March 13, 2020
Zion Friends in Christ,
We are living in unique times in which there is no clear precedent to rely on for a faithful response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each day brings a new discovery and challenge.
Today, as the President of the United States declared a federal emergency, the Governor of Colorado asked faith communities to cancel gatherings of 250 or more and to maintain what has been called “social distancing” – keeping a distance of at least 6 feet between individuals. While Zion’s worship does not regularly exceed 250 at any one time, it is impossible for us to maintain the safe social distance to limit the spread of viruses. Therefore, in consultation with government officials, Bishop Jim Gonia of the Rocky Mountain Synod – ELCA, and the Zion council and staff, out of the necessity and safety for all we are cancelling worship through April 1.
Some have been critical of the widespread panic that has occurred across the country, so we expect that we will receive criticism over this decision. We ask your grace in this incredibly difficult decision. We are not giving in to panic; rather, we are asking everyone to exercise caution. As contradictory as it may sound, one of the best ways for us to care for one another in this time is by keeping our distance.
One way to understand this is to know that while roughly 80% of the population may not suffer severe consequences to the COVID-19 virus, we exercise caution and maintain distance to care for the 20% who would be severely affected by the virus, even to the point of death. The World Health Organization has shown in the last weeks that social distancing, and even self-imposed quarantine, is the only way to slow down the spread of the virus and speed up the timeline for it to run its course. So we are temporarily cancelling all gatherings to care for our most vulnerable.
Worship may be cancelled, but we are still the church! So here are ways you can continue the church’s mission:
WORSHIP – We will still have worship, but in digital space. This is likely outside of the level of comfort for many of us, but it is an opportunity for us to gather to hear the Word of God even across distances. We will send out a link through email, Facebook and Instagram, and on our website that will invite you into that space to participate in worship live. After the livestream, you will be able to watch a recording of worship. It will not be the same. There will be some glitches. But participate as you are able, and please give some grace for those who are working hard to make this happen.
CARE – If you would prefer not to take the risk of going into public but have some needs, a number of younger, healthy members of Zion have offered to run errands and pick up items. Please contact us to let us know if there is any way we can help you – through errands, a visit, or any other way. Also, pick up the phone and check on each other. If you are in need of pastoral care, please contact the church office. In the event the office is closed the phone will be forwarded to a staff member.
FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP – Ministry will continue, even when we are not physically meeting, and part of our worship and our lives is to give as God has given to us. Regular giving helps continue the work of ministry. Since we will not be gathering for several weeks, please consider sending offerings by mail, or if you are not already giving automatically online, consider going to our website and giving through the secure giving tab https://www.acionlinegiving.com/4726. If you need help, let us know by phone or email and we can help you navigate online giving.
MEETINGS, BIBLE STUDIES, AND OTHER GATHERINGS – Zion has a subscription to an easy-to-use online conferencing system called Zoom. Any meetings that must happen are encouraged to use Zoom. If you want to know how to log in to our subscription, contact us and we will walk you through the process.
These times can be very isolating, but God draws us into community even in our wilderness journeys. Please let love lead you in this difficult time. Keep each other in prayer.
I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
– Psalm 121:1-3
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Joel & Pastor Sonja
About Worship at Zion
All are welcome in worship! Come in clothes that you feel comfortable in to worship the Lord. We seek to create multiple ways to participate in worship through song, prayer, and creative engagement with the Word.
We offer two different worship opportunities. Our traditional worship higlights music from the pipe organ and piano and the Chancel Choir and Bell Choir share their musical gifts. Our contemporary worship highlights the musical talents of our Praise Band. Note the worship calendar for the times these services are offered.
In the summer we offer an informal outdoor worship with keyboard on the lawn of the chruch as well as an indoor worship that alternates between traditional and contemporary worship.
Zion has a strong music program to enhance worship. Chancel choir shared their gifts in traditional worship. Bell Choir shares their gifts once a month in traditional worship. Praise band shares their gifts once a month in traditional worship. We are blessed to also have individuals and small groups share their gifts of music. God has gifted us each with many gifts and we are thankful to the members of Zion who freely share their gift of music in the various ministries at Zion. If you have an interest in learning more about any of these opportunities contact Adam A Torres at firstname.lastname@example.org
Children in Worship
Children of all ages are always welcome in worship and we seek to make elements of worship meaningful for all ages. However, we provide alternatives for families with children. There is a cry room at the back of the sanctuary for parents who wish to remain with their children during worship, but who may need some privacy. Also, nursery for children infant to 5 years old is provided by a paid nursery staff from 8 am to noon on Sundays.
|Summer Worship Times (June 3rd- September 2nd)
8:15 am Outdoor Worship
9:30 am Sunday School
10:15 am Indoor Worship
Regular Worship Times(September 9th)
8:15 Traditional Worship
9:40 am Faith Formation for All Ages
10:45 Contemporary Worship