Then Jesus said, “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”. Matt 11:28
Zion has been gathering together as a Church for 119 years. We are a Christian community, part of the Lutheran tradition. As Christians we believe that a relationship with Jesus is central to life, giving life its meaning and purpose. You are invited to come, as you are, and explore how a relationship with Jesus might impact your life.
The Father is looking for those who will worship him…in spirit and truth. John4:23b…24b
At the very heart of Christian life is worship. As a community of faith, we hear God’s word, celebrate the Lord’s Supper, praise Him in song, and call upon Him in prayer. We invite you to worship God with us, the God who brings peace, life, healing and salvation.
Please come and be part of our church family as together we seek and receive God’s blessing and presence. Currently we worship primarily in a traditional style with communion offered every Sunday. There is no dress code and you will find people wearing anything from jeans to suits. Zion’s doors are open to all people.
Pastor’s thoughts for the upcoming Lenten season
February 14th marks the beginning of the season of Lent, traditionally a time to meditate more on all that Jesus has done for us, especially His death and resurrection. Thinking of Him, talking to Him and the Father, in the Holy Spirit can be thought of as prayer. What is prayer after all? In its simplest definition it IS our relationship to God and how we express that relationship.
During the six weeks of Lent leading up to Holy Week and Easter, the Church throughout the ages invited Christians to embrace individually selected disciplines such as fasting, prayer and extra works of love, compassion and mercy directed towards those who are needy—the purpose of these disciplines is not to “earn favor” with God but to more deeply appreciate God’s love and kindness to us. The God of the Christian does not demand strong faith and deep insights before He takes us to Himself. Rather, a sort of “spiritual spring training” during the forty days of Lent is intended to deepen our awareness of the loving God that we already know!
As earth-bound persons, we have need of prayer…..when our strength fails us, for comfort in times of pain, for direction when we don’t know which way to turn, for someone to talk to when we’re lonely, for courage to keep on going when everything is going wrong—and certainly to celebrate when great things happen! It feels good to pray, to know that God is there for our needs, to listen to us, to share our joys and sorrows, our fears and hopes, our dreams and disappointments, our friendships and loneliness, our family concerns and innermost thoughts.
God is in our innermost being, helping us, encouraging us, energizing us, lifting us up, literally to heaven (Col. 3:1-3). There is no one, no thing that cannot be helped, lifted up, healed and made utterly whole through prayer, since “Things that are impossible for man are possible for God” (Luke 18:27)!
Our Wednesday Soup Suppers during Lent will be followed by devotions focusing on the different types of prayer in God’s Word, such as hope, healing, praise, comfort, repentance, lamentation, intercession, and so forth. I hope you can come and share with us our love for prayer and our love especially for God who hears our prayers! I thank the “Guideposts Treasury of Prayer” for some of the above thoughts.
The Lenten season begins March 6th with Ash Wednesday. We hold an Ash Wednesday worship service at 6 p.m.
Each Wednesday of Lent, following Ash Wednesday, we have Soup Suppers beginning at 5:45 p.m. followed by Devotions at 6:15 p.m. in our Fireside Room. Soup Suppers will be held March 13th through April 10th. All are welcome!
Palm Sunday is April 14th. Zion’s Palm Sunday worship service begins at 9:30 a.m.
Easter Sunday is April 21st. The 9:30 a.m. worship service is followed by Zion’s traditional Easter potluck brunch. All are welcome!
8:15 A.M. Adult Bible Study
9:30 A.M. Worship Service
10:45 A.M. Sunday School
4:45 PM Healing Prayer Service
There are also Special Services such as: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Ash Wednesday, Lenten Services, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Ascension Day, Palm Sunday Procession & Thanksgiving Eve. The Church calendar has details on these Special Services.
And then He told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere” Mark 16:15
The mission (purpose) of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church is to be God’s people; a community of faith and love united in Jesus Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit.
This congregation will seek to reach out and share God’s love with all and be a source of strength, healing, compassion, inspiration and growth; expressing its faith through worship, service, teaching and caring.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
ZION EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF MEDFORD
the oldest Lutheran congregation in Southern Oregon
- 1897 Zion organized as a mission by Rev. Frank Sack sent by German Lutheran Michigan Synod; congregation met in the Demmer home at the NE comer of 4th and Rose
- 1898 Preaching stations in Grants Pass & Lake Creek added
- 1899 Zion incorporated and bought property on 4th Street
- 1901 Built wooden church & parsonage; one of organizing congregations of Pacific Synod
- 1908 Zion paid off debt; council meetings organized
- 1911 Built new parsonage; Ladies Aid organized
- 1913 English services began; women over 18 given the right to vote
- 1918 Forced to abandon German language services by order of the mayor; Zion became part of new ULCA Synod
- 1923 First woman church officer
- 1924 Church property sold for debt but reclaimed
- 1925 Congregation reactivated & adopted a “finance system”
- 1926 Reincorporated as Zion English Lutheran Church and courageously voted to build a new concrete church (designed by Frank Clark)
- 1927 Old church moved to corner of Haven & Holly; new cornerstone laid
- 1928 Sanctuary dedicated 2-12-28; choir organized
- 1930 Sunday night services added; Ladies Aid & Sunday School money kept congregation going
- 1936 Church auctioned off to mortgage holder
- 1937 Congregation reorganized & rallied to get a pastor & got back the property with the help of the Board of American Missions
- 1938 Celebrated decade in new building; picture over altar installed; began a building fund!
