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Newsletter for November 2020

Worship Update

Our Church Council along with the chair of the smart team, Randy Hemstad, made the difficult decision to shift to ONLINE WORSHIP ONLY as of Sunday, November 15, 2020. We will record the service and provide it online for your at-home worship. The decision will be re-evaluated at the next Council meeting on Dec. 10. Please contact the church or Council members with any questions. We are sad to make this shift, but case numbers and exposures right now are unprecedented in our county. Please pray for our strength as a church during this difficult time, and check in on each other. May God bless you so that you may be a blessing to others.

Virtual Psalms Bible Study!

Looking for a fun way to stay in touch while participating in a short Bible Study? A virtual Psalms Bible study might be just the thing for you! We’ll have three weekly sessions held via Zoom, and each session will last only 40 minutes (our official Zoom limit). Sessions will be held at 6pm on the following Tuesdays: December 1, 8, and 15. If interested, please email Pastor Sarah (pastor@zionmilaca.org), and she’ll send you the link to join.

Online Fellowship

Just because we’re not able to gather for in-person worship these days doesn’t mean we can’t see each other on Sunday mornings! Grab a cup of coffee or juice and join us for some good online fellowship from 10-10:30 on Sunday mornings (after you watch our worship service online)! A Zoom link will be sent to your email each week, so all you have to do is click to join. If you have any questions, give the church office a call or email Pastor Sarah (pastor@zionmilaca.org). Hope to “see” you there!

Calling all Zion Confirmation Students

(and Recently Confirmed Students!)

Since we are now learning in an online format, thought it would be nice to get together for a quick online Zoom chat from 6-6:30pm on December 2 and December 9. No PowerPoints…no lessons (you can watch those on YouTube right after!) This Zoom is just a time to chat and check in with one another. Pastor Sarah will be sending out a Zoom link to the email addresses we have on file, but students…if you have your own email that makes it easier to Zoom, please feel free to send it to me (pastor@zionmilaca.org).

Just a Note…

Here we are with the holiday season right around the corner. 2020 has certainly brought its share of challenges and changes, and this year, our holiday traditions and celebrations might look a little different…fewer family gatherings, online worship (at least through the first Sunday in December), online Christmas shopping instead of Black Friday lines for many of us, canceled cookie exchanges…yes, a lot has changed in the span of just one year.

And yet, Thanksgiving reminds us of the importance of hitting the pause button every so often to remember everything for which we are thankful. Let’s be honest…we’ve had a hard go of it lately, particularly with a pandemic that continues to claim lives in our communities and continues to have a very prominent hold on our country. With all of the changes and anxieties we face, some days, the list of things to be thankful for may feel like it’s running a little thin. If that’s the boat you find yourself in these days, take heart in knowing that you’re certainly not alone. As I’ve been reminding a lot of families lately, the love and support of this faith community stands with you, and the God who has brought you this far is with you still today. That’s one thing that will never change.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Together, this faith community will continue to pull together and get through these difficult days. I encourage you to check out the rest of this newsletter and take advantage of some of the Zoom opportunities we’re offering so we can continue to connect and minister to one another in safe and meaningful ways. If you have a need, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

My prayer is that you feel the peace of God within your own lives, not just during the upcoming holiday seasons, but all year through. May God richly bless you with strength, comfort, hope, and joy…many things for which we can give thanks.

God’s Blessings, Pastor Sarah

Pastoral Acts

Funeral / Memorial Services:

On October 16, Funeral Services were held for Donald Paul Wills (04.03.1949 10.12.2020) at Zion Lutheran with Pastor Sarah Larson officiating.

On October 23, Funeral Services were held for Grant Albert Magnuson (03.07.1929 - 10.18.2020) at Zion Lutheran with Pastor Sarah Larson and Pastor Dale Clifton officiating.

On October 24, a Memorial Service were held for Robert Owen Johnson (09.26.1930 - 10.18.2020) at Zion Lutheran with Pastor Sarah Larson and Pastor Jon Olson officiating.

On October 28, a Graveside Service was held for Donald Leroy Sutton (11.26.1934 - 10.21.2020) at Riverside Cemetery in Monticello with Pastor Sarah Larson officiating.

On November 8, a Memorial Service was held for Dorothy “Dean” Fransen (07.14.1933 - 10.12.2020) at Zion Lutheran with Pastor Sarah Larson officiating.

Virtual “Blue Christmas” Candlelight Service

Come to the manger . . . be filled with the Light of Christ!

