We love because He (God) first loved us.
- 1 John 4:19
Every Sunday at Zion, we hear the Word of God, receive the word of absolution, and partake of Christ’s Body and Blood. As a result of what God has done for us in Christ Jesus, we can’t help but share the good news of our salvation with others, through both word and deed. We do this in our individual vocations--for example, as parent, student, neighbor, or employee. However, as a congregation, we also make a special effort to support both our local and our global communities.
Some outreach activities are limited-time events. Examples of this are Zion’s collection of personal care items for Battle Creek’s SHARE Center and our eyeglass collection drive for MOST Ministry’s overseas eyeglass program in countries around the world.
However, a number of activities are ongoing (though some may currently be suspended because of COVID-19):
Community Dinners at Zion
On the second Tuesday of the month from September through May (excluding December), Zion volunteers provide a free meal to anyone in the community. The dinner, which includes drinks and dessert, is held in Zion’s Fellowship Hall from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Those who come to savor a delicious meal can also enjoy fellowship with their friends or make new ones, and Zion members enjoy socializing with their guests from the community. All ages, from infants through the elderly, are welcome. Watch for the next dinner to be announced in the Marshall Ad-Visor.
Marshall Area Community Services (MACS) Donations
Zion members contribute to a food and paper-supply drive twice a year during June and November. In addition, we collect gently used winter coats for adults and children throughout the fall and into winter, take them to Heritage Cleaners for free dry cleaning, and then deliver them to MACS, where they are made available to those in need with no appointment or income requirement necessary. Our pastor and staff also refer individuals or families to MACS for emergency assistance. The MACS office, which is located at 111 North Jefferson Street in Marshall, can be reached directly by calling them at 269-781-2954 or by going to their website: https://www.marshallareacommunityservices.org .
Medical Equipment Lending Program
Zion keeps an inventory of medical equipment and supplies available to be checked out to anyone in the community completely free of charge. These items have been donated by Zion members and others in the Marshall community for use by those in need. Individuals can check out the equipment for a two-to-three-month period and can extend that time if they continue to have a need for the equipment.
Although not everything on the list is available at any specific time, we often have the following items:
- Shower chairs
- Elevated Toilet Seats
- Bed Pans
- Back Braces
- Compression Socks
- Denture Paste
- Pill Organizers
Anyone who needs to borrow equipment or supplies can contact the Zion secretary to arrange a time to pick up the item. You can either call the church office (269-781-8982) or leave a message on the “Contact Us” page.
Also, there is a great need in the community for shower chairs, wheelchairs, and walkers. If you have these or any other items to donate, please contact the Zion secretary.
Periodically, Zion’s Board of Outreach and Board of Parish Fellowship team up to hold a congregational potluck in conjunction with a presentation by a representative of a Christian service organization or human service agency. These presentations allow organizations or individuals to spread the word about their mission and services or about a particular need in the community. In turn, Zion members can learn about and financially support worthwhile organizations that spread the love of Christ through evangelism and/or human care. Past presentations have included representatives from Alternatives of Battle Creek; LCMS Missions; the Lutheran Heritage Foundation; and MOST (Mission Opportunities Short-Term) Ministries.
As Lutherans, we at Zion believe that all life is precious and a gift from God. From the unborn baby in the womb to the teenager with Down Syndrome to the elderly dementia patient, God’s gift of life should be protected. Every year Zion members participate in two life-affirming activities:
In the fall (generally the first Sunday in October) we participate in the Life Chain, a peaceful, prayerful public witness as we stand at the Brooks Fountain in Marshall in solidarity with other pro-life members of the community. We remember 62 million lives lost to abortion and pray for our nation, for people in crisis situations, and for an end to abortion.
Every spring, we also hold our annual Mother’s Day Baby Shower, a layette ingathering for Alternatives of Battle Creek, a pro-life, Christian non-profit organization serving the unborn and their families in Battle Creek and surrounding communities. For three weeks beginning on Mother’s Day, we collect donations of new and gently used baby items, as well as maternity clothes and items for older children, which we then deliver to Alternatives’ Battle Creek site.
St. Thomas Episcopal Breakfast Program
For one week in the summer, Zion financially supports the St. Thomas Episcopal Church’s Breakfast Program. During that week, Zion members help cook and serve breakfast at the Battle Creek program, which feeds between 125 and 200 homeless and needy individuals and families each Saturday during the school year and each weekday during the summer.
Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
- Matthew 5:16