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COVID-19 and Zumbro | Update on April 24, 2020

1) This Sunday we are giving thanks for 50-plus years in our sanctuary. The sanctuary was dedicated in 1969 and has been home to any number of people and events over the years. We will lift up a few of those people and events in song and pictures. And we will pray a final blessing as we transition from this space and move into a period of renovation.

2) Some of you early risers have been wanting to download the bulletin a bit earlier in your Sunday schedule. Look for it to be available as early as 7am. Others have asked if we can include the words on the screen. We are looking into this possibility, but first, it will involve some software updates.

3) During the season of Easter, we remember our baptism. This comes from the ancient practice of baptizing persons at the Easter Vigil, which followed a period of preparation during Lent. As we gather for worship this week, I invite you to have a container of water. We will ask you to make the sign of the cross either on your own forehead or on the forehead of someone who is worshipping with you.  Speak each other’s names and remind one another that you children of God.

4) We started a new version of Wednesday worship this past week. Many of you tuned in. One change this coming Wednesday: we will start worship at 6:15pm. Several have shared that they like the thought of worshipping together. We like that thought too. Even if some choose to watch later, the majority will be watching at the same time.

5) We are in the midst of an Easter sermon series: We’re All in this Together. 

Here is the schedule:
April 26 – All Locked Up and Not Sure Where to Go – John 20:19-31
May 3 – Believers Pray for Boldness in Their Daily Work – Acts 4:13-31
May 10 – What Does It Mean to be a Family These Days? – Col. 3:12-21
May 17 – Being a Good Samaritan in a day of COVID-19 – – Luke 10:25-37
May 24 – Jesus Breaks Down Walls and So Do We – Ephesians 2:11-22
May 31 (Pentecost) – We’re All in This Together – Acts 2:1-21

6) Construction work continues at a steady pace. You’d be surprised by all the work that’s been done. Pastor Jason is going to shoot a video tour and will be sending it out this week.

7) I am going to have a four-week zoom Bible study on Colossians. This will be held on the Thursdays in May at 9:00am. The congregation in Colossae was living in a world of upheaval. People weren’t sure who or what to believe. They needed encouragement and guidance to find the way forward. And most important of all, they need a baptismal identity grounded in the death and resurrection of Christ. If you’re interested in digging into these issues further, sign up here.

8) We are concerned about those in the Zumbro community who own or work at small businesses. For a few weeks at a time, we plan to lift up the names of some of those businesses and pass them on to you.

This week we give a shout out to:
Northwest Dental Group in Rochester
Batteries Plus Bulbs in Rochester
Bluestem Clinic in Rochester
Country Inn and Suites in Rochester

Do your best to support these fine establishments.  All are open for business but, like a lot of things, in a slightly different format. Check out their websites. And please know that if you would like your small business mentioned, send us your information and we’d be happy to do so.

Friends, we are adjusting to Covid-19 one step at a time. Even as some states are lifting their stay-at-home orders, lots of us rightly have concerns about heading back out in public too soon. We’re not sure what that will mean for our church life this summer, but we promise not to forget you. We’re all in this together.

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