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Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday, March 8th.

Don’t forget to Spring ahead!

Farewell & Godspeed

On Sunday, January 27, 2019, Pastor Stephen Blenkush marked his final Sunday here at Zion before he begins his new call at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Pequot Lakes in February.  The congregation and the community gathered on Sunday afternoon for a time of fellowship and refreshments to say goodbye to Pastor Stephen Blenkush and family, who served Zion Lutheran Church faithfully for thirteen years. The congregation presented Pastor Blenkush with the 125th Anniversary photo of the congregation, a beautiful quilt made by Sandy Warmanen and Jeannie Manthie with the words “Blessings from Zion” sewn on it, and his church laptop computer. We thank Pastor Blenkush for his service not only to Zion but to the Milaca Community.

It is important for us to understand that as of Feb. 3, 2019, Pastor Stephen Blenkush is no longer our pastor, but he will pray for our continued and future mission and ministry and for a fruitful partnership with our future pastor. We ask that you respect the boundaries of his new call and do not ask him to perform weddings, funerals or baptisms, visit the sick and the homebound, continue in any counseling relationship, support or give advice to anyone involved in a congregational disagreement. He may, at his discretion, return to Milaca to attend events as a private citizen. Thank you for your understanding.

Coping with Covid-19

Updated 3/27/20

Dear members and friends of Zion Lutheran:

As a church, we have been monitoring events and decisions about how to best respond to COVID-19 health measures. In light of school closings announced March 15, and for the best interests of health and safety, Zion Lutheran’s Council has made the decision to cancel Wednesday Lenten Vespers and Sunday services and all church activities through May 10th at least. This means there will be no Sunday services or Sunday School or Wednesday Holden evening services or soup suppers. Other church activities including Confirmation classes and Bible study are also canceled.

We WILL maintain regular church staffing and office hours for those who seek assistance or counseling or those who wish to continue using the facility for small groups such as piano lessons. Pastor Bickford is making arrangements to provide his Sunday Sermon on our church website, zionmilaca.org, for weekly video reflections. We will also continue to communicate with you as information about COVID-19 evolves.

The church building will be closed until April 10th. Contact the church office at 320-983-3368 and leave a message Wednesdays or Thursdays for any needs or questions you may have throughout this period.

We will continue to communicate with you as information about COVID-19 evolves.

Please know that Zion is here for you and the Milaca community. We will continue to coordinate prayers and community assistance during this time.

2020 FIKA Spring Luncheon Update

As part of an emergency Church Council meeting on Wednesday, March 18, the Council agreed to cancel all events in April that involve large gatherings. Sadly, that means we have to cancel our third-annual FIKA spring luncheon, which was planned for Saturday, April 18. It is more important that our volunteers and guests stay healthy, and we did not believe that this event could be postponed and rescheduled due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic contagion timeline in Minnesota. We appreciate your support. If you have paid for a sponsored table already, we will contact you about refunds.

Call Process Update

The profile is in and approved by Council. Many thanks to all the profile committee members they are Mary Anderson, Jean Boggs, Barb Burk, Duane Dahlstrom, Judy Mycue, Jon Olson, and Ron Weyer. They spent over 200 hours putting together the profile. Please thank these people when you see them.

The call committee has been formed. According to the Constitution, the Council chooses members and they are supposed to represent Zion in terms of different ages, genders, and beliefs. The members of your call committee are Theresa Borgman, Erin Hjort, Brad Maitland, Jeremy Mikla, Nicole Nelson, Don Sutton, and Sandy Warmanen.

What happens next? Well, the call committee has to meet to elect a chair. Once they do that, the committee meets with Brenda Tibbetts of NE MN Synod for training. Once they are trained, they will wait for names of possible candidates. It may be a short wait, or it may be longer. Pastors have to agree to be willing to serve in our synod at our salary package. If they are, synod will forward their names.

