Social Ministries


Loving God, Serving Neighbor

 

 

 

Zion’s book club is a welcoming group for anyone interested in sharing their literary adventures and experiences! The club’s coordinator, Dee, writes ‘We mostly read nonfiction and historical fiction but are always open for new suggestions. Members recommend books they've enjoyed or heard about for our monthly selections.  Members also volunteer to lead the discussions.’ The club currently meets the second Wednesday of each month at 1:30pm. Pre-pandemic they met in the church parlor, but are currently gathering on Zoom. Decisions on meeting format will be made on a monthly basis through the spring and summer.

 

"'God’s work. Our hands.' Sunday is Sunday, September 12, 2021. This day is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

Service activities offer an opportunity for us to explore one of our most basic convictions as Lutherans: that all of life in Jesus Christ – every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life – flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God’s grace." - from ELCA.org

 

Zion began a new ministry in 2019 to outreach to fellow brothers and sisters in need.  Unlike Stephen Ministry, this national model of care brings together folks from a variety of backgrounds and expertise to help one person at a time.  

Based upon the theory that communities can address daunting social challenges, this program seeks to help individuals with complex social needs including poverty, isolation, mental health, and chronic illnesses.  The “Table” brings together people with unique skills and talents like education, housing finance and healthcare to help provide resources for an individual in need.  The ultimate goal is to provide social connectiveness and access to a broader array of social capital supports to move to a healthier and better life. Like Stephen Ministry, the benefits are mutual, it helps the person in the center of the table to helping the whole group who come together to serve.  

The Table helps the individual articulate what is important, establish goals and discover together how to reach them.  Over the course of a year, Open Table volunteers meet on a weekly basis to work with the person or family seeking support to create positive change.  Zion has partnered with local children and youth services to identify individuals who are aging out of the foster care program (typically around 18 years old) and wrapping social supports to help transition to life outside the public support system.  

Each volunteer participated in several months of training and discussion before engaging in the first table relationships. To learn more about the program and view some stories about it, please see the national website here:  https://www.theopentable.org/

Get Connected!


 

Open Table

 

Stephen Ministers are lay congregation members trained to provide one-to-one care to those experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation.  After being matched with a person experiencing a life crisis, the Stephen Minister meets with that person on a weekly basis to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. The caring relationship lasts as long as the need for care exists.

Zion Lutheran Church began its Stephen Ministry program about five years ago.  We have about six ministers and two Stephen leaders who work with the Pastor to provide caring services to hurting members in our congregation and sometimes even in our community.  Stephen Ministers or “Care Givers” as they are commonly called are matched with “Care Receivers” in a one on one relationship.  The information shared is confidential and protected.  We have a structured supervision check in schedule, but at no time are names discussed. The only one who knows who is in relationships are the Pastor and our Referral Coordinator.   

If you have a need, or know of someone who is hurting, please contact the church office to be connected with our Stephen Ministry Referral Coordinator.  To learn more about the program and view some stories about it, please see the national website here:  https://www.stephenministries.org/default.cfm

 

One of Zion's members, Marianne, shared her knowledge of Tai Chi with the congregation pre-pandemic in a series of classes open to the congregation and community. Post-pandemic Marianne is hoping to resume classes, possibly switching to Qi Gong. Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese healthcare system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused attention. It also involves moving meditation (standing yoga). Some benefits of the practice include: maintaining personal health, physical healing, calming of the mind, and a reconnection with their inner spirit. Continue to visit our website for updates on when these classes may be offered again.

 

From Sunday School, to game nights, to trips around the country for the ELCA Youth Gathering, kids and young adults at Zion have plenty to keep them engaged. 

 

Check out our "Youth" page under "Our Ministries" for more information.

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Stephen Ministry