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COVID-19 and Zumbro | Update on May 30, 2020

1) We had some great fun this past Thursday night. About 20 cars, including several convertibles, showed up. We were going in parade to the homes of our high school graduates. To cover all the graduates, we had three different parade routes.  Banners were flying, horns were honking, and gift bags were shared. It was our way to telling the graduates that “we’re all in this together.” I think the graduates were pleased to be remembered, and I think the parade goers had lots of fun too.

2) 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 this special day we will honor our high school graduates and their families. We will highlight their accomplishments through pictures, stories, and song.

3) There’s a special addition to worship on Pentecost: the Zumbro Lutheran Choir, under the direction of Bob Giere, has recorded a virtual anthem: “If Ye Love Me” by Thomas Tallis. You don’t want to miss it.

4) With the governor’s directive allowing for a reopening of churches at 25% capacity, a number of you have been asking when we’ll be able to open up at Zumbro. As much as I’d like that to happen, we won’t be able to do that anytime soon. There are a number of factors: a) we have been streaming from the Fireside Room.  At 25% capacity, we could only fit in another 15 or so people; b) if we were to move to the Gym, we could probably find room for upwards of 50 people, but we wouldn’t be able to stream or do a radio broadcast; c) at present, we don’t have a fully functioning elevator going to the lowest level; d) there are construction materials and debris pretty much everywhere; and e) last but not least, we continue to be cautious about not rushing into reopening, and about the risks that worshippers might present to each other. Your safety and security is of utmost concern to us.

5) We will continue to consider outdoor worship for later this summer, especially as recommendations from state and local health officials get revised. If we feel we can gather safely outdoors, this would be in addition to an indoor streaming service (and radio broadcast). We would 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.

5) Mission Mondays have given us some wonderful ways to get involved. Starting this coming Monday – and for the next two weeks – we are going to be focusing on Samaritan Bethany, one of our primary mission partners. There are three ways to support them: a) sew masks for the residents; b) give a gift toward the purchase of new iPads and tablets for their residents to stay connected (your gifts will be in addition to gifts from the Gifts and Memorials Team and the Mission and Outreach Team; c) donate a gently used iPad or tablet. Donations will be received on Wednesday, June 3 and 10, from 12:00 – 3:00pm.  Check the Zumbro website or our Facebook page for further information.

Thanks so much for your efforts to stay connected during this pandemic. A card, phone call, or email means a lot to people. As we’ve been saying throughout the season of Easter, “We’re all in this together.” That sense of togetherness keeps us connected with each other and reminds us of God’s purpose for us as a Pentecost people.

In the strong name of Jesus,

Pastor Vern Christopherson