“Why not get a first-call pastor?” you might say, “it’s cheaper.” Unfortunately, first call pastors are in short supply. Our Synod gets one or two per year. There are many, many other churches in the Synod who want a first call pastor; most are far worse off financially than Zion. After the stewardship campaign this year, Zion has the money for more than a first call pastor. The profile committee and Council decided a second or third call pastor would better meet Zion’s needs and there are many more of them. Cheaper isn’t always better, either. A first call pastor often has little in the way of preaching skills, administrative skills, and youth skills. If an extraordinary first call candidate comes along, her or his name might be forwarded to the call committee, but don’t count on getting a first call pastor.

What happens if no pastor wants to serve at Zion? Then Pastor Glen would stay for a while and after him a bridge pastor would come until you get a called pastor. I can’t say how many pastors are available to serve Zion, and it changes from time to time. It is in God’s hands, and with God, there are often surprises along the way. God will take care of Zion as God has for more than a century.

Lenten Soup Suppers

No Soup Suppers or Lenten Vespers

March Food Drive

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 in the pews at church for your cash donations (place in offering plate or mail directly to pantry). Food and toiletry donations may be placed in the shopping cart in the Narthex. Items that are needed are juice, canned goods (vegetables & fruit), shampoo & conditioner, body wash, laundry detergent, and frosting.

in April

Meals On Wheels - Zion is responsible for Meals On Wheels in Milaca for the month of April. Volunteers need to pick up the prepackaged meals at the Milaca Park Apartments. The meals should be picked up at approximately 11:40 AM for delivery. There are usually 8-12 meals. You will get a notebook containing names and addresses of the recipients. There are no deliveries on holidays or snow days when schools are closed. Please sign up on sheet passed around during Sunday morning service or call the church office (983-3368). On Tuesdays extra people are needed for a few deliveries in the country.

Election of a Synod Bishop

This year at the Northeastern Minnesota Synod Convention, May 1-3, delegates will be voting on a new Bishop. A bishop is a pastor, an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), who is elected to a six-year term to provide care and oversight for the congregations and leaders of a synod. The bishop is the chief executive officer of the synod and may be elected to two six-year terms. Bishop Thomas Aitken has served 2 six-year terms. The following pastors were nominated and will appear on the first ballot at the 2020 Synod Assembly: Pastor David Carlson, Pastor Elizabeth “Liz” Cheney, Pastor Elizabeth “Liz” Davis, and Pastor Amy Odgren. If you would like to learn more about the candidates, a Bishop Nominee forum will be held on March 12 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Mora. You may also go to the NE MN Synod website, and click on 2020 Bishop’s Election to read the candidates biographies and statements.

Snow Blowing Lottery!! Do you feel lucky? Sign up for a week to blow the snow at church, Monday-Sunday. (Due to an injured knee, Dan Niedzielski will not be able to cover the weekends) Maybe it will snow, maybe it won’t. It takes 1-2 hours to plow the sidewalk & parking lot. We have an electric snow blower that starts easily. Sign up on the clip board passed around during the service or call the church office  (320-983-3368). Thanks!

Summer Lawn Mowing

We need to hire someone to mow the church lawn for this summer. If you are interested in the job or know of someone, please talk to Dan Niedzielski. 612-390-1952.

Milaca Wolf Snack Pack Program

 Trinity and Zion youth are continuing their ministry of providing weekend food for children whose lives are food insecure, meaning they may have little to eat particularly on weekends. The youth put together food packs which include breakfast and lunch items, along with a snack. You are invited to participate by donating items. All items must be non-perishable and pre-packaged for individual use. Items include: Instant Oatmeal, Cheez-It Crackers, Juice Boxes, Granola Bars, Fruit Cups. Slim Jims, Spaghetti-O’s, Cereal Bars, Apple Sauce Cups, Fruit Snacks, Pringles Singles, Easy Mac, Pudding Cups, Cheese and Crackers, Pretzels, Animals Crackers, microwave popcorn, etc. Donations and/or monetary donations can be brought here to Zion and will be distributed through the school. Thank You!

