At the 100th Anniversary of Zion, in 1966, members of Zion performed a historical pageant, written by Mr L. Clifford Peterson & Mrs Engvald Leiseth, grandchildren of Bengt Persson
The Civil War had ended, covered wagons were proceeding westward, and the Minnesota territory was now a state of the union. The “Great Woods” was a region without a railroad, sparsely settled, with no schools or churches, and no roads except trails through the woods.
The aims and the prayers of good men were, then as now, to build a better world in which to live … a world that would afford ample opportunity, encouragement, and freedom to worship God. Such were the prayers and the aims of the founders of Zion Lutheran church, because a deep faith in God was their heritage and became the basis of their hope in this new world.
This was a strange, new, and wonderful land, which offered far greater future potential than their homeland. Even the most meager comforts were unknown, however; and it was hard and discouraging work to hue out homes and provide food for their families.
Perhaps what they missed most of all was their church … They still longed for a church and the spiritual guidance of a pastor. They missed that stirring altar service in the house of God on Sunday mornings, that “Helig, Helig, Helig är Herren Sebaot . Hela jorden är ful av hans härlighet” (Holy, Holy , Holy, is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory).
They continued to hope and pray for the day when there would be a sufficient number of settlers arriving from their homeland for them to organize a congregation of their own.
Their prayers were answered on November 7, 1866. It is that day , and on the days immediately preceding and following it as their plans were made and their prayers were bearing fruit, that we want to focus our attention tonight ….
Excerpts from the introduction to the Centennial Pageant