Greetings and Many Blessing,
I would like us to open in Matthew 7: 1-5…“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye… While Jesus does tell us not to judge, he is addressing the Pharisee, the outstanding religionists of that day who would condemn other people and condemn them for small sins (the specks in their eye) while they would totally ignore the log in their own eye. The Pharisees are the epitome of hypocritical people. Jesus does not want us to be like them, but what many people miss is the fact that Jesus is exposing their sin. He is doing exactly what many people think He tells us not to do. He wants for us as his followers to discern their sin so we won’t be like them or validate people who are like them. We must be able to differentiate sin from righteousness. We have to be able to tell evil from good. We must be able to discern sin and sinful hearts but at all times we must do it in a Godly way. We must repent of our own sin, especially the sin we hold down inside guarded from all. When we see sin in someone else, instead of condemning them we must move in close with love and gentleness pointing out the sin in a compassionate and caring way. Jesus has cared for us so well, we are to follow his example and care for other people as we call them to repent and turn their lives back towards Christ. At the end of the day we have to ask ourselves one simple question when it comes to sin in our life. Which do I love more, Jesus or my own desires?
Yours in His Service
Greetings and Many Blessings,
I am excited to inform you that effective February 16, 2020 we here at Zion held a vote to decided whether or not to leave the UCC Illinois Southern Conference. With a vote of 38 Yes, 3 No, and 1 Abstain the vote passed. After, we voted on changes made to our Constitution and the votes were 41 Yes, 0 No, and 2 Abstain. Then we voted on a new name. Effective February 16th 2020, Zion United Church of Christ became Zion Evangelical Church.
We are on a journey to truly follow Jesus and to truly follow Jesus means living by His Word and His Word alone. I truly believe by holding onto Gods word as our main authority in life we can truly have better, more abundant lives. The Good News of Jesus Christ is life changing and I have experienced its live changing and live saving power up close and personally. Since then I have dedicated my life to serving Jesus and spreading His love to all that I can and show them what incredible power is in the blood of Christ that He shed for each and everyone of us. Biblical Authority should be the number one thing that drives us as Christians. Just like a good Father would, God has given us a way to live by and if we follow that path we will have a better life. I would invite all to just come and see what the life God has set apart for you. All are welcome to join us on this journey to see what it is God is doing here at Zion Evangelical Church. God Bless
Pastor Jim Duncan
Greetings and many blessings!
What an eventful month it has been here at Zion. As I became your new pastor, the amazing church family here at Zion has been truly amazing and welcoming to my family and myself and for that I am very thankful. You all have been a true blessing to us all. As we go into this New Year I am very excited for some wonderful things we are working on implementing. On January 15th we will begin The Daniel Plan Bible Study. We will be going through 5 essentials that not only will help us grow together in Christ but will help us become healthier so we can truly be the arms and feet of Jesus. We will be looking at Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends. We are very excited about starting this journey with all that would be willing to join us. But as we begin this New Year I ask one thing and one thing only….Let us begin this New Year by following the Christ and as we journey together we can truly start to become transformed into true followers of Christ. By going where He wants us to go and by doing the things He would want us to do. We need to rethink some things and really focus on loving the ones whom Jesus loves. Let us come together as a congregation and remember the words in Mark 12: 28-31…28 One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the [a]foremost of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” IF we start here with the words of Christ we can truly start to get to know what Jesus is all about and begin to go out and shine His light out to this dark and broken world. I look forward to what this New Year is going to bring and I look forward to loving and serving the Lord with you as a church family.
Pastor Jim Duncan
Zion United Church of Christ, Metropolis, IL is in search of a pastor for our rural, conservative congregation. We are located at the southernmost part of Illinois on the Ohio River, across from Paducah, Ky. We are not in the category of Open and Affirming as are many other UCC churches and have recently joined the Evangelical Association Of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches. We believe in the biblical guidelines for sexuality: marriage as the union on one man and one woman, fidelity and holiness in marriage.
We hold fast to the belief that Jesus Christ is the head of His body, the Church and of the local church. We believe the Holy Spirit is alive and well at Zion and try to display the love of Christ in our community. As we seek a new pastor, we are looking for a pastor who is truly called and passionate about serving God and his children. We would love to have a pastor who will reach out to the community and help bring young families, while at the same time serving the needs of our older core members.
If you, or someone you know, is interested in our church, please contact Connie Gentry at 618-201-7647 or Laura Sielbeck at 618-638-2456
From the Pastor’s Desk:
Easter Sunday has come and gone but the season of Easter lives on. The promises of Jesus’ Easter Resurrection allow us to hope for a brighter tomorrow among the darkness of today’s world. I think it is our responsibility as an Easter people to follow Christ example and reach out to our hurting world with love and caring. When we claim to believe in Jesus Christ then our actions should speak louder than our words. Yet too many of us spend more time talking about our faith than living out our claims of faith. I wonder if the picture we display in our daily life looks anything like the faith we claim to have. Today ask yourself are your actions in line with what you profess to believe? Are you willing to practice the faith that you are called to? Matthew 7:21 says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Let’s make it our goal to allow our actions to be guided by the Word of God and listen to the conscience that God has placed within our hearts. We should never allow our faith to be separate from our daily walk through life. Let’s weave our beliefs into the very fabric of our being and allow God’s love to shine though us. When you do, God will honor your good works, and your good works will honor God.
Farewell my Friends
On January 17, 1999 I preached my first sermon at Zion UCC as a lay member of the congregation. Following my retirement from Honeywell in 2003 I began taking L.I.F.E Classes at Eden Seminary to begin the process of becoming a Licensed Minister in the Illinois South Conference of the United Church of Christ. On December 3, 2006 I began my 10 and a half years of ministry at Concordia UCC in Belleville/Millstadt IL. It was a ministry filled with many of God’s blessings. Life was good and it seemed I would retire at Concordia but something stirred within my heart. I felt God was calling me to come back to Zion to love them and help heal their spirit. On April 30, 2017 I lead my “Farewell Service” at Concordia. It was a very emotional day but I felt in my heart that it was the right move. I accepted the call to serve as Zion’s Intentional Interim for 2 years. Those 2 years are quickly coming to an end and Treila and I will be retiring from Zion on May 26, 2019. I want to thank Zion for the love and acceptance you have shown not only to Treila and me but to our entire family. What a blessing it has been to serve in my home church along with my children and grandchildren. I want to thank Karen for putting up with me serving as my secretary and also for sharing her talents at the piano. She is a blessing to Zion for sure. In fear of inadvertently leaving someone out I just want to say “Thank You” to all who serve here at Zion in any capacity and to those who faithfully fill the pews on Sunday morning, you mean more than you will ever know. As Treila and I begin this new phrase in our lives we pray that God will soon send you a settled pastor who will love and appreciate you