ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH
Friday, May 1, 2020
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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This coming Sunday, the Fourth Week of Easter, we hear Jesus tell His disciples, “A little while and you will not see me. Again, a little while and you will see me.” Right now, we might begin to appreciate the sorrow the disciples would have when Jesus was taken from them. We can’t gather in worship together. We aren’t able to receive the Sacrament of the Altar. Even if someone goes in the hospital, their own family and pastor too cannot visit them. It feels, in some ways, like we’re in a period of time where we won’t see Jesus. Of course we still have His Word. We have our online and recorded services. We have the Bible and we have the prayers and encouragement of one another. Jesus meant for His disciples that He would be taken away to suffer and die but they would see Him again after His resurrection. The time we are living in too shall pass, and we will once again be together as the Body of Christ. For now there’s some sorrow that we can’t be. But then our sorrow will be turned to joy. The church building may be closed but the Body of Christ is alive and well and Jesus is still risen!
When can we worship in church again?
The Governor of Illinois has slightly modified the Executive Order that we’re living under. There is talk about possible services where people are socially distanced but the numbers are no more than ten people. Here’s my pastoral take on this:
(1) If anyone were to transmit the virus to me, then I would be the central point at which the virus is transmitted to many others. Ten is not a magic number. If someone is sick, they could pass it along and meeting in multiple groups of ten would just be a way to pass the virus to multiple people a few at a time.
(2) The best advice we are being given is still to stay at home unless we need to go out for something like food or medicine. I don’t want to encourage people to leave their homes, even if we say it’s for church because I don’t want to encourage people to be leaving their homes!
(3) I know that we are eager to worship together. However, I don’t want to try to worship in a way that encourages some to be here while others cannot. Our regular way of living is that we gather as many as we can in worship and we tend to our shut-in and homebound members and those in nursing homes on a regular basis. Until we can do that again, it seems the loving thing to do is to bear this burden together.
The current Order goes through May 30. For now we’ll continue to stream and record our services each week, to have devotions each morning, and to study the Lord’s Word together using tools like Zoom. We’ll continue to check on one another, pray for one another, talk to and encourage one another. We’ll continue to send our offerings in for the sake of our staff and the work we can do. Together we will bear this burden patiently until the Lord sees fit to remove it and restore to us the joy of gathering together as His people. If the time comes when larger groups are going to be OK, we’ll revisit how we might hold services. Until then we’ll with patiently and trust in the Lord.
Here’s the rest of the information we’ve been running each week:
Streaming and Recorded Video
We stream live on our FACEBOOK PAGE HERE.
Our videos are also live and recorded on YOUTUBE HERE.
The simplest way to watch online (not live) is probably through our church’s website HERE.
Make sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to our Facebook and YouTube Pages so you get updates when we go live and or add videos.
Weekly Worship Services:
Sunday, 9am – Facebook and YouTube
Wednesday, 7pm – Facebook and YouTube
Remember that all services are recorded and will be available to watch any time after they are live on our YouTube Channel or via the church’s website.
Tune in to our Facebook page every Monday through Saturday at 8am for Daily Devotions. Start your day with God’s Word and prayer!
We are back to our regular weekly Bible Study schedule. We’re using the Zoom service where we can meet together online.
To join the meeting on your Computer (with camera and microphone) or Phone, click the link HERE.
If prompted use the following information:
Meeting ID: 815 385 0859
If you’d like help getting this set up ahead of time, let Pastor know.
Bible Study Schedule:
Tuesday, 10:30 AM
Sunday, 8:00 AM
Learning the Faith, 10:15 AM
For Learning the Faith, children are encouraged to participate and watch along. We’ll keep the sessions shorter than in person.
Prayers for Healthcare and other “Frontline” Workers
We’re including a list of family and friends who we know are working on the “front lines” of this pandemic. If you know of healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store cashiers, and others who are out there working during all of this, please let us know so that we can compile a list of their names to bring before the Lord in our prayers. You can EMAIL, CALL THE CHURCH OFFICE OR PASTOR, or TEXT PASTOR names you would like included. Please let us know their NAME and WHERE THEY WORK.
We ask and encourage every family to consider their offerings that they would normally give to the church. Please MAIL YOUR CHECK or set up your bank account to make a DIRECT BILL PAY to the church. I know there is a ripple effect in our economy. Please consider God’s promise that He will indeed provide us our daily bread. Our offerings help provide for our brothers and sisters in Christ through pastoral ministry and for those in need.
Portals of Prayer
If you need Portals of Prayer (or any other resources), please let the Office know and we can mail you a copy.
Do You Need a Hymnal?
If you would like to order a hymnal so that you can follow along with our services and have a resource for your prayers and devotions at home, let Brandy in the Church Office know. The standard pew edition is $20. Every home should have a hymnal! If you would like to borrow one from church, you can do that too. Just call and you can stop by to pick one up.
Look what we are working on for you at home to enjoy! We are posting videos on our Facebook page of how we are turning our stained-glass windows into printable coloring sheets. Print off and color along during church! Extra copies will be available in the church office. We hope you enjoy this and know we plan on doing all the windows!
I’ve been calling to check in on our members. My number is:
It’s an unusual area code (Southern Illinois) which means you might think I’m a scam caller. So if you see that number pop up, it’s just me. Please ADD ME to your Contacts so you’ll know who’s calling.
While “happiness” can come and go, the true joy of Jesus is always complete and full because it is joy that comes from a Savior who has taken care of sin and death for us. The Words that Jesus speaks to us this Sunday are truly timely. Tune in to hear the Good News He is speaking to you!
Download this week’s Bulletin, Daily Devotions, NewsNotes and Volunteer Schedules from our website here:
This Week at Zion