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Be Informed

Regular Sunday church services resumed 7 June 2020.


Due to national and state guidelines pertaining to COVID-19, all church services and activities have been cancelled until 19 April.

During this time we are offering a number of ways to engage in hearing God’s Word for us:

Visit us on Facebook. Vicar Adam Poe is recording sermons on the Zion Lutheran Church-Chatt Facebook page, where they are saved and can be viewed at any time.

Zion Lutheran St. Marys will continue to broadcast its 8 a.m. worship service live on WCSM Radio and on iHeartRadio. It will also be streamed on their web site, https://zionstmarysohio.360unite.com/home. People are welcome to attend their 8 a.m. service, which will be modified to have no music.

Some other NALC congregations are sharing their worship services online:

Pastor Brian McGee is sharing here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm6j3M3pyx4JM3f7VgJRnWQ

Living Water is sharing here: Living Water Lutheran Church – Dayton, Ohio. (Will also be streaming Holy Communion on Sunday afternoon and next week.)

The NALC has established a coronavirus page. On it you will find many resources, including ones designed to help you keep in touch with your congregations: https://thenalc.org/projects/resources-during-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/.

2020 NALC Lenten Devotional
2020 NALC Lenten Devotional

The NALC is offering a Lenten Devotional for 2020. It is available to print, download, read as an e-reader, as a podcast, or receive daily reminders via Facebook Messenger.

From their website: We will all benefit from additional time, if brief, spent reading God’s Word, meditating on it and responding to it. This is the aim of this Lenten devotional booklet — to stimulate regular, personal, daily time in the Scriptures in an easy to use format that encourages faithfulness. We also hope that these brief readings and meditations will help those not used to daily Bible reading, to begin, at least during Lent.

May our love for and knowledge of Holy Scripture grow, in some small way, as we take a Lenten walk together, through the Word!

This year’s Lenten devotional, A Lenten Walk Through the Word, was prepared by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, NALC assistant to the bishop for ministry & ecumenism.

To access the 2020 NALC Lenten Devotional: https://thenalc.org/lent2020/

News from the Women of the NALC:
The Women of the NALC (WNALC) February 2020 Newsletter

You and/or your church can register with the WNALC. There are no annual fees, membership fees, or required donations—just a registration so you can receive newsletters, upcoming information vote on business, and stay connected.

Complete the “Join the WNALC” form HERE.

c/o North American Lutheran Church
2299 Palmer Drive, Suite 220
New Brighton, MN  55112-2202
Designation: WNALC Mission Fund or WNALC General Fund

WNALC General Fund donations help with the WNALC website, WNALC Council Fall Retreat, WNALC display table at Lutheran Week & the WNALC Annual Gathering.

WNALC Mission Fund donations are collected and split between the National & International Mission recipients voted on at the previous Annual Gathering.
From our missionary in Kenya:

21 March 2020
Hello Friends,

Hope this finds you doing well.  These are most extraordinary times with the Coronavirus.  It is so strange and is affecting our entire world.  I keep informed of the news in the U.S. while I pray for you.  Imagine – whole states being locked down, sports without fans, wearing masks, etc.  I pray that you keep safe and have peace.

Here in Kenya things are not so bad (few cases) and hope it stays that way because if it hits here, it would be awful.  So many don’t have clean water to begin with or access to good medical care and with the cultural ways of close living, oh my.  But so far the government is taking measures to inform, educate and protect people.  Of course limited travel and social distancing is started.  Hand sanitizing is the rule.  The crowded matatu’s (large vans) which are a main means of public transport everywhere have been ordered to cut in half the number of passengers.  Heart to Heart staff are staying home.  Schools closed means for us, that orphaned and vulnerable children are often sent home where there is little or no food, so we need to find a way to get food to them, I think.  I am helping Collin’s family where the 4 children are now home with the grandmother who has no job, a situation of many…  even in the U.S. I imagine.  Trying times.

