Zion United Church of Christ

139 N 5th Street Steubenville, OH 43952

Worship Service- Sunday's at 11am

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September-October Pastor's Pen

Posted on October 14, 2021 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (1)

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn to not judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.

The s...

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Building Your House

Posted on August 12, 2021 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Building Your House

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go & asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter sai...

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July 2021 Pastor's Pen

Posted on August 5, 2021 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

My son Alan enjoys watching stories about the Texas Rangers. He does enjoy the TV shows, but he also enjoys watching and reading about the original Texas Rangers and how they started. Anything about history and you will get Alan’s attention. Joyce says she has learned more about history living with Alan than she ever learned all through school. So in honor of my son here is a true story about a Texas Ranger I hope all of you will enjoy.

In the early 1930s a major riot broke out...

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Responsibility and Faithfulness

Posted on August 5, 2021 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Responsibility and Faithfulness

We all know the story of the five maidens who took oil lamps and extra oil, in case the bridegroom was late. The other five maidens who took their lamps with only what little bit of oil they had in them; they took no extra oil with them. Now anyone who has had any part in planning for a wedding knows you have to plan for the unexpected…..This story is chock full of symbolism. The bridesmaids represent the church. In the church only some are ...

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May 2021 Pastor's Pen

Posted on August 5, 2021 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I read a story of a man sitting at a local restaurant having lunch and taking a break from the daily grind, sitting there thinking about how tough he had it lately and how he was sick of what I was doing. He owned a landscape company and never felt he made a difference in people’s lives. As he sat there, feeling sorry for himself, a pretty girl, who looked about 25 years old, walked in and sat down in a booth waiting for her friend. It didn’t take long before he saw she was tryi...

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April 2021 Pastor's Pen

Posted on August 5, 2021 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

A member of the church who previously had been attending services regularly stopped going. After a few weeks the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor's visit the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the silence he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. Af...

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No Need to Fear

Posted on August 4, 2021 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

No Need to Fear

God, abounding in steadfast love, wants to welcome us home, not punish us. Lent is the season in the church year when we look into our hearts to see how we have wandered away from God’s path. Lent is a good time to pay special attention to the words and actions of Jesus who has revealed to us the human face of God. So we pray together as a family this Lent. Not out of the fear of God’s punishment, but because we have faith that we will grow closer to...

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THE STRENGTH OF LOVE

Posted on February 22, 2021 at 1:53 PM Comments comments (0)
THE STRENGTH OF LOVE
Love is so strong, that it can redeem you from the darkest of circumstance. D. L. Moody tells this story of redeeming love: In Brooklyn I saw a young man go by without any arms. My friend pointed him out and told me his story. When the war broke out, he felt it to be his duty to go to the front. He was engaged to be married and while in the army letters passed frequently between him and his intended wife. After the Battle of the Wilderness, the young lady looked anxiously for the accustomed letter. At last one came in a strange hand. She opened it with trembling fingers and read these words: “We have fought a terrible battle. I have been wounded so awfully that I shall never be able to support you. A friend writes this for me. I love you more tenderly than ever, but I release you from your promise. I will not ask you to join your life with the maimed life of mine." That letter was never answered; the next train that left, the young lady was in it. She went to the hospital. She found out the number of his cot and she went down the aisle, between the long rows of wounded men. At last she saw the number; she threw her arms around his neck and said: “I’ll not desert you, I'll take care of you.” He did not resist her love. They were married and there is no happier couple than this one. You're dependent on another. Christ says: "I'll take care of you."
This could be anyone's story. Whether we are maimed on the outside or maimed on the inside we are loved. No matter what war we are fighting, one on foreign soil or an emotional one inside our hearts; if we believe and give our lives to Jesus we will be saved.
The young soldier had the faithful, undying love of his fiancé. We have a Savior who is waiting for each of us. Waiting to wrap his arms around each of us, to protect us, to love us, and to journey with us through eternity.

