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COVID-19 and Zumbro | Update on May 22, 2020

1) We have just a couple of weeks remaining in our Easter sermon series: We’re All in this Together. Here is the schedule:

  • 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

Just a reminder: Zumbro’s mission statement is inspired by Ephesians 2. This coming Sunday Pastor Jason will remind us of all that’s at stake as we build bridges of understanding and peace, reach out with compassion, and share the hope of Jesus. All our sermons are available online.

2) Because of the risks of COVID-19, we will not be holding our Memorial Weekend gatherings at Soldiers Field and the Columbarium. As we observe Memorial Day, we ask the Lord to comfort us for those to whom we have had to goodbye. We also say a word of thanks for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

3) May 31 is Pentecost Sunday. We encourage you to wear red, the color of the church, as we celebrate the outpouring of God’s Spirit on the early followers of Jesus. On that special day we will honor our high school graduates and their families. We will highlight their accomplishments through pictures, stories, and song. We will also be treated to a virtual anthem by the Zumbro Lutheran Choir.

4) As the state of Minnesota focuses on re-opening, a number of businesses and organizations – including churches – are having conversations about the possibility of resuming regular activities. We had a preliminary conversation at our council meeting this past Tuesday. The general consensus was that we’re a long way from being able to gather safely in large groups. We will continue to monitor state and local recommendations for public gatherings. We will be attentive to study documents from both the ELCA and the SE MN Synod.

5) There is a slim chance that we will experiment with outdoor worship later in the summer, but only if guidelines for gathering sizes are increased, and only if we feel we can do so safely and securely. If we do gather, we will likely require masks, physical distancing, and we won’t engage in public singing. It’s one step at a time as we try to find the way forward.

6) Look for in-person worship plans to be revisited after September 1, but with no guarantees that we’ll be starting back up at this time. People’s health and safety are of the utmost importance to us. In the meantime, the council will be working on a plan to reopen gradually – and in phases – and only as certain benchmarks are met along the way, including a prolonged drop in new infections. Needless to say, we have very little idea about what is coming down the road. Keep us and this process in your prayers.

At the close of our council meeting, we prayed for the good people of Zumbro. Many of you are in at-risk categories. Many have been separated from loved ones for weeks and months on end. This waiting and wondering are incredibly hard. We ask the Lord to watch over you and your loved ones, and to keep you safe. We need each other now more than ever. We are all in this together. And with the help of Christ, we will make it through.

In the strong name of Jesus,

Pastor Vern Christopherson