Some Thoughts about "Re-Opening" from Pastor John
1). Zion never closed. We weren't able to meet together on Sunday mornings, however:
We continued office hours.
We put our services in three languages online each week.
We continued to meet for prayer.
We used the time to tighten up our communication and reconnect with our membership.
We discovered new ways of reaching our membership via e-mail, Facebook, YouTube and hard copy by U.S. Mail.
What we're really talking about is opening up the building. We want to open up the building gradually and safely.
This Sunday, May 3, at 10:30 a.m. you are welcome to come to Zion, if you choose, and social distance for abbreviated worship in the sanctuary. The sermon will be delivered by Pastor John, there will be prayers and announcements, and our worship music will be pre-re-corded. We will livestream our Sunday service at 9:00 a.m. on Facebook and on YouTube as we have been doing.
There will be no nursery, no Sunday School, no food or beverages and no bus service. These things will be gradually restored as it becomes safe to do so.
Next Sunday, May 10, Mother's Day, and Second Sunday Worship, at 10:30 in the Zion parking lot. We have scheduled a Drive-In worship experience similar to Easter. You are invited to stay in your car with doors and windows closed. You can view the singers and preachers from the front porch of Zion. Tune your FM radio to 104.7. You can hear the whole service. This service will also be live streamed on FaceBook and YouTube.
Between Sunday, May 10, and Sunday, May 17, we will pause to evaluate how best to proceed. We will let you know about our services May 17. What I can tell you is that all services going forward will be available on FaceBook and YouTube.
Zion is one church with one vision.
We have services weekly in three languages but we are all equal and we worship together as frequently as is practical.
Likewise, in our current situation, there will be people who will want to attend in person on Sundays and there will be those for whom attending in person will not be safe.
Just as we don't judge people on which serve they attend for worship, there will be no judgement about whether or not you attend in person or on line.
We are still one church together and will continue to be so as we enter into this new era together.
The Mizo and Swahili services will continue to live stream for the present time. In the future, they will begin to return to the building and practice the same physical distancing as the English service.
As the building begins to open, here is what we are trying to do:
Hands free entrance and exit to the sanctuary and to the toilets. We propose to do this by propping doors.
Cleaning the sanctuary and lobby between uses. This remains a challenge to us at Zion where cleaning is always a challenge. However, we believe we can do this between uses.
We have removed some things, for instance, Bibles, song books and some furnishings, from the areas in question, so that we don't have to clean those each week.
We expect you to practice physical distancing.
You are allowed (and encouraged) to bring your own masks and gloves and sanitizers.
If you are feeling sick, please stay home and get well.
Communion will be via factory sealed packets for the foreseeable future.
A reminder that worship has always been at your own risk.
God can show up at any time and change your heart and life.
Now, you have to make your own determination about what is best for you and our family.
Remember the Zion weather policy which declares that we will always worship but that your participation and safety is best decided by you.
There is no pressure or presumption from Zion that you return to worship in the sanctuary until you are ready.
God remains in control. He has always remained in control. We're going to get through this time together. Some things will not change. But some will. New opportunities will be revealed. God is still in charge.
Thank you for reading.
Holdfast, Zion! The hour of deliverance is coming.
God bless you,