| "From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised." Psalm 113:3
Coronavirus Update as of May 14, 2020: In-person worship will resume Sunday, May 24 (with Holy Communion offered on May 24) with online worship also continuing.
We are so happy that we are once again able to worship in God's house. Thanks be to God! However, worship at Zion will be a little different than it used to be. For now, when we gather for worship (beginning Sunday, May 24th) we will be following some of the most stringent rules of counties in our state. We do this because we care for you and want to worship in the safest manner possible.
Our worship policy and plan is this: Since we cannot meet in this smaller crowd in two services, we have split it up as follows:
- We will follow social distancing guidelines of six feet.
- We will clean surfaces and bathrooms in-between each service.
- We will have shorter services (about 30 minutes) to allow for extra time for entry/exit and sanitation
- We will have much smaller crowds at each service (about 50 or so, 25% of our capacity)
- Those who normally attend the 8:00 am service on Sundays will need to be split.
- If your last name starts with the letters A-L, we ask that you worship at 8:00 am.
- If your last name starts with the letters M-Z, we ask that you worship at 9:00 am.
- Those who normally attend the 10:30 am service on Sundays will need to be split.
- If your last name starts with the letters A-L, we ask that you worship at 10:00 am.
- If your last name starts with the letters M-Z, we ask that you worship at 11:00 am.
Understand, we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. If you are at high risk, please consider continuing to worship from home. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home.
Some of you may not feel comfortable coming to worship yet. We understand. We will continue to have online worship available to you for the foreseeable future.
Here is the policy and plan adopted by our church council on May 14, 2020 in further detail:
- Worship on Sunday will be shortened to approximately 30 minutes to allow time for entry/exit and sanitation.
- Congregation will be divided into smaller subsets with four worship times offered on Sunday.
- 8-8:30 – for those normally attending 8:00 service, alphabetical (last name A-L)
- 9-9:30 – for those normally attending 8:00 service, alphabetical (last name M-Z)
- 10-10:30 – for those normally attending 10:30 service (last name A-L)
- 11-11:30 – for those normally attending 10:30 service (last name M-Z)
- Seating will be every 4th pew on each side (utilizes 10 on each side) to maintain personal distancing. One family could take an entire pew with unlimited numbers. If only an individual or couple, then each end of the pew could be used. Unused sets of 3 pews would be roped off. Pews 1, 5, 9….and so on would be used for 8:00 am. Ropes would get moved so that pews 2, 6, 10 etc. would be used for 9:00 am. By moving back one pew for each service, no pew is re-used on a Sunday and thus only the rail of the pew ahead needs to be disinfected before the service.
- Entry/exit will be only from the north doors. An usher will be there to help direct people. Ask members to not arrive earlier than 7 minutes before the service begins to eliminate potential for overlap between services. Following the service, members would exit the front of the church sanctuary (doors by the pulpit) and then proceed out the north doors. Signs will be placed on South and East doors directing members to only enter from the North (carport) doors.
- Bulletins – continue to have on-line and provide paper copies for in-person worship. Bulletins can be laid out on table at rear of church in a manner that allows members to grab one without touching the others. Parishioners will be asked to either take bulletin home or to dispose of in recycling container placed near the exit doors. Bulletins will contain the full service since all hymnals will be removed from the pews.
- Song – worship will include likely two songs (opening and closing) which will be included in the bulletin.
- Items removed to prevent contamination: kiddie bags, water coolers, hangers, hymnals.
- Ushers –Two ushers per service. Head usher will contact teams to figure this out and determine if anyone wishes to forego ushering at this time for health or other considerations. Candles will be lit and bells rung during services.
- Offering basket will be placed on a table near the pulpit for use when exiting the sanctuary.
- On-line worship will continue for those not comfortable attending in-person. The on-line sermon will be the same preached on Sunday morning, but will still be recorded in advance and posted Saturday evening since it requires several hours to upload the recording.
- Will be held with our first service on May 24th and thereafter on our normal schedule of the first and last Sundays of the month.
- Distribution will be more of a self-serve style with members walking up the outside aisle, returning down the center, with an usher in the center aisle releasing one pew at a time. The lectern side will commune first, followed by the pulpit side. One Pastor wearing a mask and gloves will dispense the host into cupped hands. The other Pastor will monitor trays of individual cups set out one at a time with widely spaced out cups for members to self-serve. Blessing will be pronounced afterwards.
- Members are asked to bring their own sanitizer if desired to use prior to receiving Holy Communion.
- Pastor will announce the Communion procedure after the words of institution are spoken.
Cleaning (between services)
Zion janitorial staff will assist with the first few weeks with the hope of training a few assistants who could take over the Sunday morning cleaning thereafter.
- Wipe down of the pew and rail ahead with appropriate disinfectant (hypochlorus acid).
- Upstairs bathrooms will be wiped down.
- North doors will be wiped down (weather permitting they will be propped open to reduce touching). South and East doors and handrails may need to be wiped if members inadvertently use wrong doors.