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ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH 

Friday, May 29, 2020

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

 

On Pentecost, 50 days after Easter, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church in a special way: rushing wind, tongues of fire, and everyone hearing the Good News in their own language. Everything the Holy Spirit did with those signs, though, was to get people’s attention. Once He had their attention, the Apostle Peter preached a sermon, a sermon that declared the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection and His call for repentance and the gift of that salvation being delivered in Holy Baptism. In other words, the Holy Spirit has one job: to make sure you hear the Good News of Jesus, bring you to repent of your sins, and give you faith that believes Jesus died and rose FOR YOU. That’s what Pentecost is all about and we’ll hear all about it this Sunday as we celebrate this feast day. 

 

Our big news is that we are going to begin small services of Holy Communion starting on June 7. Below is all the information about that. Our usual info follows after. I’m looking forward to seeing you in church, even if it’s just a few at a time for now! Yesterday, our governor apparently lifted restrictions for churches but in reality, the guidelines have not changed. The main concern is large groups gathered for a length of time. So this does not change our plan of beginning slowly with small groups of 9 people at a time. 

 

Guidelines for Returning to the Lord’s Altar

Here is how we are planning to slowly return to church and receive the Sacrament of the Altar beginning with Phase 3 of the Reopen Illinois plan. Please read these guidelines carefully and let me or your elder know if you have any questions. 

  • Services will continue to be live-streamed and recorded each week on Sunday at 9am and Wednesday at 7pm. Everyone is encouraged to join us with these online services to worship, praise, and hear the preaching of God’s Word. 
  • Beginning June 7 we will offer two blocks of time per week for members to sign up and come to church to receive the Sacrament of the Altar:
    • Sundays from 11am to 3pm 
    • Wednesday from 11am to 3pm
    • Services will be scheduled on the hour and half hour. (11, 11;30, etc.)
    • Services will be limited to 9 people at a time (plus Pastor makes the current gathering limit of 10). 
    • Those desiring the Sacrament should contact the Church Office or Pastor to choose one of the slots they wish to attend. We appreciate your being flexible in the event a slot you desire has already reached its maximum number of guests. You may begin making your appointments on Monday, June 1. 
  • The Service of the Sacrament will be as follows
    • The group will come forward to stand near the altar rail in front of the front pew. The entire service will be conducted as we stand up front. (The service will be brief but anyone who needs to sit may do so in the front pew.)
    • There will be a brief service including Confession and Absolution, the Lord’s Supper, prayer, and benediction. 
    • You may take a service bulletin from those available in the narthex. 
    • Masks are to be worn the entire time and removed only to receive Christ’s Body and Blood
    • For the distribution of Christ’s Body, the host will be given in to your hands only, not directly into the mouth.
    • For the Distribution of Christ’ Blood, we will offer both the chalice (with a high proof alcohol soaked purificator to cleanse it) and individual cups. 
    • Only pastor will be distributing the gifts (an elder will not be present). 
    • Pastor will remain masked throughout the service; He will commune last. 
    • Following the benediction, we ask that the congregation not linger in the church or narthex. We will use the time between services for setting up for the next group and doing any cleaning necessary. 
    • Please place your service bulletin in the box marked for used bulletins. 
  • If you feel sick or are exhibiting any symptoms of illness (fever, aches, etc.) we ask that you please remain at home. If you are unable to attend during your scheduled time slot, please let pastor know. 
  • Pastor will begin visiting homebound members again provided they are comfortable with him coming to visit. He will wear a mask and take normal precautions including hand washing and sanitizing, etc. 

I want to make this part very clear: If you are not yet comfortable coming to church to receive the Sacrament, that is OK! There is no judgement one way or the other. The Lord’s Supper is a gift we all desire and the situation of this pandemic makes us cautious and uncertain. We are taking every precaution to make the Lord’s gifts available in a way that takes our situation into consideration while still making those gifts available. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or your elder to discuss them. 



Voters Meeting in June
We plan to have a Voters Meeting on Sunday, June 28 at 10:30 AM. The meeting will be via Zoom but even if you don’t have a computer, you will be able to call in like a Conference Call. We’ll have more information as the date gets closer. 

