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History of Zion Church

Zion Church has a storied history that dates back to 1827 when Wynant Van Zandt generously donated land for its construction. The cornerstone was laid in 1829, and in 1830, the doors of Zion Church opened for worship. Since then, it has served as a bastion of faith, community creativity, and social outreach.

Although Zion Church has a remarkable past, it also confronts a complex history. Many of its founding families were involved in the enslavement of fellow human beings. This historical context adds depth to Zion Church’s ongoing journey of healing and reconciliation, a commitment it upholds to this day.

Key Takeaways:

  • Zion Church traces its roots back to 1827.
  • Construction was completed in 1830, and the doors of the church were opened.
  • The church has a history intertwined with the complicated legacy of enslavement.
  • Zion Church remains dedicated to healing and reconciliation.
  • The church’s origins add depth to its ongoing mission in the community.

Beliefs and Doctrines

Zion Church, as an inclusive Episcopal congregation, adheres to the beliefs and doctrines of the Episcopal Church. Established in the early 19th century, Zion Church has remained steadfast in upholding the core principles of the Episcopal faith. As part of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, Zion embraces the rich tradition of liturgical worship, sacraments, and a commitment to social justice.

At the heart of Zion Church’s beliefs is the affirmation of the Nicene Creed, a statement of faith that has been held by Christians for centuries. This creed encapsulates the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith and reinforces the unity of the Church.

“We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things seen and unseen.”

“We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.”

“We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.”

“We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.”

“We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.”

“We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

Zion Church also upholds the authority of the Bible as the inspired word of God, which guides the faith and practice of its members. The interpretation of the Bible within the Episcopal tradition is a balanced approach, incorporating reason, tradition, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This allows for a deep exploration of Scripture and encourages thoughtful engagement with contemporary issues.

Furthermore, Zion Church’s commitment to social justice reflects the Episcopal Church’s dedication to advocating for equality, inclusivity, and the well-being of all individuals. This commitment extends beyond the walls of the church and into the broader community, initiating positive change and fostering a more just society.

By grounding itself in the beliefs and doctrines of the Episcopal Church, Zion Church embraces a faith that is both deeply rooted in tradition and responsive to the evolving needs of its congregation and the world.

Sacraments and Rituals

Zion Church incorporates sacraments and rituals as vital components of its worship and spiritual practice. These sacred traditions connect the congregation to their faith and deepen their relationship with God. The church celebrates various sacraments , including Baptism and Holy Eucharist, while also observing other rituals and liturgical practices.

Baptism: Baptism is a significant sacrament in the life of the church. It serves as a rite of initiation into the Christian faith, symbolizing spiritual rebirth and the forgiveness of sins. Through the act of baptism, individuals are welcomed into the community of believers and receive the grace of God, embracing their identity as children of God.

Holy Eucharist: Another essential sacrament celebrated in Zion Church is the Holy Eucharist, also known as the Lord’s Supper or Communion. During this central act of worship, congregants partake in the bread and wine, which symbolize the body and blood of Christ. Through the Holy Eucharist, believers are united with Christ and with one another as members of His body, the Church.

In addition to the sacraments, Zion Church observes other rituals and liturgical practices that enhance the worship experience and foster spiritual growth. These rituals include confirmation, which affirms the individual’s commitment to their faith, marriage ceremonies that solemnize the union of couples in holy matrimony, and funeral services that provide comfort and support to mourners in times of loss.

The sacraments and rituals in Zion Church play a profound role in the lives of its members, providing meaningful encounters with God and opportunities for spiritual transformation. These practices are cherished traditions that connect Zion Church to its Episcopal heritage and offer spaces for worship, celebration, and reflection.

zion church sacraments

Leadership and Clergy

Zion Church is blessed with a dedicated and inspirational leadership team that guides and nurtures the congregation. The church is led by Reverend Lindsay S. Lunnum, who has served as the pastor since 2013. Reverend Lunnum brings a deep commitment to spiritual growth and community engagement, inspiring the congregation to live out their faith in meaningful ways.

Assisting Reverend Lunnum is a team of devoted clergy members, including Reverend Lynne A. Grifo, who served as an interim priest-in-charge from 2011 to 2013. Together, they provide pastoral care, deliver inspiring sermons, and facilitate worship services that uplift the souls of the congregation.

Key Leaders

Name Position Years of Service
Reverend Lindsay S. Lunnum Pastor 2013 – Present
Reverend Lynne A. Grifo Interim Priest-in-Charge (2011-2013) 2011 – 2013

In addition to the clergy, Zion Church benefits from the contributions of dedicated lay leaders. These devoted individuals play a vital role in the spiritual guidance and governance of the congregation, helping to shape the vibrant and inclusive community that Zion Church is known for.

zion church leadership

Worship Practices

Zion Church embraces the liturgical worship tradition of the Episcopal Church, creating a vibrant and meaningful worship experience for its congregation.

