Zion Lutheran Church has been preaching, teaching, and sharing the Word of God for over 155 years. Established in 1855, Zion is a member of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). We are a small rural congregation in west central Ohio, one mile from the Ohio-Indiana state line in Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio.
Zion is a two-point parish, partnered with St. John, Hopewell Township, as of 2012. Our pastor is Rev. Karen Tamorria, who came to our parish November 2012 and was installed January 2013.
Zion has an active ministry for people of all ages in our congregation and in our community. Zion’s activities include a Bible Study group, a women’s organization, Luther League, Kingdom Kids and Zion’s Diner. In the community we participate with the Chatt-Area group of churches, Vacation Bible School and the Chatta-John youth group.
Sunday School for all ages is held at 9:30 Sunday morning. Three classes meet downstairs for children ages 3 years through 6th grade. Special activities for the children include playing the hand bells, singing, and crafts. An adult class is held upstairs.
Kingdom Kids is a midweek activity for children ages 3 years through 6th grade. They meet the on specified Wednesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. There are also special Kingdom Kids events held throughout the year. The children enjoy hearing or acting out a Bible story and making fun crafts. A meal is always included. An average of 16 children attend each session.
CHATTA-JOHN YOUTH GROUP
Chatta-John is a parish youth group for 6-12th graders. It was organized in 2012. The name represents the two churches that are involved, Zion Lutheran Chatt and St. John Lutheran Hopewell. Meetings focus on strengthening relationships with God while participating in fun activities, devotions, and service projects. They meet a couple times a month.
ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH WOMEN
An organization for Zion’s women dates back to 1923. The organization was originally called Zion Ladies Aid and Missionary Society. Today Zion’s Church Women have a number of Stewardship Projects and serve the church and the community in many ways.
In 2011 Zion Lutheran Church Women made monetary donations to the following: Lutheran Social Services, Lutheran Homes Society, Southwestern Conference Spring Assembly, Osterlein Services for Youth, Lutheran World Relief Disaster Fund, Southwestern Conference Malaria Fund, Lutheran World Relief (for Health Kits), Wernle Children’s Home and ELCA Churchwide (Zion’s Thankoffering).
The women continue to sew and make comforts that are sent to missions around the world through Lutheran World Relief (LWR). They sent 60 comforts and 7 pounds of soap to LWR in 2011. Some years they have sent as many as 100 comforts to missions through LWR.
Zion’s Church Women assist the church in many ways. The Social Committee plans food for funeral dinners and public auctions; they see that cards are sent to the sick, shut-ins, confirmands and graduates; they take care of the communion preparations and altar paraments; they provided a gas card to a member with a family illness in 2011; they give flowers to the women on Mother’s Day and gifts to the men on Father’s Day; they deliver plates to the shut-ins at Christmas; and they provided lunch for the Southwestern Conference retreat at St. John Hopewell in the fall of 2011.
Zion hosts a 6-week Bible study for women of the church and the community 2-3 times a year. The group uses various Bible study courses and meets on Thursday evenings from 7-8:00 p.m.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
The Chattanooga Community Bible School is sponsored by Zion Lutheran, St. John Hopewell, St. Paul Liberty, and the Chattanooga United Methodist churches and is typically held in June. Zion and the Chatt Methodist Church take turns hosting the week-long event. The average daily attendance is about 55 students and 25 helpers. A Bible School program is held at the host church the following Sunday. This is a wonderful example of the community working together.
Zion’s Diner was established in 2002 and serves lunch to Zion’s members as well as many from the Chattanooga area. Approximately 75 people attend the meal that is served immediately after the conclusion of Zion’s Sunday service, at approximately 11:30. Proceeds from the free will donation are used to help local families in need and to support local programs such as Samaritan’s Purse and the Angel Tree Project. Between $2000-3000 is donated to the community each year in the form of monetary donations, Christmas gifts, clothing and appliances. Currently Zion’s Diner is held 1-2 times a year.