 

Family in Need of a Car
Once again we have a (different) family in need of a reliable and inexpensive vehicle. If you know of such a vehicle or someone that has one, please let Pastor or Brandy know. We had a similar request a few weeks ago and a Zion member responded with a great deal that worked out for the person in need. Thank you!

 

Color A Stained Glass Window
Our church stained glass windows are turning into coloring sheets! Download the latest window HERE.
 


 

And the usual info I’ve been relaying each week:

Streaming and Recorded Video

We stream live on our FACEBOOK PAGE HERE

Our videos are also live and recorded on YOUTUBE HERE

The simplest way to watch online (not live) is probably through our church’s website HERE

Make sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to our Facebook and YouTube Pages so you get updates when we go live and or add videos. 


Weekly Worship Services:
Sunday, 9am - Facebook and YouTube
Wednesday, 7pm - Facebook and YouTube

Remember that all services are recorded and will be available to watch any time after they are live on our YouTube Channel or via the church’s website.
 

Daily Devotions
Pastor is on Facebook every day, Monday through Saturday for Daily Devotions. Tune in to start your day with the Word of God and prayer.


Bible Studies!
We are back to our regular weekly Bible Study schedule. We’re using the Zoom service where we can meet together online. 

To join the meeting on your Computer (with camera and microphone) or Phone, click the link HERE

If prompted use the following information:
Meeting ID
: 815 385 0859
Password: ZionLions

If you’d like help getting this set up ahead of time, let Pastor know. 
 

Bible Study Schedule:

Tuesday, 10:30 AM 

Sunday, 8:00 AM

Learning the Faith, 10:15 AM 

For Learning the Faith, children are encouraged to participate and watch along. We’ll keep the sessions shorter than in person. 
 

Prayers for Healthcare and other “Frontline” Workers
We’re including a list of family and friends who we know are working on the “front lines” of this pandemic. If you know of healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store cashiers, and others who are out there working during all of this, please let us know so that we can compile a list of their names to bring before the Lord in our prayers. You can EMAIL, CALL THE CHURCH OFFICE OR PASTOR, or TEXT PASTOR names you would like included. Please let us know their NAME and WHERE THEY WORK. 


Offerings
We ask and encourage every family to consider their offerings that they would normally give to the church. Please MAIL YOUR CHECK or set up your bank account to make a DIRECT BILL PAY to the church. I know there is a ripple effect in our economy. Please consider God’s promise that He will indeed provide us our daily bread. Our offerings help provide for our brothers and sisters in Christ through pastoral ministry and for those in need. 


Portals of Prayer
If you need Portals of Prayer (or any other resources), please let the Office know and we can mail you a copy. 


Do You Need a Hymnal?
If you would like to order a hymnal so that you can follow along with our services and have a resource for your prayers and devotions at home, let Brandy in the Church Office know. The standard pew edition is $20. Every home should have a hymnal! If you would like to borrow one from church, you can do that too. Just call and you can stop by to pick one up.
 

Pastoral Care
I’ve been calling to check in on our members. My number is: 

(618) 318-3680 

It’s an unusual area code (Southern Illinois) which means you might think I’m a scam caller. So if you see that number pop up, it’s just me. Please ADD ME to your Contacts so you’ll know who’s calling. 

The Spirit testifies of Jesus. Wherever Jesus is being preached and proclaimed, you can be sure the Spirit will be calling sinners to repentance and faith. We are grateful that our Lord sends us the Spirit. He is the Helper, the Comforter, the Paraclete, and Advocate. Jesus has not gone away. He’s just present with us to our ears, through His Word, by which the Spirit comforts and strengthens us in the faith. “See” you online at church soon! 

In Christ,
Pastor Buetow

 

Download this week's Bulletin, Daily Devotions, NewsNotes and Volunteer Schedules from our website here:  
 

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Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School
4206 W. Elm Street
McHenry, IL  60050
(815) 385-0859
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Zion Evangelical Church and School · 4206 W. Elm Street · McHenry, IL 60050 · USA

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