Zion Crownicle for August
Outdoor Worship Service & Farewell – Aug. 16
On Sunday, August 16, we will worship at the Rec Park Band Shell at 9 am. Bring your lawn chairs, and sing and worship with your Zion family. We will bless and distribute prepackaged Communion during this service.
Following the worship, we will have a Farewell gathering to say goodbye to our Interim Pastor Glen Bickford. We want to thank and show our deep appreciation for all that he has done for us here at Zion during his tenure. We have reserved the Lion’s shelter and will serve coffee, water and boxed treats.

Live Worship Begins August 23!      (Read the Smart Team's recommendations!)

Now that we have our Smart Team’s recommendations and the building set up for people to return to worshiping we will have our first in-person service on Sunday, August 23, at 9 am. The policies that the Smart Team developed are on pages 3-4 of this newsletter. Please take time to read them to acquaint yourself with what is expected when you come to worship.
Worship will have a different look and feel to it. Worshipers will be required to wear masks. There will be no congregational singing. Worshipers will be spread out throughout the sanctuary to maintain social distancing. Hand sanitizing stations will be available and encouraged for worshipers to use.
For those who are not ready to return to in-person worship, we will continue to videotape the worship and post online for viewing.
We certainly did not expect COVID-19 but the pandemic has caused us to be creative with solutions to meet our needs. The church has faced many challenges through the ages and has persevered. As we move forward in the coming weeks and months, please keep our church and leaders in your prayers.

Sunday School Survey

If you have children or grandchildren that will be attending Sunday School (SS) this fall, we would like to know how comfortable you are with kids returning to Sunday School. Please fill out the email survey by August 13. The Christian Education Committee will be meeting to discuss this fall’s Sunday School. We understand that only you know your child(ren) best and the Christian Education Committee do not know what you are needing/looking for if we do not hear feedback. The majority of us no longer have children in the Sunday School Program and are welcome to new ideas and new faces.

Meatball Supper Canceled

After discussion, the Church Council (with Chair Randy Hemstead’s concern and input) agreed to cancel the annual Meatball Supper until we can safely prepare it and graciously welcome people back into our church for dining and fellowship. This fundraiser is used to help fund Zion’s scholarship program as well as general needs of the church.

Pastor's Page
Dear Friends,
It grieves me to say so, but it’s time for me to go. My contract runs through August 31, but my last day is August 16 because I have two weeks of vacation coming to me. Pastor Sarah will be here October 1. It’s important to keep the business of the church going between myself and Sarah. Zion will have a few weeks without a pastor, but I'm sure folks can manage. There will be energy, because you can meet in person in church soon. You will be guiding things and you know the church. Confirmation and Sunday School (and other activities) may be taking a new form this year because of COVID-19; it’s up to you to make those decisions that work best. You’ll get there!
One of the hardest things about interim ministry is the gap that will be for a year or so. I will not be contacting you for a year or so to allow the new pastor to develop a relationship with you. That will not be a big issue, because I live a ways away. Pastor Sarah is a good person and pastor and she needs your love and support. After a year has passed feel free to contact me. Christmas cards are fine even this year. I will continue to pray for you.
People always ask me, “What’s next?” Sometimes I don’t know. This time, however, I won’t have much of a gap between churches. I start as senior pastor (interim) of English Lutheran Church, La Crosse, Wisconsin on September 1. Their pastor of 21 years is leaving the end of August. It will be a longer commute for me (2.5 hours), but I could ride the Amtrak there occasionally. They have rented an apartment for me in La Crosse, and I’ll be commuting a couple times a week.
I will miss all of you! Please come to my final worship in Rec. Park August 16. There will be a celebration afterwards (or so I’ve been told).
Blessings Always,
Pastor Glen

Pastoral Acts

Memorial Services:
On July 11, a Memorial Service was held for Shirley Helen Hoskins (09.13.1936 - 05.09.2020) at Bruce & Michele Hoskins’s residence with Pastor Glen Bickford officiating.

Want to be a more effective Steward? Consider Simply Giving – With Simply Giving your offering is debited directly from your bank account directly into Zion’s account? For those of you who wish to have your contributions transferred electronically 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
were given in memory of Shirley Hoskins, by Deb Ellingson and John & Ardy Becklin.

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.

