Ways to Serve in December

For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,
and to give his life a ransom for many.”
(Mark 10:45)

Didn't get to church? Visit GiveMN and give online. It's easy.

Zion's Meal Ministry: There is something comforting about a home cooked meal being delivered to your home, especially during challenging times. There is also something gratifying about being able to deliver a simple and nutritious meal to someone when they are too overwhelmed  with other concerns. It is with those sentiments in mind that Zion is launching a new ministry, a Meal Ministry. This ministry will involve a number of individuals  from our congregation who have indicated a willingness to prepare a simple meal to meet the needs of individuals at particular times in their lives. Someone who has experienced a death in the family, someone who is dealing with  medical issues, a family with a new baby, someone who has experienced a recent crisis, just to name a few examples.

Here's how it will work. When the office receives news of someone who might benefit from this ministry, we will contact Mary Rice, our Meal Ministry Maven, and she will contact with some or all of the Meal Ministers with information about who needs meals and the types of meals that might work best and the frequency. How can YOU help? Let us know about people who might benefit from this ministry. Offer to become a Meal Minister - many hands make light work!

Serve Zion by Joining a Committee: Check the calendar for committee meetings.

PV for Phebe is up and running!   In 2012, 17 members of the Women of the ELCA traveled to Liberia to visit and learn from the bold women who mobilized to end Liberia's civil war. The group visited Phebe Hospital, a Lutheran hospital founded in 1921. One of the biggest challenges at Phebe is the daily power outages due to generator failure  and fuel disruption. The solution? Solar power! At our NE MN Synod Assembly, our Heartland Conference brought a resolution to help our NE MN WELCA raise $200,000 to cover the cost of installing an array of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels at Phebe to contribute at least 75% of the hospital's energy needs with energy storage to allow the hospital to function for a day without direct sunlight. Now that Phebe has power, the next project is doing the same for the other Lutheran Hospital in Liberia - Curran Hospital. The new campaign is called "Current for Curran."

Noisy Offering: December 30th - As a part of our worship on the last Sunday of the month we will receive a NOISY OFFERING!  This is an opportunity to contribute your spare change and make some noise as the buckets are passed around. This monthly offering is especially designated for our ELCA Hunger Appeal. In November we received $102.64—Thank You! Year to date giving to the ELCA Hunger Appeal is $843.21.

Consider Simply Giving!  What is Simply Giving? Simply put it is a means to have your offering debited directly from your bank account as you do with other monthly drafts? Zion Lutheran offers electronic giving for those of you who wish to have your contributions transferred electronically to the church’s account. Contact the Church Office for more details 983-3368.

Small Toys Needed! If you have any small toys, such as from McDonald's Happy Meals, that you don't want, please bring them in for use in our "Pew Pals" bags. Thanks!

Help with Confirmation Check the Youth News Page for ways you can help with Confirmation by being a mentor or a Confirmation Guide.

Help Wanted for Technology/IT Team: Zion has a lot of tech stuff - TVs, DVD and VCR players, a wonderful sound system, and computers that will need attention and updating. We need a handful of individuals who will oversee and maintain these technology tools and guide us when it is time to update them. If you have an understanding of these things, please contact Pastor Blenkush (or call 320-983-3368) and we can set up a time to meet and plan and do an inventory.

Help with Sunday School:
Would you like to help with Sunday School in the fall? There are several ways you can do that.  Please prayerfully consider helping give our kids a great experience by volunteering. If you'd like to help, please call the church office to sign on - 320-983-3368 or email

Support Lutheran Outdoor Ministries - Did you know that when a child spends a week at Church/Bible Camp faith is lived out every hour of the day? Unlike most places we spend our time, campers are drawn into the ritual and rhythm of faithful life together. Want to make a difference in the life of our youth? Encourage them to attend one of our Lutheran Bible camps and/or be sure to support Zion’s Camperships and help make it financially possible for a child to go to camp this summer. For more information, see Pastor Blenkush

Church Council Committees always need more members to join these committees. If you are interested in becoming a member of any of these committees, please sign up on the sheet posted on the Information Kiosk.

