Frequently Asked Questions
What is unique about Zion?
Zion is a joyful, loving, diverse group of Christians who enjoy being part of this congregation. We are a Lutheran congregation with a history of working closely with other churches. Music, education, families, fellowship, and opportunities to serve others are important. We are located on a lovely 8 acre wooded site, overlooking the near downtown area, on the edge of the Westnedge Hill neighborhoods. Wildlife, trees, and flower gardens abound.
Zion is a 150+ year old congregation that continues to look for new ways to celebrate and share Christ. We have a newly renovated building that provides easy access to worship, fellowship and classes on our main level. We have an elevator should you need access to other levels and are unable to utilize stairs.
How do I get there?
We are located two blocks south of Howard Street, where Bronson Boulevard and Crosstown Parkway merge. The church is on the west side of the road, on the top of the hill. Our entrance is on Peeler Street.
What does your congregation "look" like?
We have people of all ages. We encourage children to be "in" worship and adults to be "in" classes. Many of our members are in engaged in education, medicine, science, and service vocations. We have stay at home moms and retired grandparents. We have single parent families and college students. Visitors comment on the friendliness and warmth of our members. Our only agenda is to celebrate Christ in worship and share his love in our daily living. We do not see Zion as a private club but rather a group of people who are loved by God and want to share that love in how we worship, work, and play.
Is there a dress code or expectation?
How do I find my way into and around your building?
There are several main entrances right at the parking lot. Look for the metal doors. If you come during the week, one of our office staff will greet you and answer any questions.
Can I just come and visit without having to worry about making any commitments
What are your office hours?
Monday through Thursday from 9:00am to 4:00 pm.
How do I get information about or enroll in Friends of Jesus Preschool
What do you believe about Baptism?
This is one of the "sacraments" (holy, miraculous moments) of Church life. We believe this is God's gift of grace, in which he announces that you are one of his children, and is the beginning of a lifetime of growing in the Christian faith. It is the beginning of a sacred and miraculous journey of life that leads to eternal life with God and all his believers.
How do I get my child baptized?
Call the office (382-2360) so that you can make an appointment with one of the pastors. We celebrate baptisms in a worship service, so that we all have the opportunity to remember our own Baptism as we celebrate yours. If you are not a member of Zion one of the pastors will meet with you to answer all your questions and help arrange for Baptism.
What do you believe about Communion?
This is one of the "sacraments" (holy, miraculous moments) of Church life. We believe this is God's gift of grace in which he shares himself with us in a miraculous way. At the last supper with his disciples, Jesus took bread and said, "this is my body." He took wine and said "this is my blood." He said that we should celebrate this meal "in remembrance of Him." We believe that Christ is physically present in this meal (in a miraculous, unexplainable way), and that even though the bread and wine are bread and wine, his physical presence comes into us differently than at other times. For this reason, we celebrate Communion at every service. Part of our liturgy prepares us for this meal, and in the meal we celebrate God's kingdom on heaven and on earth, and our unity with each other and all God's faithful people.
Can I take communion at Zion?
We believe this meal is God's gift to the Church and that he wants Christians to join with him in this meal. We believe it is a meal of gathering, rather than a meal that should separate us from others. However, as it is a family meal, it is important that we respect the beliefs, traditions, and expectations of Christ's family. So, if you are a baptized Christian, believe that Jesus is physically present in the bread and wine, and believe that this sacrament is a way of God sharing his grace with you, you are welcome to join with us in the sacrament.
If you have any questions, or have never taken communion, we ask that you talk with one of the pastors before you take communion.
What is worship like?
Lutherans are a liturgical denomination. That means we have a pattern of worship that involves both the pastors, musicians, and the people. Worship is something we all participate in, rather than something congregations watch. We believe worship is not to entertain but to involve everyone in being embraced by and embracing the God who has given his life for us!
There are different general themes at different times of the year. Advent prepares for Christmas. Christmas celebrates God taking on human flesh and living among us. Epiphany celebrates how Jesus came as a Light to the world. Lent focuses on the passion and suffering of Jesus for our sakes. Easter celebrates Jesus' victory over death and our own promise of heaven. The season of Pentecost is a practical time to remember and renew our own call (through Baptism) to live as Christians and share the faith with our world.
Our worship service follows a pattern. We begin each service in preparation, we hear readings from scripture and a sermon that explains practical applications of what we read in the Bible. We share in Holy Communion and sing hymns as part of the service. There is also time for mediation and prayer.
We believe that when our worship time together has ended, that each of us is sent out for daily worship, as we continue to celebrate and share God's love in how we live. In other words, our worship time together gathers us to send us back out renewed and refreshed for our lives as God's people on earth.
Are your worship services all the same or different?
All worship services use same Scripture readings, sermon, and follow a similar pattern as explained above. However, each service has a unique flavor.
Saturday is a piano service, more relaxed and informal.
Sunday 8am follows the liturgy from the hymnal.
Sunday 10:30 (10am summer) follows a slightly different pattern.
(2nd and 4th Sundays: hymnal liturgy and organ)
(1st and 3rd Sundays: printed liturgy, grand piano, instrumentalists, vocalists)
Holy Communion is celebrated at every worship service.
What do I need to know for a first visit?
Just know that you are welcome and should feel free to ask anyone for any kind of help you need. Our members are friendly and will help you through the liturgy, or to find a necessary room, or even to see if you and they might have friends in common. The first time for anything is always a little awkward, but our members all had a first visit too and they really do want to help you in any way that they can.
What youth programs do you have?
We have Sunday School for ages 3 through elementary, as well as for middle and high school students. We have confirmation ministry for middle school, which includes Sunday classes, confirmation classes on Wednesday evenings, retreats and servant opportunities. We have a high school youth group, Sunday classes, and retreats, fellowship events and servant opportunities. Click here for more information.
Do you have small groups for adults?
We have a variety of small groups. We have small group Bible studies that meet at various times and places during the week. Click here for more information.
What activities or ministries can I get involved in?
We also have over 50 ministries such as choirs, cooking, sewing, book groups, gardening, ushering, and so forth that you can be involved in as soon as you would like. Click here to see our list of ministries.
How do I join if I am not a member of a church or transfer my membership from another church?
Call the church office (269-382-2360) and one of the staff will walk you through the process.
Can I get married at Zion?
Call the church office (269-382-2360) BEFORE you schedule a reception hall to talk to one of the pastors about getting married at Zion. As reception halls are usually booked almost a year in advance, that helps you know when to call Zion.
We believe marriage is a special gift of God. While the State regulates marriage and decides who can and cannot be married, the Church is involved in celebrating the marriage of active Christians who want to celebrate God's gift. If this is where you worship on a regular basis, it makes sense to celebrate such a special moment in a worship service. While we have a beautiful buildings, it is the opportunity to worship rather than have a nice place for pictures that is primary in marriages at Zion.
The same time, if you have no church home, one of the Pastors will be more than happy to talk to you about becoming a part of Zion and preparing you for the day of your marriage. We require premarital counseling for all couples, and a membership class (if either of you are not active members of Zion) prior to marriage.