This New Identity Matters! 2016-2017 Worship at Zion

By on August 24, 2016 in News & Musings



Season: Autumn

Liturgical Color: Green

September and October bring us a particular kind of story from Luke’s gospel. Whether Jesus is in a public square or a private home, he chooses to see the people most often ignored, belittled, and left out of the conversation. He looks at them with love, interrupting the task at hand for something more important: recognizing another person in the midst of their isolation or hardship with a very specific, yet universal, invitation to belong. Jesus is rearranging the social furniture and giving us eyes to see each other as beloved children of God.

These autumn worship services will include personal stories from Zioners about what it feels like to be recognized in baptism and Christian life. Each week, a different person will share about the power of being truly seen and deeply valued by God and this faith community. If you have a story to tell, contact Patty Beadle at


Season: Stewardship

Liturgical Colors: White and Green

November is a time to remember the saints who have gone before us; loved ones who died this year, but also the ancestors of our faith and traditions. Their legacies invite our unique leadership and generosity, informing much of how we worship, teach, learn, sing, and share the good news of Jesus. We will discern our gifts of treasure, time, and talent for 2017 as a congregation and as individuals.

This season of generosity will include candles and reading the names of saints on Sunday, November 6. You are invited to bring photographs and written stories of the saints who have formed your faith and inspire your lives; they will be displayed in the sanctuary on a gallery wall for this season and will remind us of the great cloud of witnesses that have encouraged us along the way.


Season: Advent

Liturgical Color: Blue

The days are getting shorter as the winter solstice approaches, but also because we feel the rush of the commercial Christmas season upon us. It’s easy to get lost in the mania of garland and glitter and shopping lists, so our worship services and calendar at Zion will keep things simple.

Our prayers promise to recognize what’s hopeful and hard about this season, for holidays bring forth every emotion. Each week we will add lanterns and candles to the chancel area, brightening our worship space in the midst of long winter nights, symbols of hope and light in the darkness.


Season: Christmas

Liturgical Color: White

Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year and the second Sunday in Christmas falls on New Year’s Day. This might mean our assembly is small, just like this short season filled with stories of shepherds looking up, wise men on the way, and new parents nestled in a barn. We will gather our chairs together more closely around the altar, as if we too are in the barn.

It’s tempting to pack up the decorations and carols on December 26th before really relishing this great gift that’s come all the way down to us. God is now here – vulnerable and small – to draw us together into a awe and a hush at the wonder of God’s love. This brief season whispers, “This is how much I love you. You are worth it. All of it.”


Season: Epiphany

Liturgical Colors: White and Green

According to the church calendar, Jesus grows up in just a few weeks! By January, he’s off and running into ministry, healing and teaching and saving with every breath. Things begin to look ordinary in the world and the sanctuary again, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Remember Christmas? God says we’re worth it and nothing will ever be the same!

We’ve been given a new lens to experience ordinary moments as extraordinary. Look no further than the bookends of Epiphany: Jesus’ baptism and his transfiguration. The heavens are ripped open in ways that cannot be perfectly repaired or resewn. God is all in now, which means nothing will ever be ordinary again.


Season: Lent

Liturgical Color: Purple

Jesus stays focused on the way to the cross while messing with our expectations of who’s in, who’s free, and who’s saved by the God if Israel. This is a season about “managing up” our expectations of life in Christ. On the way to the cross we start believing that there might be more to this life than our own success, piety, or stomachs.

These Lenten worship services will lift up the good work of ELCA World Hunger through our liturgy, stewardship, and ear for the Bread of Life. We will join with churches and communities committed to ending hunger, trusting that this is possible through the God who desires daily bread for all.


Season: Holy Week

Liturgical Color: Scarlet and Black

After five years of having only a Good Friday worship service during the Three Days, we will host a Maundy Thursday worship service. We will hear the Passion Narrative and feast together at the table, where Jesus invites every sinner (even Judas, even Peter, even you and me) to taste forgiveness, salvation, and new life. We will be filled with God’s greatest sacrifice and be healed with its power and promises.


Season: Easter

Liturgical Color: White

At the tomb and in the flesh! We are created in the image of a God who shows up to breathe peace, bearing wounds of great suffering but also the truth about life everlasting. Being the body of Christ requires our physicality. This will be a season for showing up in our community, breathing peace to those who fear and grieve, and telling the truth about death’s destruction.


Season: Pentecost

Liturgical Color: Red

God is all in.

Jesus promises to be with us until the end of the age.

The Holy Spirit is loose.

What more permission do we need?

Pentecost is the green light to believe you’ve been called and ordained through your baptism to live out the gospel. We have been blessed…but not for the sake of keeping this good news to ourselves or to hide it in the sanctuary on Sundays! We entrusted with this blessing so that we will use and share it for the sake of the whole world.


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