Keep In Touch!

Keep in Touch!

Call or email the Church Office…320.983.3368...office@zionmilaca.org

 If there is a change in your home address or phone number

 If you have a new baby in the family

 If a member of your family is hospitalized or ill

 If you would like a Pastoral visit or if any Pastoral needs arise

Rev. Glen Bickford
pastor@zionmilaca.org 507.269.9079

The Camp Onomia 70 for 70 Challenge

In celebration of the Camp’s 70th Anniversary, they are challenging their member congregations called The Camp Onomia 70 for 70 Challenge. The Challenge is simple: Collect seventy $10 bills from your congregation in support for Camp Onomia. Funds raised will support camperships, programming, and capital improvement at Camp Onomia. The Council moved to support this special campaign over and about our yearly membership support. $100 donation was began by our Church Council members.                                     
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When you shop at Amazon, you can earn money for Zion! Make your purchases thru AmazonSmile and 0.5% of the price of all eligible purchases will go to Zion! All you need to do is chose Zion as your partner and do your regular Amazon shopping with AmazonSmile. Check it out before  you shop at Amazon again.
It’s Always Time for Camp!


Zion is very fortunate to be able to offer our youth camperships to help make it possible to attend a bible camp. This is done through generous donations from our members and different fundraising events. A big portion of the funds comes from the Soup Suppers during Lent. We are also blessed to have funds set up by families of past Zion members specifically for this ministry. The Pete Allen Campership was established in 2012 and is designated to send one 3rd grader to camp, paid in full. This campership will continue until funds are depleted. We thank the employees of First National Bank who have donated money from their “dress down” days to help replenish this fund.  The second fund was established in memory of Carol Johnson, by husband Wes, who wanted to continue her passion of being able to help send kids to camp. When Wes passed away, the family donated his memorials to this fund. Through the generosity of these families and all of you we are able to give camperships to all Zion youth who request one.
     Zion will contribute $50 towards the “Beginners” camp and half of all other camps up to $250 per person. Just complete and return the Campership Request Form (salmon sheet enclosed in newsletter)

Zion Handbells: Ring Out!

New ringers are always welcome in Zion’s Handbell choir. Practices are Wednesdays at 6 p.m. If you are interested or have questions, please call Karen Edmison (983-3368 or 763-389-3397). We are practicing on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m.

Hooks and Needles and Quilts - oh my!

Come and join us in the Zion Library at 2 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month. We've been making prayer shawls, baby caps, chemo caps, afghan squares, afghans, lap robes, and hand warmers. Come and stay for an hour or until the last person goes home. We have lots of yarn, but we need you to come and do a fun project which will help another person - and enjoy the fellowship of fellow yarn users!

and another way to use needles -

Wanted:  Quilters - Join the Dorcas Quilters on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 9 a.m.  Cut squares, tie knots - there are many was to help even if you are not a quilter! Bring a lunch.

In the past year, the quilters made about 74 quilts and these gifts of love and compassion were blessed and then sent out into the world, both locally and globally.

The tastiest 125th Anniversary fund raiser is still available!  "Milaca's Best" cookbook contains all the best recipes from present and past  Milaca residents. If you are looking for well tested recipes or comfort food recipes or just plain good food recipes, you need this cook book. And they make great gifts for just about anyone who eats. Find the cookbooks on the table at the Fair Trade Market or in the church office.                           
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Support Camp Onomia

As a Camp Onomia congregational member, Zion’s annual dues is $1,000. If you would be willing to sponsor the Camp for $20 to help meet our commitment, please fill in the info below and place it in the offering plate. Make checks payable to Zion and put Camp Onomia on the memo line. Envelopes are available on the kiosk for cash donations or go on line to www.camponomia.org to learn more about camp and how you can help make a difference.  

