Pastoral Update - Zion Worship September 2021

Saints of Zion,

We are excited to announce that Sunday, September 19th, will be our first 10:30am worship in the sanctuary while live on Zoom and Facebook!  That means just one Sunday service!  We praise God for this! Our online community will be able to log into zoom worship as usual at 10:30, and see and hear the sanctuary congregation, worshipping, listening and singing along. Participants will also be able to interact with other Zoom worshippers. We encourage you to check it out if you are not yet ready or able to be a part of in-person worship. The quality of the worship online will increase significantly. If you have any questions on this, let us know. We think if you just show up on Sunday in the zoom link or call-in, it will make sense to you.


We thank the Innovation Team for this work, led by the fearless Jim Littrell!  We thank him and Stacey Jamison for the initial agreement to help do the technical leadership on this (to be in the booth), and we need more help!  We need those interested in learning the sound and zoom leadership to rotate in that ministry so we are not dependent on only two people. If you have an interest, please see JIm or PMB and we can get you set up for a trial training to see if this is a ministry that fits your gifts and calling. 


We also thank the church council for their leadership, going back and forth with various plans, through hours of meetings and discernment. We thank the full congregation, as your tithes and offerings are being used to not only hold our community together, but to grow us with different models of worship and communication, near and far. 


We thank the choir under Roger Smith's leadership for taking a step out as they are comfortable to return to singing on Sunday mornings. The exceptional discipline in maintaining distance and masks during rehearsal and Sunday morning is essential to our return, even if difficult and sometimes uncomfortable. 


Please be reminded that Sunday morning worship will have the same protocols for 10:30 as 9:00: pick up one's own bulletin, pick up your communion cup, place offerings in the plate in the middle of the sanctuary, wear a mask at all times, and remain physically separated as much as possible. There will be no box or passing of the peace until we can figure out how to do that safely. We fully understand that some congregations are less restrictive than us, and some are far more (many ELCA congregations still do not allow singing, even with masks). We ask, as you have been, to continue to respect the protocols that are put in place to do our best to keep each other safe during the time of this COVID Delta variant. 


We realize that not everyone is comfortable with in-person worship yet. Some in our community are not yet eligible for vaccines, and others of us have health issues that make us more vulnerable, even if vaccinated. The blessing of this new ministry means that everyone can attend worship in the manner in which they feel safe and comfortable. Whether it be from home, a vacation spot, a hospital or rehab bed, or anyplace else, we can be connected by the Holy Spirit in worship together thanks to this innovation gift. 


Finally, praise God for worship. Praise God for God's mighty deeds, that God can do anything God wants in support and love of God's people. With every door that has closed during this long 18 months, another has opened to create innovative and new ways to connect to God in Jesus Christ and to one another. As always, my door is always open and feel free to contact me with any questions or thoughts. 


May God continue to bless us and keep us in these times. Peace and Power, PMB