OUR MINISTRY TEAM
Rev. Eli O. Klingensmith
I believe that years ago, God called me not just to trust Him, but to serve Him. I have also believed that service to God happens in various forms and settings. People serve God by being their best whether they are a stay-at-home mom, janitor, sales person or the president of a corporation.
As I have followed God’s call for my life, the greatest joy I have experienced has been helping people think about God. Through my preaching and teaching, watching those people grow in maturity in their faith in God, and then, watching those individuals step out in service for God.
Zion United Church of Christ is the place God has been working in people’s lives since 1814. I count it a great privilege and honor to be a part of what God is doing here.
Rev. Eric M. Stricklin
Pastor to Youth, Families and Young Adults
In Luke’s Gospel, after Jesus has been raised, he first appears to his disciples on their way to a town called Emmaus. He walks and talks with them all the way to their destination, but they do not recognize him. It is only at the end of this road, when the disciples invite him into their home to eat with them that they recognize that it was Christ alongside them the whole time.
I believe that as Christians, this Gospel narrative represents our collective call to discipleship. We are to extend Christ like hospitality to all of God’s people whom we meet. As the church, we are called to invite our neighbors and strangers alike to come inside, to break bread with us, and to hear the Good News that God loves them. As the Pastor for Youth & Young Families at Zion I rejoice in God’s call on my life, to help lead a team of Jesus lovers in nurturing the faith of young Christians.
At Zion UCC we are striving to make our faith deeper and our table of Christian hospitality longer. You are very much invited to gather with us, and become partners with us on this journey of discipleship. We hope that you will.
Minister of Music
Michael Lucas is a graduate of The University of Akron with his Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance. An Akron native, he spends his time working as a Vocal Instructor, Set/ Lighting Designer and Guest Artist for the university’s Opera & Lyric Theatre program, and soloist and choir member of Singers Companye, an Akron based chamber choir organization. Outside of his leadership in the church, Michael also holds a position as a Sales Support Coordinator for a wallcovering company. Michael is excited to be a part of Zion UCC, and is greatly looking forward to the new choir season in the fall.
Organist and Hand Bell Choir Director
In addition to playing the organ for services and accompanying the Chancel Choir, I direct the Bells of Zion. I also direct the Chimes of Zion for children and youth who wish to develop their music skills using handbells and choir chimes.
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