Pastor’s Thoughts

Oct. 2017 LVL Pastors Thoughts

Friends in Christ,Friends in Christ,

The countdown has begun!  By the end of this month the world will have seen five hundred years of history of the Protestant Reformation.  It all began on October 30, 1517 when a young catholic priest and scholar named Martin Luther posted his concerns and complaints against the hierarchy of the church.  It has been said many times over that this young priest had no idea what he was putting into motion with his “95 Theses”.  What has become clear with years and centuries of hindsight is that Martin Luther was voicing the concerns of many.  The people of the church as well as many scholars and priests within the church in many lands and in many settings had tired of the corruption that was so obvious within the church hierarchy and of the staggering difference between the wealth and opulence of the greater church and the widespread poverty of the vast majority of the population of Europe.

Contemporary theologian and scholar Phyllis Tickle has offered the thesis, “that every 500 years, the Church goes through a rummage sale, and cleans out the old forms of spirituality and replaces it with new ones.”  The Protestant Reformation in 1500 A.D. followed by 500 years the great schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church which took place in approximately 1000 A.D.  Luther’s primary belief was that each and every Christian can access the grace of God without the intervention of the church.  To encourage this, Luther worked diligently to put Holy Scripture into the hands of the general population.  This meant defying the church that had for centuries dictated that the Bible be only issued in Latin, a language understood only by priests and their superiors.  Supported in their efforts by the newly invented “moveable type printing press”, Luther and others distributed the Bible to the masses – in their own language!

Standing now at the portal of the 500th anniversary of these amazing acts, we must ask ourselves, “Is it time for another of Dr. Tickle’s ‘rummage sales’?”  Is this the age when spirituality and our relationship to our God will be ‘reinvented’, shifted radically, cast in a new and powerful light?  Is it time to take a serious look at the way we ‘do faith’?  Does our worship, our prayer, our study of scripture need to find new forms of expression?  Do we need to reinvigorate the call of Christ to minister to those around us?  Does our ministry to others need to take new form in order to maintain its relevance in this current age?

I have no easy answers to these questions.  I do, though, have a great love for the Gospel and a great curiosity in my faith.  I am always ready and happy to engage you in conversation around the simple aspects of life and faith as well as around the deep and weighty matters of life and faith. So come and celebrate with us here at Zion Church!  Come and explore with us!  Come and find the joy of life in Christ Jesus our Savior that has – throughout all the rummage sales – been at the core of who we are and what we are about!

Grace and Peace,  Pastor Dan

Change is coming to Zion!

Please join us for a Contemporary worship service at 9:00 am September 3rd—our last of the summer worship schedule.

Beginning on Rally Day, September 10th, Zion’s worship schedule will change! We will continue to conduct our contemporary worship service at 8:00 am, but we will now hold our traditional service at 9:15am during the Sunday School hour. Sunday school children will be dismissed to class after participating in the opening in the Sanctuary at 9:15am instead of 9:00 am.

Parents may then stay for the remainder for the service.

Nursery Care will now be available for both the 8:00 am and 9:15 am services.  We hope this makes it easier for parents of Sunday School and young children to join us for services each week.  Please look to the weekly Happenings emails for all the latest news and information about worship at Zion.



Nancy Sweet, the wife of the Reverend Stephen E. Sweet, Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in River Edge, New Jersey, is in need of a kidney. He has reached out to churches in the area and asked that her need be publicized in the belief that many times it is a “person of faith” who usually steps up and unconditionally donates a kidney.  Anyone who is interested or need more information, please call Nancy at (201)674-8162 or email her at [email protected] You may also call Reverend Sweet on his cell phone at (201) 956-2555.


Blessed are they who die in the Lord


We announce with sorrow that Helen Farwell, mother of Judy Bumpus  died this morning in Iowa.  Funeral arrangements are pending.  Please keep Judy and her family in your prayers.
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Dan Schroeder

Fall Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend

ATTENTION MARRIED COUPLES: If you haven’t already signed up for your Fall Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend, don’t delay.  Sign up today! The September Weekend (September 15-17 Weekend at Spruce Lake Retreat Center in the Poconos) has only a very few openings remaining.  The October 6-8 Weekend is to be held at a beautiful location in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains overlooking a lake–the Black Swan Inn in Lee, Massachusetts–and we do currently have openings for this one.