- 1939 Zion hosted Pacific Synod meeting
- 1944 Noted for Zion’s “rebirth in the spirit” & first 100% benevolence
- 1946 Met goal of self-support; started Sunday School extension at Oak Grove, began a Boy Scout Troop & Young Couples Club
- 1947 50th Anniversary; installation of pipe organ; began construction of annex; mission to Yreka
- 1948 Membership surge; began giving to foreign missions and world relief; pastor on radio
- 1949 “English” changed to Evangelical on the signs; Sunday School expanded into rented quarters; new parsonage; paid organist & choir director
- 1952 One of founding congregations of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley
- 1953 55th Anniversary Harvest Home Dinner; Lent services; new constitution
- 1954 Added 8:30 service; “The Challenge of God’s Work” booklet on Zion’s plans & needs
- 1958 New era of challenges while bursting at the seams
- 1959 Burned old 1st mortgage; dedicated Parish School Building; sanctuary remodeled
- 1960 Over 200 in Sunday School; Jr & Sr basketball teams and two Luther Leagues
- 1963 A year of new beginnings with the LCA Synod; new parsonage; full time secretary
- 1965 Additional lots bought; Family Nights
- 1967 New Christ mission; joint Lutheran celebration of 450th anniversary of the Reformation
- 1968 40th anniversary of sanctuary dedication
- 1972 Christ mission dissolved; Zion refocused with Congregation’s Diamond Jubilee
- 1974 Sanctuary remodel – service of rededication
- 1975 Cross installed on Friendship Cairn
- 1976 “Over 300 members 100% involved” in church’s liturgical life; Bicentennial participation with special service and parade float – “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.”
- 1977 80th anniversary of Thanksgiving & rededication; renovation of exterior; church history
- 1978 Symbolic burning of mortgage for Education wing; congregation’s first intern
- 1984 Sacred dance and Lenten dramas added to services
- 1985 “Word & Witness” program; handicapped access ramp; bought house on corner; new intern; hand bell choir
- 1987 90th anniversary; beginning of ELCA
- 1989 Two services; new cookbook
- 1992 95th anniversary; Zion housing RCC classes & Crossroads child care
- 1996 Participation in Crop Walk began; Endowment Fund established
- 1997 100th Anniversary celebration beginning in January culminated in special service on Reformation Sunday; updated church history printed
- 1999 Began installing stained glass windows
- 2001 ESL classes; cooperation with CERVS
- 2002 NA & AA groups began meeting at Zion
- 2003 Move to one service
- 2004 Matthew Mission began
- 2007 Congregation revitalized and celebrated 110th Anniversary!!!
- 2013 July 5th arson damages Sanctuary; December 1 Sanctuary Rededication after reconstruction!
Thru the years Zion has been blessed by:
- Rev. Frank H. Sack 1897-1907
- Rev. Max Markert 1907-1911
- Rev. Conrad Wilker 1911-1915
- Rev. W. R. Morenz-Oeser 1916-1923
- Rev. T.A. Schoenberg 1923-1925
- Rev. Paul Schmidt 1923-1925
- Rev. Edwin J. Johnson 1925-1927
- Rev. Franklin W. Bussard 1927-1928
- Rev. H. C. Funk 1928-1931
- Rev. George P. Kabele 1931-1936
- Rev. H. C. Funk 1928-1931
- Rev. George P. Kabele 1931-1936
- Rev. Werner Jessen 1937-1941
- Rev, Karl W. Brockhaus 1941-1944
- Rev. Elvin Hansen 1945-1949
- Dr. Oak W. Ebright 1950-1952
- Rev. G. Herbert Hillerrnan 1952-1958
- Rev. Harvey C. Coovert 1958-1967
- Rev. Charles P. Smith 1967-1980
- Rev. David Harr 1980
- Rev. Howard Stephan 1981-1987
- Rev. Paul Landeraaen 1985-1986
- Rev. Mark Gilderhus 1987-1988
- Rev. Robert L. Rodin 1988-1994
- Rev. Lou J. Schneider 1994-2002
- Rev. James Flachsbart 2002-2003
- Rev. Jon Olson 2003-2006
- Rev. Mark Gilderhus 2006
- Rev. Brenda Brown 2006-2007
- Rev. Cyril Hunkler 2007 – Present