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Lenten Vesper Schedule

Midweek Lenten Vespers continue this month. Services include the beautiful Holden Evening music plus each week a congregational member will share their faith story with us. These services will also be livestreamed and available online. Please see the schedule below:

Midweek Lenten Services (services are recorded so you can watch past dates)

February 24 – Speaker, Ardy Becklin

March 3 – Speaker, Barb Burk

March 10 at 7:00 pm – Speaker, Mary Rice

March 17 at 7:00 pm – Speaker, Brad Maitland

March 24 at 7:00 pm – Speaker, Christine Nelson First Communion

This year, First Communion will again be celebrated during worship on Maundy Thursday, which falls on April 1. If you feel your child is ready to celebrate this milestone or if you have any questions, please email Pastor Sarah (pastor@zionmilaca.org) or reach out to the church office. For those who will be participating, we will be holding a class in the fellowship hall at 6pm on Wednesday, March 24 (before our midweek Lenten service) to talk about the mystery and the miracle surrounding communion and what that means for us.

Camp Sunday: March 7

Jim Schmidt will be with us on March 7 to talk about the Lutheran outdoor ministry at Camp Onomia and sing some camp songs. It’s time to register for summer camp. Zion sponsors Camp Onomia and early bird discounts need to be in by March 15. Camp Onomia offers themed programs for all ages and for families, too! Brochures and campership request forms are available on the table in the Narthex or you can go online at www.camponomia.org. Due to COVID Camp Onomia is reducing summer camp attendance this year, please reserve your space early!

Zion Camperships

Zion Lutheran encourages its young people to attend our Lutheran Bible/Church Camps and experience the love and power of God in new ways! To help families make camp a possibility for their children, Zion offers camperships. Pick up a Campership form at church (Narthex or the Church Office) and turn it in to the Church Office. Camperships will pay full fee towards “Beginners” Camp and half (of early bird price) of all others UP TO A MAX OF $250/person. Your campership will be sent directly to the camp. One third grader will receive a full campership through the Pete Allen Memorial. If multiple third graders express interest, winner will be drawn at random.


A Note from Pastor Sarah

Ever since the temperature rose above zero, it’s felt like spring cleaning time! It’s a lot of work, but it feels good to clean out closets, get rid of dust bunnies, and do a deep clean every now and again. Okay, it may not be spring quite yet, but we are in the season of Lent, which is a great time to spring clean our emotional and spiritual lives.

Sometimes we get stuck in the pace and clutter of life and get distracted from spending good quality time with God because…let’s face it. Distractions are EVERYWHERE! We can’t avoid them. It takes dedication and practice to set aside time to be unplugged and in-tune with God. It’s extremely easy to get absorbed by the technology that’s all around, and it’s also easy to get distracted by our schedules and wants and by the pace of the world around us.

But, no matter how busy life gets, it’s important to challenge ourselves to set aside dedicated time to be more fully aware of God’s presence in our lives, to unplug and refocus, to listen for the still small voice, the whisper of God that will completely fill and transform us. We need time to be silent before our Creator. Our very souls crave it! It’s then, when we focus on the silence and breathe in God’s amazing presence, that we truly find ourselves…or should I say, God finds us…and we are strengthened to face whatever celebrations or challenges lie before us.

In this season of Lent, let’s take time to slow down and consider all that God has done for us. Let’s reconnect and strengthen our relationship with the God who was willing to sacrifice everything for our sake. Let’s follow the advice of Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” In that stillness, you will find peace and wholeness.

I encourage each of you to take a timeout from the craziness of the week to join us for midweek Lenten services, Wednesdays at 7pm, either in person or online. We are following the beautiful Holden Evening Prayer service, and this year, we have five members who have graciously agreed to share their faith stories with us, one each week! This is a powerful way to both worship God and to experience God’s presence working in and through the Zion faith community. God is up to great things…come and see.

