ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH
Friday, June 12, 2020
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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As part of the ongoing conflict and discussion going on lately, the problem of “poverty” and “the poor” always seems to come up. In America, it is often argued that the poor should help themselves: get a job, work hard, be responsible. That all sounds good, I suppose. But in the story of the rich man and Lazarus, there’s no philosophical discussion. There is a man who is really poor and in great need. There is a rich man who can help him but doesn’t. Part of the lesson of this story is to see ourselves as spiritually poor, that is, needing to be rescued from our sins by Jesus because we are beggars before God. Having been rescued from sin and death, we then have the right perspective on loving our neighbor: We help those in need. Period. Jesus saves you not because you have “potential” but because you need saving. That’s good news! That’s the Gospel! We’ll hear that this week as we celebrate the First Sunday after Trinity.
We’re continuing to move toward opening things back up more and more. Currently, the official “rule” is that gatherings be limited to 10 people. So we’re still going to have Communion in small groups of 9 at at time Sundays and Wednesdays. But we are planning to open things up a bit more in Phase 4. Read on below…
Guidelines for Returning to the Lord’s Altar
Here is how we are planning to slowly return to church and receive the Sacrament of the Altar beginning with Phase 3 of the Reopen Illinois plan. Please read these guidelines carefully and let me or your elder know if you have any questions.
Services will continue to be live-streamed and recorded each week on Sunday at 9am and Wednesday at 7pm. Everyone is encouraged to join us with these online services to worship, praise, and hear the preaching of God’s Word.
We are offering two blocks of time per week for members to sign up and come to church to receive the Sacrament of the Altar:
Sundays from 11am to 3pm
Wednesday from 11am to 3pm
Services will be scheduled on the hour and half hour. (11, 11;30, etc.)
Services will be limited to 9 people at a time (plus Pastor makes the current gathering limit of 10).
Those desiring the Sacrament should contact the Church Office or Pastor to choose one of the slots they wish to attend. We appreciate your being flexible in the event a slot you desire has already reached its maximum number of guests.
The Service of the Sacrament will be as follows
The group will come forward to stand near the altar rail in front of the front pew. The entire service will be conducted as we stand up front. (The service will be brief but anyone who needs to sit may do so in the front pew.)
There will be a brief service including Confession and Absolution, the Lord’s Supper, prayer, and benediction.
You may take a service bulletin from those available in the narthex.
Masks are to be worn the entire time and removed only to receive Christ’s Body and Blood
For the distribution of Christ’s Body, the host will be given in to your hands only, not directly into the mouth.
For the Distribution of Christ’ Blood, we will offer both the chalice (with a high proof alcohol soaked purificator to cleanse it) and individual cups.
Only pastor will be distributing the gifts (an elder will not be present).
Pastor will remain masked throughout the service; He will commune last.
Following the benediction, we ask that the congregation not linger in the church or narthex. We will use the time between services for setting up for the next group and doing any cleaning necessary.
Please place your service bulletin in the box marked for used bulletins.
If you feel sick or are exhibiting any symptoms of illness (fever, aches, etc.) we ask that you please remain at home. If you are unable to attend during your scheduled time slot, please let pastor know.
Pastor will begin visiting homebound members again provided they are comfortable with him coming to visit. He will wear a mask and take normal precautions including hand washing and sanitizing, etc.
I want to make this part very clear: If you are not yet comfortable coming to church to receive the Sacrament, that is OK! There is no judgement one way or the other. The Lord’s Supper is a gift we all desire and the situation of this pandemic makes us cautious and uncertain. We are taking every precaution to make the Lord’s gifts available in a way that takes our situation into consideration while still making those gifts available.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or your elder to discuss them.
Voters Meeting in June
We plan to have a Voters Meeting on Sunday, June 28 at 10:30 AM. We now feel it will be OK to hold this meeting in person at church. We will plan to meet outdoors in the Parking Lot. Should the weather not cooperate, we’ll meet in the gym, wearing masks and distancing as needed. Please plan to attend. We’ll be approving the budget for the coming fiscal year and hopefully getting an update on the parking lot.
Resuming Worship Services on July 5
On Sunday, July 5, we will have worship services at 7:45am and 10:30am. These services will be limited to 50 people. At this time, we are not designating who must worship at each service. I think Zion’s congregation will self-regulate that pretty well. We’ll wear masks during the service and have Communion. More details will come as we get closer to opening back up. We’ll also have a short Bible Study between the services.
Family in Need of a Car
Once again we have a (different) family in need of a reliable and inexpensive vehicle. If you know of such a vehicle or someone that has one, please let Pastor or Brandy know. We had a similar request a few weeks ago and a Zion member responded with a great deal that worked out for the person in need. Thank you!
Color A Stained Glass Window
Our church stained glass windows are turning into coloring sheets! Download the latest window HERE.
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.
Pastor is on Facebook every day, Monday through Saturday for Daily Devotions. Tune in to start your day with the Word of God 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.
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.
It has been great to seek folks who have come out for our small services. It makes me look forward to the time very soon when we’ll be worshiping together in greater numbers. But now or then and beyond, we’ll receive Christ’s forgiveness and live in love toward our neighbors, watching out for those in need and helping them as the Lord gives us the ability to do so. See you soon!
Download this week’s Bulletin, Daily Devotions, NewsNotes and Volunteer Schedules from our website here:
This Week at Zion