Smart Team Recommendations
August 7, 2020
On-site Church Service Procedures:
The following list is our list of recommended or required policies/procedures that would be implemented when Milaca Zion Lutheran opens for on-site/in-house church services. This list was a result of the recommendations and ideas from the four committee members (Shirley Lupke, Trent Niedzielski, Barb Hemstad, and Randy Hemstad). These are in no particular order, but would be necessary if we were to have a safe opening, using ELCA and State requirements as a guideline:
1. It is strongly recommended that the very elderly/compromised and those feeling ill reconsider attendance.
2. All members will be required to properly wear a face mask, one that covers the mouth and nose. A full-face covering plastic shield is an approved replacement for the mask. If you have a legal medical exemption, you must have a legal copy of you medical exemption form. These would have to be on before entering the front door of the church, per new State of MN guidelines. The front door will be the only “entry” to the church. The elevator should only be used by those that need it, based on handicap or physical needs. Also, per State guidelines, children five and under are not required to wear masks. But we do encourage trying it with them.
3. Members would be ushered in by the adult ushers, and ushered out at the end of the service. Yes, this would require more ushers to manage everything properly and may take a little more time. Please respect proper distancing while waiting to be seated.
4. To maintain mandated Social Distancing there will be a very different seating arrangement. Every other row of pews would be tapped off and not used. Also, in the pews that would be used there would be only two members on each end of the pew, more allowed if you are direct family members. A maximum capacity in the sanctuary would be 50 members, more if there are larger families sitting together. If the maximum is met, then the overflow would be seated in the Narthex.
5. At least one usher would be at the front door to answer questions and offer a non-contact welcome. There will not be greeters as in the past. All members are asked to use the automatic hand sanitizers that will be installed by the front door of the church.
6. The bulletins will contain everything members will need to follow the service, including the hymns. The lessons will be read as in the past at the front podium. The reader will have the opportunity to lower her/his mask only during the reading and needs to maintain the six-foot distancing rule.
7. Hymnals and bibles will not be available at the pews since they would be very hard to clean after each use. All information needed for the service will be in the bulletin.
8. We will need to substitute the sharing of the peace with a nice smile and bow or wave.
9. Singing, that is a hard one since the singing is such a wonderful part of our services. To start with there will be no singing of hymns, words would be spoken. Hymns may be limited to two and with only two or three verses. These limits would be to help reduce the germs that to pass through the masks. Only the pastor or soloists could sing, well away from the congregation.
10. Our piano/organ player would continue to play as in the past.
11. Use of the bathrooms would be limited to the newer bathrooms in the fellowship hall area of the church. Only one person should be in the bathroom at a time, unless there is a child needing parental assistance. Please, no contact with chairs & tables in the fellowship hall as you pass thru it to the bathrooms.
12. The balcony will be closed to members for additional safety/health reasons and only the organ player will be permitted entry. If there will be videotaping the person doing it will be allowed in the balcony.
13. Liturgies should be spoken, not sung.
14. Current occupancy rates will be respected as mandated by the State of Minnesota.
15. There will be a special table set-up in the Narthex before you are seated with the communion packets, bulletins, confirmation notes, plates for your offering, and sign-up sheets. The Alter Guild will help by setting out the communion packets for the service.
16. The kitchen will be closed down as will the back door into the church.
17. No coffee and gatherings after the service will be permitted in the reception hall.
18. We also recommend that the taping of the service be continued for those not able to attend.
19. There will no use of the church water fountains. Bring your own bottled water if needed.

Small Group Meetings:
At this time, it is recommended that only “church related” small groups would be able to use any part of the church complex, exceptions to be considered by the Smart Team. No large group gatherings (except Sunday Service) will be allowed. These groups will be responsible for self-policing the procedures of use and for cleaning after each meeting.
1. Must clean before and after each use, suppling your own cleaning materials.
2. Cleaning would include the entry door handles.
3. Masks must be worn and hands washed or sanitized.
4. Social Distancing of six feet must be respected.
5. Meetings only in the reception hall, not in the church sanctuary or Narthex. There will be the exception of room use by the Piano Player and the Pastors office.
6. Some of the possible small groups would include, but are not limited to, the following: Quilting Group, Bible Study, Church Piano/Organ Player Lessons, Ladies Circle Groups, Zion Church Council, etc.
Additional Materials/Personnel to be provided by Zion:
1. Automatic hand sanitizers by entrances.
2. Spare face masks for those entering without masks.
3. Signage for proper procedures and directions.
4. Three or four ushers will be needed for each services.

