Our staff have spend many years serving the congregation at Zion - between 7 and 25+ years each. Our pastor is Rev. John Holst. Barbara Rhodes is secretary. Choir director is Diane Lazorchak. Gail Jones is our bell choir director.
See their bios...
We are a community of many ages from 0 to 94. If you bring children, they will not be alone - they may even find a classmate. We are neither a big nor a small church. You could eventually learn all of our names.
We believe church is far more than an hour a week in a pew. To that end, many of us volunteer, both inside and outside our church, and participate in the service through music and A/V.
We love our church even if it is imperfect and incomplete. Our journey with our fellow members has helped many of us grow as Christians and a community yet we recognize much learning and growth remains.
To help paint a picture of our church, a few of our members have written some words about themselves and what the church looks like to them. Learn more...
We are a fellowship of caring, sharing Christians:
Nurturing future generations
Studying and living the teachings of the Bible
Ministering to each other, the community,
and the world at large
Bringing the Good News of God's Grace to others
Welcoming all into fellowship.
Together we care, we share, we serve
We believe in the triune God: Creator; resurrected Christ, the sole Head of the church; and the Holy Spirit, who guides and brings about the creative and redemptive work of God in the world.
We believe that each person is unique and valuable:it is the will of God that every person belong to a family of faith where they have a strong sense of being valued and loved.
We believe that each person is on a spiritual journey and that each of us is at a different stage of that journey.
We believe that the persistent search for God produces an authentic relationship with God, engendering love, strengthening faith, dissolving guilt, and giving life purpose and direction.
We believe that all of the baptized belong body and soul to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. No matter who...No matter what...No matter where we are on lifes journey, notwithstanding race, gender, sexual orientation, class or creed, we all belong to God and to one worldwide community of faith. All persons baptized past, present and future are connected to each other and to God through the sacrement of baptism. We baptize during worship when the community is present because baptism includes the community's promise of love, support, and care for the baptized...and we promise that we won't take it back no matter where your journey leads you.
We believe that all people of faith are invited to join Christ at Christs table for the sacrament of Communion. Just as many grains of wheat are gathered to make one loaf of bread and many grapes are gathered to make one cup of wine, likewise we, the many people of God are made one in the body of Christ, the church. The breaking of bread and the pouring of wine reminds us of the costliness of Christs sacrifice and the discipleship to which we are all called. In the breaking of bread, we remember and celebrate Christs presence among us along with a cloud of witnesses our ancestors, family, and friends who have gone before us. It is a great mystery; we claim it by faith.
We believe the UCC is called to be a united and uniting church. That they may all be one. (John 17:21) In essentials unity, in nonessentials diversity, in all things charity, These UCC mottos survive because they touch a core values deep within us. The UCC has no rigid formulation of doctrine or attachment to creeds or structures. Its overarching creed is love. UCC pastors and teachers are well-known for their commitment to excellence in theological preparation, interpretation of the scripture and justice advocacy. Even so, the supremacy of love and unity in the midst of our diversity are our greatest assets.
We believe that God calls us to be servants in the service of others and to be good stewards of the earths resources. To believe is to care, to care is to do.
We believe that the UCC is called to be a prophetic church. As in the tradition of the prophets and apostles, God calls the church to speak truth to power, liberate the oppressed, care for the poor and to comfort the afflicted.
We believe in the power of peace, and work for nonviolent solutions to local, national, and international problems.
We are a people of possibility. In the UCC members, congregations and structures have the breathing room to explore and to hear . . . for after all, God is still speaking . . .
United Church of Christ Statement
We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify:
You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image,and set before each one the ways of life and death.
You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.
You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.
In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself.
You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.
You call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil,to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.
You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end.
Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you.
The Evangelische Zions Gemeinde zu of Marion, Illinois, was organized on October 13,1888, by a group of German and Swiss pioneers who migrated from Washington, Madison, and St. Clair Counties, Illinois. The Rev. Ed Schweizer became their first Pastor, with twenty original members.
During World War I, an attempt was made to burn the church . On July 7, 1918, the congregation unanimously voted to repair the damage done by the fire and discontinued all services in German as long as our land was involved in war. After the war was over, the congregation decided services should alternate between the two languages.
The church expanded in 1924, with The Ministerial Alliance and other service organizations of Marion assisting in laying the cornerstone of the building we occupy today. We have grown through the years, with the addition of the Education win in 1958, expansion of the sanctuary in 1971, and a new wing and elevator on the east side of the building in 1989.
Throughout our history, we've been a people committed to mission and helping others. It is our aim to commit ourselves to a deeper involvement of our congregation to Christ and His way, and to open our hearts more fully to bring others to the deep concerns and love of our Lord.