To our Church Family at Zion,

We hope this finds you well and calm in the love that God has for all His children. Remember, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

Many of you have had a chance to read the letter that the Bishops shared encouraging congregations to refrain from coming together for in-person worship for the remainder of March. If you have not had a chance to read the letter, it emphasized that while there are many unknowns about this public health crisis, one thing has been agreed upon – social distancing is an essential part of the collective response to slow the spread of the virus and allow the health care industry time to respond accordingly. We have a commitment to each other, and especially to those most vulnerable among us, to care for and protect each other as Jesus would.

We also have an obligation to continue serving our community and each other with generosity, hope, joy. We need to continue to prioritize meeting the spiritual needs that so many have met through worship and community at Zion. Much discussion and consideration has been given on how to balance the need to be safe and consider health concerns at large while honoring our spiritual concerns as a congregation of faith.

Bishop Satterlee left it to the congregational leadership to make the decision whether services would continue. At this time, the executive committee has decided to suspend in-person services until Palm Sunday, which is April 5, 2020. We are considering many options to continue serving our faith community, which may include:

Live streaming services via Facebook, Youtube, or another online platform.
Prayer time at church, while honoring social distancing guidelines.
Safe Communion opportunities at Zion.
Communion ministry to the homebound – if you are called to provide communion to the sick or elderly, now is the time to reach out to help.
Alternative music ministry opportunities.
Increased electronic communication.

In the meantime, to help you stay connected to Zion, here are links to the various online communication tools currently being used.
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/zionfreeland/
Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/109593201651/?source_id=1525361214384748
The Zion Connection: A Weekly(ish) E-Newsletter
Our Website – www.zionfreeland.org

We want to hear from you. Do you have any other ideas? Do you have suggestions on ways we can stay connected? Our plan for the weeks to come will continue to unfold as new information and guidelines become available, and we want everybody to be engaged in navigating this situation together, as a church family. Please reach out to Pastor, Allison, or any of the church council members with any questions, concerns, or ideas you may have.

May God’s peace be with you,
The Leadership of Zion ELCA

Tracy Miller, President : 989-573-0731, tvano1991@gmail.com
Pastor Rob Schmidt : 989-297-1611, freelandpastor@zionfreeland.org
Doug Harrington, VP : 989-754-7110, Douglassharrington@yahoo.com
Sara Glynn-Dishaw, Music Director : 989-928-8333,
sglynndishaw@yahoo.com
Allison Dakos, Office Manager : 989-695-9626, office@zionfreeland.org