Zoom in with Zack
Here comes Thanksgiving, Christmas, holiday expenses and snow. Your reactions to each of those may range from excitement to dread. It is definitely a time of year where we experience a wide range of emotional responses. One thing that helps me to maintain my sanity through all of this is hockey. I know, here I go about hockey. Well, get used to it. It may seem odd to find comfort in screaming coaches and teenagers with raging hormones, but in officiating ice hockey I find a great deal of comfort because it is something I am good at. I can walk in, put myself on cruise control, and relax. Plus, hockey is full of sermon illustrations.
I was officiating a high school the other night and I watched an absolutely thoughtless mistake occur that seems to happen from the lowest level all the way to the highest. In ice hockey, no one from the offensive team can enter the attacking zone until the puck goes in first. Getting the timing down while three forwards cross the blue line at the same time can be difficult. Everyone is in motion and you don’t want to be offsides. One of the most basic lessons taught at the youngest level is do not stick handle on the blue line. If your teammates are trying to time their entry with yours, then when you pull up and go left or right before you have entered the zone you cause them to go offsides. Always enter the zone first and then move the puck laterally.
It drives coaches nuts to watch their players make this mistake. I watched as the team skated down the ice for a scoring opportunity at full speed. Three players getting ready to cross the blue and all of a sudden the lead player pivots and stick handles along the blue line causing his teammates to go offside, resulting in a whistle and a lost scoring opportunity. Ten years of hockey and this player was still making the same basic mistake. If we don’t learn from our past then we are bound to continually lose opportunities and in this case possibly goals and wins.
I share this to identify something that the church throughout the world seems to continue to struggle because it has not learned from past mistakes. The raising up of the younger generation to become tomorrow’s leaders. For years and years, the college to 30-35 age group has slipped away from the church. There are many reasons to explain this. There is a sudden status of freedom where they get to make their own choices. There is a certain irresponsibility and immaturity in being college age that causes one to struggle with sorting out their priorities. And there is often a lack of influential voices investing in there lives.
Think about it for a minute. If you were to go down the list of members and think about who you need to give a call and check in on, how many of those calls would go out to our college age students? In most churches, college age students are left out of the social dynamics of the church. They generally aren’t going to approach someone 30-40 years their senior to have a chat or arrange some time to spend together. They are both the key to the future of the church and the most overlooked generation in the church.
We have been focusing recently on the mission of God for Meadowbrook and how we are to fulfill that role. The primary way we are to do that is to make disciples. We are to raise up the next generation by investing in them personally and bringing them along in our walk. We shouldn’t expect college age students to be more mature than the average member. But that is what we ask of them if we expect them to maintain relationships with church members many years their senior, listen and sing our music, and develop their own ministry to address their own needs.
There is a basic fallacy that we can fall into believing, that we have done our time of service and it is now someone else’s turn. It is not that our term of service is over, but that as we enter different stages of our lives our expression of that service changes. I cannot express how much college students and young families need the investment of the older generations in their lives. You may not be cool anymore, but you can love with the best of them. Being cool is overrated. Some of my best church relationships while I was in college were with members who were 40-50 years my senior. I was discipled and that is why I am now at Meadowbrook. How can we learn from the past and avoid stick handling at the blue line again? How can you be an essential part of the discipleship process for the next generation?
Sisters in Service re-schedules meeting
Sisters in Service (SIS) has re-scheduled the October meeting to Thursday, Nov. 5, in the fellowship hall starting at Noon. The project will be to prepare “weighted shawls” that can be rice-filled and warmed up if desired for the residents of MediLodge in Rochester Hills. Everyone will be able to spread out in the entire fellowship hall for social distancing. A few of the ladies will be sewing, but the main focus for most will be cutting fabric and filling the vests with rice. Please bring scissors, straight pins, and a small funnel if you have one.
As we flip the calendar to November, the prominent item on the missions calendar is ICOM, the International Conference on Missions. The theme of this year’s conference, scheduled November 20-21 in Indianapolis, is “The Cross Before Me.” Every year we are encouraged to attend the conference and learn about God’s work all over the world from a variety of missionaries. This year is no different. We are still encouraged to go to the conference, but the conference is also offering an option to attend virtually. So unlike other years, we have a unique opportunity to see all the presentations without having to travel this year. Feel free to register at www.theicom.org. The cost for an individual is $40.
Red Cross will be here in November
A Red Cross Blood Drive is scheduled for Wed., Nov. 25 (day before Thanksgiving). To schedule an appointment, visit RedCrossBlood.org (sponsor code: meadowbrookchristian). A new feature at the blood drive is that blood donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.
The Red Cross understands that people have concerns right now about all aspects of public health, but want to stress that donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give. There is no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus.
It’s important to note that Red Cross blood drives have the highest standards of safety and infection control. Copies of their detailed Donation Safety Protocols are in the lobby. Also included is information about testing of blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies.
Mimi Romaella – November 1
Bridget Kochan – November 9
Debbie Stallings – November 10
Andrea Schwartzenberger – November 16
Jim and MaryJane Cavins – November 20
Bill Bradford – November 23
Tristian Cox – November 24
Patti Bradford – November 29