Local Neighbors (Ann Arbor, SE Michigan)

Peace Neighborhood Center – Zion Contacts: Amy Pachera (programs), amypachera@gmail.com or Mary Pfaus (after-school cooking)

Serves children, families and individuals with after-school programs, summer day camp, substance abuse prevention and recovery, counseling, advocacy, job training and placement, and emergency assistance.
Organization Contact: PNC Director, Bonnie Billups, 662-3564.

Ways to serve:

      • Help serve after school meals
      • Tutor students after school
      • Be one of Zion’s representatives on their Board

Friends in Deed – Zion Contact: Mike Weber, mrweber50@gmail.com

Provides Washtenaw County residents support services that are not being served by other human service agencies.

Ways to serve:

      • Donate good, usable furniture – especially beds.
      • Deliver donated furniture
      • Work on the phone helpline by matching clients with furniture donors
      • Donate used vehicle
      • Donate cash/check to purchase a bed set

American Red Cross – Zion Contact: Debbie Weber, dweber45@aol.com

A humanitarian organization dedicated to providing relief to victims of disasters and helping prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.
Organization Contact: Red Cross Office, 971-5300

Ways to serve:

      • Donate blood – for Zion Blood Banks, contact: Debbie Weber, 662-7781.
      • Donate blood at the Red Cross Building
      • Provide relief to victims of local disasters and canteen services to victims and first-responders
      • Provide immediate, temporary care for those who experience injuries or sudden injuries at public events and U of M athletic events
      • Welcome, serve, assist blood donors at the Red Cross Building

Habitat for Humanity – Zion Contact: Ken Utsunomiya, kenutsunomiya@yahoo.com

A Christian non-profit that invites people, everywhere, to build together in partnership with goals of eliminating poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Simple, decent homes not only give shelter, but also self-respect and the hope of a better life.

Ways to serve:

      • Participate in building/renovating a house each year
      • Provide food during blitz week

Hope Medical Clinic – Zion Contact: Kathy Weber, weber@wccnet.edu

A general medical and pediatric clinic for individuals and families who do not have health insurance, or the ability to pay for needed care. Additional services include a dental clinic, food bank, laundry, health education and parenting classes, weekend hot meals. Organization contact: Connie Hallom, 484-2989, www.thehopeclinic.org

Ways to serve:

      • Continue to contribute non-perishable food in the collection container at Zion
      • If you are a health care professional, donate your time at the clinic to assist those in need
      • Help with weekend meals
      • Be ‘on call’ when help is needed

Grace in Action – Zion Contact: Pat Bauer PLbauer@ameritech.net 

Zion youth/adults and community groups participate in a variety of activities to support the programs, facilities and mission of our ELCA mission partner Grace in Action at their location in Southwest Detroit.  Church contact, Pr. John Cummings, www.graceinactiondetroit.org

Ways to serve:

  • Join a Zion team to work together with our sister congregation
  • Light maintenance projects at their church and community center
  • Join them in weekday worship, music, small group
  • Assist in their youth entrepreneurial programs

Bridge Guys – Zion Contact: Dan McConnell, dan.mcconn@gmail.com

The most marginalized homeless people are those who choose to live in tents, often under local bridges. We are called to serve those who are in the most need and most “invisible”.

Ways to serve:

  • Assist with preparing and delivering ~20 meals to 3-4 camps
    around town. Every Sunday afternoon for ~1.5 hours.

MISSION-A2 – Zion Contact: Kent Peterson, Kwpannard@aol.com

MISSION-A2 (Michigan Itinerant Shelter System-Interdependent Out of Necessity) is a local, grass-roots community that serves the homeless in assisting them with meals, laundry facilities, housing transition, etc. Organization contact: www.missiona2.org

Ways to serve:

  • Volunteer to cook and serve a meal at the local MERCY House

Winter Rotating Overflow Shelter – Zion Contact: Diane Dailey, dddailey@hotmail.com

Zion hosts the homeless “overflow” for two weeks in the winter as part of the Rotating Shelter. This program is an extention of Delonis Shelter (Shelter Association of Washtenaw County). Organization contact: www.annarborshelter.org

Ways to serve:

  • Volunteers provide food, transportation, laundry services.
  • Each of the ~14 days Zion hosts the overflow guests, teams of ~3 members stay overnight to ensure the safety of everyone. Typically from 8pm to 7am.


Faith and Food Garden – Zion Contact: Bryan Weinert, bryancweinert@gmail.com

Zion has a 50 x 50 foot raised bed garden in the back of our property. Harvested vegetables are delivered to Food Gatherers, who then distribute to organizations and people in need.

