Sundays, Memorial Day - Labor Day, 10:00am

In Clear Lake City Park

If inclement weather, #ZIONatthePARK will be held at The Dock at 10:00am.

500 Main Ave
Clear Lake, IA 50428



If you are like me the word revival sparks the thought of tents and old southern gospel music, something straight out of the movie “O Brother Where Art Thou”, but after spending a summers worth of Sundays in in the park with Zion Lutheran Church of Clear Lake, IA, I have learned what a revival really is.

By definition a revival is a new approach to an old practice, and that is exactly what Worship in the park has done. After spending months in an Upper Midwest winter, where I am hurried into our church building, peeling of the layers of coats and hats, warming the hands of my children there is something so invigorating in strolling out on a warm Sunday morning unto the idyllic streets of Clear Lake.

As I approach the park I can hear the worship music starting to fill the air and that first smell of the freshly made doughnuts makes you walk just a little faster. I am not sure if it is because these doughnuts purpose is to fund mission trips or if the team uses a special kind of oil, but whatever the reason these are some of the best doughnut holes this comfort food snob has ever had.

Worship in the park is truly and almost unbelievably picturesque, with the beautiful blue water of the lake as a back drop. The park is filled with green grass, tall trees, and the sound of children laughing and running back and forth from the playground trying to get one last ride down the slide in before service starts.

I am sure that before the music and the sermon starts the staff doesn’t really feel picturesque, they can all be seen running around with different tasks and obstacles to be handled in order to execute another Sunday without all of their standard equipment. Every week though they pull it off and the summer revival begins.

My husband told me that his favorite part of worship in the park is that you never know who is going to be there from week to week. Clear Lake, being a tourist and boating town in the summer, is a hub of activity and my husband believes every week someone new may just be passing through on the water or strolling down the shops on Main and their ears hear a song or a piece of scripture that their hearts were open to receive as they didn’t have a defensive posture up.

For me though, my favorite thing of being a part of this kind of revival is that it is just that, a revival. Worship in the Park is a revival of spirit, of energy, of scenery, of being fed in a new way for a couple of warm months. Zion opened a new worship center this past fall and yet they still see the importance of leaving the bright lighting and fancy technology behind for a short season to embrace the sun and the sounds of God’s outdoor creation.

None of us were fortunate enough to sit on hills and rocks to hear Jesus speak his Sermon on the Mount, but some us here in Clear Lake, IA are fortunate enough to sit under God’s same sky, listen to Jesus’s words repeated and explained and lift his name high in song for all of creation to hear. Unabashed, unfiltered, and full of love.

I am truly counting the days until I can Worship in the Park once more.

- Alex Wessling // Member of Zion