The State of Iowa changed regulations for churches beginning on May 1. Our Consistory has been prayerfully debating what is best for our congregation. After much deliberation and coming together in the Spirit’s unity, the following letter explains what we as a church will be doing. You can download this letter as a PDF file here. This letter will be sent via postal mail to our members for those who do not have internet services. Please help spread the word.
Thank you for your glad-hearted submission and encouragement to our congregation’s leaders. If you have questions or concerns, their contact information is at the end.
Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Dear Zion Congregation,
Greetings from the Consistory in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Lord has answered our many prayers and has blessed us with the opportunity to resume public worship at Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church. We are excited to announce that Zion will be resuming church services in our building starting Sunday, May 10th. (pending any changes in Gov. Reynold’s recommendations)
We know that many of you may have mixed emotions about this decision and we respect those feelings. If you feel uncertain about attending the worship service in the church building, then please continue to worship with us by live stream. If you do not have access to internet and would like to get a DVD of the worship service, please contact the church office. We feel that it is important to bring our congregation together once again to be able to worship our Lord in communion with one another. We are also fully aware of the concerns you might have and we will do everything possible to ensure the safety and health of our members. We will be cleaning the carpets and sanitizing all surfaces prior May 10th.
We are making preparations to hold 2 worship services on Sunday, May 10th. We feel it is very important to stay in line with the Iowa COVID-19 safety guidelines. By doing this we are restricted in the number of members that can worship in the building at one time. Because of this, the first service will start at 8:30 AM and we are asking that single persons, couples and older members attend this worship service. The second service will begin at 10:00 AM and we are asking that the families with children attend that service. Surfaces will be sanitized in between services. We will not be having Sunday school for the children at this time. There will be no nursery available for young children until further notice.
We will be live streaming the 8:30 AM worship service, so if you feel uncomfortable attending the worship service at the church, please continue to use the online service like you have for the past month. We are asking that if you have an underlying medical condition, traveled out of state or to a county that has a high number of COVID-19 cases, or have any signs of sickness, that you reside at home and worship with us in Spirit for the protection of the rest of our congregation.
Please do not arrive earlier than 20 min. before the start of the service. When you arrive at the church, please enter through the main front carport doors. Please be respectful of other members and practice social distancing as the State of Iowa recommends. A consistory member will assist you in finding a place to sit. There will be no bulletins available and all announcements, songs and readings will be on the overhead screens. All Bibles and hymnals will also be removed from the pews to reduce items that could be touched. An offering plate will be placed in the narthex for your tithes.
We ask that you do NOT gather in the narthex before or after the service. We know that it will be very emotional for everyone as we have been apart for some time, but we need to continue to practice social distancing as much as possible. We will be seating members in an “every other pew” manner, with a limited amount of people per row. Immediate families that are in close contact at home may sit in a pew together like normal. However, if you are a single person or a couple, we ask that you spread out as much as possible to maintain a safe distance.
The Consistory strongly encourages everyone who is able, to wear a mask. Feel free to bring your own from home or one will be available at the church. The church will also provide hand sanitizer at the entrance and in restrooms. We ask that you limit your movement in the church building to the worship area and restrooms.
Following the service, please remain in your seats , and you will be dismissed one row at a time. Again, please leave the church immediately and go to your vehicle. We do not want you to gather in the narthex. We understand this will be hard, but we must follow the CDC and the Iowa guidelines and suggestions. Now that the Governor has allowed churches to reopen, we want to do everything we can to ensure the COVID-19 virus does not enter or spread in our community.
Please continue to check the Zion E & R website or Facebook page for potential changes to the worship schedule each week. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact any of consistory members listed below. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.
Romans 8:31 – What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Elder, Grant Anderson – 641-512-1513
Elder, Dean Stromer – 641-430-0185
Elder, Scott Wood – 641-860-1523
We are so thankful that your decisions will be easy to follow and have been made with much wisdom, and to Pastor Brian and our musicians who have made the online services so meaningful and a blessing to all…truly we are blessed!