Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It’s good that the new Church Year starts at a different time than the Calendar New Year. It reminds us that Jesus isn’t bound by the Calendar and is Lord of all, even our days and times and seasons; even a year like 2020! The “Time of Christ” begins with His riding into Jerusalem. It will take us through celebrating His birth, appearance to Israel, His suffering, death, and resurrection and ascension. We are transitioning from looking forward to His Second Coming to remmed ring His First Coming in the flesh in the manger of Bethlehem. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving observance, such as it was this year. Most importantly, whether we are alone or together with others, whether we are old or young, whether we are sick or healthy, we are the Lord’s! Jesus coms for you. He came to be born for you, to die for you, to rise for you. He comes for you through the waters of the font, the preaching of the Gospel and the Supper of His Body and Blood. When Jesus shows up, you know it’s going to be to save you and give you eternal life! This week: “Ad Te Levavi” that is, “To You I lift up my soul.” Jesus is coming! He’s showing up for your good!
Reminder: We will NOT have Bible Study and Learning the Faith THIS SUNDAY.
Join us for worship on Wednesdays in Advent. Our regular Wednesday worship service at 7pm will focus on preparing us for the Coming of our Lord in the flesh at Christmas. The service will be different from the Sunday service during Advent. We will not be having Advent Suppers before service.
CHRISTMAS PREPARATIONS, ACTIVITIES, AND WORSHIP
Many people have asked about whether we’ll have the Live Nativity this year. Others are wondering about decorating as we usually do for Christmas. I really can’t answer those questions though both appear to be unlikely given the current guidance to “stay home unless you need to go out.”
Right now, we are planning to have the usual schedule of Christmas Eve services at 3pm. 7pm, and 11pm and Christmas Day service at 9am. Even if we are unable to have other activities and events, we are trying to prioritize making available the opportunity hear God’s Word and receive Jesus’ Body and Blood. Keep an eye on this email and the NewsNotes for any changes or announcements of what’s going on around Zion.
With meetings and gatherings limited, as noted above, we’re not doing any activities around Zion. Board meetings are being conducted via Zoom.
WORSHIP: We will continue our worship as we have been for the foreseeable future. Sunday, 7:45 AM and 10:30 AMand Wednesdays at 7 PM. Please wear a mask and sit only in pews WITHOUT blue tape.
We’ll continue to offer Sunday Bible Study at 9:00 AM and Learning the Faith at 9:45 AM and Tuesday Bible Study at 10:30 AM.
The elders and I will continue to monitor state guidelines and recommendations to see whether we will need to adjust how worship is conducted.
As always, if you are not feeling well or are experiencing any symptoms of illness, please STAY HOME.
SCRIP GIFT CARDS
The School is offering Gift Cards through SCRIP. Order forms are in the Narthex. SCRIP is easy: you buy gift cards at face value and our school earns a percentage back. Gift Cards are especially timely since so many are shopping online or ordering food for pickup or delivery. SCRIP orders are due December 7.
It’s time to order Poinsettias! Order forms are available on the table in the Narthex. We won’t be able to deliver flowers to nursing homes this year. You can take your poinsettia after Christmas Day service or you mean leave it until Epiphany on January 6.
Sunday Bible Studies:
Take time to grow in God’s Word!
Sundays: Bible Study – 9:00-9:30 AM in the Narthex.
Sundays: Learning the Faith (all ages) – 9:45-10:30am in the Gym.
Tuesdays – Bible Study at 10:30 AM in the Narthex. (Gospel According to St. Matthew)
Our Sunday service is available to watch live and recorded here:
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:
I know you are fatigued by this pandemic. I know you’re tired of the restrictions and limitations and wearing masks and standing apart. Sometimes I think that Covid is overblown and maybe we’re overreacting. Then I’m reminded that it’s actually pretty serious. I’ve seen how it affects people in a bad way and it’s very rough! And I know of people who have died from Covid and its complications and effects. Please, love your neighbor. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Follow the guidelines. Pray for patience. Cry out with the Psalmist, “How long, O Lord!?” The Lord does hear! And He does answer! His “Advent,” his Coming, His arrival, is to remind us that He has not abandoned or forsaken us. He’s here always to bring us through this vale of tears to life eternal. I hope you can make the Divine Service this week or watch online! Happy New Church Year!