W H A T   W E   D O 

Our Mission

Together We


We are a worshipping
community of sinner-saints
saved by grace alone.
Together We


We are a family of Christ where
people grow together in 
discipleship and fellowship.
Together We


We are an outpost where
ministry and mission in
the name of Jesus is alive.
O U R   G O A L
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19-20). We are passionate about sharing the love of Jesus with others.

Jason Hoerth


L O O K I N G   A H E A D

Our Events

Welcome Our New Members 
Wet Cement: Vision Unpack
April 28
New Adult Bible Study – The Journey  follows the stories of four individuals from widely dissimilar pasts that arrived at the same conviction: Jesus Christ is Lord.
Sundays at 9:45 a.m. in the Lower Level
April 28 & May 5
We will welcome two new members from Confirmation and eight from Discipleship 101. Join us in getting to know them and welcoming them.
Confirmation – 4/28 at 8:30 a.m.
New Member Welcome – 5/5
May 19
Lunch: 12 p.m.
Meeting: 12:30 p.m.
We will start with a short Congregational Meeting and move on to a Vision update. Childcare provided. All are invited! 
June 17-20, 2019
Vacation Bible School
Dinner: 5:30 – 6 PM
VBS Program: 6 – 8 PM
For children Pre-school through 5th Grade

F R O M   T H E   B L O G

Recent Articles

Lent – What is it Really About?

by Pam Blankenship
I often think of Lent as the Christian’s New Year’s resolution. Like a New Year’s resolution, giving up something for Lent seems like a great idea – a perfect time to renew and set new goals for our Christian life. Certainly, 40 days of Lent sounds much more achievable than 365 days of a New Year’s resolution. And, if you can maintain the sacrifice for 40 days, you’ve probably set the record over those who attempted a New Year’s resolution.


As someone who didn’t grow up in the Lutheran faith, who didn’t grow up celebrating Lent each year, I have never really bought into the idea of giving something up for Lent. It puzzles my mind that I should give something up when Jesus Christ gave the ultimate sacrifice. He gave up his life, so that I could be free from sin and sacrifice.


As you may have guessed by now, there are many times I give up nothing for Lent. Because of that I get a fair amount of ribbing from other Christians, my husband included, saying that I’m just taking the easy way out. Some years I have given up something, and I feel I lost what should have been my focus. A sweet dessert has never sounded so good as when I gave dessert up for 40 days of Lent. And, I can’t wait for Easter to arrive – not because it’s an amazing time of celebration to remember He Has Risen! – but because I can’t stop thinking about that yummy dessert. I want my focus to be elsewhere.


While I still don’t buy into the idea of giving up something for Lent, through the years I have gained a better understanding of what Lent means in the Christian faith. With the season of Lent upon us, I wanted to gain some further perspective, so I turned to the ever handy Google. My search turned up “about 150,000,000 results”. As you can imagine there was a vast range of topics. Some were focused on what to give up for Lent – even the mention of a secular lent, where non-Christians like the idea of self-reflection and sacrifice to better themselves. My 5th Grader backed up this idea today by telling me how her school friends are giving up things and adding in a punishment if they can’t stick with it. This secular version loses the real focus of what Lent means.


I was pleased to note there were many Christian definitions that capture the meaning of Lent. LCMS.org says, “Lent serves not only as a time to meditate on the suffering that Christ endured on our behalf but also as an opportunity to reflect upon our own Baptism and what it means to live as a child of God.” Catholic.com states that Lent is “a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.” UMC.org says, “Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter.” Concordia Publishing House provides a video (https://youtu.be/RkqHQGdPwMo) that explains “Lent is a solemn season clearly set apart to contrast powerfully with Easter Sunday, when our alleluias return, loud and clear, in celebration of Jesus’ resurrection and the new life we have in Him!” Proverbs 31 Ministries’ video (https://youtu.be/ED73UwfiDgU) offers information for those less familiar with Lent, answering, “have you ever really thought about why Lent matters? And how does Jesus fit into all this?”


