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December at Zion 2020
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). The service will premiere online at 6pm.
In addition, please come to the front entrance of the church anytime between 4:30 – 6pm on December 21 to light a battery-operated candle and place it around the manger that will be waiting there. This will be a visual display of the Light that shines in the darkness, even in the darkest times of our lives.
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.
Hope you will participate in the candle lighting and tune in for the special time of online worship, as we focus on the hope and peace that is revealed to us through the ever-present light of Christ.

Zion’s Christmas Festivities

Sunday - Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 20
9:00-10:00 am – Drive thru Communion and Youth Carmel Roll Fundraiser
Virtual Sunday School Christmas Program available to watch as part of our
online worship service
Monday – Winter Solstice, December 21
4:30-6:00 pm – Outdoor Candle lighting for Blue Christmas Service; Open church meditation time available until                  6:30pm
6:00 pm – Virtual Blue Christmas Service premieres online (Zion’s YouTube Channel)
Thursday – Christmas Eve, December 24
4:00 pm – Christmas Eve service (begins in the sanctuary; concludes in the
outdoor courtyard area)

From Pastor Sarah...

Members of Zion,
First, I just want to thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult days we’ve been facing. As announced at last week’s service, the church council met this past week, and based on the COVID rates and the continued risk of gathering together at this time, it was agreed that it’s in the best interest of our members to continue holding Sunday morning worship services in an online format at this time. This was certainly a difficult decision, as we all miss the in-person fellowship with one another, but at this time, it's better to err on the side of caution.
** HOWEVER, the council and Smart Team representatives have since reevaluated Christmas Eve options, and in addition to an online service, an in-person option will be offered at 4pm. This service will begin in the sanctuary with carols and will then conclude in the outdoor courtyard area with the lighting of LED candles (masking and social distancing required in both areas). A full Christmas service will be available online for those who are not comfortable gathering in person at this time.
Please know you can reach out any time a need arises, as even in these times of separation, we are still the church to one another.
Below is a snapshot of Zion’s Christmas festivities:
Sunday, December 20
9-10am – Drive through Communion and Youth Carmel Roll Fundraiser
Virtual Sunday School Christmas Program available to watch as part of our online worship service
Monday, December 21
4:30-6pm – Outdoor Candle lighting for Blue Christmas Service; Open church meditation time available until 6:30pm
6pm – Virtual Blue Christmas Service premieres online (Zion’s YouTube Channel)
Thursday, December 24
4pm – Christmas Eve service (begins in the sanctuary; concludes in the outdoor courtyard area)
We hope you can join us for some of these Christmas week activities. From wherever we celebrate this year, know that the star still shines bright for each of us to lead us to the Christ child!
May the God who makes all things possible bless you this Christmas season and the whole New Year through!
~ Pastor Sarah


OUTREACH PROJECT! If you’d like to donate a fleece blanket - or make a no-sew one - for foster kids in Mille Lacs County, we are currently accepting those donations! We will accept donations through mid-January. Thanks for your generosity and creativity! We are also accepting monetary donations to purchase other items. Drop off at church during office hours (9:00 am – 3:30 pm) on Friday.

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

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's web site (ZionMilaca.org) 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.

Health & Prayer Concerns - If you know of anyone who is ill, hospitalized, or in neeed 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: Kärin McCann, Patrick Gunnink and Elim Home residents & staff; 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, 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

Want to be a more effective Steward? Consider Simply Giving – With Simply Giving your offering
is debited directly from your bank account directly into Zion’s account. For those of you who wish to
have your contributions transferred electronically contact the Church Office for more
details 983-3368.
Want to Give Right Now? Try your smartphone! Start by downloading a QR code reader for your
phone and then scan and the QR Code will take you to the Zion’s site on GiveMN. It is easy and
helpful. Give it a try! Or just go to the Zion Online home page and find a direct link near the top of the lefthand column.

Zion’s Online Church Directory
Zion’s online directory is now available to members. You may log in with the password: zioninfo20.
You can then easily access up-to-date 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 
You 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).
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