We must all hang in there and stay safe for the sake of one another and the world.  Today has been declared a day of prayer in Kenya, so extra prayers are being said.  Please join us in prayer.  Most of all, no matter what, our Lord God is with you wherever you go.

Peace and love to you,
Kathleen Lutz
Mission & Development Associate
Heart To Heart hearttoheartorphans.org
World Mission Prayer League wmpl.org

24 Feb 2020
Greetings from Kenya!
I am grateful for your support and prayers these past months. They have freed me to focus on putting together the second year Faith Formation course for grade 8 and to further train people on the use of the audio Bible. On March 12 I return to northern Kenya to follow up and continue training on the use of the audio Bible with Pastors Koskey and Silas. Please pray for this first time of working with two differing tribes, the Samburu and Turkana, that the focus on the Good News may bring peace and reconciliation. Tomorrow I will travel to the coast with Heart to Heart staff for the opening of a Children’s Village for orphans. So far there are 3 homes with 7 or 8 children each. Please pray for safe travel and for the children as they adjust to their new home and give thanks for our Norwegian partners, who with God’s help, have made this possible.

Grace and Peace to you,
Kathleen Lutz

P.O. Box 7427-00300,
Nairobi, Kenya
[email protected]
Tax-deductible donations to this mission are gladly received at:
232 Clifton Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55403  USA
Make checks payable to “WMPL” and note “Lutz Support” or Lutz Ministry” in the memo line.
You can give securely online at: https://wmpl.org/give/  or by phoning +1-612-871-6843.
Chattanooga Community Vacation Bible School–Rocky Railway
The theme for the 2020 Chattanooga Community Vacation Bible School is Rocky Railway. 2020 VBS will be held 22-26 June from 9 a.m.-12:00 noon. All children from 3 years of age through those that will have just finished 6th grade are invited to join in. Volunteers will be needed to help throughout the week. Please consider joining in if you can. We also hope to borrow some artificial green Christmas trees from the congregation for decoration.
Kingdom Kids Begins 12 February
Kingdom Kids will begin their winter session Wednesday 12 February. All children from 3 years of age through 6th grade are invited to join. Kingdom Kids meets every Wednesday through March, from 6-7:30 p.m. Each session will consist of Bible lessons, crafts, games, singing, a meal, and more. Please share this information with interested families. Those interested in helping with a meal should contact Candace or Kendra.
A holiday message from our missionary in Kenya, Kathleen Lutz:
Hope you are well and enjoy Thanksgiving. I just miss my family, especially on the holidays, and turkey and all the trimmings. Found some frozen turkey pieces. Good enough for me! Looks like winter is making itself known there. Here, a lot of rain. Even having warnings of heavy rain in Kenya. Never saw that before. Muddy dangerous landslides and flooded rivers up north; lives are lost. A family had 7 children swept away. Can’t imagine. Otherwise, I am fine and enjoying some down time, as it is school break. No teaching until after the New Year.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Be Blessed,
Kathleen Lutz
Mission & Development Associate
Heart to Heart (hearttoheartorphans.org)
World Mission Prayer League (wmpl.org)
Vicar Adam Poe to Intern at Zion
Vicar Adam Poe will serve his internship at Zion Lutheran, Chattanooga, and St. John Lutheran, Hopewell, for the next year. Vicar Adam has been the Youth Director at Zion Lutheran, St. Marys, for the past 17 years and has been a student at the ILT [Institute of Lutheran Theology] for the past 3 years. At Zion, St. Marys, he has preached one Sunday a month for the past 15 years, has taught the Confirmation Class for the past 17 years, has taught both youth and adult Sunday School, has covered pastoral duties when the need arose, made home and hospital visits, and organized mission trips for the youth and adults. Vicar Adam, his wife and 3 children live in St. Marys. We welcome Vicar Adam, who will begin his internship on 9 December 2019.


Blessed is He Who Comes, 2019 NALC Advent Devotional
The North American Lutheran Church presents, Blessed Is He Who Comes, an Advent devotional booklet for 2019. This year’s booklet, prepared by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, NALC assistant to the bishop for ministry and ecumenism, is based on the daily Scripture passages from the Reading the Word of God calendar. Reading the Word of God is a three-year Bible reading calendar prepared in 2018 by the NALC, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC).

