Outdoor Worship Service - June 28th at 9 a.m.
To safely and confidently offer a communal worship experience in June, we have reserved the Rec Park Band Shell for 9 am, June 28, for outdoor worship. Bring your lawn chairs, and sing and worship with your Zion family. We will bless and distribute prepackaged Communion during this service. No formal fellowship, and we recommend spacing chairs between families.
Small Group Activities Update
We are collecting online survey responses on return to worship at the church as well as small group activities. If you are part of a small group or want to participate in small group Bible study or worship, please contact Pastor Glen (email@example.com. or 507-269-9079). We are in the process of developing small group COVID-19 safety guidelines, and we will post and communicate those soon for groups that want to begin using the church.
Seeking Youth/Adult Volunteers
Please contact the church if you are interested in participating in the following activities. You can also sign up with friends for worship activities through the Sign-Up Genius on Zion’s website, left-hand side of home page. Videotaping happens at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Outdoor worship is June 28.
Worship Videotaping/Editing (will be trained to record and edit worship videos)
Video Greeters (taped welcome to worship)
Musicians (singing and playing instruments; recorded or outdoors)
Readers (reading scripture)
Flower/veggie planting/summer care (plants provided)
Church cleaning in-between group use (extra help for custodian)
Smart Team (planning/communicating safe worship and activities)
Please contact the church office with your interest, and leave a message if necessary.
We are coming into summer and I hope you are well. It is lovely weather. It is hard to believe we have done two months of online services and daily devotions.
Last week the governor declared that churches and other houses of worship could reopen, at 25% capacity. For our church, with a capacity of about 150, we could theoretically have about 35 people in worship each week per service. (that’s 2-3 services for Zion) We would have to have designated spots to sit and have folks willing to clean the sanctuary and the bathrooms after each service. Some churches are considering cleaning the entire bathroom(s) between each use.
Best practice for health would be to have services at least 4 hours apart, so any virus hanging in the air would die. Family units would need to sit six feet apart from other families. Singing by members all at once would be prohibited because science suggests the virus might be spread in singing more than speaking (and our bishop’s guidelines prohibit singing at this time).
Eating in groups (sadly, communion) for the same reason is strongly discouraged or prohibited. The Minnesota ELCA bishops have agreed that for now communion should be prepackaged only and distributed as folks leave for later consumption, or outside.
Potlucks and sharing of food is still prohibited in churches by the governor’s order. Coffee hour, if we could make it work, would be beverages served by servers only, and at tables 6 feet apart for each family. Some experts would still recommend masks for any indoor groups.
Welcome to worship in the 21st century!
In light of all this, Bishop Tom has recommended we in NE MN Synod not return to indoor worship at this time. Outdoor services are not prohibited as long as worshipers are at least 6 feet apart.
Our Worship and Music Committee has decided, after much deliberation, not to have regular services outdoors. Extra sound equipment would need to be bought and is now scarce. In addition, the committee felt that the YouTube services are going well and it would take much additional work to make outdoor services as good as they wanted worship to be. Sermons and weekly letters continue to be distributed for those without Internet. If you want to help with YouTube worship either as a reader or as musician, please contact me at 507-269-9079.
As COVID-19 settles down, we will be considering worship in small groups in the fellowship hall. The protocol I mentioned above for worship in the sanctuary would have to be maintained for fellowship hall worship. The Fellowship hall is much easier to clean and air out. You should have received a survey soon asking your opinion on worship. Worship and Music Committee continues to meet every two weeks or so via Zoom to stay abreast of the changes in guidelines and updates.
I want to worship with you in the sanctuary as before eventually. When we can do that safely and with the bishop’s and governor’s blessings it will happen. How long that will be nobody can say for sure. It is hard to be patient.
Thank you for your continued financial support. It is not exactly comfortable financially, but we are making it as a church better than some others. Thanks for all your prayers, and for continued participation in leading and watching worship.
