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Zion's Annual Meeting will be held on January 27. 

Our Chili Fest will also be on that Sunday.

 Christmas Krumkake

Christmas Krumkake  – Women of Zion Lutheran Church in Milaca made and are selling Krumkake, a Scandinavian cone shaped waffle cookie, as a fund raiser. Buy and save for Christmas - they just get better every day! The cost is $6 a dozen. 
 All proceeds will go to "Current for Curran" to bring reliable solar electricity to the other Lutheran Hospital in Liberia - Curran Hospital.. Thrivent provided seed money for this project!

Christmas Poinsettias – You may purchase a poinsettia through church or purchase one yourself. Orders from the Depot Floral are being taken today through Dec. 10. Cost is $16.99 per plant. Make checks payable to Zion. If you are bringing in a poinsettia, please have it here by Dec. 14. If you would like your plant in memory or honor of a loved one, please fill in the info below and place in the offering plate.  Poinsettias will be in church through Christmas Eve. 
Christmas Cheer Baskets
December 10th

Christmas Gift Baskets - Zion WELCA will be preparing Christmas gift baskets for all members of our church family who are 80 years old or older. Anyone who does not wish to receive a gift basket please call the church office before December 7th. Helpers are needed to prepare and deliver the gift baskets at 1:00 pm on December 10th. If you would like to donate wrapped hard candy, cookies, Christmas breads, or money for fresh fruit, please talk to Ardy Becklin or Carol Kiel.

Find Christmas Gifts at the WELCA Fair Trade Center December 9th

Christmas is Coming! On December 9 our WELCA Fair Trade Center will be open. Please consider buying a gift of delicious coffee, tea or hot chocolate for gifts or some yummy candy bars for stocking stuffers. We also sell beautiful knife sets.  “Milaca’s Best” Cookbook would make an ideal Christmas gift. It would be a threefold blessing. One for the recipient, one for the growers, and one for you the giver. Stop by and see us!

Holiday Helping Hands 2018!
It’s our hope to help as many struggling area families as possible, with the focus on providing gifts for children.  There is a tag tree located in the bay window. Take a mitten tag that gives the child’s gender, age, and clothing size along with requested gift items. Gifts must be new. You do not have to buy everything on the tag, only what you feel comfortable giving. We’d like all gift donations by December 10th. Your mitten tag must accompany your gift(s) so the correct items go to the appropriate child. Do not wrap gifts, but you can include gift wrap or a gift bag with your items. If you have question, call the church office.
Todd Lines Concert & Sing-a-long December 16th

The tradition continues…Todd Lines will join us on December 16th at 2 pm. You are invited to come enjoy a delightful variety of secular and sacred Christmas favorites as well as the chance to sing-a-long. This is a great way to help celebrate this joyous season
Music Sundays

The Zion Worship & Music Committee met recently and discussed ideas to enhance our worship experience. On the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month, we are looking for musical artists to share their talents as soloists, duets or ensembles of either choral or instrumental traditional or modern Christian music. We will also continue communion on these Sundays, but it will be progressive, which means that we will come up the center aisle to receive communion at the steps rather than around the altar. We hope to hear from interested musicians (or if you know of musicians who would like to perform on those Sundays). We are also still searching for a Choir Director, so share your thoughts with either Pastor Blenkush or Council music and worship committee liaison Christine Nelson, 612-718-9733.

Faith on Tap
January 22nd

Back in the day when Martin Luther would host regular Table Talks, a time when students and colleagues of Martin and the other reformers would gather at table with perhaps a little something to eat something drink. Rumor has because Luther was a good German, their might have been a beer or two consumed! The point of the Table Talks was not on the choice of beverage but on the conversation on matter of faith and the love and grace of God. In the spirit of Luther and the Table Talks, Pastor Blenkush and Pastor Bauer from Trinity are hosting a monthly “Faith on Tap” at Timber Valley Grill on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. Anyone is invited to come, pull up a chair, order the beverage of your choice (adult beverage, soda, coffee, whatever) and join the conversation as we explore the vocabulary of our faith. In other words, on a given Sunday or what ever Bible studies are held, we use words like faith, grace, salvation, redemption, justification and so many more. The question is, what do these words mean and why do they matter? The goal is to explore and discuss how these words shape our faith and life. Come join the conversation!

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 the next time you shop at Amazon.
"Yoga by Becky Cooper"

Becky Cooper will conduct a 7-week yoga session for $70  Classes will be held on Thursday’s at 5:30-6:30p.m. on  December 13th, 20th, and 27th,  January 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st at Zion.   
You will be registered once payment is made by December 6th (or before 😊). Checks should be written to: “Becky Cooper” 303 13th Street NE Milaca MN 56353.  Cash will only be accepted in person only -  please don’t send cash in the mail. You can find me on Facebook  for yoga tidbits and class updates.
Zion Handbells: Ring Out!