The worship services at Zion Church are held regularly and provide a space for congregants to connect with God, reflect on scripture, and deepen their faith.

The services incorporate both traditional and contemporary elements to cater to the diverse spiritual needs of the community. Through a blend of prayers, hymns, scripture readings, a sermon, and the celebration of sacraments, Zion Church invites worshippers to engage in a transformative worship experience.

zion church worship

Worship is a sacred practice that allows us to commune with God, connect with one another, and find inspiration for our lives. At Zion Church, we strive to create an inclusive worship environment that encourages spiritual growth and fosters a sense of belonging.”

Whether it’s through the contemplative prayers, the uplifting hymns, or the thought-provoking sermons, Zion Church seeks to create a worship experience that speaks to the hearts and minds of its congregation.

“Come, let us worship together and be transformed by the power of God’s love.”

Sacred Texts

At the heart of Zion Church’s faith and teachings lies the sacred text that guides and inspires its congregation – the Bible. As with all Christian denominations, the Bible holds a central place in the spiritual journey of Zion Church and its members.

The Episcopal Church, to which Zion Church belongs, reveres the Bible as the inspired word of God. Within this tradition, congregants typically use either the King James Version (KJV) or the Revised Standard Version (RSV) for worship, study, and spiritual guidance.

The Bible serves as more than just a historical record; it shapes the foundation of the church’s beliefs, providing guidance for moral living, and offering wisdom and insight for individual and collective spiritual growth.

In the sacred texts of the Bible, Zion Church finds narratives of hope, redemption, and salvation. From the creation story in Genesis to the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels, the Bible provides a rich tapestry of stories, parables, and teachings that nourish the faith of Zion Church’s community.

zion church sacred texts

Denominations and Sects

Zion Church is a proud member of the Episcopal Church, one of the oldest and most influential Christian denominations in the United States. With a storied history that stretches back to the colonial era, the Episcopal Church has played a significant role in shaping the religious landscape of America.

Within the Episcopal Church, diversity flourishes in the form of various sects and dioceses. One such diocese is the Diocese of Long Island, to which Zion Church proudly belongs. These individual sects, while distinct in their practices and traditions, are united by their shared heritage and Episcopal polity.

“In the diversity of our traditions, we find unity in our faith and a common commitment to living out the Gospel message.”

While there may be theological differences and variations in worship practices among Episcopal congregations, the core beliefs and values that bind them together are rooted in a shared commitment to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Dioceses within the Episcopal Church

Diocese Location
Diocese of Long Island Long Island, New York
Diocese of New York New York, New York
Diocese of Los Angeles Los Angeles, California

These dioceses, alongside many others, serve as vibrant centers of worship, community engagement, and spiritual growth.

As a member of the Episcopal Church and the wider Christian community, Zion Church embraces its denominational affiliation while working to foster inclusivity, deep spirituality, and a commitment to service. The rich tapestry of denominations and sects within the Episcopal Church allows for a vibrant and diverse expression of faith, reflecting the richness of the Body of Christ.

Zion Church Denominations Image

Community and Outreach

Zion Church is deeply committed to building a strong and compassionate community, actively engaging in outreach and service efforts to make a positive impact. Through a variety of initiatives and events, Zion Church extends its reach beyond the walls of the church, fostering connections and providing support to those in need.

One of the highlights of Zion Church’s community involvement is the annual Strawberry Festival. This beloved event brings together people from all walks of life for a day of fun, fellowship, and delicious strawberries. Not only does the festival serve as a fundraiser to support the church’s mission and programs, but it also serves as an opportunity to connect with the wider community.

Additionally, Zion Church actively participates in the Douglaston Open Hearts Initiative, a community-wide effort to address social issues and foster understanding among diverse individuals and groups. Through this initiative, Zion Church collaborates with local organizations, government agencies, and other faith communities to make a collective difference in the neighborhood.

By organizing and participating in various community-oriented events and initiatives, Zion Church demonstrates its dedication to compassionate outreach and creating a warm and inclusive space for everyone. The church’s commitment to serving others reflects its core values and mission, spreading love, and making a tangible difference in the lives of those it serves.