God’s Blessings, Pastor Sarah


PRAYER

Health & Prayer Concerns - If you know of anyone who is ill, hospitalized, or in need of pastoral care, please call the church office at 320-983-3368. The Zion Prayer Chain may be activated by contacting Jan at janbrown@milaca.net or texting or calling 320-362-1181, or calling the Church Office and leaving a message on the Prayer Chain Voice mail or by contacting Pastor Sarah’s voice mail. Prayer requests may be included in our public prayers on Sunday morning by contacting the church office

Keep In Your Prayers

Those in need of Health, Healing and Guidance: Judy Muller, Kelly Cerqua, Kärin McCann, Patrick Gunnink; take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation from people receiving treatment or under quarantine for the Coronavirus. Protect their families and friends and bring peace to all who love them; all who’ve been hurt, displaced, grieved and in any way effected by war and disasters in the world.

Remember: in prayer our homebound members and nursing home & assisted-living residents: Lloyd Anderson, Lyle Fylstra, Arlene Rice, Larry Rosenberg, Marlys Santema, Becky Weidenhamer.

Those serving in the Mission Field: Pastor Linda Johnson Seyenkulo, who is serving in Liberia.

Support: Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families: Reece Sandberg, Joelle Knapp, and Jack Knapp.

Comfort: the family of Dick Meleen as they mourn his death.


LIFE @ ZION

A Delicious Fundraiser – Zion youth are selling Butter Braid pastries through March 17. Treat yourself to the one and only Butter Braid Pastry. Each hand-braided treat is filled with your choice of 7 delicious flavors –Bavarian Créme (New!), strawberry & cream cheese, apple, cinnamon, blueberry & cream cheese, raspberry and herb & cheese – or try the caramel or cinnamon (new!) rolls (9 per pkg.). It’s easy to prepare, let rise and bake for a unique breakfast entrée, dessert or savory side dish! Cost is $13 ($14 for cheese & herb and Bavarian Créme). Pastries will be delivered Wednesday, March 31. Orders can be made online at https://store.myfundraisingplace.com/198de646-280b-4073-b5c0-bab9a6199d6a. The link was sent out in Zion’s Friday email. The link will take you to Zion’s fundraising page. Youth that are selling online will be listed for you to buy from or you can click on the generic Zion Lutheran Church to order. Orders may be called into the church office (983-3368). If no one is in the office, just leave your order on Karen’s messages.

Foster Care Kits - Zion’s Outreach and Membership Committee and our youth helped to collect, organize and assemble foster care personal items for Mille Lacs County between January and March. Thank you for the donations and assistance with this project. If you would like to help with future projects, please contact Christine Nelson, 612-718-9733.

Help Wanted Section


 Snow Removal - Are you able to assist with snow blowing/snow removal around the church has a snow blower, but we are in need of some additional volunteers. A big thank you to Dan and Trent Niedzielski for taking care of these needs so far this winter. If you are able to help with snow removal, please contact Dan Niedzielski at 612-390-1952.

 

Webmaster - If you or someone you know has worked with website design in the past and would be willing to volunteer for this position, please contact the church office.

Camera operators - We are in need of members willing to help record/live-stream worship services. We are grateful to Jeremy Mikla for his ongoing dedication to this role, but would love to give him a break if we can train a group of willing individuals. If this is of interest, please contact the church office, and we will arrange for training. Jeremy has also created a helpful step-by-step guide with illustrations to make the process very user friendly.

Scam Text Message – Once again someone is sending out texts asking for help and saying it is from Pastor Sarah Larson. Please disregard any texts like this you receive with Pastor's name on it. They are NOT from her. Due to this breach and not knowing the source we have disabled our online church directory for now. If you have questions or information on this, please call the church office.

