God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46
Our entire worship service is broadcast live on the radio within a 50 mile radius of Chippewa Falls on WCFW 105.7 FM
The sermon for September 20th, 2020, can be found here.
A Catechism reading schedule can be found here.
As we gather during this time of pandemic, please keep in mind the following points and adjustments.
- If you are not feeling well or have been around someone who is ill with a contagious disease, stay home. This is more important now than ever as we continue to work to contain the corona virus.
- Follow the social distancing guidelines that you have learned over the past two months.
- Maintain a six-foot circle between you and anyone who is not living in the same house.
- No hand shaking or hugging (I know this will be difficult, but germs are easily transferred by hand shaking.)
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (singing the doxology takes 25-30 seconds)
- Use hand sanitizer if you cannot wash your hands.
- Mask may be worn at your discretion. (If you need a cloth mask, we have some wonderful sewers who are making them.)
- Gloves may be worn at your discretion, though the evidence that they help much in this situation is low.
- The building will be sanitized before each service with special attention given to the pews, handrails, doors, and bathrooms.
- There will be a greeter at each door to open it for you
- Attendance will be written down by one person. Please make sure you let them know you are here.
- Please spread out in the sanctuary. Every other pew will be blocked off. Try to keep one household to a pew or sit on opposite ends.
- Try to sit in the same spot each week.
- The order of service and hymns will be printed each week, giving you some options on how to participate in the service.
- You may pick up a copy of the bulletin at church or bring the one that was mailed to you.
- Hymnals will also remain in the pew for you to use.
- If you have your own hymnal, this would be a good time to get in the habit of bringing it each week.
- If you would like to purchase a hymnal for home use, please let me know.
- You may bring your phone or other device to follow with the emailed bulletin.
- The offering will be collected in the narthex.
- Communion will continue to be offered each week with the following adjustments.
- The center of the rail will remain open to allow for social distancing.
- There will be one household at a time per side of the rail (for example, the Jones family will be on the lectern side of the communion rail and the Mueller family will be on the pulpit side. This will mean that some tables may have as few as 2 or 3 people).
- Please remain in your pew until the previous table is departing, then come forward.
- Pastor and all communion assistants will be using hand sanitizer before serving each table.
- The communion rail will be sanitized after each table is served.
- The flow will be unchanged. We will start with those seated on the pulpit side and continue front to back until everyone has been served. Then we will move to those on the lectern side.
- In consideration of those who will be listening on the radio and the likelihood that the service will now go back to being over an hour in length, we will be pausing after the prayers of the church to speak the benediction, and will then continue with the service of the sacrament. This way, all who are listening at home will receive the Lord’s blessing.
- This order was common in the early church when after the Service of the Word was completed, the benediction would be given and those who were not receiving the Lord’s Supper would depart. The Service of the Sacrament would then begin.
- Fellowship time will also be restarted with social distancing practices followed
- Coffee will be available, but one person each week will serve it (volunteers needed).
- Refreshments will be limited to single serve items.
- Everything used will be disposable.
- The Sunday morning Bible study will resume as well.
- Short, topical studies will be planned for the summer.
- Lutheranism 101 will resume in the fall.
- The Wednesday Study will remain suspended for now to allow us to focus on getting into the new routine on Sundays.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider and pay attention to as we reopen. The above points are but a fraction of all that needs to be considered. This is why I am asking for your continued prayers and patience as we slowly move forward from the shadow of COVID-19. But no matter what happens, we know that Jesus is with us and nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Blessings in Christ Jesus, our risen Lord and Savior,
Rev. Tim Jones
Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Chippewa Falls, WI