zoom license is approx. $15/mth.  Tim said Microsoft Team and Google have similar programs. Whichever we chose needs to be compatible with Facebook Live.  There are certain restrictions with FB Live, such as no professional performers and no use of copyrighted music.  Tim will evaluate Microsoft Team and Google to see if they would suit our needs.


Old Business


There was no old business to discuss.


New Business


A reminder that the first HCT meeting will take place during week of June 21st.


Walter gave a very thoughtful and heartfelt report on the status of Zion UMC.  He said the congregants need to work on being a cohesive unit for the good of Zion UMC going forward instead of being a divided congregation.


Sue mentioned the Adult Sunday School lesson for this week from Deuteronomy is very meaningful during this difficult time we are going through.


Barry gave us a final blessing.

Next meeting: July 7th at 5pm.

Respectfully submitted

Vivien Richardson

Recording Secretary