March 13, 2020
To the Faithful of Zion Lutheran Church,
For what seems like forever we have been hearing about the spread of the Coronavirus around the world. What started out as a little know virus has managed to circle the globe and risen to pandemic status. While most who contract the virus show little or no symptoms, the Coronavirus has proven itself deadly. In this country Washington state appears to be the epicenter.
We have been closely monitoring the spread of the virus and have waited for guidance for this Administration as well as agencies such as the CDC. They have suggested that we take a common sense approach doing things like washing our hands – frequently – with soap and water; limiting how often we touch our faces and when we do, washing our hands; social distancing, 6 feet or more, to limit the spread of the disease by sneezing and coughing. We have watched as major organizations have suspended, delayed, even canceled events where large crowds gathered. We have seen school closures not only in this state and country, but around the world. All of these actions have been taken in order to limit the spread of the virus, especially to groups over 60 or anyone who may experience an underlying health issue.
It is with a deep sense of grief that I ask all of you to understand the action that I am about to take. Thinking of the welfare of the congregation I am going to suspend worship – Sunday and Wednesday – until further notice. I ask that you pray not only for Zion, but for all congregations who are struggling with this same decision. Until we can meet again I would ask that you continue to worship in your homes. If you have a copy of the ELW (red book) or the LBW (green book) I would suggest that you use both morning and evening prayers to guide your worship and contemplation. If you would like to continue with the Lectionary, the readings are listed in each book. We are in year A and this Sunday is the 3rd Sunday in Lent. I will attempt to script out a sermon (and you all know I don’t usually do this) and have it emailed to you as part of your worship.
I ask that you check in on each other – often. If you hear or know of someone who is need, please call me, email me, text me (and the office, too), to let us know so that we can follow up and add them to the prayer chain.
I thank you for your understanding and pray that the healing hand of God be upon you, our country, our world.