Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
14205 Ida Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68142
Rev. Lance D. Berndt and Rev. Philip Hale
Church Office (402) 493-1744
Saturday 6:00 PM
Sunday 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM
Sunday School 9:15 AM and Bible Study 9:30 AM
Welcome To Zion Lutheran Church
The Mission of Zion Lutheran Church is to reach out to the community as we embrace our fellow members, building on the strength of our heritage in the true Word of God. To this end, Zion's members see themselves as loving Christians called by God to serve Him according to His purpose.
You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. Heb. 12:22-23
- Published: 07 August 2014
- Last Updated: 05 November 2015
Preus Jan/Feb 2017 Newsletter
The Preus Family in the Dominican Republic
The Preus Family December Newsletter is also available to download and share in PDF format (click here).
Dear Christian friends and partners in Christ's mission: Happy Epiphany! On Christmas Day, Christ joined our family forever. During this season, we celebrate the same Jesus who now invites us to become part of His family and share in His glory. The pace of life has really picked up here in the Dominican Republic. We hope you enjoy our updates and photographs that tell the story. Your continued prayers and support are so appreciated.
"Poco a poco"
"Poco a poco," a common phrase I'm sure I overuse each day, means, "little by little." That's the life of the Preus family in the Dominican Republic. We have just entered our third month of missionary life, and each day has its new challenges even as we march forward to accomplish our four-month goals. (The orientation period officially lasts four months, and then I will assume by fulltime load as pastor.) We keep plugging along with the Spanish-in the classroom every Tuesday to Friday, through occasional preaching, teaching the Augsburg Confession to our deaconess students, and conducting the liturgy each Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. This Wednesday, Vicar Idjon and I began visiting each member and former member of our congregation, while looking for opportunities to make evangelism calls in the community. Soon, I will add to my routine the regular preaching at the Escuela Luterana la Concordia (Concordia Lutheran School) every other Friday morning. Meanwhile, during the evening hours, I am working hard to develop a curriculum proposal for our new seminary, which is due to open this July.
- Published: 14 February 2017
- Last Updated: 15 February 2017
Pastor's Pen 02/07/2017
A message from Pastor Berndt
This is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Valentine's Day is fast approaching. Gentlemen, time to buy your beloved gifts. Chocolate, flowers or maybe something that sparkles. A romantic dinner perhaps. Do not fall into the worlds trap in regards to love. The world seeks love in all the wrong places.
What is love? We have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4) Love is not a feeling or emotion that comes and goes like a mist. Many times people will describe love as something that they have fallen into. That description is not good. You fall into the ditch. The Fall into sin. Falling describes being out of control. God is love. You, the Lord's, church are the receiver of God's love. That is why many times the Scriptures describes the church as "My Beloved."
What does God's love look like? Jesus going to the Cross. Because of God's love for you, He sent Jesus to rescue sinners. God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5)
- Published: 08 February 2017
- Last Updated: 08 February 2017
How I Became A Confessional Lutheran
This article written by Joy Pullmann orginally appeared on Redeemer Lutheran Church's website.
As a child I was taught to be deeply suspicious of liturgical churches. Both my parents are cradle Catholics who became charismatic evangelicals during their courtship. So, because most of our family on both sides remained Catholic, I was regularly exposed to a historic liturgy by attending baptisms, weddings, and funerals.
When it came time for the sacrament, my six siblings and I sat quietly in the pew as my parents had instructed, instead of filing up to the front of the church with our extended family and their fellow congregants. I remember piously congratulating myself that we were not “religious” like our Catholic family and friends, those poor, misguided souls who only had boring old hymns to sing instead of exciting 1960s-style rock ballads.
You see, we believed in the freedom of the Spirit, not a dead, dry, formal religion. In our churches, people danced, fell down, and raised their hands, and you could never tell how long the service would be. It was all up to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes he would keep us there all day.
This is how I thought as a child, but as I grew older, things got more complicated. Underlying all the religious excitement was a deep restlessness. Our churches were fractious because people came precisely to feel a spiritual high. Once they got their hit, they moved on. We began to attend churches in bursts, floating here and there for a few years or even months at a time. It unsettled me. I wanted a spiritual home. Life was unstable enough to transfer that instability to the one domain that ought to offer eternal surety.
- Published: 06 February 2017
- Last Updated: 06 February 2017
What do Kloha's Errors Foretell for the Future of the LCMS?
A Message from Pastor Hale
This is a short article written for the Lutheran Concerns Association newsletter. I was asked to give an overview of the implications of the recent Chicago debate on Scripture. Dr. Kloha, a St. Louis professor, has some troubling views on the Bible (as written about previously). These academic views do affect how theology and preaching is done, since all divine truth is connected. Christ made the truth and gave it to us in Scripture for our comfort. --Pastor Hale
[The debate between Dr. Montgomery and Dr. Kloha can be seen in this article.]