Youth Readers - Zion is looking for additional 4th through 8th graders to read the lessons at worship on the last Sunday of every month.  Contact Christine for more information, christine@patientparents.com or 320-294-4022. 

Lutheran World  LWR is healing  all over the world. Help is needed in areas where hurricanes have done damage, where there is drought and famine and hunger,  where there are outbreaks of ebola - anywhere people are in need of help that LWR can supply. Please give whatever you can to Lutheran World Relief in one of these three ways:
1. Give through Zion (put your check in the offering plate with LWR in the memo space)
2. Send your check directly to LWR at this address:
     ELCA Disaster Relief Response
     39330 Treasury Center,
     Chicago IL 60694-9300
     On the memo line, write a note as to where you'd like help or write "Where Needed Most"
3. Go to the LWR web site and donate there.

LWR  helped with  Ebola outbreaks by supplying and shipping by air essential protective gear and supplies to medical workers at Phebe and Curran Hospitals in Liberia where our missionary Rev. Linda Johnson Seyenkulo is serving. Please consider supporting this effort.  Visit the web site in the previous paragraph or use the address above.

Lutheran Disaster Response is committed to walking with our brothers and sisters affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Operating through our partners and our companion churches, we are: - See more at: http://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/Our-Impact/Ebola#sthash.5NZCkvyD.dpuf
Lutheran Disaster Response is committed to walking with our brothers and sisters affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Operating through our partners and our companion churches, we are: - See more at: http://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/Our-Impact/Ebola#sthash.5NZCkvyD.dpuf

2018 Altar Flowers – You are invited to sign up for a Sunday of your choice to provide flowers for the altar. The sign-up sheet is posted on the entryway board.

Remembering the Poor and Hungry
If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday." – Isaiah 58:10

 From our NEMN Synod Hunger, Justice and Rural Life Concerns Committee Root Causes of Hunger in Our World: War and conflicts; Policies (land use, trade, leadership); Lack of infrastructure (roads, sewers, water, transportation); Birth rates (high birth rates due to felt need for more workers in families, high infant mortality rates encourages high birth rates, children are the "social security system" in many areas, little access to birth control); Education; Disease; Racial disparity; Economic structures resulting in wealth being concentrated in the hands of a few; Low wages; Debt.

We can help through: Contacts with Congress and other government leaders encouraging legislation that helps fight hunger; Our support of the ELCA World Hunger program and Lutheran World Relief, programs that focus on development; Our support of local food banks, sustainable farming, and farmers' markets.

 Thrivent Choice Dollars 
Thrivent has provided nearly $225 million to help churches, educational institutions, and other nonprofit organizations through the Thrivent Choice® charitable grant program. Eligible members can take advantage of this charitable grant program and member benefits by directing Choice Dollars® to organizations they are passionate about. For more information on how you can direct your Choice Dollars to Zion Lutheran Church visit Thrivent Choice or call 800.847.4836. If you have choice dollars, each year you have until March 31st to direct your Choice Dollars.
Thrivent Action Teams
If you’re a Thrivent Financial member, you can lead a Thrivent Action Team (twice a year) 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 at Thrivent Action Teams and apply online.
Zion's Congregational Advocates will be Mary Jo Gruba, Ruth and Dick Meleen, and Jan Brown. Their job will be to work with congregational leaders and Thrivent members to understand the needs and ministries of the congregation and partner with Thrivent representatives and Rum River Chapter leaders to meet those needs. The congregational advocates will each receive additional Thrivent Choice Dollars to allocate for serving in the role. Contact Director of Congregational advocates Karen Edmison (983-3368 or 763-389-3397) to obtain more information.

Missionary Sponsorship -  We need 100 gifts of $20 to support our missionary, Rev. Linda Johnson Seyenkulo, in 2018.  Linda is based in Totola, Liberia, and you can read more about her here. Fill out the slip in the bulletin or sign up on the sheet in the Narthex.

Save your Teal's 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.
to the church kitchen. We receive a percentage of each of your purchases!
Also save your Our Family bar codes. Eunice Circle is collecting them and we will receive five cents per bar code when we have a batch of 500. There are collection containers in the kitchen and in the Narthex.