   Zion's Missionary

We have chosen to support The Rev. Linda Johnson Seyenkulo in Liberia as your new missionary. Linda grew up in Aikin, Minnesota.  (more info) In 2020, we will need 100 sponsors to give a gift of $20 to reach our goal of $2,000. If you'd like to be a sponsor, please sign the sheet in the Narthex or fill out the slip you'll find in the Sunday bulletin.

Linda joined us on July 8, 2018 for worship. She is an ordained ELCA pastor serving in Liberia, West Africa.  She is curriculum developer and teacher at the Louis T. Bowers Lay Leaders and Ministers Training Center in Totota, Liberia.  In addition, she is called as Associate Pastor at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Monrovia, Liberia. Her special areas are teaching New Testament, Bible Study Leader training, Theology and Preaching.  Pastor Linda is married to Rev. D. Jensen Seyenkulo who is the Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia. They have three children, Apu, Kenata, and Yongor who all reside in the U.S.  As a point of interest, Linda grew up in Aitkin, Minnesota and remembers high school athletic events between Milaca and Aitkin!

     Thrivent Action Teams


 If you’re a Thrivent Financial member, you can lead a Thrivent Action Team to bring people together for a one-time project to help others by coordinating an educational event, conducting a service activity, or organizing a fund raiser. Thrivent provides: Resources to help you plan the event, promotional items, and a Community Impact Card with $250 of seed money.
Learn more and apply online.          
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Direct Your Thrivent Choice Dollars®

Don’t Forget to Direct Choice Dollars® - Grant funding from Thrivent Financial through its Thrivent Choice program can help support organizations you care about. Don’t let Choice Dollars expire. Eligible Thrivent financial members who have Choice collars available have until March 31, 2020 to direct any remaining 2019 Choice Dollars. Help support Zion Lutheran Church. Go to Thrivent Choice to learn more. Or call 800-847-4836 and say “Thrivent Choice” after the prompt.



On the second Thursday of every month, Pastor Bauer from Trinity visits and provides a Service of Holy Communion for the residents and guests of the Elim Home and Country Meadows. If you would like to come and assist with the residents or simply come and participate, please do. The service begins at 2:30 p.m.
      Our Family Bar codes

Eunice Circle is collecting Teal's Market's Our Family bar codes to help the work of our church. We will receive five cents for every Our Family bar code when we send in batches of 500. This is an easy way we can make a difference. Bar codes can be put in the containers in the Narthex or the kitchen. Thanks!
          Solar Power now at
             Phebe Hospital !
    Now: "Current for Curran!"

While we often have a lot of questions when we or a loved one has to be in the hospital for tests or surgery, the one questions we rarely have to ask is, "Will the power go out?" We take our electricity for granted. But halfway around the world, power outages at Phebe Hospital occur daily - even during critical surgeries.  But now, Phebe Hospital has a reliable energy source - solar power  is in action as you read this.

 Phebe now has solar power and the plan is to do the same for Curran Hospital.  The project is called "Current for Curran!" Check back for details on that project. Both projects share the Facebook page called Skip the Grid.    

Please continue to pray for the people in Liberia who will benefit from these live-saving endeavors. Pray for the people dedicated to telling the story of how the light of the world saves lives in many ways.

See a few photos from Zion's Solar Sunday here.  Read a thank you note from Mary Jo Metzler here.

           Fair Trade Center
       1st Sunday of the month

Stop by the Fair Trades Center – On the first Sunday of the month, Women of the ELCA sell Fair Trade high quality coffee (whole bean or ground), tea and chocolate bars to support the alternative Fair Trade system that empowers farmers, strengthens communities and benefits the environment. 

We are located in the Narthex as you go into the Fellowship Hall for your refreshments. 

