Welcome to Zion Lutheran Church
We are a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Zion Lutheran was established in 1883 by a group of German Lutheran immigrants. Today we are a community gathered around the Word of God and the Sacraments, living out the gospel and carrying out our mission in Clinton, Iowa, and the world. Our mission, our ministry, and our vision continue to grow as we endeavor to meet the needs of our members, our community, and our world.
June 9, 2020
The last time we gathered together in worship within Zion’s sanctuary was the weekend of March 14/15. However, even on that weekend, as information was starting to be more widely shared about the spread of the coronavirus, worship attendance was considerably less than usual. Just a couple of days later, we received the order to “shut down” our gatherings in order to assist in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
While Iowa’s governor lifted the worship gathering restriction in early May, (albeit with restrictions), most congregations in the state were hesitant to resume in-person worship services – for the sake of caring for the health of their congregants and their communities. These past weeks have been filled with deliberations about and preparations for safely resuming in-person worship gatherings.
While we now have plans in place to resume our in-person worship services as safely as possible, each individual will still need to make the decision for themselves and their family members as to if and when they feel it is safe for them to return. If you (or a loved one who lives with you) are in an “at-risk” category of life and health (due to your health status, age, etc.), please do what you need to do to keep yourself and others healthy. As we have learned in these past few months, it is possible to worship the Lord together while being apart! (We will continue our radio broadcast and Facebook livestream.)
This said, we know that there is a blessing in being able to physically gather together in worship. So, Zion Lutheran Church will be “open” to in-person worship this weekend of June 13 & 14 – 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 9:00 a.m. on Sunday. However, as has been noted earlier, there will be some “differences” when we gather together.
Here is what you need to know in regards to how things will need to be for a while at Zion in order to do what we can to care for one another and keep each other well. (It is assumed that everyone knows that one should not come to worship if one feels ill.)
1) Please practice “social distancing” (maintain six feet between you and non-family members) from the time that you exit your vehicle until you get back in your vehicle.
2) The CDC encourages the use of cloth face coverings (masks), especially when social distancing is difficult. These face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. We recognize that some are hesitant about gathering with others who are unmasked, while others may have difficulty wearing a mask. Wanting to do what we can to provide choices and to welcome all to worship, we are requiring masks to be worn at the Saturday evening service, while encouraging them at the Sunday morning service. (Masks will be available at Zion for those who may not have one; they are in baggies in the narthex and are yours to keep.)
3) Hand sanitizer will be available in both the narthex and the Gathering Space; however, you may wish to bring your own. Coats or jackets should be taken into the sanctuary with you.
4) The building and sanctuary furnishings will be cleaned after/before each worship gathering. Parts of the building will be “off limits” as we gather to worship.
5) The hearing assist devices available from the ushers will be cleaned, disinfected, and new earpads will be fitted after each worship service.
6) The children’s room at the rear of the sanctuary will not be open for use, nor will children’s activity bags be available.
7) While the children’s sermon will still take place, the children will stay in their pew with their family.
8) Worship bulletins and children’s bulletins will be spread out on tables in the narthex for you. (Children will need to bring their own writing utensil or crayons.) Whereas Saturday worshippers have many times “recycled” their bulletin for use on Sunday morning, any “used” bulletin should now be taken home after worship.
9) The offering plates will not be passed during the worship service. They will be located at the entrances to the sanctuary so that you can place your offering in the plate before or after worship.
10) To maintain social distancing, every other pew will be closed. Within the open pews, please maintain at least a six foot distance between you and your fellow worshipper. However, this does not apply to family members; they may sit together. (To aid in minimizing cleaning time on Saturday evening, the Saturday worship service seating will initially be only on the pulpit side of the sanctuary.)
11) All of the day’s hymns and songs will be printed in the bulletin. Worship books, pew pads, offering envelopes, and pens have been removed from the pews.
12) Please be mindful of the fact that singing can increase the spread of aerosol particles (the droplets from one’s mouth). While one option is to not sing at all, other options presented are to sing only while masked, sing “quietly,” or make sure that you are at least 10-12 feet away from others if you are going to sing.
13) Greeting one another and sharing the peace within worship should be done in non-physical ways, while maintaining distance. Also, any socializing after worship should take place outside of the building, while still respecting social spacing guidelines.
14) Worshippers will be ushered out at the end of the service. When Holy Communion is not a part of the worship service, ushering out will begin from the back of the sanctuary and work towards the front, in order to minimize physical contact when making one’s way down the aisles. When Holy Communion is offered within the service, it will take place at the very end of worship, with individuals being ushered out from the front and then making their way of out the sanctuary via the hallway that parallels the sanctuary. The ushers will guide you.
15) While we may not offer Holy Communion immediately when we return to in-person worship services, there will be changes in our distribution practices when we do so. These will be explained at that time.
16) For those who are used to “remembering your baptism” by touching the water in the baptismal font, know that the font will be dry for now.
17) For the Saturday evening service, women are asked to use the “Family Restroom” located off the coatrack hallway near the sanctuary. (This will aid our custodian in regards to the time needed to get ready for Sunday morning’s service.)
Obviously, our worship practices will be refined, adjusted, and somewhat “normalized” as time goes on. But for now, we’ll follow the above procedures in order to help each other (as well as our greater communities) stay healthy and well.
It should also be noted that while we are resuming in-person worship services, most other activities and meetings within the building will not yet be resuming – unless and until you are notified otherwise. May the Lord continue to bless our times of worship together – whether our togetherness is in person or it is in spirit. Hopefully, it will ALL be in the Spirit!
Pastor Mark S. Luepke
"In grateful response to God's generosity, we CARE, SHARE, and SERVE.
Welcoming all, we are a caring faith community, sharing the Gospel and building relationships in order to serve our neighbors everywhere."
5:30 pm Saturdays
9:00 am Sundays
KROS 1340 AM or 105.9 FM
10:30 am Sundays
Miss a broadcast?
Our last two Sunday services are available here.
Fifth Sunday After Pentecost
July 5, 2020
Zion Lutheran Church
439 3rd Avenue South, Clinton, Iowa 52732 (563)242-7391
How We Care, Share, and Serve
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