Among millions of congregations is Zion in La Grande, Oregon.  500 years after it all started, we celebrate our place in the Lutheran family and look ahead to the new things God is doing today to bring Christians back together.  Our partner churches, St. Peter’s Episcopal, La Grande United Methodist, First Presbyterian, and First Christian joined us for a Sunday of celebration.  



Members of Our Lady of the Valley came to Zion on Sunday afternoon, November 12th at 3:00 pm for a service of Common Prayer commemorating the Reformation, La Grande, Oregon.  The liturgical order was developed by Lutherans and Catholics in dialogue.  Thanksgiving and lament, joy and repentance, mark the singing and praying as we commemorate the gifts of the Reformation and ask forgiveness for the division that we have perpetuated. Many people don't realize that old animosities have been put aside today in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration between protestants and catholics.  Members of the community joined us. A reception followed the service.




Oregon Lutherans Declare Themselves a Sanctuary Church



Submitted by Ryan on Thu, 05/05/2016

Among the business transacted at the Assembly this year was the adoption of a resolution designating the Oregon Synod as a "Sanctuary Synod." This action will be of some interest both to our own membership and others in our communities.  

This past weekend official representatives of the Oregon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to make their church the first “Sanctuary Synod” in the nation. This action encourages each of the 115 ELCA congregations and ministries throughout the state to “become Sanctuary churches ready to protect refugees and undocumented sisters and brothers from arrest and deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.”

“The Lutheran Church has been active in refugee resettlement nationally for over 75 years through the work of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.” said Oregon Bishop Dave Brauer-Rieke. “Just this week we are welcoming the first Syrian refugees to our state through a partnership between Lutheran Community Services Northwest and a local congregation, St. Luke Lutheran, in Portland.”

After World War II one in six Lutherans in the world were refugees or displaced persons. At that time Lutherans and the Lutheran Church in this country resettled 57,000 refugees in the United States. After the fall of Saigon in 1975 U.S. Lutheran congregations sponsored over 50,000 refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

“To designate ourselves as a Sanctuary Synod means our moral compass is straight and true.” stated Bishop Brauer-Rieke. “It means we are thankful for the welcome this country has given us as European immigrants and refugees and that we honor the highest values of our nation as a place of safety for the poor, the tired and all who yearn to breathe free. Most of our work around Refugee resettlement is done in harmony with government agencies and social services. The call to sanctuary recognizes that sometimes we have to ask more difficult questions.”

Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland was in the news September and December of 2014 as they offered physical sanctuary to Francisco Aguirre and family being threatened with deportation to El Salvador after 20 years in the U.S. as an undocumented worker. Augustana Lutheran Pastor Mark Knutson says, “As a congregation we just want to know what's going on, and that it meets the values of the community: the common values of ending wars, striving for equity, serving the hungry and the vulnerable, lifting up children and the elderly."

“Offering sanctuary to the Aguirre family had the single goal of giving our community and legal system time and space to consider its actions.” said Bishop Brauer-Rieke. “Given this time an injustice that might have occurred was, thankfully, avoided. I commend Augustana Lutheran for their compassion and care.”

“Not every Lutheran congregation in Oregon is likely to offer physical sanctuary the way Augustana has because of our action this past weekend.” Bishop Brauer-Rieke went on to say. “We recognize all together that issues of immigration and documentation are extremely complicated and complex. Nonetheless we all know people come first. Children come first. Safety and well-being comes first. Each of us in our own way is offering food, assistance, welcome and hope to those in need as we are able.”

ZLCW's Annual "Not-For-Profit" Bazaar! November 5th 2016

This is ZLCW’s annual ‘Not-For-Profit’ Bazaar when we invite organizations/ groups such as Next Step Pregnancy, etc. to set up a booth.  Other groups donate items to Zion for silent bids.  Previous ZLCW booths/tables: silent bids (quilts, crafts, etc.), ‘New-to-You’, Xmas items/decorations, SERV, Fair Trade, crafts, baked items, and much more. The proceeds are used for ZLCW’s local stewardship projects such as: Friday Backpack, Youth for Christ (J-House), Neighbors Together, the Patrows, for their missionary work, etc.)  These are voted on prior to the bazaar so that we are able to list them at the bazaar.

If you would like to help (Friday or Saturday) and/or donate items (crafts, baked/canned items, good used items (no clothes) please contact Sandy Clausen, Joan Staab, Sharon Cheney, or Carole Halvorson – or the church office.  A sign-up sheet will be posted on the hall bulletin board.  Also, if you know of anyone or any organization who would like to set up a table, let us know.  (Deadline to sign up for a table is Wed., Nov. 2nd).

         Menu:  Homemade soup, garlic bread, coffee also sold.

Some of the items left from the bazaar will be available to purchase before/ after the Nov. 6th worship service (9:-9:30 am and 10:30-11:30 am)

And – be sure to stop by on Sat., Nov. 5th – do some shopping – have lunch – enjoy the fellowship ---and bring a friend!



A full page ad will be in The Observer's October 21 edition listing local men against domestic violence.  See Zion's Outreach page for more information about the Shelter From the Storm Open House taking place this week.  


Come learn together and engage in respectful discussion on this timely topic

The Patriot Movement in Eastern Oregon

October 10th


 La Grande, Oregon

6:00 - 8:00 PM

Jessica Campbell of the Rural Organizing Project (ROP) presented to more than 70 people in Union County about the patriot movement's roots, strategies and tactics and how communities have come together to respond to negative impacts of the patriot movement where they live. 


This evening a vigil was held near Max Square, La Grande. 30 people gathered to contemplate the deaths of more than 130 African Americans nationwide at the hands of police since the first of the year-- and the deaths of policemen at the hands of African Americans. Reading of names, candle light, heart ache - all present this evening. The vigil was sponsored by Racial Justice in Eastern Oregon, Oregon Rural Action and the Multi Cultural Center of EOU.

On Friday, June 24th, Zion Lutheran together with Union County (PFLAG) Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays sponsored a vigil for the victims of the shooting in Orlando cooperation with La Grande United Methodist, St. Thomas Episcopal and Oregon Rural Action. There was a moment of silence, and a reading of the names of the victims with a candle lighting, followed by reflections from members of the community and a reception.