Dear sisters and brothers,
Sunday, May 23, the Day of Pentecost, was glorious for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Bishop Rev. Dr. Laura Barbins was with us to preach and preside at the confirmation of seven of our young members. Secondly, I had the joy of announcing long-hoped-for changes to our pandemic worship protocol (see the Worship Table article). Believe me, I know a lot was asked these last fourteen months. We suspended in-person worship for ten weeks. Then once we were allowed back, the conditions that were imposed were difficult to maintain for us Lutherans who love to sing our praises to our God revealed in Jesus Christ. But the good news is that we survived the pandemic (so far) without becoming a part of the problem. As far as I know, worship at Zion was never a super-spreader event (and we were diligent in our contact tracing). I know we are not out of the pandemic completely, but all indications are that the numbers are going in the right direction, and with herd immunity, it is hoped that we will be able to keep COVID-19 under control forever. Please continue to ask God for relief for us and for the rest of the world.
Moving forward (how good it is to write those words) Zion leadership will be undertaking two initiatives this summer and more actively, this fall.
Reaching in, I will be establishing a program to reach every member before Labor Day with a warm invitation to come back. Provided the pandemic stays at bay, we want to see all our members back in worship and at the many activities we host.
Reaching out, Carissa Santangelo applied for the “Open Doors” grant through the ELCA. The “Open Door” grant is intended to help congregations more intentionally open their doors to invite visitors in. If we are awarded the grant it would give us a little money to work with, but honestly, it doesn’t matter because the agenda points that Carissa and her brainstorm team came up with are simply the right thing to do.
I hope you feel the breath of the Holy Spirit inspiring us to awaken from our pandemic funk and blow open our windows and doors (metaphorically, of course) to be fearlessly sent out to do ministry in Jesus’ name to who knows who.
It could be a most exciting time for the church.
With you on the journey of faith,
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