Zion Episcopal Church
On beautiful Fowler Lake in Downtown Oconomowoc
Zion welcomes you.
Zion's Covid-19 Response--Summer 2021
Zion's Sunday services at 8 and 10:00 am are currently limited to 50% attendance capacity (every other pew). We also provide a simple service of Morning prayer on Sundays at 10 am on YouTube and Facebook for those who cannot yet attend in-person or live away. Masks are strongly encouraged to be worn by those who have not been vaccinated, those younger than 12, and by anyone for personal comfort or caution. Vaccinated persons are not required to wear face coverings. Social distancing of at least six feet is asked between family groups. While all of Zion's clergy and staff are fully vaccinated, we are mindful of the fact that other members of our faith community cannot or have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated. Our hope is to be as careful as we can for the sake of those who remain vulnerable.
Zion was founded in 1846 when the then-rector of Saint Paul's Milwaukee walked thirty-plus miles to provide services for a small group of Episcopalians in the fledgling Oconomowoc. Once organized as the parish church, clergy and professors from nearby Nashotah House Theological Seminary served as Zion's first rectors. One of the city's founders, John S. Rockwell, gave Zion a choice piece of property on which was built a modest brick church building. This building was replaced in 1888 by the current Romanesque church. The "parish house" was added in 1910 and an education wing was added through a bequest in 1960 of the Marjorie Montgomery Ward Baker estate. Zion's congregation has had its ups and downs through the years. The mid-century tenure of Father Harry Pallett of almost thirty years was especially marked by stability, growth, and community engagement. With the calling of Father Seefeldt in 2016, Zion began an intentional effort of
Zion's mission today is to worship, form, care, and share. We believe God is calling us to build a church that worships in the dignity of our Anglican tradition; that forms disciples of Jesus Christ who impact the world; that generously embraces people whoever they are and wherever they are at; that shares what we have been given; and that cares for our historic property for the benefit of the community and for future generations.
Zion's beliefs are best expressed by the historic creeds of the church. The Nicene Creed is recited in every Communion liturgy, and the Apostles Creed is recited each day in Morning and Evening Prayer. In the Book of Common Prayer you will find other historical documents of the church and a catechism that helps explain the basic tenets of the Christian faith.
Zion is a parish within the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee, the Episcopal Church of the United States of America, and the worldwide Anglican Communion. "Episcopal" refers to the fact that we are governed by bishops and "Anglican" means we trace our roots to and are in communion with the
historic Church of England.
Worship at Zion
Sunday services at Zion are traditional and reverent, according to the Book of Common Prayer. While our liturgy is currently adjusted for Covid-19 mitigation, services typically may include hymns, chanting, prayers, silences, processions, incense, a sermon, choral anthems, and the celebration of Holy Communion (also called the Holy Eucharist or the Mass). All baptized Christians, regardless of your church background, are welcome to receive Communion at Zion. Most people wear what they feel honors God and is comfortable. A full bulletin is provided to help guide you through the service. Guests and visitors are especially welcome.
Zion offers other services throughout the week as announced in the weekly e-news.
Clergy and Staff
The Office Administrator
Shelly Buchan was born in Dallas and raised in Michigan. She earned her degree in Christian Education from Wheaton College where she met and married her husband, Thomas. Shelly’s primary work has been serving children, always seeking to proclaim the love of Christ. Shelly completed the training to become a leader in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a formation program for children, that she currently offers to the children at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, where Thomas is a faculty member. They have two nearly grown wonderful children and two adorable and needy dogs. They enjoy hiking, biking, running, walking, reading, and watching too much television.
Deacon Bramwell Richards was ordained to the diaconate on June 20, 2020 at All Saints’ Cathedral, Milwaukee. He was born in Nova Scotia but spent most of his childhood in Barrie, Ontario (north of Toronto). He has a Master of Theology, a Master of Library and Information Science, a Graduate Certificate in Education, and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration. He joined the Episcopal Church in 2004. Bramwell works as a seminary librarian, and he has been married to Josie since 2009. A history buff and an avid reader, he is an avowed Trekkie and a Barry Manilow fan.
The Reverend Scott Allen Seefeldt came to Zion in 2016 as vicar (appointed by the bishop) and later elected rector of the parish. A graduate of nearby Nashotah House Theological Seminary, Father Scott was previously rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Baraboo, Wisconsin, and the assistant rector of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Racine. He spent five years working in college ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship after graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in music. Father Scott is married to Stephanie, a church organist and conference musician. They have four children and care for two aging dogs. When not at church, Father Scott enjoys road cycling, camping, and puttering around on a couple of collector cars.
The Organist and Choirmaster
Stephanie Seefeldt was born and raised in Wisconsin. After earning her music degree from the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point she pursued God’s call on her life: to use her musical gifts to bless the worshiping church, and to declare the glory of God in venues as varied as the downtown cathedral and the local piano bar. Her musical styles are diverse, with a focus on Christ-exalting texts. Most importantly, she’s wife to Scott, Rector of Zion Episcopal Church, and mom to four emerging (and emerged!) young adults. She has spent almost 30 years leading worship around the world with many notable teachers, but her passion continues to be the glory of God on full display in the local church.
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