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A Message about Outdoor Worship

from Pastor Jeff and Council President, John Miller 

(on behalf of the Task Force)
Dear People of Zion,
“Abundance of caution” is a phrase that jumped into our vocabulary lately. It is with an abundance of caution that we will worship outside on Sunday, June 28th, at 9:00 am near the Rose Garden at Zion.
A task force consisting of members of the Worship and Music Committee and the Executive Committee put together protocols and plans that were approved by the Congregational Council.
Your cooperation in following these protocols will help ensure we will do this as safely as possible.
  1. Please do not feel you need to attend the service. God will not be watching who is and who is not there. If you are uncomfortable attending, that is fine. The service will be recorded and sent out via email.
  2. If you are in the category of people whose health may be compromised (based on age, breathing issues, immune disorders) or if you are feeling unwell or if you are uncomfortable or unable to wear a mask, please do not attend. The service will be recorded so that you can view it later.
  3. The CDC has said that they strongly urge masks to be worn in outdoor gatherings with a larger amount of people. This is especially true as you move between your car and the Rose Garden as well as when you speak or sing (we will do a little singing.)
  4. A bulletin will be sent to the email address we have for you, so that you can print it out to bring with you.  There will not be printed bulletins available at church, but we are working on projecting the words of the service onto a screen and making sure it works outdoors in daylight.
  5. Please bring your own chairs. You may also want to bring a pop-up canopy. You may want to bring water. However, don’t bring too much water (see #11.)
  6. Please try to use every other parking spot.
  7. As you walk to the Rose Garden, please wear a mask and maintain social distance.
  8. There will be a table with an offering plate where you can place your offering. Also on this table, there will be little packages that have a communion wafer and cup of juice (these are prepackaged units purchased from Concordia.)
  9. Look for more information during the week about picking up communion packets if you prefer not to attend or if it is safer for you not to attend.
  10. When you find a spot near the Rose Garden, please make sure that you are at least six feet away from others. Family groups may be together.
  11. The bathrooms will be open, however, only one person at a time may be in each bathroom. There will be materials to wipe down the bathroom after you are done (and yes, there will be signs on just what to wipe down.)
  12. There will be a trash can in which you can put the wrappers from your communion package, however, it is best if you take all your trash with you.
  13. We will keep a list of people who attend the service; this is necessary in case we need to do contact tracing.
  14. Understanding it may be uncomfortable wearing masks and being outside in the summer, we are attempting to keep the services to 40 minutes.
  15. There will be no food, coffee, or fellowship time.
  16. As you go back to your car, please keep your mask on and maintain social distance.
Questions you might have:
What if it rains?  Well, first, we want to make sure that Chris and Pastor don’t get electrocuted. If it’s a light rain, hopefully you have a pop-up canopy or an umbrella (or we can pretend we are remembering our baptism.) If it is a heavy rain, then we will cancel in-person worship (like a snow day), and Pastor and Chris will record the service from the sanctuary and it will be sent out via email. (We thought about an ark and realized there wouldn’t be any social distancing in an ark.)
Do I have to wear a mask? Well, you don’t need to listen to Pastor’s sermon, but it does help Pastor’s feelings if you look like you are interested in the sermon. You don’t have to pray, and you don’t need to take communion but prayer and communion work better if we all do them together. In the same way, wearing masks works best if we all do it. We wear the masks for others. All of that said, the most important times for masks to be worn are going to/from your car and when singing or speaking.  (Rumor has it that the more people who wear masks, the shorter the sermon will be.  And yes the reverse is also true.)
If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Jeff (pastor@zionlutheranct.org) or John Miller (president@zionlutheranct.org)
We do not anticipate worshiping indoors until September.
Look for information coming soon about opportunities for individual prayer in the Sanctuary.
 Peace,
 John Miller and Pastor Jeff on behalf of the Task Force
IMPORTANT
We will worship outdoors on Sunday, June 28th at 9AM by the Rose Garden at Zion.  Please follow protocols listed above when attending this outdoor service.
To contact the church office you can call the office at 860-628-5759.
To contact Pastor Jeff:
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7