Evangelism Team :  Any one who has an interest in expanding the love and grace of God are welcome to join this team. We meet once a month on Sunday morning between services. You can make yourself available for one event or project or many.  The Evangelism Team has been instrumental in the following ministries: Get to Know Zion Events, New Member Reception,  the Blessing of the Golden Couples, the clothing drive for the Marie Sandvik Center, Meals on Wheels, the Noisy Offerings for Lutheran World Relief, coordinating Zion’s Missionary Support, ministry to Zion’s homebound members, the Prayer Shawl Ministry, to name just a few. If there is a ministry that you are passionate about that would either reach out to the wider community or nurture our congregational community—we would love to hear about it. So, come join the conversation! Watch the monthly calendar for meeting days.

Wanted: Joggers! Zion's Joy of Giving Team is looking for individuals interested in learning more about faithful stewardship and promoting the joy-filled giving here at Zion. The 2018 JOY  Team Organizing meeting will be held on  Tuesday, April 10th at 6:30 p.m.. Can't make it but interested? Contact Pastor Blenkush.

Centennial Legacy - Zion’s Endowment Committee has established the Centennial Legacy, an opportunity to give thanks to those individuals and families who have contributed up and beyond $100 to Zion’s Endowment Fund. You may have noticed the plaque that has been placed in the entry to Centennial Hall with the names of those individuals who have shared from their generosity in honor or memory of others. If you would like more information on the Centennial Legacy, please contact one of the Endowment Committee Members: Duane Dahlstrom, Rob DeBoer, Harley Eggen, Mary Jo Gruba,or Rich Mycue.

Circles of Hope -March 1st–  Lonely? Living on Little? Emotionally Drained? Struggling? Need a free home-cooked meal? Discouraged? Wondering where God is? Then you should try Circles of Hope. Join us for a free meal and encouragement at Zion Lutheran on the first Thursday of every month at 6 PM.  There is something for everyone – adults, kids, and infants. For more information, contact Mary Roelofs at 612-390-5964. Read more about Circles of Hope.

Thanks to a gift from the estate of Arnold Meleen, we were able to pay off the mortgage!

Volunteers Needed! Looking for a way to give back to the community? Want to make a difference in someone’s life? Volunteer at Fairview Northland Medical Center! We are currently looking for volunteers to help with a variety of projects at our medical center in Princeton. Shifts are available 7 days a week and  3-4 hours long from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. . Contact Fairview’s Volunteer Services or call 763-389-6565 for more info.

Heartland Home Health Care & Hospice Volunteer Training – You are invited to enrich your life and make a difference in the lives of others by becoming a Hospice Volunteer. We encourage you to consider joining our team by attending volunteer training. Heartland provides care that is comforting and compassionate, and volunteers play a vital role in that care. In caring for the mind, body and spirit of those facing a life limiting illness, volunteers offer support with friendly visits, giving a break to family members, assisting in the office, sharing in the final journey of patients and bereavement care. The schedule is flexible, and volunteers choose how much time and where they would like a volunteer. For more info please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at (877) 249-8836. This could be one of the most rewarding calls you ever make.

Zion's Camperships: An Opportunity to Give and Make A Difference
Did you know that 17 of Zion’s youth are going to one of our Lutheran Church Camps this summer?  Because Zion Lutheran encourages its young people to attend our Lutheran Bible/Church camps, Camperships are a way to make these wonderful experiences possible.  To receive a Campership, pick up a Campership form, fill it out and return it to the Church Office. Camperships pay for half of the cost for camp, up to $100 for a weekend or half-week camp, or up to $200 for a week long camp. The church Treasure will send your Campership to the camp. Please fill out separate forms for each child if you have more than one child attending camp. Want to help, your financial contributions to the Campership Fund will help make all this possible. See Pastor Blenkush for more information

Join the Senior Companion Program! - Spend just 15 hours a week: make new friends, receive a tax-free financial reimbursement and have the personal satisfaction that you are helping others. Senior Companions provide companionship, transportation and errand assistance to elderly community members, allowing them to continue to live independently in their own home. Qualifications are that you must be at least 60 years of age and willing to give back to your community with just 15 hours a week. Please call 888-205-3770 for an application and more information. Sponsored by Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Minnesota Department of Aging.

