When you get to be 150 years old, you probably think you’ve seen it all. As a church, Zion can nearly make that claim. Wars, the depression, too-cold winters and too-dry summers. The list goes on and on. Throughout our 150 years, Zion has lived into God’s call to carve out a community of faith here in the Buffalo area. And sure, we’ve had some mission partners as well. Missionaries overseas, ministries to help those in need in our community, and connections with other churches doing the same have all been part of our rich history of connecting with care.
Now the naysayers might say that we can’t possibly have “done it all” as a church. I mean, have we ever had a country themed celebration with BBQ and square dancing? Why yes we have, and I’m looking forward to Z-fest again this fall. But what about an outer-space themed fall sermon series? That happened a few years back, it’s possible it wasn’t memorable…
But, what about something that is utterly and completely focused outside the walls of this church, totally intent on doing something amazing for the sake of God’s mission? Well, that we hadn’t done. At least not in recent memory. Last fall, a group of us thought that might not be a bad idea. We’ve enjoyed 150 fruitful years of ministry, why not bless others? (There was a little more thought and planning put into it, but that is essentially the core of the project.)
So, we fast forward a few months here to May when I’m writing this article. On Sunday, May 7, we wrapped up our 150th Legacy Campaign. When the morning began we still needed about $2,500 to hit our goal of $50,000. And by the time the morning had ended and everything was counted, we we beat our goal and came in at $50,506.49!
Now, where I come from, people usually don’t go out and hit a home run the first time they swing a bat, but it sure seems like God raised up a great group of people to rally around this mission. And working together, we hit it out of the park.
On behalf of the task force driving the campaign, I want to give you all a huge thank you. I really can’t imagine the difference a library will make in the lives of 600+ students and teachers in the heart of Zambia. Filled with books on math and science and engineering, this library will be the birthplace of a whole new generation of thinkers and dreamers. You made that happen.
I’m similarly excited about the opportunity to maintain the forward momentum of the Blessing Closet by creating space for them to address our call of clothing the community. With their new dedicated storage and sorting area, they can continue to grow the reach of their mission. You made that happen!
The community of Montrose is ready for a new influx of love and caring, and they are getting it from House of Grace, the new ELCA church start in town. When they discovered the need for after school mentoring and tutoring, it was a God moment when we called to ask how we might partner with them. Through their presence at Grace Place, their storefront location across from the post office, they will be able to welcome students in to a place intent on helping them succeed in school and in life. Homework Helps launches this fall and will be a huge boon to the lives of some elementary students. You made that happen!
We did it. God made the call, we answered, and we did it. I like how it feels to say that. I hope you like that feeling as well, and I hope you remember it next time God puts an invitation in front of you again. God has big things in store for us. I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Thanks again for all you do, today and every day!