There are three ways to access the devotional:

  1. Download a PDF copy: Color or Black & White
  2. NALC Walk of Faith App: Download via App Store or Google Play
  3. Facebook Messenger: Subscribe for a daily message

Click here to access Blessed is He Who Comes


Pastor Karen Tamorria Retires
Pastor Karen Tamorria lead her last worship service at Zion on 27 October 2019, Reformation Sunday, and retired on 31 October. A special combined worship service and dinner was held on 20 October at St. John Hopewell to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Pastor Karen’s ordination. She and her husband Mike moved to Pennsylvania in early November. We thank Pastor Karen for her dedicated ministry in our parish during the past seven years. We wish her well as she and Mike begin this new phase of their lives.

Vacation Bible School 2019 (17-21 June)
“Roar” VBS was held at the Chattanooga Methodist Church from 9-noon during the week of 17-21 June. An average of 50 children joined each day with 58 different children being involved. Each day all participants learned and were reminded that “God is Good,” even when life is unfair, scary, changing, sad, and good!! An offering of $416.89 was collected for missionary Kathleen Lutz to use in her ministry in Africa, for the Heart to Heart school in Kenya. Over 150 food items were collected for the CALL food ministry. The week-long event concluded with a Friday evening gathering filled with singing and pictures as well as food and fellowship. A huge thank you to everyone involved in any way. Thanks to those that donated money, to those that volunteered time during the week, to those who brought children to the daily gathering and to those who kept our event in their prayers. “God IS Good!!”
Missionary News (June 2019)

Greetings Friends and Partners in Mission,

How precious are the little ones. And, how precious when they hear words of the Bible in their language for the first time!

Working together with TheoVision International we responded to the request of a Maasai tribe community to learn about Jesus and the Bible. For two days we met with pastors and community leaders to introduce the use of audio Bibles which were given out, along with Bibles in their native language. Each leader will set up Bible Listening Groups in their villages to reach out to the unreached. Such groups meet once a week to listen and discuss God’s word in their mother tongue. Illiteracy is a major barrier to people encountering the transforming power of God’s word. Bible Listening Groups creates a culture of listening to God’s word.

Members of Heart to Heart and myself stayed overnight in their home. That night, the church became full of people to see the film of the life of Jesus. Some came to faith. The next day Pastor Koskey of TheoVision trained at least 15 men and women to be Bible Listening Group leaders. Our Heart to Heart volunteer Erick and I later attended a training to enable us to train more such leaders. Use of the audio Bible has many possibilities to reach many more.

Please pray for these leaders as they create Bible Listening Groups and as people’s lives will e transformed through hearing the Word in their mother language. Please also pray for us as we travel north to Maralal to work with Pastor Silas and train more such leaders with audio Bibles, June 17-28.

Let us give thanks to God for His abundant creativity in bringing up new ways and more disciples to make the Gospel known.

“How precious to me are your thought, God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17)

Kathleen Lutz


Missionary News (May 2019)

Dear Members of Zion,

This is such a special time as we remember our dear Lord’s passion as He spent His final days on earth, and the words He left with His disciples and with us “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” John 15:27. What comforting words for us in a troubling world. I hope that you will be blessed during these days of Easter and that you will be filled with His abiding love. And, thank you dear friends for all of your prayers and financial support. You are blessing me in special ways and your contributions are helping to spread His Word and His love to those less fortunate here in Kenya.

Easter Blessing! Kathleen

From Pastor Karen:

A note, dear reader, about last month’s article from Kathleen Lutz. She told us about the dedication of the high school that was being built 1.5 hours outside of Nairobi, Kenya, by Heart to Heart ministries. This will extend education by her school so that their students can finish their education. Here is the wonderful surprise…Half the money that was raised for this high school was raised by Kathleen’s home congregation in Auburn, Indiana, and half was given by gifts and donation from ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH, CHATTANOOGA, OHIO!! That’s us! How excited we are to see the pictures she sent, which are available for everyone to view on the back table at church. Tell your friends, God is great!!