Ways to serve:

  • Volunteers are needed from May-October to prepare soil, plant
    vegetables, Tend garden, Harvest ripe fruit for distribution

Foster Programs Contact – Zion Contact: Kristi Gallis, kegallis@umich.edu.

Several times per year, household supplies are gathered and packaged for late teen Foster youth who are either aging-out of the Foster Care program and beginning to live on their own; or, UM Blavin Scholars who are Foster Care students entering UM-Ann Arbor and need 1st year college essentials.

Ways to serve:

  • Assist in communicating donation events
  • Assist in assembling and/or delivering care packages for the youth

Foster Kids Christmas Gifts – Zion Contact: Allison Rullman, akrullman@yahoo.com.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Zion gathers several dozen children’s profiles who are in the Foster Care program and identifies their request Christmas gift needs. Zion members select one or more children to shop for requested Christmas gifts, wraps, and drops off at church.

Ways to serve:

  • Assist in organizing the children’s information and distributing at Zion
  • Assist in gathering and delivering the provided packages to the Foster Care program

SAMARITAS (previously Lutheran Social Services of Michigan (LSSM)) – Zion Contact: Steve Kessler, skesler@umich.edu. Samaritas is the social ministry arm of the Lutheran Church serving children and families, the aged, refugees, persons with disabilities, and others in need, as an expression of the love of Christ. Seeks to improve quality of life, promote mental, physical and spiritual healing, and encourage human growth and development.
Organization contact:

Ways to serve:

        • Support Refugee family in a specific area of need
        • Organizing donations into Welcome Kits
        • Office assistance with mailing, filing, filling out forms
        • Moving donated furniture, household items, clothes and personal items
        • Translation services/assistance with lease agreements, etc.
      • Donate cash for the purchase of items needed at various centers (list available in church office)
      • Host a cooking party to benefit a specific program (complete details in church office)

Peace and Justice (Ann Arbor, SE Michigan)

Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice (ICPJ) – Zion Contact: Bryan Weinert, bryancweinert@gmail.com.

A non-profit education/social action organization which brings together people of various faiths who believe the world is one family, and that love, commitment to future generations, wise stewardship of the environment and promotion of social, political and economic justice are religious responsibilities. Organization Contact: www.icpj.net/voluntter-opportunities-at-icpj, 663-1870

Ways to serve:

  • Hunger Projects/CROP Walk, Racial and Economic Justice, Disarmament
      • Help with practical office tasks like such as mailings or database entry, bringing refreshments to events like CROP Walk, delivering newsletters around town

Interfaith Roundtable – Zion Contact: Bryan Weinert, bryancweinert@gmail.com.

Interfaith Roundtable is a loose coalition of community congregations providing funding for new local programs geared to assist low-income families.

Ways to serve:

  • Donate clothing to Dress for Success Michigan (Cathleen Taylor, 483-4638)
      • Work with Adolescent Literacy Program (Family Learning Institute)
      • Food Gatherers – Community Kitchen Job Training Program (Eileen Spring 761-2796)
      • Milan Area Schools – Help with Service Learning, Enrichment Classes, Staff Support
      • Work with Michigan Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative of Washtenaw County (Mary King, 327-9177)
      • Washtenaw Literacy, Community Collaboration – work to combat illiteracy
      • Women’s Center of SE Michigan – assist with “many happy returns” tax program

Global Missions

Living Hope Ministries, Haiti – Zion Contact: Mark Gunderson, MLGondo@comcast.net.

An ever-expanding ministry whose goal is to train a generation of young men and women to change their families, communities, and nation through education (Pre-school through 6th Grade), training in various trades (welding, tailoring, sewing, cooking/ baking, business) and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Organization contact:

Ways to serve:

      • Be part of an annual week-long mission trip sharing crafts, activities with the children, teaching skills to the teachers, painting projects, light maintenance, medical/dental and many other ways to serve while there.
      • Sponsor a child ($30/month). Contact Mark Gunderson, 734-996-2435

Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, Palestine – Zion Contact: Sonja Page, sonjapg@umich.edu.

Christmas Lutheran and Zion Lutheran Churches are in an ongoing process to develop a long-term companion/partnership relationship, that goes beyond mission support. The SE Michigan Synod of the ELCA is a companion synod with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). Zion supports the Bridges Not Walls Youth Mission, which sends youth ages 16-22 to Palestine annually.

Ways to serve:

  • Participate in a mission trip to Palestine
  • Host a Palestinian student for short-term exchange program
  • Advocate locally for the peaceful reconciliation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict