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Helping Hands 2019

Holiday Helping Hands 2019 - 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 in to church by December 15th. 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.

Poinsettia Fundraiser
for our Youth!

To help our youth who are heading on a mission trip to Denver this summer, order a 6” ($18) or 8” ($25) poinsettia. Limited quantities of red and white poinsettias are available. Plants will be available on Thursday, December 12th, and you may take them home, or leave them at church for Christmas,. The youth will be selling them at the Advent Festival on December 1st or you may call the church office with your order (983-3368).

Farewell & Godspeed

On Sunday, January 27, 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.

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 just 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.

Newsletter News!

In an effort to save time, resources, and money, next month the Zion Chronicle will be sent out by email. If we do not have an email address for you, you will receive the newsletter by mail. Please email the church with your email address if you think the church does not have your address or you have a specific one you would like it to be sent to.  Thank you.

Zion’s Advent Festival
December 1st

and Deck the Halls too!

Young and old, everyone is invited for a morning of activities on Sunday, December 1st following the 9 a.m. service. Join us for crafts, food, fun, and fellowship. We’ll begin with holiday activities and then end with a stuffed baked potato dinner.

And also...

Deck the Halls! 
On December 1st - Zion’s Altar Guide would like to invite everyone to help deck the halls and decorate the Christmas trees here at Zion. Want to help? Join us following the service  for the Advent Festival, baked potato lunch, and tree trimming!

Order your Christmas Krumkake!

It's a traditional Swedish Christmas cookie that is delicately delicious and keeps well. Order yours soon! Zion women will be making the krumkake on Thursday, December 5th and you can pick up your boxes on Friday, December 6th. Pick up times and more information can be found here. The krumkake are just $6 per dozen and will taste  even better on Christmas than they do the day you pick them up!

Pop Up New-To-You Christmas Sale 12/7

 WELCA will be sponsoring a New-To-You Christmas Sale on Saturday, December 7th, from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. in the Education wing entryway (NW door). Stop in and shop. If you have some used Christmas treasures that you no longer need or want, please drop them off at church by December 5th and we will find them a new home.

The Santa Lucia Luncheon December 13th!

Santa Lucia Luncheon is December 13th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Join us for a traditional Swedish meal and music by the Swedish Singers. Cost is $10.  Proceeds will be shared by benevolences supported by the women of Zion.

Köttbullar [meatballs]
Bruna Bönor [beans]
Grön Sallad [cole slaw]
Röd Betor [beet pickles]
Rågbröd [rye bread]
Julbrod [Christmas bread]
Risgrynsgröt [rice pudding]
Julbakelser [Christmas cookies]
Kaffe [coffee]

All Zion families are asked to bring 2-dozen cookies. Those women not supplying food for the luncheon are asked to donate $5.  Money may be given to the WELCA chairpersons, Ardy Becklin, Carol Kiel, Sandy Warmanen, or the church office.
Read Santa Lucia's Story here

Christmas Cheer Baskets

Christmas Cheer Baskets - Zion WELCA will be preparing Christmas Cheer 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 5th. Helpers are needed to prepare and deliver the gift baskets at 1 p.m. on December 16th. 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.

Lutheran World Relief  School Kits!

LWR School Kits - Zion’s Women or the ELCA will be collecting items for Lutheran World Relief School Kits. Each kit contains eight items:
+     Four 70-sheet notebooks (280-300 sheets total) of wide- or college-ruled paper        about 8” X 10½”; no loose-leaf paper
+     One 30-centimeter ruler, or a ruler with centimeters and inches
+     One pencil sharpener
+     One pair of blunt scissors (safety embedded steel blades work well)
+     Five unsharpened #2 pencils with erasers
+     Five black or blue ballpoint pens (no gel ink)
+     One box of 16 or 24 crayons
+     One 2½” eraser

    WELCA will be collecting these items through September. If you have question, please contact Ardy Becklin (320.983.2443) or Carole Kiel (320.983.3537).