New ringers are always welcome in Zion’s handbell choir - the Alleluia Ringers. Practices are Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. If you are interested or have questions, please call Karen Edmison (983-3368 or 763-389-3397). 

Milaca Wolves Snack Pack
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. Items include: Instant Oatmeal, Ramen Noodles, Cheez-It Crackers, Juice Boxes, Granola Bars, Pop-Tarts, 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, etc. Donations can be brought here to Zion and will be distributed through the school. Thank You!

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 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 s quilter! Bring a lunch.

Photos from the Fika!

Come see a lot of photos from the Swedish Fika - a LOT of photos! If you were there, you are in at least one of these photos, so page thru them and find yourself.
Key Committees!

Check out one (or more) of these committee meetings and find out how you can serve Zion!

 Evangelism Team
 Joy of Giving Team 
 125th Anniversary Committee
 Worship and Music Ministry Team .

Talk to Pastor Blenkush and watch the calendar for meeting times.

               Donuts 4 Debt 12/30

On the last Sunday of each month Zion’s Evangelism Team is providing donuts for our Fellowship Hour.

Your free will donation will help us “nibble away” at our Debt Reduction effort. 

In September we collected $127.25

Every little bite helps!

The tastiest 125th Anniversary fund raiser is now 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. The cookbooks are only $17 each or 2 for $35. Look for them on the table at the Fair Trade Market or in the church office.
Support Camp Onomia

We are very fortunate to have been able to offer a campership to all those attending a church camp in the past. 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 can be picked up at church. Contact, Pastor Steve, the church office, or Jenny Niedzielski if you have any question about this.

   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 2018, 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 8th 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

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.

              December 13th


On the second Thursday of every month, Pastor Blenkush and Pastor Bauer from Trinity visit and provide 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 10 a.m.
      Our Family Bar codes

Eunice Circle is collecting 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 !
    Next: "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.

 In 2014, the Women of the ELCA pledged to support a portion of a $2.5 million dollar solar photovoltaic (PV) installation at Phebe to provide the hospital with consistent and reliable energy. Now it is about to happen! The ship carrying the container filled with the last equipment needed for installation sailed January 23rd and installation began in March of 2017.  Mary Jo Metzler who got WELCA involved in PV4Phebe got to help pack that final shipment.

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

The next Fair Trade Center will be on Sunday,  December 9th

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. They also sell boxed greeting cards, packages of decorative napkins, and knives and cutlery. “Milaca’s Best” Cookbook and 125th anniversary mugs are also for Sale! We are located in the Narthex as you go into the Fellowship Hall for your refreshments. Helping others is our goal. Praise God!

        Quasquicentennial (125th)
 Anniversary of Zion!


This year,  Zion Lutheran has been celebrating its 125th Anniversary. Together we set a series of goals that included marking this milestone by lifting up the ministries of the congregation, stirring a spirit of revitalization and paying down the debt. Check the 125th Anniversary Calendar for details of what we have done and what still lies ahead. In order to assist with the debt reduction, we  had an assortment of fund raisers - selling cookbooks, coffee mugs, host meals at member homes, and much more. We kicked off the year on Sunday, Jan. 28, with the dedication of our new Archive Cabinet and a Congregational Brunch. If you have question or ideas, contact either Pastor Stephen Blenkush or our planning team chair Mark Boggs

      The 125th Anniversary
  Archive Cabinet

The cabinet is in place and has been dedicated! (see photos and get 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 glass shelves with hidden door openers.

All the things that are hidden in the library that no one knows about will go into 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.

          Save Your Teal’s
         Grocery Receipts

Don’t throw those grocery receipts from Teal’s Market away! 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 Pastor Blenkush or the Church Office (983-3368) and you will be contacted when the first organizational meeting is set.

