Hi everyone,

     I have great news! The Consistory decided on Tuesday night to re-open our church on Sunday, June 28, with three services at 8:00, 9:40 and 11:15—the Easter schedule. We have this spacing to enable us to clean the church between services and attempt to make it as safe an environment as we can achieve.

     There are varied ideas as to how we should open. Before revealing the ‘how,’ I’d like us to take a moment and acknowledge that we will have differing opinions about how we open, and we also have diverse opinions about what is happening in our society. But we also have some significant points of agreement. In spite of any differences, we all agree about the following:

  • None of us want to be living with the restrictions of Covid-19.
  • All of us value our relationships in our church family.
  • We all want to worship together again.
  • We want everyone, no matter what their age or health circumstances, to return to worship as soon as they safely can.
  • We want everyone to feel completely welcome and included in our family.
  • Finally, we want no one to feel either socially or spiritually pressured to come to church. You must do what is the wisest and best for your life circumstances, and we completely bless you in whatever choice you might make. We long for the time when things truly do return to a more normal experience of being together.

     There are two Scriptures that I would share with you to frame this discussion. Romans 13 says, “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.” (Romans 13:1-2) If you’re like me, when I saw the word ‘punished’ included in that Scripture, I was surprised, but there it was in the New Living Translation of the Bible that I use. What makes that Scripture even more amazing and challenging is the fact that it was written by Paul during the time of the oppressive Roman Empire.

     A second Scripture that I’ve considered is in the following chapter of Romans. It’s speaking to the issue of eating meat that has been previously offered to idols. While Paul clearly says that there is nothing wrong with eating that meat, for some, who previously worshipped idols, it is wrong, and it offends their conscience. Therefore, for the sake of the weaker brother, those of us who don’t have the conviction that eating that meat is wrong, should nonetheless not eat the meat, out of respect for the weaker brother.

     The reason to reference those Scriptures is to say that some of us may think the behavioral standards that we want followed in the church during this season of time are overly confining and restrictive. However, out of respect for those in authority over us and out of consideration for those who are either more vulnerable and strongly prefer greater amounts of physical protection, we are asking everyone to abide by the behavioral standards we are requiring when coming to public worship in our church.\

     Even as you read some of those words, hair might be standing up on the back of your neck and you are offended. If you are having that experience, I want to share some additional words of Paul as he speaks about eating meat offered to idols. He says, “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, (or of certain behavioral guidelines during Covid-19) but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” Romans 14:17-19

     That’s the introduction to the guidelines. Please prayerfully accept our guidelines and honor them. Remember we have diverse and strongly held opinions. We don’t want the issues related to Covid-19 to damage our long and valued friendships. The consistory consists of people who also have diverse opinions just as you have. We had a spirited and healthy debate and developed these guidelines that we pray will be best for the variety of people within our church family. We did our best on behalf of the whole of our congregation. Again, please respect our guidelines and join us as soon as you are comfortable, even though there may be elements of our guidelines that you don’t personally like.

     Before we come to worship, pray for your own heart and the heart of others. Pray for unity for our church family. It’s almost as if we’ve decided to go on a family vacation together, and some of us might prefer the mountains and others of us prefer the beach. But this year, we’re going to the beach. Don’t be miserable and ruin the experience for everyone in the family. Embrace it and enjoy the time of being together as we worship the Lord.

     Finally, a couple of general statements of a practical nature that we need to express.

  • If you are sick, PLEASE stay home and continue to worship with us online.
  • No matter what we do and no matter what our guidelines might be, we cannot guarantee that you will not contract Covid-19 while at the church. You have to access your own risk tolerance and determine whether our guidelines are adequate for your comfort level.
  • If someone does come to our church and worship with us and later finds out they have Covid-19, we will inform the congregation that that occurred, but with the legal advice we’ve received, we are not obligated nor will we be informing any medical or governmental authority. We will also not reveal the name of the person to the congregation unless they ask for our prayers.
  • We will establish an opening date for in-person Sunday School for Children after the in-person worship has been established for a few weeks. When we do begin Sunday School, there will be only one session. It will take place at 9:40.
  • We are asking that there be no adult Sunday School in-person classes either June 28 or July 5. Each adult class leadership should figure out their plans in consultation with the Discipleship Team lead, Amy Chase and/or Pastor Randy.
  • Individual leaders of ministries and activities should also approach the leadership of the church and/or Pastor Randy as we determine our course in these uncharted circumstances.

     Thanks for taking the time to read these thoughts. Please do pray for our church, our nation, and our world. It is a time of great need, but also a season of opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work.

 

Love in Jesus,

Randy

 

Click to Download Our Re-Opening Protocols

Bored with your summer? Bummed that everything was cancelled? Still need something fun to do with the family?

We have the solution! A free, at home program for you and your family to have fun together while learning about Jesus…

Z-World Home Edition!

It’s going to be a blast!! We will be participating together the week of July 27-31. You’ll have tons of fun watching the Lil’ Randy Video of the Day and doing the at home family challenge! We will give you a package with supplies for each challenge and also some snacks for the whole family.

The program is for children age 3 to 6th grade, but will be fun for the entire family or household to participate in! So register your children in that age group, but indicate in the space provided your household number so we can provide snacks for everyone to share together each day.

