Getting Ready For Sunday

Before we begin, let us pray.

O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-A prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship

This Sunday marks an important shift for 2016 at Zion – we are moving down to the Family Life Center for most of the year while our sanctuary is remodeled. This past Sunday we said goodbye for a little while to Church 3 and now it’s time for the adventure to continue.

Before we continue, I want to thank the 60 or so people that helped move us out of the sanctuary this past Sunday. Their work made a major difference! We’ve also had several other projects during the week that others have done to help with this transition. Thank you for your generosity!

Now onto Sunday….
When you pull into the parking lot, you’ll notice we have moved some handicap parking spaces over by the Fellowship Hall. If you are more able-bodied, please reserve better parking spaces for the elderly, families with small children, and those who have mobility issues closer to the FLC.

Also, please don’t park in the loop next to the Family Life Center. That is for people to drop off people and functions much like our port cochere (the covered driveway by the sanctuary) did when we were in Church 3.

Starting at 8:00 we will have some coffee on in Room 101. There are some comfy chairs, tables, and we think it will be a really neat space to visit before or after worship. Come on in and visit!

There are three entrances to the worship space. You can enter through Room 101, the doors next to Room 101, or the doors facing Braun Road (the doors closest to the Coke machine). On days when the weather isn’t bad, we’ve asked our ushers to be outside to greet people.

The layout of the worship space is similar to the sanctuary. You’ll notice some chairs with arms through out the sanctuary. If at all possible, please reserve these chairs for people who need a little more help getting up out of a chair.

As a reminder, the nursery has temporarily moved to the Fellowship Hall. If you need to have your child cared by our awesome nursery staff, enter through the doors facing Leslie Road.

If you see something that we’ve missed or something that could make things run a bit smoother while we are worshipping in the FLC, let one of the pastors know and we will see what we can do.

Here are some common questions we’ve been asked as we prepare for this adventure:
How long will we be worshipping in the FLC?
We will return to the sanctuary at sometime in Fall 2016. We will have an exact date once we are closer to construction being completed.

If I have items to donate to CAM or somewhere else, where do they go?
There is a plant on the main floor of the FLC with a sign that says, “Donation Station.”

Because the pews aren’t in there, I’m assuming we won’t have Bibles, hymnals, or other papers and envelopes in our seats?
That’s correct. Our bulletin will include hymns and songs that weren’t previously in there.

If I forgot my offering envelope or want to make a special donation on Sunday for a special cause, what do I do?
You can find envelopes that were in the pews at the Welcome Center.

What about our theatre ministry? How will that work?
2016 won’t be quite the same as years past, but there are some really neat things planned. Stay tuned!

One final thought:
We are on an adventure together. We have tried very hard to do as much as we can to make this transition as smooth as possible. Thanks be to God for your commitment to the mission and ministry of Zion. It has been a joy to be a part of this time in our church’s history.

The Move Begins!

Moving time is coming soon!  In fact, we’ve already started moving some small items into their temporary locations, but the first big items we moved happened this Tuesday night.  Our handbell choir moved all their items from the balcony to their temporary home in the Family Life Center.  Thanks to Dave Thamm and the handbell players for doing that!

The first week of January is going to be a very busy week here at Zion.  At we finish celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas (which the church has always said START on December 25), we will be moving everything from the balcony, narthex, sanctuary floor, sacristy, attic spaces, and music apse so the renovations in that part of the building can begin in early 2016.  Please mark your calendars for Sunday, January 3 at 2:00.

This is a massive project and it will involve us packing up everything that isn’t bolted down in the sanctuary and we really need your help to make this happen.

See you in worship!*

-Pastor Russell

*Don’t forget about our new worship schedule that starts on December 27.
9:00 – Worship
10:15 – Education
11:15 – Worship

Stories of Faith in Action #3

Over the last several days we’ve been hearing about how people at Zion have been using their gifts to put their faith in action.  Today’s story is from Dave Newman, one of our leaders of Zion’s Lutheran Men in Mission about a unique way a group of men used their gifts.  He writes:

“November 25 was a bittersweet day at Zion.

The bitter? After months of careful planning, designing, and praying, several of our oak trees had to be pushed over to make way for the new Education Building. Sad…those trees probably watched as Zion came and grew to be the church it is today. There is a common grieving throughout the congregation about losing some of God’s beautiful creations.

The sweet? God is continually the creator. Obviously, we soon will be blessed with a great new educational facility and enhanced areas for work and fellowship. We also will be blessed with many more new trees, albeit younger/smaller, for future generations.

And also…God creates opportunities. The trees were scheduled to be hauled to the landfill. What a waste! For years, Zion’s men have traveled many miles gathering firewood for Zion BBQ’s. The opportunity to gather firewood from our own church grounds was heaven sent. Also, the trees could be honored with a noble end…providing the next “Holy Smoke” for another Zion BBQ.