Two nights lodging, 5 meals for each of you, and all supplies are included with your $100 per couple registration fee, plus toward the end of the weekend you will be given an opportunity to make a confidential contribution of whatever amount you wish toward the continuation of the program.  Sign up today by going to the website: and paying the registration fee with your credit card, or marking the option to mail a check.  For questions, or if you would like a brochure with registration form mailed to you, contact Northeast US Directors of Lutheran Marriage Encounter, Fred & Julie Schamber, at: [email protected] or 724-325-3166.   

Carl Burd

We are sad to announce the passing of a long-time Long Valley resident – Carl Burd. He is the long time companion of Zion member Joyce Shakespeare. His obituary and funeral arrangements may be found at for those who are interested.
Carl H. Burd passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Friday, June 30, 2017. Born in Califon, he graduated from Hackettstown High School in 1955. He attended Rutgers University majoring in Agriculture. Carl settled in Long Valley and followed his passion for farming by starting Burd Farms. He farmed until his retirement in 2011. He also enjoyed spending his Saturday evenings calling Square Dances around the area. He looked forward to and loved spending time with his family especially around the dinner table with everyone. He joined the Fairmount Fire Company in 1953, he was the Fire Chief in 1969 and also 1970. Carl was a life member until his passing. Carl joined the Long Valley Rescue Squad in1957 and was a founding & life member. He was predeceased by his parents Howard & Erma Mary (Smith) Burd , his sister’s Dorothy (Burd) Frank and Evelyn (Burd) Matson, He is survived by his significant other & companion of 30 years Joyce Shakespeare, his loving family Pam Shakespeare-Mackey (Kenneth), Buddy Shakespeare (Sandy), grandchildren Kyle, Ryan & Briana Shakespeare, as well as his loving cats Jeter & Cano. Carl is also survived by his 3 nieces, 4 nephews & 2 sons. Friends and relatives are invited to attend his viewing on Friday, July 7, 2017, from 5:00pm-7:00pm at the Cochran Funeral Home, 905 High Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840. Cremation will be private. In Lieu of flowers please make donations in Carl’s name to the Fairmount Fire Company, PO Box 8, Long Valley, NJ 07853 and/or The Long Valley Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 111, Long Valley, NJ 07853

Lost keys – Casa Zion

There is a set of keys labeled “Casa Zion”  in the church office. If you are the owner of these keys, please contact Laura Hamilton in the church office to retrieve your keys!


Last Choir Practice

The Zion choir will have its last practice this Thursday, June 1st. Practices will resume in the fall.  If you have any questions or would like to be part of the choir, please contact Marilyn Hibler at 908-852-1437.

Copycat Panera Creamy Tomato Basil Soup Recipe


  •  1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  •  1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  •  1 tbsp crushed garlic
  •  1 14 oz can chicken broth {or 2 cups}
  •  2 Tbsp sugar
  •  ⅓ cup butter
  •  1 cup heavy cream
  •  15-20 Basil leaves, chopped



  1. Combine the tomatoes, broth, and garlic bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the sugar and butter and mix until they are dissolved, melted and well combined.
  3. Very slowly pour in the heavy cream while simultaneously stirring until all the cream is combined and the soup is creamy.
  4. Stir in the basil.
  5. I like to serve it hot garnished with a dollop of pesto and freshly grated Parmesan cheese!

Recipe by The Pinning Mama at



The Congregational Dinner and Confirmation Mentor Night is this Wednesday, May 31st.  Join the confirmands and their mentors for a Kielbasa/Pie​rogi casserole dinner which starts at 6​pm!  Stay for the fellowship while the confirmands adjourn with their mentors for conversations.  A  “Free Will Offering” will go towards the ELCA Youth Gathering fund. All are welcome and please bring a friend!