Fundraising with RADA Cutlery

RADA Cutlery can be purchased online with their Internet Fundraising program. Use the RADA Fund Raising page. RADA cutlery, plus other products (quick mixes, recipe books, etc.) Purchase using a credit/debit card or Paypal. Items are sent directly from RADA to you. Zion will receive 40% profit from each order. A great way to order gifts! Please make sure it shows: Your purchases will support the fundraiser for Zion Lutheran Church (Milaca, MN) across the top of the website; if it doesn’t, click on the Select your fundraising group tab and search for Zion Lutheran Church, Milaca MN. Feel free to share our link with family and friends.

      The 125th Anniversary
  Archive Cabinet

The cabinet is in place and has been dedicated! (see photos and news)

The cabinet is in the southwestern corner of the Fellowship Hall for all to enjoy. In the center is the baptismal fount that has been in the library. It will be lighted and contain 3/8 inch glass shelves with hidden door openers.

All the things that were hidden in the library are now in this cabinet.  We have two beautiful scrapbooks made by Eileen McBroom and Martha Norrgard.  We have pictures of the original church and old church directories and anniversary programs and lot lots more.
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          Save Your Teal’s
         Grocery Receipts

Don’t throw away those grocery receipts from Teal’s Market! Bring them to church and look for the marked basket in the kitchen. Jenny Niedzielski will turn them in every so often and Zion’s Youth Fund will receive a 1% rebate on qualifying purchases.

        Zion's Meal Ministry

Every once in a while someone from the congregation gets ill or has a death in the family. And when that happens, imagine the level of appreciation felt when someone from church shows up at the door with a ready to eat meal. Here at Zion, we have had individuals who have prepared meals for people who are going through tough and challenging times. This gesture of kindness was not only appreciated by the recipient. But it was also gratifying for those who prepared the meals. Zion's Meal Ministry is an effort to make this a formal ministry here at Zion and to create an efficient and organized way to provide this ministry to others. Does this sound like something YOU might be interested in getting involved with? If so, contact either Mary Rice or the Church Office (983-3368) and you will be contacted when the first organizational meeting is set.

Thank You...

to Randy Hemstad and everyone else who helped with the Men's Meatball Supper and the WELCA Bazaar.

to Jon Olson, Christine Nelson, Nicole Nelson, the Mikla Family, the Bengson Family, and Mary Rice & grandkids for ringing bells for the Salvation Army on December 14 at Teal’s Market.

to Leah Hjort for coordinating this year’s Sunday School Christmas program.

to everyone who participated in this year’s Santa Lucia Luncheon. An additional word of THANKS to Sandy Warmanen for her leadership role this year.

to everyone who responded to our Stewardship Campaign. With all these gifts, we now have money to stretch and grow as a church in 2020 and beyond.

to everyone who supported the Holiday Helping Hands program. This year, 226 children were the recipients of your generosity.

to the Zion Women of the ELCA who directed money from their Santa Lucia Luncheon for food cards from Teal’s Market for our Good Samaritan Fund.

Thank you, Zion!

Dear Zion Lutheran Church, 

Thank you for your gift received by ELCA World Hunger in December 2019. Through your gifts to ELCA World Hunger, you are embodying that love and sharing it with your neighbors around the world. Your generosity is getting at the root of hunger and poverty in over 60 countries including the United States. It is providing access to clean water, health care, agriculture, livestock, education, and peace and justice. You are joining the whole church as we work towards a just world where all are fed. God is with us, and God is working through you. Thank you for spreading light and love to so many in this season of hope. Dear people of Zion, your faithful generosity is ending hunger now and for generations to come. Thank you!
In Christ, Robin Brown, Mission Funding Director, Congregations

Thank you, Your gift will make an immediate impact in the lives of area families in need. You are making a difference! Thank you for your kindness! ($460 given by WELCA)
Tracey Sundvall, Milaca Area Pantry

Invest in Zion's Youth and help sponsor a Campership. Help provide the opportunity for more kids to go to camp.  A Campership will pay half  cost of camp - up to $200 for week-long camp and $100 for weekend or half-week camp. To receive a campership, fill out the Campership Request form. If you can help provide camperships, please do invest in our youth!
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Senior Game Afternoon
May  4th

Are you ready for some fun and games? There's a senior game afternoon is for Zion adult friends and family. The first Monday of every month at noon we will meet in Zion’s fellowship hall. Bring a dish to share or if you don’t cook, a bag of chips or jar of pickles will work just fine. Dominoes, card games, board games, puzzles, and cribbage can be played. Your ideas are all welcome!
Senior Dining Center

Please check with the Dining Site to see if they will be open.

