In July 2009 our congregation came together and voted overwhelmingly 93% to adopt
the Elders’ recommendation to undertake the Mission Possible campaign to raise $1.4 million dollars to make necessary repairs to the Sanctuary and to replace the Education Building. The Campaign began
in the fall of 2009 and will culminate on Decision Sunday, January 24, 2010 when all members
will be asked to prayerfully consider their gift to help continue our Church’s 120+ year
mission of connecting people to God.
Zion United Church of Christ began its mission of connecting people to God in 1888
when a group of German immigrants to South Bend founded the German Evangelical Zion
Church (Zion Deutesches Evangelical Kirche). As the Church grew, a schoolhouse was constructed
on the site of the current Education Building, which, at its peak, had 269 students enrolled.
In 1930, the schoolhouse was demolished and the Education Building constructed.
Over the last several years concerns have increased about the safety, utility, and functionality
of the Education Building. The building’s size far exceeds the needs of the present
membership and is very expensive to heat, cool, and maintain. Its three-story structure makes
accessibility difficult for many people, and no good solution has been found for installing an
elevator despite years of study.
Based on these concerns, the Elders retained an engineering firm to study the physical
needs of the Sanctuary and the Education building and to report on the estimated costs of repairs.
That report - which was shared at the spring 2008 congregational meeting - estimated the
cost of necessary repairs to the Sanctuary at $270,000 and to the Education Building at
$500,000. Subsequent to receipt of the report, significant problems were discovered with the
bricks on the Education Building. Based on this information and on the knowledge that these
repairs still did not address the problems of the size and accessibility of the Education Building,
the Elders began to explore replacing the building. After investigating other facilities, interviewing
architects, holding a series of “listening meetings” with members, and conducting a
financial feasibility study, the Elders unanimously agreed to recommend to the congregation
that a capital campaign be undertaken to raise $1.4 million to meet the needs of repairing the
Sanctuary and to replace the Education Building with a new one-story facility connected to the
north and east entrances to the Sanctuary.
If you or someone you know would be interested in contributing to the Zion Mission Possible campaign, or would like additional information please click here and send us an email.
A Renovated Sanctuary
New roof and new energy-efficient
heating and cooling system
Renovation of historic stained glass
Repair of plaster damage
Improvements to organ
Improvements to drainage
A New Education Building
One-level building connected to the
A facility accessible to all
Multi-functional rooms for education, fellowship, and community
A connection of the past to the future