Thank You...

to everyone who donated to the repair of the chimney and stucco work. Larry & Shirley Rosenberg, Jan Brown, Brad & Donna Maitland, Bruce & Michele Hoskins, Steve & Lisa Sauer, John & Ardy Becklin, Virginia Wills, Joe & Janelle Knapp, Carrie Fanum, Kirby Allen, Krista Anderson, Ted Anderson, Lloyd Anderson, John & Dean Fransen, Dennis & Jackie Hjort, Don & Virginia Christensen, Ryan & Jessica DeBoer, Mary Anderson, Rich & Judy Mycue, Tim & Kim Lubrant, and donations from the Boggs home hosted meal. Special thanks to Ron Weyer who is overseeing the project. The stucco work was more extensive than originally planned and the lift needed to be at the church for a longer period. We are still taking donations to complete this needed project. Put chimney or stucco on the memo line of your checks. If your name has been omitted, please advise the office.

to Randy Hemstad and the many others, who worked hard and behind the scenes peeling potatoes, preparing meatballs, making pies, setting up, serving, and cleaning up after this year’s Meatball Supper.

to everyone who helped with or donated things to the Silent Auction and Bake Sale.

to everyone who helped make last Sunday’s Homecoming Sunday such an endearing event! The 125th Planning Team, Zion’s WELCA for decorating, the Church Council for serving the meal, for Chris Nelson, Joni Norrgard, the Alleluia Ringers for the wonderful music and most of all, for each of you who were able to participate in the celebration.

to everyone who generously contributed children’s books for Operation Community Connect!

to Virginia Wills for making up another batch of New Member Bags!

to Nicole Nelson for leading the Acolyte Training event in October.

to everyone who helped make Homecoming Sunday such an endearing event! The 125th Planning Team, Zion’s WELCA for decorating, the Church Council for serving the meal, for Chris Nelson, Joni Norrgard, the Alleluia Ringers for the wonderful music and most of all, for each of you who were able to participate in the celebration.

to Pastor Blenkush for all the photos he takes.

to Ron Weyer for overseeing the stucco repair. 

to Mark Boggs for chairing the 125th Anniversary Committee.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”   
 (Luke 6:38)



Stewardship Matters

Many of us cherish everything about the Christmas season -- except those incessant advertisements telling us to buy this and buy that. We ask, “Where’s Jesus in all this commercialism?”

This is the right question. Though it asks us to examine every aspect of our lives, stewardship particularly challenges us to question the role money plays in our personal lives and our culture.
Christmas presents are wonderful expressions of love that makes both giver and recipient feel good. At the same time, we want to be wary of advertising’s lure to make us overspend, or to think that the cost of our gift is proportionate to our love.
Most of all, we need to be sure that the main point of our Christmas is not the gifts we give, but the gift we receive from God – Jesus. Here are some ideas:
Challenge yourself to spend less for presents this year. Set a budget and stick to it.
Attend worship regularly in Advent and Christmas.
Give some handmade presents: A scarf or hat, a photo album, a batch of fudge, a card, a poem.
Prayerfully read Advent daily devotions (Richard Rohr’s Preparing for Christmas is amazing!).
Give your time: a concert together, a shared meal, a day at a museum, a walk in the woods
Use an Advent calendar to help you remember all that God has given you.
Give service: wash a loved one’s car, help clean the garage, paint a room, babysit for an evening.
Play Christmas music that has religious themes (More “Silent Night,” less “Frosty the Snowman.”)
Instead of buying a present, make a donation to a charitable organization in honor of your loved one (or check out ELCA Good Gifts!).
Make a generous year-end contribution to your congregation.
Our thoughtful practices for Advent and Christmas not only make for good stewardship of our time, talents, relationships and money, they also help us to draw near to Our Lord and experience God’s greatest gift to us.

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!

       Help us keep in touch!

If you have changed from a landline to a cell phone or if you do most of your calling and receiving of messages on your cellphone, please share those numbers with the Church Office. Thanks!


Senior Dining Center

Many of you are aware of the noon meal offered Monday through Friday at a cost of $4.00 to anyone over 60 at this site. In order to keep this in operation we need others than the residents of Milaca Apartments to come to dine with us. The churches in the area are invited to choose a day each month to attend and enjoy a meal with us. I have volunteered to keep the Zion members informed and look forward to having a group come the second Wednesday of each month.  

The next Zion's Day at the Dining Site is Wednesday, December 12th. 
Please come and join us and enjoy the great meal, fun and fellowship. The menu is sweet & sour pork, rice, oriental vegetables, fortune cookies, and Mandarin oranges. 
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.

                                                    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!

               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!

              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.
More about worship.

Home Visits
by Pastor

Has Pastor Blenkush been invited to your home for a visit? If not, please feel free to give him a call, talk to him in person or fill out the blue communion card. He would love to stop in for a visit!

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 for a Sunday.

Tuesday Morning
Bible Study

Join us for Tuesday Morning Bible Study where we look at the Gospel for the coming Sunday and talk about it. Not only will you learn something new, you'll also have a good and interesting time!

WELCA and Circles

Come to WELCA's bi-monthly meetings, and be part of a Circle - morning or afternoon. 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…
1 Thessalonian 5:11