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Your children are welcome to join in for some fun-filled times of learning about God and forming new friendships! Amor Rocks is our Sunday School program that meets during the school year at 8:40am (before the 10am service). Not only do the kids engage in faith-learning, but they also participate in worship by singing songs, giving seasonal presentations, enjoying children's sermons.
Confirmation is a two-year program where the faith of our 8th and 9th graders are built up by studying the Bible, the Small Catechism, and the Lutheran tradition. Classes meet with the pastor twice each month during the school year, except during Lent when students participate in mid-week services. Students also serve as acolytes in worship and each is assigned a mentor who aids their instruction.
First Communion instruction is offered for children in grades 4 and up usually every other year. In the class sessions we talk about the meaning of Holy Communion, the Biblical history of Holy Communion, and what it means for us today. We also have a special project where the students create their own chalice (cups) for their first Communion under the direction of Lori Charest of The Potter Daughter pottery shop.
Mission Jamaica is a short-term "vacation with a purpose" mission experience in which Zion participates with over 35 other ELCA congregations throughout the country. Our missionaries assist needy families in constructing new homes and help with the care of children of disabilities.
We started the Mission Jamaica program when a couple from our congregation went with Immanuel Lutheran in Wadena in 2005. Our first year of bringing a group was in 2006 and we have been sending a group of missionaries every year since then! This year, 2016, we had 32 people on the trip! Most often we have groups of 22- 32. In 20112 we began taking youth in grades 11 – 12 on the trip. This year we had a total of 10 youth (7 from Battle Lake, 3 from Wichita, KS who have come three years in a row with their grandparents and other family members).
We serve at the Westhaven Children’s Home—a residence for orphans, children with mental and physical handicaps. We help with the regular routines of feeding, bathing, and caring for the children as well as playing with them and passing on Christ’s love to them. There are always maintenance and construction projects for us to work on as well.
We also have built many homes for destitute Jamaican families and elderly persons while we are there. We have a strong contingent of folks who work with a program called, “Jabode” which stands for “Jamaican Abode.” We build a very basic ‘shell’ house that gives the new owner a safe home to raise their family.
In addition to our mission activity we also stay at a nearby resort where we return each evening to get refreshed and rested for the next day’s work. There are nightly devotions led by our pastor and other pastors who may be on the trip. We have a couple days to rest and relax or tour Jamaica before heading home. On our trip we get to know the Jamaican people and develop friendships with them and with missionaries from other parts of the USA which are renewed each time we return. We worship on Sunday in a native Jamaican congregation which is an enriching experience as we share our common faith in Jesus Christ.
This is a very rewarding trip! We welcome adults from other churches to come with us. Our sign up time usually begins in late summer with our first deposit (refundable) due in mid-September. Our trips take place the end of January/beginning of February each year. In 2017 we will be going January28 – February 4. More information can be found by calling the church office, or emailing Pastor Gronbeck. Check out the photos of past trips on this website
"But now more than ever the word of Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their disease." (Luke 5:15, NRSV).
"When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured." (Luke 9:11, NRSV).
Zion has an annual mission to the Philippines to provide medical and dental care, as well as spiritual counseling, serving nearly 2000 patients!