See the pastor. As needed, he or she will offer a series of membership classes to instruct potential members about the United Methodist Church. Members must be baptized Christians. If you are not yet baptized, the pastor can instruct you about baptism and carry out that baptism at a worship service at the church.
The denomination now known as United Methodist was formed in 1968 when the former Methodist Episcopal Church and the United Evangelical Brethren Church merged to form a denomination. The church traces its history back to the 1700s, when John Wesley, a Church of England pastor, began to minister to those who were not welcome in churches in England. It took formal shape in the United States, when Francis Asbury, the first Methodist bishop, began to minister to colonists living in the new colony. At one point it was the fastest growing church in America due to a network of "circuit rider" ministers who moved from remote village to remote village ministering to colonists. Modern United Methodism is a denomination divided into "conferences," each of which is administered by a bishop. All conferences operate under The Discipline, a book of regulations to which all United Methodist churches adhere. Elliston Zion UMC is part of the West Ohio Conference and its Maumee Watershed District.
We teach and preach that church members must support the ministry of the church through giving, and we urge members to work toward giving 10 percent of their income for that purpose. However, we realize some persons are unable to give at that level. New members promise to give as they are able, and we work to help them grow in the Christian gift of generosity.
Elliston Zion's day-to-day administration is carried out by the current pastor, Rev. Paula Stewart. She operates under the direct supervision of a committee known as the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee. This committee reports to the church's Administrative Council, which is a council of church members responsible for determining the direction and content of Zion's ministry. The Administrative Council sets an annual church budget and monitors the overall ministry of the church. The United Methodist denomination oversees the ministry of Zion UMC through its Maumee Watershed District, with headquarters in Maumee, OH, and the West Ohio Conference, with headquarters in Worthington, OH.
Administrative Council -- overall administration
Pastor-Parish Relations Committee/Lay Leadership -- supervises paid staff, nominates members to various committees
Finance Committee -- administers financial operations
Trustees -- responsible for legal issues and care and development of building and grounds
Education -- develops and administers classes in the church school
Our church offers the following regular classes:
Christian Ambassadors: guided biblical study. Most class members, but not all, are senior citizens.
College-age adult class: this class examines an array of biblical and spiritual themes. Most members are in their late teens or early 20s.
Young adult class: this class does biblical study, books studies, and video series. Most members are in their 20s through 40s.
Middler adults: this class does guided biblical study. Most members are 40-60 years of age.
Sunday Morning Fellowship Class: This class does different Christian book studies throughout the year. They meet in the fellowship hall at 9:30 on Sunday to enjoy a cup of coffee and a relaxed study environment.
Junior high/high school class: guided biblical study on Sunday mornings.
Soul surfing: this is a mid-week class for teens and parents, focusing on spiritual growth.
Waz Up on Wednesday: this is a mid-week bible study
Toddlers: Sunday morning
Grades 1-3: Sunday morning
Grades 4-6: Sunday morning
Women of the church gather early Tuesday morning for study, fellowship & prayer
In-home Bible study
Adults gather on Wednesday mornings in the home of a family near the church to study the Bible.
Adults participate in short-term studies on three or four occasions through the year. Some studies are done in-home, and others are offered at the church. These often, although not always, focus on current Christian literature.
The pastor leads a 37-week confirmation class for ages 11-14 once each year. The class focuses on the Bible, theology, church history, faith journey, and spiritual development.
New membership classes
This is a three-week series of classes, offered 2-3 times each year for those who have expressed interest in joining the church.
Elliston Zion engages in the following missions on a regular basis:
Haiti: teams from Zion normally visit Cap Haitian, Haiti, in mid-summer each year to work with Living Hope Mission, a broad spectrum mission that has existed there for more than 20 years. Living Hope builds schools and churches, runs an experimental farm, offers assistance with nutrition, small-business development, and continuing education for Haitians, and supports more than a dozen churches
Friendly Center: We support the ministry of Friendly Center, an inner-city mission on the north side of Toledo. A Zion member serves on the board of the center's auxiliary, and we raise funds to assist with various inner city ministries.
Gleaning: Each summer, members of Zion glean pickles and peppers through a local grower, then deliver the foods to various ministries in the greater Toledo area.\
Samaritan's Purse: Each Advent season, Zion prepares dozens of gift boxes that will be distributed around the world through this ministry.
Mountain Mentors: Members of the church support this ministry, which provides a full year of mentoring and assistance for at-risk teens in the Greater Toledo area. The Mountain Mentors work with a teen for a year, then take him/her on a wilderness/mountain climbing expedition in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Followup programs are available for teens through Venture Scouting.