Highlights of the Church Council Meeting
(Complete minutes & financial statements are posted on the kiosk in the upper Narthex.)
Members Present: Ardy Becklin, Glen Bickford, Cindy Biederman, Deb, Ellingson, Mary Jo Gruba, Jeannie Manthie, Christine Nelson, Dan Niedzielski, Jim Schmidt and Mike Weyer
The Church Council met on July 9, 2020, at church. The Treasurer reported receipts of $23,005 and disbursements of $12,601 for June 2020 leaving a balance of $19,618. The balance in the Special Fund account the end of June was $65,176.
Old Business:
Smart Team – The Smart Team (Randy & Barb Hemstad, Trent Niedzielski, and Shirley Lupke) will be meeting in the next week. They need to come up with policies for returning to live worship but also for small groups wanting to meet in the building.
Church Directory – Will table this for now. Will look into online directory options.
Videotaping Equipment – We hope to continue videotaping out worship services. MM/S/C to approve the purchase of camera equipment.
Wi-Fi – To live stream our services we need to have Wi-Fi or wired Internet in the sanctuary. We will contact Milaca Local Links to get an estimate.
Roof Bids – We will get a bid from Granite City Roofing.
Reglazing & Caulking Windows – The windows in the Fellowship hall need to be reglazed and caulked before we repaint under the windows. Mike Weyer volunteered to do the job.
New Business:
Farewell for Pastor Bickford – Worship in the Park and farewell to Pastor Bickford will be August 16 in Rec Park.
Pastor’s Severance Package – MM/S/C to authorize the Personnel Committee to figure out Pastor Bickford’s severance package.
Decorating Pastor’s Office – Ardy Becklin will get a bid from Corrow’s Carpet & Vinyl for new carpeting. Kärin McCann has volunteered to coordinate the decorating.
Property – Mike Weyer volunteered to coordinate the landscaping project with volunteers to help; Dan & Trent Niedzielski pressure washed the outside stucco.
Finance & Stewardship – The PPP Loan was extended to 24 weeks. We have used it only for the payroll which will make it easier when we report.
Personnel – Committee finishing job reviews with staff.
Outreach – The Committee members are calling all members to check on how they are doing.
Christian Education – Camp Onomia is offering day events led by Onomia Camp Staff at the church or local park. Committee will try to set up a date in July.
The next Church Council meeting will be held on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, (changed to Aug. 6) at 6:30 pm at church.

Zion Lutheran Church Council – 2020
President – Dan Niedzielski Vice President – Christine Nelson
Secretary – Mary Rice Treasurer – Ardy Becklin
Cindy Biederman Leah Hjort Jim Schmidt
Deb Ellingson Jeannie Manthie Andrea Swenson
Mary Jo Gruba Michael Weyer
Health & Prayer Concerns - If you know of anyone who is ill, hospitalized, or in need of pastoral care, please call the church office at 320-983-3368. The Zion Prayer Chain may be activated by contacting Jan at janbrown@milaca.net or texting or calling 320-362-1181, or calling the Church Office and leaving a message on the Prayer Chain Voice mail. Prayer requests may be included in our online service on Sunday morning by contacting the church office.

Keep In Your Prayers
+ Those in need of Health, Healing and Guidance: Patrick Gunnink; take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation from people receiving treatment or under quarantine for the Coronavirus. Protect their families and friends and bring peace to all who love them; all who’ve been hurt, displaced, grieved and in any way effected by war and disasters in the world.
+ Remember: in prayer our homebound members and nursing home & assisted-living residents: Lloyd Anderson, Dean Fransen, Lyle Fylstra, Mavis Holter, Bob Johnson, Grant Magnuson, Marlys Santema, Becky Weidenhamer.
+ Those serving in the Mission Field: Pastor Linda Johnson Seyenkulo, who is serving in Liberia.
+ Support: Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families: Reece Sandberg, Joelle Knapp, and Jack Knapp.
+ Comfort: for the family of Shirley Hoskins as they mourn her death.

Birthdays In August:
1 - John Knapp
2 - Alexis Biederman, Trudy Johnson
4 - Doug Broberg Sr.
5 - Levi Hjort, Liza Hjort                                                                                           
6 - Kennen DeBoer, Trent Niedzielski, Myra Norrgard
8 - Eileen DeYoung, Mavis Holter, Blake Smith-Maitland
9 - Kathy Peck, Evelyn Swenson
10 - Michelle Fjerstad, Evan Gruba
11 - Tyler Rueckert
12 - Dick Meleen, Randy Rice
13 - Sue Milan
14 - Drayson DeBoer, Bill Totzke, Haley Totzke
15 - Robert Jensen, Bertie Nickerson
16 - Ellie DeBoer
20 – Landon Hasz, Luanne Weyer
21 - Erin Hjort, Sarah Larsen, Anna Totzke
22 - Laura Moses
23 - Murial Boyer
24 - Archie Jones
26 - Ashley Picotte, Josie Tabatt
27 - Blake Tabatt
28 - Alexander Lerud
29 - Bridget DeMarre, Karen Edmison
30 - Diane Dahlstrom, Randy Hemstad, Dylan Sandberg
2 - Jeff & Trudy Johnson, Richard & Shirley Perry
5 - Sam & Andria Hasz
6 - Chad & Theresa Mero, Bob & Bertie Nickerson
12 - Brian & Angela Johnson
13 - Bob & Kelly Cerqua, Harley & Sonja Eggen
23- Ken & Judy Muller

(Contact Church Office if there are
errors or additions)

Online Reflections - Keep up with all the great opportunities and ministries going on within our Northeastern Minnesota Synod. Go to www.nemnsynod.org and click the Online Reflections tab to sign up to receive weekly updates to stay on top of what’s going on in our synod and church!

Keep track of what’s happening at Zion via Social Media!
 Log in to Zion (www.ZionMilaca.org) – You can watch Zion online worship and read the daily devotions Pastor Glen wrote for us. Log on and look for kid stuff like puzzles and the coloring book.
 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.

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