Yours in Christ,
Rev. Coy
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New Year in Faith

Posted on January 18, 2021 at 12:23 PM Comments comments (0)
New Year in Faith
          By now all the presents have been put away. The worries about what we are buying for whom and where we have to be are behind us. Hearing all the same stories about the baby being born in Bethlehem have been told. To most of us it still is a fantastic miracle. We try to pass it on to a new generation; but some sadly don’t seem to care. We keep trying because it is an important message for their future.  It is a new year, a new beginning for you, for me and for the church.  If you think our church here in Steubenville is the only church going through changes think again. Many churches are making big decisions about the pandemic and low attendance, even when the virus is not around.  Many churches are wondering where they are going and what they can do to put church back in people’s lives. Just like our own personal lives the church must make decisions about life and we worry are we doing the right thing, moving in the right direction. As long as your decisions begin and end with Jesus Christ you won’t go wrong.  Jesus knows what is best. Even if we stray from his direction He waits for us to move back towards Him.  Luckily we don’t have to go through life or decisions alone.  We have our family, our friends and our church family that we have grown to share and form a bond with. Jesus is never far from our side.
          Remember for the New Year to choose happiness. Count your blessings and thank God for them. Constantly strive for goodness and goodness will come back to you. Be kind, show love and it will shine from your face. People may be grumpy back to you but do these things anyway. Life is a journey so make it a worthwhile ride.
          This year we will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is News Years Day.  -Edith Pierce
          All your opportunities are possible with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
 
                                      Have a wonderful New Year,

                                            Rev. Coy
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The Promise of Advent

Posted on January 18, 2021 at 12:22 PM Comments comments (0)
The Promise of Advent
          In Advent we are called to take the risk of birth. We can avoid such a practice by over scheduling ourselves, an easy feat this time of year. We can avoid such a practice by making our way through the season singing the familiar carols. But we are called to take the risk of birth. This might lead us to make room in our own lives for the stranger who comes in the form of the Christ Child.
          The fulfillment of the promise of Advent is the celebration of Christmas.  This grounds our belief in the Incarnation, the word made flesh, full of grace and truth (John 1) We are more familiar with the Christmas stories in Matthew and Luke, which focus on Joseph and Mary, respectfully; from these accounts we recall the dreams and visions, the birth of Jesus and the manger, the gifts of wise men and the praise offered by shepherds.
          The story of Christ’s birth is told in somewhat different fashion, however, in the Gospel of John. The central message of early Christianity, the Incarnation , was scandalous, especially to the Gnostics, who would not believe that God would take human form. This core Christian belief, that God enters into the material world of human flesh, takes on an ironic meaning at Christmas. We are often urged to avoid, protest, and rebel against the creeping materialism of the season; we are encouraged, instead, toward more “spiritual” pursuits. Such advice is ironic in light of the essential meaning of Christmas: that Jesus is the incarnation of God, the word   become flesh.
          What might it mean for us, during the season of Christmas, to fully embrace the Incarnation? We might begin to see our material acts of gift-giving as occasions to express human love, or gifts of charity as demonstrations of our faith ad representative ministries.  We can envision our participation in the material world as a response to a God who comes to live among us,   and calls us to follow Jesus.
           I read a story by Jeannie C. Williams.  The gist of the story is we come into this world like newly created snowflakes falling freely and effortlessly from the sky. As you know each snowflake is different, each snowflake has its own unique structure, just as we are all unique in our differences and, just like each snowflake we are all subject to extreme changed in temperature, humidity, wind and relationships with other snowflakes as we continue our journey, spiraling slowly but sometimes swiftly to our destination. Our journey through infancy, childhood and adolescence develops our individuality even more and it is hoped that a true sense of identity is established before our snowflake hits the ground, because and it is unfortunate, that in many instances an individual snowflake becomes just one of many others that merge together to form a seemingly endless and barren field of snow or in the worst case is swallowed by the ground and never seen again. Unfortunately this analogy is true of our society, many of us lose our individuality when we fall to the ground, merge and become part of the snow field, rather than a complex community of individuals which God intended us to be.  Life can take away the snowflake in all of us if we allow it to happen.  We follow the crowd instead of the light of God with the blessings and gifts He has given us. One of our many gifts is individuality.  That spirit and energy of singular essence that determines who we are among all the other snowflakes that have come and gone before and after us.  On this whole planet there is NO ONE quite like you.
           The moral of this story is to tread softly as you make your way through the snow fields of your life … and remember to step gently so as to not damage other snowflakes who may, for a time be beneath your feet.   Because the time may come when someone may have to walk on YOU!
          May the peace of Christ, God with us, Emmanuel, be with you in these days.
                                                                   Rev. Walter Coy
         

 
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