Zion is Open!

If you are planning to attend a service in-person, please review the following information.  As the COVID crisis continues to worsen, the Council and Worship Team decided to make some adjustments to in-person worship in an abundance of caution and for the safety of everyone.

The primary changes are:

  • Communion will be in the pews.  An individual, combined wafer/juice package will be picked up as you come into the sanctuary.

  • Only the Pastor will serve in order to limit movement and people at the altar.

  • The length of worship will be shortened to about 45 minutes (communion will take less time, number of verses in songs will be reduced to limit singing).

  • The Pastor will make all announcements.  Please feel free to communicate any announcements to him before Sunday.

  • We ask people to limit their movement in the Sanctuary as much as possible.  If you think you will need to leave the Sanctuary during worship, please sit near the back in order to limit who you walk by on the way out.

We want to remind everyone to please be conscious of maintaining at least six feet between you and other people at all times, especially when leaving after worship.  The ushers will release people after worship from the rear of the church forward.  Please do not congregate in the narthex and leave plenty of space between you and the person in front of you as they make their way out the door.  People on the east side of the church may exit out through the coat room and should immediately leave without gathering there.  We also ask worshippers to avoid going into areas of the church other than the sanctuary and restrooms.  In order to discourage use of the mailboxes, they have been temporarily removed.

The Council and Worship Team also voted that if anyone who has recently attended in-person worship tests positive for COVID, in-person worship will be canceled for the next two Sundays.  This means, of course, that if you attended and test positive, you need to notify the church office.  We respect your privacy but need to know in order to ensure we take the steps necessary to keep everyone safe.*

Before you leave home:

  • Do you have a temperature, cough, chills?

  • Do you believe you’ve been exposed to Covid-19?

  • Have you been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, or if you in general aren’t feeling well or feel uncomfortable attending, please stay home and watch our recorded/live streamed worship service. You are part of our worshiping community whether here or at home.

  • Please bring your face mask to wear. It is mandatory to have one on while you are waiting to get into the church and while you are in the building. If you need a mask, Zion can provide you with one.

What to expect when you get here:

  • The sanctuary will have been sanitized before service and will be sanitized the following week.

  • The bathrooms will have been sanitized. Do your best to maintain distance while using the restroom with the exception of members of the same family. Chairs will be placed 6 feet apart in the hallway as a waiting area for your convenience.

  • Do your best to stay in the sanctuary.

  • The only entrance to the church is through the sanctuary doors.

  • Arrive early to allow plenty of time so that attendees can get their temperature taken and be seated before the service begins. Service will begin promptly at 9:30 AM.

  • Several orange cones will be placed outside on the sidewalk to help with maintaining proper distance while you wait to get into church. Please stand by a cone and move up toward the entrance when the next cone is free. If all the cones are occupied, please wait in your car or in the parking lot a proper distance apart until the last cone in line is available.

  • Hand sanitizer will be available when you enter and exit.

  • When you enter someone will take your temperature with a forehead scanning thermometer; the thermometer will not touch you.. If you have a temperature of 100.4 you will not be allowed to enter and will need to return home. (If it’s hot outside, don’t get overheated sitting in your car or standing in the sun as that may affect your temperature.)

  • The offering plate will be available at the back of the church to drop off your offering envelope.

  • An usher will take you to the most front available pew, filling from the front to the back on both sides. Be flexible as this may not be where you normally sit. Bulletins will already be in the pew. Families will be seated together.

  • The hymnals, Bibles, envelopes, and any paper items have been removed. Anyone who would like to use a hymnal may contact the church office and one will be given to you. That will now be your personal hymnal(s) so please take it/them with you when you leave.

  • Only one person will be allowed in the usher’s room.

  • The Service:

  • The passing of the peace will be verbal or a wave only. Everyone remains in their place. No touching.

  • Wear your mask during the service including during the liturgy and hymns. It is difficult to sing with the mask, so feel free to hum.

  • Pastor Larry will demonstrate before the service begins how we will do communion. Below is the description:

    • Communion is continuous on the floor level.

    • An usher will dismiss you to go forward down the center aisle. Communion will start on the right side as usual.

    • When you reach Pr. Larry you can pull your mask down or unhook one side so you can receive the elements.

    • Pr. Larry and all communion assistants will wear a mask and gloves. Cup your hands and Pr. Larry will drop the wafer in your hand, touch-free.

    • The communion assistant will ask “wine” or “grape juice?” A disposable cup with that element will be placed on a tray and offered to you. Take and drink.

    • A separate tray will be available for you to place your empty cup.

    • Put your mask back in place and return to your seat by the side aisle.

    • Try to maintain 10 feet between you and the person ahead of you.

  • At the conclusion of the service, an usher will dismiss from the back to the front. Please wait to be dismissed and go through the red doors out to the parking lot where you may choose to briefly visit others while maintaining safe procedures (mask, distance, etc.)

We understand all of this is strange and perhaps uncomfortable.  However, what is constant is the unconditional love of God in Jesus for each one of us individually and for all of us as a community.

*Words in red indicate new procedures that are now in place as of November 20th, 2020