Now, an update from Kathleen Lutz, WMPL Missionary for Heart to Heart in Kenya. Kathleen sent me an answer to this question that came from our church: “How many of the people in Kenya can read?”

She said: “When we go to the bush/rural areas, some read and some don’t. What I am learning is that other missionaries show the “Jesus Movie” (basically the life of Jesus) as a basis, followed by verbal teaching; and I would offer Bibles in Swahili. The movie is available in Swahili, which seems to have a tremendous impact on people. Presently we can borrow the video machine and a generator to show the move outside at night on a screen/sheet that we set up. This means I would need to hire Nuru Media Lutheran Ministries to go with us to operate the machines, etc Today I had a discussion with Kenyans to find the cost of this equipment so that I would fund raise to purchase it. Heart to Heart, the schools and I could have a lot of use for this purpose and to enhance my teaching.

On the other hand, further into the rural area and in the slum areas around the schools, many do not read. In response to this, just last year World Mission Prayer League missionaries helped to complete the New Testament in Swahili on audio. Gloria, our other missionary, buys SC cards 2 GB and records the Bible onto those (audio). This means that Kenyans can hook it up to their phones and listen to the Bible. Most Kenyans have cell phones because there are no land lines. Imagine this—a Maasai herding his cows, goats, and camels out in the fields listening to the Bible. Quite an advancement for mission work!”


NALC Lenten Devotional 2019

The NALC offers a free Lenten devotional on its website (at NALC Lenten Devotional 2019) or in the NALC Walk of Faith app. You can get the free app in the Apple App Store or in Google Play. You can also receive daily devotions via text, e-mail, or Facebook. Visit NALC Lenten Devotional 2019 for more information.


High School near Nairobi Funded by Local Donations

Missionary Kathleen Lutz, who is ministering in Kenya, reports that Heart to Heart Kenya Mission has built a two-room high school near Nairobi with donations from Zion and Kathleen’s home congregation in Indiana.

Missionary Kathleen Lutz, 11 August 2013.

Kathleen also reports that World Mission Prayer Missionaries have completed a Bible CD in Swahili, which will be distributed among the local population.

You can support our missionary Kathleen Lutz with prayers as well as giving an on-line gift at World Mission Prayer League , Gift Designation to: Kathleen L. Ministry Fund (for this project and her mission work) or Kathleen L. Support Fund.


You Can Help
The NALC provides help and resources for domestic disasters. You can donate here: NALC Disaster Response Fund.

They are currently providing aid for flooding in Nebraska and other affected areas.


Sharing the Gospel with students during school hours

The Released Time Bible Education provides a means to reach youth through a Biblical education and to plant the seeds of faith, as well as sharing a message of acceptance, encouragement, and purpose.

Kingdom Harvest Ministries in Celina has collaborated with the Parkway School District pastors for Released Time Bible Education, offered to Parkway students in grades 5-12.

The Released Time Bible Education program recognizes and reinforces the constitutionally protected right of parents to direct the religious education of their children.

The Released Time Bible Education program provides the opportunity for public school children to be released to an off-site premises during school hours, to attend a Released Time Bible class, on an entirely voluntary basis.

The Released Time Bible Education program is held during the school day and children are released from a portion of their regular school day to attend a Bible class at a local church. For Parkway students, Bible classes will be held at New Horizons Community Church, adjacent to the school. There is no inconvenience to parents or any requirements to adjust their schedules.

Parkway students can register here for Released Time Bible Education:

Voluntary Released Time Bible Education Registration for Parkway Students

For more information about the Released Time Bible Education program at Parkway and Kingdom Harvest Ministries:

Parkway Released Time Bible Education

Kingdom Harvest Ministries


Donate to Hurricane Florence Restoration
Thrivent members who would like to contribute to the restoration after Hurricane Florence can donate on-line at Thrivent.com . Thrivent will double your donation, dollar for dollar, through 31 December 2018.


