Zion's story starts in 1926, when Rev. Carl F. Knoll held Zion's first Easter Sunday Service at the old fire hall on Broad Avenue. Two years later, in 1928 a portable chapel was purchased for $2,700. It was erected on the corner of Prospect and Slocum Avenues. Much of the construction was done by men of the congregation. First services were in German. The first English service was conducted in February 1927.
In 1949, the church parsonage at 690 Slocum Avenue was occupied for the first time. A major fund raising effort began for the building of a new church on the property. The new church was dedicated on March 30th, 1960. Thirteen stained glass windows were installed, an outside bulletin board was dedicated, and a carillon and chimes were installed. In 1975, the mortgage was burned.
Zion has been an ELCA congregation since 1987, and in the church's 90-year history, it has proudly served the community and hundreds of families.
A Note from Pastor Janet
Why get involved with a church? Many people think of themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” They say, “I can commune with God on my own. Why do I need a church?” You may be one of those people, who are seekers but perhaps suspicious of the institutional church.
The problem is that it's hard to be a Christian by yourself. We all need the faith and support of other Christians. The fellowship, love, and hospitality we share with each other are what keep us from feeling isolated in our journey with Jesus.
Here at Zion, we want to show that there is important work that needs to be done by the church in the world. We are reaching out to our community with the message that Jesus is here for us. Jesus brings love and peace to us in our personal faith lives, and also inspires us to works of love and justice. Jesus is with us as individuals, but also as a community that is part of the body of Christ, membership we share with Christians of every time and every place, including the diverse people of our community.
At Zion, we are part of a cross-cultural dialogue. We have a weekly “ESL Bible study” where people whose first language is not English can practice conversation, get pronunciation help and gain insight into the Bible. We experience wonderful discussion and enjoy each other’s fellowship every week. You are invited to join us at 7:30 on Tuesday evenings or at 10:30 am on Fridays if you would like to learn more about the Bible in English.
We are especially inspired to witness to the love of Jesus. We would like to reach out to you, too, in friendship and Christian love. There is no substitute for the love one experiences in a Christian community. We invite you to join us for worship or to contact me by phone or email.
I wish you God’s blessings on your spiritual journey and look forward to hearing from you.
Rev. Dr. Janet E. Blair