Once you’ve registered, be sure to mark your calendar to pick up your Z-World Home Edition Supply Pack within the allotted times below that’s most convenient for you. Each packet will contain directions on what to do each day and snacks. The packet pickup location will be at the church, at Zion’s Church, 770 Zion’s Church Road, Hamburg, on the following dates/times:

  • Sunday, July 26th from 12:00pm-2:00pm
  • Sunday July 26th from 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Monday, July 27th from 4:00pm-6:00pm

We need you to register on or before July 6th. You absolutely need to register by that day to get packs and snacks. We cannot take last minute registrations as we won’t be able to get the supplies in time.

And just for fun..every day of Z-World week, we would like you to take pictures of what you do and post it to our Facebook page or text to Kathy so we can all post and share in each other’s creations and happiness! We encourage the whole family or household to participate in the challenges – this is going to be something special and meaningful that your child will always remember, making lifelong memories of your special week together!

Click here to register by July 6th

Visit Z-World.org for more!

Dear Friends,

In light of the recent guidelines dictated by our government and the CDC we felt it would be prudent to communicate with you on our church’s response to the Covid-19 virus situation. We have decided that it would be in the best interest of everyone to close our church for Sunday Worship Services and cancel all activities of the church and Journey Cafe’ until further notice.

We would like to continue to stay connected to you all and we are excited to be offering an online worship experience. We will provide a link to it directly on Facebook, our church website, and on our new communications software called Realm when it’s ready each week. We hope you would view this every week so you can still worship God and be filled with the week’s teaching from Pastor Randy.

If you are not online or don’t use computers at all. We can send you a DVD of the worship service. If you would like us to do that, please call the church to request it be sent to you at 610-562-2300.

It is important that since we won’t be meeting physically we can stay in communication, show love and pray with each other. We can do this through email, Facebook, phone, mail, online video conferencing or lessons and our new communications software Realm. We would like you all to sign in to connect through this new software if you can! If you go to connect.zionschurch.org you can create an account and then use the software. If you have any questions, ideas or an emergency please call the church at 610-562-2300, or contact a staff member directly. If you don’t have their contact information please call the church, email or message us on Facebook.

We are thinking and praying about other ways that we could connect, help people, pray and maybe have some spiritual connection. If you have any ideas or anything we might want to add to our planning, please let us know. We are monitoring this situation as it unfolds and if we have to change or act further on anything
we will be sure to update you as soon as possible. It is important to remember that God is in control and that His word says we shouldn’t fear. We should continue to praise Him and trust Him. Please join us in praying for the situation and that God would bring about healing and a solution, for health authorities and governments around the world, as they lead us. and for the opportunity to show Christ - like love and concern for others during these times.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13


Warmly,
The Leadership of Zions Church

 

  

Zion's Church has implemented a Church Management System called Realm. Along with serving the church's business needs, it also offers several ways to improve engagement, communication, and relationships within church. 

WHAT IS REALM?
Realm is an online ministry tool designed with communication in mind. It helps us all to stay connected and informed.  Realm allows you to manage your personal contact information and who is allowed to see it, control your online giving, and keep in touch with the groups that matter to you.  Realm is available both as a web site and a mobile app.  You will be able to receive notifications via email or within the app.

WHY USE REALM?
Realm strengthens church connections.  Groups and individuals are better able to communicate with each other, even from our mobile devices. It will facilitate better relationship building.  We’ll stay organized, and you’ll stay informed about all of the ministries and fellowship opportunities.  Event registration will be available, and, if an event requires payment, you'll be able to pay online as well.  If you are a group leader, we will be reaching out to do some additional training for you.

Governor Tom Wolf just called for all PA Schools to close for the next 10 school days (3/16-3/27/2020). Because of this news and out of an abundance of caution we have decided to cancel the after school program at the Journey Cafe, and all midweek Family Night programming including Rock Us, Secret Kingdom and Acts 2 Community (adult programming) for that time period as well. We are still planning on having Worship Services and Sunday School this Sunday as of 3/13/20. Please know that we are continuing to watch the news and will update you as necessary. Please continue to pray and trust God to help us and our leaders to navigate through this crisis!

March 12, 2020

 

Dear friends,

Things have been moving fairly fast this week in regards to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how as a church family we should respond. We are in discussions as to how to best care for members of our church family and beyond, especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus.

The Wolf Administration has just put out a statement with restrictions and suggestions for neighboring Montgomery County. He has also given some guidelines for the state of Pennsylvania. They are…

  • The Wolf Administration strongly encourages the suspension of large gatherings, events, conferences of 250 individuals or more.
    The Wolf Administration discourages individuals from traveling to recreational activities like gyms, movie theaters and shopping malls.
    The Wolf Administration encourages religious leaders to exercise discretion in order to mitigate the spread of illness.
  • In light of these guidelines we felt it would be prudent to communicate with you on this topic.

Statistically those over 70 are the most vulnerable to serious illness as a result of this virus. We are aware that we have vulnerable people in our ministries at Zions.

Zions Church is excited to now offer sign language interpretation at the 9:40 am Worship Services. Signing will be in the front left corner of the sanctuary and will be provided whenever people are in attendance who have the ability to understand sign language.