Dr. Kloha's errors seem to revolve around the narrow field of textual criticism, constructing the best text of the Bible. Those listening to the recent Chicago debate between Dr. Montgomery and Dr. Kloha might ask: “where's the beef?” How does this connect to the daily life of the Church, where forgiveness is to be preached. This was not a mere academic debate over theories and definitions. Being able to condemn sin, speak of doctrine with certainty, and forgive sins with all the authority of Christ are at stake.
- Published: 04 February 2017
- Last Updated: 04 February 2017
Upcoming Lenten Services
|March 1||Ash Wednesday||4:30pm & 7:00pm|
|March 8 - April 12||Wednesday Lenten Services||4:30pm & 7:00pm|
|April 13||Maundy Thursday||4:30pm & 7:00pm|
|April 14||Good Friday||7:00pm|
|April 15||Easter Vigil||6:00pm|
|April 16||Easter Sunday|
There will be a meal served between the services each Wednesday, beginning at 5:00pm.
- Published: 30 January 2017
- Last Updated: 01 February 2017
The Feast of St. Valentine
The article "The Feast of St. Valentine, martyr", was written by the Rev. William Cwirla and originally appeared on his blog as well as the Higher Things Dare to Be Lutheran website.
My wife and I have an agreement since our courtship days. No Valentine’s Day! No store-bought chocolates, no overpriced flowers, no syrupy-sweet cards, and definitely no jewelry. This was her idea, by the way, and I was more than willing to go along with the program. It’s one of the reasons I married her.
Valentine’s Day appears to be one of those baptized paganisms. Plutarch (that’s Mestrius Plutarchus who lived between 46 and 127 AD - for all you kids in public school) described the Roman festival of Lupercalia, which fell on Feb. 15th this way:
“Lupercalia, of which many write that it was anciently celebrated by shepherds, and has also some connection with the Arcadian Lycaea. At this time many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery, and the barren to pregnancy.”
- Published: 29 January 2017
- Last Updated: 29 January 2017
Closed Communion: Repentance and Faith
The following article was orginally posted on The Brothers of John the Steadfast website September 28, 2016 by Pastor Rojas of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Winter Garden, FL.
When a pastor practices Closed Communion, he is simply teaching repentance.
In the FL/GA District, I’ve often heard pastors say, “We [the LC–MS] practice ‘close’ communion.” When I ask, “What do you mean by that?” They typically respond along the lines, “It means that anyone who confesses Jesus is Lord, and is baptized, can receive the Lord’s Supper.” I’ve heard that we practice “close communion” because other Christian denominations are “close” or “close enough” to the LC–MS. Furthermore, I’ve heard that this is simply a “policy” of the LC–MS, and that it’s not really biblical. It sounds pretty convincing, doesn’t it?
I must admit, I heard this a lot growing up; it was so simple I believed it! However, after reading the Bible, I quickly realized that the Bible never actually says this. Indeed, Scripture teaches “confessing Jesus as Lord,” (Romans 10:9) and it certainly gives the mandate to be Baptized (Acts 2:38). But, it never says that these are the only requirements. The context of those verses is about salvation, not about receiving the Lord’s Supper worthily.
- Published: 27 January 2017
- Last Updated: 27 January 2017
Michael Ersland's Year In Review
Michael is excited to be living in Ghana, West Africa as a translation adviser for the Komba Old Testament translation project. A solid group of people are standing with Michael and sending him into this service.
Here is Michael's 2016 Year in Review
January-March: I traveled to various churches in the U.S. and began packing for Ghana.
April: I was commissioned by LBT as a missionary to the Komba Old Testament translation project on April 9th. I arrived in Ghana on April 13th.
- Published: 05 January 2017
- Last Updated: 05 January 2017
The Story of Christmas
|When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. Matthew 2:10-12|
A Message from Pastor Hale
I ran across an article that describes how the modern atheist thinks of Bible stories:
… surely some Bible stories will teach my kids moral lessons that will help them grow up into the fine, upstanding people I want them to be. Right?
So I buy a book of Bible stories — a charming little book filled with fluffy sheep and smiling cartoon people in tunics and sandals — telling myself it’ll be Aesop’s Fables plus Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, with the extra heft of blessings from the Big Guy Upstairs. I sit down to pick out our first story. And I can’t.
The stories are familiar. I learned them in Sunday School while making yarn-and-popsicle-stick crafts. But now, reading them with fresh eyes, I can’t find a single story that doesn’t make me feel unsettled, wondering what questions my children will ask that I can’t answer. [Karen Weese]
The Bible is graphic. It forces us to take sin seriously. It tells us we deserve nothing. That all we have worked for and everything we deserve (our wages) is only death. Our best intentions are worthless to God, and we are damned if we trust in them. We do not need improved morality. It is harmful to imply that our kids are good in themselves. This godless thinking leads to eternal destruction. We need another path.
- Published: 30 December 2016
- Last Updated: 04 January 2017
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