So, with all the ranging views of Lent – what is it really about? As we know Lent is the 40 days (not counting Sundays) leading up to Easter. Though the first thought for many is, “what will I give up for Lent” that’s not what it’s really about. It is about sacrifice – the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. It is a time for us to meditate on our sin and His extraordinary is gift of forgiveness when we don’t deserve it. It is an opportunity for us to focus on our relationship with God. It is a time to prepare our hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.


As we head into this Lenten season, I’m already getting questioned from my kids about what I’ll give up this year. Whether I give something up or not isn’t the point – where I put my focus is. For this season of Lent, I choose to place my focus on the cross – spending time in God’s Word, praying and remembering Jesus’ gift to me. I challenge you to use these next 40 days for intentional reflection and preparation for Easter, whether that means spending more time in God’s Word, more time in prayer, more time in worship, or giving up something. And, I’ll add to that challenge, don’t let it end in 40 days. Take time all year long to remember the sacrifice Jesus made, spend time in His Word, in prayer and grow in Christ.

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Adding Something in for Lent?

by Peg Fenner
With the Lenten season coming upon us, some of us will be thinking about “what should I give up for Lent?” For years, Greg and I have given up ice cream, and if you know us, you know that’s a pretty big sacrifice! But what if we talk this year about adding something in for Lent? Something to help us grow closer, as a family of believers, during this time of reflection. I’d like to suggest our Wednesday evening dinners and services – a time of nourishment, fellowship, and worship.

To me, these evenings feel like the closest thing we may offer to how it was in the days of Jesus – coming together around a table, breaking bread, and then hearing the Word of God. In our busyness, we can often look at our “Simple Suppers” as a way to make it easier to get to a mid-week service. We can also make it a time to hang out with our friends. Or maybe it’s a bonus meal – because I didn’t have to cook it! But we can make it much more than all of that. We can make it a time of true fellowship – a chance to chat with that person that you have only nodded or smiled at on Sundays, but never have really met. It’s a chance to sit and unwind with someone who maybe you only get to talk to during a church meeting.   It’s a chance to show some love and care for someone who may need you to be the bright spot in their day. It’s an opportunity for us to invite that person that may not have made connections yet at church. And it’s an opportunity to invite a neighbor or friend to our church.

I encourage each of us to ask someone to come along to these meals and share in our fellowship. I encourage you to not sit with “your group” – branch out a little. And remember, these are Simple Suppers – so we can all be like Mary, and be ready to sit at the feet of our Lord – not making a fuss over our meal and clean up, like Martha. Commit during Lent to come each week, starting on Ash Wednesday, and join us at 6 pm to share in an awesome time of fellowship, followed by our worship service at 7 pm.

Acts 2:42  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

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The Importance of the Family Retreat to Me

by Madalyn Graves


The Family Retreat at Camp Lakeview has been going on since I was a baby. Each year I can look forward to the peace and serenity that comes with going to camp for a weekend. During this weekend I can forget about my problems outside of camp and focus on my relationship with God and with my family. At the Family Retreat while we do have fun ziplining, arts and crafting, and shooting arrows there is a heavy focus on worship.

This retreat gives me a chance to reconnect with my family after being away at college in Chicago. With my family, church family, and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church family we have fun and also grow in our faith. We have focused times during Saturday night bonfire and Sunday morning worship. During those times we talk with our families and go deeper into our faiths.

What I find so amazing about this retreat is that it is open to all families. Families with kids in college and families with toddlers and everything in between come to this retreat. All of them are at different places in their faith, and this retreat is a good way to just sit down and talk about that without the ticking clock of the real world.

What gets me coming back year after year, while, yes, is the halting of my outside problems, is the little moments. Moments like Saturday morning pancakes, taking my friend’s money that he posted on the target at archery, games of gaga ball played in the dead of night, and singing songs like Sanctuary.

At Camp Lakeview with the still lake water, fresh air, and the silence of the forest I know that there is no need to rush. Any problems I have get swept to the side for the weekend. This is not a time for worry and fear. Instead it is a time for having fun and rejoicing in what God has done for us. And this is why I come back year after year. Even now that I am all the way in Chicago.

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Address: 1175 Birney Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45230
Phone: (513) 231-2253 

Office Email: office@zionlc.org