Give Zion a Gift for your birthday - Looking for a great way to celebrate your birthday? How about a gift to Zion? There are a number of places to give and support that would benefit Zion’s mission and ministry. Consider one or more of the following opportunities:
+    Help provide Camperships to Zion’s Youth
+    Zion’s Endowment Fund

Sign Up: to serve coffee and treats on a Sunday morning. Check the sign up sheet for available dates or call the office.

Commit Random Acts of Kindness: Any time is a good time to commit a random act of kindness for a friend, a neighbor, a family member, or a stranger. Need ideas? Click here!

Community Service: Watch the bulletin and newsletter for more opportunities to serve by working with the Milaca Area Food Pantry, Meals on Wheels, and Elim Coffee hours. Zion does each for a month every year.

Check the Lutheran World Relief web site for ways to help around the world.

Serve in the Altar Guild: Help prepare for worship for a month of Sundays each year. See Mary Anderson.

Maintain Church Property: If you're handy or just willing to work, call the church office about helping with maintenance.

Quilting: Come and help make quilts for Lutheran World Relief and for graduating seniors, and quilt auctions for fund raisers. If you can thread a needle, tie a knot or use a scissor, you can be a part of this warm ministry. We meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month, September thru May from 9a.m. - 1 p.m. And we will meet once a month in the summer - the first Wednesday. Bring a lunch. If you can't come for the whole time, come for whatever time you can. You'll be welcomed with smiles!
OR - if you would be willing to sew blocks into quilt tops at home, give Carole a call at 983-3537. The quilters have been cutting blocks and we need people to put them together.
And remember we can always use sheets (full or larger) in good condition for quilt backs, and fabric(cotton, cotton blends, flannel) for quilt squares.

Prayer Shawl Ministry: If you can knit and purl - or if you can crochet - you can make a Prayer Shawl to bring the warmth and comfort of Zion's prayers to someone who is going through difficult times. We have yarn and needles for anyone who wants to make a shawl thanks to generous gifts from WELCA and other Zion members. The yarn is soft and the shawl pattern is simple and can be knit or crocheted. Talk to Jan Brown if you would like to be part of this ministry.

More than Prayer Shawls - "Hooks and Needles":we meet the first Tuesday of the month at 2 p.m. in Zion's Library. Even If you can't meet with us you can still be part of Hooks and Needles by working on one of our projects on your own. We make prayer shawls, afghans for the Hospice Care Unit in Onamia, wristlets for Elim, lap robes for the VA Hospital, and chemo caps. If you have leftover yarn you want to get rid of, we will gladly take it and use it well. Call or text Jan (320-362-1181) or 
email her for more information, patterns, yarn, etc. We meet the first Tuesday of the month. 
Got Extra Yarn? If you have any leftover yarn, Hooks and Needles can make use of it and make something useful from it! And if you would like to use your leftover yarn for something useful yourself, come join us the first Tuesday of the month.

Health & Prayer Concerns - If you know of anyone who is ill, hospitallized, 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 (checked every night) or by contacting Pastor Blenkush’s voice mail. Prayer requests may be included in our public prayers on Sunday morning by contacting the church office or by submitting the request to Pastor Blenkush in writing prior to the service.

Join a Circle:  Circles meet once a month from September thru May. Each meeting includes a Bible study, great fellowship, and something good to eat. Check dates and times on the monthly calendar. The Circle chair-persons are listed on the staff page - give them a call. Eunice Circle meets in the morning and Esther Circle meets in the afternoon, so choose the time that works best with your schedule. Either Circle would welcome you! Check the calendar for Circle meetings.

W.E.L.C.A.: The next meeting is November 15th, at 2 p.m. V
isit the Zion Women's Page and come to the meetings to enjoy fellowship and learn how you can help with the many projects the women do every year.

Join Zion’s Musical Ministry:  Zion's Alleluia Ringers – New ringers are always welcome in Zion’s handbell choir. Practices are Wednesdays at 6:00 pm. If you are interested or have questions, please call Karen Edmison (983-3368 or 763-389-3397).

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