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Zion’s (Spies) Evangelical Reformed Church


November  2023


Parson’s points


Is Christianity Superstition?

    Recently, I have been preaching on the subject of superstition. It has become commonplace today to hear Christianity referred to as another old superstition that promises heaven to the weak-minded and gullible. I want to take a moment to knock this idea out of the ballpark.

    Superstition is making a connection between two events or between an object and an event which are not causally related. The root of believing superstitions is called adventitious reinforcement, which is when a person begins to worry something bad is going to happen because of an action they did or didn’t take, or because of some object the have or in some way came into contact with. Whatever they did beforehand is believed to be the cause of some expected outcome. The Bible understands superstition as a self-centered attempt at controlling the future. It is actually a perversion of faith in that it gives power that belongs only to God to something other than God.

     By contrast, faith in God can be defined as a commitment to the ultimate meaning in life. Faith

requires hope, in fact genuine faith is unthinkable without hope. A prerequisite of the development of faith is trust. We have hope because we trust in God. And we don’t just blindly do this – we base this trust on the evidence of his revelation. Whether or not God will cause something to occur is not our concern – our concern is trusting God in all circumstances. To this end faith requires practical application in the world. And, unlike superstitious delusion, it can be modified – in fact it must be – the faith I had at first has had to mature as life events evolve throughout a lifetime.

    In faith, we must take care that superstition does not enter back in. For example, we cannot hold to the idea that there is a right way to reach God, or that our prayers will not be answered unless we follow a specific script. Such ideas hold us apart from God. Worrying about whether or not we have the right approach to God makes Him seem petty and ensures that we are self-centered – seeking just the results we want.


                                                            In His Service, Pastor Vaughn and Lisa






November 4, 2023 @ 7 A.M.

Breakfast, Cookies, Baked Goods &

Multiple vendor tables



Next meeting, November 11th at 8 A.M.



SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5th  – 10:30 A.M.

Let us observe and pay tribute together on this day to all who have passed away during this year.  




Please join us and participate in the following opportunities to grow in faith: Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM – Join us at the Starr home, 4822 7 TH Avenue Temple, as we watch The Chosen – Season 2. Our series will run through the month of November, then we will be taking a break for the holidays getting back together for Season 3 after Easter.


Saturday evenings at 7:00 PM – Join us at the church for our Saved by Faith contemporary fellowship service. This service is less formal than Sunday mornings and involves more interaction. All are welcome – please spread the word.


A new adult Sunday School is set to begin in the middle of November as we wrap up our current

series on Revelation. Adult Sunday School meets at 9:00 AM in the Fellowship Hall. The next series

will be Beth Moore’s Jesus – The One and Only, led by Lisa Starr. Please come and join us Sunday



We are currently running a youth Sunday School class that meets on Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM as well. That class is working through the video series The Chosen. Youth – come on out and join us.


Come on out on Saturday November 11 at 1 PM for our movie matinee. We will be watching

Fireproof – a Kendricks brothers movie about working through marriage when it no longer seems worth it. The movie is very good. Previews are available on YouTube. Looking forward to seeing you. Remember to invite a friend!


Please join us Sunday mornings at 10:30 for our worship service. Upcoming messages:

November 5     Heaven

November 12   James – The Brother of Jesus

November 19   James – Trials and Temptations

November 23   Thanksgiving Eve service @7:30 PM

November 26   James – Faith and Works

Our Advent messages this year will be from Revelation

Check out for past messages in either MP3 or MP4 format.


Have questions about faith? Struggling to believe? Need a pastoral conversation? Please start the chat at



November 8th, @ 8 A.M. @ Chatty’s

     November 28th, @ 8 A.M. @ Breakfast Hut



November  1st  – @ Zion’s Spies E.R.

November  8th – @ BYE

November 15th – @ Zion’s Spies E.R.

November 21st – @ Zion Spies Lutheran

November 29th – @ Zion’s Spies E.R.

Anyone interested in throwing can call

Kenny Manwiller at 610-944-0729.



                  The various charities are starting to send out their 2024 calendars.  If you do not want them please bring them to the church and give them to Linda Wilson.  She will pass them on to the soup kitchen.





Card shower lists for members of our congregation 80 yrs. of age and over provided by Evangelism Outreach, the list is available on our church website or the side table in the Narthex. Help us honor these special folks.



      Advent Season starts on December 3rd.

       We will only be putting in RED poinsettias again this year.   Order form is included in this newsletter or may be found on the table in the Narthex.

        Don’t forget our Homeless Veterans Mission.  Lunches and Care Packages for November, items due Nov. 26th



            We have met and discussed expenses for the upcoming year.  We have the final figures ready for the 2024 budget.

            We will be presenting the 2024 budget to the Consistory on Nov.27th and then to the congregation for discussion and approval on December 10, 2023 @ 11:30 A.M.


Stewardship Sunday November 12th@10:30 A.M


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5th  – 10:30 A.M.

Let us observe and pay tribute together on this day to all who have passed away during

this past year. 


  Eli Frey                                November 29, 2022

*Amy Guldner                       December 19, 2022

  Patricia Williams                    January 25, 2023

*Emily Dengler                        February 9, 2023

  Terry Raezer                                 April 25, 2023

  Peter Kaminski, Jr.                   August 14, 2023

*Martha Satter                       September 8, 2023

*Samuel Petsch                         October 29, 2023

*denotes church member

He Hath Made Everything Beautiful



 SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19th, 2023

The women of the church will participate in our morning worship. Thank offerings received on that day will be used to assist our members or neighbors in need.  Your yearly box of envelopes contains the envelope for your Thankoffering.