NALC Ministry Partnership
This year Lutheran Military Veterans and Families Ministries, Inc. was made a “Full Ministry Partner” of the church. As our relationship with the church grows, we are seeking more ways and opportunities to assist our churches with their ministry outreach to veterans and their families.

LMVFM provides veterans, contractors, and their family members with free counseling services and assessments, help with VA claims, and assistance locating and connecting with other types of resource support.

Their website, Lutheran Military Veterans and Families Ministries, Inc., is:  http://www.lmvfm.org/ .


2018 Chattanooga Community Bible School

“SHIPWRECKED”–Rescued by Jesus
June 18-22
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga, Ohio
Sponsored by
Chattanooga United Methodist Church & Zion Lutheran Church

Shipwrecked, 2018 VBS
Shipwrecked, 2018 VBS
Shipwrecked, 2018 VBS
Shipwrecked, 2018 VBS


Support Our Missionary Kathleen Lutz

You can support our missionary Kathleen Lutz, who is ministering in Nairobi, Kenya, with prayers as well as giving an on-line gift at World Mission Prayer League , Gift Designation to: Kathleen L. Ministry Fund (for her mission work) or Kathleen L. Support Fund.

Missionary Kathleen Lutz, 11 August 2013.


500th Anniversary of the Reformation—October 29, 2017

Martin Luther sighting at Zion Chatt!

What is our congregation doing to celebrate the start of the Reformation that began when Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the Castle Church door at Wittenberg and brought back a central teaching of the Church, that “we are saved by grace through faith” (Ephesians 2:8), against the teaching of the day that indulgences could be bought with money to secure the Pope’s allowing you time out of purgatory?

  1. Starting a year ago the young people have been working through a coloring book on the life of Martin Luther.
  2. Starting nine months ago the pastor has written an article about the Reformation for each newsletter.
  3. We are using hymns written by Luther during worship services in October.
  4. We are highlighting the story of the Reformation in Children’s sermons.
  5. We have offered the opportunity to attend an Indiana state-wide special service at St. Matthews in Fort Wayne on October 22nd at 4:30 and an Ohio state-wide special service at First English in Mansfield on November 18th.
  6. We have offered the opportunity to watch a new movie on the life of Martin Luther on PBS—“Martin Luther: the Idea that Changed the World.”
  7. Zion’s adult Sunday School class is studying the Life of Martin Luther

There are a number of other surprises as well, so be at the service of Holy Communion on Reformation Sunday, October 29th, to celebrate! And invite a friend!


The NALC Disaster Relief warehouse in Caldwell, Ohio, has delivered water, flood buckets with cleaning supplies, rakes, shovels, garden hoses, and more than 1,000 hygiene kits, 500 layettes/baby items, 2,000 quilts and Bible, school supplies, and pet food to families in need from Corpus Christi to Beaumont in Texas. They have their feet on the ground in Florida, as well, and supplies for Florida may be sent to the NALC Disaster Warehouse at 810 Main Street, Caldwell, OH, 43724, or taken to Zion Lutheran Church, St. Marys to be gathered and sent to Caldwell, Ohio, in the near future. Mary Bates has urged that monetary contributions be sent to our national offices at 2299 Palmer Drive, Suite 220, New Brighton, MN, 55112-2202. It is recommended that members who would like to send contributions specifically to the Caribbean hurricane victims send them to Water Missions International, as the NALC does not have a church building for a base of operations they can use in the Caribbean. Or you can make your check out to your congregation with a note on the memo line where you would like your money to go.

Our Disaster Response Team for the NALC is working to support our congregations in Texas who are endeavoring to respond to the hurricane damage there. Mary Bates, NALC Disaster Coordinator, will be on site to work with volunteers ([email protected]). Michael Giese is the designated responder who lives in the Mission District area ([email protected]). If you wish to volunteer or donate, monetary donations can be sent to 2299 Palmer Dr., Suite 220, New Brighton, MN 55112, or donate online at www.thenalc.org, selecting “Hurricane Harvey” and “Disaster Response Fund.”