    Guidelines: Please give new items only. Please do not donate items with any religious symbols or messages. Please do not donate any items decorated with a U.S. flag, patriotic or military symbols, or references to the armed forces, including camouflage.

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.

Free Organ Lessons!


Dale Hunter has offered to give free organ lessons
to stimulate interest in organ playing in the community, If you are interested, please call Dale at 320-982-2876 or call the church office at 320-983-3368 or email office@zionmilaca.org.  

Second Annual FIKA!

Our FIKA last year was so much fun,  so we did it again! Zion hosted a very special event March 30th. Zion member and artist, Andrea Mikla, provided a presentation on flower arranging and the guests enjoyed a Scandinavian coffee time luncheon. 

Read more about "How to Fika"

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). Please register by March 15th to get the early bird discount. Your campership can act as your deposit to ensure the discounted price with the remainder to be paid by June 1.

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).  Our first practice will be September 4th at 6 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. but in September, that will be September 10th! 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 (September 4th) and third (September 18th) 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.

               Donuts 4 Debt - November 24th

On the last Sunday of each month Zion’s Evangelism Team is providing donuts for our Fellowship Hour. Your Freewill donation will help us “nibble away” at our Debt Reduction effort. In July we collected $41.74

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

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.  

The Summer Picnic is Over 

- Your friends at Camp Onomia would like to invite you to attend one of our awesome events scheduled for this fall and winter. We are celebrating 70 years of Lutheran Outdoor Ministries on the shores of Shakopee Lake, and our list of awesome resources for you just keeps on growing! Check out our web pages in the coming days for details and downloadable flyers!

December 7-8 – PLUNGE (High School retreat)
January 24-26 – ELEMENTARY CHILL (grades 3-6 retreat)
February 21-23 – MIDDLE SCHOOL BLAST! – (grades 6-9)
March TBD – BIBLE & BREW (study with the Bishop)
April 20-21 – CHURCH OFFICE WORKERS (retreat)

   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 2019, 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

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 12th at 10 a.m.

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 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.     You can help by ordering Krumkake!

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 1st

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. 

Christmas is Coming! On December 1st,  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!

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.

          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 Mary Rice or the Church Office (983-3368) and you will be contacted when the first organizational meeting is set.

Thank You...

to Mary Anderson and Ardy Becklin for planting flowers in the pots by the entry doors.

to Chris & Nicole Nelson for planting flowers and vegetables in the flower beds in the front of the church.

to everyone who donated items, set up and ran the Rummage Sale during the week of July 25-27.

to Zion’s Ice Cream Stand helpers during RecFest.

to everyone who contributed to our VBS program to help defray the costs.

to Andrea Mikla for creating and donating the pineapple basket for the NE MN Synod Marketplace.

to Randy Hemstad for trimming the tree on the SE lawn.

to everyone who helped serve coffee hour on Sunday afternoons at the Elim Home during the month of July.

to Sarah Larsen for another great week of Pre-school VBS here at Zion!

to Rich Mycue and Duane Dahlstrom for setting up the purchase and installation of a new water heater.

to Ardy Becklin, Gary Edmison, Jon Olson, Donna Maitland, Bruce Hoskins, Diane Dahlstrom, Alvin & Marilyn Gunnink, Rick Kiel, Tom & Barb Burk, and Nicole for working at the Milaca Food Pantry on Thursdays during the month of August.

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

Community Choir

Milaca Community Choir’s production of the Messiah could use more singers. The rehearsals are on Tuesdays at 6pm at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. The performance is on Sunday, December 1st. You can register and contact the director at their website: milacamessiah.xyz.

All who are interested in singing or playing, or taking part in any way, are welcome!
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 Game Afternoon
December 2nd

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 as this event takes off and grows.
Senior Dining Center

Zion's Day at the Dining Site at the Hi-Rise is Thursday, December 12th, (Note the change of date) and the serving begins approximately at 11:30. The menu includes country fried steak, mashed potatoes, cinnamon carrots, frosted cake, and beverage of your choice.  Come and enjoy the meal and the fellowship.

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.

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 or 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…
1 Thessalonian 5:11