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COVID-19 and Zumbro | Update on April 10, 2020

On this Good Friday, it feels like we’re living in a Friday-kind of world. Change and uncertainty continue to swirl all around us. Here are some of the latest things going on at Zumbro. A few new items are listed in bold:

1) We are so very grateful that you’ve been worshipping with us this Holy Week, both by streaming and on the radio. We appreciate hearing from you. Many have been encouraging friends and relatives to check out our worship services. That’s been fun. Our reach has been spreading!

2) We encourage you to join us for the following services (You can see worship here.):

Good Friday Family Service (5:30pm)
Good Friday (7pm)
Easter Sunday (8:30am).
On Easter Sunday, churches in Rochester are going to ring bells at 10am. Wherever you happen to be on Easter morning, snow or shine, grab a bell, head outside, and make some noise. Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!

3) Now that Lent is over, we are exploring how we want to do Wednesday worship going forward. We won’t be having worship on Wednesday, April 15, but we will be sending out an email with some ideas of what to expect down the road. And we’ll probably have a question or two for you to consider.

4) We’ve been having conversations about how we might have communion in the midst of COVID-19. We have decided to include communion liturgy as part of our worship and invite people to participate in this holy meal at home. Our first opportunities for this will be Sunday, April 19 and Wednesday, April 22.

We will ask individuals and families to gather a piece of bread and some wine/juice before worship begins. When the time comes, a pastor will consecrate the elements in the sanctuary. If there is more than one in the household, they will speak the words to each other: “The body of Christ given for you; the blood of Christ shed for you.” If there is only one in the household, the pastor will speak the words directly to that person.

5) We are concerned about those in our Zumbro community who own or work at small businesses. Starting this week, we are going to lift up the names of those small businesses and pass them on to you. If you would like your small business to be mentioned, but sure to send that information on to us.

This week we give a shout out to:

Otto’s Bakery in Byron
Catering by Design Pantry in Rochester
Carousel Flowers in Rochester
Johnson Printing
Do your best to support these fine establishments. All are open for business but, like a lot of us, in a slightly different format. Check out their websites.

6) Because our regular worship life is on hold, we expect that giving—both to our general fund and our building fund—will be affected. Depending on your current financial situation, I encourage you to be as generous as possible. We plan to update our financial picture this coming week.

There are three easy ways to give to Zumbro:

Mail your offering to the church.
Make a gift or set up recurring giving on our website.
Use your smartphone and text ZUMBRO to 73256.
7) Construction work continues. We hope to have the elevator installed over the next three weeks. Work is progressing at a steady pace, helped by the fact that there are no church events to work around. Renovation efforts in the sanctuary will likely begin in early May.

8) In case of an emergency, please call the church office and—depending on a facility’s current visitation policy—a pastor will make every effort to connect with you or a loved one.

9) Mission Mondays continue. This past week gifts cards for groceries were delivered to a number of Zumbro families. Thanks for making that happen through your gits to the Good Samaritan Fund. Check out Facebook on Saturday for additional ways to get involved this week.

10) We’re planning on a new sermon series for the season of Easter. It’s entitled, We’re All in this Together. We expect there will be plenty to talk about.

Good people of Zumbro, I have missed seeing you at worship this Holy Week. Waving palm branches and crying hosanna just wasn’t the same without you. Then again, seeing a picture of Zumbro kids, in their family room, doing foot-washing on Maundy Thursday was deeply meaningful. We are finding new ways to be the church together, even at a distance.

I look forward to hearing bells on Easter morning. We need to be reminded that we’re all in this together. And, spurred on by the good news of Christ’s resurrection, we go forth from the tomb in fear and in joy. As the ad for State Farm has been proclaiming: “Hope is not cancelled.” And to that, I say, Amen!

Together we are building bridges of understanding and peace, reaching out with compassion, and sharing the hope of Jesus.

In the strong name of Jesus,

Pastor Vern Christopherson