Vacation Bible School, 26-30 June 2017, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, at the Chatt United Methodist Church. Sponsored by the Chatt United Methodist Church and Zion Lutheran Church, Chatt. Ages 3 years-6th grade. Look at all the fun they are having as they hear about God!

Over 60 kids attend!
Bible School 2017.
Kendra leading the singing!
Ian the inventor!
Bible stories!
Gideon fights the Midianites.
Maker Fun Factory!


Collecting items for NALC Disaster Relief:
The NALC is collecting quilts, flood buckets, health kits, and school kits for disaster relief. Pastor Karen will take donated items to the convocation in Nashville in August. Help Stuff the Truck!


Two families from Zion donated a new laptop to missionary Kathleen Lutz for her work in Kenya. The laptop was presented to Kathleen during Zion’s worship service that Sunday.

Kathleen Lutz receives laptop for Kenya mission work, 18 Sep 2016.
Kathleen Lutz receives laptop for Kenya mission work, 18 Sep 2016.


The Monthly Challenge from Zion’s Evangelism Committee is an effort to help members of Zion intentionally think about how they can be the “hands and feet of Jesus” in very simple ways. If everyone does the challenge just ONCE during the month many seeds of love will be sown and will make a difference in someone’s life. The challenges are for EVERYONE–adults, teens, and children. Get started and have fun!

October 2017 Challenge: Smile at 4 strangers! See what happens.

SUMMER CHALLENGES: Give a plant or flower to someone, just because; send a thank you note to your local police or fire department; compliment a parent or grandparent on how well their child is behaving.

February 2017: Send a Valentine to someone who would not expect it.
November 2016: Let someone know they made a difference in your life.
May 2016: Do something for a former or present military person to show your appreciation for their service. Take time to call or visit someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. (Update: During the month of May Ed and Deb sent cards to veterans they know, thanking them for  their service. Karen spent the afternoon visiting a cousin she had not seen for a while. Joe and Karen visited a shut-in.)
April 2016: Take time to call or visit someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. (Update: During the month of April Jill, Joe, and Karen re-connected with some people. Deb sent an encouragement card to a friend she hadn’t spoken to in at least 10 years and Ed sent an email to her husband.)



Tombstones reset in Zion’s Cemetery, fall of 2015.
Tombstones reset in Zion’s Cemetery, fall of 2015.
Tombstones reset in Zion’s Cemetery, fall of 2015.
Tombstones reset in Zion’s Cemetery, fall of 2015.



Gift from Chatt Methodist Church, 160th Anniversary Celebration, 27 Sep 2015.
Gift from Chatt Methodist Church, 160th Anniversary Celebration, 27 Sep 2015.
160th Anniversary Celebration, 27 Sep 2015.
160th Anniversary Celebration, 27 Sep 2015.



New stair lift going to sanctuary. (Feb 2015)
New stair lift going to basement. (Feb 2015)


Pastor Karen Tamorria was installed as the pastor of the St. John Hopewell/Zion Parish on Sunday January 6th 2013 at St. John. She was installed by Pastor Dan Powell, Dean of the Ohio Mission District of the North American Lutheran Church. Pastor Powell gave the sermon and Pastor William Maki of Zion Lutheran, St. Marys, assisted at the service. Pastor Karen’s husband, Michael Tamorria, was received as a member of Zion and Pastor Karen was received as a member of St. John at the service. Pastors Karen and Michael Tamorria moved to Chattanooga from Maryland in mid-November. Pastor Karen began conducting services at both churches on November 25th 2012.

Pastors Karen Tamorria & William Maki, installation service, 6 Jan 2013.
Pastors Karen & Michael Tamorria. installation service 6 Jan 2013.
Pastor Dan Powell, NALCOMD Dean, installation service, 6 Jan 2013.