November 19 Update about Worship and other Ministries
Friends in Christ,
Due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in our community, the Zion Lutheran Congregation Council has decided to cancel all in-person gatherings at Zion and shift to digital-only ministry beginning today and continuing through at least January 3, 2021. This includes all Sunday worship services, Bible studies, ZLCW meetings, Mission Circle, Confirmation classes, as well as any other meetings. Drive-up Communion Distribution will also be suspended.
Worship services will still be streamed from the Sanctuary on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am via Facebook Live. Other meetings and classes will be held over Zoom as necessary. For the present, the church building will remain closed to visitors except by appointment. If you must come to the church building during office hours, please call in advance.
We are doing this as a sign of encouragement to the entire community to stay home as much as possible and refrain from gathering so that we can get the spread of the virus under control. It is our earnest hope that it is only temporary. The Council will review the situation again at its December 16 meeting, and make plans based on updated public health data and our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.
We expect that it will not be possible to gather in person for Christmas Eve worship. This is profoundly disappointing, as this is always such a meaningful time for our congregation and families. Zion will hold online Christmas Eve Worship at 5:00 p.m. on December 24, and I hope you will still incorporate worship with your Zion community into your Christmas plans (either live or recorded).
The Council encourages everyone in our community to stay home as much as possible, and please wear your mask and stay socially distant when you are in public. We understand that isolation potentially has negative consequences for our mental health. I encourage you to reach out to me at any time if you need support (507-402-1114). You can also reach out to the Blue Earth County Crisis line at 507-304-4319.
We also encourage you to be the church, no matter where you are. Reach out to your friends, fellow Zion members, and neighbors through phone calls, cards, email, video chat, and text messages as much as possible. Think about what you have to offer and use your gifts, even now, in service to others.
As we move toward the beginning of Advent, we live in expectation for the arrival of the one called Emmanual, God with us. We can be consoled by the promise that God is with us now, offering divine love, mercy, and compassion. Please join me in praying that this love, mercy, and compassion will so fill our hearts that it will flow through us into the world. We pray for an end to the pandemic, for a change in the direction of case numbers, for the strength and well-being of our healthcare workers, and for all of those whose personal, financial, and physical well-being has been diminished by the present crisis.
Peace be with you,
Pastor Andrea Myers