Christmas is a time of hope, peace, and joy, but 2020 has been a difficult year for many, and we are ever mindful of the unrest, grief, and pain that exists in our communities and in the world. This year, an online “Blue Christmas” candlelight service will be available to watch on our YouTube channel on Monday, December 21, 2020 (the winter solstice).

This service is a time for all of us to come together, whether we travel our own grief journey or stand in support of others in our church family or community who celebrate this season with heavy hearts.

More information will be shared as we get closer to that date, but hope you will tune in for this special time of worship, as we focus on the hope and peace that is revealed to us through the ever-present light of Christ.

Stay tuned for information regarding Christmas Eve worship…

Zion’s Online Church Directory

Zion’s online directory is now available to members. This online directory will make members’ contact information more easily accessible and up-to-date.You may view the directory by going here (https://servantkeeper.com/directory/zlcmilaca) You may log in with your email and the password: zioninfo20. You can then access contact information of Zion members.

Members are able to edit their family and individual records, update things like their pictures, phone numbers, contact information, emails and more! You can access your individual profiles here https://servantkeeper.com/member-portal/zlcmilaca. It will enter your email and then set up a personal password for your profile site. We encourage you to put a current picture of your family. You may access the online directory from your personal profile site but you will still have to enter the password: zioninfo20.

We ask members with no Internet access to please call the church office to clarify their current information for the directory. Pictures may be submitted to the office to be downloaded online. A hard copy of the directories will be printed off for members with no Internet access.

We ask you to keep the password to the directory to just Zion members. If you have any questions or trouble, please call the church office (983-3368). This is a new program so there will probably be some bugs to work out.


Affirmation of Faith: October 25 - On Reformation Sunday, October 25, at 10:30 am the rite of Affirmation of Faith was celebrated at a special service in the sanctuary for confirmands, family and friends. Our youth affirmed the promises made at their baptism. Please keep Athena, Kennen, Reina, Owen(who will be confirmed on Nov. 22), Delaney, and Alyssa in your prayers as they continue on their faith journey.

All Saints Sunday: Nov. 1 - It has been said that God gives us two great lamps, the lamp of hope that lights the future and the lamp of memory that illuminates the past. We spend a good bit of time in church looking toward the future and thinking about the fullness of the Kingdom of God. But it is right and good that we should also look back to remember and pay tribute to those who have entered God’s eternity. On Sunday, November 1, All Saints Sunday, we took time in the midst of our worship service to remember those saints who have gone before us this past year. As a part of our service we read the names of our loved ones, and family members were invited to come forward and light a candle in honor and memory. Our hope on this day, which has at least 1200 years of Christian tradition behind it, was to reaffirm the Easter faith while tenderly remembering loved ones to whom we recently said goodbye, that they might take up their new life with the Lord. This year we remember…

 Shirley Marie Johnson (06/09/1931 to 01/05/2020)

 Harold Santema (09/07/1930 to 03/02/2020)

 Iver Henry Johnson (11/25/1927 to 06/11/2020)

 Shirley Helen Hoskins (09/13/1936 to 05/09/2020)

 Kenny V. Taylor (02/20/1961 to 08/26/2020)

 Donald Paul Wills (04/03/1949 to 10/12/2020)

 Grant Albert Magnuson (02/07/1929 to 10/18/2020)

 Robert Owen Johnson (09/26/1930 to 10/18/2020)

 Donald Leroy Sutton (11/26/1934 to 10/21/2020)

 Dorothy “Dean” Darlene Fransen (07/14/1933 to 10/22/2020)

New Member’s Sunday - On Sunday, November 8, we welcomed Colleen Hedin to Zion. Please take the opportunity to introduce yourself and welcome our sister in Christ as we join together in growing in faith and discipleship here at Zion!

Outreach Update - Thank you to all who donated and helped with the outreach to the Milaca Area Food Pantry and Milaca Public Schools. We were able to donate about $400 worthy of snacks, notebooks, food and personal care items to both worth causes. The recipients were thrilled with the opportunity to provide these items to students and families in need.

You can still donate! Send cash to support our Good Samaritan fund of gas and grocery cards. Also, we are starting a new project for children placed in emergency care in Mille Lacs County with no time to pack personal items. If you are crafty with no-sew fleece blankets, please donate a new blanket or provide cash for us to make one, $15-$30. You can make them over the holidays and drop them off at church during office hours. We will donate them along with emergency personal care items through January. Thanks and God bless.

Church Email Address - When emailing the church please use our Google address: office@zionmilaca.org. Our old email zionmilaca@froniernet.net is not longer in service.

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