I want to hear from you, how you are all doing. Please give me a call. It is easy for any of us to get lonely during these times. 507-269-9079 is my number.
Blessings and Prayers,
Update – The Call Committee has two prospective candidates that they hope to interview in June.
Call Process Survey – A Survey was given out at church and sent by email to all members. We had a total of 85 responses, 25 online and 60 paper. Here are results to our questions:
1. How important is it to you to have a pastor who lives in the community, if the Call Committee recommends one?
a. Very Important – 23%
b. Important – 40%
c. Important & Neutral – 1%
d. Neutral – 28%
e. Less Important – 6%
f. Not Important – 2%
2. Would you consider a good pastoral candidate who needs or wants more money than our budget, if the Call Committee recommends one?
a. No – 19%
b. Likely Not – 27%
c. Likely Not & Maybe – 1%
d. Maybe – 40%
e. Likely Yes – 11%
f. Yes – 2%
3. Would you consider a gay or lesbian pastor if the Call Committee recommends one?
a. No – 28%
b. Probably Not – 8.5%
c. Neutral – 16%
d. Maybe – 3.5%
e. Yes – 44%
JOY OF GIVING
Want to be a more effective Steward? Consider Simply Giving -What is Simply Giving? Simply put it is a means to have your offering debited directly from your bank account as you do with other monthly drafts? Zion Lutheran offers electronic giving for those of you who wish to have your contributions transferred electronically to the church’s account. Contact the Church Office for more details 983-3368.
Want to Give Right Now? Try your smartphone! Start by downloading a QR code reader for your phone and then scan and the QR Code will take you to the Zion’s site on GiveMN. It is easy and helpful. Give it a try!
Memorial / Honorarium Gifts
A gift was given in memory of Shirley Hoskins, by Bob & Janet Johnson.
Look What’s Happening!
Being separated does not mean we are not connected and attuned to positive and uplifting things happening in the congregation. So if you know of something to celebrate, please let the church office know. Congratulations to Mike & Candee Weyer on the birth of their new daughter, Grace Harlo Weyer, born May 19, 8 lbs. 7 oz., 21 inches.
Want to be a part of our online Worship Service! There is a new and easy way to sign up to help with worship! Go to www.zionmilaca.org and click on SIGN UP GENIUS. It will take you to the online signup sheet for greeters, readers, and musicians.
LIFE @ ZION
Congratulations Graduates! On Sunday, May 10, Zion acknowledged our graduates with a ‘Drive-by’ cake event. Zion members were invited to drive-by at the church and the graduates served people cupcakes through their car windows. Zion graduates for 2020 were:
Miranda, daughter of Patrick & Jennifer, will be attending the University of Wisconsin in Superior. She plans to major in Pre-med / Exercise Science.
Blayne, son of Skye and the late David
Grace, daughter of Ethan & Caity, will be attending the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. She will be majoring in Psychology.
Logan, son of Garrett & Kim, will be attending the Concordia College in Moorhead. He will be majoring in math or business.
Dalton, son of Todd & Jennifer, will be attending Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. He will be majoring in Zoology.
Adam, son of Deon & Kim, will be attending Pine Technical and Community College in Pine City. He will be majoring in Computer Science.
Graduates received a hand-made quilt from Zion’s Quilters as a gift. Miranda, Grace, Logan, and Dalton received scholarships from Zion Lutheran. May God bless each of our graduates as they celebrate this milestone and as they venture forth to serve their neighbors in need and continue to grow in faith.
Keep track of what’s happening at Zion via Social Media!
Log in to Zion (www.ZionMilaca.org) – You can find Zion’s monthly calendar, photos from the latest events, and read Sunday’s sermon! Log on and look for the tabs and enjoy.
Like Us On Facebook! - Zion Lutheran Church, Milaca, MN has a Facebook page. Check it out for announcements, prayer requests, words of encouragement and inspiration.