In keeping with the traditions passed down throughout our history, our men felt a responsibility to support Zion. Several volunteered hastily arranged hours to cut up and stack most of the fallen trunks and limbs before they were to be hauled away. We gathered enough firewood to last for several BBQ’s. While we still mourn the loss of our trees, we will be able to continue serving Zion again and again with the heat from burning their remains. A wonderful fringe benefit of the project was the camaraderie the Spirit provided among those who helped.

Any who would like to be included in Zion’s next Lutheran Men in Mission event, contact Dave Newman. (210-859-7860 or ddnewman@mac.com)”

 

The Gates

Hi everyone!

It’s been a busy few days at Zion.  Here are a few pictures of the changes that have taken place.

Trailer

*The construction trailer has been delivered and is at the corner of our property near the Church of Christ and 1604.  It occupies several parking spaces next to the pump house.

 

Construction Pictures

A few things to notice:

*On the left side of the picture you’ll notice an area of the ground that is being prepared for a sidewalk.  This will tie into existing sidewalks so people can access the conference room door while the church is open.

*The trailers have been moved.  One has moved next to the Music Apse and will be used for storage.  The other one is in our parking lot and will be taken off site soon.

Fences

*The safety fence around the construction zone is almost complete.  As a reminder, this now means that the Gazebo is now closed until construction is finished.  If you wish to enter Church #3 (the Sanctuary), you can use the narthex entrance on the Leslie Road side or the conference room entrance on the 1604 side.

Yours in this adventure!!

Pastor Russell

Entrances to Church #3

Yesterday we shared this picture on our blog and letting you know that two areas of the church property will have safety fencing up during construction.  As a reminder, these areas are off limits, even on Sunday mornings or when construction workers aren’t present!

Campus Map

 

 

One of the things you’ll notice is that the Gazebo entrance to Church #3 is in the construction zone.  Starting November 16 this entrance will be closed throughout construction, even on Sunday mornings.  The door facing out to the 1604 parking lot that is in the conference room will now be unlocked when the church is open.

In addition to the doors closest to the gazebo being closed during construction, once we start worshiping in the FLC, additional entrances to Church #3 will be closed during construction.

Starting in early 2016, the narthex, sanctuary, and music apse will be in the construction zone and will be off limits until construction is over in Fall 2016.  This means that in early 2016, we expect all the doors that lead to the narthex will be closed until construction is over.  When that happens the door outside the conference room (facing the 1604 side of the Church’s property) will become the ONLY entrance into Church #3.

With that said, we need your help with a couple of things:

-First of all, we ask that everyone have a sense of generosity and adventure.  This isn’t forever and it will lead to some wonderful changes here at Zion.

-From the 1604 parking lot, the Conference Room door will now be open when the church is open.  If you have limited mobility, please note that this is a grassy, uneven walk to the sidewalk next to the sanctuary.

-If you are physically able, please use the less accessible parking spaces on Sunday mornings so that the closer spaces can be used by those with limited mobility, small children, and visitors.

 

The Adventure Begins!

I am so thankful for this past Sunday. We had a wonderful day where we gathered for worship, offered their intentions to give for 2016, had our annual meeting, and broke ground on the new facilities for ministry. Thanks be to God for all the hard work that went into making that day so meaningful!

This past Sunday at the annual meeting I talked about two important words that will mark our time together for the next year – generosity and adventure.

Generosity – When we talk about generosity, most of the time people think we’re reaching for their pocket books to ask people to give more of their financial resources. While money is a part of generosity, this next year we will have a lot of opportunities to practice generosity. During construction we will need to have a generous spirit with each other. As I said Sunday, we are going to be an equal opportunity offender! Everybody is getting (Everyone will be) displaced over this next year and that means that everyone’s toes will be stepped on. It will be easy for us to get grumpy about things, but Pastor Dave and I want to invite every person in this community of faith to embody generosity in all we say and do, especially over this next year.

Adventure – Christianity is an adventure. God’s call on our lives takes us to places we’d never imagine doing things that seem inconceivable. We can choose to see this as a burden where we complain about all the things we can’t do or we can see this as an adventure, part of our journey with God. We are choosing to see this as an adventure and we invite you all to come along!

As we begin this construction project, let us pray.

O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(A prayer from Evening Prayer, Evangelical Lutheran Worship.)

Connect*Give*Grow Update

There’s been a lot of stuff happening that we thought you’d like to know.  Here are some of the highlights:

1.  Mark your calendars for November 8!  This is an important day in the life of our congregation.  After worship, we will have our annual meeting and then at 1:00 we will have our groundbreaking for our new facilities.  After the groundbreaking, we will gather in the FLC for a soup luncheon.

