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Celebrate with gratitude

May 31 marked the end of the ZPC fiscal year. For the first time ever, we ended with more than a $100,000 surplus! Sunday, June 10 was a great day of gratitude as we reflected on God's work in the last year and how people’s lives have been changed through the power of Christ. We heard from Molly Dzurisin, who is one of ZPC's covenant children. Molly, who is a 2018 Zionsville High School graduate and lifelong ZPCer, shared how her faith has grown and, in turn, has impacted others.

Watch Molly's Testimony. 

 

Additionally, we heard from Ryan and Emily Elmore, ZPCers whose home group has shaped their experience of ZPC as well as their discipleship. Just as Jesus chose a group of disciples in which to pour his life-changing love and grace so too do we believe that it is in gathering as groups of disciples that we experience the love and grace of Jesus. 

Libby Pollak and her 10-year-old daughter Ellie shared how serving Christ by serving the homeless has given them the opportunity to experience Jesus in ways they never anticipated. It is a beautiful reflection of what we discovered during our sermon series on James which is that being shaped like a disciple only occurs as we practice our faith. By opening up our building (for 3 weeks this year!), we've hopefully been part of changing the lives of those in our community as well as being shaped more and more like Jesus.

Watch the Pollaks' testimony.

During the last part of the service we learned the ZPC Session has decided to give away half of this year's surplus. 

Listen to Senior Pastor Jerry Deck's comments.

As a a recap, we are giving Youth For Christ $18,000 to pay for their initial summer program in the Juvenile Justice Ministry (JJM). Director of JJM Chase Yarborough was present at our celebration service. He told us that 70% of youth offenders will return to delinquent centers or prison; however, that number drops to 20% for those who are in programs like JJM! What a joy that we get to partner with them in this ministry and to help make a difference in the lives of young people. 

Additional Information about JJM:

We also are giving Str8Up, a ministry we partner with in Northwest Indianapolis, $9,000 for summer scholarships for inner-city kids. This money will allow over 65 kids to experience the love of Jesus and Christian community during a 3-day camp.

Finally, we are giving $27,000 to The Outreach Foundation to help build a retreat center in Syria that will serve as a respite for Christians who have experienced physical, emotional, and spiritual trauma over the last several years. Many Christians in Syria have chosen to remain there to be a witness of Christ’s peace, love, and grace. In the midst of that, we hope this gift from ZPC reminds them they are not alone and they have not been forgotten.

Additional Information about The Outreach Foundation's retreat center in Syria:

In a letter to our congregation, Senior Pastor Jerry Deck said, "Please know how grateful I and the Elders of ZPC are for your willingness to give so freely. It is because of your generosity that we as the Session of ZPC felt compelled to give away half of the surplus that we received as a testimony to the reality that just as we have freely received, so too must we freely give." 

Posted by Sally Bias with

Brazil Great Banquets #3 & 4

It is difficult to express in words the happenings of Brazilian Great Banquets 3 and 4. If I were to use one word to summarize the two weeks we spent in Brazil, that word would be joyful. This joyful experience started with the ZPC team—we bonded and worked together very well. One team member described our team as one of “cooperation, flexibility, joy, laughter, grace, and forgiveness.” Another team member said, “We started out as a ZPC Great Banquet team and became a loving family.”

From the beginning everything occurred without a hitch. We were welcomed to Rio Preto by two Brazilian team members. I took one look at our transportation and thought there was no way we would get six of us, all of our luggage, and two drivers into those vehicles. I was wrong. And that is how the whole two weeks went. Certainly there were questions, but in general everything went as it was supposed to go. 

Our ZPC crew helped in two areas, Agape and Kitchen. For those of you who are not familiar with the Great Banquet, the Agape team is a small group of team members who make sure all of the facilities, equipment, and supplies are ready and in place at the right time. Our experience was that the Brazilian Agape teams for the two Banquets were prepared, organized, and displayed an amazing attitude of servanthood. It was easy to see that they loved Jesus, each other, and all the people for whom they were sacrificing and serving. The same could be said of the Kitchen team. The meals were very good and always on time. All of the team members for both Banquets displayed a sense of purpose and were so joyful about their work, pouring their love into making special meals for the participants. One woman said she had never prepared meals for more than four people, but that didn’t stop her from working with others to prepare meals for 50-60. Their salads were a great example of just how special the meals they served were. They didn’t just throw together some greens with a dressing. Their salads were almost works of art with many ingredients—an outward display of their genuine pleasure to be serving at the Great Banquet.

A third group of volunteers was made up of people who had participated in previous Great Banquets as guests. Given that many previous participants were serving on the teams, it was amazing how many people came to lend a hand. They also showed a joyful attitude about serving, and we never lacked for sufficient help.

Since the Great Banquet team was 100 percent Brazilian, we Americans only had a few opportunities to observe the participants. When we did interact during meals, they were laughing and enjoying themselves. A few comments we heard reinforced the feeling that the participants really enjoyed the whole experience and that for some it may have been life changing.

One final comment about the leadership of the Brazilian Great Banquet: Every single leader expressed the desire to see the Great Banquet grow not only in Rio Preto, but also in other cities in Brazil. They are also committed to maintaining the principles and procedures of the Great Banquet. It’s hard to imagine that the Brazilian Great Banquet could be in better hands. 

God was definitely there during both Banquets and with the leadership. Those of us from ZPC experienced love from all the people with whom we worked and served. We received more hugs in two weeks than many people will receive in years. All of us left feeling totally blessed by the experience and with the desire to return sometime in the future.

Posted by Jack Ellett with 1 Comments

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