In-person Worship - We have returned to in-person worship. Worshipers are required to wear masks and to social distance. Hand sanitizing stations will be available and encouraged for worshipers to use. For those who are not ready to return to in-person worship, we are live streaming our worship service at 9:00 am. When the stream starts (approx. 5 minutes before the start of the service) it will become live on the Zion YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJg7euv1hgzoGwZUcsdYnWg. If you cannot join us at that time, you can use this link to watch the recorded video at a later time.

Online Reflections - Keep up with all the great opportunities and ministries going on within our Northeastern Minnesota Synod. Go to www.nemnsynod.org and click the Online Reflections tab to sign up to receive weekly updates to stay on top of what’s going on in our synod and church!

Keep track of what’s happening at Zion via Social Media!

Log on to Zion Online You can find Zion’s monthly calendar, photos from the latest events, and watch Zion online worship! Log on and look for the tabs and enjoy.

Like Us On Facebook! - Zion Lutheran Church, Milaca, MN has a Facebook page. Check it out for announcements, prayer requests, words of encouragement and inspiration.


HOLY WEEK AT ZION

March 28: Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion

Worship at 9:00 AM

Palm crosses will be distributed as you enter the sanctuary, and during worship we will read the Passion of our Lord according to Mark. While we are unable to hold our traditional Palm Sunday brunch this year, stay tuned for more details regarding a unique “to go” opportunity! Bring your lawn chairs and meet us in the courtyard for fellowship if the weather is nice!

Drive-by communion will also be offered from 10:00 to 10:30 for those who don’t feel comfortable worshiping with us yet.

April 1: Maundy Thursday

Worship at 7:00 PM

Holy Communion and Jesus’ command to love one another are the focus of this service. Zion youth will celebrate and receive their First Communion

April 2: Good Friday

Ecumenical Good Friday Service at Trinity Lutheran Church at7:00 PM.

April 4: Easter Sunday/The Celebration of the Resurrection

Easter Celebration at 9:00 AM

This is the celebration of our faith that is highest and most hopeful. Christ is risen! Alleluia! What seemed at first “an idle tale” has become our celebration story of faith and life.


THANK YOU

Thank you to Jan Brown - A huge thank you to Jan Brown who recently announced her retirement from the webmaster role here at Zion. Jan has so faithfully kept our website updated for the past 20 years, and her talents have been very much appreciated! A gift of gratitude will be given to her on behalf of the congregation. Thank you for your service, Jan!


Daylight Savings Time begins March 14. 

Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour!



YOUTH & FAMILY MINISTRIES

Palm Sunday Youth Fundraiser - Because we can't join together for our annual Palm Sunday Brunch, our youth team is working on offering you the opportunity to purchase Spring plants that would be available for pick up on Palm Sunday morning along with a boxed sweet treat to go! Watch for more details to follow in the coming weeks.

Youth News (If you have youth news you would like to share with the Zion community, please forward that information to Pastor Sarah or the church office)


March Birthdays:

1 - Luke Forsland, Jay Wiedewitsch

4 – Tom Burk

5 - Dominic Erickson, Mason Forsland, Tim Lubrant, Joel Peterson

8 - Larry Paul

10 - Dave Oien

14 - Austin Siemers

18 - Richard Perry

19 - David Kiel, Brielle Taylor

20 - Tim Manthie, Tracy Norrgard,

Laurie Rensenbrink

21 - Janelle Knapp, Dalton Warne

22 - Owen Rueckert

24 - Blayne Burma

25 - Ayedin DeMarre, Katie Rueckert

26 - Beth Crook, Connor Crook, August Jones

27 - Andrea Mikla

28 - Christina DeYoung

29 - Dale Siemers, Becky Weidenhamer

30 - Rogen Milligan

March Anniversaries:

11 - Gordon & Marcy Seehafer

18 - Carl & Sharon Nelson

26 - Steve & Lisa Sauer

27 - Kevin & Jasmine Danielson, Tim & Mary Jo Gruba

(Contact Church Office with errors or additions)


COMMUNITY

(These listings are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily imply that this congregation endorses the activities and/or policies of the sponsoring organizations)

This Side of Heaven” Country Gospel Singalong will resume on Sunday, March 7, at 3 pm and will now be at the Milaca Evangelical Free Church. At this time there will be NO refreshments served, so just come and enjoy the Gospel music and fellowship. Reasonable health cautions will be observed. Free will offering. Please note the change of location. Questions: Dan @ 983-6592, Lin @ 294-5525


Items for the April newsletter need to be into the church office by March 19. Please write up your items and email or drop off at the church office.