2.  Our architects have been hard at work with our general contractor finalizing the details for our construction.

3.  The first steps are starting!   Look carefully at this picture:

Theatre Renovation - Step 1

Do you see the speakers in the top center of the picture?  If you come into the FLC now, you’ll see they aren’t there any more.  We’ve upgraded the speakers and re-positioned them so we can improve the acoustics in the room.

Do you see the people holding the two people on the ladders in the picture?  They are busy taking down the lights because we are upgrading the lighting system in the FLC for our theatre ministry.  The new lights will be higher quality and consume much less electricity.  So, when you come to Little Shop of Horrors at the end of October, you can come knowing that your contributions to Connect*Give*Grow helped with this.

4.  Tomorrow (Wednesday) staff in the portables behind the gazebo will be moving to temporary office space throughout the campus.  Movers will be coming on tomorrow morning to move their furniture.  Here’s who this impacts:
Karen Stein will move to FLC 203.
Travis Baker will move to FLC 204.
Jen Bauer will move to FLC 204.
Sammy Mikulski will move to the Music Apse.

Please note: the doors to the FLC will remained locked throughout the week.  If you are on campus and have to see Karen, Travis, or Jen, please stop by the church office or call the office when you get to the church campus (210-688-3090).

5.  Our friends at Kids of the Kingdom have moved to their new home at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church on Bandera Road this weekend.  We give God thanks for their presence here at Zion for the last years and pray for God’s blessings as they go to their new home.

God’s blessings!!

Pastor Russell

Connect*Give*Grow Update

This past Sunday the chair of our building team, Don Josephson, shared with the congregation an update about their work.  We thought we’d share the highlights of what’s going on.

-Our architects have been hard at work on detailed drawings.  They’ve met with pastors, staff, and the building team several times to plan out the new education building and modifications to the sanctuary.
-Rob continues to work with the architects and organ builder with the organ that is currently in Midland.
-Sammy and Rob continue to work on plans for helping to make some improvements to the FLC to help with the sustainability of our drama ministry.

We have a tentative timeline of construction.  The important word in that sentence is tentative because in any construction project, things could change.

Early September 2015:  Drawings for the buildings will be completed.
September-October: We will go through the permitting process with the City of San Antonio.
Late Fall: Groundbreaking.  Construction with the classroom building begins.

Early January 2016:  Worship shifts from the sanctuary to the FLC.
Late January:  The current organ (aka Penelope) is removed from the sanctuary.
Early February: Sanctuary renovations begin while classroom building construction is ongoing.
April-May: The Midland organ is dismantled, moved, and stored here at Zion.
End of May-Early June: Construction ends in the sanctuary.
June and July: The Midland organ is rebuilt in the Sanctuary.
End of August-Early September: Finishing construction over organ installation is completed.
Mid-September:  Construction on sanctuary and classroom building is completed.

We give God thanks for the hard work of the building team and ask for your prayers as we enter into the next steps.

Building Team Update

My father is a draftsman and works out of the house. As a child I remember him having clients to the house to discuss their house plans. There are a great number of details that go into building a house. My dad and his clients would look at a set of blueprints and spend hours talking about where to put everything in their house from windows to power outlets. Sometimes they would need to have discussions about their wishes versus their budgets. Those conversations were never easy.

I think about those memories of my childhood as our building team has been diligently working on the first steps of our master plan for facilities. We are blessed with a diverse group of people on the Building Team. They’ve been working hard with Alamo Architects and a contractor named G.W. Mitchell to do some planning that is necessary before we break ground.

This past Sunday in worship Don Josephson, Building Team Chair, shared information about what they’ve been doing over the last several months. Here are the highlights of Don’s temple talk:

-This process is a marathon, not a sprint. Before the first shovel hits the ground for construction, it takes about a year’s worth of planning. The Building Team is still on schedule with that planning and hopes to break ground later this year.

-This past Thursday the Building Team met with Alamo Architects and G.W. Mitchell to receive a detailed cost estimate. Earlier in the year, G.W. Mitchell had a large group of sub-contractors come out to the church to estimate every expense for this first step. Like any construction project, there were surprises that we did not expect. Unfortunately, the cost estimate for this first step was substantially more than our estimated budget of $5 million.

-Because the Building Team wants to be responsible stewards of the resources God has given to us, it will be necessary to rethink the first steps of construction. The pastors, program staff, Building Team, and Congregation Council will be gathering on February 26 to discuss how to proceed. After this meeting, we will have a congregational forum. The date for the congregational forum has not been set yet but we will inform the congregation as soon as possible.

– Even though we won’t be able to do everything we had hoped right now, we will continue to move forward with this master plan. We will not be stopping after this first step of construction. Our goal is to complete this master plan. It will take many years to complete, but we still believe that God is calling us to make this happen.

-As always, the Building Team invites your prayers and continued support.