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Bright Gradient

A Hundred Years of History

By December 11, 1923, a fledgling Lutheran English speaking congregation had obtained a lease to occupy the Scandinavian Hall at 236 John Street, with option to purchase, and bought the property in 1926.  Members had to work hard to make the old hall look like a church.  The original altar, for example, was improvised from wooden packing crates.  A major expansion in 1929 saw the addition of a 20-foot chancel with vestry.  Excavation provided a meeting room underneath the small frame church building.  Repairs and additions continued through the years to make the old meeting room look more "churchly."   By the early 1950’s, a larger and more modern facility was needed.  Zion's congregation broke ground for the present building on March 2, 1958, with dedication on Sunday, September 7, 1958.  An educational wing was added to Zion in 1964.  A renovation in 1997/1998 included a new office complex, a barrier-free washroom, a kitchenette, a new heating, and A/C system.  Between 1960 and 1970 a German language congregation, St. Mark's Lutheran Church, worshipped in the former facilities of Zion Church on John Street.  St. Mark's German congregation disbanded in 1970, and their numbers joined Zion.  In December 2010, the merger with the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of St. Mary’s Finnish Lutheran Church brought new flavour and enrichment to Zion’s already multicultural church family.

Zion’s members past and present have taken great pride in their worship space and cherish memorial gifts dedicated to the glory of God.  The John Street Chapel opposite the sacristy honours our beginning with stained-glassed windows, altar, baptismal font, and pews from the original site.  The lightbox of Jesus and the Children, the global mission prayer stand, and a font from St. Mary’s Finnish Lutheran proudly enhance the sanctuary.  Pews along the east wall are memorials to our heritage including St. Mark’s congregation.

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