Community Outreach Events Date
Annual Strawberry Festival June 15, 2022
Food Drive September 28, 2022
Community Clean-up Day October 12, 2022
Holiday Toy Drive December 10, 2022

Architectural and Artistic Features

Zion Church is renowned for its captivating architecture and exquisite artistic features that add to its timeless beauty. The church building, designed by the esteemed architect George W. Foster Jr., stands as a testament to the grandeur of zion church architecture and the remarkable craftsmanship of its creators. Completed in 1925, this architectural marvel holds a significant place in history and is proudly listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The zion church building, constructed with sturdy granite, emanates a sense of strength and permanence. Its enduring structure stands as a symbol of faith, resilience, and community. As you approach the church, you’ll be captivated by the sight of a magnificent stained glass window, a masterpiece that bathes the interior in vibrant hues of light, breathing life and beauty into the sacred space.

The church building also boasts elegant pinnacles that reach towards the heavens, representing both the aspirations of the congregation and the spiritual journey of the individual. These architectural elements serve as a visual reminder of the divine presence and the aspirations of the faithful who gather within these walls.

Within the enchanting Douglaston Hill Historic District, Zion Church’s edifice, along with its accompanying cemetery and rectory, contributes to the historic significance of the area. This architectural ensemble immerses visitors and congregants alike in the rich heritage of the church, inviting them to reflect on the enduring legacy of zion church architecture within the community and beyond.

Contemporary Issues and Challenges

Like many religious institutions, Zion Church faces contemporary issues and challenges that impact its mission and relevance in today’s world. One of the key challenges is adapting to societal changes. As values and norms evolve, the church must find ways to engage with new generations and address their spiritual needs without compromising its core beliefs and doctrines.

Another critical issue that Zion Church grapples with is the pursuit of social justice and inclusivity. In an increasingly diverse and interconnected society, the church recognizes the importance of embracing all individuals , regardless of their background, ethnicity, or social status. This commitment involves challenging systemic inequalities and working towards creating a space where everyone feels welcomed and valued.

Furthermore, Zion Church acknowledges the complexities of its historical legacies tied to enslavement. While the church aims to be a symbol of healing and reconciliation, it recognizes the need for ongoing reflection and dialogue to confront its painful past honestly. By acknowledging its historical ties to slavery and actively seeking ways to promote racial justice and understanding, Zion Church strives to build a more inclusive and compassionate future.

To navigate these challenges and shape its future, Zion Church emphasizes the importance of ongoing reflection, prayerful discernment, and active engagement. By fostering a community that encourages open dialogue and embraces change, the church aims to remain a vital spiritual and community presence , providing guidance, support, and inspiration to individuals seeking meaning, purpose, and connection in the modern world.


What is the history of Zion Church?

Zion Church has a rich history that dates back to 1827 when Wynant Van Zandt donated land for its construction. The cornerstone was laid in 1829, and the church opened for worship in 1830.

What are the beliefs and doctrines of Zion Church?

Zion Church is an inclusive Episcopal congregation that espouses the beliefs and doctrines of the Episcopal Church. The church affirms the Nicene Creed and upholds the authority of the Bible, interpreted through reason, tradition, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

What sacraments and rituals does Zion Church celebrate?

Zion Church celebrates the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist. Other rituals and liturgical practices include confirmation, marriage ceremonies, and funeral services.

Who leads Zion Church?

Zion Church is led by Reverend Lindsay S. Lunnum, who has been the pastor since 2013. The church also has a team of clergy and lay leaders who contribute to the spiritual guidance and governance of the congregation.

What are the worship practices at Zion Church?

Worship services at Zion Church incorporate prayers, hymns, scripture readings, a sermon, and the celebration of the sacraments. The church strives to create a meaningful and inclusive worship experience for congregants of all ages, incorporating both traditional and contemporary elements.

What sacred texts does Zion Church use?

The primary sacred text of Zion Church is the Bible. Specifically, the Episcopal Church uses the King James Version (KJV) or the Revised Standard Version (RSV) for worship, study, and spiritual guidance.

What denomination does Zion Church belong to?

Zion Church is part of the Episcopal Church, one of the oldest Christian denominations in the United States. It belongs to the Diocese of Long Island.

How does Zion Church engage with the community?

Zion Church actively engages with the community through events and outreach efforts. The church organizes events such as the annual Strawberry Festival and participates in community initiatives like the Douglaston Open Hearts Initiative.

What are the architectural and artistic features of Zion Church?

Zion Church is known for its distinctive architecture, including a church building designed by architect George W. Foster Jr. It features a large stained glass window and pinnacles and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

What contemporary issues and challenges does Zion Church face?

Like many religious institutions, Zion Church faces challenges such as adapting to societal changes, addressing issues of social justice and inclusivity, and navigating historical legacies tied to enslavement. The church recognizes the importance of reflection, prayerful discernment, and active engagement to meet these challenges and remain a vital presence in the modern world.

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  • Greg Gaines

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