Advocate for long-term solutions to food insecurity and poverty in our communities.

Hunger Facts MINNESOTA *Impacted by Covid-19, data from 2020 is still being evaluated. The following information is compiled from the most complete data and projections collected and available at the time of publication.

After years of steadily declining food insecurity rates, it was projected that food insecurity in Minnesota in 2020, impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, could rise to 13%.

9% of Minnesotans had incomes below the poverty line ($25,926 for a family of four) in 2020. This included 11% of Minnesota’s children.

A record over 3.8 Million visits were made to food shelves during 2020.

More than 400,000 Minnesotans receive nutrition benefits via SNAP each month. 71% of those served by SNAP are children, seniors and people with disabilities.

Minnesota’s charitable food system (food shelves and food banks, meal programs, etc.) continues to run at capacity. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated this, making it critical to focus on creating a more just and equitable food system that meets the needs of all Minnesotans.

Zion will be collecting cash contributions and food throughout the month of March. We encourage you to donate financially during the month of March. Food shelves can STRETCH cash donations further than food donations because of their access to discount products and programs. Envelopes will be available on the kiosk at church for your cash donations (place in offering plate or mail directly to pantry) and a grocery cart in the Narthex for food donations.

Fill a Bag for Our Local Food Shelf - Often needed items include:

Proteins – canned meat, fish, and beans, nuts & nut butters

Fresh / dried herbs & spices

White, wild, & brown rice varieties

Gluten-free flours & flour blends (ex. coconut, oat, rice, almond, tapioca, chickpea, sorghum, cassava, amaranth, buckwheat, teff)

Person care items – shampoo / soap, deodorant, toothpaste, feminine hygiene, diapers, toilet paper

Household supplies – laundry & dish detergent, kitchen & bathroom cleaners, and paper towels.

 After years of steadily declining food insecurity rates, it was projected that food insecurity in Minnesota in 2020, impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, could rise to 13%.

 9% of Minnesotans had incomes below the poverty line ($25,926 for a family of four) in 2020. This included 11% of Minnesota’s children.

 A record over 3.8 Million visits were made to food shelves during 2020.

 More than 400,000 Minnesotans receive nutrition benefits via SNAP each month. 71% of those served by SNAP are children, seniors and people with disabilities.

 Minnesota’s charitable food system (food shelves and food banks, meal programs, etc.) continues to run at capacity. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated this, making it critical to focus on creating a more just and equitable food system that meets the needs of all Minnesotans.

Zion will be collecting cash contributions and food throughout the month of March. We encourage you to donate financially during the month of March. Food shelves can STRETCH cash donations further than food donations because of their access to discount products and programs. Envelopes will be available on the kiosk at church for your cash donations (place in offering plate or mail directly to pantry) and a grocery cart in the Narthex for food donations.

Fill a Bag for Our Local Food Shelf - Often needed items include:

 Proteins – canned meat, fish, and beans, nuts & nut butters

 Fresh / dried herbs & spices

 White, wild, & brown rice varieties

 Gluten-free flours & flour blends (ex. Coconut, oat, rice, almond, tapioca, chickpea, sorghum, cassava, amaranth, buckwheat, teff)

 Person care items – shampoo / soap, deodorant, toothpaste, feminine hygiene, diapers, toilet paper, & dish detergent, kitchen & bathroom cleaners, and paper towels.

 Household supplies – laundry & dish detergent, kitchen & bathroom cleaners, and paper towels.