Dear Editor:

Soon Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church on Mauch Chunk and Greenwood sts. in Tamaqua will turn 85 years old. It has seen hundreds of weddings, baptisms, socials, and many other events.

It has housed tens of thousands in weekly worship and been a wonderful treat to ears of the community for its music ministry. And it has been a feast for the eyes with its elegant, gothic architecture, peeking above the town skyline and visible from many areas around town. It is the very definition of a landmark.

As you may have noticed recently with protective fencing and work being done, that Zion is in need of repair. Many committees internally have been formed and much talk is being done about the choices that the congregation is faced with: stay at this location and repair/restore it, merge with another congregation, or completely abandon the structure in favor of building new elsewhere.

These options come directly from an ELCA consultant, although some would say they were the obvious choices all along. And they all come with pros and cons, but the time has long since passed to determine the most paramount issue of all – what is the will of the congregation?

Spending endless time dissecting all options is fruitless compared to putting all efforts into the most popular option. Additionally it isn't fair to string along those who will ultimately fall within the "unpopular" options.

Therefore I call upon all members, as well as anyone who doesn't wish to see Zion fall into deeper disrepair and become the next "brownstone" building that sits empty in town for many years to come, to contact Zion's church council (c/o 109 N. Greenwood St.) and make their wishes known. Ask for an immediate poll to be done so that we may rally behind ONE OPTION. Please consider the harm to the entire community that will happen if Zion is abandoned and vote to SAVE ZION!

Timothy M. Stahl

Tamaqua