Zion's Day at the Dining Site at the Hi-Rise is Wednesday, April 8th,  and the serving begins approximately at 11:30.  Come for the good food and the great fellowship.

Due to some changes at the Senior Dining Site everyone that plans on attending must sign up. We will have a sign-up sheet on the clip board Sunday morning or you can call the church office. You can no longer just walk in the day of the meal. Also you must have the exact amount because they will not be giving change.

Remember – you can come here to eat any weekday for $4.00 for people over 60. Come and pick up a menu and visit us often.

PS - No one over 60 will be denied a meal because they can't pay.

Tai Chi at Zion

Check back  in May

Each week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday a group meets to do Tai Chi in the “Peter” Sunday School room (NE room) at 9 a.m. Although tai chi is slow and gentle and doesn't leave you breathless, it addresses the key components of fitness — muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and, to a lesser degree, aerobic conditioning. Come join the group!

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                                                    Online Reflections

Interested in keeping 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 and click to sign up to receive weekly updates. Now you too can stay on top of what’s going on in our synod and church!

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)

Check with these events to see if they have been canceled.

Pearl Crisis Center’s 11th Annual Spring Fashion Show and Community Expo – Sunday, April 26th – Free event for all ages. 1-2 p.m. intro / volunteer appreciation and Community Ally Award; 2-3 p.m. fashion show; 3-4 p.m. live auction with Foreston Auction House. Events of the day: Pearl Ally Award, live & silent auctions, live entertainment, raffle tickets, drawings, prizes & items for sale by local vendors, music by Penni Custom Music and DJ. Proceeds from this event will support victims / survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and safe support for pets who are harmed by domestic violence.

Do you have a child, teen and/or adult with special needs in your home? Pease church had a program for many years that provided biblical instruction and enriching activities for these individuals. With time the program faded but we’re exploring the possibility of resurrecting it. Do you or someone you know have skill sets to provide leadership for such a program? Please let the church office know if you have an interest in helping Pease Church renew such a program.

               College Addresses

    We want to keep in touch with our college students. If you or someone you know is attending college, please contact the church office with the address information. We want to keep in touch with our young adults!

             Got Facebook?    

    If you are a Facebook user, type in “Zion Lutheran Church, Milaca, MN” and stay up-to-date on events and activities here at Zion!

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              for Worship

Consider providing flowers for the Altar at sometime during 2017. There is a sign up sheet on the bulletin board in the entryway.



Zion's Evangelism Team has a ministry called HomeTouch. A weekly mailing is sent to Zion's members who are homebound or restricted in their ability to get around, The mailing includes a devotional reading and an activity page. If you know of anyone in the congregation who is not already getting the mailing and should, please alert the church office or Jan Brown.

Worship Schedule

There is one Sunday service at 9 a.m. followed by the Fellowship Hour and Sunday School at 10:15 a.m..
More about worship. and what to expect on Sunday morning

Coffee and Fellowship on
Sunday Mornings

Each Sunday, we have a fellowship hour after worship. If you can serve coffee and bring a treat , please sign up to serve some Sunday.

WELCA and Circles

Come to WELCA's bi-monthly meetings, and be part of a Circle - morning for Eunice Circle or Esther Circle in the afternoon, September thru May. You can enjoy serving and learning and fellowship all at one time! See the calendar for meeting times.
More info about WELCA.

                                    So encourage one another and build each other up…                Top of page
1 Thessalonian 5:11