PROSPERITY — Encouraging the children in the church to get involved at a young age, Zion United Methodist Church is providing them with the opportunity to package shoe boxes for the Operation Christmas Child ministry as a part of their homecoming and bicentennial celebration.
Beginning at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 20 with a morning worship service, Pastor David Taylor and Lay Speaker Larry Killian say it’s a celebration you won’t want to miss.
The Rev. James Friday, district superintendent of the Greenwood District of The United Methodist Church, will speak at the celebration. Taylor said Friday is in his second year of serving the district.
“Reverend Friday’s voice is powerful and his message will be inspiring to all who worship,” Taylor said.
Following worship, there will be a covered dished dinner, which Taylor said is also known as “enlargements” in the Methodist church. Children will then have the opportunity to help pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Taylor said their goal is to pack over 50 boxes of love. The youth will also be packaging food for the Manna House, a local food pantry in Newberry.
“Zion is known for its community involvement, we wanted to provide activities for the children and youth to remember those less fortunate,” Taylor said.
The church members are being asked to donate items for both activities with the church purchasing the remaining items before the Bicentennial event. Also during the celebration, a room will be set aside filled with historical artifacts and family lineage.
“We really want children to remember these times and to help celebrate our bicentennial with us by making the boxes of love and packaging food,” Killian said.
Killian said a letter was recently mailed to Zion from a former member who currently lives in Greenwood with her husband, who is now a preacher in a Methodist church. Her letter explained how she wished she could come to the bicentennial celebration and how important she felt it was for children to get involved.
She said she remembered going to church with her parents when she was young and helping build the foundation of what is now Zion UMC. Killian said the letter built on the motivation Zion had to get children involved while they could.
Taylor said Zion has been celebrating its bicentennial with events and activities all year long, including hymn sings and ice cream Sunday gatherings.
An event they have planned for the future is to bring in a USC baseball player.
“We brought Miss South Carolina in for the little girls and now we are hoping to bring in a well known baseball player for the boys to have someone to look up to,” Killian said.
Zion would love to see the community share its desire to help celebrate 200 years of ministry, mission and service.
“We have several past ministers and their families who will be here along with others throughout the community. We are planning for 300, but we hope that there are more,” Taylor said. “Zion United Methodist Church welcomes all who will come on this day and every day.”
Rae Knobloch is a sophomore at Newberry College studying communications.