Pastor's Pen

By Pastor Jeffrey Smalley

Boxes, boxes, and more boxes.  Boxes everywhere!  Kathy and I are surrounded by boxes as I write this first newsletter article as your new pastor.  Sometimes it feels like we are boxed in.   Pastor Rick and Dolores know exactly what I mean.

Here is what I know for sure, even though we may feel physically boxed in, our faith in Jesus sets us free.  As our nation celebrates freedom this July 4th, I am thankful for the freedom that comes from being a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Our faith does not box us in, but sets us free.  This freedom, like our country’s freedom, came at a great cost.  Jesus’ death on the cross sets us free from sin and death.

As I begin my ministry at New Zion, I pray that Kathy and my years with you will help you more deeply discover the grace and love of Jesus that sets us free to live more fully as disciples of Christ.  I believe the way that you do that is to embrace your freedom and become a slave to Christ.  Sounds counter-intuitive, but true freedom isn’t found in being unyoked from anything.   1st Peter 2:16 says:

Live as free people,

but do not use your freedom

as a cover-up for evil;

live as God’s slaves. 

Too often, we as American’s so value our independence that we believe that we should have no boundaries, no rules.  The truth is, our freedom in Christ calls us to seek Christ’s will, Christ’s way.  Together, let us continue to work to set people free because of Christ’s amazing grace.

I, personally, want to thank Pastor Rick and Dolores for helping this congregation seek a deeper relationship with Jesus.  Well done, good and faithful servants.  We pray your years ahead will be filled with the joy of the Lord.

And now, it’s time to unload some boxes, grab some hotdogs, watch some fireworks and celebrate freedom!  Together, may we find our true freedom in the One who died to set us free. 

Thankful to be yoked to Christ with you,


Pastor Jeff