Thanksgiving Eve Service will be held on Wednesday, November 22nd, at 7:30 P.M. at Zion Spies E.R. Church.  Please plan on attending this spirit-filled service showing our thanks to God. 

ADVENT Begins December 3rd   

With Holy Communion



This year we will not do gifts for the Angel Tree but instead will take monetary donations which we will give to the Salvation Army in November for them to go and purchase the gifts. Please hand money in by Nov. 26th There are specially marked envelopes on the table in the Narthex



We will be doing Poinsettias this year for the Christmas season. We will only be doing one color -RED. $9.25/plant.  Order forms are available on the table in the Narthex or in your November newsletter. See or call Sue Barnett with any questions 610-779-9787

Orders due Dec. 3rd



       As we continue in the Fall season, our group of Women’s Ministries have a lot of things we will be busy with this month.  

         Our annual Bazaar/breakfast/cookie sale will be held on Saturday, November 4th from 7AM until noon. It will begin with an all you can eat breakfast buffet from 7AM to 11AM made by our Men’s Ministries. The cost is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children. Stop by and have some of this delicious food! We will be selling  different varieties of cookies. These wonderful treats are all homemade by the Women’s Ministries and will be sold for $10.00 per pound.  Other delicious treats will also be available for sale.  We also would appreciate any baked goods that you would care to donate for our bake sale. These baked goods may be dropped off, in the fellowship hall, on Friday November 3rd, between 6 PM and 7 PM or Saturday morning.

            Several of our church family members will be offering crafts for sale.  There will also be a donation table with assorted books and cards, any donations can be given to Linda Wilson.

It seems like there is a little something for everyone so we sure hope you all stop by!

To make your holiday cooking easier we are taking orders for potato filling and pepper cabbage. We will make the potato filling and pepper cabbage using the recipes from the Ham Supper. Everything will be ready for pick up at the church, on the Monday before Thanksgiving (11/20), between the hours of 1:00PM and 5:00PM. Order forms are included in this newsletter and may be given to Sue Barnett.  Order deadline November 12th.  We hope that you will keep these things in mind and let us make your Thanksgiving dinner easier for you.

        We still have sandwich tickets for sale from M&M sandwich shop in Oley, $7 each for a small cold sandwich. We also have our stain glass window magnets for sale, small-$5. See Sue for magnets or sandwich tickets.

        As always, we invite all the women of the church to join us, as we meet, on the second Tuesday of every month at 11:00 A.M.

It is our goal to always keep God at the center of our “busyness”.      Next Mtg. Nov. 14th


Please see Jeff Griffin, if you would like to share your musical talent at the upcoming Sunday Services or Christmas Eve Service.



Coming up on December 10th after the 10:30am service to approve the budget for 2024.


JUST A REMINDER!  Please remember to notify the church office regarding anyone in the hospital or of any transfers from hospitals to home or to any other facility.  It becomes difficult sometimes to keep up with everyone’s moves which results in extra traveling. 

Thanks so much.



We should have another check coming soon.

Our church gets 1% of the total of your register receipts.  You must have a SAVE A TAPE card which you can get at your store’s courtesy desk.   Thank you for your continued support.

 Customers must use their 1% Save-A-Tape card for purchase.  This will be noted on the bottom of the receipt. Please submit the receipt in the wooden box on top of the food cupboard in the church narthex.  Please do not use a highlighter marker on your receipts, it can erase the totals.  All receipts must say Save-A Tape Total Fuel purchases are not considered.  Thank you.



We thank Thee for the pioneers,

The heritage they gave,

The courage of their gallant hearts,

Undaunted by the grave.


We thank Thee for the land they left

In trust, a vast array;

For priceless freedoms that we take

For granted every day.


O Lord, whose dwelling transcends space,

We thank Thee; let there be

A prayer of praise from every heart

That prizes liberty.

     - Unknown



Created by Russell Mauldin and Sue Smith

You won’t want to miss the Christmas Cantata this year, titled “Breath Of Heaven” performed by both the Zion Spies Evangelical Reformed and the Evangelical Lutheran choirs, celebrating

the birth and life of Jesus Christ, our savior.

Sunday December 17th, 10:30 AM. Bring your families, your friends and neighbors! 





We will be looking for small bags of chips, pretzels, tastycakes, fresh fruit, small plastic containers of fruit or applesauce, or puddings (ones that don’t need a can opener).   Sign –ups on the table in the Narthex if you wish to contribute personal care items or lunch items or call the church office during the week.  It can be dropped off on Sundays in the Narthex or given to Sue during the week when she is in the office.

Mon. –Thurs. 9am-2pm

Items due Nov. 26th

They are no longer taking clothes, blankets or sleeping bags. Donations they do need are hand soap, wipes, toilet paper, and paper towels.  Envelopes available on top of the mailboxes if you would like to make a monetary donation. Our thanks to all that support this mission. Because God gives us all we need, we should give to those in need.


2024 Offering envelopes are in your mailbox.


2024 Flower Chart (Jan.-Oct.) is ready to be filled out, please think about sponsoring.


 Monthly prayer lists are located on the side table in the Narthex. If you have requests for the list, you can fill out a prayer request form which will be on the table in the Narthex and give the information to Bob Hallman 610-779-9376.If you have any questions about this list or our  prayer chain you can see Bob Hallman or Carol Christman. New lists will be available the first Sunday of each month. 

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